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Nerds Without Pants Episode 17: The All-Japan Pro Podcast

Sayonara, Rob-san!

Welcome to another edition of Nerds Without Pants! No, this show isn't about an epic wrestling match between Antonio Inoki and Great Baba.This time, we revisit a topic that we talked about when we were still the Tri-Force crew on PixlTalk: Japanese games. Instead of rehashing material we take advantage of the fact that we’re nearing the end of the console cycle and grade major Japanese developers on their performance. Before that, we talk about what games we’ve been playing.

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Kenji Eno Passes Away at 42

The controversial Japanese game developer leaves a legacy of genre bending titles.

Last week was kind of a crazy week of news for video game fans of all walks of life. Naturally the PS4 announcement took up the lion’s share of the attention, and with good reason considering how long the current console generation has lasted. Obviously big and sad news hit a lot of people close to this website with the announcement that 1up would be closing, and some excellent writers getting laid off. With all of that commotion it’s easy to forgive if you didn’t realize that Kenji Eno died last week, as well. You can also be forgiven for asking who that is, because although Eno was a legendary game designer to a lot of people, he was also an enigma that hadn’t been in the gaming news for over a decade.

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Way of the Samurai 4 Review

"You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain." -Miyamoto Musashi

For me, there is no better exhibition of the focus, skill, and elegance of the martial arts than the samurai, and it boggles my mind that we don’t see more video games based on these noble warriors. Sure, ninjas are cool and all, but what about those that follow the way of bushido? I gobble up the lifestyle of the wandering ronin, and I think you can forgive me a little bit that I enjoy Way of the Samurai 4 so much--despite that fact that it is flawed on every conceivable level that games are judged on.

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Monolith Software is Project X Zone Developer

Xenoblade developer taking on Sega/Namco Bandai/Capcom crossover

Project X Zone may be one of the most ambitious crossover titles to date.  The strategy-RPG-fighter is poised to set iconic characters of major Japanese publishers Capcom, Namco Bandai and Sega against each other in a battle for supremacy.  With three behemoths coming together and mixing their IPs in this lovely video game soup, one begins to wonder exactly who would get developer duties on the project.  Would it be Capcom?  Namco Bandai?  Sega? 

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Tales of Graces f Review

Tales of the Typical JRPG.

Japanese RPGs haven't had the easiest time this generation. The good ones are few and far between and Japan has taken notice to the downshift in popularity. Many games, such as Tales of Graces f have a hard time being localized for English speaking audiences. Thankfully, after much fan demand, the game has finally seen a release on U.S. shores and while it doesn't stray far from the formula, it provides an experience that will satisfy many starving JRPG fans.

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Nintendo Direct Reveals The Last Story Coming to America, Other Announcements

A collaboration title and release date also announced.

This morning, Nintendo had its Nintendo Direct video presentation and several announcements were made. Top among them was the announcement that The Last Story, one of the titles targeted by the Operation Rainfall movement, will be coming to North America this year courtesy of XSEED Games.  The Last Story is the latest, and perhaps last, RPG developed by Mistwalker head and creator of the Final Fantasy series, Hironobu Sakaguchi. 

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3DS Reaches Five Million Sold in Japan

Nintendo's fortunes have definitely turned around.

Despite its rocky beginning that resulted in an unplanned price cut from Nintendo, Media Create sales figures in Japan are reporting that the 3DS has sold five million units in 52 weeks. This breaks the previous record set by the Nintendo DS, at 56 weeks.

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy DLC Dated, Priced in Japan

We get a glimpse of what DLC will be like on Nintendo's 3D handheld.

Nintendo is starting to take baby steps into the realm of paid DLC.  One of the first titles that will take advantage of this new (to Nintendo platforms) feature is Square Enix’s Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.  The rhythm game will allow users to download additional songs to their 3DS. 

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Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword Review

If you're browsing the eShop, you should probably avoid games with samurai in them.

Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword is the latest game to take use of Japan's rich lore. Despite the setting, the game's tale is standard Nintendo fare - players are on a quest to rescue a kidnapped princess. As a young samurai, your quest is split into a number of levels that consist of nothing more than a variety of encounters with a handful of enemy types. The characters and setting imbue a definite degree of charm and personality, but it's squandered by the shallow, repetitive, and boring gameplay.

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Monster Hunter Vita Coming This Year?

Could Monster Hunter be just what the Vita needs?

It’s hard to say that the Japanese PlayStation Vita launch has been a resounding success.  Slow sales have many gamers proclaiming the handheld’s demise even before it is launched in North America and Europe next month.  Even with near abysmal sales, PlayStation France CEO Philippe Cardon doesn’t believe there is anything to worry about, saying that the Japanese launch only lacked a special something that will be coming later this year: Monster Hunter.

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