Tag Archives: video game

The Pico Cassette cartridge

Photo/IllutrationThe Pico Cassette cartridge for “Ninja JaJaMaru-kun,” still in development, is plugged into the headphone jack of a smartphone. (Naoyuki Fukuda)

Amid the enduring popularity of the retro games that took the nation by storm in the 1980s, two IT start-up firms are running a crowdfunding campaign to finance an old-school, plug-in gaming system for smartphones.

The firms are now working to develop their first offering, “Ninja JaJaMaru-kun,” for a commercial release probably in November.

The Pico Cassette system is being developed jointly by Tokyo-based Beatrobo Inc. and Sirok Inc. The former has a proven track record for its PlugAir, a physical device that allows access to music and video content stored in the cloud when it is plugged into a smartphone’s headphone jack.

Making use of this technology, the Pico Cassette cartridge establishes a connection to the Internet when it is plugged into a smartphone and allows the user to play an exclusive video game, according to the developers.

“We want to revive video games that linger on in our memories,” said Beatrobo President Hiroshi Asaeda.

“Ninja JaJaMaru-kun” is an action game in which the player controls a ninja boy to destroy enemies with “shuriken” throwing stars. It became a big hit after it was released for a home video game console in 1985.

The target price for a Pico Cassette cartridge is set at 1,980 yen ($18).

The companies are running their campaign on crowdfunding website Makuake to raise a total of 10 million yen to prepare for porting retro games to smartphones and producing cartridges.

The campaign has raised more than 4 million yen so far.


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Contra: Evolution Brings The Classic NES Game To iPhone, iPad Today


One of my favorite NES games as a kid has got to be Contra as there was nothing quite like endlessly shooting anything that moves on screen for countless hours. It looks like a new generation of gamers are about to get their taste of Contra as Konami has just released Contra: Evolution onto iOS devices.

Contra: Evolution is available for both the iPhone and iPad for $0.99 and $2.99 respectively and has been adapted to be played on touchscreen devices. That’s not the only change Contra has received in Contra: Evolution as the game features new levels in what’s being called a reincarnation of the classic game.

Contra: Evolution features a floating joystick by default, but the game is expected to gain native game controller support when iOS 7 arrives later this fall. We’re sure this will be one of the first games you’re going to want to try out once game controllers are support on iOS, and we wouldn’t fault you if you tried the Konami code a few time to see if anything happens.

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Which sex do Japanese gamers pick for their video game characters?

In the fight between skirts vs. vests, who reigns supreme?

Video games have come a long way since the days when you were forced to play as one specific main character. If you were a girl who didn’t want to play as a boy character, or even if you were a boy who was tired of playing as a burly man, then your gaming options were limited.

But nowadays, plenty of games let you choose the gender of your character. Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing, Dark Souls, Pokémon, even Super Mario 3D World finally lets you play as Peach after a 25 year hiatus since Super Mario Bros. 2.

But then that brings up the question: how often do gamers pick a character whose gender doesn’t match their own?

To find the answer, the Japanese website MyNavi recently conducted a survey of 400 college students to see if the sex of their in-game characters matched their real-life one. Here’s a translation of the surprising results:

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