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‘Rain’ reveals it gameplay while ‘Wind Waker’ goes HD

by Brian Ashcraft

We’re playing in the rain

“Rain” is perhaps the most hauntingly beautiful game of 2013. Developed by Sony’s Japan Studio, it’s set in a darkened city and begins with a boy seeing the silhouette of an invisible girl in the rain. The boy follows the silhouette, turning into a shadowy form himself, and enters a mysterious invisible world, hoping to cross paths with the young girl, while avoiding the creatures that inhabit the unseen domain.

This is a platform game with puzzle-solving elements and an atmospheric twist: Only silhouettes can be seen — and only when it rains. When the boy walks under awnings, for example, players will have to watch his watery footprints to know his whereabouts.

Sony calls the game “a story of an invisible world revealed by the rain.” And critics are calling it one of this year’s most unique titles.

Sony Japan Studio: jtim.es/p0NXv

PS Vita gets a slimming makeover

The new PS Vita — slimmer and brighter, but with a LCD instead of an OLED screen.

The PS Vita is getting slimmer — 20 percent slimmer, to be precise. Recently announced in Tokyo, the redesigned model, weighing a mere 219 grams, is also 15 percent lighter. That doesn’t mean it’s skimping on power though, as it also packs a battery that lasts an hour longer than the current model.

So far all good, right? Well maybe not quite. Tech lovers might be saddened to hear that the original PS Vita’s stunningly beautiful OLED display has been swapped out for an LCD display. The new 5-inch screen might not have the same lush clarity as before, but it’s more than serviceable. What is eye-catching, though, is the new variety of PS Vita color combinations — black, white, lime green/white, light blue/white, pink /black, and khaki/black.

The new PlayStation Vita will be out Oct. 10 for ¥19,929, It is only available as a WiFi model..

PS Vita: www.jp.playstation.com/psvita

‘Wind Waker’ sets sail in HD


“The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” is coming out in HD. Originally released in 2002 on the Nintendo GameCube, it received rave reviews and it is still regarded as one of the best Zelda games.

In fact, the original game, noted for its cutesy cartoon graphics, has aged so well diehard fans might even wonder if it really needed a HD remake. But for those who care about details like frame rates (and such gamers do exist), the HD version is vast improvement, running at a smooth 60 frames-per-second and at 1,080 p (the original game ran at 40 fps at 480 p).

But this is not just a coat of high-definition paint. Gameplay tweaks have also been included, such as Wii U GamePad compatibility and an upgrade that makes the previously sluggish in-game sailing experience much faster.

“The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” was released on Sept. 26 for ¥5,985 for the packaged version and ¥5,700 for the digital download.

Nintendo: www.nintendo.co.jp/wiiu/bczj

Cartridge protection from Cyber Gadget

Prevent your Nintendo 3DS game cartridges from slipping out with the Cyber Push Guard.

Ever have your game cartridge suddenly pop out of your 3DS? If you have, Japan’s Cyber Gadget has a fix: the Cyber Push Guard.

A simple, discreet gadget, the Cyber Push Guard slides over the game cartridge in the 3DS slot, holding it snugly in place and preventing it from being accidentally released. Simply pull the clip out when you are done playing and eject the cartridge as you normally would.

The Cyber Push Guard is available in silver or black and is priced ¥1,219. It can be used with the 3DS and the 3DS LL

Cyber Gadget: jtim.es/p0OHH

Own your own arcade cabinet — sort of

Own your very own

Maybe you’ve always wanted to own a “Street Fighter IV” arcade cabinet but couldn’t afford the thousands of dollars set-up. Or maybe you have the money to burn, but not the space.

Whichever, take heart: You can still own a “Street Fighter IV” arcade cabinet — just a really small one.

Tokyo-based model maker Wave Co. is rolling out a 1/12-scale model of the Vewlix arcade cabinet running “Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.” There’s a tiny joystick and a miniature seat, and you can even swap out the monitor with printed cards showing different in-game screenshots.

The kit is a snap model, so no glue is necessary; just snap the parts together. And thanks to pre-colored plastic, painting isn’t required either. It’s easier to put this cabinet together than learn how to master SFIV character Crimson Viper (She’s tough!).

The Vewlix Cabinet Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition 1/12 Scale Construction Kit is priced at ¥2,940 and goes on sale next month.

Hobby Wave: jtim.es/p0Bh0