Zombie girls in uniform
Proving anyone can become a zombie, members of popular idol group AKB48 have been turned into sailor-suited walking dead for a new arcade game “Sailor Zombie: AKB48 Arcade Edition.”
To end the plague, you must shoot antidote-loaded weapons at zomibified idols and their fans, as well as attack giant beasts. But don’t worry, you won’t be alone. You can pick one of seven AKB48 members to fight alongside you. Will you select Mayu Watanabe? Miki Nishino? Yuko Oshima? The real, live idols voice their game counterparts and have been recreated digitally thanks to advanced face-scanning technology.
Being an AKB48 game, there’s more than just shooting. Featuring four songs, including “Flying Get,” singing and dancing segments turn “Sailor Zombie” into a rhythm action game, too.
“Sailor Zombie: AKB48 Arcade Edition” rolls out in arcades in Japan this April.
PS4 MMORPG fantasy comes true
The PS4 is getting a terrific massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn” for the new Sony console is released this April, and it’s pretty impressive if you consider the game’s history. When “Final Fantasy XIV” was originally launched in 2010 for PC, it was so lackluster and poorly designed that developer Square Enix scrapped it, brought in a new team and relaunched it in 2013 as “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.” Now it’s a highly enjoyable online game that has been hailed by some critics as the best massively multiplayer online game of last year.
MMORPGs have complex commands and interfaces that are usually best handled by keyboard and mouse. “A Realm Reborn” is the first big MMORPG to hit the newest generation of PlayStation consoles, and its developers have strived to make it as intuitive and easy to navigate as its PC counterpart. It goes on sale April 14 for ¥3,143 and comes with 30 days of free online play. After that, blocks of 30-day play cost between ¥1,280 and ¥1,480, depending on the number of characters involved.
Need a PlayStation mascot?
Measuring 30 mm wide, these are possibly the smallest PlayStation controllers ever made. Naturally, though, you can’t actually use them. These tiny DualShock 2 gamepads are smartphone earphone-jack plugs.
Officially licensed, the miniature controllers sport an amazing level of detail, right down to the colorful face futtons. They come in six colors — black, ceramic white, satin silver, pink, aqua plus a “secret color” that’s yet to be revealed.
The PlayStation Controller Earphone Jack Mascots hit capsule toy machines last month, but on April 5, a boxed version at ¥286 will be also be available at hobby shop and electronics retailers across Japan.
The Nintendo remixes
Some of the most popular retro Nintendo games are getting “remixed.” “Famicon Remix 1” and “Famicon Remix 2” feature hundreds of mini challenges from Nintendo classics, including “Super Mario Bros.,” “The Legend of Zelda,” “Punch-Out!” and “Metroid.”
These games are for those who like to get nostalgic — with a twist. They offer new spins on old favorites, such as introducing original levels covered in ice or turning them pitch black. You can also mix games and play “Donkey Kong” with Zelda-hero Link or use Mario in place of Samus in “Metroid.” It’s a fun way to breathe new life into classics.
“Famicom Remix 1” was released last December, and it features more than 200 challenges. From April 24, in Japan only, you can get a bundled “Famicom Remix 1+2” for ¥2,858, while “Famicom Remix 2” will be available for ¥1,439. “Remix 2” also features “Super Luigi Bros.,” which is the classic 8-bit “Super Mario Bros.,” but reworked for Luigi.
That’s a small cabinet for a big game
Role-playing game “Persona 4” has been spun-off into a cool fighting game, featuring all the popular “Persona 4” characters. Dubbed “P4U” (“Persona 4 The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold”), the arcade game is hitting the PS3 this spring, and to mark the occasion, Japanese hobby toy-maker Wave Corporation is releasing a miniature model “P4U” arcade cabinet.
It looks just like the real thing, but it’s a twelfth of the size. The cabinet comes with a number of monitor cards to swap out what’s displayed on screen, and, of course, it comes with a little chair, for players (your toy figures) to sit at.
The Vewlix Cabinet “P4U” 1₁₂ Scale Construction Kit was released in late March for ¥2,800.
Brian Ashcraft is a senior contributing editor at Kotaku.com.