|

Gaming that looks good inside and out

by Brian Ashcraft

Xbox keeps its cool for the summer

Just in time to make you look cool this season, Microsoft is releasing an arctic-camouflage-themed Xbox 360 controller.

Even though the Xbox One has been released in the West, Microsoft is still showing its support for the Xbox 360, a console now almost a decade old, with the global release of this white and gray camouflage controller. It’s really just a tweaked version of a green version Microsoft released last year, but if you’re a fan, you can now hide (or misplace) your Xbox 360 controllers outside in both summer and winter.

The Arctic Camouflage Xbox 360 Controller will be released on June 26 for ¥5,500. Supplies are limited.

XBox: bit.ly/acam0624

Stripping Akiba of vampires

In “Akiba’s Trip 2,” vampires have once again overrun Tokyo’s electronics/geek district of Akihabara — and there’s still only one way to stop them: Rip off their clothes and expose them to sunlight. With the pun-heavy title, gamers know they are in store for some tongue-in-cheek action. Players beat up vampires until they are left in their underwear and are engulfed by flames. All this takes place in the in-game Akihabara, an admirable re-creation of Tokyo’s Electric Town, featuring numerous landmarks and more than 130 real-world shops.

Some fighters may be content to use typical “weapons,” like baseball bats, but “Akiba’s Trip 2″ adds to the fun with an array of Akihabara-themed combat items, such as computers and frilly Lolita umbrellas. Ever wanted to beat someone up with glo-sticks? Well, here’s your chance.

“Akiba’s Trip 2″ was released on the PS Vita last fall, but the upcoming PS4 version has improved graphics, shorter load times, a color-palette-changing “visual editor,” an unlockable “chibi“or “tiny” character mode and a special swimwear set. Priced at ¥5,980, the PS4 version will be available in stores or as a download from July 3.

akbstrip.jp

‘Yokai Watch’ is back to haunt

“Yokai Watch” was originally released last summer, but it was an anime based on the game, which debuted in January, that captured the imagination of children across the country. Released on the 3DS, “Yokai Watch’s” newfound popularity pushed it to the top of the sales charts this spring, and the sequel, out July 10, is eagerly anticipated.

The game stars Keita, a boy whose wristwatch allows him to detect mischievous yōkai (ghouls and monsters). The creatures featured aren’t all traditional Japanese yōkai, which adds some surprise to the fun.

To mark the sequel’s release, Nintendo is also unveiling a limited-edition “Yokai Watch” Nintendo 3DS, emblazoned with Jibanyan, the game’s mascot. Though “Yokai Watch 2,” is not bundled with the 3DS, it does come with a collectible data card that can be read by a “Yokai Watch” arcade game.

Priced at ¥4,600, “Yokai Watch 2″ will be released as a packaged title and digital download. There are two versions, each featuring different yokai. The limited-edition 3DS LL will be released on the same day for ¥18,000.

www.youkai-watch.jp/yw2

Monsters on your drawers

You probably don’t have monsters under the bed, but you could keep some in your underwear drawer. Capcom, the folks behind “Monster Hunter,” have rolled out some daring underpants printed with characters from the game. The packaging describes them as “high graphics underwear,” and most designs are a bit psychedelic, but tasteful — so there’s no fear if Monster Hunter fans caught with their pants down.

The men’s boxers and ladies pants are priced from ¥1,900, with an expected shipping date of June 30.

Capcom: bit.ly/mhp0624

PS Vita bundles up

If you’re still on the fence about getting a PS Vita, Sony has released two new tempting bundles. One of these “Super Value” packs is for the PS Vita in its new color schemes — one with a blue rear touch pad and a black front, and another with a red rear touch pad and a black front. The bundle includes an 8GB memory card packed with a slew of games: “Destiny of Spirits: Asia,” the “Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd” demo, “Magica Wars Zanbatsu,” “No Puzzles Either,” “Rebellion Run: Dash or Capture” and the “Yakuza Restoration!” app. That’s enough to keep any newbie busy.

The second value pack comes with the same games, but a slightly different, older Vita — the original, slightly thicker PS Vita 1000, which has 3G connectivity and features the OLED screen that isn’t offered on the newer models.

The blue-black or red-black PS Vita bundles are priced at ¥18,980 and will released July 10, while the PS Vita 1000 bundle is ¥19,980 and will be available from July 24.

PlayStation: bit.ly/pspv0624