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 Brian Ashcraft

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Brian Ashcraft
Brian Ashcraft is a senior contributing editor at Kotaku and has been writing about video games for The Japan Times since 2007. He is also the author of two books, "Arcade Mania!" and "Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential." A graduate of Cornell University, Ashcraft has called Osaka home for over a decade.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Sep 3, 2022
Death Stranding and the last gasp of video game exclusives
Is the day approaching when console makers can no longer claim dominion over even the games they develop?
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Aug 6, 2022
Why Nintendo’s support for same-sex marriage is a major level up
The “Big N” has officially chosen a side in the push for marriage equality within Japan.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jul 2, 2022
With major expos in limbo, Tokyo Game Show reaches an inflection point
Are news-heavy gaming expos heading for a fan-forward sea change?
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jun 4, 2022
Mario’s 9th: How video game scores landed a date at the Proms
Video game music takes one more step toward mainstream acceptance as a legitimate art form.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
May 7, 2022
Japan's video game makers get a wage hike, but is it enough?
Video game developers in Japan receive a bump in pay — just not a very large one.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Apr 2, 2022
Gaming companies slow to press pause on Russian business
Western console and game makers beat their Japanese counterparts to the punch when it came to taking a stand against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Mar 5, 2022
Unfazed by game rivals’ acquisitions, Nintendo seeks to forge its own path to success
The game company sees value in existing working relationships over securing short-term profit.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Feb 5, 2022
Japanese game developers embrace NFTs, but at what cost?
The market for digital investment assets looks primed to expand in 2022 and yet the industry isn't quite sure of the best way to handle them.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jan 15, 2022
More than a year later, it’s still hard to get my hands on Sony’s PlayStation 5
Production and supply issues mean there simply aren't enough of the popular gaming devices to go around.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Dec 5, 2021
Cooler weather adds a new dimension to Resident Evil: Village
The latest installment of the successful horror franchise isn't only played on the screen, but also in your mind.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Nov 7, 2021
Beef bowl in hand, developer Toshihiro Nagoshi has left Sega
In a blow for the game maker, the long-time developer and force behind the Yakuza franchise has stepped away from his position following a series of unfortunate on-air gaffes.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Oct 3, 2021
Will Final Fantasy XVI be worth the wait? Only time will tell.
Square Enix seems eager to change the perception that its development period takes too long with this upcoming title on the PlayStation 5.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Sep 5, 2021
Need a vacation from reality? Slash your way through 13th-century Japan
Let the newly released Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut whisk you away to a nobler time of scenic isles, marauding samurai and petting foxes.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Aug 8, 2021
Nintendo’s Switch has hit its midlife crisis, and the revamp isn’t quite what gamers were hoping for
It's nothing new for gaming companies to give their consoles midlife hardware updates. But the next-gen Nintendo Switch's modest revamp (and bigger price tag) is leaving some disappointed.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jul 4, 2021
Video game expo E3 expands its digital presence, though Sony sits out
With E3's announcements and press conferences going virtual, the latest news from companies like Nintendo and Square Enix is more accessible than ever.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jun 6, 2021
Japanese gaming arcades are on their last life
Already on a downward trend, COVID-19-mandated closures are slashing profits and forcing closures of many of the country's iconic locations.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
May 9, 2021
A shaky future for Sony's Japan Studio after mass staff exodus
A slew of veteran game developers and producers announced their departure from the studio in advance of its April 1 restructuring.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Apr 4, 2021
A eulogy for the PlayStation Vita, Sony’s last portable console
By announcing the end of the PS Vita's warranty extension, Sony is signaling that the PS Vita's era is fading to black.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Mar 6, 2021
Battle fish foes, fight bravely and fly through the air with these new video game releases
Taito is back with a collection of Darius' 3D polygon games; Bravely Default starts anew; and Monster Hunter Rise brings a new dimension to the series.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Feb 7, 2021
Game consoles and famous franchises get spruced-up
The Switch gets a Mario makeover, while Super Mario 3D World and Nioh get remastered for new consoles.

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Tokashiki Beach acts as a sanctuary for sea turtles and offers ideal snorkeling waters. It was also the site of the U.S. Army’s preliminary invasion that led to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 150,000 people.
On Okinawa's Tokashiki Island, life's a beach — one of the best in the world