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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
Jan 3, 2021
Plant a garden, solve puzzles and save the world in these video games
Three well-known gaming franchises — PixelJunk, Puyo Puyo Tetris and Earth Defense Force — get sequels.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Dec 6, 2020
Roleplaying takes center stage with these three games
The year closes with a flurry of new games including Cyberpunk 2077, Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legend and Densha de Go!! Hashiro Yamanote Sen.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Nov 1, 2020
New consoles debut just in time for 2020’s holiday season
This month sees the release of the PlayStation5 and Xbox Series X and Series S, plus the new Kingdom Hearts game has a musical twist.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Oct 3, 2020
Three beloved video game franchises get spruced-up remakes
Crash Bandicoot, Pikmin and Shin Megami Tensei all have new releases coming out this month.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Sep 6, 2020
Landmark moments for video games in Japan
The Tokyo Game Show moves online; one of the best shoot 'em ups gets a physical version; and Japan now has a legal video game bar.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Aug 2, 2020
Ruins, crystals and robots: Classic games get remastered
La-Mulana whips you into shape; Crystal Chronicles gets even better; and Gundam fans get another chance to suit up.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jul 5, 2020
Two new styles of samurai showdowns
SNK drops an unreleased Samurai Shodown game; Ghost of Tsushima brings feudal Japan to life; and Marvel's Iron Man VR puts you right in the suit.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jun 7, 2020
A remastered game gives you 101 reasons to stay home
Revisiting a cannibalistic world, puzzle-filled nightmares and 101 superheroes
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
May 3, 2020
Bubble gum becomes a prized commodity in Ninjala and PlatinumGames celebrates two birthdays
Ninjala is sure to deliver Splatoon fans a new mess of fun and the rest of the world gets a peek at the buzz behind Mana.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Apr 6, 2020
Take that island vacation you've been waiting for with Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Escape self-isolation with Animal Crossing: New Horizons; get in touch with your softer side with the coral Switch Lite; and Evil is back for a new round.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Mar 2, 2020
Knockout games with a twist
Nioh 2 has really demonic players; One Punch Man is late to the game, but in a good way; and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon ditches the trainers.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Feb 3, 2020
It's never too late to add updates
The DualShock 4 gets extra buttons; Persona 5 faces a Dynasty Warriors makeover; while Street Fighter V remains a champ of fighting games.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jan 6, 2020
Welcoming back some video-game classics
Keita Takahashi delights gamers with Wattam; Musou Orochi gets the 'ultimate' treatment; and Brain Age has switched up a notch
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Dec 2, 2019
Releases to keep the fans happy
The crowdfunded Shenmue III is finally out; Pokemon Sword and Shield top the charts; and Capcom brings its best merch to Shibuya's Parco
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Nov 3, 2019
Hideo Kojima unleashes his latest
Hideo Kojima's much anticipated Death Stranding, the latest in the Persona series and a sneak preview of Nintendo's new Tokyo store
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Oct 6, 2019
Why mess with the originals?
Games so good that high-def re-releases are worth the wait.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Sep 1, 2019
Making gaming better looking
Final Fantasy VIII gets a makeover, Monster Hunter expands to icy realms and Nintendo launches a Switch Lite.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Aug 11, 2019
Welcome to the Summer Games
Join the Olympic fever with Sega's official Tokyo 2020 Olympics game; Judge Eyes finally gets its release; and Arc System Works turns the Kill la Kill anime into a fighting game.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jun 30, 2019
Summer sequels for game favorites
Build your own Super Mario empire, get back into Yo-Kai Watch and reminisce with Samurai Spirits
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Jun 2, 2019
Swing into action with new releases
New in games this month: Long anticipated Metroidvania adventures and virtual reality golf

Longform

Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals