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.

For Brian Ashcraft's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Getting your money's worth in the game world

| Nov 26, 2017

Getting your money's worth in the game world

The power of the Xbox One X It was an amazing sight. On the morning of Nov. 7, it seemed the impossible had happened: A sign outside the Yodobashi Camera electronics store in Tokyo's Akihabara district read "Xbox One X Sold Out." What happened? It turned ...

Fun with zombies, kaiju and Mario in your living room

| Oct 22, 2017

Fun with zombies, kaiju and Mario in your living room

Hungry for a new PSVR experience? For those who haven't yet purchased the PlayStation VR, Sony is releasing an updated version, model number CUH-ZVR2. Unlike the original PSVR, the new one has a new processor unit, integrated stereo earphone cables and a slimmer connection lead. In ...

Better games for serious hardware

| Sep 24, 2017

Better games for serious hardware

Get the Playstation 4 revved "Gran Turismo Sport" is Sony's long-running "Gran Turismo" game's PlayStation 4 debut. The first "GT" was released in 1997 on the PlayStation 1, and 20 years later, "Gran Turismo" is still going strong, holding on to its title as "the ...

Game industry vamps up classics

| Aug 27, 2017

Game industry vamps up classics

The 'Sonic' boom Among video game fans, there's something called the Sonic Cycle — when a new "Sonic" game is announced and players get incredibly excited, and then the game comes out — with both good and bad results. With the game's uneven track record ...

Updates for the fan boys and girls

| Jul 23, 2017

Updates for the fan boys and girls

Ready to paint the town again? Nintendo's colorful third-person shooter returns, ready to splatter players with ink and cuteness. When released in 2015, "Splatoon" was a big departure for Nintendo. First, it was a multiplayer shooter. Second, its vibrant color palette ushered in a new ...

Something old, new and renewed

| Jun 25, 2017

Something old, new and renewed

2-D has its advantages When the Nintendo 3DS originally launched in 2011, the key feature was its 3-D-glasses-free stereoscopic 3-D screen. Many players enjoyed the visuals; however, some found them headache-inducing. The latest iteration from Nintendo will be a welcome release for the latter. This isn't ...

Summer releases: bring your A-game

| May 21, 2017

Summer releases: bring your A-game

Stuff they don't teach at school It's May and it's virtually summer — the perfect time to play "Summer Lesson: The Hikari Miyamoto Collection," in which you tutor and hang out with schoolgirl Hikari Miyamoto. This game was released as a download last October, but ...

Games: Best of editions and additions

| Apr 23, 2017

Games: Best of editions and additions

Eighth time lucky for 'Mario Kart' The eighth entry in the long-running "Mario Kart" series first came out in 2014. Now a deluxe version is headed for Nintendo Switch, with the appropriate title "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe." Ever since "Super Mario Kart" was released in 1992 ...

'Senran Kagura' makes a big splash

| Mar 25, 2017

'Senran Kagura' makes a big splash

The "Senran Kagura" games are ridiculous. But that's the whole point. Previous installments have followed the adventures of buxom female kunoichi (female ninjas), who end up with tattered clothing while battling foes. This latest game, however, trades ninja gear for water guns. "Peach Beach Splash" ...

Nintendo is switching it up

| Feb 25, 2017

Nintendo is switching it up

It's still early in 2017, but Switch, Nintendo's newest gaming console, is bound to be the most desirable hardware of the year. Both a home console and a handheld, it's being touted as an all-in-one must have. Drop it in its dock and players ...