Digital | ON: GAMES

Dystopian futures, ink-gun battles and rhythmic beats

by Brian Ashcraft

Special To The Japan Times

An Xbox One exclusive not to pass on

Xbox One hasn’t exactly lit Japan ablaze, but fans of the console do exist and they’ll be happy to hear that the Xbox One is getting a Japan-exclusive game based on the popular TV anime series “Psycho-Pass.”

Created by famed anime studio Production I.G, “Psycho-Pass” is set in a 22nd-century, dystopian society on a par to those imagined by Philip K. Dick and George Orwell. Everyone’s mental state is scanned for the inclination to commit crimes and the story follows Public Safety Bureau investigators, whose job it is to make sure society doesn’t stray from the “norm.”

“Psycho-Pass” has already spawned manga and an animated feature film, but this latest video game, “Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness” immerses players into an original narrative. Maybe it will be something that will entice more Japanese gamers to pick up an Xbox One.

“Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness” will be released on May 28 for ¥7,800. A limited-edition version, which comes with a Blu-ray of the anime film, will also be available for ¥9,800.

psycho-pass-game.jp

Splatoon paints the town orange, blue, magenta and more

You can bet that when Nintendo makes a third-person shooter, the resulting game is going to be, well, different.

“Splatoon” a portmanteau of “splatter” and “platoon,” does not disappoint. It trades bullets for globs of colored ink and the goal is to cover everything in your team color.

Players are cute squids that can swim along the pools of color they squirt when they have transformed into ink-gun-wielding humanoids for technicolor battles. You can face off using everything from ink machine guns and sniper rifles to paintbrushes and giant rollers. The resulting turf-war shootouts turn the in-game map into a brightly colored inky mess.

There are different multiplayer modes that should keep gamers busy, but unlike other online shooters, “Splatoon” doesn’t have voice chat. For those who aren’t big on multiplayer gaming, there’s also a single-player mode.

“Splatoon” will be released on May 28 for ¥5,700.

www.nintendo.co.jp/wiiu/agmj

Nintendo offers a catchy bit of rhythmic heaven

One of the best, if not the best, rhythm-games collections is coming to the Nintendo 3DS. “Rhythm Heaven: The Best Plus” is a selection of more than 100 rhythm-based mini games, featuring not only mini games from the previous “Rhythm Heaven” titles, but also over 30 brand-new ones.

Other attractions include new songs, which coming from musician Tsunku — a “Rhythm Heaven” title veteran who is also famous for fronting Sharam Q and producing Morning Musume — should be as catchy and fun as always.

“Rhythm Heaven” mini-games are popular because they have always been cute and funny, which is why this is possibly the best rhythm-game title to date — it is certainly the biggest.

“Rhythm Heaven: The Best Plus” will be available from June 11 for ¥4,700.

www.nintendo.co.jp/3ds/bpjj
Brian Ashcraft is a senior contributing editor at Kotaku.com