‘Mother 3’ is back

When “Mother 3” was released in 2006 for the Game Boy Advance, it didn’t just become a commercial smash, it was a big hit with game critics. Now widely considered a classic, it is getting a Virtual Console release in Japan for the Wii U.

“Mother” (known as “Earthbound” outside of Japan) was written by the copywriter and essayist Shigesato Itoi, who created an unusual game that dealt with an array of topics, including modernization, consumerism, familial relations and nature.

For years, fans have been asking Itoi to write another “Mother” game, but he has always refused, saying that the series ended with “Mother 3,” which despite its popularity was not released outside of Japan.

The game’s story packs quite an emotional punch, and it’s a perfect example of how video games are not always about fast action. Those who haven’t played it before, should definitely consider playing this Wii U version. The same is probably true for those who have.

The game is available in Japan — only for download — for just ¥702.


Ending the year on an exciting collaboration

Rejoice gamers! Two of Japan’s most popular role-playing game franchises — “Shin Megami Tensei” and “Fire Emblem” — are joining forces for the crossover title “Genei Ibun Roku #FE.”

A collaboration between Nintendo and beloved JRPG maker Atlus, “Genei Ibun Roku #FE” is set in familiar Tokyo locales, including the Shibuya shopping district. It’s a turn-based game that centers around young talent-agency staffers who merge with entities called “mirages,” which are souls of warriors from the “Fire Emblem” series of games. Some mirages are good and aid players, some drain energy, while others are just bad and must be stopped.

“Genei Ibun Roku #FE” looks to be a wonderful mix of “Fire Emblem” and “Shin Megami Tensei” game-play styles, brought together into a cohesive whole. Players around the world have been anticipating the title for a while, but Japan gets it first. The West won’t see it until sometime next year.

“Genei Ibun Roku #FE” went on sale on Dec. 26 in several different editions, including a Wii U bundle with numerous bonus extras for ¥40,842. The standalone game is priced at ¥7,236.


The key to upping your game

Peripheral maker Hori is famous for its high-tech control pads and joysticks. Now, it’s adding gaming keyboards to that list.

The Edge 201 is perfect for serious PC gamers as it’s fully customizable. You can make shortcuts to the keys you want and even disable other keys so they don’t get in the way during game play. It’s possible to press 109 keys at once, and the anti-ghosting tech will ensure that it won’t lock or stall. This kind of power makes all the difference when playing competitive PC games where multiple rapid key strokes can mean on-screen life or death.

According to Hori, this new gaming keyboard is the thinnest mechanical keyboard in the world. Its frame is aluminum, making it light but durable and there’s adjustable LED-lighting beneath the keys for those who like to game in dimly lit places.

The only thing it isn’t, is cheap — the Edge 201 Mechanical Keyboard is priced at ¥23,544.


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