Tag Archives: news

Long Island Retro Gaming Expo 2018

The Long Island Retro Gaming Expo is probably the warmest convention I’ve ever been to. I’m not referring to the ambient temperature; the AC was working fine (and in the Planetarium, arguably too well.) I mean it felt warm in the sense of being incredibly inviting and friendly. Part of this is no doubt due to the efforts of the con organizers (who deserve plenty of credit for putting together a great event), but I think it’s also due to what the gaming community looks like in 2018.

You had babies in strollers clutching beloved Pikachu plushies, little kids wearing Mario t-shirts, older men and women who vividly remembered playing their Magnavox Odyssey in the ’70s, and everything in between. It was really a family event, not just because there was all-ages programming, but simply because there were a whole lot of families walking around. You had hardcore game collectors, anime cosplayers, tabletop enthusiasts, professional game historians, indie game developers, and little kids who just wanted to play Sonic all day long, and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time together. I know that this one convention does not represent the state of gamer culture in the entire world, but the attendance at this event couldn’t be further from the stereotype of the stand-offish, “toxic” gamer.

The whole second floor of the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY was filled with dozens and dozens of consoles playing retro games. There were also plenty of classic Arcade cabinets. 

The main Freeplay arcade area, minutes before the doors opened at 10 a.m.; once the con was open, it was standing-room only in here.

Even though the con is primarily focused on the gaming of yesteryear, there was plenty of talk at panels about recent developments in the industry. About half the convention was in morning after the apparent Death of Luigi during Nintendo Direct; streamer Vinesauce even held a “moment of silence” for Luigi during his panel. (It lasted about one second, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?) More importantly, everyone was talking about Nintendo’s aggressive targeting of ROM sites; in some cases, it came up because I asked about it specifically, but a lot of other congoers broached the subject during Q&A sessions as well.

While no one condemned Nintendo for shutting down emulation sites, many guests expressed concerns about how this move could effect the preservation of video game history.

“Taking such a broad approach to the issue does actual harm to the medium,” said Jeremy Parish of the Retronauts podcast. “As it is, it feels like they’re cutting off access to the past.” Parish went on to suggest that Nintendo continue taking down ROMs of their own games, but perhaps allow ROMs for more obscure titles to remain available.

From left to right: Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey of Retronauts, and Kurt Kalata, Editor-in-Chief of Hardcore Gaming 101. Their panel covered the history of SuperJoe.

“This is a tricky topic….there are some games that are out of print, that the only people that would be making money from them are second-hand sellers– for like $400, for some of these games,” said @VinnyVincesauce, a popular streamer. “So you want a game that is, let’s say, from 1989, that you can’t get on the Virtual Console, that you can’t legally own. Now they’re making it harder for you to get it, so it’s just gone now.”

To Vinny’s surprise, the Vinesauce panel filled pretty much the entire Planetarium at the museum. This was about as close as I could get.

Leonard Herman, video game scholar and author of Phoenix IV: The History of The Videogame Industry, had a different perspective on Nintendo’s actions. “I’m for that…As a writer, you have copyrighted materials. The copyright lasts the life of the person who wrote it plus 50 years, and whether you’re making money on it–whether it’s available or not– those copyrights should be preserved. And I found my book, the earlier editions, on the internet for download, and it infuriates me…not that I’m losing a sale…I just don’t believe, unless the person who put it out agrees to it, I don’t agree with that.”

Right: Video game collector and educator John Hancock, and Leonard Herman, known as the Father of Videogame History. Their panel together covered not only milestones in video game history, but how to dispel misconceptions about videogames and disseminate the facts instead.

“I’m torn, because as a preservationist, emulators are the only way to play prototypes and hacks and all that stuff, and I think that’s awesome,” said game collector John Hancock, Herman’s co-panelist. He went on to say how frustrated he was as a collector to see Nintendo pass on the opportunity to allow people to legally purchase ROMs for individual games, and instead focus on “half-baked” options like the NES Classic. “It frustrates me to no end.”

Shawn Long, better known as RGT85 on Youtube, also lamented the inability to legally purchase older games directly from Nintendo, using the example of Mario Sunshine for the Gamecube. “This should be done more on a case-by-case basis,” said Long, echoing what Parish had said earlier in the convention.

Naturally, there were plenty of other things to talk about besides Nintendo’s recent shenanigans. Pete Dorr of Pete’s Game Room hosted a very entertaining panel about collecting games for older systems, speed-running, and finding underrated gems in older console libraries. He has also very nearly convinced me that I need to speedrun Ehrgeiz: The Forsaken Dungeon, so if you hear any tortured screaming coming vaguely from the Tri-State Area, know that it’s all Pete’s fault.

The guys from the Stone Age Gamer podcast used their panel to pit controller-against-controller in a no-holds-barred Best of 16, “The Best WORST Controller.” With the help of the audience, they picked the Dreamcast controller as their favorite “bad” controller; personally, I think the fix may have been in for the Dreamcast from the start, but I will give the SAG guys the benefit of the doubt here.

The Stone Age Gamer panel: Kris Randazzo, Dean DeFalco, and Marc Raimo.

I even got to attend a panel on NESMaker, something I didn’t know existed before this convention. Software that allows you to make videogames without coding has proliferated in recent years, but what makes NESMaker particularly special is that you can burn your creation to an actual cartridge and play it on an NES console; obviously, you need to invest in some hardware to be able to take advantage of that particular feature, but it’s pretty amazing to me that this is even possible. In terms of features, the program looks to me like it has a lot in common with RPG Maker, although with fewer options; however, that might be a good thing. Apparently you can knock out a game in NESMaker in a weekend if you feel like it, whereas RPG Maker can consume your entire life if you let it (believe me, I know this from experience.) I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to drop $36 on the software myself, but for hardcore NES-era fans, this looks like a dream come true.

I have some other stuff from the con to post for you: keep an eye out for cosplay photos and my pick ups from the dealers room (aka “The Reason Karen Can Not Afford to Go To Conventions Anymore). Now I’m going to go obsessively look up information on speedrunning, because surely I can find the time to fit that into my schedule, right? Don’t answer that.

Otakon 2018 News Wrap-Up

Otakon occurred this past weekend and a ton of news was shared with the thousands of attendees. So, let’s dig right into things with a good old-fashioned con wrap up!

Aniplex of America

– Both The Irregular at Magic High School and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood will be receiving Blu-ray box sets later this year.

– The hour-long premiere episode of Sword Art Online: Alicization will premiere in Los Angeles on September 15.

Warner Brothers

– Summer series High School Girl and Sirius the Jaeger will be hitting Netflix in December 2018.

Denpa

– The reason why you’ve never heard of Denpa before is that this is a company that was first revealed to exist at this year’s Otakon. Fronted by Vertical’s former marketing director Ed Chavez, he announced the new company and the first seven manga licenses: Kaiji by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, Inside Mari by Shuzo Oshimi, An Invitation from a Crab (Kani ni Sasowarete) by panpanya, Futurelog by Range Murata, Maiden Railways (Tetsudou Shojo Manga) by Atsumiko Nakamura, Super Dimensional Love Gun by Shintaro Kago, and Legend of the Overfiend by Toshio Maeda. Good luck Ed!

Funimation

– Funi announced that they have licensed the series Angel Links and will release it on November 6.

Manga Gamer

– Manga Gamer announced the following new licenses: The Expression Amrilato, Fxxx Me Royally! – Horny Magical Princess, Farther than the Blue Sky!, and Beat Angel Escalayer R

Dark Horse

– Dark Horse Comics only announced one new license: Emanon by Shinji Kajio and Kenji Tsuruta

Sentai Filmworks

– Sentai will dub the following series: Girls’ Last Tour, Land of the Lustrous, Mitsuboshi Colors, and Just Because!

Discotek

– Discotek were the big winners this weekend with a ton of license announcements: Giant Robo OVA, Area 88 OVA, Lupin the 3rd: Blood Seal of the Eternal Mermaid movie, Kimagure Orange Road, Galaxy Express 999, Psycho Armor Govarian, Bo-Bobo-Bo-Bobo-bo, Space Warriors Baldios, Voltes V, God Mars, Message from Space: Galactic Wars, and Space Wolf Juspion.

Sword Art Online: Alicization Hour-Long First Episode to Premiere in Seven Countries

Sword Art Online: Alicization Key Visual

You all have no Earthly idea how excited I am for the third season of Sword Art Online. I have lived and died with these characters ever since the first season premiered and I am already all set for more action with this crew. Thanks to the news that hit today, I’m even more excited.

According to the announcement which was posted early this morning by Aniplex, the special one-hour long first episode of Sword Art Online: Alicization will be premiered in seven different countries: Japan, USA, Australia, France, Germany, Russia, and Korea.

Unfortunately, we have absolutely no idea when or where these premieres will be taking place (besides the one in Japan, announced for September 15) so you’ll just have to stay tuned to get more details!

If you can’t make it to one of these big premiere events, you can still check out the series when it actually airs starting in October 2018.

Via Getchu

Girly Air Force Anime Set to Premiere in Winter 2019

Girly Air Force Key Visual

We’re only four months away from seeing these girly pilots take off into the sky!

According to multiple sources out of Japan, the previously announced series Girly Air Force will be airing during the winter 2019 season. Starring Ryota Ohsaka as the hero Kei and Yuuka Morishima as humanity’s last hope Gripen, this series follows their path together.

The premise: Flying creatures called Zai have started attacking Earth. Mankind, in their infinite wisdom, creates aircraft called “Daughters” and an automated system to fight them called “Anima”.

I would love to say that I am all on board for this series already, but I won’t be until I see a finished product. I will admit though that the concept has me curious and I’m really dying to know more about the crew who are putting it together. We already know that Satelight is producing the animation but come on, throw us all a bone here.

[Editor’s Note: Isn’t this premise just Third Aerial Girls Squad from Shirobako? I’m so confused….]

Otter Media Purchased by AT&T

It was announced yesterday via various industry trades that Otter Media had been purchased in whole by the telecom giant, AT&T.

AT&T previously co-owned the company in a joint venture along with The Chernin Group. This is something that has been rumored for quite a while now, but the deal was finalized this week.

Now, why should you care about this? Because Otter Media is the parent company of Crunchyroll, VRV, Rooster Teeth, Ellation, and Fullscreen.

According to the announcement, Otter CEO Ton Goncalves will keep his job and report to WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey from this point forward.

It’s absolutely impossible to predict what this means for fans and Crunchyroll in general, so I won’t speculate here. This could end up being absolutely nothing in the long run and might not even be detectable to fans from this point forward. At least that’s my sincere hope.

New Key Visual and Cast Members Revealed for Voice of Fox Anime

Voice of Fox Key Visual

A brand new key visual and cast details were revealed yesterday for the upcoming series, Voice of Fox (Kitsune no Koe). Set to premiere in October 2018, the series is all about a high school kid who is listless and poor.

During the day, he’s a talented musician who ghostwrites and performs songs for a talentless pop idol who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. This high school kid, named Hu Li, also wears a fox mask to hide a large facial scar he received in a car accident. By night, however, this high school kid goes online and publishes his own music under the name Mr. Fox.

Nine cast members have been confirmed for the series thus far:

Chuyun: Arisa Kouri
Hongye: Yukiko Motoyoshi
Hu Li: Kengo Kawanishi
Ji Hetian: Satoshi Hino
Kong Que: Hisayoshi Suganuma
President Kim: Sho Hayami
Xueer: Rena Maeda
Yuxin: Shiki Aoki
Zhang Yao: Subaru Kimura

Meanwhile, in the crew, we have Koujin Ochi sitting in the director’s chair at studio Yumeta Company. Yoshimi Narita will be handling the series composition and Aki Tsunaki will be taking care of character designs.

The series is based on a manhua which ran for 24 chapters in One Week Comics between June 2015 and September 2016. This tells me that, provided this series gets enough episodes, we might actually get to see a complete story from beginning to end! Hallejuah!

Via Anime Herald

Mexico Awarded First Place at 2018 World Cosplay Summit

Team Mexico accepting first place!

There’s no other word for it; last night Mexico DOMINATED the World Cosplay Summit.

Held in Nagoya, this annual event brings together the most elite cosplayers in the world for a competition to see who’s the best. This year, Mexico showed its fighting spirit (literally) with a Street Fighter cosplay and skit combo that knocked the judges out cold.

Out of nine awards given out last night, Mexico snagged SIX of them including the Air Asia award, the Futaba award, the NicoNico award, and the grand championship. Indonesia and Thailand took second and third place, respectively.

Here are videos of the top three skits, Mexico first…

This marks the second time that Mexico has won the grand championship (tying them with Japan). The last time this happened was in 2015. Currently, the overall leaders are Italy and Brazil, with three wins each.

The three winning teams!

Congratulations to the winners and participants of this year’s competition!

Photos via Facebook, Mantan Web

Mitsuru Adachi’s Mix Manga to Get TV Anime in Spring 2019

More baseball anime is coming? But my birthday isn’t until October!

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a TV anime adaptation of Mitsuru Adachi’s Mix manga series will air in spring 2019. If you’re a fan of the series Touch (also created by Adachi) you’ll want to pay super close attention to this.

In this series, the story takes place about thirty years after the events of Touch and will follow two stepbrothers who are trying to get into Koushien. The series first began running in 2012 in Monthly Shonen Sunday and will soon have thirteen volumes in print.

I will never complain about more baseball anime! I am a bit concerned because I never got around to watching Touch, but I’m hoping that this series set far enough away from those events that new fans can get into the story without much effort.

Via Moetron

Brand New Code Geass Movie to Hit Theaters in Japan February 2019

Code Geass: Re;surrection

Almost thirteen years after the original TV series hit Japanese airwaves, Code Geass will finally see its grand finale.

In a video which was released to YouTube earlier today, it was revealed that a brand new Code Geass movie (Re;surrection) will be released to 120 theaters in Japan starting February 2019. This movie is the culmination of the Code Geass: Fukkatsu no Lelouch sequel project, first announced in late 2016.

If you haven’t been keeping score at home, the first movie in the recap trilogy was released almost a year ago in October 2017. The second recap movie was released this past February and the final recap movie was released in May. Funimation has already licensed the movie trilogy. This final movie will be a completely new movie which will serve to tie up all the loose ends and bring the story to a close.

Many cast and crew members are returning to reprise their roles from the television series and movies, including Goro Taniguchi in the director’s chair.

I’ve always openly admitted to not being the biggest fan of mecha series but I loved Code Geass, so this is exciting news for me and many other fans of the franchise.

Via Getchu

New Ghost in the Shell Anime to Have Two Seasons

Ghost in the Shell fans can now get twice as excited about the upcoming new anime!

In an interview with the Nuke the Fridge YouTube channel held at SDCC, Production I.G president Maki Terashima-Furuta confirmed that the upcoming Ghost in the Shell anime will have two separate, 12-episode seasons. One season will be directed by Kenji Kamiyama and the other by Shinji Aramaki. No further details including release dates have been revealed as of yet for the anime, which was first revealed to exist back in April.

GitS has been around for quite a while now, with the first anime incarnation being released back in 1995. Since that time the manga has been adapted into multiple movies, TV series, and even got a Hollywood live-action adaptation in 2017.

Via ANN