EarthBound-Inspired Planners, Covers and More from Hobonichi’s Full 2018 Accessories Line-Up

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Hobonichi have revealed their full collection of covers and accessories for the 2018 Techo planner, due to go on sale on September 1st.

We took a look at the first EarthBound-inspired cover unveiled by Shigesato Itoi‘s lifestyle brand earlier this month, but since then three additional planner designs have been revealed, along with more details about the inspirations behind each design and a look at the extra goodies you can expect to get your hands on if you order one directly from Hobonichi’s online store.

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First up is the ‘Mr. Saturn (Ninja, Bird-Fishing, Ladder)‘ cover. The design features a number of subtle Mr. Saturn imprints cast in a deep red synthetic leather. The colour itself is said to be inspired by the packaging for Mother 2 (EarthBound‘s original Japanese title), whereas the designs for the various Mr. Saturn characters featured throughout are taken straight from Mother 3‘s memorable sprite-work.

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Real-Life Geography and Culture Bring Liveability to the World of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl

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The end of last month marked ten years since the European release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. The first main entries in Game Freak‘s best-selling franchise to grace the Nintendo DSDiamond and Pearl have maintained a lasting legacy over the past decade, introducing 107 new collectable Pokémon to the series, a wide range of online features allowing for competition and trading with players from around the world, as well as general interface and quality of life improvements enabled in thanks to the unique form factor of Nintendo’s dual-screened handheld system.

dp_07There’s a lot worth praising about Diamond and Pearl on their tenth anniversary, with many of the components of the series that players have grown comfortably accustomed to having originated in these instalments. However, one of the less celebrated ways in which it excels is how it goes about creating a strong sense of place for its players.

Following something of a trend for Pokémon games, the design of Diamond and Pearl‘s fictional setting is deeply rooted in that of a real world location. The game’s Sinnoh region is inspired by Japan’s largest and northernmost island, Hokkaido, taking cues from not only its unique natural geography, but the cultural and aesthetic characteristics of many of its cities and towns. By discovering the distinct influence of real places in Sinnoh’s design, it’s possible to come to understand how Game Freak have been able to craft a world that often feels authentic and human, despite playing host to a game built around outlandish fictional creatures.

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Unique 16-Bit Apparel Celebrates an Obscure Chapter in Nintendo’s Hardware History

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From Elude Visibility (the online store of the archive of prototype and unreleased game ROMs of the same name, curated by Matthew Callis of superfamicom.org) comes some video game-inspired apparel that pays homage to Nintendo’s fascinating hardware history, reaching into the most obscure and under-appreciated depths of its colossal game catalogue for inspiration.

This unique pair of printed leggings (pictured above, centre) feature graphics from BS-X: Sore wa Namae o Nusumareta Machi no Monogatari (BS-X: The Story of The Town Whose Name Was Stolen), the colourful, EarthBound-like interactive menu used by the Super Famicom‘s Satellaview add-on. BS-X served as an interface for the unconventional SNES expansion that allowed Japanese players in the late 90s to receive regular satellite broadcasts of games, digital magazines and even live audio commentary straight to their systems.

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Programmable Series – Endless Collection

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The concept of having something to collect in video games has existed almost as long as video games themselves. Many arcade games and classic console games make collecting items an important aspect or even the main objective of the game. Iconic series such as the Mario or Sonic games have had us collecting coins and rings respectively for many years. However, as time has gone by, the things we collect in video games have changed and even the rewards for collecting have shifted fairly drastically. When you’re looking at designing a game and what incentives there are to progress, collectibles are often the “go-to” choice for many developers.

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The term “collect-a-thon” stemmed from a fast-growing library of 3D platform games in the late 90s that had a heavy focus on collecting various objects. This is when collecting things in video games took a sharp turn from being a ‘bonus’ to a requirement. The most popular 3D platform title of the time, Super Mario 64, shifted the Mario series’ focus away from simply reaching the end of a level – the core goal in almost every previous Mario game up to that point – and put the focus on exploring each level multiple times and with multiple different approaches in order to collect ‘Power Stars’. Collect enough stars and you can open the way to more levels, in which you can collect more stars to progress and continue the process. A similar trend can be seen in Spyro the DragonBanjo-Kazooie and the infamous Donkey Kong 64. Sometimes these games would also offer incentives for collecting 100% of a required item, like finding Yoshi in Super Mario 64 or getting the “extra” ending in Spyro the Dragon, wheras some games just required you to obtain a minimum amount of a certain collectible to progress.

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Splatoon 2’s Music Scene Comes to Life with New Shirts from THE KING OF GAMES

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EDITMODE is expanding its range of Splatoon 2 apparel with a new line of six graphic t-shirts, inspired by in-game merchandise for the Splatoon universe’s most popular fictional bands.

If you’ve spent any of the last few weeks indulging in Splatoon 2‘s fiercely competitive multiplayer modes, or even just taking in the lively urban vibe of its Shibuya-inspired Inkopolis Square, it’s very likely you would have seen a few of the game’s Inkling characters – perhaps even your own – sporting some of the designs pictured below. Much like in their previous Splatoon-themed apparel collections, EDITMODE have faithfully re-created each shirt exactly as it appears in-game, so now you can rep your favourite of Splatoon‘s musical talents in your everyday and in-game wardrobes.

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The new range is available in Japan through THE KING OF GAMES online store, or via PlayAsia, where you can also find mesh caps inspired by the game on sale alongside other assorted merchandise.

For more information about EDITMODE’s products and future releases, check out their website (English version available here) and Instagram/Twitter feeds.

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EarthBound-Inspired Covers Return for Hobonichi’s 2018 Accessory Collection

Following on from last year’s stunning collection of accessories, EarthBound creator Shigesato Itoi’s Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun (Hobonichi) have introduced the first of their new range of covers for the Hobonichi Techo planner inspired by the cult classic Nintendo RPG.

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In the run-up to the release of their 2018 ‘Life Book’, Hobonichi are introducing new planner covers and accessories daily on their official website. The ‘This is Magicant‘ design (pictured above) is the first of what appears to be a trio of EartBound-themed covers set to release alongside the planner later this year.

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An Hour of Dojin Game Trailers from Comiket 92

Edelweiss have graced us with their latest compilation video of indie and dojin game trailers fresh from the 92nd instalment of Comic Market, the world’s biggest self-published works convention held in Tokyo twice a year.

If you’ve got just over an hour and a half to spare, why not indulge in a glimpse at what some of the talented individuals and creative ‘circles’ that make up Japan’s unique hobbyist game-creation scene are up to.

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Super Deluxe Style with Gray Parka Service’s Kirby 25th Anniversary Souvenir Jacket

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Gray Parka Service have teamed up with HAL Laboratory to produce a special souvenir jacket (or ‘sukajan’) in celebration of the Kirby series’s 25th anniversary this year.

The back of the jacket is proudly emblazoned with the stylised title logo of beloved 1996 SNES platformer Kirby Super Star (namely that of its Japanese version, Hoshi no Kirby Super Deluxe), whilst the front features a pair of embroidered Kirby graphics featuring the titular hero performing his trademark inhalation technique.

It’s appearance is certain to catch people’s attention, but Gray Parka Service hope that its unisex design and supposedly quality finish (considering the price point and material choice for an item of this nature, it’s tough not to have some doubts about this particular claim) will make it an everyday wardrobe essential.

 

 

You can pre-order the jacket, available in three sizes and set to release on November 30th, from the Gorilland online store. More pictures and details (in Japanese) can be found on the official promo site.

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THUNDERBOX x Technōs Collab Serves up the Ultimate Accessory for Hot-Blooded Tough Guys

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Thanks to Japanese fashion label THUNDERBOX, you’ll never again have to go downtown without a stylish, understated way of expressing your love for Technōs’ flagship Kunio-kun series on your person. They’re ideal for wearing to any back-alley brawl, dodgeball game or street challenge.

The two individual enamel pins feature the titular high schooler hero Kunio and his rival Riki (perhaps better known as Alex and Ryan of River City Ransom fame to US players), lovingly capturing the iconic sprite art style of the series’s third console instalment that has thoroughly stood the test of time, even appearing in games released this year.

Details on when the pins will make their way to THUNDERBOX’s online store are still pending – keep an eye on their Twitter and Instagram pages for news and announcements – but in the meantime, here are a few other related items from the apparel brand’s new “CASE SHOTSHOT STAGE 4” summer collection (a great write-up of the full gaming-inspired parts of the line-up can be found over on Attract Mode).

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The Story Behind the Synaesthesia with Rez Creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi

The season finale of documentary series toco toco focuses on the life and work of Tetsuya Mizuguchi, game designer and former head of both Q-Entertainment, developers of Lumines and Child of Eden, as well as Sega’s United Game Artists division, the team responsible for iconic titles such as Space Channel 5 and Rez – the latter of which was re-released by Mizuguchi’s new company, Enhance Games, as Rez: Infinite in 2016 with fully featured VR functionality.

In the video, Mizuguchi is quick to set out his forward-thinking visions for the future of technology, games and even society. As someone fascinated with exploring the concepts of synaesthesia and stimulation of the senses in his work, Mizuguchi discusses how the introduction of mass market Virtual Reality presented him with a unique opportunity to change the way players can experience Rez to further immerse them and provoke an emotional response. He also explains the background of the special synaesthesia suit, a one-off body suit designed to expand on Rez‘s multi-sensory concepts.

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Mizuguchi is also someone who derives pleasure from the elements of our day-to-day lives that remain disconnected from our fast-moving, online society. He introduces Restaurant Bohemian, an eatery with no internet presence and a location spread only through word of mouth.

For anyone who has played or enjoyed Rez, this video is essential viewing – for a glimpse of the thoughts and emotions behind its surrealist design, as well as the hopes and aspirations of its creator for where manipulating the senses will take gaming in the future.

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It should be noted that those who have yet to experience Rez: Infinite‘s ‘Area X’ may wish to save watching this until after they have done so – the new area introduced in the remake, which is featured prominently throughout the video, is something that I strongly believe is best experienced with no prior knowledge of its structure or ideas. Witness it for yourself and come back to this video later to learn about what went into its creation.

You can follow toco toco on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Visit their YouTube Channel to view episodes from past seasons.

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