Japan’s influence on gaming is one that cannot be over-stated. Nintendo, Sega, Mario, Pokemon… The most iconic brands and game series all originate from Japan. However, in this age of Xbox, Steam, Fortnite and FIFA you could be forgiven for wondering if that Japanese influence is a part of gaming’s history rather than its present and future.
The truth is nothing as simple as a yes or no. It’s true that Japanese companies are no longer dominating gaming. However, that has more to do with the industry becoming a global phenomenon. Japanese influence is still there, but is now part of a much larger pool.
The great thing is that it means Japanese game developers are no longer attempting to be all things to all people. Japanese culture has always intrigued the rest of the world through anime and manga. Today, Japan’s games can leverage that popularity, and be themselves. Here, we look at some games you can play online that illustrate the point.
The Yakuza series has a dedicated following, if a somewhat niche one. The action / adventure games were initially released in the days of the PlayStation 2 almost 15 years ago, and went through half a dozen updates.
Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the main series, and its release on Steam is at last bringing it to a mainstream audience. Its 1980s setting is an absolute riot, and if you are entranced by Japanese culture, you’ll soon be engrossed in main character Kiryu’s life and story arc.
Ghost in the Shell
This online slot game is based on one of Japan’s best-loved anime stories. Developed by 888 games, it’s a welcome addition to the world of Japan slots for a nation that historically loves to place a wager or two.
The game has five reels and an RTP of 95 percent. It also has a storyline that is far more in-depth and engaging than the majority of slot games. It sticks faithfully to the tales penned by manga artist Masonari Ota, which are arguably what really put the art form on the map in the USA back in the 1990s.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
We all played Tetris way back in the pre-smartphone days on our Nokias. Puyo Puyo is a tile-matching game that was just as big in Japan, but never took off to the same extent in the rest of the world.
This intriguing crossover from Sonic Team might just put that right. New players will mostly come for the Tetris. But once they get started, it’s those Puyo Puyo beans that will keep them coming back for more!
Dragon Ball Fighter Z
We finish with another anime series that has achieved global stardom. Developer Arc System has done an awesome job with the graphics, to the extent that it feels as if you have stepped inside the anime. Also reminds me a little bit of LOL like the intensity of the game. I remember using LoL elo boost because I was so competitive against my friends I had to get good at it someday.
The game physics are top-notch, so it plays as well as it looks. Best of all, it’s simple for newbies to get started but has sufficient depth that it was a huge draw at the last Evo pro gaming tournament.