Castlevania on Netflix

Castlevania opening title

Despite being a long time fan of the Castlevania series, I was skeptical of an American anime adaptation of the NES classic Castlevania III. On a whim one night, I decided to give it a watch and boy am I glad I did! After a little apprehension, I was quickly drawn into the story and beautiful art, finishing the the first season wanting more. Continue reading Castlevania on Netflix

Rise of the Game Cafe

I was a bit surprised by this article on the growing popularity of board game cafes in America and Canada. Board game cafes have become popular in Japan as well, but that’s partly by necessity since most people don’t have the space to play at home.

In the time that I’ve been gaming here, I’ve actually never played at a friend’s house. I have played at game stores, game spaces, business conference rooms, community centers, and cafes, but no homes. On the other hand, in America I played exclusively at someone’s house or online. While it’s partly space related, there’s also a cultural element about entertaining others outside the home. Continue reading Rise of the Game Cafe

Cooking up some fun with Delicious in Dungeon

I haven’t read manga much recently, but Delicious in Dungeon (ダンジョン飯, literally “Dungeon Food”) caught my eye and I picked up the first three volumes. It’s been out for a few years now, so many of you have probably already heard of it, but I wanted to introduce it to those like me who hadn’t. There’s also an English translation available. Continue reading Cooking up some fun with Delicious in Dungeon

Hands on Shinobi Empire

I finally had a chance to play Shinobi Empire, one of the games I got at the last Game Market. I found it to be an easy to pick up and lighthearted game that was fun to play. One of the coolest things about this game is the cards themselves. Each card has a unique image, a mix of cute and cool, and they form a neat multi-storied castle as you play.

Instructions, 35 tokens, and 54 cards
Instructions, 35 tokens, and 54 cards

Players choose a set of seven colored tokens that correspond to the color of the ninjas they receive points for. Each player is dealt a hand of five cards. The player who is wearing the simplest clothes (most ninja-like) goes first, with play proceeding clockwise. A turn consists of a player drawing a card from the deck and then placing one card.

Continue reading Hands on Shinobi Empire

Thank you, Mr Wizards

My 5th edition D&D Player’s Handbook finally failed its third death save and succumbed to the curse of early editions losing their pages. I had heard that this was a common problem and that Wizards of the Coast had a replacement program, but I assumed that shipping to Japan would complicate the replacement. That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth as I received this wonderful response to my request: Continue reading Thank you, Mr Wizards

Back from the Tokyo Game Market – Spring 2017

Tokyo Big Sight

Back from the Spring 2017 Tokyo Game Market at Tokyo Big Sight and my wallet is a bit lighter. I had a blast at my second Tokyo Game Market even without participating in any organized play. It was really fun to just walk around and check out the various booths. I couldn’t resist all the temptations, though, and ended up picking up four games; a spiffy game bag; and an Imperial Assault villain pack that I found in a remainder bin at the Shosen booth.

Continue reading Back from the Tokyo Game Market – Spring 2017

Game Market – Spring 2017

2017 Spring Catalog Cover
2017 Spring Catalog

The thrice yearly analog Game Market is coming up on May 14th! It’s a great chance to check out the Japanese analog gaming scene if you happen to be in the Tokyo area.

There will be game creators, publishers, shops, and hobby groups exhibiting. In addition to that, there will be event and vendor organized games that you can participate in. There is also ample free play space where you can grab a seat and play games. Continue reading Game Market – Spring 2017

How do you say “THAC0” in Japanese?

Moving from the US to Japan was a chance to shed a lot of material possessions and start fresh. One thing I do regret getting rid of is some of my old AD&D 2nd edition books. I recently decided to pick up a few of the books again and was surprised to discover some Japanese editions at my local gaming shop.

Player's Handbook Cover

Continue reading How do you say “THAC0” in Japanese?

Sword World 2.0 Starter Set

Sword World Starter Set Box
Sword World Starter Set Box

It seems appropriate that the first Japanese RPG I write about was also one of the first made in Japanー Sword World (ソード・ワールド). Sword World first caught my eye a few years ago, but I never had a chance to play it until I mentioned my interest to a friend and he offered to run a session.

My friend hadn’t played it in a long time, so he graciously picked up the Sword World 2.0 Starter Set (Japanese) and gathered together four additional players. We ran through the entire box set in an afternoon at a games play space in Ikebukuro called Naruneko House (Japanese).

Continue reading Sword World 2.0 Starter Set