Yo-kai Watch is a Level-5 franchise with a cult following in Japan but modest success in the US. My discovery of the franchise began at a Walmart in 2014. Yo-kai Watch, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, and a bunch of generic releases were on the shelf. I was familiar with Dragon Quest and the JRPG genre in general, so of course, Dragon Quest is my first pick. But I kept thinking about Yo-kai Watch after I left. I find that it’s common to leave Walmart with Komasan’s coy eyes staring at your back from the glass window.
OK/NORMAL is a lo-fi experience by 98DEMAKE, an independent solo developer known for making PSX and VHS horrors for the computer. I am familiar with this scene of solo development, where fanatics of the 90s J-Horror video game renaissance vie to make their own tribute or create a universal revival, but I’ve never actually had the chance to play one.
Warning: Major story spoilers ahead
Stories Untold was a horror/science-fiction, first person narrative adventure game developed by indie studio No Code. It created quite the buzz among interactive fiction communities around the time of its release. When you look it up, the first thing that pleased the eye was the bold, red logo. Its depiction of computers, that existed before most of its audience, floated across the screen. And there was the oh so familiar sound of 80s synthesizers.
Ribbit King – also known in Japan as Kero Kero King – is a golf game that came out on the Gamecube in 2003 and on Playstation 2 in 2004. It was developed by Jamsworks and published by Bandai. It was rather obscure in the U.S. when it first came out.
A vast majority of people weren’t aware of this game, unless scoping out rarities on the Gamecube was a hobby of theirs or they’re a faithful Nintendo Power reader. I was a part of the latter.