Pokemon Go: The Perfect Hybrid of Japanese Anime and Video Game (II) | Shotengai Skip to main content

Pokemon Go: The Perfect Hybrid of Japanese Anime and Video Game (II)

Pokemon Go: The Perfect Hybrid of Japanese Anime and Video Game (II)

Do you still remember the AR game that created a global phenomenon in 2016? Pokemon Go captured the market once it was released. With millions of players and billions of revenue, it can be said one of the most famous video games in the world. Its success is not groundless, rather, the key to its success is its established pop culture phenomenon. The original Pokemon is a video game developed for handheld gaming systems in 1996. As a transmedia franchise, Pokemon has kept releasing new games and anime constantly since 1996. There are 90 Pokemon games and thousands of episodes of Pokemon anime today. Pokemon Go is nothing but an adaptation of a classic game with new equipment. It can be said Pokemon is the perfect hybrid of the two most famous Japanese subcultures: Anime and Games. Now, this article will give a brief introduction to the Japanese Games!

History of Japanese Games

Nintendo Famicom

Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, The King of Fighters, Smash Bros...These classic games are the shared memory of Millennials. Though the first game was created in 1962 in America, the Japanese began to dominate the game market ever since. The development of Japanese games accompanies technical iteration. From amusement machines to portable consoles and from 4-bit games to video games, no other country has a bigger influence on electronic games.

Japan’s first electronic game is Periscope designed by Sega in 1966. It’s an electro-mechanical game that charges a quarter per play, which became the standard price for arcade games. From then on, Japan’s arcade games brought forth new genres constantly, such as fight games, shooting games, and stealth games. In 1978, Taito released a blockbuster, Space Invaders, which was the starting point for the Japanese game to invade the global video game industry. In Japan, the game was so popular that caused a shortage of 100yen coins. Two years later, another classic game, Pac-Man, appeared and became a hit with its fresh new game principle: maze chase+shooting.

Nintendo Switch

The creation of the console brought the game place from street to home. Nintendo released Famicom in 1983, which enlarged the worldwide influence of Japan’s electronic games. Many iconic games, such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon, can be played on Famicom. To compete with Nintendo, the other two companies of the Big Three, Sega and Sony, released Mega Drive and Sony Play Station in the 1990s. With the development of technology, the Big Three began to explore computer games and portable consoles. Therefore, games with finer pictures and richer content appear.

Japanese Game Arcades

Japanese Arcade Game

If you are interested in console games and computer games, it’s easy to get through the internet. However, if arcade games are your cup of tea, there is no other place in the world that has a bigger game room and more types of amusement machines in Japan! Here are 4 types of amusement machines you shouldn’t miss!

UFO Catcher: It’s the most common and popular type. The prizes are various, such as toys, food, cushions, and kitchenware. If you are an ACG fan, you can find so many UFO catchers with garage kit figures and merch of Anime and comics.

Rhythm/Music Games: In this game, you can experience the fun of playing an instrument or dancing whether you are an amateur or a specialist. The song selection includes Japanese pop, American pop, European pop, classical music, rock songs, and anime songs.

Racing Games: It’s an iconic game in Japanese arcades. You can be a racer even though you don’t know how to drive. Nowadays, you can have a more real-life experience with VR glasses.

Retro Games: You can play classic games like Pac-Man and Street Fighter in these vintage machines. They are rare to see outside Japan.