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On my top ten places to visit at some point in my life, Japan definitely makes it onto my list. The plane ride would be long yes, but thanks to my psvita, I know exactly what game to play on the plane, Samurai Shodown. Also known as Samurai Spirits in Japan, Samurai Shodown is a 1993 Neogeo game developed by SNK that focuses on 2D fighting with traditional weapons based around the time the game takes place in.

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So basically it’s like a combination of Street Fighter and Soul Calibur but a little more ridiculous and a little more addicting. Most characters are from Japan and are based on several typical people found around the time the game takes place such as Ninjas, A Kabuki performer (who can breathe fire for some reason), a miko, and of course Samurai. But there are also some characters from other countries, such as France, South America, China, and Unfortunately America. Its funny how SNK, a company based in Japan, views Americans in the game. One of them is just a blond guy with no real personality that pretty much just throws on a ninja costume and calls himself an American Ninja (which really doesn’t exist by the way) and basically stole some fighting moves from the other fighters, lame. And the other American fighter is a giant fat guy who pretty much hogs half the screen. Very funny SNK I see what you did there. Everyone else is actually pretty cool.

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Each character has a unique fighting style and plays differently with their own combos and special moves. There is also a thing called a “rage meter” which I have yet failed to figure out how it works. The actual fighting plays well too, and feels pretty smooth, but the AI will also kick your ass a got part of the times which makes it feel as though you are actually playing an actual person. Also each character has his or her individual personalities and costumes which make them really stand out. I mean the amount of detail that actually went into designing some of the costumes and backgrounds are really noticeable. Different things will move in the back ground and most of the attention comes from the Japan stages which gives you a look into the past to see several areas that really puts you in the middle of an older Japan.

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And the costumes seem to reflect the cheater’s personality and there culture as a whole. What I like about the female characters, well you know how in fighting games the female characters are usually wearing offensively inappropriate costumes that serve no real purpose. Well the game hopefully ignores that trend and instead gives them something more practical. Like one of the female characters wears a blue tunic covered with a metal breast plate and shoulder pads with matching boots and gauntlets. And I think she has chainmail too.

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Lastly there is blood in the game and depending on what button you push will either knock your opponent out or deliver a fatality. But here’s the weird part, if you are playing the U.S. version of the game then the violence is censored and is instead the blood is white for some reason? So I ended up having to switch the settings on the main menu to the Japanese region in order to uncensored it. All in all the game is fun, addicting and artsy especially when it comes around to the Japanese bits. 

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So there are tons of stories about massive multiplayer online roleplaying games that suck the player into the game and if they die in the game they die in real life. I can name several off the top of my head but I have never truly enjoyed them as much as I  have this recent anime called Sword Art Online.  It is one of my favorite new animes. It has not yet been finished in Japan. They currently have 18 episodes online that have been subbed. They also have a RAW episode that was just released a few days ago. Rumor has it that the show is only going to be 24 episodes long and that it may see an english dub release. It also has a video game being made of it that will be released sometime in March 2013.
 
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In the year 2022, the Virtual reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG), Sword Art Online (SAO), is released. With the Nerve Gear, a virtual reality helmet that stimulates the user’s five senses via their brain, players can experience and control their in-game characters with their minds. It focuses on a boy named Kirito who was originally a Beta tester for the game. He is able to go through the game solo though at times he does form guilds, leaves guilds. Essentially what most people do in mmorpgs except it is real life for him.
 
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I have only gotten to the third episode of the show. So far you have pretty much almost met the entire cast. My favorite character so far is Asuna, she is a loner that joins up with him to defeat the first boss of the game. They are actually able to leave the game, they are not stuck there forever. In order to leave the game you must head to final level, there are 100 levels in this game. It has it’s moments when it is sad because of characters you love dying but it is enjoyable to watch.
 

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There have been many anime over the centuries that I have been alive. And I have seen some good and some bad. But once in a blue moon you’ll find one that makes you smile when you think of it, and laugh out loud by remember a certain part of the episode. This one is so new that I have to wait for it to air on Japanese television and who has it licensed to simulcast to crunchyroll.com to air it in the United States and else where. Now when I ask about tanks that is a superpower in tanks?

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Now most of you would say the United States and you’ll be right there are today but back-in-the-day they weren’t, the Nazis from Germany were for their Panzers what so much stronger than ours and the Brits combine. Both of ours were lightly armored and fast and the Germans where heavily armored and slow. So this brand new anime is titled Girls und Panzer. It is set in the near future where Panzer warfare is a known a martial art for women Sensha-dō and they participate in war games with vintage WW2 tanks the M3 Stuart, 38(t), type 89 I-Go, Panzer III and IV. They fight with modified shells there it won’t destroy the other tanks. When the tanks are hit from a shell and are knocked out a white flag pops out of hiding to signal to the official that the tank is out of commission. And that is what I got so far from the 3 episodes I have seen, and I’m interested to see more!