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THE ARCHIVE 2011-2015

The National Girlfriend

The Not-So-Innocent Story of Japan's Puppy Love Video Game Phenomenon


The Japanese dating sim is one of the most characteristic and most ridiculed of the country's gaming world. The category eventually flatlined on the path of mediocrity for nearly 20 years until Konami gave it new life with the debut of Love Plus on DS, a game with communication features that brought as much controversy as they did innovation. But what was the dating sim like before that, and just what was Love Plus' impact?


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Please Note: This is an excerpted cover story, not a full magazine! Please see SCROLL 05 to purchase the complete product.

The Unknown Xbox

How Microsoft's Game Console Fell Against the Rising Sun


No game system has had a stranger, nor shorter history in the past ten years than Microsoft's Xbox. Without it, Microsoft wouldn't be in the strong position they in the game industry they are today, but the genesis of the original Xbox remains an interesting freshman effort. The strangest branch on the Xbox timeline is its performance in Japan, where it was repeatedly thrust on a gaming public that could only be described as terminally apathetic. Granted, the Xbox had its fair share of flaws that weren't unique to the East, but the ones that were still held some degree of fascination, because they were almost exclusively cultural. This retrospective focuses on the Xbox's struggles in Japan, from its first public debut to its problems with marketing to its quiet transition to the Xbox 360 -- but a few good things that came of it all, too.


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Please Note: This is an excerpted cover story, not a full magazine! Please see SCROLL 04 to purchase the complete product.