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22 Wonderfully Japanese AF Video Games

List RulesVote up the games that weren't simply developed in Japan, but are so quintessentially Japanese.

A lot of amazing video games (Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Contra, Resident Evil, etc.) were made in Japan. While those games were very accessible to a Western audience, there are some games that are, let's say, uniquely Japanese. These video games are either deeply Japanese in their style and story or they simply don't really translate to other cultures. These are some super Japanese video games here, people.

The most Japanese video games represent a difference in aesthetic, taste, and mindset that reflects the idiosyncrasy of the weird island nation that we all love. Many of these video games find niches in Western markets simply because they are so "Japan." Others make it because, hey, they are really good games. Whatever the case may be, these are some Japanese video games that are well worth checking out.

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  • Video: YouTube

    Words cannot fully describe that which is Katamari Damacy for PS2. As the son of the rainbow-vomiting King of the Cosmos, it is your sole duty in life to take a sticky ball called a Katamari and roll up every item in the world into it. Naturally, most things in said world are as absurd as you are. While it starts out the size of a thumbtack, you gradually roll your ever-expanding ball until it is large enough to consume entire cities!

    As weirdly Japanese as the game is, it just works. It is a really fun game. There is something strangely comforting about it, just rolling everything up into the Katamari. The experience is very zen, despite the screams of children and old women as they are consumed by the ball.

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  • 2

    Hatoful Boyfriend

    Video: YouTube

    Hatoful Boyfriend is a pigeon dating simulator. You are a human girl who dates pigeons because a normal high school dating simulator wasn't enough... not for Japan. There are eight datable birds and multiple endings, good, bad, and weird. Seriously, WTF Japan?

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  • 3

    Ōkami

    Video: YouTube

    Ōkami is as Japanese as enjoying a glass of nihonshu while you watch the cherry blossoms bloom on a warm spring day. Bursting with Shinto (a traditional Japanese religion) symbolism, you play as the honorable (Ō) god (kami) Amaterasu, embodied as a wolf. The "celestial brush" tool evokes shodō, and the entire game is styled like a beautiful ukiyo-e print.

    Originally released for the PS2 and subsequently for the Wii and PS3, the game is as fun as it is beautiful. The gameplay is solid, and the story is enthralling. The dialogue is witty and engaging, really drawing the player in and giving personality and dimension to the characters. Simply put, this is a must-play.

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  • 4

    Super Table Flip!

    Video: YouTube

    For all those times you became so filled with blind fury that you had to just flip the table, Japan gave us Super Table Flip! Known in Japan as Cho Chabudai Gaeshi!, the object of the arcade game is to cause maximum damage with your display of rage. The giant table prop allows for a deeply satisfying sense of realism.

    In one scenario you play a father who is just trying to enjoy a family meal while his wife and children rudely play video games and talk on their cell phones. Who wouldn't want to "flip out," as it were? Perfect in its simplicity, this game is sure to bring a smile to your face.

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