Japanese video games - Highlights of 2021 Frontline Gaming Japan strives to bring you high-quality news straight from Japan, and continued to do so in 2021.

2021, like 2020, has been a tumultuous year, but the world seems to be slowly on the way to recovery. Japan was not hit as hard by the pandemic as many other countries, and though concerns remain, it seems that the country is on the way back to normalcy.

In this article, we take a look at some of the highlights in our coverage of Japanese gaming news from the past year.

(Reviews are not included in this roundup: Check out our review section for them!)



Busou Shinki Armored Princess Battle Conductor - Arcade Cabinet
Busou Shinki Armored Princess Battle Conductor – Arcade Cabinet

Arcade Report – Busou Shinki: Armored Princess: Battle Conductor
The Busou Shinki series got its first game in ten years in the form of the arcade game Battle Conductor, and we checked it out.


Ys IX: Monstrum Nox – Post-Release Interview
Ys series producer Kondo Toshihiro discusses Yx IX in a spoiler-filled interview where he talks about key points in the story and the future of the Ys series.


NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139...NieR Series Developer Interview
The NieR series’ developers talk about development on NieR Re[in]carnation and NieR Replicant ver 1.22474487139… in this interview.

NieR Replicant ver 1.22474487139… Director Interview
NieR Replicant ver 1.22474487139… director Ito Saki further discusses development on the game in this interview, talking about what they focused on, what they changed, and the intent behind their decisions.


Monster Hunter Rise - ZinogreMonster Hunter Rise Player Survey Results
A survey was conducted on the Japanese Monster Hunter Rise player base, revealing interesting statistics and showing what players liked.


Lost Judgment - YagamiLost Judgment: Developer Interview with Nagoshi and Hosokawa
Then-Ryu ga Gotoku Studio general director Nagoshi Toshihiro and producer Hosokawa Kazuki discuss development on Lost Judgment, talking about the intent behind the story, the improvements they made to gameplay, and the actors in the cast.


Tales of Arise Interview - Alphen and ShionneTales of Arise Producer Interview
Tales of Arise producer and “Tales of” series IP general producer Tomizawa Yusuke talks about the game’s next-gen graphics, adapting the anime art style to 3D, and development on the gameplay and combat in this interview.


Mecha Strategy RPG Relayer’s Director Discusses Story, Gameplay and Development
Relayer producer and director Yasuda Yoshimi talks about the game in this interview, discussing the story’s setting, themes and motifs, why they chose to develop the game primarily for the PS5, the systems and gameplay, and development in this interview.



Elden Ring - E3 TrailerElden Ring Director Miyazaki Interview
Elden Ring director Miyazaki Hidetaka talks about the story and the extent of G.R.R. Martin’s involvement in creating the world, what makes Elden Ring’s “open field” different from open worlds, new and old systems, the dungeons, and the game’s difficulty in this interview.


Final Fantasy X - Tidus and YunaFinal Fantasy X 20th Anniversary Survey Results Reveal Players’ Favorite Characters, Music, Quotes & More
A 20th anniversary survey on Final Fantasy X’s players reveals interesting statistics, the most popular characters, lines of dialogue and music tracks, and more.

Final Fantasy X 20th Anniversary Developer Interview
The developers of Final Fantasy X talk about the conception of the game and its themes (and how Tidus was originally going to be a plumber, hence his overalls), the motifs behind the story and how it was influenced by the letters left behind by WW2 kamikaze pilots, why the game was so different from previous entries in the series, the possibility of a Final Fantasy X-3, and much more in this 20th anniversary interview.


Fate/Grand Order 6th Anniversary Player Survey Results
The annual Fate/Grand Order player survey returns with the usual statistics and popularity rankings.


FATAL FRAME: Maiden of Black Water RemasterFatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Remaster – Producer Interview
Fatal Frame series producer Keisuke Kikuchi talks about the Maiden of Black Water remaster, discussing why they chose this game in particular, the original release’s reception, the changes they made to the remaster, and the possibility of more remasters or a new sequel.


Tsukihime Remake - VlovTsukihime Remake Release Interview with Nasu and Takeuchi
Type Moon’s Nasu Kinoko and Takeuchi Takashi talk about the long-awaited Tsukihime remake, Tsukihime -A piece of blue glass moon-, discussing why it took so long, how they actually made a working PC version (not released) and ported it to console after, and the changes made in the remake.


Lost Judgment: Release Interview with Producer Hosokawa and Director Ito
Lost Judgment producer Hosokawa Kazuki and director Ito Yutaka discuss the game in this interview, talking about what the development team put extra effort into, how different directors influence each Yakuza game differently, and the story and gameplay.


Tokyo Game Show 2021Tokyo Game Show 2021 – We’ll always have games
Tokyo Game Show 2021 was held as an online-centric and primarily closed-door event, but Frontline Gaming Japan attended and took a look at a bunch of games.


Sophie NeuenmullerWhy Sophie 2? – Atelier Sophie 2 Developer Interview
Gust brand manager Hosoi Junzo discusses the then newly-announced Atelier Sophie 2, talking about why Sophie was chosen to get a direct sequel, the game’s setting and story, the art design, the characters, and the synthesis system.


Kuro no KisekiTrails Series Sequel Kuro no Kiseki – Release Interview
Producer Kondo Toshihiro discusses Kuro no Kiseki in this interview, talking about the setting and characters, the meaning of the title, the art design, and the new combat system.


Digital Games Expo 2021 Event Report – A celebration of indie & doujin games
We covered Digital Games Expo 2021, a Japanese event dedicated to indie and doujin games, taking a look at just a few of the many games shown there.


Japanese ArcadeThe Current State of Arcade Gaming in Japan, And How It’s Dealt With COVID-19
We take a look at statistics released by the Japan Amusement Industry Association and how the arcade industry is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in this article.


Ace Combat 25th anniversaryNew Ace Combat project and the future of the series discussed by developers
Ace Combat’s developers talk about the new project previously announced on the 25th anniversary stream earlier this year, and what the series is going to do in the future in this interview.


Relayer talk showNew details and screenshots from mecha SRPG Relayer demo and talk show event
We covered a demo and talk show event held for Relayer in which the general public got hands-on sessions with the game for the first time, and producer Yasuda Yoshimi and voice cast members Akesaka Satomi and Honda Mariko revealed lots of new information about the game.




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