Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Matsuri Games

omatsuri-kingyo

In my first article as a guest blogger in Tokyo I want to write about one of the most enjoyable things here in Japan: O-matsuri! When I arrived end of May I was told I am just in time for matsuri season – yay, many festivals that offer a fun glimpse on Japanese culture!
Matsuri offer the opportunity to relax, to celebrate, to have a lot of fun – even when you are just watching and eating (like I did) and not actively taking part in carrying a mikoshi. At the shrine-festivals you won’t see any earnest salary men in black suits, no: here people are enjoying themselves and many are dressed in yukata and special matsuri gear. That can look very pretty and sometimes.. uuhm.. quite exciting ;)
What amazes me the most is the array of games for children never seen before somewhere else in that form. Those distinctly Japanese (correct me if I am wrong) kid’s entertainments include many water games, which are thought to be refreshing during hot summerdays. For example fishing rubberballs or other toys out of a swiftly moving water stream, which is enjoyed mostly by the little ones.
Although the animal rights activist in me had to keep both eyes shut, it is great fun for schoolkids to try to catch real goldfish (and I read sometimes even tiny turtles – aaw) with round paper-covered frames. This demands a lot of skill because the paper soaks and rips easily, especially when the victim flounders and struggles not to get caught and the little fisherman keeps his scoop underwater for too long. But some way or the other the kids seem to become experts pretty fast and you can see many of them walking around proudly with their prey in small plastic bags.
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PS3

Everyone seems to be blogging about the Playstation 3 launch in Tokyo last Saturday.
This Kotaku report talks consoles being re-sold online at a big profit and homeless and Chinese people being paid to stand in line.
I’m not surprised though as it happens with a lot of events here. For Hanami (Cherry Blossom parties), groups often pay homeless people to spend all day guarding a prime location under the trees, before the group turns up in the early evening.

More links:
The Fans
Video of the launch chaos
Kotaku Round-up

News Bits & Bobs

A couple of news stories have been running about in my mind today, so I hope people don’t mind if I just blab on about them here for a bit…

I had always thought their was a ban on casino type gambling in Japan… hence those crazy little holes in the wall where you sell back the pen you won at the pachinko parlour for cash. That being the case, it looks like the government is finally admitting the truth… people love to gamble in this country. Bloomberg.com reports that Japan is in talks with major global casino operators. I assume some gaudy monstrosity will pop up in Tokyo in the not so distant future… what will that mean for the tourism industry in Korea etc, where many serious Japanese casino fans go to “holiday”?

Is a head of lettuce going to be costing us 400yen soon? Do any of you remember when the rainy season was long and with conditions similar to this year a few years ago? It was around that time that vegetable prices skyrocketed and a humble lettuce was around 400yen at my local Akafudado. I heard on TV that the rain is doing serious damage to crops and then read on The Daily Yomiuri Online that the lack of sunlight, as the rainy season drags on, is stunting veggie growth and pushing prices up! Oh joy! They said prices will probably go up 30% by mid-august.

Am I wrong to think she is tying up resources? Megumi Ogawa is a Japanese PhD student who has been studying in Australia since 1999. Recently her visa ran out and she failed in several legal actions to be allowed to stay in Australia, so she was to be deported. It now seems (as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald) that she has applied for asylum!!! She has stated she has no fear of the Japanese government… I guess she really likes Australia. This story stays with me for two very different reasons. One, asylum is a very necessary process and I worry that her stalling process is at the determent to real asylum seekers in Australian Detention Centres (and I believe there are plenty of them thanks to Australia’s John Howard) and two, I was out with an Australian the other week who was telling me how “easy it is to migrate to Australia”… I guess Megumi would disagree.

Sorry if you weren’t interested, but I’ve posted it now…

Posting from my Nintendo DS Browser!

I am posting this article from my new Nintendo DS Browser !
Yes, it came finally :)
I set it up to connect with my home’s wireless network, so that I can use Internet everywhere in my house from DS ! Yay !

Nintendo DS/DS Lite Browser comes in 10 days!

任天堂オンライン販売

Now you can order NINTENDO DS/DS Lite BROWSER in JAPAN !
I did it :D

気がついたら、任天堂ブラウザのオンライン販売が始まってました !!!
発売日は7月24日、私はもう頼んじゃったよ :-)
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Nintendo DS + Opera browser

Giving gamers two windows to the Web: The Opera Browser for Nintendo DS™

Whoopee !!
This is very happy news for people like me, always being with lovely DS.
Nintendo also announced about a card which makes your DS into telly.

Here is a link to Nintendo Conference website.
It is written by Japanese, but at least you can see some diagrams about new games and ‘Nintendo DS Lite’
ニンテンドーDS Conference(カンファレンス)! 2006.春

MOTHER 3

mother3.JPG

MOTHER 3 is going to be sold on 20/4/2006 !!
It revealed on ほぼ日刊イトイ新聞 last week. And they says, Nintendo would announce this soon.

What is MOTHER ?
This is a 2D Role Playing Game and you act as a master.
You make your team, talk to people in town, stay in a hotel, and fight with animals, strange guys, ojisans, obasans, etc.
However, you never kill anyone, just knockout :)
In your team, you have genius boy and psychic girl, he sometimes invents funny weapons, and she encourages team in many ways with her psychic power in the battle — like the FORCE.

Sometimes you phone to your mum or dad, while you are questing, just to say hello or to ask some money :)

MOTHER series ( now, I would say MOTHER trilogy ?) are sort of cult game.
And I am still a Big FAN, REALLY looking foward to playing new MOTHER 3.
Maybe I am a bit weird….

What do you think this is?

drawing.jpg

I’m not good at drawing, Sorry!!

This is my answer to a game which I played with my colleagues in Hokkaido last weekend.

The game is — We are given a same subeject and have to draw it without references.
For example, if the subject is ‘monkey’, you need to remember how it looks and draw it in 1~2 minutes.

Simple simple game, but we enjoyed it very much. Because each drawing has its own characteristic and really funny.

I don’t tell you the subject of this now, please guess what I drew :)

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