BlazeOn

blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

Released by Atlus Co Ltd in 1992 this Japanese space shooter might look a little familiar when you first start off. Honestly, at first I thought I was playing a bootleg copy of R-type, but as the game continues on you find enough differences to move it out of the bootleg category and into the standard space shooter category.

blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

Now don’t get me wrong if you love these types of games then you’ll understand there is only so much you can do, but the key question becomes, is the gameplay fun. In BlazeOn you fight one against an army of enemies and like R-type you are not always in free open space. You end up traveling inside enemy bases and end up fighting a boss at the end.

blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

When you start off your ship has two attacks, your main blaster and a missile that fires straight ahead at enemies. After a while you will encounter some enemies that when you kill them they will leave an outline of themselves and when you fly into it you morph into your own version of that enemy.

blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

Now you have access to their abilities which gives you an even bigger upper hand on the enemy. Some of the enemies you can morph into have a special attack with limited charges while others are specialized for certain conditions like fighting inside the base and shooting at turrets and such.

blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

Like most space shooters the idea is not to get overwhelmed, especially when in a base when you have enemies flying at you while turrets and other defenses are trying to take you out. Obviously the key is to be in an upgraded ship when you get to a boss so you can take it out quicker.

Overall the game is fun, you have you basic controls and decent fight music including individual scores for the boss fights. The game can get frustrating at times as some of the enemies you morph into are not especially useful when you get them. Again, twitch factor is the key to avoid being killed quickly like I am in the video.

Blast Off

Blastoff - namco - arcade - gameplay screenshot

Blast Off was released in Japan in 1989 and is the sequel to the space shooter Bosconian which was released in 1981. Created by Namco this game is pretty much the typical vertical space shooter in where it is you versus and army of enemies, however your ship is armed with some pretty badass weapons.

One thing that is a little different is your ship can switch weapons and while that in itself is not unique, what is, is the fact that dependent on the color of the laser you select you can shoot behind you.

Blastoff - namco - arcade - gameplay screenshot

Here is the weapon rundown:

The Red color features two lasers in a spiral pattern

The Blue color features one laser straight ahead, one behind

The Yellow color features one laser straight ahead, one left, and one right

The Green color features two lasers diagonally forward (one to the left and one to the right), and one straight behind.

In addition, you can hold down the fire button and the ship will fire off a powerful spherical laser. As you can see in the short video you have to have your twitch factor at a high level or you will die pretty quick, but honestly it is not as hard as some of the classic space shooters, I just suck that bad.

CNN Apologizes After Playing N-Word Rap for 103 Year Old Lady!

CNN Apologizes After Playing NIGGA NIGGA NIGGA Rap for 103 Year Old Lady!

Someone in the music department got fired. You know how on CNN for some of their stories they play online casino music at the end of a segment right before a commerical? Well, in this case the music selected was let”s just say inapproate.

Check it out for yourselves.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqjEO400lMU[/youtube]

Are Asians Good At All Games?


Quick answer: Nope! Where the hell did this stereotype come from? Where did this claim that Asians are the demigods of gaming originate? I don’t know and I’m sure a quick google search could answer that question for me, but you know what? I don’t feel like opening my browser for such productive means! Instead I’m going to rant while being entirely ill informed and uneducated! Are you ready because I am!

The claim that Asians are amazing at games probably started with Starcraft and not a day before that. Just look back at the epic story of The Wizard starring Fred Savage. Who won that tournament? Not an Asian. That alone is hardcore evidence that our allies in the Far whatever directions aren’t that adept at video games.

The only game that I can recall Asians faring well in would be RTS games. Everyone complains when they go against an Asian player in a Real Time Strategy because you know you’re going to die. RTS games in Korea are like the fucking Olympics or Soccer. It’s a pretty big fucking deal. Ungodly accuracy, impeccable multitasking, and the execution of unparalleled tactics lead them to victory. I guess it makes sense for them to do well considering Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War so close by!

The Unmoving Faces of Death
It doesn’t seem American born Asians have the same prowess as their homegrown cousins. It seems that the water in those lands are what grant them this advantage in RTS gaming. In the League of Legends championship USA placed third because they overcompensated the team with Asians and instead the Euros defeated us. Great job! You got stomped by wine drinking, rotten shark eating Europeans. Lets not even get into how poorly our US team spoke when they get the microphone handed to them from the cheerful Riot female interviewer.

Beyond the RTS realm where do they stand out? They can’t play racing games for obvious reasons. They’ll just drive slow, swerving side to side with their indicator on but never turning. You can’t win a race like that! This inability to perform well in vehicles then carries over into the realm of flying games. They’re going to just kamikaze into the ground since it’s all they know. Fun Fact: The Japanese claimed that being a Kamikaze was a tactic when in reality it was to avoid the embarrassment of being known as the worst pilots in the world.

Fighting games? What just happened a week or so ago? Famous gamer Daigo claimed in a video he could destroy America in Marvel Versus Capcom 3. I forgot what happened… Oh wait, no! I remember! He got completely thrashed about like a little bitch. Looks like the stereotype filled someone else with false pride.

Now I know you’re probably wondering why I even bothered to write this article. I wrote it in the hopes that you no longer feel fear when playing a game against an Asian gamer. They’re like anyone else, except for in an RTS. Don’t be afraid anymore. Fill your lungs with the vigor of hopefulness and victory to destroy these fools and free them from them by abolishing the stereotype with every defeat you liberate them with. Asian can be defeated and it is up to you to lead the charge.

Doraemon

 

Doraemon-Anime-1

Anime, or animation originating from Japan, has been around in one form or another since the early 20th century but it still took until the 1980’s to gain any sort of recognition in the West, and even then, in all that time there has still been a very small number of examples that have become successful outside of Japan. Younger fans seemed to be entranced by the likes of Pokemon, Dragonball Z, and Yu-Gi-Oh! while shows like Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, and Full Metal Alchemist have also proved very popular. Some movies too, such as Akira (which arguably kick-started the West’s interest in anime to start with) and more recently the stunning efforts from Studio Ghibli have become well known, with the latter even winning Oscars, but one of the most popular and enduring of all anime stars in Japan is pretty much unknown outside of the Far East.

Doraemon is a robotic cat who has travelled back in time from the 22nd century to help out schoolboy, Nobita Nobi. Who created him isn’t clear but he was sent back by Nobita’s great-great-grandson, for it seems that for one reason or another, Nobita’s life was fraught with misery and misfortune causing his descendants no end of problems. With that in mind, you might think it’d be easier to send back a sports almanac (chortle), or perhaps even some winning lottery numbers, but a robotic cat? It would have to be one ultra-special robotic cat or I’d be a bit peeved, personally! Luckily, Doraemon is not only special but magic too! He is equipped with the kind of common sense and moral values that Nobita apparently lacks and he uses his many and varied abilities to try and teach these qualities to him, although

Doraemon - Anime

Nobita is not only lacking in those but is also lazy and mischievous too, so it’s not always easy for Doraemon! Much of the help he provides comes from the magical 4th dimensional pocket in his chest from which he can pull all manner of objects and gadgets from the 22nd century, including the Bamboo Dragonfly (a head-mounted propeller that allows flight), the Anywhere Door (takes the user anywhere they wish), and the Time Machine itself. I sometimes wonder why Doraemon bothers though as Nobita generally ends up misusing his various gadgets and getting himself in even more trouble!

In fact, he soon wises up to Nobita’s mischievous ways but usually succumbs to his constant pleading and goading to use his magical pocket. A common target for Nobita’s gadget-laden attentions is his ‘friend’, neighbourhood bully, Gian (who predictably often tries to steal Doraemon’s gadgets to misuse himself). Other characters in the series include rich, spoilt kid, Suneo, who joins Gian in tormenting Nobita at every opportunity, Shizuka, the main female character in the show and eventual romantic interest for Nobita, and also appearing occasionally is Dorami, Doraemon’s yellow younger sister (who still has her ears).

Nobita’s parents also appear frequently and are often the victims of Nobita and Doraemon’s antics. Doraemon himself is a curious fellow. He originally appeared from Nobita’s desk drawer one day and it is from there that their adventures together begun. He is smart and friendly but easily panicked, especially if any mice are around since he’s had a lifelong phobia of them since his ears were eaten by one. He also has a weakness for snack foods, notably dorayaki, which has gotten him in trouble from time to time!

Doraemon - Anime

In Japan Doraemon is a phenomenon, being easily as well-known and popular as Mickey Mouse is in the US and Europe. Like most anime characters, he started out life in the pages of a manga series (comic books) which date back as far as 1969, but before long he had his own TV show too which now has over 2000 episodes and counting (they’re mostly pretty short though). He’s also starred in a number of films, and all of this has helped to cement his presence in most walks of life. Predictably his likeness can be found on practically anything from infinite different toys, bags, plushes, clocks, and even trains! Perhaps as a result of the educational issues and moral lessons his antics teach, he has also been the recipient of many awards in Japan and was even made the country’s first ‘Cultural Ambassador’ by Japan’s Foreign Ministry. Beat that, Mickey!

It’s true that his show and films don’t have the super-high production values of some animes but it shouldn’t be forgotten how old many of them are and they’re still great fun to watch today. It’s also true that they’re a tad on the childish side, but hey – so are a huge number of cartoons we used to watch and still love now, and Doraemon’s a good deal more imaginative than most of them! If you’ve never seen his show before, give it a try. You never know, he might just end up being your new favourite cartoon cat!

Here’s an early episode (70’s):

My Favourite Games – Part 4

Wow, these things take longer to write than I thought they would. And to think I was going to post all thirty in one go for my first post! I’m glad I decided to write just five a day (yes I know it hasn’t been every day!), hope you’re enjoying them (if anyone’s even reading this!)…

Galaga ’88 – PC Engine (1987)

Galaga 88 - PC Engine

I’ve always preferred this series of shooters to other games of the type such as Space Invaders. There are countless versions of Galaxians/Galaga/Gaplus, but few could argue that this PC Engine update isn’t the best. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say this is the Engine game I’ve spent most time playing ever! The fact that my good friend, Luke, gave me the HuCard for free certainly didn’t help matters – it’s addictive as hell! The graphics are hardly pushing the Engine hardware to its limits, but they are very appealing nonetheless. The sprites are well-defined and colourful, and there are now nice backgrounds too. The Challenging Stages from the original Galaga return here, beginning with an announcement of “That’s Galactic Dancin'”, and accompanied by some nice music! Anyway, nice presentation aside, it’s Galaga, you know what you’re getting. Simple, addictive fun. Right up my street!

Pang 3 – Playstation (1997)

Pang 3 – Playstation

I still find it pretty amazing that the Pang games weren’t more popular here in the UK. This third offering, released here on the PS1 as part of the Super Pang Collection, is my favourite of the series. The same basic gameplay is prevalent – that is, destroy the bouncing balloons by shooting them with a harpoon gun, splitting them into ever smaller pairs until they’re gone – but this time they’ve managed to tack on a story mode! You can choose between four characters – Don Tacos, Pink Leopard (my favourite), Captain Hog, and Sheila the Thief, each of whom fires a different type of harpoon, and also has an additional skill. Pink Leopard, for example, is able to go unhindered by the various enemies on each stage. It is then your job to journey around the world collecting various works of art by popping balloons! It’s a crazy game but it’s addictive and great fun!

LocoRoco – PSP (2006)

LocoRoco – PSP

I knew from the first moment I saw a screenshot of LocoRoco that I wanted to play it! I had no idea what sort of game it was, of course, but that didn’t matter. Just look at it! It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I finally got a PSP, having convinced a guy at work that his one wasn’t really worth much and I’d help him out by taking it off his hands! Hee hee! Anyway, the next thing I did was to trade in all the EA Sports crap that came with it, for LocoRoco. Finally it was mine! It was worth the wait too, what a crazy game! It’s basically just a collect ’em up set in the happiest, most colourful game world of all-time, but instead of controlling any characters, you simply tilt the landscape back or forth, rolling the spherical, singing LocoRoco’s around. It’s great fun, features some very imaginitive levels, including more secrets than I can count, and a highly amusing soundtrack is the cherry on the cake! If you want to play a funny, happy game for a change, instead of all the violent nonsense around these days, give it a try!

Tee Off – Dreamcast (2000)

Tee Off – Dreamcast

Yep, it’s another golf game! I do really enjoy these Japanese cartoony style ones, and this is one of my favourites. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find them very relaxing and enjoyable, and perfect for the times when I don’t feel like dodging millions of bullets or making pixel-perfect jumps whilst fighting some evil monster. This one, by Bottom Up, is clearly based on Everybody’s Golf for the Playstation, but that’s no bad thing, and features five courses of varying difficulty – Japan, USA, Australia, Scotland, and South Africa. Each course has it’s own look too, and there are several characters to choose from, and various game modes to play through. Granted, there’s nothing terribly spectacular about this game but it suits me down to the ground!

Desert Strike – Mega Drive (1992)

Released a short while after the first Gulf War, it doesn’t take a genius to see where the inspiration for Desert Strike arose! However, regardless of its dubious genesis, surely even those most critical of its origins couldn’t fail to be impressed by such a splendid game! Far from being an all-out shooter, Desert Strike is a free-roaming isometric-viewed game with more than a smattering of strategy tucked into it’s rapid-fire cannons. Controlling a shiny new Apache Gunship chopper, you must complete a set number of missions per level. Some serve military ends, some political, but all must be completed before you have an opportunity to shove a Hellfire missile up “The Madman’s” bunghole (clearly based on Saddam). The sequels added a lot to the formula, not least more vehicles to control, but it’s this first game in the ‘Strike’ series that most gamers, myself included, still hold most dear.

That’s it for now! RKS is tired and will have some dinner before retiring for a while. Next five will be here soon, as well as the first in my ‘Top Five’ series that I’ve been ‘researching’ today… 😉

My Favourite Games – Part 3

Hello, I’m back a day late! I was too tired to post anything yesterday, I had a nice looong sleep for the first time in a while instead! And that means I’ve just worked, slept, and worked again since last posting, so I don’t have anything interesting to say! So, to resume with my favourite games:

Thunder Force 3 – Mega Drive (1990)

Thunder Force 3 Mega Drive

Back in my Sega fanboy days, I used to love it when a game like this came along. It would give me more ammunition to use against those who would seek to besmirch the good Sega name, and would almost always overshadow similar efforts on other machines (at least until the SNES came along!). I can fondly recall many arguments with my Amiga fanboy friend at college. Try as he might, he could never convince me that Project X was a patch on this game! I didn’t have to argue hard either. Featuring lush graphics, an awesome rocking soundtrack, kick-ass weaponry, big bosses, and eight varied levels (including the awesome lava stage, pictured), there’s not really much more a shoot ’em up fan could ask for here. Many people prefer the fourth game in the series, but it’s the third title all the way for me. Perhaps my fondness for this game comes from the fact that I rule at it, but there can be no doubting its quality. After all, how many other shooters are so good they have an arcade version made after they come out?

Datastorm – Amiga (1989)

Datastorm Amiga

There aren’t too many Defender clones as blatant as Datastorm, but it is without question my favourite, even including Defender and Dropzone. In fact, when I started playing it, I hadn’t even played Defender yet! A friend’s Amiga was the setting of many of these early sessions, and when I finally got my own Amiga, this was one of the first games I sought out for it. I remember buying it in a second hand store and the guy in the shop accidentally put two copies of the game in the case. Hee hee! Anyway, it’s similar in style to those aforementioned great games. The object is to collect at least one of eight pods drifting along the ground of each ‘wave’ and deliver it to the portal, then destroy the many and varied aliens. That’s about it. It’s not as insanely difficult as Defender but does have a few extras such as power-ups, bosses, etc, and it’s addictive as hell.

Head Over Heels – Spectrum (1987)

Head Over Heels Spectrum

There can’t be many Speccy owners who didn’t play this celebrated classic by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond, it’s almost as famous as the Speccy itself! I have always been absolutely useless at it, but that never stopped me from loving it! Controlling, first either Head or Heels, then later on both at once, you are tasked with the liberation of the five planets of the Blacktooth Empire. The story doesn’t really matter a great deal though, it’s the gameplay that counts, and Head Over Heels has it in bucketloads! The stages are creatively designed and full of imaginitive touches and the graphics, though monocrome, are nicely defined and full of character. It is a bit tricky though, I can’t even finish the first planet! It’s amazing that I like it so much and I’ve not even seen 1/5th of its 300 screens! Maybe some day, huh?

Everybody’s Golf – PSP (2005)

Everybodys Golf PSP

Until recently, this ‘slot’ was filled by Neo Turf Masters on the NeoGeo Pocket Color, a fine game by any standards, and probably my favourite golf game too. That is, until I got this little gem for my PSP! Generally speaking, there are two types of golf games. The serious, take-an-hour-to-prepare-each-shot type game (eg, Tiger Woods series), and then there’s this kind. The arcadey, fun, not-so-serious cartoony sort that come from Japan. And it is this kind which is by far my favourite. The series debuted, of course, on the PS1 some years before, but this effort, which was a launch title for the PSP, is a significant improvement over that already fun effort. It’s a lot more forgiving for one thing, but, perhaps more importantly, it has a lot more longevity. Many, many tournaments are available to play though, and there’s more unlockable items than seems possible to begin with. New characters are among these items, but they mostly consist of often nonsensical things to customise your chosen character with. Nonetheless, they are a lot of fun to collect, and give an excuse to keep playing! Just need to find a bikini costume for my favourite, Yumeri now!

Worms Armageddon – Dreamcast (1999)

Worms Armageddon Dreamcast

It’s almost impossible that no-one has played at least one game in this classic, not to mention sizeable series of strategy games from Team 17. It’s also likely that there are better offerings than this one, such as one of the online play versions, but this is the version I’ve spent the most time playing, and therefore, at time of writing at least, my favourite. I’ve most often played this in two-player with my good buddy, Luke, but it can be played by up to four people at once, which can lead to some chaotic but entertaining battles! Admirably, Team 17 have also tried to improve the single player game by including a mission-based game mode, but it is the main game you’ll return to most often, even if you’re on your own! Nothing beats creeping up on a lairy CPU-controlled worm, dropping a bundle of dynamite next to him, and sneaking off again! Hee hee hee!

Back with the next five tomorrow…

 

My Favourite Games – Part 2

Well, much of today has been spent in the fruitless pursuit of an obscure Japanese game and an emulator to run it on. I’m starting to think it’s impossible to find the combination of desired game rom and the relevant emulator, despite the help of couple of good chaps from Retro Gamer forum. Anyone know how to emulate the Sharp X-1, or the NEC PC-98, or goodness know which other previously unknown 25-year old Japanese computers?! Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure something out!

And so, to continue with the fairly unremarkable list of my favourite games, numbers 6 -10… Behold!

Super Mario World – SNES (1992)

Super Mario World

Proclaimed by many to be the greatest platform game of all-time, who am I to argue? After spending all of the preceding generation as a Sega fan-boy, I really didn’t want to like this game, but I finally relented and got myself a SNES along with this game, and I was soon converted! Despite looking far less flashy than a certain blue hedgehog’s debut on the rival Mega Drive, this game soon proved to me that looks aren’t everything! I can still remember the first time I completed it, I was so proud of myself but my parents didn’t even care about my achievement! Consisting of a sprawling 96 levels (many of which are secret), I felt justified in being proud of myself too! Despite its size, it never failed to consistently introduce new and creative features either, not least of which was Yoshi, now almost as famous as Mario himself, but the game was just so enjoyable to play through, and has so many nice touches. Has it ever been bettered? Not in my opinion…

Star Fighter – 3DO (1996)

Star Fighter 3DO

Now here’s one that most people haven’t even heard of, nevermind played! I bought this from the 3DO clearance bin in my local second-hand games store towards the end of the 3DO’s brief life for a mere £5, or something like that. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I loaded it, but then came one of just a few genuine ‘wow’ moments in my gaming life! It was the first free-roaming 3D flying game I had ever played, and it was amazing! Sure, visually it’s looking pretty ropey nowadays, as all early polygon games are, but back then it was a revelation! Originally an Acorn Achimedes game, this spruced up version is, at its core, a mission-based 3D combat game, but it’s not just an out-and-out blaster, no siree! Strategy plays a big part too, especially during later missions, and there’s so much to do. Star Fighter was way ahead of its time; I’ve still not played anything else quite like this, and I’d dearly love to! If you want to try it out though, just steer clear of the horrifying Sega Saturn and Playstation versions!

F-Zero X – Nintendo 64 (1998)

F-Zero X N64

Along with Burnout 2, this is easily my favourite racing game of all-time. Nintendo took the controversial decision of reducing the graphical detail in the game (especially backgrounds) in order to keep it running smoothly at 60fps. Was it worth it? You’re damn straight it was! This could be the most exciting, edge-of-the-seat, sweaty palms, racing game ever made! Racing at speeds of up to 1500kph over courses that often look more like rollercoasters, I’m sure you can imagine why too! There are over 20 varied courses, each race is contested by 30 distinctive racers, and there’s even a four-player battle mode, so there’s no danger of getting bored anytime soon either. Simply the fastest, most exciting racing action to be found anywhere!

Space Station Silicon Valley – Nintendo 64 (1998)

Space Station Silicon Valley N64

This is another under-appreciated classic which I discovered thanks to the short-lived magazine, Total Control. I can’t even find any reference to that magazine with a quick Google search, but I’m glad it did exist or I may never have played this game! It’s a 3D platform/puzzle game in which you control the microchip of a malfunctioning robot called Evo, damaged when the ship he was on crashed into the titular space station it was meant to be landing on! Populating this space station are many robotic animals, which you can take over by leaping into them. Each animal has unique (and often very strange) abilities and, using them, you must perform set mission objectives (also often very strange) before you can move onto the next. It’s a highly original, creative, and funny game in which you never know what’s around the next corner!

The Revenge of Shinobi – Mega Drive (1989)

The Revenge of Shinobi Mega Drive

Or Super Shinobi, as it’s known in Japan, and this was the version I first played. When visiting my good friend, Stu’s, house one day after school I was excited to see that his brother had a gleaming new imported Japanese Mega Drive sitting in his room. It wasn’t long before Stu and his brother, Darren, were demonstrating the power of this new console, and this was the game they used to do it. And it worked! The awesome intro sequence, the breathtaking graphics, the now legendary music… I was still used to my Sega Master System and trusty Speccy at this time, so the effect this game had on me was profound, and it still holds a lot of good memories for me. And after all these years, it’s clearer than ever that this wasn’t all window dressing either, it still plays like a dream. Still the best game in the Shinobi series if you ask me!

Next five to follow tomorrow…

Commercial Wars: Best use of Mario Bros – Japanese edition

super mario bros mushroom girls cosplay
super mario bros mushroom girls cosplay

If you don’t know who the Mario Bros are stop reading right now. The fact is like Pac-Man Mario is a video game icon and with over 25 years of Mario Bros featuring many classic unforgettable hits it is no wonder the plumbers are still going strong today. Even when Mario is not fighting against Bowser or trying to rescue the princess many of his games have been entertaining from Tennis to Go-Kart racing. Obviously he has been in a ton of commercials and this week we look at the ones who used him best.

As you know the Nintendo Entertainment System originated in Japan and anyone who has watched any extended amount of Japanese commercials knows they can go from funny to crazy to downright disturbing. Let’s take a look at some of these commercials and vote on who gets the top spot.

Super Mario Bros 2 USA

If you thought Birdo was weird before this commercial from Japan will not make things better. Honestly, they makes things worse. Funny thing is there is an ongoing debate as to whether Birdo is a guy who dresses like a girl or a girl. My question is do you really want to know the answer. Unfortunately, I don’t have the translation for what Birdo said, but man watching him, her, it push that egg out of its snout was just disturbing.

Super Mario Bros: DS

So I won’t lie I just put this commercial here because the Japanese lady is cute and what she says and her facial expression are pretty cool. This was part of a series of Japanese commercials that showcased people acting naturally while playing the game instead of acting out a script. I think it was a winner.

Super Mario World: Super Famicom

I really think Mario could win America Idol I mean just look at his moves and singing style. Do you really need to know what he is saying? I have to say I like the presentation with the animated Mario and particularly the animated Bowser at the end. You have to give it to the Japanese; they know how to roll out a product.

Paper Mario

I swear this commercial makes Mario look like a mix between Barbie and Batman. Mario is just chillin on his own private beach, golfing, playing tennis and then boom, he has to go be all bad ass. Mario was smart and made sure to get all the royalties and now he is the Bruce Wayne of Japan.

Mario Kart: DS

It’s Mario Kart United Nations style. I love how the Japanese portray the American version, lol. I can’t blame them we do it to them.  I wonder why they are called the Hot Mario Bros, sounds like a porno.

 

Japan, I Left Your RPGs On The Sidewalk And Changed The Locks. We’re Through!

Chrono Trigger cry
Chrono Trigger cry

Japan, I Left Your RPGs On The Sidewalk And Changed The Locks. We’re Through!

Dear Japan,
My dear and sweet Japan, it breaks my heart to write this message. I hope this tear stained letter lets you know that the way I felt about you… about us was something I will always cherish. While the flickering flame on the candle that represented my love for you has been snuffed, the moments we shared will always be emblazoned into my mind and heart.

Do you remember when we first met, my childhood friend? I was seven years old walking through the SNES rental section of Blockbuster looking for a new game to rent. My little childish sticky hands were all over the Aladdin rental box, a smile stretching from ear to ear as I imagined taking the fight to Jaffar. I skipped down the aisle looking for my mommy so that I could go home with Aladdin and enjoy the adventures of an Arabian night. The other games looked on as I gleefully took flight down towards the register. I was blind to their laminated glare.

Like a rifle’s laser scope, I could feel the pressure of a presence weighing down upon me. This entity’s gaze was fixated on me, reaching out for a friend. Slowly turning to my left, my heart went a flutter. Behind the plastic wrappings of the case was an unknown creature holding a wicked sword. Its white fur and pink nose were innocent yet it held a darkened tormenting blade that screamed out to me like a van with free candy. My grip on Aladdin loosened as he fell to the ground face down and like a handicapped older woman was unable to get up without my help. That is where Aladdin would remain though, living away his last breaths as I stepped closer to examine the enigma in front of me. My fingers raced against the title as I dared to utter the name, your name…
Final Fantasy III.

At the time I was ignorant to your true identity. How could I have known? I was only a child and you offered me the ambrosia of adventure. I brought you into my home and for the first time in my life, I learned from a game. I read, I established connections with a game’s characters, I felt remorse for a fictional struggle, and I…

Well, you know…

I fell in love.

Yes, I said it. I fell in love with you, Japan and your RPGs. I still wanted to take that magic carpet ride but not with Aladdin. You engrossed me into your adventures and made me actually care about story and my characters. I chose characters who statistically sucked but because I felt for their background, I strived to turn them into weapons of perfection so we could see their adventure through to the end. I never thought I would experience anything like this ever again. I thought our love was a once in a life time voyage, a one night stand that left me laying in my motel room bed dripping like a used whore.

I was wrong. You kindled my heart through and through for the years. You invaded my life like a powerful militant country raping and pillaging my childhood for resources. You attempted to take them by force but you didn’t expect one thing, Japan. I welcomed you with open arms.

Like Teth-Adam meeting his Isis, your power and my love for you flourished for years to come. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and the others. Month after month, year after year, it seemed like an eternity that our love would last.

Then things changed…

You became predictable. Another story about a hero who has amnesia? Another villain who dresses like David Bowie? What was that? Someone wants to destroy the world for no fucking reason? Wait, what? The hero can’t speak and can only express themselves by exclamation points and question marks? This is what you bring me?

Like a disgruntled woman on her anniversary, discontent with the predictable present of flowers and a dinner at Bennigan’s, my loins yearned for more than what you had to offer. I had seen too many movies on Lifetime. You were the villain in all of this. You were the man who didn’t lust for me and you know what, Japan? I stopped lusting for you. I went back home. I went West. I went to America.
The West showed me something that you couldn’t show me. They showed me how my actions can change the story. They showed me how my hero was capable of the greater good or the most unspeakable horror. America wasn’t one dimensional. They let me choose.

You forced me into this linear adventure with the same old characters. You took away the tragedy that I loved in you. There wasn’t any drama. You filled your games with twelve year old heroes who from the very beginning accepted their role as a savior. You are nothing like America and I’m sorry for that.

I love my complicated and deep storylines. I love my free reign in the events to unfold. I love not playing as a clean shaven emotionally complicated hero. I love The West’s Clint Eastwood attitude. It makes me feel like I’m in control. Not you! Me!

Knights of the Old Republic, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age have yanked me from your grasp. I didn’t secretly leave you. The evidence was there the whole time. They took what your wrought and pushed it to another level… a level that I’m afraid you won’t reach.

Japan, you are the clean shaven boy with flowers who took me to the prom, the one who promised to bring me home before 11pm. America is the boy I want to leave with after 11pm. He has tattoos, he smokes, and his motorcycle is fueled by the blood of kittens. At the end of that night, you hope I give you a kiss but America hopes they can pop all my cherries in one session.

I’m sorry Japan, but for now this is good bye. Your lack of creativity, your undying urge to force me into a position I don’t think I want to be in, your inability to manifest a story that hasn’t already been done, and making me play as a he-she has forced this.

Is this the life that you want to lead? Will you take the road that has been laid out before you or will we meet again somewhere else in our lives?

Good bye Japan…
Your Umi-kins.

The Obsolete Gamer Show #2

Obsolete Gamer banner
Obsolete Gamer banner

Back again with another podcast this time with a slightly (and I mean slightly) better production value. In this episode J.A. introduces the E3 2010 pimp, showcases the Obsolete Commercial from Japan featuring Crash Bandicoot, gameplay of Temco Bowl, F-Zero and Sonic 2 and a video presentation of the Alienware m11x.

The software crashed right at the end which is the reason for the cut off, good thing we were done anyway.

Today in Video Game History – June 10th

SNES Street Fighter 2 box
SNES Street Fighter 2 box

One of the most famous fighting games in history was released to homes in Japan. On June 10th 1992 Street Fighter II – The World Warrior was released for the Super Nintendo entertainment system. The game looked and played very well on the SNES and offered the ability for players to adjust the handicap setting.  SF2 did not make it to U.S. consoles until July and once it did my summer was ruined.

Neo Geo CD

[youtube id=”5b2VL9Il-EQ” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Neo Geo CD

If you knew anyone with a Neo Geo you most likely hated them because they were either really rich or very spoiled or both. Finding someone with the original Neo Geo was like finding someone with a fully working Optimus Prime transformer in its original die-cast metal with all its parts. We all know owning the system was expensive and because of this many of us did not own one the same happened in Japan which is why in 1994 the Neo Geo CD was released.

Neo Geo CD

Made by SNK the Neo Geo CD was to be the answer to the high cost while still providing the awesome games everyone wanted to play. Priced around $300 it will still a hefty cost at the time, but with games only costing around $50 it was much more in line with other console gaming prices.

The main problem with the Neo Geo CD was by the time it was released everyone was already playing either their Sega or Nintendo. In addition the CD was slow, at 1X the load times for games were painfully long. A bright spot for the NGC was the commercials which Americans did not get to see including this one which featured a couple fighting over who would play the game. Finally when both were able to play the woman “distracts” the man in order to beat him in the game, but honestly would you consider him a loser?