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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Hey all. I'm back from round-the-world! What an experience! I just thought I'd share a couple of brief highlights from my visit to the home of gaming, Japan. It was my first time in the land of the rising sun. I was a bit nervous about wandering around Tokyo on my own but it turned out to be absolutely fine... except for the fact that they don't seem to have rubbish bins. ANYWHERE. And yet there isn't a single piece of trash on the ground. Amazing.

So here's a quick little highlights video. The footage was super-shakey and bad, but YouTube has an amazing "shaky-cam-smoother" feature that fixed it all up! Thanks YouTube, you make me look good!!

In particular, take note of the "Super Potato" store in Akihabara. OMG, my new favourite shop in the entire world!! Imagine, FIVE STOREYS of retro video games!! I wanted to buy everything in the shop! Of course, none of it would actually work, since I don't own any Japanese consoles, but still...

I wasn't actually sure if I was allowed to video in there, but I managed to sneak some footage. I wish I could have filmed more, but I didn't want to get in trouble.

In the end I bought that copy of Zelda. It's sitting like a crazy otaku trophy on my gaming shelf. I also bought my nephew some Kirby and Rockman toys. And there was a Virtual Boy there ready to play! They had the "Wario Land" game, which from what I hear is the only actual decent game on the system. I've gotta say, the graphics were a lot crisper than I was anticipating. Screenshots really can't do the machine's visuals justice. The 3D effect actually works pretty darn well too, though you probably wouldn't want to play it for long periods of time. I've decided I have to have one. It won't come cheap, but perhaps some time in the coming year...

So yeah, Japan was amazing, as strange and bizarre as I'd imagined, and I definitely hope to go back and explore more of the country someday.

At the moment (even though it's hard to actually find time) I'm playing through Final Fantasy XIII-2. Yeah, it's not really that good. Put it this way: if it didn't have the FF name, I wouldn't have bought it. Don't get me wrong, it's a high-quality production. The graphics are awesome and the battle gameplay is mostly intact from the previous game (although I think it's even easier to win battles now by simply mashing the X button) but the story is stoooooooopid (and I thought FFXIII had a dumb story) and the characters say the most eye-rolling thing. The moogle has the most irritating voice, the micromanagement seems to have little-to-no effect, items are useless... Oh, and did I mention how stupid the story is...?

It's funny, with both FFX and FFXIII I disliked how linear they were. With both of their sequels, I dislike how non-linear they are. Seriously Square-Enix! You hit the perfect sweet spot with FFVI, VII, VIII and IX! You wouldn't think it'd be rocket science! Anyway, I think I'm about 3/4 of the way through the game (hard to tell, since the story doesn't seem to have any kind of coherency) and once it's done I can't see myself returning to it. Still, it's Final Fantasy. Gotta catch 'em all!

(Note: old picture, and numbered games only)

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