Yup, sounds like I'm making it up, but it actually exists. It's a game that's identical to the 2nd House of the Dead shooter, except you don't shoot, you err.....type. As zombies rush towards you a little box appears above their heads with the words you need to type in to kill them. Most of the words belong to the same content family. Like, 3 zombies might attack you with "ACE", "JOKER", "SPADE". The faster and more accurate you type, the higher the score and the better chance you have of getting extra lives. Bosses are of course, much tougher, and usually attack you with quite long sentences in illegible romanised Japanese "Ore mo jigoku e iku zo!Omae no sakki ni!" Something like that. Some sentences have hyphens and ampersands and such so they're just friggin impossible to get out in time. Finally, the cutscenes look silly, as the main protagonists now have huge typewriters attached to their hands in the place of guns.
Still, taking it all tongue-in-cheek, this is a pretty damn good game and there are much worse ways to blow 100yen. I happen to be quite a fast typist and always make it to around the 3rd level, when the sewer worms gets me due to my inability to answer questions about Japanese culture you are faced with to damage it.
I've also played a Lupan typing game, but this one is much better IMO.

Official website here: http://sega.jp/pc/soft/tod/

TIME CRISIS 4. Doing the rounds. Half-decent game. Has the same guy who does the Japanese voice for Snake in the Japanese Metal Gear Solid in this one. Very good voice actor.

The Japanese looooove 'Keiba'. That's horse-racing to you and me. This is a relatively new gambling game that's only been out for about 6 months. Basically it's the same as betting at the track, except computerised. Need any further elaboration? You just grab a console, stick your money in, choose a horse, then cross your fingers. And nope, you don't win real money, just tokens.

Bingo. Pretty much as you'd imagine it.

I remember when I used to play 'Shenmue' thinking that the capsule toys were cool but fictional. Well, I was wrong. All over Japan you can find these machines littered around the supermarkets and arcades. What makes collecting capsule toys more attractive is that you can often find some rare machines that can't be found in other prefectures. And I've heard that trading them online is quite a popular pastime for certain nerdy types. What's weird and Japanese about them is that you can find toys relating not only to popular comics and superheroes but also pretty much anything else imaginable, including human anatomy, celebrities, vegetables, electronics, well the list goes on...
I found a very cool StreetFighter Hyper Fighters collectors edition one the other day.

Video-games for kids. The one at the bottom is Mushi-King (Insect King). Japan is actually home to some of the coolest creepy-crawlies in the world, and in particular the kabuto (Rhinocerus Beetle), which is extremely popular with young kids. They keep the things as pets, and just love creating kabuto ring fights (little bastards) in the same way English kids love playing conkers. This trading card game they can emulate that by buying random game cards from the machine and fighting Final Fantasy style against a friend or a computer opponent, gaining experience with every battle they win. I've never played it but it looks fun.

Someone requested a close-up of the Half-Life 2 controls so here y'ar. The left stick is mainly for strafing and menu-selection and the right-stick is your controls. It's like a normal joystick except you can rotate it left and right to turn your character. Tap the foot-pedal to move forward. Like I said before, it doesn't quite work as well as it could, and this kind of over-complexity in a game will ruin it in Japan.

Gundam Battlion. Haven't played it yet but this game looks sweet. It's some kind of multi-network robot flying/shooting game and it's brand new. Looks from the outset to be a kind of gang warfare game where you team up with a dozen or so of your mates and take on an army of enemies, or perhaps humans linking from their online network. Will have to try this one out real soon.

Brand-new game called Too Spicy. Didn't look so hot. It's almost like a shooting version of Super-Punch Out. Instead of blasting away at a zillion enemies you have to take on one guy at a time and successfully avoid being hit by using the pedals to navigate your character around the arena. First impressions, not fantastic.

Romance of The Three Kingdoms (at least I think that's what the kanji of the title is). Awesome looking-game but I'm buggered if I can figure out how to play it. There's waaaay to much Japanese text flying about on the title menu and before you can even play you need to buy a bunch of playcards. You then play by swiping your cards over certain areas on the play tablet. Ahh bollucks...I'm not even gonna bother trying to guess how this is played, it goes way over my head. Looks good though. Amazing to think that from that little Snes game Nobunaga's Ambition followed all this.

Just a quick pic of the game-card machine for the above game. You know, for shits and giggles.

A final pic of a new Mah-Jong game that is popular here. Never played it.

That's it then peeps. There is still much more to go, but for now I'm spent. I'll be sure to continue this theme for at least the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled for the next post!

Comments (0)