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Browsing Posts tagged Tokyo Game Show

Games, girls, and the B.O. cloud

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Checked out Tokyo Game Show 2009 at Makuhari Messe twice last week. Thursday was the first business/press only day, and it was so much better than Saturday, where the crowd was like 50 times worse and the smell of B.O. had condensed to a visible gray fog. Luckily I was somewhat expecting this, so I got whatever I wanted to see or play out of the way on Thursday. Final Fantasy XIII was probably the best, since the game was sweet and you got to play for a full 15 minutes on a nice setup consisting of a slim PS3, 32-inch-ish LCD TV, and studio headphones. Since it’s Japan, of course before every person the headphones and controller got a wipe down with alcohol wipes, which is a big plus. Got to play a bunch of other games thanks to the average wait time on business days being maybe 10-15 minutes, compared to the 1 hour or more on public days. I noticed a lot of the booths during public days even gave out tickets to play the demos, meaning that once the tickets were all gone, no one else could even line up to play the games.

The swag level was kind of disappointing this year, with more crappy postcards and stickers than anything else. No good phone straps, keychains, t-shirts, or slap bracelets, at least from what I saw. The Capcom station for Ookamiden was giving out a sweet folding fan, but the line for that even on Thursday was like 45 minutes so I decided not to bother. Other random games I saw or played: First we played Bayonetta just because the line was short and it was the first one we saw. The game looked OK, but it was exactly like Devil May Cry only with a naughty librarian as the main character. Also for some reason her clothes turned into a demon or something, leaving her gratuitously naked. Halo 3: ODST seemed like it had a good deal of add-ons and new weapons and enemies. Tekken 20 or whatever is exactly the same as Tekken always is. MGS Peace Walker was awesome, although I can’t say the characters seemed as interesting as in past games. MGS trailers are always so well done though. Ryu ga Gotoku 4 (Yakuza) also looked way sweet, and I saw the creator guy there in his usual white yakuza-ish jumpsuit.

As with any convention of this type, there were a lot of booth girls all over the place, either handing out flyers or just posing for thousands of dudes to take their pictures. On Saturday when I went there were of course crowds around every single one of these poor women, with the size of the crowd probably in proportion to the hotness of the girl multiplied by how much skin they were showing. Oddly enough I didn’t see anyone using the super nerd stepladders, nor did I happen to see anyone with their camera on the ground trying to get an underwear shot. Maybe that’s just at the auto shows then.

So yeah TGS was pretty awesome, but I don’t know if I’m going to bother going on public days anymore. The crowd and accompanying BO is too much to handle, and you can’t even play any good games without waiting for an hour or more. But hey business days are awesome so if you can get in it’s definitely worth going.

Hot One Breath…


…is the name of the internet cafe I’m in right now. I was walking around Goi station, near where I live, and saw this huge sign with “HOT ONE BREATH” on it. This being Japan, I assumed it was some kind of sketch establishment, but instead its a small or medium sized internet cafe that is actually one of the cleanest I’ve been in here. So far so good. It also seems to be fairly cheap, so I’ll likely be coming here more until I finally get internet in my apartment.

Speaking of, life has been very good for the most part since coming to Japan. Work, except for the long hours of usually 12 or 1PM until 9PM every day Tuesday to Saturday, is actually pretty fun. One thing has kept things from being perfect, though, and that is a little magic item called the Foreign Alien Registration Card (外国人登録証明書), or Gaijin Card for short. Surprisingly, when registering for the thing the second day after moving into my apartment, I was told that it would take 3 or 4 weeks for them to process it. I’m pretty sure it didn’t take that long to get a Gaijin Card in the past. Anyway, since that is pretty much the main ID for a foreigner living here, not having it has been a bit difficult. First off, I wasn’t able to get a cell phone through DoCoMo, which was a pain in the butt because I was really planning on getting one from them, because I think they have the sweetest phone models. I was at least able to get one with au, and to be honest, I’ve been really happy with it, so no harm no foul. By the way, this is the phone I ended up getting: the Sony Ericsson W43S.

I am also unable to get internet at my apartment until I get my Gaijin Card. I suppose it makes sense, since they want to make sure that I’m a legal resident and everything, but what a pain in the butt. Even after I get my card next week and finish the application, it will take around a month for them to get internet service, since apparently no one in my building already has DSL or fiber internet. So I will likely not have a regular internet connection at my apartment until like mid November. My predecessor at AEON, who lived in my apartment before me, was able to steal wireless from someone until a few months ago, but it disappeared and he didn’t bother to apply for net since he was leaving anyway. Ah well. Internet cafes are not bad, I suppose, but going from my addiction of sitting on the internet for at least a few hours a day to having it only maybe once a week, is a big change. Luckily, my cell phone is helping me cope a bit, since I can do e-mail on it, view some webpages, and read Gmail. Gotta love Japanese technology.

Yesterday and today were my days off, and I am happy to say that I accomplished very little. I was at least able to do some shopping, including buying a nice Japanese-style (by that I mean for use on the floor) chair thing, which is exactly what I was looking for. And it only cost 1500 yen (about $13)! Shopping has to be done either before work or on my days off, since getting off at 9 or 9:30 everyday means that everywhere except for convenience stores and restaurants are closed. The other day, though, I went to the Ito-Yokado department store on my lunch break and bought Pokemon Diamond. I do have to say, it was well worth it. Definitely an awesome game. Uh…and no I am not a nerd. OK fine, shut up.

I don’t know what else I should update you all on right now. To be honest, my life has been pretty boring, since I don’t really do anything exciting. Right now, my usual routine consists of waking up around 11, watching some TV and being lazy in my apartment, then going to work from 12:45ish until 9 or 9:30ish. Work consists of planning lessons, which is pretty easy, since most materials are already made and in the Staff Room, meaning I just flip through the text book for that class, grab a folder of materials, write down some notes, and I’m good to go. I teach on average 4 or 5 lessons a day, each 50 minutes long. Saturdays are about 7 or 8 lessons, but half of them are repeats of classes I’ve already taught that week so it’s super easy. Then I teach the classes. The rest of the day I am sitting in my office/classroom, playing on my phone or doing other random goofing off. My staff is real chill, which is good because I have to hang out with them in the school all day. The school itself is half a floor of a building, with a lobby and reception area, 2 or 3 staff rooms, and about 5 classrooms. Small but efficient. After work every day, I usually grab some dinner at one of the nearby restaurants, then go home to either play DS, watch TV, or both. I sleep around 1AM every day, and then repeat this schedule. Every now and then I’ll vary it up by going to Chiba to hang out with Blanchard, but so far not very exciting.

I went to Tokyo Game Show 2 weekends ago, but I am too lazy to write up anything about it. It was sweet, but really crowded and hot. Lots of nerdy otaku guys taking pictures of booth girls. Very different atmosphere from E3. But either way, it was sweet. Played Metal Gear on PSP, saw Devil May Cry 4, Bleach on Wii, and many other random sweet games. The new Dragonball game on PS2 actually looks amazing, with pretty much any character EVER available to play, all the way from the original Dragonball up to GT. Movie characters also. We also saw Morgan Webb from G4 in the lobby/food area of TGS, and talked to her briefly. I don’t know exactly when the Wii comes out, but I really really want to buy one. I am still very confident that it is going to beat the PS3, if not based on price alone. XBox 360 is already pretty much out of the race, which I think it just hilarious.

I am going to get out of Hot One Breath now, and probably get some ramen for dinner, since aside from Family Restaurants, Goi pretty much only has ramen shops and sketch hostess and “snack” bars. It was embarrassing applying for internet, because they did a lookup of my address and there were all these sketch bars on the list, and I was like “yeah, that’s my neighborhood alright.” The live-action Detective Conan drama special is on tonight at 9, so I will probably be lame and sit at home for 3 hours watching TV.



Too lazy for a real post right now, but I wanted to put up here that for all of us who will be in Japan, the Tokyo Game Show is gonna be the weekend of September 23-24, with Friday the 22nd being “business day.” Of course I’m going to try and get media passes to get in early and/or for free. The location is Makuhari Messe, about a 10 or 15 minute walk from Kaihim Makuhari Station on the Keiyo Line. Normal admission is 1000 yen in advance online, or 1200 at the door. I went to this show back in 2004, and it’s def worth going to. Not as ridiculous as E3, but awesome either way. Last time I waited in line for an hour or two to watch a long chunk of Advent Children before it was released. I think this show, Wii and DS stuff is going to steal the show. Everyone play Wii if you get a chance, even if you have to wait in like for a few hours. As long as it’s less than 4 hours of a wait, you’re better off than the saps at E3 who waited in line.

Tokyo Game Show site

Pictures are finally up!

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Well I finally uploaded some pictures. Click on “Pictures” to the left there. 1 gallery of general Japan pics, the other is from the Tokyo Game Show.


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On Saturday, I went with a bunch of the guys (why, oddly enough, no females) to the Tokyo Game Show at Makuhari Messe. I’ve heard it compared to the E3 of Japan. Seeing as how most (of the good) games and related hardware comes from this country, I figured it would be fun. Yep, it was.

The Game Show itself was really big: about 2 convention halls full of booths. All the big players were there, except Nintendo, who doesn’t attend this show (for some reason). How would you propose to sell and advertise upcoming products to a convention center full of video game dorks? Why, you fill your booth with girls dressed in next to nothing, OR lots of skimpy spandex. (I’ll have pics up sometime soon).

The show only cost 1000 yen to get in, so it was a bargain. Got there a little too early, but at least it allowed me to be one of the first people in for the day. Met up with Ari, and we waited in line for about an hour at the Square-Enix booth. For our wait, we got to watch trailers for Final Fantasy VII Advent Children (upcoming movie sequel to the PS game), FFVII Before Crisis (a prequel game on Docomo cell phones), Kingdom Hearts 2, and a few others that weren’t important. However, that wouldn’t have been worth it. The big payoff was getting to wear these goofy TV visors, put on surround-sound headphones, and watch a 30 minute cut of Advent Children, before the thing has even premiered at the Vienna Film Festival. I was happy. It’s going to be a good (and really cool) movie.

I also played Before Crisis, Viewtiful Joe 2, Naruto on Gamecube, and a bunch of other games. Of special note was the new cell phone version of Fatal Frame (Ho would have loved this): you take pictures with your phone’s usual camera, then “review” them to see the monsters and ghosts that are hidden within. You then kill them. Fun game, good innovation. And I also got to PLAY a racing game on the PSP (Playstation Portable)!!! The thing is amazing, it really is an awesome awesome system. However, I hear that it will cost around $350 when it is released, which means I won’t be buying one until 2008 (that is probably a realistic estimate. the system is awesome, but as of now there are now awesome games that you “gotta have”)

Also saw trailers or commercials, etc for: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Narutimate Hero 2, and much more. Those first two had about 15 minute long trailers, and they pretty much made me wet my pants. Good grief I love video games.

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