Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Me in a Penguin Mask

The second place we visited today was Akihabara, known as the electric city because of the large number of shops selling games, appliances, etc. It’s also known for being an Otaku haven. The first thing we did was go to a Maid Cafe. It was somewhat interesting, but not really my cup of tea. The waitresses were all dressed in French maid uniforms and were really upbeat in everything they did. I was surprised to see how popular maid cafes are. The cafe served a variety of food and drinks, at really high prices. I ordered some sort of drink w/ ice cream and whip cream on it. I, however, had to WAIT 45 MINUTES AFTER EVERYBODY GOT THERE STUFF TO GET MY DRINK, AND I HAD TO LET THE MAID KNOW ON TWO OCCASIONS THAT I DIDN’T GET MY DRINK YET!!!!!!!!!!……yes…that’s how I felt today. It was irritating. Everytime they brought a menu item to the table, they made us do a little chant with hand motions before eating or drinking. It seemed to vary depending on what you ordered. Taking pictures weren’t allowed in the cafe, but they charge to take a picture with them. Pvan ordered some spaghetti that was really good btw.

Solid Snake

Afterwards, we went through a few of the stores. There wasn’t really anything worth taking note of save for the penguin mask I found and the statue of Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid. There was a gaming store filled with various old school games. I really wanted to buy them but they don’t work on American systems so of course I didn’t.


Today, we traveled to two districts. The first was Harajuku, known for the “different” style of clothing that can be seen there. I wasn’t able to get as many pictures as I wanted to because it was raining there, but I still enjoyed it. First, there was a band recording/performing on the first floor in a studio. I liked their singing. Next, we went to a KDDI store and viewed their selection of mobile phones. I didn’t really take a deep look at the phones because the interfaces were, of course, in Japanese and I didn’t feel like examining them to figure out which feature did what. On third floor were several interesting technologies, two of which caught me eye.


The first was a tiny robot-like machine that actually functioned as a speaker. I don’t know the specifics behind it but it was interesting to watch and enjoyable to hear “Beat It” by Michael Jackson coming from it. The second technology, FEELINK,  was a room with two chairs that monitored the heartbeat of the people sitting in them. The people sitting in the chairs (the players) played a “game” in which the chair vibrated in sync with the opposite player’s heartbeat. The player had to press the button at the same time as the vibration. The purpose was to test relationship compatibility of the two players. Results included Twins, A newly married couple, Lovers, Best Friends, Parent and Child, Acquaintances, Others, Strangers, Rivals, and Earth People ↔ Space Alien. We were encouraged not to take the results seriously. My results included Best Friends (w/ Kevin). Other results included Parent and Child (Meri & Jared), and Lovers (Sharnise & Bryce). I thought it was a fun game to play and it was interesting how it could monitor your heart rate through your finger. Afterward, I won a free post card at a slot machine on the computer on the first floor.

Afterward I went to this clothing store that had all kinds of clothes. I like the style of the majority of the clothes and picked up two shirts. I would have bought more but clothes in Japan run really small and it was a miracle I found XL’s in those shirts. Too bad, they had alot of nice clothes.

On our first full day in Japan, we visited D3 Publishing, a sub-company of NAMCO BANDAI Games that publishes videogames. The games previewed in the presentation are somewhat dating simulation games aimed at the Otaku (geek) culture. The games in question are the Dream C Club series aimed at guys, and the Vitamin Series aimed at girls. In addition to these two series, D3 Publisher also dabbles in the mobile game market, offering their Simple 100 Series games for a monthly fee of 100 Yen, which gives you access to 250 casual, as well as their Simple DX Series games for 100-500 Yen per title. Their games are released for carries such as NTT Docomo, KDDI, and Softbank. D3 Publisher also makes online games such as Earth Defense Force Mobile, which is in high-end 3D and features gameplay similar to that on the XBOX 360.

The most interesting part of the presentation was the real-time commenting system implemented on their website. Users with accounts can post comments on game trailers and the comments will appear in real time over the video, scrolling quickly from right to left. As for the Otaku culture, I could never get into it. Otaku type games are pointless to me and I don’t see how anyone gets any pleasure out of them.