Genkina hito in Akihabara

Akihabara – this is a long and rambling post so feel free to just look at the pictures. If you’re feeling brave you can listen to this music while you read:

Akihabara (Electric Town as it’s also known) is billed as the electronics and nerd-culture centre of Japan. If you like anime, manga, computers, video games, cameras or any other types of electronic and otaku goods then this is the area that you need to visit. I have been aware of it since at least my high school years when I heard of its legendary collection of video game and anime goods. I had pictured a densely packed warren of streets containing arcade dens full of herds of video game nerds clustered around classic beat-em-up game cabinets while anime fans pored through second-hand book stores and cute guys and gals cosplayed colourful anime characters and the scene was complete with the neon glow and anime music cast out by ads on video screens. I imagined myself pushing my way through aisles of goods crowded with other fanboys and fangirls, making my way to holy grails of videogamedom. Even as an adult with less interest in games and anime I still held onto that dream and made it a point to visit it during my first week.

Akihabara wasn’t like I imagined it.

Genkina hito in Japan

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Genkina hito’s Best Game of 2013 – The Cave

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I played a lot of games in 2013 but there have been few that have impressed me or The Cave Video Gamemoved me enough to write about them (unlike The Walking Dead  ;_;). A lot of them felt like chores to do (a feeling I increasingly get as I get older and have little time to indulge such things) but this one didn’t. My game of the year is the puzzle-platformer/adventure “The Cave” which was released digitally on all of the major platforms back in January. While it didn’t get excellent reviews I still enjoyed it tremendously.

The Cave is an adventure where the player gets to take control of three (or four if you take The Twins) characters from a cast of seven people who are lured by a sentient talking cave (who acts as the narrator of the game) into exploring its dark depths in search of what they desire most.

The Cave Characters

What these characters don’t know is that while spelunking they will encounter an environment which draws upon the darkest aspects of their characters, their greed and jealousy and murderousness. The Cave acts like a surreal dream-like set of tunnels which channel the character’s rotten souls’ and psyches as they replay their worst moment.

It is like a form of hell where the character re-enact their sins over and over.

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Genkina hito’s Best Game of 2012 – The Walking Dead

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This post was longer than I expected but the game affected me that much and the writing just flowed. Despite playing and loving Chrono Trigger and Life Signs: Hospital Affairs, this title won me over. I played the final episode just before seeing Skyfall at a cinema and on the way I was writing a review for the game…

The Walking Dead was easily my game of 2012! MASSIVE SPOILERS

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I cried at the end. Even before the end, in the sequences leading up to it. So far, everybody I know who plays this ends up crying.

I had not expected to cry playing this game. As much as I like the graphic novel and the television series I had gone into this, rather foolishly, expecting it to be something of a zombie survival simulator where I could test my mettle and all of the knowledge I have accrued watching Dawn of the Dead and other zombie films.

What I got was a well-scripted and brilliantly acted drama which exposed what it truly means to be a survivor of a zombie apocalypse. It was tough, bloody and brutal and it put characters through hell.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Game of 2011

I know I promised to focus on Asian films and I am about a month late but I have recently finished the game and was so impressed I needed to post about it. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is brilliant.

I received this for my birthday around the time it was released in September but was engaged in playing a number of JRPG’s which would not see completion until Christmas day. I figured that I might not be missing much. How wrong I was. SPOILERS

In the near-future of 2027, humanity has created a new industry: augmentation. It is the use of technology to make us stronger, faster, and smarter. Unfortunately the world is divided along the lines of pro and anti-augmentation: supporters believe that it is the next step in human evolution and critics call it the end of humanity. It doesn’t help that the technology is reserved for those who can afford it. You play Adam Jensen, chief of security for Sarif Industries one of a handful of companies that research and manufacture augmentation tech. Sarif’s scientists are on the verge of a major discovery when high-tech soldiers assault Sarif’s headquarters, steal information, murder people, wreck the place and leave Adam for dead. But he hangs on to life and Sarif restores him to something more than a man through augmentations. Soon Adam is on the trail of an international conspiracy in order to discover who was behind the attack

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Halo 3 – FPS Love Story

It has been a while since I first bought Halo 3. Coming back to the game and playing it on Legendary difficulty was a shock at first. I had forgotten what it was like and some of the finer points of the story but I was determined to go achievement hunting when I reached Cortana, a bigger shock was in store.

After a few levels I realised I wasn’t immersed in the game. This is in complete contrast to the original Halo which I love. Replaying Halo 3… I felt some spark was missing. A distinctive voice.

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When Satisfied is Enough

It’s hard being a gamer. You pay a lot of money for a game that can last from six to sixty hours and hope it entertains. Picking a game relies upon using the advice of a  reviewer to guide you  and yet you may love a franchise so much you ignore reviews and take the risk of severe disappointment. The latest Aliens vs. Predator was one such risk.

Colonial Marines from the latest Aliens vs. Predator game

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The Greatest Videogame Adaptation of a Movie

Sometimes games manage to capture the film: Halo (Aliens), Grand Theft Auto (crime films from the 1980’s onwards). For my money, the best so far has to be a game inspired by Alien: Super Metroid.

Samus Aran

Super Metroid features so many superficial elements that make it similar to Alien – a tough leading woman (central protagonist and pioneering female hero in a genre with so few) battling disturbing insect like creatures with elements of body horror set amidst decrepit corridors. Lots of other games have the superficial elements but what makes Super Metroid a superior example is that the game truly nails is the atmosphere.

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Totally Addictive Flash Games- Fig. 8.

Whenever I hear an accordion I feel French. I can’t explain it but I just do. I never saw or heard one while in the country but that’s the power of stereotyping. Anyway, here’s a Flash game where you are a bike fleeing the left side of the screen and the closest I’ll ever get to being French without having to go back to the place.

 
 

Fig.8 Screenshot
Sir Norman Foster's Favourite Game

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