Previously, I discussed one of my favorite Japanese video game/comic genres: The Shoujo (“Girls”) Genre. Unlike in the US, video games are less stigmatized for women to the point that they have their own sub-genre and it is not uncommon for one to discover an otaku (“obsessed fan”) who has two X chromosomes. If the gents can have their martial arts bikini girls, I totally support having the equivalent of an interactive, choose-your-own adventure romance story in video game format. What I love is that popular characters or series, often receive spin-off games or get selected to participate in collaboration games. Here are two games which I am currently burning through hours of game play on my lazy evenings at home.
How this Classy Nerd games solo.
When I was in Japan, I was gaming on multiple platforms at the same time, but I kept to the Sony and Nintendo gaming systems. I had a Japanese region PS2 that was Sakura pink which I regretted parting with, a PlayStation Portable, and a Nintendo DS (handheld). In my move back to the US, some of my PS2 games disappeared from my suitcase which makes me quite sad.
If you’ve got a penchant for Mario Party…
B’s Log Party – One of the multiple Sony-platform answers to Nintendo’s Mario Party empire. Characters from LoveRevo, Hiiro no Kakera, Hanoi Romanesque, and Hakuoki go head to head in a board game format complete with cunning card tricks, mini-games, and in game competition. The game was released shortly after Love Revo, and I couldn’t keep myself from not buying it. The tough thing after logging several hours, I want to get the other games, so I can fully appreciate The Party (and win at some of the trivia-based mini-games).
- Task: First to the goal wins, of course!
- Bonuses: Unlock new characters, extra maps with more challenges, mini-games, and additional sound bytes using the “Love Points” (LP) accumulated throughout the game.
- Progress: Unlocked several characters, maps, and mini-games. I’m saving on unlocking the additional voices until after all the stages, characters, and games are unlocked.
In the States, We’ve Got Monopoly…
Itadaki Street (Square Enix Version) – Featuring the characters of the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series as they square off in an alternate version of Monopoly! The Final Fantasy series of games has been my favorite since FFVII came out my freshman year of college. I have the Street Fighter-style battle version called, FF Dissidia, but I completely enjoy reuniting with the familiarity of a childhood gaming staple.
The key to winning isn’t just buying up all the properties and building tiny castles, but investing stock in properties. The final dash to the finish depends on your financial savvy in addition to investment property. I have yet to beat the first stage, but I’m slowly dragging remnants of high school economics when we studied the stock exchange game.
It’s a jungle out there, but at least there’s a Bunny Girl!
- Task: Just like Monopoly: buy up land, build your empire, and try to bleed your opponents dry… and figure out how not to spend all your money buying property.
- Bonuses: Unlock characters in addition to working on obtaining a pile of gold that would make Scrooge McDuck blush.
- Progress: I’m taking a shot at Battle Mode currently. I need to review the gallery to see what I have so far as its been at least four years since I’ve played.
Ransacking the Recycle Shops
If I can manage a trip back to Japan in the near future, I would like to go prepared with a shopping list or coordinate with my friends to borrow their Amazon JP Prime. I have an ever growing list of games which are not released in the US which I would love to add to my collection. During my time in Japan, I learned quickly that brand new games were exceptionally expensive, especially if they were a limited edition or out of print. Discovering the second hand shops in Japan, completely ruined thrifting in the U.S. They only items they take back are ones in like new or very good condition, so you could get used items for a steal.
In the intermediary, I am slowly adding items to my Amazon Japan wish list. Perhaps when my tax return comes in, I can make arrangements to obtain some new-to-me games for my collection.
Answer Me, These Questions Three
- Which do you find more appealing: B’s Log Party or Itadaki Street ?
- Have you ever tried playing a video game or reading a book in a foreign language?
- Which beverages do you select to accompany your gaming sessions?