Tuesday, November 01, 2005 @ 22:53 (Japan Standard Time)
About

A hobbyist video gamer in the middle of Japan's gaming zone. Comments on console, PC, handheld and arcade games.
Recent Entries

2005-11-01 Tue

Please bring me my Famitsu

2005-10-31 Mon

Warning! Import gaming (Serious Sam 2)

Sony plays hardball with memory prices.

2005-10-30 Sun

A fanatic fumes (Ichigo Marshmellow)

2005-10-29 Sat

Too cute to fight?

2005-10-28 Fri

Can't ride the wave.

2005-10-26 Wed

Time to start thinking about gift-giving.

Popular linkie

2005-10-25 Tue

Using PC controllers for good, or evil

Beware of new PS2 sporting silver

Drilling out Mr. Driller A

I cheated (Ikusagami)

Full customization (Soul Calibur III)

2005-10-23 Sun

Project Asobi - close to death but recovered

Ikusagami demo

2005-10-20 Thu

RSS starts my games.

2005-10-17 Mon

Mario Kart on the DS

Burnout MAD, poster

2005-10-11 Tue

PC blues (Higa Suto 2005)

A bit of country, a bit of 80's, a bit of anime, doujin and shmups.

Found the Touhou-related Luxia Continent CD-ROM

It's a tradition

2005-10-08 Sat

There goes my weekend (Burnout Revenge)

Mushihime-tama calling, bzzt bzzt

2005-10-04 Tue

"Mario" Music CD

2005-10-02 Sun

Why shmups are hard

Ikaruga hype begins again

How to play a bishoujo game in English

You're corrected!

Gunstar lost

2005-10-01 Sat

Nipponbashi "Den Den Town" Google Earth shopping tour

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Please bring me my Famitsu

I was surprised to learn that the Weekly Famitsu magazine will be coming out on Wednesday this week instead of Friday (thanks Insert Credit). Yes I know Thursday is a holiday, I've been looking forward to taking a day off. But at my company, they make us work the Saturday to replace that lost day. Great, who thought of that system up?

Speaking of which, my company has a small shop on the grounds, and they just started carrying the Weekly Famitsu. I made it a point to buy it there, but the lamers tending shop just don't seem to understand this is a weekly magazine. So it's one week on time, the next week it's late by 5 days. In fact, just today I picked up last week's copy. Lamers I tell you.

Warning! Import gaming (Serious Sam 2)

I saw at Sofmap today that Serious Sam 2 for the PC was sitting on the shelves with the "English version" sticker (「英語版」). Do I grab it or play the demo that is available online, somewhere? I think I'll go with the demo for now, since I haven't finished the first two outings.

I wonder if they got the light source problem fixed. Do you remember in the Serious Sam Second Encounter in the demo mode where the sun is up high but shadows and lighting are from another light source? Talk about disorienting.

Sony plays hardball with memory prices.

I went to Nipponbashi "Osaka Den-den town" today to check up prices and goodies and such. I have to get a Memory Stick Pro (Duo or not) soon because the MS that I can use with my Sony Clie is no longer being manufactured. Flash memory is best new, not used. But the price shock hasn't worn off just yet:

256 MB = 6000 yen
512 MB = 10000 yen
1 GB = 20000 yen
2 GB = 50000 yen

Sheesh. I'm the guy who bought a 256MB Memory Stick Pro for 15000 yen when it first came out (2003/10) and even I can't stomach this lukewarm price improvement. Yeah well it is more than 50% drop in price but still.

A fanatic fumes (Ichigo Marshmellow)

Kotaku has stepped over the line with its "Otaku Rip-Off Will Smith for Pervy Anime" article for the Ichigo Marshmellow poster for Akihabara visitors. Yes, the tags "Only In Japan", and "Otaku" are correct, but it doesn't deserve the "Sex" tag. At all. This is an setting where there are no guys or fan service or anything sexual. Just young girls being super-kawaii cute before discovering boys. What is "pervy" about that? The girls do funny things like try to meet at a restaurant but getting lost in the process. Or trying to pronounce a Japanese tougue twister. Or just tripping at the beach and leaving a face imprint in the sand. It's just girls just being non-sequitur.  It's not deep at all. Ugh, I can't explain it because I'm a fan. Yes it is interesting. No, there's no killing, death, bobbing breasts or sailor suits with karate kicks, giant robots, or tentacles. No! Just young girls trying to figure out the world and making fun of it. Just for that I'm going to swipe that photo and put it here.

Ichigo Marshimellow poster in Akihabara. Picture taken by Kotaku

BTW this is the cover of the anime disc 1 box (but of course without the "Welcome to Japan"). Yes it is true, it says "Getting Jiggy Wit It", the title phrase from a Will Smith song. This phrase is strange to me because it doesn't fit the (story) atmosphere. Maybe it's Miu (the girl pictured who is a total prankster) playing a joke again, but this time, on the buyer? But the illustrator for this is Barasui, the original creator, so it's "gospel".

As for Ichigo Marshmellow the PlayStation 2 game, yes I'm going to get to it as soon as I open it. Hah.

Too cute to fight?

I mentioned about the Pinky:st cross fighting games figures, but I completely forgot about it. The Pinky:st cutesy figure series for King of Fighters came out a week or more ago but with all the packages laying around, I thought nobody was buying. But the Chun Li and Sakura from the Street Fighter series should be out pretty soon now (November?).

Perusing the online shops, I came across yet another Street Fighter II figure. Here's "Chun Li" by Fuyu Oto/Organic (「春麗」 冬音/オーガニック), PVC pre-built 10cm figure. Is there any reason why this is coming out now? I have no idea.

Chun Li by Fuyu Oto/Organic (「春麗」 冬音/オーガニック)

Can't ride the wave.

I got an email from Sony, because I registered my Sony Clie online. It described the new issue that is buzzing around Sony products: Memory Stick incompatibility (thanks Engadget). Yes, my Sony Clie is now unofficially obsoleted. Sony has turned a blind eye to it. The details are in the handy dandy Clie product compatibility comparison chart.

And here I am thinking that the Memory Stick Duo-using PSP would drive down the Memory Stick prices way way down for me. Looks like I'm going to have to go to the store to find the 1GB MS I can use, because the high capacity ones are now no longer being manufactured.

Time to start thinking about gift-giving.

Have you ever thought about giving a game as a gift? Yes? No? I suppose if you've got a lot of people in the same hobby, it would be socially acceptable. Or if you have a whiny kid who won't stop begging to play, I suppose.

How about we think about it with the guidelines that the Men's Wearhouse article "How To Choose A Perfect Gift" suggests? (Thanks Lifehacker) One of the guidelines that seems to be pertinent:

Don't be afraid to ask someone what he or she wants. ... A good surprise lasts five seconds. A good gift will be remembered forever.

This is so true. Are you sure the recepient is going to remember the good times to be had with a game? That person has to be committed to playing the game for more than a couple of hours to be memorable. When you give a game as a gift, does it really give back?

Popular linkie

Joystiq and Kotaku got nominated for "Best Gaming Blog" for the Spike TV annual video game awards show. Spike TV is ... uh ... why do I have to register to click on the About Spike TV link? I suppose this is a television channel, given the slogan "First Television Network for Men".

So is there any reason to link to Joystiq and Kotaku now? Anybody who reads my gaming blog probably reads these blogs as well. I'll just continue to cite them when I gank their news. Not that my little gamelog is worth anything.

Using PC controllers for good, or evil

I finally found a way to use my USB joypad as a alternate keyboard input. (Maybe it's me that's just getting up to speed here.) In other words, I press "Start" on the control pad and the program that is running gets an "Escape" or a "Tab", etc. It's a freeware Windows program called JoyToKey (not to be confused with the Linux program of the same utility called Joy2Key). The official page is in Japanese (3.7.9), but the last released English version (3.7.4) isn't so old. Here's some screen shots. It supports keyboard emulation, or mouse emulation, or complex command substitution. Very interesting.

What good is this? This is for all those games that don't work with standard Windows joystick control (non-Direct Input?) Well, maybe use could use your D-pad as back/forward for your web browser. Or move the cursor. Too bad it doesn't support auto-repeat. Make sure to move the slider at the bottom to activate the auto-repeat. You know, there's those one-handed PS controllers. Or foot petals for your KVM switching needs.

Beware of new PS2 sporting silver

I could have sworn I saw that "Satin Silver" PS2 (SCPH-75000 SSS) on my plane trip to Europe last September. But the furor isn't over the new color, but the lack of backward compatibility with some games, like Ai Yori Aoshi (藍より青し) for the PS2 and Chrono Cross (クロノ・クロス) for the PS1. The former has major play time bugs but the latter is only incompatible during the ending video playback. (Thanks Famitsu, Spong)

Time to forgo a "Sorny". I should be thinking of getting a "Microshaft" or a "Nintenden".

Drilling out Mr. Driller A

Recently playing:
  • Burnout Revenge (System-area, One map a night keeps the Xbox warm.)
  • Mr. Driller A (GBA-jp, Feeling the pressing weight of frustration)

After I finished that novel I started playing the Mr. Driller A on the GameBoy Micro. Revisiting the game I couldn't help but feel how intricate this game is. The block colors are lively and attractive. The game system is deep because of character selection, character movement, and timing. Even the game start menu matches my GameBoy Micro color. But it's still frustrating as heck. I can't seem to play this game with any sort of success. I can only do 600 meters in the 1000 800 meter map ("France"?) after not playing this game for a year.

I tried to go and cheat some more by reading some game FAQs. I mean GameFaqs. But all they could tell me is that I need to intuitively know if a falling block is going to stop and stick or not. It just dawned on me before I read that, that I should keep tabs on the falling objects. Stupid me. Anyways, funny how people try to be strange by making an abnormal controller guide for Mr. Driller. Fishing rod controller, heh.

I cheated (Ikusagami)

Like I said, I got this month's Dengeki PS2 magazine and it came with two DVD-ROMs, one with the Tokyo Game Show 2005 demo of Ikusagami and another filled with movie demos for upcoming PS2 and PSP games. Even the famous seiyuu Ryoko Shiraishi 白石涼子 has a regular column, interesting!

But one of the movie demos was an high score clear for that 3 minute mode that I couldn't get enough of. Hm. almost 35000 kills. So my kill count improved after watched the video, no surprise. I went from that 7000 to almost 15000. Ho hum I still suck. I won't spoil the special technique, but there is a way to get a lot out of kills. Obviously.

I'm actually not feeling up to buying this game no more. Great thing these demo discs. Why? Because the combos lack depth. "slash slash slash special" or "slash slash slash slash special" or "slash slash slash slash block-into-slash slash slash block-into-slash ..." That's pretty much it. Perhaps I haven't given the other game modes a fair shake but that's just how it seems to me. Maybe if there was some costumes? There is a miko in here, heh heh.

Full customization (Soul Calibur III)

I got this month's Dengeki PS2 magazine and there was an interesting demo movie for Soul Calibur III. I kept wondering if they were going to release a Xbox or Gamecube version, since this game seems wasted on the PS2. Remember the last Soul Calibur was a three system release. But doing my homework I find that it was announced as a PS2 exclusive back in March. Too bad. Maybe it will be on the Xbox 360? It's only wishful thinking on my part.

The create-a-character mode looks totally fabulous. I'm the type who collects all the costumes like others who collect cards or pokemon. Maybe. Dead or Alive was right my alley, and so is this game. This time you can play dress up with your fighting persona, or even change physical attributes (like eyes, hair) to your heart's content. Costume Get! casts an lustful eye towards this fighting game.

Project Asobi - close to death but recovered

I had quite a scare when I came home and found my Project Asobi computer "up-ended and spinning its wheels." What happened? Was it a exploding capacitor problem? No. The Ethernet port was blinking furiously and I couldn't get network access. Among other things, this computer functions as my file server, my blog data storage, mail proxy, web proxy and my music (iPod) storage. Luckily the only damage was a dead power supply (RIP 1998-2005) and my "petite" 5 port hub. Ack. Gotta keep the machines well-greased. I slapped in a new power supply and now it's a bit noisy but it seems ok.

Ikusagami demo

I stopped by my favorite game store and Burnout: Revenge and Legends was on the PS2 and PSP demo machines, respectively. Burnout: Revenge doesn't look too bad on the PS2. I thought the Xbox version would be light-years ahead in video. But the Xbox wins the map loading and saving speed. Also Legends was faithful to the home version, but I wouldn't call it the same atmosphere. I guess I'm still looking for a better reason to get a PSP.

But one thing that made me swear at myself for staying too long at the store was the demo for Ikusagami (戦神). The Weekly Famitsu has a spread for this upcoming game. As far as I can tell, this is a refined Dynasty Warriors-like game system where you can actually see all the enemies you waste. In other words, no suddenly appearing enemies. Visuals, you gotta love it. I was playing the 3 minute demo where you had to kill as much baddies as possible. I could only manage 7500. (Usually your "square square square triangle" button mash gets you about 300 at one time.) The high scores for the day were around the 15000 range. Normal people who pickup the game get scores of 3000 after 10 minutes. I must have stayed for an hour.

Looks like this one's going on my action game list. Better yet, I'm going to get this month's Dengeki PS2 magazine for the free Ikusagami demo. Maybe after I finish the demo I won't want the game... Ha.

RSS starts my games.

Games. What are games. Who has time for games? I'm reading a book, watching too much anime, drinking apricot liquor, reading feeds. Oh yeah, there's this Flash game from a feed that stole my attention. This makes you think about "three-body" problems. Gravity (thanks Download Squad). At the same site, there was another great game for those with "great vocabulary". It's called Fuck It. Haha, am I still in junior high school? Both are great games for the spatially-oriented.

Mario Kart on the DS

Word travels fast on this Mario Kart game for the DS. I guess all the information I learned I got from Joystiq, so let's linkie. So nothing more to add except my opinion. (Ah you knew that was coming).

Anyways thanks for the demo movies of the menu (where's the action) and the racing (but where's the fast action). I have to admit, this is not looking as good as Mario Kart Advance for the GBA. Actually, you can probably discount my opinion since I've only logged an hour in a 3d Mario Kart such as for the N64 or GC. Call me a sucker for fast sprites, but this new Mario Kart for the DS seems really slow. Maybe it's faithful to the N64 or GC versions, but I just find it annoyingly slow. Or is it because I'm playing Burnout: Revenge right now? In any case, knock it down a notch from my must-have priority list.

Then we get another article showing the Mario Kart DS wireless security is bad. It only supports WEP. Before, the PSP had a similar problem of only supporting WEP but it was fixed in a upgrade with the inclusion of WPA. This is strike two.

I'm staying with the sprite-based Mario Kart Advance, where I can actually feel like I'm racing. 

Burnout MAD, poster

Recently playing:

One thing that surprised me on that September plane ride was that I bought two magazines at the same time, GQ and MAD magazine. Obviously there's some gap here. No I didn't find anything game related in GQ. The September issue of MAD magazine had an enticing cover story: "50 Worst Things about Video Games". How could I resist? Besides, it's like a free nostalgia trip. I used to read MAD 20 years ago when I couldn't find anything else to read in my budding "japanimation" comics collection.

So I paid for the article and stayed for the advertisement, namely the ad for Burnout: Revenge. There was a 4 page ad with a 2 page hand-drawn illustration of crash in action. Call it a gaming centerfold. Wow. Actually, you can download that illustration poster if you want. In fact, there are other illustrations for Xbox games to download, but the best one to me is still Burnout: Revenge.

PC blues (Higa Suto 2005)

Well I haven't figured out why Higa Suto 2005 doesn't work on my Project Sugar, but it does work on another computer running Japanese Windows XP. Frankly I'm puzzled.

I played the game for a while and it's pretty. The characters are cute, the bullets are colorful and plentiful. The character voices are spot on cute. But, it's not too fun since it's not too shmuppy. Basically it's 2d Smash Bros against up to 4 players. You beat up each other with bullets. Those bullets that match your character's capabilities in the Touhou series (Reimu throws cards, etc.) You have a life bar and if you get hit by a bullet, you bounce back and become invincible so you can avoid more bullets. There are eye-popping special abilities.

I don't know if I could recommend this one. It doesn't work on my primary computer. If you wanna give it a try, here's the demo.

A bit of country, a bit of 80's, a bit of anime, doujin and shmups.

I was pretty happy to find (wait, is this a repeat of last post? No!) Trisha Yearwood's latest album Jasper County (picture: bottom left) at the local Tower Records. Too stoked in fact. I was getting tired of seeing Faith Hill in the prominent display spots. But the best surprise was Midori Karashima's (辛島美登里) music clips on DVD (picture: top middle). I actually have the Laser Disc of her music clips, so you can guess how "not current" this artist is. I am a total fan of these two love ballad divas, especially MK. But I bet she would be miffed to be place in between that Ichigo 100% OVA anime (picture: top left) and a Rozen Maiden doujinshi (picture: top right). 

Ichigo 100%, Midori Karashima, Rozen Maiden, Trisha Yearwood, はがスト2005, Luxia Continent

I already explained the Touhou-related CG illustrations from Luxia Continent (picture: bottom right). So I guess that leaves the Higa Suto 2005 action/shmup game to discuss. Actually I just saw this out there at Melon Books for 1000 yen so I just went for it. More on it after I figure out why it doesn't want to run even when I double-click it.

Found the Touhou-related Luxia Continent CD-ROM

I was pretty happy to find that computer graphics collection of Touhou illustrations: 「Luxia Continent presents 東方projectアレンジCG集 第一種闘争機関 - Dualistiska System -」. This CD-ROM contains 29 vibrant illustrations as JPG and BMP files (1600x1200!) from the Touhou universe by Shuka Yuki (由岐シュウカ) of Luxia Continent (るくしあ大陸). All of them as striking as the sample below. I'll be using these as my wallpaper for a bit. Again, Shuka Yuki was responsible for the front cover drawing for the Touhou Koumarou convention booklet, and the digital file for the cover is included.

月衝炎杖 〜 Strike The Fake Moon / フランドール by Luxia Continent

It's a tradition

I stopped by the Pokemon Center Osaka just to check out the shop for new goodies. I swear I can't resist the little Pikachu when plastered on tableware such as placemats, kitchen utencils, mugs, etc. The surprise was that there were polvorones for sale (milk cookies famous in Spain and Philippines). But the real surprise was the Pikachu-themed GameBoy Micro. The official word is on the Pokemon home page and the official announce posters were out at the store. (Thanks Import Game)

Announcement for the GBA Micro Pikachu version

There goes my weekend (Burnout Revenge)

"Hey baby. I missed you. You look good.
"I got something for you. It's imported.
"Mmmmm. It's been a while."
(Penny Arcade, 2002-09-11 strip "Ikaruga")

Burnout Revenge for the Xbox; Converter Controllers for the Xbox and Dreamcast

The friendly postal clerk came around with my Burnout Revenge for the Xbox and the converter controllers ("wonderful Farmer product!" sic sic sic) for the Xbox and Dreamcast. The box it came in was in tatters though, so note to self: Spend more money on shipping. Jeez last post was a corrupted email and now this post was a corrupted real world package. What's next, a corrupted gaming log post?

Yes I ordered it from Play Asia. Hm. Play Asia in Asia. Hahahah I kill me.

Mushihime-tama calling, bzzt bzzt

I got this email message from Cave, regarding their arcade game Puzzle! Mushihime-tama パズル!虫姫たま, which has a two page spread in this week's Famitsu magazine. Basically they are announcing a Score Trial (スコトラ) or the first of three score competitions. According to the official homepage, you have to go to one of the official arcade shops (there's only two shops in my area though, the ones in Osaka), get your high score, and turn it in on an official postcard for the first Score Trial. That deadline is 2005/10/10 or 2 days from now. All those who enter get a autographed cosplay picture from "Reco-hime", who is cosplayed by "chabu". She's pretty cute, but the promotional video shown at AM Show 2005 where you can check her out with is pretty low on the production values. I feel my INT points slipping away. It's even scarier than that mock commericial for the Mushihime-sama Original Soundtrack and Figure earlier this year.

From: "株式会社ケイブ"
To: piyokun's gaming log
Subject: 「虫姫たま」スコトラのお知らせ
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2005 17:49:23 +0900
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-2022-JP
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

*このメールは、ケイブのサントラをご購入いただいたお客様にお送りしております。

★「虫姫たま」スコトラに参加してレコ姫に逢おう!★ 今、全国の『パズル!虫姫たま』設置店ではスコアトライアルを実施中!!入選者にはレコ姫のコスプレでお馴染み“ちゃぷ”に逢えるイベントにご招待します。濠濠第1回スコトラは10月10日まで!!今回の入選者には“ちゃぷ”の楽しいサイン付撮影会をプレゼント。濠濠この他、「虫姫たま」スコトラは計3回。濠詳しくはケイブHPをご覧ください。濠頡コッッョ聶螳胥ョ・ッ釿D・・DッT韜硼皹鴃蒟ョ頡K濠濠ュュュュュュュュュュュュュュュュュュ濠株式会社ケイブ kansou@cave.co.jp ------------------

But something was lost in the email transmission. When was the last time you got a corrupted email?

"Mario" Music CD

Recently playing:
  • Mario Kart Advance (GBA-jp, Gamefaqs sez keep playing to win tracks)
  • Pacman Pinball Advance (GBA-eu, No save memory to keep scores? No thanks.)

Kotaku has that in-Japan feel. Like when they told us of the pack in "Mario" audio CD in that Nintendo Dream magazine. How can you go wrong with a 690 yen magazine if it comes with a music CD? It took me about 4 shops to find a copy but there it was. Super Mario Bros 1, 2 (JP), 3, World, 64, and Sunshine. Ah, I don't have to break out the old hardware just yet.

Super Mario soundtrack collection as a pack-in for the Nintendo Dream Magazine 2005/11

I like the Sunshine tracks so much better, just because they reference the old stuff, and the sound is much fuller and embodied. Hahaha.

Why shmups are hard

Check this out: "Disappearing Fluff Optical Illusion". This is the reason why shmups are hard. The bullets start disappearing!

Ikaruga hype begins again

In the last week or two it seems that interest in Ikaruga has increased. First notable thing I saw was Racketboy's post ("many gamers out there that are not familiar with this gem."), which in turn linked to a review from Kamalot ("Perhaps the decline of the shooter is due to over-specialization. As SHUMPs have gotten more difficult to keep the shooter audience challenged, they have also been more and more intimidating to newer players"). One of the things that Kamalot blog did was link to a Google Video to an Ikaruga double-play screen capture. A double-play in Ikaruga means one person controlling two ships at one time, which is a monumental feat in itself.

I thought Kamalot had just found some double-play from that god-like player at Vapor Trail Facilities, which I mentioned last year. But the video now hosted at Google seems to be a new one. Maybe it's the same guy. In any case that video is new, and it is just amazing. I had the videos from VTF but at the time, he just completed all double-plays only in Easy mode. This new one is in Normal mode. Although he dies at the boss, it is totally totally great.

Wait a minute, checking the resources at Ikaruga.co.uk, I can verify that it is the same guy, VTF-INO of Vapor Trail Facilities, with the same arcade stick. Ikaruga.co.uk had to take down their downloads (mainly videos) till the end of September. Could it be they're feeling the Ikaruga hype heat? They restarted their videos download yesterday, but at the rate this is going, are they going to cry "uncle" even sooner into the month? Ikaruga.co.uk's version of VTF-NFO's double-play for normal Chapter 3 is perfect (no-death), which leads me to believe that the Google Video up there is a cutting room floor version. Ahhh they have some more Normal double-play videos. (download download sorry guys)

I saw that doing a search at Google video also shows a Gamespot live review for Ikaruga by Greg Kasavin, which was originally posted two and half years ago at Gamespot. Listening to his review comparing Ikaruga to Tetris brought a tear to my eye. It did, really! "...one could liken it to something like Tetris. Its a game that hasn't been done before in any form." Although his speaking skills could use some improvement, "um".

Finally, let's link to something that is Ikaruga lust. The Ikaruga Sake set. This is great, nice nice. Ack, I want it for completeness, but I'm not worthy. Hehe.

How to play a bishoujo game in English

I actually took a look at the bluemist anime blog and he has To Heart 2 for the PS2 reviewed/playthrough'd in English in extreme detail spanning weeks of posts! Lots of screen captures. This is great if you want to see how one actually plays these gal-ge games.

You're corrected!

I'm getting a little bit more reader corrections these days. Thanks for all the feedback!

According to Jason "Leviathean", that middle bunny ear'd character is actually in the Touhou universe: "Um, that's Imperishable Night's 5th Stage boss, Reisen U. Inaba.  Actually the entire 5th stage is filled with rabbit-enemies." Ah, wait I don't remember. I must be repressing the memory out of pain or anguish for some reason. Oh wait, I don't see enemies, I see bullets, that's why. Ehehe.

He goes on to add some comments about Tsukihime: "You're probably understating this.  Type-Moon is pretty big, and it's probably bigger than Touhou.  http://bluemist.animeblogger.net/archives/type-moon/" Yeah well, from my biased viewpoint, I think Tsukihime is less popular in the doujin world and Touhou is only rising (Though Tsukihime wins on the commercial front). At all the doujin shops I frequent, even now it's Touhou CD arrange music this, Touhou games that, Touhou doujinshi everywhere. A total miasma of Touhou and even famous illustrators are covering it. I don't seem much Tsukihime (but you know about that saying where you only see what you want to see). Even at that Hakurei Jinjya Reitaisai event from last year, all the crazy fans were on the Touhou side, and the Fate/Stay Night side was pretty subdued. Wait a minute. The name of the event is Touhou-related, so that must mean the Fate/Stay Night part was not a main attraction. I may not be seeing the whole picture.

Gunstar lost

It's too bad. I decided to pre-order the Gunstar Super Heroes from Sega Direct this weekend, but the omake is gone now. Not much reason to do the mail order thing now.

Nipponbashi "Den Den Town" Google Earth shopping tour

You know, I don't like calling the giant electronic and character goods area that is Nipponbashi as "Den Den Town", but that's how it's advertised to the tourists, so I guest it's the right phrase. Or what I call Nipponbashi is what everybody else calls Den Den Town. Perhaps I'm wrong? Satisfied? 

A shopping tour of Den Den Town, via Google Earth
(Download Piyokun's Den Den Town Shopping Tour as a Google Earth KMZ file)

To celebrate Osaka, Japan as a newly High-Resolution Area in Google Earth, I decided to make a tour file complete with a crude walking path and major shops to visit. Presenting the Piyokun's Den Den Town Shopping Tour (20051001). It doesn't have every shop, of course, but it has the main shops that I frequent. I broke down the tour into two paths, a "games only" tour and a "character goods only" tour. I do encourage you to check out the shops in-between the major ones. You may find something new or cheap or better.

Games only:
  1. Softmap 4 - ソフマップ 専門大阪・日本橋4号店
  2. Plus Shop - プラスショップ
  3. Retro Gaming Revival - ゲーム探偵団
  4. Arcade ????
  5. Super Potato 7 - スーパーポテト
  6. Big Tiger - ビッグタイガー なんば
  7. Mandarake - まんだらけ
  8. Sofmap Zaurus - ソフマップ なんば店ザウルス1
  9. Messe Sanoh - メッセサンオー
  10. Plus Shop Namba - プラスショップ
Character goods only:
  1. Books Lashinbang - らしんばん 大阪
  2. Melon Books - めろんぶっくす 大阪
  3. Animate - アニメイト
  4. K-Books - K-Books なんば
  5. Mandarake - まんだらけ
  6. Tora no Ana - とらのあな
  7. Gamers - ゲーマーズ
  8. Yellow Submarine - イエローサブマリン
  9. TeleCa Paradise - ???
  10. Sofmap Zaurus - ソフマップなんば店ザウルス1
  11. Messe Sanoh - メッセサンオー

Am I missing any major place? Give me a holler. (I don't go to maid cafes, though, so don't bother with that.)

References:
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