Sunday, March 24, 2002 @ 10:12 (Japan Standard Time)
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A hobbyist video gamer in the middle of Japan's gaming zone. Comments on console, PC, handheld and arcade games.
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2002-03-24 Sun

PC Gaming with the Logitech Wingman Extreme

2002-03-23 Sat

Sakura Taisen Complete Box!!!

2002-03-12 Tue

Watercolor

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PC Gaming with the Logitech Wingman Extreme

Thanks to a good friend of mine, I am reexploring console like games on the PC. One game he introduced to me is Party's Breaker: Queen of Hearts 2001 (PC). This is a doujinshi (fan-made) game in the style of Street Fighter Alpha, complete with 3d-style special effects. I am impressed! 640x480 video size default with too many effects going off during special attacks. It uses the characters from the game Comic Party (DC). As far as a deep-strategy 2d-fighter is concerned, this isn't it. But its fun for a one player outing. I can see a 2 player fight coming done to real-world fistfighting. It is that frustrating. Yeah, 100 hit combos on really pixelated anime characters, with no chance for reversal in the interim. A combination of hits that still allow the receiver to block or evade is called an "invalid combo". First I ever heard of that.

It's too bad that this game is not being sold anymore. Why don't they make it easier to buy fan-made games in Japan?!?!? Heh. I guess it still is word-of-mouth around here.

So I dug out my Logitech Wingman Extreme, a digital game pad for the PC that has "Ultra-accurate G-FORCE TILT (TM) motion sensing for proportional control." Yeah, right. I turned it off. Started using it for Party's Breaker and it was tight, tight control. Well, at least I wasn't jumping around bonkers like the PS2 pad to USB combination that I had there. Thinking I had too much fun with this controller and this game, I tried installing Street Fighter Zero (PC by Media-Kite). But the game was somewhat choppy and wholly unplayable on my laptop. Gave that up real quick.

Sakura Taisen Complete Box!!!

So I went on another buying binge. This time I really did find Sakura Taisen Complete Box (DC-jp) even though it was already out of pre-orders at Sofmap Nipponbashi. I found it at Gamers, Nanba (There's also a shop in Kobe) Big and red, with my name on it, the guy at the back gave me a new package wrapped in plastic. Sweet.

You're probably wondering why I'd shell out about 18,000 yen for this Complete Box. Well, it's complete, that's for one. Sakura Taisen 4 "Koi seyo otome" is probably the last good game for the Dreamcast. Another reason is that it is pretty good anime by Overworks. Sakura is cute, all the characters are cute, even the NPCs are pretty cute (like those two maids in Sakura Taisen 3 "Pari wa moeteiru ka"). Finally, I've been wanting to play Sakura Taisen for a long time, but I just never got around to it.

As for extras, it comes in a special box. Each disc has a special print instead of the regular print. There's also a special insert holder for all 4 manuals. If I bought it at Sofmap, I would have gotten 2 posters, but I don't care much for posters anymore. Now I just have to hook up my Dreamcast. Maybe I should buy another Dreamcast just in case my Hello Kitty one dies. I did buy an extra Sakura Taisen controller just in case.

Other games I bought recently include Maken Shao (PS2-jp, uVEv) and Natsu Iro Kenjyutsu Komachi (PS2-jp, uĐFpv). The former is a 3D-FPS game where the girl or guy has a sword. Um. I know it came out for the Dreamcast, that's all I know though. The latter is a date simulation game involving girls in a kendo club. Beat that with a stick. Heh. I bet you there's more to this game than meets the eye, I better research it... It looks like I have the regular version that doesn't have the special prologue voice disc with all the characters. Since I'm a seiyuu fan, I think I should get this special version, whereever it is. Maybe after I play it.

Lastly, I found a Dreamcast memory card for about 900 yen at Sofmap. I insisted on the red one, heh heh. I hate changing the batteries on it, though. It takes two CR2032 batteries, and that costs about 400 yen. Not worth it. Also, I found a soft carry pouch for the original gameboy in its slighly purplish color. What's 90 yen on a little bit of nostalgia?

Watercolor

Just yesterday I bought Mizuiro (DC-jp), a love simulation/romance novel game that is also a port of a PC game. More about the game later. Let me tell you what I had to go through in order to get it. First of all, I was adopting a wait and see attitude. I didn't want it that much, so I didn't preorder it. But when I got to Nipponbashi last Sunday, I started to see that the PC version and the DC version were both sold out, or selling fast. So I started re-scouring the shops for any PC version or any first-lot DC version. Sofmap was out, even though they must have had 50 boxes they were all for pre-orders. And of course Gamers was out. The only place I knew that had it was my favorite used game shop on the south tip of Nipponbashi, but that was at the time I was just looking for the PC version. I gave up on both the PC version and the DC version that weekend. Fast forward to Monday night. Just before an appointment, I find a small game shop in the middle of Sannomiya with their last non-pre-ordered first lot box ripe for the taking. Yes! I asked them if they had two since I was wondering if my friend wanted one, but they didn't. I bought it after grabbing some money from my bank. Geh, it put me back about 8000 yen. So much for limited edition first lot boxes.

The limited edition first lot boxes include a silk-screen printed "Nekoneko can" and a telephone can of one of the main characters cooking and her friends in super-deformed shapes all around. Although the illustration of the telephone card is nice, I got a much bigger version as a pencil card when I bought the "Dear My.." vol. 7 magazine. The can is small but I wonder what is inside. It's like one of those Hormel sausage cans, very small. So really, the limited edition first lot box wasn't really worth it. If anything, just the "can" is special. The can is not wrapped in some paper seal, but is printed on, so I guess I can't get rid of the can.

As I said before, Mizuiro (DC-jp), is love simulation/romance novel game. You play some guy in high school, and you meet up with many different girl classmates and basically go out on dates with them. One striking thing about the game is the character design. The girls all wear really frilly skirts, sometimes with big obi-like bows jutting out behind their back or in their hair. Take a look at Yuki, shown below. Another cute thing about the game is the opening song. This is a catchy tune. It makes me want to find the singer's other work, just like To Heart's Manami Nakatsukasa stuff.

So I played a little bit of it, because I was wondering what all the fuss was about. I had the volume turned up way loud for some reason, and every time those girls spoke it hurt my ears. Heck even moving the cursor hurt my ears. The graphics were killer, very cute. The game is mostly text based, with pictures of your heroine in the middle. It's killer that they included the ability to change fonts, because reading on the TV is not so great. But!!! I was minding my own business, when the game reset on me. What? A crash! No way, a DC game crashes?!?!?! I was pissed. I had to hard reset the console just to get back into the game. Anyway, I might play it some more if I'm done with Tokimeki Memorial 3 (PS2-jp).

I had some other finds this weekend. I bought Fantavision (PS2-jp) for about 1500 yen, which is pretty good. I played it a little bit, but then the game froze during the demo scene. WTF?!?!?! That brings back memories. I can't believe I first borrowed it almost 2 years ago from Furuya.

Other things going for me recently on the gaming scene: I've been playing a lot of Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore (PS2-jp) a lot. Survival mode is pretty freeky fun. I want to pass the 30 kill barrier, but regularly I am only getting 9 kills on average. My current best is about 26 kills. I'm not improving here. I also noticed that I do better if my character is on the left hand side. Currently I'm playing as Kasumi, either costume 5 or 8. I'm practicing more with that excellent guard for Kasumi which requires a back+fore-up+guard key press. I tried learning Helena's weird stuff but it's weird and slow going. Also, I've been trying to add the guard-canceling to my attacks, so that I'm less predictable. I notice more and more that my attacks are getting buffered. Must be a subconscious thing.

Games games. I recently wrote down more of what I'm looking for in games on my Palm. I have a wanted list now, woohoo! It's not limited to action or love sim, etc.

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