Tuesday, April 15, 2003 @ 18:25 (Japan Standard Time)

A hobbyist video gamer in the middle of Japan's gaming zone. Comments on console, PC, handheld and arcade games.
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2003-04-15 Tue

Dig a portable

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Dig a portable

Now playing:
  • Mr. Driller Ace (GBA-jp, digging puzzle)
  • Chobits (GBA-jp, romantic robotic training)
Now stacking:
  • Sakura Taisen 1 (PS2-jp, adventure mecha love simulation)
  • Card Captor Sakura (PS-jp, adventure)
  • Card Captor Sakura picture shot (DC-jp, cute camera shooting)
  • Miss Moonlight (DC-jp, visual novel love simulation)
In the continuing saga of all things GBA-SP. The quest for pre-ordering the Pokemon Orange GBA-SP has finally come to an end. First I tried ordering online through the Pokemon Center Online store. On that day I was too busy at work. When lunch time came around I wasn't even able to log in, due to the web site traffic. So I went home pretty sad, no pre-order in hand.

Saturday rolled around and after a long barber session I finally got to the Pokemon Center store in Osaka. I entered and looked around. Dang, too many kids. Part of the section was created as a "romper room". Evidently the GBA-related stuff was all gone. No more screen covers or bags and such. Disappointed, I looked around a little bit more. I couldn't believe my eyes. The store was actually taking pre-orders for the GBA SP? Oh yeah. I walked out with a ticket in hand. Come April 24, I will be toting a orange thingy around, instead of a black one.

As far as the black one is concerned, I've been taking it with me everywhere I go. I usually put it in my denim jeans back pocket. It doesn't look like it gets scratched or bent out of shape. However I think the screen picks up the pocket lint really easy. For that I use a keitai strap that doubles as a screen wiper. I swear that the headphone jack is a necessity on this machine. I hate carrying around that little 500 yen dongle just to listen to the tunes. Oh yeah, as far as the battery is concerned, I don't even worry about it. When that high capacity battery (1.7 times longer life) comes out, I'll probably get it, but I sure don't need it.

In any case, I've been playing the hell out of Mr. Driller Ace (GBA-jp). I dream in colored falling blocks. I getting better at getting all the air capsules. But I still can't pass the medium stage in Mr. Driller (1000M). I was able to pass the medium stage in Mr. Driller Ace, though (800M). There's also an adventure stage where I can raise a "pacteria". A cute little guy, you have to collect all of his different shapes and colors, about a 100 in all. The animated sprite rotation and scaling looks downright delicious. And the sound effects "Oide!" are very cute. The intro song is interesting "hori hori hori hori hori susumu". Susumu is the name of the main character and also means to go forward, in this case, down. Punnery is cool. However I spend most of my time playing the 1-off mission based games. Oh and I get into the network competition gaming. If you play, you are awarded "dori" points which you can use to purchase downloadable stuff from the Namco Mr. Driller Ace official site. A very interesting concept that keeps people playing the game. I have to play 10 days (5 * (300 + 500 + 800) [dori] / 400 [dori/round] * 12 [hours/round]) or 20 rounds and get first place all the time to get all of the backgrounds. It makes me sick just thinking about it. But I keep on playing. This game is frustrating and fun at the same time.

As far as the other games that I am "stacking" this time: Sakura Taisen was selling for 50% its original price, and at 5700 yen + alarm clock + other goodies it was relatively cheap. It will keep my other Sakura Taisen games company on the stack. I saw Card Captor Sakura for about 2000, and it was about time that I bought that. 2D animated goodness, collecting cards and playing games with the characters from CCS. The CCS for DC is a 3d polygon camera shooting game, I think. The cuteness doesn't translate well into 3d, though. Last, I've been wanting to get this Miss Moonlight ever since it was like 1600 yen new at Sofmap. I finally got it used at 780 yen. Well, you can't have too many visual novels games.

So I haven't been talking about my stack of games. I swear that if I literally stacked all the games that I've bought but haven't played yet, it would be at least 1.5 meters high, Amaray style cases, special boxes, etc. My not-yet mp3'd CD audio stack is about half that. At least I'm doing better with the DVD stack. However I spent a good 20 minutes trying to find my copy of The Matrix. I just had to watch it yesterday after reading up on the Matrix Reloaded movie. Suffice it to say, my room is mess.

Yeah, since work is so busy, I haven't had the time to play deeper games, like Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance (PS2-jp), etc. That's why I busted out with Chobits. This is a light-hearted train-your-cute-girl-robot game based off of the anime show of the same name. If you must know, I don't have all of the DVDs but I do have all of the mangas which I bought as "special releases" (jigsaw puzzle, keychain strap, mousepad, collection box, figurine, etc). Anyways, I am surprised at the graphical detail and audio. Even the anime intro is mimicked faithfully, at least in spirit. So far, as far as the game is concerned, the Sumomo "follow the beat" exercise game, and selecting the right thing to say to Chii (your cute girl robot). "Chii oboieta!" ("I remember!") Very cute. Actually, this game probably sucks, because it can be had for 1000 yen new at Sofmap. I think I'll get me another copy of the game just to lend to people. Ha. Oh, and I don't usually play this game on the train, since people are probably looking over my shoulder on occasion. Besides, this is the type of game where you need to listen to the audio to enjoy it. "Chi----." "Chi?" "Chi!" Hahahaha, full emotional development. Lastly I bought the cheat book used for 600 yen. Heh. Nice to find something like that, this is a visual game, and pictures are always nice.
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