Category Archives: Editorial

Steins;Gate PS Vita

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Has anyone else played through this game yet? I’ve never really played a visual novel before and wasn’t sure of what to expect. I’m liking it but it’s a very different experience to just basically be reading and flicking through screen without actually doing anything, if that makes sense. I’d heard that it was a great experience for a lot of people and picked up on PSN for $20, couldn’t say no to that price! Does any one know of any other games for the PS Vita that follow this format?

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Still, it’s a great anime (it’s my number 1, actually) and it’s awesome to relive it again and feel a part of it instead of just watching it. Here’s a trailer in case you’re sitting on the fence about it.

Let’s Celebrate Anniversary Of The Sega Dreamcast

Long before Blu-Ray, 3D and HD, there was the little console released by Sega hoping to succeed where the Sega Saturn had failed. I bring up the iconic Dreamcast for two reasons, 1) it’s my favourite console of all time and 2) yesterday marked the anniversary and release of the Dreamcast. Having being released back on the 9/9/99, Sega had high hopes and massive expectations for the advanced 128-bit system with one of the best launches in terms of an incredible library of quality games.

Let’s not forget the Dreamcast shipped with 4 controller ports and the still, to this day, unique VMU memory card, or Visual Memory Unit which doubled as a portable games system on its own. The VMU allowed you to raise and strengthen your Chao before importing them back into launch title, Sonic Adventure. Coupled with revolutionary for then online play via a 33.6k modem and later a 56k modem, the Dreamcast was light years ahead of everything else at the time.

Launch titles included, Sonic Adventure, The House of the Dead 2, Marvel vs. Capcom, Hydro Thunder and the sublime, Power Stone. 

Despite having a massive and extremely impressive range of launch title from RPG’s, fighters, action games and including FPS titles, the Dreamcast struggled to strike a chord with the gaming public. The number one reason would have to be the newly released trailer at the time for Metal Gear Solid 2 which was highly impressive with Solid Snake walking across a rain drenched bridge before slipping into camouflage mode, turning invisible and leaping off the side. This trailer combined with people’s expectations for the Playstation 2 effectively killed any hype that the Dreamcast had generated as the PS2 appeared to promise so much more with its bundled DVD player, a new technology back then.

A look back at some of the games that still put a smile on my face are Sonic Adventure, before bursting out on Xbox Live Arcade and the PSN, Sonic called the Dreamcast home in a blindingly fast adventure across gorgeous scenery intermingled with cameos by other playable characters, each having their own story to tell. Awesome game.

 

Jet Set Radio – Whisking around town on rollerblades tagging and creating aerosol works in Neo-Tokyo was amazing and still looks amazing to this day. Talks of the this title being ported to the PSN in HD put a smile on my face and check out the soundtrack as well. Great techno beats that always bring back memories of jumping on top of buses and doing crazy grinds on anything humanly possible while spray painting at the same time…what’s not to love?

Grandia II – available on PS2 but so much better on Dreamcast if anything for the nostalgia this game generates but good luck tracking down a copy these days. Massive RPG where Ryudo is tasked with protecting a young girl which inevitably ends up becoming part of a much bigger story in scope and scale.

So many more games to tell, I could go on and on but I’ll finish it up with a game that will always hold a special place for me, Shenmue. This game is one of the reasons I became obsessed with Japan and how could you go past the control system employed in the game, “F.R.E.E.” (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment). This game is like living life in Japan as you’re encouraged to talk to everyone and look everywhere for clues as you track down the man responsible for the death of your father. Gripping story with unforgettable characters and fascinating locales. The original is only available on the Dreamcast and comes highly recommended, this game is a pure and total gem.

So to the Sega Dreamcast, we here at Japandaman say Happy Anniversary and thank for the memories!

The state of Expos in Australia :(

2 days off work means more reviews to come for my new buddies over at Otaku Fuel…I’d kill to be going to Anime Expo ’11 but once upon a time I wanted to go to Tokyo Game Show and that ended up happening last year 🙂 Thanks once again to Aussie Gamer for the press hookup so I’m guessing if I play my cards right, I’ll end up at Anime Expo sooner rather than later. We really are starved for these kinds of expos in Australia, I mean, sure we have Supanova, Armagedon and Manifest as the three big ones but the space they occupy is minute compared to what takes place overseas. I’m fairly certain those three expos are the only big ones unless I’m missing one? The point being that while these shows do draw big names from the entertainment world, I’d give my left nut for something more anime/manga/J-pop culture related with a bigger emphasis on cosplay…maybe Japandaman needs to do something about this. Get some sponsorship happening, pay for some big names to come Down Under and get some people dragging themselves to a proper big show with vendors peddling their wares, the whole works. Good Smile Company, Max Factory and then maybe even Japanese pop culture blogger himself, Danny Choo. I’m sure he’d love it down here and people would definitely come from interstate to see him judging by the amount of Australian visitors to his site. And if we’re going that path, maybe even have a Japanese car culture section where Itasha would be introduced to the masses. If you don’t know what itasha is or what it means, have a click here or here.

But I digress as EB or Electronics Boutique themselves are planning an expo themselves at the end of the year, which in lieu of going to TGS this year, may be a distinct possibility on the Gold Coast. Link here to the website for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about.

Of course something of this undertaking would require massive planning and I’d be doing market research for a lonnnng time to make sure this thing had the best chance of success and I’d probably call it Japania or something like that 🙂 So who’s with me, does anyone want to see a massive event like this here? So instead of us flying overseas, which we’d still do, it’d be great to see international fans coming here for the expo!

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The cheapest games? Not in Australia!

Following on from my recent post on Facebook and Twitter regarding the state of expensive games in Australia (thank you for the comments and Likes), I’m posting here the link to the original article on IGN just so everyone can see exactly how badly we’re getting done over here 🙁 Makes you want to shop from this online retailer and only them! Oz Game Shop is based overseas but sell incredibly cheap games…I have a couple of friends who have used the site quite a few times and swear by them and the speedy service with free shipping around the world…4 days delivery in most cases!!! You can pick up the banned Mortal Kombat for PS3 for $54.99, free shipping and yes, that is the AUS price!! As I post this, they are currently sold out so place a pre order if you want it and thought you’d never be playing it 🙂