Just wanted to let you know that, yup, I am in Hungary right now. It's my first time down here and I am pretty excited about it. I'll be giving a talk tomorrow (yes, you guessed right, about videogames) so I'll let you know how that goes.
GameGame is a new game by Aki. Aki is famous because he's smart, wears cool glasses and can speak his way out of Yakuza attacks (I know because I have witnessed it). And he speaks with an uber-cool Finnish accent, of course! Here's da game.
Tampere's Game Research Lab has an open CFP for a seminar on role-playing. Craig A. Lindley and Greg Costikyan will be there, so if you are into RPG you may want to submit a paper. Deadline for abstracts is January 9th, 2006. Find out more about it here (thanks Joris!)
The iPod Nano is soooo last week. Everybody in Tokyo is craving for a DS Nano now. No, it doesn't use a pin as a stylus. And no, you can't play games on it. However, it does feature an LCD watch, so that's pretty cool. This is one of the little toys available at Akihabara's vending machines. For 100 yen, you may get a little DS or tiny little game cartridges made from rubber or some edible material (haven't dared to try yet). I was lucky enough to get a Nano Electroplankton cartridge. If anybody is brave enough to give it a bite, let me know if it's tasty.
I am in Paris, waiting for my flight to Copenhagen after a 13 hour flight from Tokyo. I can't wait until I get home and sleep for 20 hours straight. Meanwhile, I am paying an outrageous Wi-Fi fee to prevent myself from sleeping and posting some of the pics that I took in Japan. This one is not game related (hey, I like games but there are some other interesting things around). It's a poster that was hanging at the subway, from some clothing company or shop called Brutus. Lovely, isn't it?
I must admit that we got to the Tokyo Game Show pretty late in the afternoon, so I wasn't able to check it completely out. However, I did learn that Business day is the day to attend to this thing, since there is like 10 times less people on the floor. Today I am going again but, since it will be open to the public, lines should be really long and everything should be a bit more crowded.
rOn my way to TGS I played Winning Eleven on my new PSP (whitey, whitey). Brazil defeated Uruguay for 1-0, not really bad for a first match. There will definitively be another match today... At TGS I learned that there is a cell phone version of Winning Eleven, even though it may only be for Japanese phones.
rSo far, the most appealing game on the floor was Loco Roco (no pics yet), a gorgeous PSP game. As gizmos go, Metal Gear Acid PSP stereoscopic adapter was really cool. It is a white box with two lenses that you put over the PSP's screen in order to play the game in 3D. The lenses are just transparent, so this is not one of those color filter 3D systems (the 3D effect worked really well but of course it kills the Portable part of the PSP).
rYou may wonder what the pic next to the guy with a Hawaiian shirt is. It's a ukulele simulator for the PSP. I totally sucked at it but I assume that somebody with some rhythm may actually put some good use to it.
rLater on that night, it was time for some serious shabu shabu with the regular TGS crew (Justin, Robin, Doug). Justin brought me a mullet wig from the States, so my hair style now can go unnoticed in Shibuya.
What a day! We probably walked miles around Tokyo today. I'll be brief but I can say that I was able to play with Winning Eleven PSP (which will launch in 2 days) and I have 2 news: the game is fantastic but the loading times are simply insane. I will still buy one right away but I thought I should warn you.
rToday was Game Boy Micro's day and there were plenty of small booths all around Tokyo where they introduced the new product. It's tiny, it plays great and the screen is really nice (bright and with a very good viewing angle). However, at 120 US dollars, it's defintively too expensive.
rDuring the afternoon, I spent a few hours at the University of Tokyo testing some really cool experimental laser-based user interfaces. We discussed the possibilities of collaborating in some game-related applications. Needless to say, experimental games with experimental Japanese interfaces... it doesn't get much better than that.
rThat's it for today. I am jetlaged (it's 5am and I can't sleep!). Welcome to Tokyo, I'll keep you posted.
rPS: By the way, the beautiful girl standing next to the Game Boy Micro subway ad is Sofía, my brave partner at Powerful Robot. Did I mention that we have a new website?. Check it out!
Exactly 4 years ago - September 11th, 2001- I was arriving to Tokyo for the first time. Now, I am about to catch an Air France flight that will take me there, after a couple of hours stopover in Paris. This is the fifth time that I visit Japan, every year for the last 4 years. September is very humid in Japan. Typhoons abound, as well as these strange crickets that cast a metallic sound to the Japanese summer. I am getting ready for a long flight: I am carrying a copy of Advance Wars DS. Damn, I totally forgot that each battle can take over an hour! It's a great game, though. I also have a lot of writing to finish while on the plane so I bet I'll be busy. Tokyo Game Show coverage? I don't know. I may post some pictures but I won't promise anything. See you guys later, I have this flight to catch.