Posts Tagged video games

January 16, 2005 – MGS3 in Japanese


After work I went to Seiyu to buy Metal Gear Solid 3 for my PS2. I had been thinking about buying it for a few days, but all of the games are locked up in a display case. To buy anything, you need to get one of the staff to unlock the case and get the game for you.

I asked The Penpal how to ask for the game correctly in Japanese, and practiced diligently before going to the store. The purchase went off without a problem, and I happily returned home with my new game.

When I bought MGS2 I was pleasantly surprised to find that the game was playable in English or Japanese. I assumed that would also be the case for MGS3. I was wrong. The version that I bought was playable in Japanese with Japanese subtitles only. The story is set during the cold war, and includes lots of talk about politics, nuclear arms treaties, and patriotism. All of those topics are far, far beyond my Japanese skill level. I can play the game, but I can’t understand 90% of the story. Even so, the game is still pretty freaking great.

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August 30, 2004 – Who are you, brutha?

Today I made very good use of a day off. I watched a bunch of episodes of CSI on my computer, worked on the website, and played video games.

Zoe is one of the few people with an internet connection at Hello House. She has been using her connection to download TV shows. Today she hooked up with CSI season 1. Thanks Zoe! (note: downloading TV shows is bad, don’t do it!)

I am very excited about my new game – Total Extreme Wrestling; a wrestling management simulator. You run a wrestling promotion, hiring wrestlers, booking events, and deciding who wins and how. In addition you create storylines and characters, and try to keep your promotion profitable. It is incredible addictive for pro wrestling fans or business simulator fans. So much fun!

(2014 Update)  Some people might be reading this and wondering “Hey, why did you spend your time in Japan watching TV shows from back home and hiding in your room playing video games?”. My first reason is money. Staying in my room watching TV and playing video games is relatively cheap compared to the limitless opportunities to spend money in the Greater Tokyo area. I am getting to see a lot of cool things in Japan, but I am also trying to send some money home to pay off student loans as well.

The second reason is my personality. I do like to spend time with friends and get out of the house. However, I also need a good amount of “me time” as well. Teaching English requires me to be happy and outgoing in the classroom. Some days this comes naturally, other days it is harder to do. After teaching I sometimes like to take time to recharge my social batteries by not interacting with anyone.

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August 9, 2004 – Day off!?

My first day off after 6 days of work. I was laaaaaaaazy. I thoroughly enjoyed my day of video games, sleeping and yet more video games.

(2014 Update) Some people might be wondering why I would move to an awesome country like Japan and then spend my free time playing video games instead of exploring. My answer to this question is money. In addition to getting out and having adventures, I was also trying to send money home to pay off some of my student loans. And playing video games while living in Japan is still pretty cool.

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May 16, 2004 – Free games

I love days off. I slept in, cleaned my room, played video games, rented some movies, made plans for the visitors, and got 2 new games from the dozo table. Life is good.

(2014 Update) The free games were K-1 kickboxing games for Playstation 1. At the time, K-1 was one of the biggest combat sports promotions in Japan. They regularly held kickboxing tournaments that were shown on prime time TV. The fights were all striking with no submissions, and lasted up to 3 x 3 minute rounds. Around 2004 they boasted an impressive 80% knockout rate. You would think that these would be all the ingredients needed for a good video game, but somehow the games sucked. At least they were free!

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March 18, 2004 – Renting a movie is challenging

I recently purchased a Playstation 2 in order to save money. The idea was that if I could watch movies and play games at Hello House, I would be less likely to go out and spend money on the many fun things available in the greater Tokyo area.

After work I went to a nearby small video rental shop to rent a DVD. Using a combination of my bad Japanese and the clerk’s awful English I was able to get a membership and rent 28 Days Later. Getting a membership was tricky, but renting movies is also challenging. All of the movies are sorted in Japanese hiragana order; a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, etc. To find a movie you need to figure out what the name is in Japanese and look there. For example, Star Wars is written as スター・ウォーズ (sutaa uooz), so you need to look in the “SU” section. This is assuming that the Japanese movie name is the same as the English title.

When renting movies that are not in English, you need to be able to interpret which audio languages and subtitles are available. I love Jackie Chan movies, but most of the copies available were in Cantonese with Japanese subtitles.

Having a Playstation also allows me to play video games. However, since the games are available in Japanese only I need to have a dictionary nearby for any of the important dialogue. It is great language practice, but some games can be a lot of work.

Despite the challenges, I love my Playstation and 28 Days Later kicked ass.

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