What can I say, I'm a sucker for the outside viewpoint (I'm gonna be writing something up about how my entire household has taken up Wii Bowling very soon). The book she's talking about, by the way, is no-doubt-about-it Aki Katsu's Futari Ecchi. It's funny she came across that one (I'm sure the hilarious Engrish cover helped) because it really is an odd duck.
Usually when you see a commentary on manga like this, you say "Oh, hey. They're just exaggerating the weirdness and incoherence of the work because lol japan." Not so here! This is pretty much entirely what Futari Ecchi is like. It's running this weird facade of being a love story and a sex manual, but really, it runs in Young Animal (home of Berserk, Air Master, and titty models on every cover), and of course it's porn. It's just so... well-intentioned. Imagine a pervy old man giving you a sincere and well-meaning, and rather lovingly detailed speech about the birds and the bees, assuring you all the while that he is not in fact a pervy old man and that, furthermore, he is taking up this noble duty in order to improve your life.
And no, I have no idea what Aki Katsu's gender is but come on.
And yes, I am ashamed that I know this. Just not ashamed enough. It's all for you, internet!
I'm not even sure if I should bother offering commentary on this. I'm don't think my piercing insight ("lol 80's video effects, lol darth vapor") really captures how absolutely incredible this video is. Anyway, enjoy.
Every couple weeks I see something on Fan's View and I think to myself "this one is definitely the greatest cosplay of all time", but then this guy came along. I don't know who he is or what he's cosplaying or if it's even anime at all but I don't care, because he is clearly superior to the entire anime/manga fandom worldwide:
You guys can have your debates about your cosplay drama queen whatnot, but I'm afraid this dude's already won whatever contest anybody puts on. You guys are already dead.
Seriously, let's do this shit. JAM Project (Japan Animationsong Makers) is so awesome. Maybe the awesome-est? To the max? I'm not even sure they're measurable.
Basically to understand why JAM Project is awesome you have to keep in mind that Japanese cartoon theme songs went on a completely different evolutionary path than American ones. It's kind of like if, instead of just doing the Transformers movie, Stan Bush had sung the theme song for every single children's show in the 80's concerning one of the following subjects:
And if he had just kept going, and if he built up an army of fanboys, that would probably be kind of like Hironobu Kageyama.
Anyway, Ichiro Mizuki (who I'd have talked about to start with because he's really the undisputed king-god of the giant robot theme song, but he isn't as 80's and he's only part-time now) and this guy had a great idea a while ago: that they'd get together a bunch of these awesome dudes and chicks who had been singing these goofy anime theme songs for all these years, and they'd do it together. And they do. All their songs are about about fighting for justice and the burning power of love and also the value of friendship when you're fighting for justice with the burning power of love. Sometimes they dress up like the Village People, and in the video you're about to see they hit a gong, and it's pretty crazy shit. I totally love it and not even the ironic way.
Well then, this is GONG from Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, a game I've been putting off buying for at least a year now. My one buddy always reminds me that he pirated it on day one.
Because Wii Sports is totally brilliant. I take back what I said about liking Boxing best; I think it might be Bowling now. Now, I think the game would have been purchase-worthy. Had it not been a pack-in, anyway. As it stands it is the finest console pack-in game of the current generation! Get it?
The controller has its limitations and its strengths, and they both become apparent the more you play these games. At first, when you pick up the remote and play these games, there is a disconnect between what you're doing and what's going on onscreen. I wasn't too impressed by Tennis and Baseball (the games about side-to-side swinging) at first, because there's this really obvious initial disconnect. The controller tracks the slower, subtler movements, and you will see them displayed onscreen. But no matter how you swing, when the game senses a swinging motion, you see your character make the same swing. Of course in Tennis you do have the backhand and the forehand, but they look the same. You can hit overhead, and still see your guy hit backhand onscreen. You can swing the bat way up and you'll still see it move from side to side.
Now this is all very mysterious to me and I don't completely understand how it works (in the way that, for example, I understand buttons and pads and whatnot), but I'm getting a feel for it.
It's timing and it's speed. Timing is most important; the training stage in Tennis where you hit the ball between gates isn't called "aim your shots", it's called "time your shots". Same with Baseball: you gotta hit that sweet spot. The speed of the swing does what you'd think it would. Hammering things is indeed satisfying.
But does direction do anything at all, then? I don't know; when I give my swings an upward or downward curve, they are definitely affected. Left and right on the other hand, I'm not so sure about.Bowling and Golf both hinge on a vertical swing rather than a horizontal one, and in Bowling, if you give the throw a curve, it'll work. Before you get a good swing going, it'll work you straight into the damn gutter. I haven't tried hooking in Golf, honestly: it seems to only curve if you hit too hard, though. You point a straight line in that game and, barring wind, the hit goes along a straight line.
I played Zelda for about half and hour, and while there's nothing at all wrong with it, I went right back to Wii Sports 'cause I felt like hitting something.
There wasn't much to talk about, honestly, but I'll try. Woke up in a shit mood; how to fix the problem? Some people drink. I attend major console launches without a preorder.
Around 1:30 I showed up at Nintendo World. My buddy George and I had decided to meet up; I wanted to buy Super Robot Taisen OG2, and I figured it was my best shot. At this point we hadn't decided whether to camp at Nintendo World or at Toys R Us. Toys R Us was the big-shit launch party, but as these things often are, it was accompanied by big-shit launch party lines. George's friends were telling him that the TRU line already looped once around the block. Meanwhile, we were maybe seventy-five people into line, at worst. We figured that even if Nintendo World opened up at six (pussies!), we'd still get
our stuff fast, and by the time we got to TRU, we'd be in the three thousands. So we decided to settle in for the long haul.
We don't have much in the way of antics; I assume the most rabid (and therefore entertaining) fans were at TRU. George did try and get some video interviews going, but really the only good one he got was out of me. Very NSJ stuff. I'll bug him to Internets it up sometime.
It was damn cold out, and we were bad campers. No furniture, no blankets, nothing. We were lucky the guys next to us left often to check out the Times Square festivities, and that they let us use their lawn chairs. Other things we were grateful for included the 24 hour convenience stores, and their bathrooms. I didn't manage any sleep; by two or three I was in a state of babbling half-consciousness.
Anyway, we found out pretty soon that the store was opening at 6 A.M. for preorders, and at 8 A.M. they would start taking everybody else. A little longer, that's fine. George had his preorder and I figured I'd get in right away, being so close to the front. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The store was far too small for the crowd that had gathered. Orders were handled slowly, and they weren't able to get done with the pre-orders until after I was gone, so instead of handling pre-orders and then walk-ins, they had to rush preorders to the front in large groups whenever they found them. It really sucks having camped for 18 hours and having ten people rushed in front of you! We'd been standing so long at this point that my feet were completely numb (thanks in part to my tattered Chucks), and when I got inside I had this horrible feeling like I'd broken my foot and didn't realize it until now. Don't worry guys, I'm fine. I didn't get my system until 10:30, and I was pretty close to the front. Along the line inside the building, we walked by the accessories. Not too impressed by the Classic Controller; probably gonna have to buy it anyway. Up at the desk you asked for your system and your games. I got Zelda, because George had already told me they were out of Trauma Center. I came out thinking, well, at least I don't have to go looking for the thing. Stuff like this isn't really worth it unless you're in the mood for it.
So where were we? Waking up to mysterious noises-- OH SHIT IT'S A, uh, a blue crow? This isn't creepy, and neither is this "awooo" business that's going on. But Shiki is really creeped out. Biologically creeped out, and when people in the movies are creeped out by animal noises they step outside in search of said animals.
This next bit is kind of weird: Shiki says that he headed for the right side of the Tohno mansion's courtyard but he totally looks like he's standing on an empty stretch of highway. Anyway, there aren't any damn crows or dogs or anything here; just some dude. As poor, editorless Nasu puts it: "Under the light from the streetlight that carves apart the darkness stands a man in a dark coat."The noise persists; a crow seems to fly into the man's jacket. He turns to face us now (and Shiki can't breathe, all of a sudden), but he doesn't really give much of a damn. He is looking for someone and it seems they're not around. He leaves.
Shiki's breathing resumes as normal.
Back at home, though, he has an attack. He starts to see the lines again, through his glasses. Twitching and nauseous, Shiki passes out in bed.
That's all for Day 1! Look forward to Day Two (of a bunch of days) soon!
This is straight out of the box; I haven't opened Zelda yet and don't intend to until I have a huge chunk of free time. I'll give the camping out and the Wii a proper writeup later: I have to work and sleep.
What's most apparent about the interface is this whole "media hub" business that's been going on this console generation; everything is interconnected. You make a Mii character in the Wii frontend, and when you play Wii Sports, you can choose to use that character ingame. Records are kept for this character in particular, and anybody else can make themselves a character and do the same thing. When you stop playing and exit out to the Wii frontend, you'll have mail from the system, reporting anything major that happened, like the creation of a character, the results of your Wii Fitness test, and so on and so forth. Everything is all together.
Wii Sports is itself a mixed bag; Tennis was the first thing I tried. Even though there is no player movement, I found myself unconsciously shuffling back and forth like a jackass in sync with the little man on the screen. The tennis controls are extremely limited, though; a flick of the wrist (forehand, backhand, or overhead) seems to always work the same way,and I don't feel like there's too much control of the ball in the swing. Likewise with baseball; the computer throws all kinds of pitches but I haven't figured out how, and the bat always seems to swing the same damn way. Golf and bowling are a little better. Their motions are essentially similar; trying to swing the remote in as straight a line as possible. Golf adds the additional complication of having to gauge one's power; swing too hard and the ball will go flying off in the wrong direction. I do alright at golf, but I can't bowl a strike for the life of me. I couldn't in real life either, though.
Boxing is the standout. The controls are most responsive, direct, and satisfying here. It's obvious what you're supposed to be doing here, and you do it, and it works. Landing a hook, dodging punches; everything works, and it feels great.
There is also a training mode and a peculiar little Brain Age-style "Wii Fitness" segment where you aim to lower an age given to you after you play a series of silly missions.
Overall, it's pretty obvious why NoA went for this as a pack-in. It's really not worth paying full price for alone like they're doing it in Japan (unless you like Wii Boxing as much as I do, which is to say I'd pay 20 bucks for it tops), and yet it's also an effective, quick and easy way of showing off what the system is capable of. Even so, I find myself more excited by this little series of mingames than anything else that's going on with the new generation of consoles this year. Go figure.