Showing posts from February, 2013

Japan 2013: Sushi and the Sniffles

My wife and I returned to Japan for a fortnight earlier this month. The following post is about our holiday, while the next, which should follow on Friday, will focus on the gaming side of the trip (purchases, Akihabara, Street Pass etiquette etc.). ******* Our most recent trip back to Japan was a bit different. Firstly, we were visiting in winter, as opposed to the tail end of summer. This meant that our suitcases were stuffed full of Uniqlo heat-tech and extra socks, instead of t-shirts and sunglasses, and we were treated to a whole different menu than in previous visits (Japan takes its culinary seasons very seriously). Unfortunately, a mix of cold weather and the powerful germs of a twelve hour flight meant that the wife and I both spent half the holiday feeling unwell, battling a cold with MJ, flu-like symptoms. Secondly, while some of my best friends still reside in Japan, the ranks have thinned considerably over the last three years, as people have either returned h

PlayStation 4 and the Invisible Reveal

I'm back in the UK after a fortnight in Japan. I'll be writing something about our trip in the next few days, which will include some holiday snaps, but for now there are more important things to discuss. *** I had so many questions heading into last night's PlayStation 4 extravaganza. What does the hardware look like and what games will I be playing on it? How many jobs will I need to afford one at launch, and when exactly is launch? Will it stand horizontally or vertically?   How many times can poorly dressed men say "social" in the space of two hours? Ridge Racer, Ridge Racer, Ridge Racer? Some of these questions were answered, others remain. To Sony's credit, they didn't beat around the bush, referring directly to their next home console within the first five minutes. Although there was lots of speculation and company waffle, Sony wasn't afraid to show off the controller along with some trailers and live demos. We did not see the ac

No Sleep till Tokyo

We are off to Japan this week for a fortnight’s holiday. We usually plan these trips months in advance, to coincide with Tokyo Game Show, though we did skip last year thanks to a busy schedule and the extortionate price of September flights. This time we are taking advantage of a last minute, off-season deal and will be swapping shorts, t-shirts and Gari Gari Kun for winter coats, scarves and nabe. Hopefully I’ll be able to find time to blog about our latest return, and may even include a few photos. I’ll be chatting away on Twitter (@toomanywiresUK) throughout the trip, so be sure to give me a follow if you haven’t already. With my suitcases packed and checklists ticked, I want to share some final thoughts on the trip ahead. 1. The Flight The flight from Heathrow to Narita takes twelve hours, and I'll be wide awake for the entirety. Past efforts to knock myself out have included depriving myself of sleep the night before, self-medication and quietly getting ha

Sushi on a Tuesday

He sits at a desk, surrounded by games. To his left, there‘s an outbox marked " 海外販売 : For Foreign Consumption". To his right, a much larger box reads " 日本国内のみ : Japan Only". His job is to consider, process and sort, following criteria which only he understands. He has a very conservative haircut, but sometimes he'll wear a pink tie. He is thoughtful, yet unpredictable; he will never allow internet petitions and tantrums to influence his decisions. Sometimes, when he's really tired, he'll mix up his outboxes. This explains why Project X Zone is getting a European and US release and Mother 3 never did. No one's perfect, not even he. It is his job to decide which Japanese games will be localised for the West and which will be confined to the Japanese market. He eats sushi on Tuesdays. I have no idea which tray Yakuza 5 was placed in. Considering Sega's new approach to localisation, there's a chance it’ll never arrive over here, despite