It occurs to me that I don’t actually use this blog as a blog enough, so to make things right I thought I should write about the more day-to-day stuff.
What’s going on?!
Travel: For my birthday, my girlfriend arranged a trip to Yokohama (her hometown) and Tokyo for us. We toured the port, took a ferry across the bay, and generally lazed around the park overlooking the area. Our trip occurred during two overlapping events: Yokohama’s Hawaiian Festival (there were singers and dancers pretty much everywhere) and the Chinese emperor’s birthday, which was celebrated with parades in Chinatown. Because of this, Chinatown was virtually identical to the one depicted in every movie or TV show you’ve ever seen it featured in; meat hanging on hooks in butcher shop windows, dudes in dragon costumes parading through the streets, deafening firecrackers, etc.
Day two took us to Tokyo, and my first visit to Luida’s Bar. It was pretty exciting for a Dragon Quest nerd like me, and I ended up taking a ton of pictures and explaining every little thing to Nacchan. (“Whoa! It’s the Zenithian sword from DQIV!! OMG LOTO’S SWORD”) There were of course games for sale, in addition to the Luida’s Bar phone strap. Hanging on the wall was a drawing of a flustered slime signed by Yuji Horii with the phrase 「人生はロールプレイング」; “Life is roleplaying.” We ate Mini Medal pizza and slime nikuman, washed down with magic-themed cocktails. I appreciated that the mirror on the wall was a replica of the Mirror Shield. Unfortunately, the bathroom was not DQ-themed (was hoping for a Cannibox/Mimic toilet).
Nacchan had never been to Akihabara, so we stopped by and I picked up a few additions to my Dragon Quest Collection: DQ Monsters, DQ Monsters 2 (both versions), and the official DQVIII guide books. I’m not really targeting the spin-off series, but the Monsters games were ¥700-800 each (in box) so it was tough to say no. Also picked up a unit-only AV Famicom in great condition for ¥4800; a little more than I would like to have paid for unit-only, but I have the required components lying around anyway (and will bring some NES controllers back from America). This goes great with the Super Famicom I picked up in Osu last month (¥1200 unit-only, good condition) which I’ve been using for a few weeks.
This brings us to!
Games: Nacchan introduced me to a bar in Ichinomiya called Tremoro, by which I learned of a nearby retro game bar called Genesis (for legal reasons, the owner went with this name instead of the intended “Mega Drive”). If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve heard me go on about this place. It’s probably the nicest bar of its kind I’ve ever been to; some places like to dress themselves up like someone else’s living or play room, but Genesis looks and feels like a proper bar: polished wood counter, mood lighting, a simple menu. It feels like a place you’d want to go to even if it didn’t have a bunch of retro games on tap. The owner, a young man with a pierced lip and a Gunstar Heroes t-shirt, helped me through Rockman 4, 5, and X by pulling up boss weakness charts on his iPad. The place just opened and isn’t very busy yet, but I’d love for this guy to be successful (even if it means I have to give up the TV to someone else).
At home, I played through about half of Treasure Hunter G (I have no idea why) and a lot of Super Picross. I’m in the mood for another DQ, but might just hold off and pick up the English version of DQVI in America next month.
Oh yeah! Travel: ROUND TWO
I’ll be in San Francisco for a few days next month (August 7th to the 10th, I think) and then Pittsburgh until the 25th. This will be my first trip to SF, which is something I feel like I should have already done. You will never guess who I’m staying with.
BACK TO GAMES
no wait that’s it
[CROSS TO FIREPLACE]