Friday, November 30, 2007

Japanese Post Office? Good Times

To: Fahey (Crecente) From: Bashcraft RE: Running on Fumes

In Texas, I hated going to post office. It was painful and slow and just plain awful. No offence to the fine people who work for U.S. Mail, but my local branch was pretty bad: Long lines, slow service and few clerks. Sending a package could take forty minutes or so!

Today, I went to my local post office here in Japan to send those Nintendo cards to Joel for Funde Razor. It dawned on me that damn I really like Japan Post. Like with most service here, if you are waiting, a clerk hollers to another clerk who runs over to help you. Sending a package takes a few minutes, and you are in and out before you know it!

Until very recently, Japan Post was part of the Japanese government. Since it was viewed as more stable than traditional banks, the majority of citizens have postal savings accounts — even now that it’s a private company. After being privatised, Japan Post changed its official colour from red, which I loved, to orange, which I don’t. I’m sure there’s a logical reason for that, but man, I hate the orange post office colors!

What you missed last night Jamzy replies to readers, warms our cold bitter hearts Voice of Mario working on book Orange Box impressions part II Hudson on mass firing


Keita Takahashi, Living the Playground Dream

It’s happening. Katamari creator actually is designing playground equipment. A while back, Takahashi said he wanted to leave the gaming industry and design playground equipment. GameCenter Iain Simons read this, wrote a proposal and began trying to rally support with the Nottingham city council. It’s still in the early stages, but Takahashi envisages a wind turbine with a climbing net decorated with hundreds of LEDs. Close your eyes and imagine that. Yeah. He adds:

Being totally honest with you, I’m beginning to get a bit bored making just games. I wanted something in a different area, but quite similar. Being able to move physically, to exercise, I thought that would be a good idea to start with.

Okay dude, whatever you say!

On Making Playgrounds [Next-Gen]


$US 500 Up for Grabs, Last Day to Grab

This is! LAST DAY. The last day to enter our totally Cone-hat and Storm Trooper-free contest. At stake? A $US 500 gift certificate. You just need to do some digging around about our three guest editors and send in your answers by Friday, from there we will randomly choose a group of finalists who have to watch the site Monday for their final question and be the first to answer it.

Hit the link for the details, questions and rules. Like we said, no cone hats and no Storm Troopers! Wish List Contest


The Mah-Jong Game Maid Cafe

Nothing says Christmas more than women in outfits from PS2 mah-jong title Idol Soldier Suchie Pai IV! From today until December 2nd, Akihabara maid cafe Pinafore will be all Suchie Pai‘d. There will be a special menu for customers to order special cocktails, desserts and other food. And if you really want, I’m sure you can get maid wearing a Suchie Pai outfit to draw a big ketchup heart on your omelette. No, that is not a double entendre.

Suchie Pai IV Cafe [Famitsu]


Pokemon Snap Coming to VC

Pokémon picture takin’ fun is coming to the Virtual Console. Yep, Pokémon Snap is coming to the Japanese VC on December 4th for 1000 points. Players can even send their snap to friends! This has just been announced for Japan, so no clue about elsewhere. No clue at all! Snap for VC [Degenki Online, Thanks Beau!]


Guncon 3 Is "Much More Accurate" Than Wii-mote

Namco’s first party peripherials for its Time Crisis series are typically fantastic. The new Guncon 3 looks to be no exception. It’s apparently very accurate. How accurate? Way more accurate than the Wii-mote. Time Crisis 4 producer Teruaki Minami explains:

…Guncon 3′s LED markers are actually much more accurate. Much better than Nintendo Wii’s controller. In the Wii, there are only two LED points, but for the Guncon 3 there are six LED points, so it is more accurate than the Wii. The PlayStation 3 will be able to recognise the tilt of the Guncon 3, its distance from the monitor, and these things cannot be done with the Wii system.

What’s more, the Guncon 3 also has SIXAXIS capabilities as well. It’s also bright orange so some idiot doesn’t use it to hold up a gas station.

Time Crisis 4 Interview [Gamasutra]


Unemployed Ninja Finds Work Launching Her Own Game

A new DS game featuring unemployed ninja Izuna was released yesterday in Japan. The launch event featured Izuna and fellow ninja Shino cosplayers carrying fake swords and smiling. The game’s character designer even made an appearance, signing autographs and drawing pictures. I quite like the idea of people involved in the game showing up at launches and signing autographs. Seems like a good way to launch a game!

Izuna Launch [Akiba Blog]


Shoot The Very Small Core

We. Want. These. Next February, Japanese toy maker Yujin is releasing a “Shooting Game History” capsule toy collection that includes the R-9A Arrow Head from R-Type, the 0F-1 Daedalus from Image Fight, the Vic Viper T301 from Gradius, the Metarion from Gradius 2 and the Silver Hawk from Darius Gaiden. Yujin, you had me at R-Type! For those that don’t live in Japan (sorry), know that National Console Support is selling complete sets for $US45. But, really, can you put a price on miniature Gradius toys? Survey says “no.”

Shooting Game History [NSC via Siliconera]


Japan Xbox 360 Fanboy Replies to Kotaku Readers

The bravest journalist working in Japan today replies! Previously, we brought word of a new haircut our favourite Japanese Xbox 360 fanboy and Famitsu staffer Jamzy. Over at Famitsu, he’s actually gone through an addressed comments our commenters had. Don’t remember which of you knuckleheads wrote what, but here are some highlights:

Jamzy looked like he was 50 years old in the last picture “Wasn’t the reason I looked like I’m 50 because there was a giant wrinkle in my brow? lol” Haircuts in Japan cost something like $200 “Sure, places usually charge that, but me… The place where I go charges nothing extra for designs like this lol” His glasses “Thanks for the kind words! I bought them at a-look in Shinjuku.” Whether he’s got an English blog or not “Bummer, but there’s no English site. Eh, write each time in English? Sorry, tough…”

How rad is this? It’s stuff like a dude shaving game logos into his heads, commenters adding their two cents and then said dude replying to those comments that really make getting out of bed truly worth it. What’s more, Jamzy even was cool enough to write a message in English. That after the jump!


A *Ahem* Concise History Of The Haloverse

As great as the games themselves were/are, Halo’s story is a convoluted one. Really. It’s a mess. Never before has this been better exemplified by these two documentaries (except maybe for that part halfway through Halo 3 where you wonder what the fuck is going on), put together by Bungie, to serve as a primer for the series’ third game. Yes, two of them. Together, they run for over 16 minutes.