Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Last night one of my best friends from high school (Mike Stephens) called me and we got to talking about life since we last saw each other in 1989. I asked him about having kids, and he's a happy dad. He then asked me the question that I have been getting a lot lately: "[When] Are you planning on having kids?"

I then gave my typical reply: "I don't think I would be a good dad."

Then, as expected, I got the reply of: "You'd be a great dad."

My then (usual) reply was: "No, I really don't think I would."

My normal mindset (excuse) was usually tied to a 'fear'. Either of genes (Jen and I are manic depressive and that will pass on... I really don't wish that on ANYONE), or discipline (I get angry very quick and am afraid I might hurt them), or mutations (I'm so very afraid of getting a child that's deaf or has down-syndrome, or worse), and even the fact that I can take about 5 hours MAX around children before I have the urge to 'boot one to the head'. Children crying, screaming, making noise angers me. I really can't stand it. It makes me anxious and, if sustained, makes me go into a 'panic attack'. People say things like "Oh, it's different when it's your own children"... I work on court cases every day and, I can assure you, seeing instances of hurting children every day, it is most certainly not.

But today, for some reason, I began to think about the REAL reason why I don't think I would be a good dad... and it's just a few words: "I'm not ready to give up my freedom."

Mike, Collin... in fact all my friends with children have all spoken about how difficult it is to do things with children in tow (if they do things at all). I think I'm a bit selfish right now in that I am happy with where I am and what I am doing and that I don't want to get rid of that freedom. I just grew up myself... why do I want to have a kid?

I really don't want to make my wife sad. I really don't. Every time someone brings up 'children' I avoid looking at her sad and disappointed gaze at the floor. She knows that I would be happy with just it being us for our lifetimes... I don't need a child in my life. I don't have the wanting to procreate. I don't feel that making a baby would fulfill some part of me. But I know that she wants a child, and I know that she has half-heartedly given up on me wanting one.

Hurting her this way kills me a bit every time I think about it.

This is my blog, and I don't write this to upset her (as she reads this every so often) or to instigate anything. It has been on my mind recently, and I just feel the need to 'vent'. Feel free to post comments if you wish.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Musical MySpace Monday... plus one

Lorito Opens His Beak.

A local Springs band that's really very good.

The "PLUS ONE" part is Tom Waits' song "Day After Tomorrow". This is the version from the album (look down the page), not the Comedy Central episode of The Daily Show.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hmmm... I think I can do this...

Thanks to Collin for "Tag-you're-it"-ing me into this.

The thing is that I am very straightforward as to who I am and things about my past (even recently). Some of this may shock those of you who know little to nothing about me... some of this may not even surprise those of you who do. But, unlike Collin's, this will be the truth. This isn't a confessional (that'll be my 55th birthday present to everyone) it's just some cool tid-bits about me that I think might be interesting.

1) Justin Carmical is not my real name (well, not my FULL real name). My name when I was born was Justin Spencer Patrick. When my mother got divorced, she changed my name to Justin Spencer Carmical, but the clerk got it wrong and my real name became (and is still) Justin Spencer Patrick Carmical.

2) I'm bad at keeping secrets. VERY BAD. But the thing is, there is really only one childhood secret that I have kept... and I STILL have never told anyone. And I never intend to. My friend Mike shares the same secret, although I don't know if he has ever told anyone. It's silly, I know, and it really doesn't affect anyone... but it's nice to have at least one secret in your life from when you were growing up with friends.

3) While living in Boulder, Colorado (while growing up) I had two friends who were twin siblings One-Free (the boy) and Fire-Genni (the girl) Foster. With our friend (my first best friend) Scott Johnson we went all over our local neighborhood exploring, playing, and getting into trouble. They were my first really true friends that I can remember. We would go swimming at the rec-center, catch "garter snakes" in the empty lot behind our housing area, we'd always sleep over at our respective houses. One-Free even showed me my first 'virtual breasts' when he secretly showed us all his dad's copy of 'Heavy Metal Magazine'. Oooh... scandalous. Scott Johnson later showed me his dad's copy of Playboy magazine to fulfill my step into depravity.

4) Collin put one "bad thing" he did so I guess I should too. So, I must confess that one day in elementary school (I want to say 4th grade), One-Free got a can of Skoal (yes, THAT Skoal) and talked me into getting on top of the school roof to 'dip' with him. Wow. They 'felt' a 'buzz' of some sort, but I swear I dipped more than they did simply because I felt nothing and kept adding more to my mouth and kept it in there longer than they did. Eventually, we spit it out and got off of the roof and went to play somewhere. We were BIG into Battle of the Planets, so we probably did that.

5) The five people that I would have extra-marital relations with (in order): Grace Jones (I'd leave anyone for Grace Jones), David Bowie, Princess Peach (I don't know of a rule forbidding a 'fictional character' from being in this kind of list!), Tori Amos (gasp... red hair... so hawt), and Jennifer Tilly (swoon).

Mike, Jen, Paul, Ed, and Ty... 'tag'.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Thanks again to Collin...

...for a great link!

It really sounds like something Japan would do. Remember me saying how everyone recycles?

Thursday, December 07, 2006


When I was learning Japanese in the 90's, there was a TV show I watched that some Japanese ladies imported for me called "DownTown". I still have a few of the tapes, and the two stars are HIL-ARIOUS!

Well, it's good to see that they're still doing stuff. The two stars are the bald guy and the one with the HUGE fan.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Reason #1

...that I need to get a Japanese Wii.

Ennichino Tatsujin

Dag-nabbit! Why did the Wii have to be region-locked?!?

Well, at least the DS can still grant me a cool cooking game that I can import.

So F-ing Excited...

I just cannot tell you...

One of Jen's dreams was to see the Pumpkins in concert and, she was afraid when they broke up, that she'd never be able to. Now... we both can.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday MySpace Music


The Protomen have created music based upon the video games of MegaMan. They use none of the original music and, in fact, their 'rock-opera' is quite a different story than that told through the games, but they (I have heard) put on quite a show and I'm dying for them to come to Colorado.

I bought their album and listen to it quite a bit.

And a cool thing is that they were featured on last week's edition of GameJew! And they seem like cool guys.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I only wish... he's so cool.

Nope. No sarcasm. He's f-ing cool!


Gamejew #2

Mario Opera #1

The Mario Opera #2

Wii songs

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


(image courtesy of VG Cats)

Yup... and it's pretty damn sweet.

Sunday Max, Trevor, and Sarah came over and we played the hell outta' Wii Sports' Tennis and Bowling. 'Rayman Raving Rabbids' is wonderous and well worth the money.

Read more about the games in my blog on Gamers Go Round later on today.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nintendo is GAWD!!!

Shigeru Miyamoto... Happy 55th Birthday

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday MySpace Music

An eclectic group full of refreshing discordant notes and creative vocals is this week's pick. 'TV on The Radio' have a sound that I find interesting and out of the current norm. 'Wolf Like Me' is the song that got me hooked. The video for it is pretty cool too. I like 'em.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday MySpace Music

My MySpace is not just anyone I choose to accept. Its either real friends or interesting musical groups I like. I have a very eclectic listening style. I like almost genre. And any time I hear something new and fun I gush and want to tell others. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at reviews for music... so please understand when I just send you a link for you to listen to their songs.

So hopefully every Monday will be Monday MySpace Music where I can introduce you to groovy new bands that are my MySpace friends.

First up is Jonathan Coulton. ok... This guy rocks.

The Zombie song, his rendition of Baby Got Back, and Code Monkey (the song that attracted me) are just all creative and good listening.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Links fo' you

Haven't blogged about anything in quite some time, so here's some groovy sites for you to enjoy:

The Perry Bible Fellowship (Trust me on this)

Pole Dancing kit... for KIDS!

TV In Japan Blog

A direct link to all of KOTAKU's Jack "I'm a Pr*ck Bastard" Thompson's articles.

More Wii experience videos from the Nintendo site.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Firsts (from my MySpace friends)


FIRST REAL BEST FRIEND: Scott Johnson (Elementary school in Boulder)

Washington Elementary (Boulder, CO)

FIRST CELL PHONE: A first I never intend to have... yup... I'm cell-phone-less

FIRST FUNERAL: Genna Burkhart (my first cousin who was still-born)

FIRST PET: Puck (a guinea pig)

FIRST BIG TRIP: I'm gonna say "by myself" and make it from Boulder to Denver on a Grayhound Bus in the 70's.

Junior High. First time I ever was in a fight and fought back. I was beat on many times, but it was never a fight.

FIRST CELEBRITY CRUSH: Snow White. Oh... real life? Um... AH! First grade... Jodie Foster...Freaky Friday. I liked how her hair covered one eye...

FIRST TIME OUT OF THE COUNTRY?: Just came back from that. Japan.

King Soopers in 1987

FIRST MYSPACE FRIEND: My wife, Jennifer (known as 'Jennifer Valentine' on MySpace)


LAST PERSON YOU HUGGED: My wife... this morning

LAST CAR RIDE: I drove to work this morning too

CRAP! This morning. Weird. Had a bad dream that I was singing the song "Do You Love Me" from "Fiddler on the Roof" with Jennifer (my wife) as we were sitting on the edge of the bed. When we got to the very last lines of the song:

Then you love me?

I suppose I do

... Jennifer fades away like a ghost leaving me on the bed... alone. In my dream she was never really there... she had died years earlier and what was singing with me was just a phantom of my memories. Her hand on mine is the last thing to fade away. And I finish the song "I suppose, I love you too". I wake up, and I'm crying.

The Prestige

LAST FOOD YOU ATE: Jalapeno flavored potato chips and a Pepsi

LAST ITEM BOUGHT: Jalapeno flavored potato chips and a Pepsi

LAST SHIRT WORN: The one I have on... DUH!

LAST PHONE CALL: From my wife on Monday.


LAST THING YOU TOUCHED: computer keyboard...DUH!

LAST FUNERAL: see; First Funeral (above)


LAST TIME YOU WERE EXCITED FOR SOMETHING: The Nintendo Wii... just a few minutes ago... now, after typing this, I'M EXCITED AGAIN!!!

A co-worker

LAST THING YOU DRANK: pepsi.... to go along with my jalapeno flavored potato chips.

LAST PERSON THAT BROKE YOUR HEART: My grandfather... for dying. But, then again, he died of a broken heart when his wife passed away six weeks earlier. I miss him.

LAST TIME YOU WERE REALLY HONESTLY HAPPY?: This morning after the dream and my wife holding me (like the whimpery-soft-hearted-goof-ball that I am...)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pitagora Suichi

Pitagora Suichi. Literally "Pythagoras Switch". This is the kid's show I was talking about in my blog. Yes, it's really an amazing success with people all over the world!

The Algorythm exercise Jen and I got stuck in our heads. This was done with geisha, ninja, and robot toys in Japan. This is done with PE teachers.

Algorythm dance with ninja...

And with soccer players.

Framy the dog (Jen's favorite)

The show.

Now, the two guys are comedians who are part of a manzai group called 'Itsumo Kokokara' (Always From Here). They recently joined with some other comedians and musicians to form a short lived band (intentionally) called U.N.O. Band.

The rest is up...

At the Japan Blog Site.

Look towards the bottom.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pictures Part one

Follow the links. All pictures are 800 x 600... so they're big... but I wanted to show you all the detail of the cities we visited.

1059 - One of the streets in Chidoricho (the sub-town in Tokyo where we stayed)
1060 - A car too big for his garage
1061 - A restaurant's plastic food menu. Very inexpensive food.
1062 - A Chidoricho alleyway
1063 - A construction site with pink and white polka-dotted cranes and diggers.
1064 - A normal truck for Japan. Very tiny, eh?
1065 - A nice temple.
1066 - Tall can of Cola, cold tea below, cold coffee (ice-Kohi) above
1067 - Delivery!
1068 - Japanese graffiti
1069 - A shrine in the middle of town.
1070 - Our #1 American Embassy
1071 - Pretty alleyway
1072 - I told you there were electric wires everywhere.
1074 - They rode these motorbikes/mopeds/vespas everywhere!
1075 - They like cold coffee there. Note the Hollywood star promoter in the lower part of the machine
1076 - Ah... our new spokesmodel for a tall can of Pepsi.
1077 - Plastic corgi in the doorway of a house.
1078 - They really try to make their lack of space green wherever they can.
1079 - When they have houses, they make them lovely
1080 - Public open space where people can just be.
1081 - Down the train tracks of Chidoricho
1082 - Green wherever they can put it. This is one community's attempt.
1083 - Train tracks and street
1084 - My feeble attempt to be 'artsy'
1089 - Ma-ku-do-na-ru-do! Our first 'American' meal.
1090 - Ebi Filet O'. Baby shrimp cooked in a patty of batter. Mmmm.
1091 - Everyone recycles.
1092 - The Mc Donald's menu with pricing. It's pretty comparable to America price-wise.
1093 - Ah... SEGA-Land!
1094 - A playground. Note the concrete tubes to crawl through
1095 - The apartment complex here stores each tenant's car on a rotating storage device!
1098 - Picture for Trevor and Max.
1099 - Pokemon Center Tokyo. My poor Pokemon really needed a rest, so we re-charged them here.
1100 - Out hotel room at Ryokan Kangetsu. I won those plushies in a crane game (known as UFO-Catchers)
1103 - The train crossing at Chidoricho
1104 - The train entry/exit point in Tokyo proper
1106 - We move on to Ushiku.This is the size comparison for the Ushiku Buddah statue there
1107 - From afar
1108 - A replica of the head in smaller scale.
1109 - A comparison. Almost no visitors were there that day.
1110 - Prayer boards that people have filled out and placed here.
1111 - Closer look
1112 - Nice shrine item. It was rainy and misty that day, so everything was beautiful.
1114 - The lotus petals at the Buddah's base.
1115 - A side building with a pond of carp.
1116 - Pan & scan
1117 - All 'da carp

My two cents

Ok. This whole Senator Foley thingy has gotten waaay out of hand. He has convinced several people that it was alcoholism that caused him to write the letters to the young pages. Most of us know that was not the case. So, since he needs an excuse, let me give him an excuse:

Being horny.

Yup. Plain and simple.

I for one know of the evils of being horny and how it can make you do things you wouldn't have done normally simply because you (in your depraved little mind) assumed that you might be able to "get some". If anything he is a sex addict and would still be better off getting help at a center... but, even then, it's more a 'habit' or 'obsession' than an 'illness' or 'disease'.

Being horny, as with alcoholism, is not a disease. It's not a disease. IT IS NOT A DISEASE! It is an unfortunate state of being caused by alcohol. You do not go to the bathroom and forget to wash your hands and then contract alcoholism. You have a smoking habit... and you have a drinking habit. But it's NOT a disease (sorry for the tangent, but I needed to get it out).

The fact that he is gay has nothing to do with it. They could have been cute 16 year old female pages with little skirts and the white blouses that subtly pull gently across her pert... um... yeah. SEE? And they would have had the same things happen to them. Doesn't matter.

So, if anything, it would just all have gone away if they nipped it in the bud at the first sign of trouble... but they didn't. Now, he's waking up every morning knowing that his life is over. And, well, it is. He's gotta start fresh, and it's not gonna be easy.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pictures from Japan

Awright... hold yer horses! I kin only work so fast. It took me all of last night to get the damn things the right size (800 x 600) and dial-up only allows 4 pictures every 8-10 minutes (at the size I made them).

Yes, I suck... but they'll be up soon.

You're the ghost of my indecision...

Myspace is so weird.

I mean, I did a search for people I might have known 1989-1991 (1989 was my graduating year) and I found someone whom I have been thinking about through the years. She was an old girlfriend of mine when I was a senior at Wasson. I have always thought "I wonder how she is. I hope she's doing well. She was a really really great friend."

I'm glad she's well.

I saw one of my best friends from Wasson there as well. He was very near and dear to me, and I really messed up our friendship (I was really a dick back then). It seems that he's happy. I'm unsure if he would appreciate an email from me. I know that time heals all wounds (supposedly)... I don't know.

Living in a world where one can find old friends and lovers is a bit awkward. Do you contact them? Do you let them enjoy their lives without having to remember you? I messed up a lot back then.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Man, am I messed up!

I've had a hard time sleeping since I got back from Japan. I have been waking up at 4 or 5:00am every morning so far (no matter the time I go to bed) and stay awake from then on.

Also, my spine x-rays got back and the doctor told me that I have "mild disk degenerative disease" in my back (thank G-d that my back was good through the Japan trip). I cannot make the rehab they want me to do (3 times a week) because of work.

So i'm stuck taking normal pain medications (Wal-proxin, Aleive, Advil, Ibuprofin). The prescribed muscle relaxers that they gave me make me sleepy, so I don't take those.

(sigh) Yay me.

Collin and my newest blog!


Check it out. Collin asked if I would like to help out with this new site, and I said that I would love to. What's the difference between this new game review site and all the thousands of others?

Well... it's got reviews written by Collin and myself. You know us.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Games

There's a TON of great Japanese gaming stuff coming out between now and the December holiday season. I'll let you all see what I'm most stoked about.

I'll post the import-friendly level which will indicate if it would be easy for a non-Japanese speaking person to understand it. The name links go to my favorite import shopping online store PLAY-ASIA. I have purchased many things from them with confidence.

Pokemon Pearl/Diamond
Import-Friendly Level: Medium

This groovy first-time-on-the-DS game is being released in Japan first, but that's ok because you can be the first to own it. With the free W-fi that the DS has to offer, you can not only trade pokemon with anyone in the world, but you can play mini-games with them. And well love the mini-games, now, don't we?

The language barrier may be a hindrance here in that some of the new features may require you to do something that's not immediately obvious (unlike other Pokemon games which you can trial-and-error your way through). Otherwise, you may want to wait for the spring 2007 US release.

And (as a side-note) don't forget to take your GameBoy Advance Pokemon games to Toys R Us this Saturday September 30th for the MEW giveaway from noon to 3:00pm.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood
Import-Friendly Level: High

This fighting game based on the first story line of the Jojo's Bizarre Adventure series is a fighting game. As such, there should be little difficulty going through the menus and skipping storyline. However, the fighting in this game should be great fun for everyone as the camera scans and zooms around the players as they use their unique skills and powers to defeat the opponent. Since the game is so new, new players will be on fairly the same level as experiences fighting game aficionados.

Jump Ultimate Stars
Import-Friendly Level: High

Another fun fighting game with a groovy twist for those who are enthusiastic about Japanese comics. Jump Ultimate Stars is the sequel for last year's Jump Super Stars release that featured 150 characters from over 27 different manga from (you guessed it) Shonen Jump Comics. This game looks to be the same fighting style, the same sort of play with 300 characters, from over 40 comic titles, and more fun combinations. With similar battle play to the Super Smash Bros. titles, this is a good title for both those who are great at fighting games, and those that are just starting. Little to no Japanese knowledge will be needed and GameFAQs help will be out almost the same day as the initial release.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

November 19th 2006

The Wii release date. Here's what you get for your $250:

* The Wii and all it's hook-ups
* Wii Sports (yup, it's packed with a game! YAY!)
* One Wiimote controller
* One Nunchuk
* Free Opera browser (if you get it before June 2007)

Extra Wiimotes will cost $39, nunchuks will cost $20. Extra games will be $50 (first party). Each controller will hold your personal information (including the COOOL 'Mii' character) so you can take it with you.

So will I be getting the Wii on November? I'm gonna sure as hell try.
Will I be getting the 4 controllers? Not at $40 a pop ($60 if you get the nunchuk too).

I'll probably be getting (hopefully) the Wii, an extra controller for Jen, and a second game (Wario Ware if it releases). So i'm gonna be looking at about $340 +tax. Saving up right now!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

We're back

And holy CWAP is it cold here in Colorado compared to Japan! Missed you all, and I hope to see you all soon once the crazy-ness of getting caught-up subsides.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


HUZZAH! Ryokan Kangetsu came through!!! Hail 2 U! If you ever go to Tokyo, use them. Seriously... I feel like kissing them!

So with that settled, we're all ready to get gettin'.

To view our (hopefully) nightly posts about Japan please go to:

Noriaki Kakyouin in Japan

Nothing is up yet... DUH! We're not in Japan yet.

Sept. 9 - Saturday
United 6331
6:55am depart Colorado Springs
8:29am arrive San Francisco
Journey time: Steve Per... er, 2 hours 34 min.

United 837
11:33am depart San Francisco
2:10pm arrive Narita Airport
Journey time: 10 hours 37 min.

Japan: 3 days and counting...

Still no word from the Ryokan Kangetsu, but Jen is patient and sending requests for other places still as we speak.

Yup. We leave Saturday and still no Hotel for when we arrive. No... i'm not panicking. I'M PANICKING GREATLY!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Japan: 4 days and counting...

And already something has gone awry!

So I was checking on time differences to see when I should email the hotel manager in Toky where we're staying at (Yoshida House). And I went to their site... and the site was down.

Well, I started looking on Google for 'Yoshida House reviews' to see if they would list their phone number so I could get it... and I came across this nifty site: Have Bat/Will Travel.

So I was reading (to get a better idea about Yoshida House) and read this:
My first impression of Nerima is that it is extremely beautiful; although the houses are small, it truly is a country of aesthetes, all of whom display meticulously-kept semi-tropical plants. My second impression? *Damn, but there are a lot of whores here.* To their credit, they:re really meticulously-kept semi-tropical whores.

"HUH?" I said to myself... so I read more.
I told them I knew Peter was on vacation, but that I had arranged to stay the month. They let me in on the truth: Peter is not on vacation in Bangkok, he is in a detention center, having been deported for visa problems (which apparently plague about a third of Yoshida:s tenants) Peter left in a hurry, shackled, no doubt, to some humorless immigration official, abandoning his NINE CATS, who prowl about begging for food; the ad-hoc cat policy being not to give them any, in the hope that they will take the hint and scadoodle. One of these cats has twice followed me into my room; another tries to jump on me every time I sit down. My room, though carpeted, comes with a broom, which has proved an invaluable tool in Caitlin-cat relations.

Um... Peter was the one who reserved MY room too... (gulp) reading on...
As for my room, it is the worst place I have ever seen in my entire life, but there is something about its abject squalor that makes me want to tough it out. My floor is sunken in several places; the *bed* is an army cot covered with several quilts to signify a mattress, which I am instructed to air out every week or so to kill fleas.
Exhausted, I lay down and slept better than ever before, but was awoken by immigration officials conducting an impromptu sweep. When asked in Japanese whether I lived here on my way to the shower (one building
over!) I responded, in Japanese, *yes, since yesterday* and was left alone. The other tenants were in hiding, peering out their windows from their rooms or playing possum.

Needless to say, I cancelled my reservation with them immediately.

So them I begin my literal SCRAMBLE to try to find ANY PLACE that could hold us for 9/10 thru 9/18 in Tokyo. Onward to!

After 2 hours of searching, and much discussion with Jen, we settled on Ryokan Kangetsu. I didn't want to pay the $68 to reserve it through bookhostels... so we can only hope that they reply in time from their reservation area on their website.

Keep your fingers crossed, folks!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Japan: 5 days and counting...

I got this story from Modojo. I'll be bringing back many more import games from Japan... I really suggest handheld imports to others. Even if you cannot read them, you can enjoy them still.

Read on.
Ever purchased an imported game? If its something you've never done, you could be missing out on a whole world of extra fun! So how do you go about engaging in this wonderful activity? Well, getting games imported is easier than ever before, thanks to there being so many websites dedicated to selling the latest Japanese releases direct to our very doors. Gone are the days of a game being marked up double or more just because of a sticker saying import stuck to the case. So now the price is right, and more people are importing than ever before.

Still, there's an enormous amount of people who've never seen any reason to import. Why should you even be bothered? The fact is that Japan sees a huge amount of exciting and original portable games that either never see the light of day over here, take an absolute age to get over here, or are changed beyond all recognition into an entirely different game. The presentation of the packaging is often a level above ours, with superior artwork and sometimes little bonus treats, like sticker sets. It's the feeling of holding something you know very few people around you have held. Like the landscape shape of the Japanese Gameboy Advance boxes - they're only boxes, but they feel a little more special somehow.

The games that don't make it to our shores usually don't make it for various reasons. Often the games need a lot of translation work, and publishers feel the title is too niche to cover the cost of localization, marketing, and distribution. Some games are considered to be just too plain crazy to have any appeal over here - often they're the ones that are the most fun! There are also many licensed anime titles that don't even get considered for release due to the fact the TV shows they're based on aren't available here, as was mentioned in our review of Bleach : Souten ni Kakeru Unmei. While Bleach might make its way over here eventually, it's too late for the developer Treasure's other portable fighting game, Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! A polished GBA boxing game from 2002 based upon the anime and manga comic of the same name. Never released in the west, despite there being a serious lack of boxing games, it remains a quality title that is now remarkably difficult to get hold of.

There have been, in the past, been plenty of obstacles to importing, like having to have your console modified to play the games, paying high prices and of course the language barrier that comes with the games being in Japanese. Price is no longer really a concern and for portables neither is that of regional locking, with all of the current generation of portables being able to play games from anywhere in the world. That leaves us with just the language barrier to contend with, and of course the almighty task of selecting something to play.

Some genres are easier to understand in a foreign language than others, like fighting, driving, shooting and puzzle games. Then there's your RPG's and strategy games, where people can get stuck easily because of the sheer amount of text. Many games having complicated in-game tutorials, for instance. It isn't always impossible though. These games have a dedicated die-hard fanbase, who often make up intricately detailed FAQs and walkthroughs, which can be very useful if you're intent on playing these text heavy games. If you want to play the simpler action games, you'll find that if you've been playing games for long enough, you should be able to pick up and play most Japanese games to some extent without having to read any kind of instructions.

Recently we've taken a look at a few imported titles, like the Bit Generations games, Bleach: Souten ni Kakeru Unmei, Every Extend Extra, Rhythm Tengoku, and Ultimate Ghosts and Goblins, known as Goku Makaimura in Japan. These games are a decent example of games that are easy enough to pick up and play without a degree in Japanese.

Every Extend Extra for example is almost entirely in English aside from the small tutorial at the start of the game. If you can't figure out how to play it, there's plenty of info around on how the game works due to the popular freeware PC version of the game.

With Rhythm Tengoku, virtually all the text in the menus and in-game are in Japanese but the way the game works is straightforward enough for anyone without any Japanese knowledge at all to play it. The only real areas of confusion may lie in what the options available in the menus are, but you really don't have to delve into them that often. Just make sure you don't delete all your progress!

The entire Bit Generations series is designed to be as simple as possible, with minimal text of any kind in the games and game concepts that are easy to grasp almost immediately. They're also really cheap, coming in at around half the price of a traditional GBA title. They may be minimalistic games but they're still enjoyable.

Goku Makaimura initially resembles its forebears but without a little knowledge of the game you'll find it even harder than it already is. Without being able to read the manual you'll miss some vital parts about how the game works, such as how to utilize items you come across. The in-game menus are simple enough to work out if you have a quick glance at an FAQ. Just remember to keep chucking them daggers as fast as you can, yeah?

If you're already into or thinking about getting into import games, a fun thing to have a go at is attempting to learn the Japanese Katakana writing system. Katakana ( is one of the Japanese writing systems and is usually used for 'Loan words', meaning words that aren't of traditional Japanese origin. You'll be very surprised by how much text in games is actually kinda in English, just not written in English. It can be difficult to start but the katakana symbols can be easily spotted in text because compared to the other writing they tend to be simpler and more angular.

Japanese as a language works with a set mixture of syllables, so these loan words read rather strangely but do make sense. For example, in Goku Makaimura, a screen that you are going to see a lot of the time says 'continue', in katakana this is spelled as KONTINYU. Other things that come in handy to be able to spot are things like 'save' (SEEBU, pronounced kinda like SAY BU! ), Load (ROODO, like 'row dough') and options ( OPUSHON ). Its surprising to see so many quite easily recognizable words - it just takes a while to be able to recognize them.

If you don't fancy going quite as far as that, there are still a few simple things that you can learn that will help you. Knowing the difference between YES (HAI) and NO (IIE) is one of the most useful things you can learn, as you'll often find in-between levels the good old game save prompt, which is the Kana for save with some japanese writing after it and then usually a nice question mark. Hai is usually on the left and is made up of two characters, Iie is usually on the right and is made up of three characters. Iie is usually the one automatically highlighted so whenever you want to save your game, select the smaller word!

You don't need any knowledge of Japanese to actually get hold of the games, though. There is a wide range of import games companies, some with more specialist services than others. Popular websites include the likes of Lik-Sang, YesAsia, Play-Asia and NCSX. The latter two companies are pretty useful for obtaining those harder to find older titles.

Is it worthwhile just to wait for a Western release? In the case of some games, like Goku Makaimura where the release date isn't that far away, the advantage gained is mainly that you've had it a couple of months earlier than you would've, and sometimes at a cheaper price to boot. With more unique games like Bit generations and Rhythm Tengoku though, you are enjoying something you otherwise wouldn't have access.

We're going to continue looking at the import scene, highlighting the games we believe are worth your game time. In the next Japan in my Hand we examine the major games currently available on import for your GBA, DS, & PSP that you really shouldn't be missing out on.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Japan: 10 days and counting...

Ok. So many of you know that I ran the Pokemon League at Compleat Games & Hobbies... well, I started the dern thing! And, in the process, I became a pokemaniac myself. Yeah... it sucks. (laughs)

So I NEED to go to the Pokemon Center in Tokyo. Yup, they made an actual Pokemon Center!

And here's some Poke-links for your Poke-day.

Pokemon Elite 2000



Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Who Are You?

Personally, I'm more Wario... without the evil...

Japan: 12 days and counting...

While getting things prepared to get ready to go to Japan on September 9th, I came across some sites I would like to share:

Tokyo Pocket Guide to the Ginza

So anywhoo... been getting maps marked, guesthouses and hostels confirmed, itinerary settled, and money ready to convert to Yen. I can honestly say that it has been DAMN hard to get to sleep these past few nights.

When we get to Japan, I am going to try to get on the free internet wireless that our guesthouses provide and post thoughts and the like when I can. This page will have the link to get to that site at the very top.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Real-Life Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!

This is so cool.

Life imates DS games. This NHK news broadcast shows a group of Ouendan-like cheerleaders from Kwansei Gakuin University in Hyogo who are encouraging the down-and-out.

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! is a DS rhythm game in which a troupe of male cheerleaders help out the underdogs. Likewise, these college students are supporting people such as Osamu Kuwazaki, a forty year-old salaryman still unable to find a wife. To find the encouragement he needs, Kuwazaki listened to the cheerleaders bang drums, scream and watched the female rah-rah girls do high kicks.

(from Kotaku)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Favorite Movies

Going on the line that Derek's newest podcast (podcast 11) goes on. Personally, I cannot say that I can put more than three movies of any genre on here. There's lots of good movies... but we're talking favorites here. And I cannot put 'Foreign' as a category since the sheer number of movies from other countries are making their way into theatres is rising daily. This list also includes 'guilty favorites'.

*The Ring - this was just good scary. Little to no blood and gore... it was just scary.


*Batman Begins
*X-Men 2
*Superman Returns

*Raiders of the Lost Ark
*Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

*The Matrix (the first movie)
*Star Trek IV

*Geisha Boy - And it's probably because I like Japan and Jerry
*Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Drama (given that I hate dramas):
*Bin-jip ('3-Iron' in the USA)
*Stalag 17

*Adventures of Mark Twain (claymation)
*Nanny McPhee

*Jesus Christ Superstar
*My Fair Lady

*The Emperor's New Groove
*My Neighbor Totoro
*Howl's Moving Castle

All-time favorite (like Best Movie in the Oscars... it can be any genre):
*Night at the Opera

Keep in mind that I may like other movies, but these are my favorites. They may be bad movies to some, but if I want to watch these movies over and over... and even own them... then they're my favorites.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Collin does it again!

He finds just the best stuff, man.

Today he found this great video the "instructs" the correct procedure for Japanese things. It's all very funny with (unfortunately) lots of inside jokes that you would only get if you knew that it was supposed to be funny or know the customs. Some of it is real... much of it is exaggeration or double-meanings or out-right lies.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Figurines... damn. Not another collectible thing...

I love the live-action comic of REPROGRAPHICS (besides the fact that it's done in my old hometown of Boulder, Colorado).

Well, he posted a comic last week of a product called the 'Dunny'. I had heard of these before and had considered picking them up. I'm incredibly interested in the vinyl collectible figurines of graphic artists.

GAH! Why did he have to make them look so appealing!?! GOTTA CATCH... er... COLLECT THEM ALL!

Oooh... I wonder what things they have in Japan that are similar. We'll see in a few weeks, now, won't we?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

How da hell does di ting woyk?

I'm going to be trying to connect to blogger this week and post a few blog-things from my Pocket PC so that when I got to Japan I can let you all know about some of our goings on. I don't think there is a way I can upload pictures from my digital camera without a real computer... but we can save the pictures for another time and place.

Leaving on September 9th!

Monday, August 14, 2006

They announced it!!!

The second season of the new Doctor Who will be on Sci-Fi starting September 29th! Do the happy dance!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hi. I'm a Wii... and I'm a PS3.

My wife's book of poetry is almost out!

We got in the two free copies just last night... i'm so excited for her. Here's the Amazon info.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Music

Muse - Knights of Cydonia

Bask in the kitch-iness of the warming glow of TV's warming glow.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I am ninja

Funny funny stuff. Here's some links to you tube with some favorite ninja questions/answers.


Pirates of the Carribean 2

Ninja Conventions

Why are they after me?

And gawd help me, I love 'Hope is Emo' too...

Monday, July 17, 2006

The project...

So I have been away from posting for a while while I tried to figure out if my new 'project' was goign to hold my interest... it has.

So, here it is. The reason I have been so busy and not able to post much.

Friday, June 30, 2006


I was watching VH1 recently and saw a new show called "SUPER GROUP" where they did the 'fantasy rock group' and made it 'real': "Motor City Madman Ted Nugent, Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, Anthrax's Scott Ian, drummer (Led Zeppelin heir) Jason Bonham and Biohazard's Evan Seinfeld."

SO! What's your own 'Super Group'? The rules are that they must be alive and still able to play, they must have similar tastes in music (no Beethoven with Eddie Van Halen), no foreign artists (this includes GACKT, Grace (laughs) ), and no two people from the same group (however they could have played in the same group for a short time).

AND don't just put them in your list JUST because you like them... people may ask for you to defend your choices (for example, I wasn't going to put in John Linnell from TMBG. I like them, but he doesn't fit in the band 'scheme').

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Spin D.J. Is a Gawd

Thanks, Collin.

Monday, June 12, 2006

This one's a toughie.

Although some might look for me in West Virginia - I've lived in fair, misty towns - Moriarty's puzzle rose above the scum to weave my draft. What am I?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

6/6/06 was actually a pretty good day!

* I got a lot of work done at work
* Trevor came by my house and sold me his X-Box for $50 (complete with 2nd controller, DVD stuff, and games)
* I went to see a SkySox game with my wife and we had a really good time (Sox won 8 to 4)
* I heard some pretty good music all day

Yup. Pretty good day.

As for the Trevor giving me his X-Box... he said that he felt he should 'donate' it, but wanted to get Elder Scrolls. So I told him I'd buy it for him. He also told me that he got the 360 and he loves it. Well, we'll have to have another C.H.E.E.T. night here sometime. July?

Monday, June 05, 2006

I had a friend since I was 13...

I had a friend since I was 13. His name was Philippe. We were really close friends and one day we got into an argument about religion. We since have not spoken... going on 3 years now.

I have had some dreams lately about him and my wife Jen has said that I should bury the hatchet and seek him out again. I was thinking that it was a good idea until today when I re-read the emails that I had saved that were our arguments. I had saved them so I could refer to them again should he deny something he or I said. Yeah, pretty fucking petty of me, but I did it anyways.

Now, I'm not so sure that I want to try for another friendship with him. Trying to convert people and having little tolerance for other beliefs is a difficult and dangerous way to think... and although Jen has seen him and spoken with him a few times, and even that she said that he has expressed interest in becoming friends again... I really don't know if I can deal with his close-minded views. I know that's probably very close minded of me to say, but "burn me once, shame on you... burn me twice, shame on me".

What do you all think?


I also found this poem I wrote on the spur of the moment and sent in one of the last emails to him:

"Steer your boat alongside mine,
And let us sail into the future together.
But do not think that your boat is better than mine nor will I,
And we shall bring peace to the world together.
And should our crafts falter, or should we fail,
Help me as a brother would and help me set sail once more,
With you believing in your boat,
And I in mine."

----"My Boat Asail"

Friday, June 02, 2006

Why didn't anyone TELL ME?!?

Old Grandma Hardcore ROCKS!

First Post
"My friends encouraged me to start this blog to share my grandma with the world. Anyone who lives near us hearing her scream "Fucking Cocksucker Won't FUCKING DIE!!" at the television at very late hours knows she's something special. I'm her 22 year old grandson and I wouldn't trade her for the world- for many reasons; but one stands out.

My Grandma plays video games. Wait- no, that doesn't do it justice: Grandma is fucking hardcore. She has a decent size TV in her room with surround sound, Digital Cable (through she never watches), GameCube, XBox, Playstation 2, SNES, and Genesis (with the 32X if you can believe that). It's not just that she plays, anyone can go through the motions of a walkthrough of a console game if they plug at it enough, she's good. She plays anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day for RPG (Final Fantasy Series, Xenosaga, Zelda Series, Ico, etc.,.); 10 to 12 hours if she's on a sports fix (Outlaw Golf is particularly a favorite at the moment); and she gets kicks from destroying guests at the Multiplayer of your choice while serving them the indignity of simultaneously providing delicious cookies.

She's had two knee replacements and countless surgeries. If you were to see her in a grocery store you would see a old, Midwestern diabetic with thick glasses held up by a crutch or a shopping cart stumbling along smiling at everybody. She's polite, a safe driver, mother of five and grandmother of twelve. She's great. But if you get her in front of a game she likes, she becomes a monster; a demon who craves the blood, nay- the life-force of her enemies manifested as a swear happy old lady in a comfy chair. She has destroyed many controllers in frustration, already wore out two PS2's, and will gladly walk into a Gamestop or EB Games with the swagger of one with more knowledge about games and gaming than the teenager behind the counter can ever hope to amass.

This blog will be a chronicle to my experiences with this fascinating woman. I will update will new stories as well as memories of past campaigns. Welcome to OGHC."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Holy Puzzles Batman!

Enter the Kotaku's Summer of Prizes: Weekly DS Lite Give-Away HERE.... I did!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Freetar Hero

Thanks to Collin for this GREAT link.

Video HERE.

It was that BASTARD Nintendo, wasn't it?


Also, EBGames has a list of Wii games that will be available. I love the idea that an AVATAR game is being made. Doing the moves with the Wiimote will be VERY cool. The prices are NOT what Nintendo has said that they will sell for... these are placeholders.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Platform: Wii
Publisher: THQ
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Blitz: The League

Platform: Wii
Publisher: Midway
Category: Sports
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 10/30/06

Call of Duty 3
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Activision
Category: Shooters
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 6/1/2007

Platform: Wii
Publisher: THQ
Category: Racing
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Disaster: Day of Crisis
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Action, Simulation
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Disney’s Meet the Robinsons

Platform: Wii
Publisher: Buena Vista Games
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Neo
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Atari
Category: Fighting
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen & the Tower of Mirrors
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Square Enix
Category: Role Playing
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Duck Hunt
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Shooters
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07


Platform: Wii
Publisher: Konami
Category: Action, Platform
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Excite Truck
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Action, Racing, Simulation
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles — The Chrystal Bearers

Platform: Wii
Publisher: Square Enix
Category: Role Playing
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Final Furlong
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Category: Racing, Simulation
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Fire Emblem
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Role Playing
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Madden NFL 07
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Category: Sports
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 8/30/06

Mario Wii
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 10/1/06

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Activision
Category: Action, Role Playing
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Metal Slug Anthology

Platform: Wii
Publisher: SNK Playmore USA
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 10/1/06

Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07


Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Simulation
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Ping Pong
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Sports
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 6/30/07

Project H.A.M.M.E.R.
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Rayman Raving Rabbids
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Category: Platform
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Red Steel
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Category: Shooters
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Resident Evil Wii
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Capcom
Category: Adventure
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Platform: Wii
Publisher: NIBRIS
Category: Action, Adventure
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

SD Gundam G Breaker

Platform: Wii
Publisher: Bandai
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Sengoku Action
Platform: Wii
Publisher: KOEI
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Sonic Wildfire
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Sega
Category: Action, Platform
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab
Platform: Wii
Publisher: THQ
Category: Platform
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Super Mario Galaxy

Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Platform
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Sega
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Super Smash Bros: Brawl

Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Action, Fighting
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Super Swing Golf Pangya

Platform: Wii
Publisher: Tecmo
Category: Sports
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Adventure
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Tony Hawks Downhill Jam
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Activision
Category: Sports
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

Trauma Center: Second Opinion
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Atlus Software
Category: Simulation
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 11/1/06

WarioWare: Smooth Moves
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Wii Music
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Other
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 3/30/07

Wii Sports

Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Sports
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Wii Sports Airplane
Platform: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Simulation
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Ships 12/1/06

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Nintendo E3 information


(spits coffee on computer screen) PPPFFFFTTTTTTTTT

The PS3 is going to be $500?!?! You have GOT to be joking! What utter crap! WAY too expensive for a flippin' gaming system! And that doesn't include things like HDMI, memory card support and built-in WiFi... and will only come with 20 gig harddrive. You want the 60 gigger you gotta fork out another $100! I'm sorry, all you PS3 fans. This isn't a gloat... it's a true apology for you all getting hosed on your favorite console.

Wheras the Wii....
Here's what we know:

Intuitive control for anyone using the physical motion of the main Wii Remote, which resembles a television remote control. Up to four Wii Remotes can be connected at once using wireless Bluetooth technology. The wireless signal can be detected within 10 meters of the console. Both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers include a three-axis motion sensor. The Wii Remote also includes a speaker, rumble feature and expansion port, and can be used as a pointer within 5 meters of the screen. The Wii Remote has a power switch, plus pad, A, B, Minus, Home, 1 and 2 buttons. The Nunchuk controller includes an analog control stick and C and Z buttons.

A single self-loading media bay will play single- or double-layered 12-centimeter optical discs for Wii, as well as 8-centimeter Nintendo GameCube&153; discs.
Communication: Wii can communicate with the Internet even when the power is turned off. This "WiiConnect24" service delivers a new surprise or game update, even if users do not play with Wii. Users can connect wirelessly using IEEE802.11b/g, or with a USB 2.0 LAN adaptor. Wii also can communicate wirelessly with Nintendo DS&153;.

Virtual Console:
Wii will have downloadable access to 20 years of fan-favorite titles originally released for Nintendo® 64, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System® (SNES) and even the Nintendo Entertainment System® (NES). The Virtual Console also will feature a "best of" selection from Sega Genesis titles and games from the TurboGrafx console (a system jointly developed by NEC and Hudson). It also will be home to new games conceived by indie developers whose creativity is larger than their budgets.

The Specs:
Wii has 512 megabytes of internal flash memory, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi capability. A bay for an SD memory card will let players expand the internal flash memory. Design was optimized with state-of-the-art processing technologies that minimize power consumption, keep the console compact and enable the "sleepless" WiiConnect24 mode.

PowerPC CPU (code-named "Broadway")
Made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process, jointly developed with and manufactured by IBM.

Other Features:
Four ports for classic Nintendo GameCube controllers. Two slots for Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards. An AV Multi-output port for component, composite or S-video.

-$249 Price tag
-ALWAYS online (console is always online, even when OFF)
-Built in speaker on the controller
-No improved graphics on Virtual Console (as in, they aren’t redoing the models, doesn’t talk about framerates and such).
-TG16 will have it’s 1st party games out at launch, 3rd party will come later as demand increases.
-Estimated prices for the VC are “a few dollars for NES, $5 for SNES and $10 for N64″
-VC games are pro-scan enabled

...folks, the numbers speak for themselves.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Would help if I explained...

Well, the EARTHBOUND game (an RPG) I got was never made.

Well... officially never produced in the US.

But a guy in Canada was able to take a NES cart and put the ROM onto it and even made a new label for it as well.

So, basically, I got the game that never was!

And i'm working on doing this very same thing (with other games) myself.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Doctor Who: School Reunion


Now, the guy who put it up said that it will only be up for a week... so enjoy it while you can. I loved it. Best new episode so far. Sarah Jane Smith, K9... who could ask for anything more?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Nintendo Revolution has a new name...

And it............. sucks. It has been re-dubbed the Nintendo "Wii". As in "we."

While the code-name Revolution expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer. Wii will break down that wall that seperates videogame players from everybody else. Wii will put people more in touch with their games... and each other. But you're probably asking: What does the name mean?

Wii sounds like "we," which emphasizes the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.

Wii has a distinctive "ii" spelling that symbolizes both the unique controllers and the image of people playing it. And Wii, as a name and a console, brings something revolutionary to the world of videogames that sets it apart from the crowd.

So that's Wii. But now Nintendo needs you. Because it's really not about you or me. It's about Wii. And together, Wii will change everything.

I liked "Revolution" much better.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

NES Cart Development

I think that I posted how I was interested how to take a NES ROM and put it onto an actual cartridge to play in an actual NES. Well, I got a site up and I made some SUPER progress on the "hows" and "whys".


Red Diamond

Been listening to old David Bowie today at work and was wondering whay my glam rock name would be... found a generator and it told me "Red Diamond".

As Carlito from WWE would say: "That... is cool."

So, what would your glam rock name be? Use a generator or make one up.

Great glam rock/genre movies: Velvet Goldmine, Party Monster, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Importing for Noobz

GameSpot did a great article on this. Well done. HERE.

Monday, April 24, 2006

My wife kicks ass!

She's been loving the Nintendo DS and plays Brain Age every day. She absolutely digs the sudoku feature and tends to play that first.

And yes, her brain age is MUCH better than mine. She's at a 22 brain age. DAY-UM!

As for me, I played (and beat) the NES 'River City Ransom' again. I forgot how much fun it is! Truly one of my top 10 games for the NES of all time.

By the way... you HAVE to download Pirate Baby. Really. (although, in the middle,... it's really probably not safe for work in a few places unless you work at a place that likes the extreme Family Guy and South Park episodes). But Collin will L-O-V-E it! (zombies)

Great link from Paul: GREATEST GAMES OF ALL TIME.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Arby's SUCKS ASS!! Brain Age Doesn't!!

Ok, so on Friday I made the mistake of eating Arby's. Long story short (too late) I got food poisoning. Bad bad stuff. I'm still feeling all in knots. Visiting the restroom ever hour (not even slightly joking here) is getting very old (and very painful) very fast.

On a lighter note (lord knows I need it) Brain Age releases tomorrow! A great link for you HERE.

Also, you may remember a blogging of mine a few weeks ago about a DS game that allowed a person to take one of 5 languages, point to the DS saying something in Japanese and then having the DS translate it perfectly? Great Japanese link about that HERE. The video's of a lady in Thailand buying a hat, and the second is her getting something to eat. Just let it load, and it'll play automatically. Then, click on the right arrow just below the movie and you'll see another short clip. It'd be so wonderful if they brought this out in the US.

And thanks to my mom for getting me Kingsdom Hearts II for my birthday and humoring me and watched the opening movie with me. You rock.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Laurie Anderson

This is the video that made me fall in love with her eclectic musical talents

Fat and Retarded

Heh... sorry.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Reminds me of the "Greg the Bunny" world.

Press play and once the 'loading' goes away, press pause and let it load fully before watching it.

Make yer own

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

35th Birthday

My aunt, uncle, and mother all called today at 7:00am to wish me a happy birthday. I love my family.

I'll be making the boxes tonight and taking pictures. Hopefully i'll get to put them up tonight as well, but i've been very busy last night and today getting the Japan trip planned. Much work.

Here's a very cool baseball/NES link. Someone re-enacted the 1986 World series (the last 8 minutes of it) using the NES baseball game.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'm SO going to do this...

It will be my birthday prank. I'll post pictures this April 11th (my birthday).

"A YAM, I said.
A YAM, I cried.
But no-one heard a word my mouth's trapped inside."
-Neil Diamond

C.H.E.E.T. enters a contest

So I entered CHEET into a 'Best Gaming Room' contest on the Kotaku blog-board-thingy (see link to the lower right). Come April 15th go to Kotaku and VOTE FOR ME!!!

Image sent to Kotaku

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Good gravy

This blog is starting to turn into a gaming blog... but that's just because of the times. It will soon turn into a Japan-trip blog as I get ready to go to Japan with my wife Jennifer.

Linking to last night's posting, I found a guy in Canada (NES Reproductions) that will put a legal NES rom onto a cartridge for you. You choose the game and buy a 'donor cart' and send it to him. He then puts the game onto the chip of the donor and puts on a NEW label and sends it back to you. All-in-all it costs $25 plus the cost of the donor cart. Pretty sweet deal considering there are roms of games that were never released in America, home-translated games never released in North America, and homebrew games! These are all legal!

I'm ordering Earthbound Zero (the original Mother for the NES that was never released) this Friday. If all goes smoothly, i'll be getting some more with future paycheques.

Here's a site
that had 'virtual' students and they made some games. Interesting...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A NEW Sega Genesis game!!! ...well, kinda'...

...but it's still new.

There was a game for the Mega Drive/Genesis (in Japan) that was never translated. Well, some people got the rights for the game, translated it, and are now selling it.

This intrested me and I think I'll look for other 'new' and 'home-brew' games and post them here. Who knows, maybe i'll get some for the CHEET museum. Also, if you come across any sites let me know.

Found this (even though it's going to be a download and not an actual cart as I am looking for):

*Grand Theft-tendo

Very cool


Monday, March 27, 2006

Cool stuff time

Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom part 1

Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom part 2

Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom part 3

Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom part 4

I love my Nintendo DS...

Another Japanese game that I pray makes it to the US:

Tabi no Yubisashi Kaiwachou DS: DS Series 4 America

Ever wanted to travel to a foreign land but eventually steered away because of the language barrier? At the end of the month, Japanese citizens finally get a friendly and interactive way to "converse" in five different languages by way of five customized pieces of software which allow for point and tap conversation translation services.

For example, you're in South Korea and have just sat down inside a restaurant. You look at the menu but can't figure out what is what. You've heard of bulgogi (barbecued beef strips) but you're vegetarian. Instead of starving, flip open the NDS, boot the Korean phrasebook and direct the waiter's attention to your Nintendo DS. Click on the phrase which reads, "I am vegetarian" and wait as a voice emanates from the Nintendo DS which says "ch’aeshik juwi imnida" in perfect Korean. The waiter nods knowingly, disappears for a few minutes, and returns with a Todok salad followed by a heaping bowl of Bibimguksu noodles. After slurping, tap the "Thank you" phrase and listen as the NDS says "kamsa hamnida" to the waiter.

The five versions of Conversation Phrasebook DS support travel to the following lands: United States (titled: America), South Korea, Thailand, China, and Germany.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Metroid on your browser


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

DS Helps the elderly

I'm re-printing a very cool report here. I found it at THIS WEBSITE. I have the game they're talking about, but it's in Japanese... it comes out in America on April 17th.

Video games for the elderly: an answer to dementia or a marketing tool?

Nintendo product proves addictive to over-45s anxious to ward-off effects of old age

Justin McCurry in Tokyo
Tuesday March 7, 2006
The Guardian

Forget the idea that being good at computer games is a sign of a misspent youth. If millions of Japanese are to be believed, it is the secret to a happy and healthy old age as millions of them take up brain training, the country's latest computer game craze that is due to arrive in Britain by the summer.

Designed by a prominent neuroscientist, Brain Training for Adults, a package of cerebral workouts aimed at the over-45s by the Japanese game console and software maker Nintendo, is said to improve mental agility and even slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Players have to complete puzzles as quickly and accurately as possible, including reading literary classics aloud, doing simple arithmetic, drawing, and responding rapidly to deceptively easy teasers using voice-recognition software. The player's "brain age" is then determined. A physically fit, yet cerebrally past-it 30-year-old might be told after his first few attempts that his brain is into its 50s; a retired woman could, over time, end up with a brain age 20 years her junior.

The challenge, to reduce one's brain age, is proving addictive among Japan's baby boomers, many of whom say their only contact with game consoles was limited to bemused glances over the shoulders of grandchildren.

Targeting grey gamers is proving a smart move by Nintendo as software makers try to wean themselves off the shrinking teen market. About 20% of Japan's 127 million people are 65 and older, and the number is expected to rise to almost 30% by 2025. More than 3.3m of the games have been sold in Japan since they went on sale in May, with the second package in the series selling 500,000 units in the first week.

The first in the English-language series of games, Brain Age, is due for its US release on April 17, followed by Big Brain Academy in May. The games are expected to go on sale in Europe in June.

In Britain, Nintendo is reportedly gearing up for a £2m advertising campaign that will include adverts in Saga magazine, and promotions through Mensa. The game is expected to feature all of the exercises popular in Japan, as well as the sudoku number puzzle.

The game's success has taken even its maker by surprise. Soaring demand is behind Nintendo's struggle to produce enough of its new dual-screen DS game consoles. A new batch is not expected in shops for two weeks.

Brain Age (known in Japan as Brain Training) was part-developed by Ryuta Kawashima, a 46-year-old professor of neuroscience at Tohoku University, who has spent years studying the possible cerebral benefits of solving straightforward mathematical and other problems. His series of No o Kotaeru (brain training) books, first published in 2003, quickly became bestsellers, and were followed by a glut of TV shows and board games all extolling the supposed virtues of regular mental workouts.

Some commentators say that Japan's elderly people have seized on the fun and easy-to-use consoles to confront fears that without mental, as well as physical, well-being, they can expect to spend their twilight years miserable and lonely. "The idea of training the brain gives us hope," Rika Kayama, a psychiatrist, told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. "I think many of us are overly frightened of getting old, or even refuse to admit it."

Prof Kawashima says he has proof that a few minutes every day spent exercising a particular part of the brain brings improvements. During research he captured images of various brain functions and found the organ functions better when confronted with simple calculations than when multi-tasking during a conventional computer game.

In his learning therapy experiments, he claims to have seen marked improvements in people with dementia who are set simple mental tasks that require them to use the prefrontal cortex to restore brain function. "In future, those with Alzheimer's disease may not have to take drugs to delay the symptoms if they keep up with the learning therapy," he said during a recent interview.

Brain Age-equipped consoles are even available in waiting rooms and wards of several hospitals, including Uchida hospital in Kyoto, which runs a memory loss clinic for people with dementia. "The game won't cure dementia, but it's a good form of stimulation, especially for old people living alone," Takeshi Kihara, a neuropsychiatrist at the hospital, told the Associated Press.

Some researchers are sceptical. "There's not a single study that they can rely on showing this," said Torkel Klingberg, a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. His research has shown that training "working memory" - like remembering phone numbers for a short time - can bring benefits. But he added: "That doesn't mean every kind of cognitive activity improves the brain in some kind of general way."

Another problem is whether the training helps with other tasks. "You might get better at sudoku, but you don't get better at much else," said Guy Claxton, a learning expert at Bristol University. "This has kind of been swept under the carpet by people who sell intelligence-improving devices."

Exercise your mind ...

Mozart, sudoku, chess, a good book, a walk, a good sleep - all are claimed to help turn your brain from jumble to genius, but which ones work?

Memory tasks
Torkel Klingberg and his team at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm gave 50 children five weeks training on either easy or hard "working memory" tasks - such as memorising phone numbers for short periods. Only the tough training brought a general improvement in attention and problem solving. But the training has to be intensive and prolonged, he said.

Routine change
Some researchers suggest tricking your brain with a new routine improves cognitive abilities, for example by brushing your teeth with the "wrong" hand or by taking a different route to work. There's no evidence this actually works. "Is it enough of a challenge to give you a training effect? That's a totally open question," said Prof Klingberg.

Playing the violin
One study of nearly 500 Americans aged over 75 found playing a musical instrument, reading, board games and dancing were associated with a reduced risk of dementia. The study recorded each subject's activities over five years and associated their leisure time with whether they developed Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Only regular, intensive activities were beneficial.

A stint in the gym can boost your brain as well as biceps. Studies suggest walking for half an hour three times a week boosts mental abilities such as abstract reasoning by 15%.

One famous study suggested Mozart boosts mental abilities - even rats find their way around a maze faster. But not all follow-up studies have replicated the effect. It seems the benefit, if there is one, is due to the relaxing and stimulating effects of music. People who feel better perform better in mental tasks.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

For Grace

Preview of the PS3.

Preview of the Revolution.

"Ken Kutaragi, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, has gone on record to say several times that PS3 will be expensive, stating "our goal for PlayStation 3 is for consumers to think to themselves, "I will work more hours to buy one"."


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Famitsu Top 100 Games of All Time

Famitsu is THE Japanese gaming magazine. It not only comvers Nintendo, but all game systems. In its history it has only give 6 perfect scores of '40'. Games have lived and died by its reviews, I kid you not. It has been around forever.

Now. I told you that to tell you this.

Recently it has posted its Top 100 games of all-time. I don't know how they came to this list, but wow! What a list! It gives me a good list to work on. (bolded items are in the C.H.E.E.T. museum):

1. Final Fantasy X (2001)
2. Final Fantasy VII (1997)
3. Dragon Quest III (1988)
4. Dragon Quest VIII (2004)
5. Machi (1998)
6. Final Fantasy IV (1991)
7. Tactics Ogre (1995)
8. Final Fantasy III (1990)
9. Dragon Quest VII (2000)
10. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

11. Dragon Quest V (1992)
12. Far East of Eden 2 (1992)
13. Sakura Taisen (1996)
14. Dragon Quest IV (1990)
15. Final Fantasy V (1992)
16. Xenogears (1998)
17. Dragon Quest II (1987)
18. Sakura Taisen III (2002)
19. Kingdom Hearts (2002)
20. Streetfighter II (1992)

21. Super Mario Bros (1985)
22. Final Fantasy VIII (1999)
23. Tokimeki Memorial (1995)
24. Final Fantasy IX (2000)
25. Final Fantasy VI(1994)
26. Metal Gear Solid 3 (2004)
27. Valkyrie Profile (1999)
28. Chrono Trigger (1995)
29. Kingdom Hearts II (2005)
30. Dragon Quest (1986)

31. Zelda 3 (1991)
32. Final Fantasy X-2 (2003)
33. Resident Evil (1996)
34. Dragon Quest VI (1995)
35. F-Zero (1990)
36. Sakura Taisen II (1998)
37. Mother 2 (1994)
38. Mother (1989)
39. Virtua Fighter (1994)
40. Dragon Quest 5 (PS2 remake) 2004

41. Zelda Windwaker (2002)
42. Metal Gear Solid 2 (2001)
43. Animal Crossing (DS) 2005
44. Tales of the Abyss (2005)
45. Ogre Battle (1993)
46. Legend of Zelda (1986)
47. Virtua Fighter 2 (1995)
48. Mysterious Dungeon 2 (1995)
49. Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
50. Metal Gear Solid (1998)

51. Pokemon Red and Green (1996)
52. Y's 1 and 2 (1989)
53. Romancing Saga (1992)
54. Tokimeki Memorial (PC Engine) 94
55. Super Robot Taisen Alpha (2000)
56. Resident Evil 2 (1998)
57. Tales of Eternia (2000)
58. Digital Devil Story Megami Tensei II (1990)
59. Shin Megami Tensei (1992)
60. Final Fantasy II (1988)

61. Super Mario World (1990)
62. To Heart II (2004)
63. Final Fantasy (1987)
64. Puyo Puyo (1992)
65. Family Stadium Pro Baseball (1986)
66. Wizardry (1987)
67. Hokkaido Murder Mystery (1987)
68. Fire Emblem (1994)
69. Super Mario Kart (1992)
70. Dynasty Warriors 4 (2003)

71. Monster Hunter (2004)
72. Best Play Pro Baseball (1988)
73. Grandia (1997)
74. Resident Evil 4 (GC) 2005
75. Gran Turismo 4 (2004)
76. GTA: Vice City (2004)
77. Super Monaco GP (1990)
78. Torneko Mysterious Dungeon (1993)
79. Tales of Destiny (1997)
80. Streetfighter 2 Turbo (1993)

81. Dynasty Warriors III (2001)
82. Final Fight (1990)
83. Monster Hunter Portable (2005)
84. Final Fantasy Tactics (1997)
85. Monster Hunter G (2005)
86. Mysterious Dungeon 2 (2000)
87. Kung Fu (1985)
88. Tokimeki Memorial (Saturn) (1996)
89. Tales of Destiny II (2002)
90. Kamaitachi No Yoru (1994)

91. Sakura Taisen IV (2002)
92. Tales of Rebirth (2004)
93. Sim City (1991)
94. Saga 2 (1990)
95. Pro Baseball Family Stadium 87
96. Tetris (Gameboy) (1989)
97. Secret of Mana (SNES)(1993)
98. Gradius (1986)
99. Super Mario Bros III (1988)
100. Resident Evil IV (PS2) 2005