Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TGS and Oktoberfest

So, I realized today after class, that it doesn't really make sense to write old posts first before updating people on what I've been up to more recently. 'Cause if I did that, then I would NEVER catch up, and I would ALWAYS just be updating! So, instead, I've decided to update the blog more regularly, with current news and recent events, while going back and finishing the other blog posts that I had started way back when. Especially the disaster stuff.

Just a week and a half ago, Tokyo Game Show was held in Chiba, Japan (not actually/technically Tokyo, but close enough). TGS is the largest video game convention in Japan. And as such, it is the place where a lot of game developers and publishers like to announce news and reveal new things about their products. The big hit for the weekend was the PlayStation Vita, Sony's new handheld, the successor of the PSP.

I was one of the lucky ones, along with my two college buddies with whom I attended TGS, to get my hands on a PSVita. It was a sleek device, showing off PS3 graphics on such a small and gorgeous machine. I was expecting the back touchpad to feel something like that found on a laptop, but it was actually smooth and glossy, not unlike the glass screen on a cell phone.

I played Michael Jackson: The Experience. Why? 'Cause we had played it earlier on the PS3 Move, and it was DAMN FUN. I was curious as to how a full-body dance game would transfer over to a touch-screen handheld experience. Taking a lesson from Osu! Tatakae Ouendan, there are a lot of finger swipes across the screen to the beat of the song, as well as other movements. Finger dancing, if you will.

The highlight of TGS for me was getting to play Street Fighter X Tekken months before its official release! Incredibly fun; and a completely different game from Street Fighter, Tekken, or any of the Versus games. Aesthetically, it looks quite similar to Street Fighter IV, but plays more like, say, Marvel VS Capcom 3 without super jumps. But with a SF4 button layout. Anyway, for a fan of both series, a matchup like this is like a dream come true.

At TGS, there were also a lot of cosplayers. Some really EXCELLENT ones! I'll try to post an album at some point. My friend and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the cosplay show in the evening, where some of the best cosplay I had EVER seen went on stage to act out a skit and/or pose. Pretty damn awesome. I wish I had a better camera.

The remainder of my Tokyo trip consisted of hanging out with my friends in the evenings, eating some good food and drinking some good beer. We actually hit up a Hooters to see how different it was to those in the States. Gotta say, as happy as we were to enjoy some wings (it had been too long!) and Philly Cheesesteak (also been too long!), we were kind of disappointed about the servers. Not that they weren't attractive ("maa maa" as some would say), but just that they were surprisingly cold and unfriendly. Well, afterwards, we went to karaoke and even busted out some free-style between lyrics (or sometimes replacing lyrics entirely, haha).

Speaking of drinking, last week, Oktoberfest was celebrated in Sendai! Having been super busy and completely forgetting about it until the last day (Sunday), I finally managed to make my way out there. There were many food booths serving things like German sausage, potatoes, and even sauerkraut! Now THAT took me back to my days in eastern Pennsylvania. And there was even a Hofbrau booth! I bought their Oktoberfest beer and even bought a glass beer mug! A mug with "HB" written on it. Feels like it was made just for me. ;-)

Word of the day: 久しぶり 「ひさしぶり」 "hisashiburi." I have used this word at least twice already, in previous posts, even titling one of my posts with it! This word basically means "It's been a while," often in the phrase "Ohisashiburi desu ne!" which means the same thing but is more polite.