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More Fun Than You Can Shake A Stick At 247

Posted by timothy
from the don't-eat-the-drumsticks dept.
BrokenPipe writes "When I was in Japan last summer I bought a PlayStation 2 in anticipation of a game that was just released a couple of weeks ago. It is only available in Japan and it will probably never be released in the US. It is called "Taiko no Tatsujin". The game has been in the arcades in Tokyo for a while but it has just been released for the PlayStation 2. Apparently it is the number 3 game in Japan right now and many places are sold out. Luckily, mine arrived this past Monday. So what is the hype all about? Well, the game is based on Japanese traditional drums which are called 'taiko' drums. Basically, you need to drum along with a song, hitting the drum at just the right moment. Most of the songs are either Japanese pop songs (J-Pop) or more traditional Japanese songs. It is a great game for all ages. The official website is here." For more information, here are several more sites to puzzle over: one, two, three, four, five.
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More Fun Than You Can Shake A Stick At

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  • I've seen this... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GoofyBoy (44399) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:13PM (#4635147) Journal

    Its like DDR for you finger tips.
  • A very simliar game (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Monkelectric (546685) <slashdot@monkele c t r i c . com> on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:13PM (#4635151)
    Came out in the US a year or so ago called Frequency [psx2.com].
  • This game sounds familiar. It reminds me of some game called something like "Dance Dance Revolution". Can anyone help me out with this?
    • Dance Dance Revolution was an arcade game that was very big in South Korea a couple years ago. Many said it would cross-over to US but it never really happened. In Dance Dance Revolution you step on an 8 position keypad as the screen in front of you indicates along with some dance music. Actually very difficult and quite a good excercise. Probably the first arcade game that could do both for you.
      • Re:VARY interesting (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Dance Dance Revolution was an arcade game that was very big in South Korea a couple years ago. Many said it would cross-over to US but it never really happened.

        Not been to an arcade recently? This game is huge in the US.
      • I do recall that pads for this game where available here for the PS2. I do think it sold out. It's the only game that burned some calories, AFAIK.
        J.
      • actually DDR is popular in the US.. the new PS2 version (DDR Extreme i think its called) is always sold out, and so are all the dance pads.
      • I guess that explains why when I go to play DDR on weekends (and I'm on the east coast even), that the machine is swamped and there is often at least a 20 minute wait to get a game? Just in case you are thinking where I am is the exception and not the rule, you may be interested to see that there are over 1325 DDR machines [ddrfreak.com] in the US alone. Three out of the four places I usually play at have had to buy a second machine to accomodate the demand. So I guess if that's your definition of 'never really happened'... :)
      • As other people have pointed out, DDR is actually really quite big in the US. Of course it's only a recent development as when I first heard of DDR 3 years ago it was pretty much only in few select (ie maybe 20) arcades in California. It took me a year to find an arcade that had it (1 out of a whopping 2 in Florida), and it's taken another 2 years for it to spread to most every decent arcade that you stop by now days. (Now about 70 in Florida alone)

        Now it's one of the biggest money makers arcades have. For example at that arcade in our (University of Florida) student union, the DDR machine at one point made $700 a week. The next closest game, MvC2, made $180 a week. So yeah, arcades aren't stupid and they see how much money DDR can bring, hence why it's spread all over the country now.
    • by The Original Yama (454111) <lists.sridhar@dhanapal a n . c om> on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:25PM (#4635195) Homepage
      This is a great way for geeks that are too fat for Dance Dance Revolution to get some exercise. All without having to get off the couch, too.
  • by CatWrangler (622292) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:15PM (#4635154) Journal
    Somebody has less of a life than me.
  • Amazing! A game that's popular that doesn't have you beating the crap out of things with guns or swords!

    Unless you get to beat someone to a pulp with your drumsticks?
  • This isn't the first game of this type by far.

    It looks like a knock off of Samba de Amigo for the Dreamcast. In that game you have to buy maracas and shake them to the music.

    • Well, there are tons of rhythm music games out there, and Samba de Amigo, while great, was far from the first.

      As far as direct knock-offs go, this game is mostly Namco's "answer" to Konami's Drum Mania [konami.co.jp]

      In any case, I'm not sure why this was topic-worthy. There are tons of PS2 games available in Japan that you can't get in the US (yet if not ever). Even some, like Space Channel 5 Part 2, that US consumers would recognize.

  • you never know (Score:5, Informative)

    by mad_cow (152516) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:20PM (#4635168)
    Innovative and interesting games not making it out of Japan for one reason or another has plagued the console market for a long time. Often, it does boil down to interested consumers having to order in the import to play on their foreign or modded (the best legitimate use of mod chips) machines, but Fresh Games [playfresh.com] (heavy flash site) hopes to change things. An excerpt from their site:

    The Fresh Games label was created because there is a wealth of incredible games that come out in Japan and, for whatever reason, are not sold in the US and Europe. A lot of people are importing these games, but we wanted hardcore gamers everywhere to be able to buy these games at their local store without having to deal with mod-chips and exorbitant costs. On the surface these games are very "Quirky" or "Odd" but when you get beneath the surface, you realize that the game-play is outstanding, the depth these games have to offer is incredible, and the polish and attention to detail that is put in to them is obvious.


    Video Games are an art form in Japan and we wanted that represented here in it's purest form. Not another character based sequel, not another movie license, not another "extreme sports" game. That's what we call the corporate formula. We wanted to break some rules, and break some of the barriers that exist in this industry in regards to "What type of games do people really want to play?". Many of the major magazines wrote that games like Mad Maestro and Mister Mosquito were brilliant games, and it was a shame that these games would never see the light of the day outside of Japan, where they are both top 10 selling titles. We agreed that they are brilliant and decided to take a chance by releasing them here.


    Not that this means that we'll see Taiko no Tatsujin brought over, but you never know.
    • Re:you never know (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jafuser (112236)
      There's a game out right now for the GameCube called called "Animal Crossing", which I assume must be a market-test for it's kind in America.

      It's a very odd sort of game, which claims to be a "communication oriented" game. It's not really comparable to anything else I've seen before. It's sort of an RPG/Sim hybrid, with emphasis on making friends, and staying in touch such as chatting with your neighbors, writing to electronic friends, trading virtual items with your RL friends, etc...

      It's definitely a concept that would probably never have seen the light of day if it weren't for the novel Japanese way of thinking. I hope the test market succeeds. It's quite addictive, and I hope to see it catch on, and perhaps see more games like it =)

  • by Hirofyre (612929) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:21PM (#4635175)
    I liked it better the first time I played it, when it was called "Simon".
    • Show me a game that isn't basically about tapping buttons in some sequence...

      In the arcades of Tokyo, This is the game that they stick out front, the one to draw people in. Whenever someone is half-decent at it, a crowd gathers around to admire their skill.
      (Taiko is actually a big deal over here - most of the summer festivals prominently feature a taiko player or two, playing along to the {often pre-recorded} music while people dance.)
      Inside the arcades, they have the games with the impressive 3D graphics and surround sound, yet this dumb taiko game is the one that gets people to come through the door...

      But then again, playing Tetris is just like being a bricklayer, isn't it...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    so i beat the drums lull the enemy to sleep then eliminate them with the rocket launcher?
  • I doubt this will crossover if it was ever tried. The Japanese culture is entertained in a much different way, I won't even try to clarify that comment. Just to say that could you ever see PaRappa the Rapper crossing over to Japan???
    • and i quote from gamefaqs [gamefaqs.com]

      Parappa the Rappa's success was overwhelming in Japan. In fact, Parappa the Rappa has sold over 800,000 copies in Japan. It's a big phenomenon. Now, the question is whether to release Parappa the Rappa in US? Sony did hesitate about bringing Parappa the Rappa over as they feared that US audiences might not like it as it did in Japan. Luckily, Parappa the Rappa managed to be released in the United States and had an impressive sales.

      funny isnt it.

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:28PM (#4635203) Homepage
    OK, I've never said something like this about slashdot before, and I realize it's a slow newsday, but what's THIS doing here? If this game was unique, new, origional, etc. I could understand. But from the description, it sounds far from it. Let's review some possibly similar games:
    • DDR 1/2/3/Disney/Whatever
    • Frequency
    • PaRappa The Rappa (1 and 2)
    • UmJamma Lammy
    • Am I leaving some out? Almost certainly
    This game isn't origional. This isn't a review of the game (that I could understand). This isn't much more than an ad, IMHO. Keep paying attention tomarrow for new headlines including:
    • I Gave My Dog A Bath
    • New "Army Men" Game Released (this will now appear once a week, to coincide with releases)
    • TV Networks: We're On TV
    • New Study: Studies Study Stuff Studiously
    --MBCook (going anon because I'm a karma whore today)
    • Bust a Groove. I believe it was one of the first games of this sort, a direct lead in to DDR. I agree though, I don't see why this is on the front page...
    • Some of us assume that the only thing that should be on slashdot are they things we are insterested in.

      I for one found this tidbit of news interesting - keep up the good work slashdot.

      As for the parent poster - he should start his own website where only real news will be reported.
    • Am I leaving some out?

      Yeah, how about Drum Mania [konami.co.jp]? The Konami game that this is most directly like (and which has already seen about 7 releases in Japan).

    • yeah. don't forget those long-lost flashy-lights-and-sounds you-do-this-now games.

      like simon.

      of course, the Japanese have an attention span of about 9 months for technology, so simon is like ancient history.

      but yeah, the weird "i just peed myself over this game that i've been waiting months and months and months for" post is odd, even for a saturday night.

      I'm going back to my install. nothing to see here.

      --mandi

    • Beat Mania (and its 20 sequels)
      Samba de Amigo (one of my favorites).

  • but not nearly as cool as the REZ trance vibrator or the Yanya Caballista skateboard [vidgame.net] for the ps

    i also like samba de amigo [vidgame.net] and the nes keyboard [vidgame.net].

    of couse then theres the snes bike and the...

  • Rez... (Score:4, Informative)

    by BitwizeGHC (145393) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:31PM (#4635218) Homepage
    If you haven't played it yet, you must go out ands get your hands on a copy of Rez... easily the most innovative, mind-blowing game to come along in at least a decade. It was released in the United States, to a small, select but appreciative audience. Larger electronics stores (e.g., Best Buy, Fry's) will likely carry it.

    It is a shooting game where your actions add to the beat of the techno music that's playing and to the surreal on-screen display. Learn to play in harmony with the game, and you will be rewarded with amazing sights and sounds.

    I bought the game a couple of months ago, and it still continues to blow my mind.
  • There are dozens of similar games out there... Maybe not in the U.S. but at least here in Hong Kong, I've seen at least a dozen of these variants. I guess there must be more of these in Japan.

    This kind of game is actually not new. About 1-2 years ago I played a game which you have a "carpet" to sence your feet and dance to the music on the beat. It's quite fun, and some people have even used it to attempt to lose weight ;-)
  • Anyone any idea which decade they're releasing it now?

  • by PissedOffGuy (612092) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:36PM (#4635249)
    has anybody else noticed that the people who LOVE rez/frequency etc. are all potheads? and everybody else just sits and wonders "what the hell do they see in that game"?
  • I dropped many a 100 yen coin in TnT machines when I was in Japan. The game is fun as hell (plus arcades are the only thing open past 9 PM) so I'm glad it is finally in a form I can reasonably import to the USA. I don't know much about PS2 mod chips... can anyone tell me what kind I should get to play this?

    The version they had out when I was there was Taiko no Tatsujin 3 and it has some very interesting songs. All the titles are in Japanese (which I don't read). It was very embarrassing to play this with a group of high school guys I just met and inadvertently select the Sailor Moon theme song...
  • ...in a november article here [wired.com].

    its mentioned along with some other popular japanese arcade games. its an interesting read, if short.

  • I used to play it at the arcade where I lived near Nagoya. Loads of fun. My friend and I got really good at it and could play the hardest levels. We sounded like professional taiko drummers. My only question is: Does the home version actually include two huge taiko drums to plug into your PS2, and if so how much would it cost to import that? +_+ It wouldn't be nearly as fun without them.
  • I've Played It... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spoonboy42 (146048) on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:44PM (#4635277)
    When I was in Kyoto recently, I had a chance to try the arcade version of this game out. It was certainly entertaining and, as other posters pointed out, follows the DDR formula of hitting the right pads in time with the music. While this may seem a bit formulaic, it actually is rather fun once you get into it.

    It should be noted that Japanese arcades are currently graced with several other games in this same vein, including Guitar Freaks (which is nothing like playing actual guitar, as it is button and switch based), another drum game featuring a western-style drumset, and my personal favorite, a game which uses several keypads and a mock-up vinyl to "simulate" DJing. Once again, this has little to do with actual DJing (just as guitar freaks has nothing to do with playing the guitar, and DDR doesn't very much resemble dancing). Just the same, one can't help but love simple music-based games. They're a refreshing alternative to the standard arcade fare, and the highly social aspects of competition have the potential to bring in crowds of players and spectators, the likes of which the United States hasn't seen since the height of the Pacman era.
    • Just out of curiosity, were you at the Sega arcade in Kyoto station? Or maybe the Namco Wonder Tower? That city has so many awesome arcades but those two are my favorite!
    • Re:I've Played It... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MuteflY (36859)
      I'll agree that not all DDR players look like they're dancing (me for instance) but have a look at some of the videos here [ddrfreak.com] and you'll see that any decent freestyler looks very much like they're dancing, mainly because they are.
  • isn't this just like DrumMania, which has been out for years?

    DrumMania info [bemanistyle.com]

    oh, btw, there is a console version.
  • by sweeze (530463)
    why is it that for geeks, I was in japan == I am cool. fuckin' hell man. i was in japan, and the lobster claw game beat the shit out of the taiko game. word.
  • Duke Nuke Um Forever was only released in Japan ... it's all a conspiracy.
  • The site translates into: "blah blah blah blah, etc" ;which is pretty much an international language.
  • here in Japan, and I can't imagine how well it would translate on a console. The whole point is the interface in the arcades is a huge taiko drum that you bang on with drum sticks!

    There are lots of games like this in Japan. A similar game has you pushing back and forth on oars in a river rafting game. Also, there's a fire-fighting game where you (IIRC) pump the water for the fire fighters...Another is a truck driving game with this HUGE almost horizontal steering wheel that you use to drive the big rigs.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sounds like something I'd play for 10 minutes and then microwave to make a pretty coaster. Burn me a copy and send it to me. At least it would be better time spent than what I did tonight - watch the overrated Hokies take it up the ass to Syracuse, arguably the worst team in the country next to Rutgers, though not anymore I guess...
  • by DasBub (139460) <dasbub&dasbub,com> on Saturday November 09, 2002 @11:58PM (#4635339) Homepage
    Following in the grand tradition of "Taiko no Tatsujin" Japanese game developers are ready to flood the market with serious tests of hardware capability and user ingenuity.

    The predicted hit of the gaming year is "Peanut Butter Toast". Gamers must attempt to evenly apply a series of different peanut butters onto a diverse selection of bread products. The genius of the game is apparently in the way that peanut butter boundaries are compared with the virtual toast layout. Gamers will lose points for having large wells of peanutty goodness as well as only slightly-browned toast edges.

    Developers are hard at work on a sequel said to involve drinking a glass of juice. Early reports state that a GeForce 5 will be the minimum required video adapter.
    • The predicted hit of the gaming year is "Peanut Butter Toast". Gamers must attempt to evenly apply a series of different peanut butters onto a diverse selection of bread products.

      Back in high school in the '80s (crap, that sounds like a long time ago now), I had a nowhere job [furrs.net] bussing tables. Since there was little mental effort required to place the big plates in the tub just so, and the bowls like this, and the cups here, etc... I was bored outta my skull.

      So I spent the time thinking how I might write a "Busboy!" video game. Your goal would be to pack as many tables' dishes into your bus tub as possible without them falling out. The beginner level would be "Breakfast", which is mostly small plates and oatmeal bowls. But watch out for "Wednesday Night" -- those oblong Steak Platters will bite you in the butt every time!

      True story: I got p1ssed off one night and quit. Walking out the door, I ran into the prettiest girl in the Junior class. I told her how I'd Stood Up To The Man, and she said that was cool. Wow. Too bad I was now completely freakin' broke. When are they going to make *that* into a video game?
  • Parrapa the Rappa or, for those of us born pre-'90, Simon. Same thing, different package.

    It seems that there have been and will be only four types of games... ever. And I think one of them is drinking.
  • ... could they please post a review [kiwisparks.co.nz] on my website [kiwisparks.co.nz]?
  • Is this so frickin relevant ? I am sorry, but I dont see the point why this deserves the tag "News". People, (actually that should be 'editors'), cant you shuffle through that list again and come up with something better than this. If you guys were responsible for finding news, I wouldnt have blamed you for this. But I am sure there must be a thousand submissions rejected tonight in order to pick this idiotic one. Heck, I am sure even the submitter was quite surprised to find his post make it to the top ten(Pardon my sarcasm).

    Look around, there are a million other things we could be discussing now.

    Microsoft (I know this is being beaten to death) is trying to take over the fscking world. Lets talk about that.

    Or, lets talk about the Anti war protests taking place in Florence, Italy right now. There are atleast half a million other young men and women like us who believe United States should not go to war with Iraq. Dont you think that would be a better topic to discuss ? Or are we so fscking high up in our self appointed pedestals that we just dont care ? Theres a war looming over this country people. People are sure to lose lives, innocent and guilty both. Are we waging this war because we believe in it OR (like the rest of the world believe), are we waging this war for a few people to feel good about their oil coffers ?

    Lets talk about this and a million other things. Not about a game thats currently on the top list in Japan. If it were Doom III im sure we would understand.

    • Well, while I agree with you the importance of those matters, you should probably think about this:

      - In your preferences page, you can turn the preference to see 'games' articles off. That's why articles have different categories... For instance, I don't see articles written by Jon Katz. :)

      - Those items are important, but slashdot is much more than just a techie's political activist haven. In fact, since chips and bits existed, it's been all about what CmdrTaco thinks is 'cool'. The concept of user-submitted articles makes it so that we DON'T get 100% anime and games and palm pilot crap.

      - I'm going to assume that you don't give microsoft any money because you don't find their products useful or interesting. Why, exactly, does slashdot have to come under some double-standard when it comes to voting with your dollar? Remember guys, slashdot makes money off of ad impressions and views. If you don't like the site enough to take the time to write a 30 line diatribe about how you think the site should be run differently, well, get your own site and publish your own stuff, or alternately, don't visit the site. It's your choice.

      (This is coming from a person who's written CmdrTaco email asking him to limit the selection of stuff several times - I just gave up and realized it's not my place to say)

  • We need a new Slashdot feature. MT SMS messages alerting us all whenever BrokenPipe buys another game for his wonderful Playstation2 setup. The crap that is posted boggles the mind.
  • by Caraig (186934) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @12:23AM (#4635414)
    At least, not according to the console makers.

    It somewhat suprised me when I learned this, but it bears noting. The console makers don't want you to mod chip your console to play import games; they want you to buy a whole new console specifically for playing import games. This is clear when Sony noted that NO Playstation games could be sold in the US except from certain authorized distributors; eBay was not an authorized distributor. You would not believe how many times Nitoshinden* went up for bidding on eBay only to get ripped down within mere days because Sony didn't like it.

    In some ways, this is like Region Encoding with an easilly-foilable region encoding, and a very heavy legal stick. Now that I think about it, people who are fighting region encoding should look very closely at any precedents set in cases relating to the import VG market, because if Sony and the other console makers have been riding high with the 'no import game sales yadda yadda' rule, and it's been unassailed, then that could be brought up in support for DVD region encoding.

    * (Yeah, I know, of all games I could look for, I was looking for Nitoshinden....)
    • by yerricde (125198) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @01:37AM (#4635666) Homepage Journal

      This is clear when Sony noted that NO Playstation games could be sold in the US except from certain authorized distributors; eBay was not an authorized distributor.

      How? In the United States, it's not an infringement of copyright [cornell.edu] for the owner of a legitimate copy of a copyrighted work to sell that copy to any third party.

    • Dude, there's this thing called the "gray market". It consists of importing products meant for other markets and selling them here without warranty. This is EXTREMELY common with expensive professional photography equipment, cameras and lenses, whereby you can save hundreds of dollars off the cost of one lens by buying the "gray market" version. Maybe it will come with a Japanese instruction manual and specifications sheet. Perhaps it will have the focal distances marked in meters instead of feet. Maybe the shop will provide a warranty since the local branch of the company will not. Maybe they won't and you will have to ship the product to Japan to have warranty work done on it. In any case, the gray market is a reality. To some people, it is a great deal. For the majority of people, it is not. The companies involved might not like it, but it is not illegal. The only thing the camera companies could do would be to make their lens mounting systems non-interchangable between U.S. cameras and Japanese cameras. And they're not going to do that. Sony, however, has done that from the beginning with the Playstation and PS2. Anyway, Sony can decide what distributors to sell to, but those distributors can decide to send the games to whatever stores they choose to do business with as long as they do not violate their contract with Sony. As long as the product is not stolen, it is fair to be sold. I don't care if Sony prints "No Import" in English on the back of Japanese Playstation games, that does not make it law in the United States.

      Check out NCSX [ncsx.com]. They might be able to get you a copy of Nitoshinden.

      (By the way, I own both a Japanese PS2 and a U.S. PS2. I have been somewhat suspicious of the PS2 mods.)
      • I have gone this route in the past for various electronic items. You are dead right about the warranty. I have delt with gray market retailers that were very honest and upfront and others that flat out lied and twisted the truth when I asked about being an authorized dealer.
        Denon has a disclaimer [denon.com] dead center of thier US web site about buying gray market items. I actually called the listed number to inquire about a dealer I found online, they said although they make every piece of equipment with the same care and quality, you are still out of luck if it breaks. I emailed the dealer and they replied back:


        Dear Consumer:

        Please be advised that we are not an Authorized Denon Dealer.
        However,
        we purchase all the Denon products from an Authorized Denon Dealers. At
        BrandNamez, we stand behind every product that we sell. Defective or
        Damaged items may be returned only for a replacement, within a 7-day
        period from the receipt of the product. Please note that all of the
        products that we sell are Brand New (Grade A), Unopened, with Serial
        Numbers and come in the original manufacturer's box. However, if Denon
        were to refuse to service your item during the period of the Original
        Limited Manufacturer's warranty, we'll make a claim on your behalf.
        Please note that we purchase Denon products from Authorized Denon Dealers
        and Denon should honor the Warranty to us. At BrandNamez.com, we are
        committed to provide our clients with the highest quality of Customer
        Service.

        Sales Department
        BrandNamez.com

        Sounds good in theory but could be a real pain in
        the butt.

        I do not know what other consumer products this may be true for but middle quality home stereo equipment companies (Denon, Yamaha etc..) have the exact same products but different model numbers, one is geared toward the average retail market like BestBuy and CC and the other for high end specialty shops. This may be a way to market to a broader range of consumers and limit the gray market. A perfect example is the Yamaha HTR-5280 [yamaha.com] and the RX-V800 [yamaha.com], same [about.com] exact model. Denon does the same with a lot of models also.
    • Actually they don't want you to buy foreign goods at all. Consider Atlus. In Japan, games like Ogre Battle 64 are published by Nintendo. But Nintendo doesn't want to spend the money to bring it to the states, citing weak demand. Atlus thinks they can do it, and they buy the rights to the North American distrobution. My understanding is that region encoding is meant to protect deals like this. You might think of it this way: region encoding makes it more lucrative to release a given game in your own language, rather than a japanese only release.
  • Drums (Score:2, Funny)

    by bobtheprophet (587843)
    Whoa, virtual drums! Can you imagine a beowu...ahhh, never mind.
  • Taiko drumming (Score:3, Informative)

    by AndroidCat (229562) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @12:30AM (#4635441) Homepage
    Slightly skewed from topic, but..

    If you ever get the chance to see the Kodo drummers, go see them! Just the maniacs on the big drums wailling away with clubs is worth the price of admission.

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @12:32AM (#4635449)

    First, Suikoden III - a console-style CRPG featuring over 108 characters who can join your team... but each of them adds in ways you don't expect. It's not some Pokemon-flavored RPG series though - each one centers on how war destroys the lives of those involved, turns honest people into monsters, and brother against brother. The 108 characters in each game (mostly different who they are each game) are based on an old chinese story of 108 stars of destiny - so much of the lore and characters have a bit of a less arbitrary feel about them than most console RPG's. A great game to come back to over weeks, accomplishing little things at a time.

    Then, in a little over a week, there will be Metroid Prime. The hype has been so negative for so long... and now all the positive hype - should be interesting. Perhaps I'll throw the old NES emulation disk into the dreamcast and have a go at the first game some night next week

    No - it's not an insightful thing to say - I'll forget the +1 bonus on this one - but if the editors can proclaim their favorite recent games that drew them to console gaming recently, I figure I can at least let a few other people know what I've really enjoyed recently. :^)

    Ryan Fenton
  • I found this at a Dave and Buster's (I think that's the name) in Toronto. So yes, it is available outside Japan, and yes, it is VERY cool. It even had popular songs like Born to be Wild. If you spot it, try it, you won't be sorry (unless you really, really suck like I did).
  • Shit (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheOnlyCoolTim (264997) <tim DOT bolbrock AT verizon DOT net> on Sunday November 10, 2002 @12:33AM (#4635456)
    I thought when I turned off ANIME I wouldn't have to see any stories about stupid Japanese pop culture. Fuck me.

    Tim
  • by RichardX (457979) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @12:35AM (#4635465) Homepage
    Check this out.. it's called Boong-ga Boong-ga, and it must be the first game to come with a finger-and-arse controller. When's the home version coming out?

    Here's some shots and info... [sixsixfive.com] ... a wired article.. [wired.com] and a Register article [theregister.co.uk]
  • Will this work on a US playstation 2? I'm guessing no, not without a mod chip. Is there a certain mod chip that's the best? Can a US resident even get one these days?

    Also, does anyone know of a place on the web that helps you teach yourself Japanese, or at least will translate? I just tried babelfish.altavista.com, and the japanese bit doesn't work. It'd be nice to be able to read the messages in the game if I do wind up getting it.
  • by Rayonic (462789) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @01:03AM (#4635576) Homepage Journal
    And it's not like drums [channelbeat.com] haven't been done before, even.

    Don't get me wrong, I like rhythm games (along with every other genre of video game), but this is not groundbreaking in any sense of the word.
  • This game *has* been in the arcades for quite a while now. And to tell the truth, it's one of the more, shall I say, 'normal' games.

    One of the best that I played when I was there was a boxing game, there were six pads around a screen, you grabbed a 'boxing glove'/padded paddle and smacked away at them. It was based on 'the Fist of the North Star' so you could blow up people's heads and stuff. Pretty groovy.

    Still, this taiko game has actually been pretty popular on variety television (which is approx. 40% of commercial prime-time over there) with a lot of celebrities duking it out, smashing these massive drums relatively close when they're told to on the screen. Air hockey's still the old favourite tho.

    One of the less common - but popular - games basically involves a big suited butt in front of the screen. It's supposed to represent the boss - how the game works is that the game insults you, and you get your retribution by delivering one up the arse. You should see some of the Japanese guys get into it. And girls too.

    I reckon Japanese society's going to explode someday, and all the office workers'll walk the streets with bits of wood & bricks, smashing up windows and cars, when the tolerance threshhold of society in general is breached. There's just so much shit human beings can take, and office workers in Japan take a lot.

  • Do you know what I find a little hypocritical or funny depending on the way you look at it?

    Didn't everyone get mad at Microsoft when they had their "grassroots" movement and planted ads? Or how about that woman in some marketing department who "switched"?

    These "not-ads" are just as phoney. If you're going to put up an advertisement, just come out and say it. We can all see it anyhow.
  • This game was going strong back in mid-2001. I took a photo of some people playing the game. It's in the second row of photos here: http://japanomatic.com
  • by Poro (14468)
    Back in the dark ages when PC games were mostly DOS-games, IBM released a quite unique game called Quest for Fame. It included a thingy called VPick, a virtual pick connected to the parallel port which you used to strum against any surface following the rhythm of the song. The game was some sort of adventure. You started in a garage band and the ultimate objective was to get on stage on a stadium gig with Aerosmith.

    Many things could go wrong on your quest for fame. I still have nightmares about that one gig when I was still in that garage band. Some motorbike guys come the club where we are playing and demanded us to play Steppenwolf. Well, of course we hadn't practiced any Steppenwolf songs... :-)

    Great game. The system requirements at the back of the box say "Windows 3.1 or higher". I wonder if it would work under WINE. :)

    There is not very much infor about this game in the web. The best I could find was this [rockthisway.de]. It seems that this was also released for Playstation [gamefaqs.com]. I think there was supposed to be more PC-games based on the VPick, but I've never heard about any.

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