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I remember being a little kid in a motel pool in Texas and talking to another kid about video games. He told me that in Japan they were on Super Mario Bros. part 14 or some shit like that. As a kid this was totally believable because I'd always here that stuff was out faster in Japan. The kid then told me that if I were to take out the flat thing in that is in the middle of the bottom of a cartridge and put it in my Nintendo alone, I'd be able to play all the Super Mario Bros. I had two copies of Mario but decided the kid was a damn moron and never tried it. The point is, Japan was supposed to be full of Robots paving the roads in silicon, but that hasn't been the case.

Of the games I have for PS3 (Resistance, Gundam Musou, Ninja Gaiden, Warhawk, Skate, Unreal Tournament, Call of Duty 4, and soon enough (but not soon enough) Grand Theft Auto 4), I have only bought 3 of them in Japan. Resistance was a world-wide release when the PS3 came out. The other two were released here first. Ninja Gaiden was here about a month before the U.S. (my motherland). Not a big deal. Gundam Musou was here months before the U.S., but who cares? I chipped in ten bucks and my Japanese friend paid for the rest. Pretty crap game.

The other 5 games were either imported or bought when I was back home for the holidays. All of them came out in Japan months later and UT3 will probably never even come here. So, I ask you, where the hell is the Japanese goodness I dreamt of as a young'n? Where is Mario 13? It's not here. Stay where you are if you don't like J-games and are a Western, big-gun-touting, shit going kablooey, whores getting penily stabbed game fan.

The reason I am writing this post is because I held off on ordering GTA4 because I saw it was a "world-wide-release" on April 29th. I guess Japan no longer is counted with the rest of the world. I ordered it on play-asia when I heard Capcom was just barely about to translate GTA4 and that it'd be available in 2008. Then I go to the store and ask them, "Are you sure you'll be selling it on the 29th? I read on the internet it'll be out everywhere except Japan." Only, that was all in Japanese and awkwardly said. The guy told me it would be there and said something about it being a non-Japanese version. I was so damn happy because I didn't have work on the 29th and was going to play all freakin' day. I even woke up before 10 a.m. to go get the game. Sure enough, they didn't get the game. I live in bumblefuk Japan, too. So it seemed absurd they'd be importing it. This ain't Akihabara. I was pretty pissed, but I wasn't surprised either. Now I have to wait until the 2nd for them to even send it off to my apartment surrounded by rice fields. I want this game now!

Somebody, please console me. I don't even care if that pun was intended or not...








I don't now whether to feel bad, proud, guilty, or ecstatic about playing COD4 with my sister. You tell me.

First, a little background. I bought Unreal Tournament in the summer of 2000 after reading a bunch of great reviews. It was my first FPS purchase. My freshman year a friend of mine had Quake III and never even set it up online until I got a hold of it. I was hooked ever since. Soon after buying UT, I showed my sister how much of a bad ass I was/AM. She played it off and said whatever. To my amazement she started playing on her own free time. I laughed and just considered it cute, although futile.
As time went on I found myself having to kick her off after 'just one more head shot/multikill'. Eventually we played together on separate computers, with the help of phones, while I was away at college. I won, of course, but barely. I had mad lag compared to her better computer, I swear.
Anyway, fast forward 7-8 years and I find myself living in Japan with my sister half way around the world in Chicago. I try to keep in touch with my family, but my immigrant mom and dad can't figure out a computer for nothing. I call on Skype, but I'd rather play PS3 if I'm up late enough to talk to them given the time difference.
My genius solution was to buy a PS3 when I went home for Christmas/New Year's. I bought 2 copies of COD4 for $40 each, introduced my sister to it, and now the rest is history. Tonight was the first night I played at the same time with her, and half way across the world, no less.
The funny thing was throwing grenades half way across a map in front of her path to protect her. For the first time I felt like what a big brother is supposed to feel like. You see, my sister has always been big-boned. Never had to worry about her getting hit on much.
Anyway, my sister, as you can probably guess, is a little bit of a tom-boy, but I think it's cool. It helps us be a little bit closer. And besides, she's not like a big, butch softball player, so that's all good. Now I just have to teach her how to strafe while keeping her reticule on guys' nutsacs.








I live in Japan and help lead a weekly English conversation class for adults. Today we got on the subjects of video games, which is common since I hog the conversation, and I was asked what kind of games I like. The guy that asked is a young guy, he's 23, and he's a NERD!!! Total closet Otaku. He told me he likes to occasionally play chess or puzzle games on his computer and then I chuckled and said, "I like games where you shoot people." They all laughed a little nervously and a woman said "You are American." That's how they realize I like shooting games. I was going to explain why I like shooting games, but after a year and a half of trying to discredit stereotypes, I like encouraging them sometimes. I did tell them I like other games, though, and explained how I was looking forward to Little Big Planet. After explaining that the game had these little dolls you control the NERD asked, "Is this a Japanese game?" Guns = American Cute dolls = Japan Remember my words next time you see the sales charts for Japan.
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