A taste of the matrix
As my previous post implied, my posts are going to become less frequent and probably shorter too. After my first week, I confirm that the rhythm is fast and sustained! In brief, I am clearly below the average level when it comes to vocabulary and kanji (Japanese ideograms). Some of the students in my class have already passed the JLPT level 2 (while I'm just a little above level 3 and there's a huge gap between them), and a few others take it this december. On the other hand, I think I partly compensate with good listening skills...Besides, I'm dying to bring myself up to speed!
But I'm not only studying and yesterday night, I went to an arcade again. Seriously, I have to write about it because they really pushed the gaming concept to another level, compared to what we have in France. For example, here is my friend Mark playing Virtua Fighter 5: right below the screen, a slot allows the player to introduce a memory card which purpose is to save individual statistics (wins/losses). And with all arcades nationwide linked online, its allows for a national ranking constantly being updated! There are only four cabinets on this picture but some tournament-dedicated machines have many more!
This is even crazier:
Not only are the guys playing online, but they also use special collectable cards they buy and exchange a la Magic The Gathering, and which interact with their desk! The big screen gives a global point of view on the game in progress, sometimes focusing on or replaying specific actions, like a TV broadcast! I didn't even try to understand, in fact it looked so complicated that one employee was even handing out explanation booklets!
That guy for instance was waving his cards like crazy trying to destroy his opponent...:
If you have money to spend and want to bet on virtual horse races, try that game:
Personally, I'm particularly keen on rhythm games but I won't talk about that right now. Here's just a picture of the actual Taiko no Tatsujin cabinet:
There are also strange cabinets called "purikura"...The word is actually the Japanese transcription of an English word (two words to be precise). If you're reading that, chances are you're a native English speaker and therefore you are welcome to try guessing what the original expression was. I will give the answer later, while explaining its usage with supporting examples...Please don't spoil the answer if you know it!!!
Finally, we concluded our video games session with a small Nintendo DS wifi party. And I perfectly represented my country when it came to Tetris DS...