I returned from another trip to Japan about a week ago. This was my third journey there, and I was lucky enough to share it with my significant other. She was most enthusiastic about visiting as many places as possible each day, so I had a ton of really good experiences I hadn’t before.
What was interesting about this trip versus my second was that I actually did very few of the same things I did the first time. The only repeats were:
- Akihabara (which gets less game-y and more creepy as time progresses)
- Golden Temple (which I could go to every week and not get bored)
- Kenrokuen and Kanazawa Castle (see Golden Temple)
- Briefly, Den Den Town in Osaka (much better than Akihabara)
Although I only went to a few stores by comparison, I still made it out with some pretty good game-related loot. I got the following games (all for SFC/SNES):
- LaPlace’s Demon (sort-of psych thriller set in early 20th century (link))
- Metal Max Returns, open-world post-apocalyptic RPG remake. Earliest entry we got was Metal Saga (PS2).
- Leading Company, a business simulator by Koei that didn’t make it over the Pacific
- Elnard, 7th Saga in Japanese
- Mystic Ark, Elnard’s semi-successor
- Wozz, a bizarre parody JRPG that’s highly regarded
In addition, I picked up a pack of soundtracks I’d been looking for:
- Wild Arms 2 and 3 (2 and 4 CDs respectively)
- Suikoden II (both volumes, 4 CDs total)
- Stella Deus (1 CD, apparently poorly regarded as it was $7)
Finally, my eye candy for this entry is the manga, of which I only knew one series existed:
The fascinating part about this to me is that the Suikoden II manga was actually released well *after* Suikoden III’s manga run (2009!), and while S3 feels like at least a moderately-high budget entry, S2 looks a bit more like a cash-in: the art style is very off-putting to me, and it’s not just because Riou (“Tao”) and Jowy look more effeminate than most of the female characters. I have a feeling the 2009 publish date means that this was part of Konami’s campaign to see how much they could make off of low-quality Suikoden goods, and that the battle for the core series was fought (and lost) in Japan. Sad.
The Symphonia manga is actually moderate-to-high quality, somewhat better than Persona 3’s from my brief look so far.
Jesus 007 is… apparently about a semi-mystic mass-murderer / champion of justice named Jesus. May actually try to read it if I get the chance.