Another trip to Japan – stuff I picked up edition

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:

Yeah, Jesus 007 was my goofy pick-up.

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.

1 Comment »

  1. sonic.penguin Said,

    January 16, 2014 @ 8:34 am

    So you picked up a copy of 7th Saga 2 (mystic ark) eh? The incomplete translation for that game never made much sense and I could never get out of the starting zone, but it seemed cool with the apparent different classes you could choose.

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