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Back to Japan – Otaru and Mega Night

TLDR: Japan is for drinking.

While I can’t say this statement has been true for my whole life, or for even times as recent as 10 years ago, I do loves me some Japan. I think after moving out of the country, we needed a few years apart to grow and develop, and now that I’m more mature, and I don’t have to deal with its everyday bullshit on a regular basis, Japan is again like a second home to me, full of enjoyment and wonder, and booze, and video games.

So back again I went into the fire, this time to both Tokyo and Kyoto in one trip, in search for the best drunkenest parties in the country, and people to talk about game dev with. I was not disappointed.

I left on Thursday morn, a chill wind from the north whipping through the trees, keeping my vodka at just above freezing. I questioned my own behaviour on Facebook, regarding always taking early flights, to which I received an immediate and repeated response.

“You’re a cheap bastard.”

The truth is hard to take at 3 am.

But after a short flight, a nap, and like 40 plates of sushi, I was off and rearing to go to Otaru, Tokyo’s video game industry weekly meet up. This was my second time visiting, and I was pleasantly surprised to be remembered, and not beaten to a bloody pulp on sight. It’s a super welcoming crowd. Y’all my fucking heroes.

#Progress

I don’t remember everything that happened, but these people know how to do up a Thursday night. Add some Kyoto peeps in town in the mix and dayum it’s nuts. We sanjikaied at a burrito shop where I had a few coronas and I woke up in bed the next morning, covered in mikan chuhai, trying to piece everything together over Twitter.

Them lemon sours pack a punch.

Twitter remembers all.

Pukey and 40, I rolled out of bed around 10 and trundled over to Narita T3, and dead-plebbed it JetStar to KIX, Kyoto bound to Mega. (Kyoto peeps took the train like civilized human beings.)

Mega, which I think might be a secret, but then again might not be, and no one reads this anyways so it doesn’t really matter, is Vitei Backroom’s RR celebration of video games, friendship, and alcohol. On Mega Eve, the three 1/2 kingdoms declare peace for a day, and all come together to rejoice, for there is ample booze in the freezer.  It is a time of joy and glee. And, for the second time in 24 hrs, I woke up with the taste of mikan chuhai in my mouth.

It’s the taste of freedom.

The rest of the time was spent handing with ex-Seoulites, and getting dat soosh. Good times.

Oh and Mushroom cocktails. That’s a mushroom cocktail up there.

Kyoto loves gin.

10/10. Would recommend.

Will get back to reviewing games this weekish.

 

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Blog (Pre-Medium)

BitSummit 2017 – Best or Bestest?

Holy crap it’s been a hell of a week. Work’s been blowing up, it looks like North Korea wants to blow up the world like just a little bit more now, and oh yeah, and BitSummit happened! The Burpy Crew (TM?) just got back from Kyoto, and boy are our thumbs tired! Hahaha! I kid, I kid. That’s just arthritis. #old

 

Parappa is fricking hard with this mess.
Yes, that controller actually works.

 

Though this year’s event was held in the smaller first floor space at Kyoto’s massive Miyako Messe, it was packed to the gills with an almost unfathomable amount of electronic resplendence that, in a different time, would have been wrapped in gold, silk, and maybe myrrh, and presented to the richest merchants and royalty visiting from the lands around.

But, no one gives a shit about royalty anymore and the richest merchants now have cocaine, so we get all the goodness to ourselves. And there was a lot of it. Too much to cover in just two days. The bar was set really high this year, in fact I can’t remember any title that I didn’t think was quality.

Here’s what I liked the best.

 

Galak-Z Cosplay. On point.

 

GALAK-Z – Super polished transformation shooter gets a suitable VR finish. In VR, you act as the captain on a stage. Currently the stage is still being implemented but having menus being ever present, but just off to the side seems way way more streamlined to me. It’s kinda like how the Enterprise stage was set up so that the captain could always turn to a certain set direction to get a certain type of information. I’m not sure if this is exactly the direction they’re going to go with this, but I’m excited to see what comes out.

Figment – This gorgeous puzzle game reminds me of Toe Jam & Earl, but if Toe Jam & Earl was actually a good game and had a great art style. You’re this Tingle-looking dude and you wander around putting things in things to make the most fantastical contraptions YOU’VE EVER SEEN IN YOUR LIFE do your bidding in the most abstract puzzle-adventury way. Magical.

 

Line Wobbler – Two player 1-D fun!

 

Line Wobbler – Billed as the 1-D RPG, this installation piece is actually two copies of the same game. You’re a green dot, and you have to take out all of the red and pink dots to win. Wobble the stick to produce a deadly yellow attack! It’s surprisingly fun for a string of multicoloured lights. I got into it. There are about 10 levels but I’d like to see a bit of an extension…maybe to 1.5D?

 

 

Paper Garden – If anyone knows how to do VR, it’s Vitei Backroom. Holy crap they’re amazing. They’re back this year with a new beautiful prototype based on throwing magical paper planes to hit special targets hidden through a magical garden. Basically, the game feels like throwing darts that you have a lot more control over. Many VR games feel restricted because… well.. it’s really hard to traverse terrain when you’re tired to a bunch of wires that are tied to your console and probably a TV that you don’t want to see on the ground. VB has solved the VR translation movement problem by setting teleport points around the world that you can access by throwing planes to them in a way that still feels immersive. If I were to have one complaint it would be that I kept punching myself in the balls trying to grab the planes floating around me. That might be conceived as a benefit to future generations though.

 

I.F.O. by Total Battery

 

I.F.O. – Burpy Fresh loves some Total Battery. We always love some Total Battery. We always will love some Total Battery

Pawarumi – A shooter that is so fresh, so clean. It’s amazing to look at. I got killed super quick, but I suck at these types of games.

And of course, all of these favourites from previous BitSummits and BICFests etc, Arena Gods, Read Only Memories: 2064 (Now in Japanese!), and Megacopter: Blades of the Goddess.

Finally, I want to say Nidhogg 2, which everyone said was there but for some reason I couldn’t find. I looked for TWO DAYS for that thing, so if it was there, I’m a fucking idiot. If not, I got punked by like 10 people.

Gah. So many good games. So much inspiration to make an actual good game. Speaking of, that’s what I’m going to do now. Until next year BitSummit!