Random Japan

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Randomness

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Jet Set Radio!!!

The Dreamcast console made it’s debut in November 1998 in Japan and was later introduced to the North America and Europe markets.
What sets the Dreamcast apart from other consoles of the time and indeed today is the high concentration of fresh, stylish, innovative and playable games. The Dreamcast console’s lifespan ended prematurely after a few years but in that time so many excellent games became available – Crazy Taxi, House of the Dead II, Samba De Amigo (with maracas controllers). There were some pretty weird, mostly Japanese only releases to boot:

Seaman – a ‘game’ in which you raised your own half fish half man from an egg via communication through a special microphone controller add on.

Tokyo Bus Guide – another ‘game’ simulator in which you learn how to erm, drive a bus accurately around Tokyo picking up and dropping off Tokyoites. Don’t bump the Kerb or it’s game over???

Rez – a fast paced shooting game with unique visuals set to a banging house soundtrack.

Get Bass – you errrr get bass fish by plugging in your fishing controller and ah,, waiting for fish.

Sega Karaoke – here you bought yet another machine add-on which fit at the bottom of the console and allowed you to download the songs of your liking via the Internet and yes, sing them through a microphone controller!

However, there was really only one specific title that caught my eye, a game called Jet Set Radio.


Graffiti, Shibuya, Sega’s arcade freshness and underneath that a really fun game that was and still is very interesting to watch and play. I made it my priority to get hold of this and a Dreamcast as soon as it became affordable and it didn’t disappoint. After a brief challenge to get the hang of the trigger boost system similar to Tony Hawks, you are invited to barge recklessly into rival crew members, rack their paint and get up on the side of a bus in broad daylight in Shibuya bus station! This game is haaawsome!!
Luckily the Dreamcast came with a serious hardware fault in terms of piracy – the laser inside can read normal CD’s burnt on your home PC. If you can find a cheap Dreamcast from Book-Off or ebay and a couple of CD-R audio disks you can burn these games and see for yourself what I’m onnabout. Below there’s a link to De La Jet Set Radio (the limited edition Japan only release) which has extra levels and characters.

You’ll definately have fun playing this game. The soundtrack is radickle, the gameplay is fun and the graphics still fraxilate my cranium over 10 years later. Keep a flying eyeball out for Bristol writer Inkie’s graffiti in there too.

Links

here (.nrg file)

and

Emulators for the Dreamcast and other games can be found here

Discjuggler trial version (trial version burns .cdi files onto your CD-R audio disk)




Shibuya Street

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Penguin Paperclips!

(C) Kunihiro Saito

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When one of the chipolatas came home from nursery the other day and showered me with a bundle of papers something caught my eye. ‘Twas the glint of a silver penguin silhouette slipped loving in the corner. Upon further inspextion one found these joyous critter clips!

This range of cute stationary says everything we have come to associate with great Japanese design: cute, compact, colourful and just totally random.

From Midori’s site:

“The animal-shaped paperclips,“D-CLIPS have always been hotsellers. Carefully and meticulously designed to the last detail, the paper clips artistically represent cherished animals and are among the favorite items of many MIDORI lovers. The D-CLIPS began with eight animals. Then in 2009, we introduced the “Aquarium” series of marine animals, as well as the “Pet” series of house pets. Now, the paper clips come in 16 animal shapes. In addition, this year again, we are offering new, improved versions of the limited-time Christmas designs, which enjoyed high popularity last year. The more designs of “D-CLIPS” you collect, the more fun you have!”

D Clips come in a range of shapes and styles dogs, cats, ducks trucks and horses.
Mini cleaner II will skilfully sweep any eraser residue in the most erudite fashion.
Swingbird correction tape which won a Good design award, spares any blushes with a swift drag of it’s beak!
You’ll never be alone with your new stationary buddies, except if you have an unhealthy obsession with stationary in which case you’ll probably be left alone by other humans.

Take a butcher’s at Midori’s English page here:
http://www.midori-japan.co.jp/english/index.html


Living with Paro-chan

Love dat guy

Who needs humans?

“I say “Good morning” to Paro-chan when I wake up, I couldn’t say that to a fridge could I? Basically, human beings are weak. That’s why I speak to Paro.”


Pet Robot Seal

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“Don’t try understand Japan – you’ll never work it out”.