Welcome again to JJNN for Wednesday July 16th, 2008. Today is gaming day.
Today I want to talk about a certain type of game that is popular in Japan. It is the rhythm game. This is the type of game where you have to push a button (or do the equivalent action) when the it says to do it on the screen. It sounds like a simple game, but it can be very hard to pull off some of the songs on hard.
My favorite version of the rhythm game is called pop'n music. There are nine buttons (though I usually play on the 5 button mode) and all you have to do is hit the button when the colored bar reaches the bottom of the screen. Since I have no natural rhythm (anyone that has ever seen me dance can attest to this) it is not that easy for me, but that is not true for all people. Here is a video of a Japanese guy going crazy on a song in hard mode. Check it out.
There are also other types of games of course. The one that I have been playing lately is called guitar hero. In this game you run around with a plastic guitar with a wii remote stuck into it. The 5 buttons (though again I am on the normal difficulty level now so I only use 4 buttons) are by the left hand and there is a little plastic switch-type-thing on the right that you have to hit in time with the colored circles. There is also a whammy bar just for fun and extra points. This next video is a 4 year old Japanese kid playing one of the songs on easy. Maybe he should be concentrating on how to play a real guitar or some other instrument.
There are many other types of games like this that include drums and other musical instruments. There is one that I played just once that is near and dear to my heart though. It is the shamisen game. It is just like guitar hero but you go around with a plastic shamisen instead of a plastic guitar. I wish I could find an arcade that actually had one of those in this area. It would be fun to skip shamisen practice just to go and play a plastic shamisen.
One other game that I want to talk about is band brothers DX. This is a game that is sold for the DS. It is even possible for this game to interact with the Wii and download extra songs. In this game you can play any of the instruments in a particular song. That is an interesting thing, but not the most interesting part of the game. The best part is that you can compose your own songs for the game itself. You can try to make a classic song that just happens to not be included with the game or make up your own song. The game play after that is just hitting buttons with the beat of the song, like the rest of the games. Here is an example of a band brothers song.
That is a theme song from a kids TV show by the way. I know I just scratched the surface when it comes to these types of games, but a package from amazon just came so I am going to read a nice geeky book. If you have any suggestions about anything you would like to hear about, just leave a comment or email me.
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 大合奏(大合奏). It is pronounced dai-gassou and means large concert. That was part of the full name of Band Brothers. I still don't understand why the Japanese love to give products names with meaningless English. Well I guess this one is better than the snack food that is called cream colon.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.