Monday, April 14, 2014

Diary Entry #25: HOT・B Fan Mail and Japanese PC Games are Too Dirty

               Finally, I get to seek refuge in my tiny little blog. In the past week, I've traveled, recorded a full album, wrote an article for Hardcore Gaming 101, dug for fossils, sold art, played board games, and followed all sorts of other hedonistic ventures. No matter how frustrating teaching gets, it's always nice to get a break.

               One lazy day last week, I was perusing the May 1996 issue of P.S.X. magazine. It's actually not too interesting, lacking any sort of editorial charm and featuring a lot more strategies than anything else. It's weird to recall a time before the internet was big, forcing players to use gaming magazines for tips and passwords. Although I remember hating them as a kid, I actually get the biggest kick out of the reader letters. They feel like a snapshot of someone's wants, needs, and desires, a gaming time capsule. Just as historians enjoy digging through the letters of famous dead people, these letters provide a glimpse into a gaming culture long past.

               After writing my overview of HOT・B fishing games and RPGs, I was delighted to find this gem. This reader, obviously a fishing aficionado, has a few questions about HOT・B.

               One of the things that struck me as odd was that they start talking about Mark Davis Fishing as though anyone cares about anything but HOT・B. Gordon is probably one of a few dozen in the universe who've asked about HOT・B by name and P.S.X. has to go and ruin it, although obviously they start dishing out the goods.

               It's interesting that HOT・B USA managed to get the rights to all of those official products, which they already managed to do for some of the SNES Black Bass titles. I haven't really read about the PS1 entry, but it's probably developed by Starfish since it came out post-1993.

               I was on a visual novel kick a few weeks back, which led to me playing KiraKira, a visual novel about a mostly girl punk band. Evidently, they form in order to save the Second Literary Club, an extra-curricular group that's dying due to lack of enrollment. It's about as dull and bizarre as it sounds, although the latter creeps in enough to keep you playing/reading. Here's an example:

               Who cares? If the writer had spent nearly as much time making a compelling story as the artist spent on making the girl's sweater too tight in certain areas, I'm sure it would be a tale for the ages. I find any sort of game/film/text that overtly sexualizes children/adolescents distasteful, so automatically this is awful.

               Later on, the game runs into some discussion about rock and roll's racial roots:

               It's fine to say that rock and roll, R&B, and blues originate from black culture, but they make these distinctions between black and white music like they actually still exist. Speaking with literally hundreds of black people everyday, I can safely say that they are not all die hard blues listeners. In fact, I've probably seen more white blues musicians in my life than I have black. Check Mr. Bones's weird Irish blues musician to see what I mean.

               I don't get how people can like this garbage. My recent re-discovery of punk music led me to picking this game over every other visual novel, but when they actually get around to the songs, they play crappy J-pop music. I love Japanese hardcore bands like Stalin, not overproduced bubblegum garbage. This isn't even a game. If you have the choice to rent or buy it, burn it.

               I also tried out this game Rance, which focuses on the titular general working under an incredibly lazy Oda Nobunaga. It's a Koei-esque game where you have to conquer all of Japan through battling and improving your states. The battles, however, are more akin to Final Fantasy, simply requiring you to select your target in battle and going after them. There's even and front and back formation setup, although it doesn't change the tactics too much.

               Unfortunately, this game is also lewd in nature. I intend on playing it more someday, but it's hard to get into a game when it throws sex in so gratuitously. Check Golgo 13 for classy video game sex scenes.

               I recently acquired a copy of Brain Lord, which I intend to play bit by bit over the next few weeks. I also borrowed X-Com: Enemy Unknown for PS3, a remake that's received so many accolades I can't really pass it up. A few other PS3 games I'm itching to play: Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, Knights Contract, and Cross Edge. The last generation has to have a lot of unjustly ignored classics that I hope to dig up, although one of those is by Idea Factory. They must have made a good game at some point.

No comments:

Post a Comment