Yeah, these. I'm sure you've seen some, no matter where you live. They might stand around in some old dusty arcade no one goes to anymore. Game centers are not popular at all anymore in the western world these days. That is completely different in Japan. It's rather impossible to walk in any direction in Tokyo, at least in the bigger hubs like Ikebukuro, Shibuya and of course Akihabara, and not stumple upon a game center. Often featuring multiple floors, with each level being dedicated to a different kind of amusement. There are floors with nothing but games, floors with those silly "drop coins to get some coins back" moneygames and... whole floors, sometimes
even more than just one dedicated to nothing but UFO catchers. Throughout my travels, I've not only seen the usual kind filled with various stuffed dolls or character goods, but also icecream or candy & snacks catchers. To top it off, there is a game center in Osaka that puts freshly made cake and pie into their machines. If you happen to win it, you are recommended to consume it on the same day and they will hand you a cooling bag so you may transport it home safely.
Anyhow, back to those more common machines. I couldn't resist playing... a lot... and thus I present to you some items I've managed to snatch amongst some others I bought:
- Star Wars chopsticks - Oh yeah. Do I need to say anything else? Ok.. they do not make the buzzing sound when you swing them through the air. But you will feel damn awesome when you take these out to eat your cup noodles, believe me.
- Pokemon Black + DSi - Ok I've had the DSi before. Pokemon Black is brand new though. My gf bought the white edition so I didn't actually get to choose, but it doesn't matter. It's game + study combined for me, even more reason to be happy.
- One piece goodies - Both of these cost me about 300円 each only (about 3.5$ each) and are quite nice, even for those who are not fans of One Piece, like me. The watch reminds me of old times and is of good quality, while the corkboard will be decorating my wall pretty soon. Good gifts too, I suppose.
- He is my master figure - Umm... I got this one for a friend...really. Actually the truth is that the year before, when I was in Japan, I wasted so much money on this same figure and it was about time for revenge. I succeeded and as soon as I held it in my hands, I noticed that the whole figure is stiff, imagine touching plastic. The whole figure? Well..no. Her boobs are soft to the touch. I can imagine some people sitting there and repeatedly molesting that poor girl's cleavage.
Heya. So recently we've had a lot of once successful pay-to-play MMORPGs change to a free-to-play business model. Naturally, you can and are expected to still pay, but you are not forced to do so. You might enjoy various benefits, such as more content being available to you or exclusive perks. After games like DDO, LOTR and just recently PoBS it seems to be an increasing trend of a swap in business models. The old "pay your 15 bucks a month" method might not be as competitive anymore as it used to be.
Of course the question is, which games are going down the same route in the future? There are many candidates, but my top pick would have to be Vanguard.
Vanguard, huh? Many of you might not remember it. I don't even expect many people to have heard of it, as unfortunately this game did neither have good marketing nor a very large playerbase to spread the word. With all the problems the game had at its launch it was to be expected that many subscribers wouldn't be staying for long.
On the other hand, Vanguard, at launch, was filled to the brim with graphic bugs and glitches. Some people could hardly get it running on their slightly outdated PC. Compare this to runs-on-every-single-pc-in-the-world-WoW and you can see how this massively and negatively affects a new playerbase. Vanguard did get rescued in its more recent years though and that is why I think it would be SOE's perfect next choice for a new business model: f2p!
in molten wire on Friday, September 24, 2010
Let there be light! And light there was. Great, finally I can see something.
I shall celebrate such a magnificient day with the start of my new blog: the molten wire.
A molten wire? "The heck are you trying to achieve here Sean?" I hear you saying. As an avid gamer, lover of internet culture in general and being a hobby designer (if I'm not too lazy) I decided to open up a blog about exactly those random and completely not linked topics. In the future we shall delve into the deeps of what the internet has to offer for those who know more about it than just facebook and youtube. Accompany me and follow my blog!
There we go, one post of gazillions to come.