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TGS 2011: the video mash-up

From 17th September 2011

A mash-up of videos and photos taken at the Toyko Game Show 2011. Play-back quality seems a bit off, not sure why since I haven’t changed any settings, but, meh. The bright lights certainly messed with some videos. Hope it gives some sense of what it was like in there.
Giving it a boarder makes it look like I’m playing a video through a Super GameBoy xD

Lou, Graham, and me.
Music at the end there;
‘Play With Me’ by Extreme

TGS 2011: we need the kage bunshin no jutsu

And what we blatantly missed at the 2011 Tokyo Game Show;

* Sony gave most of its stand over to the forthcoming Vita handheld but with the long, confusing, chaotic queues, we skipped checking it out. Graham reports that the device is pretty epic, though once again it seems like they’re ripping off a lot of Nintendo’s ideas.

Acquire's booth

Appleseed 13’s booth girl posing

* There was a whole hall dedicated to game merchandise like t-shirts, action figures and plushies? Probably best I missed that. Explains why I kept seeing people walking around with cool Disgaea bags. I actually asked two Japanese guys where they got theirs by saying in broken Japanese; “Sumimasen… doko?” (“Excuse me… where?”) while pointing to the bag, and they pointed to the far side of the hall with me roughly guessing they were saying the next building, but sadly we were having to leave by that point.

Capcom’s premium theatre

The official cosplayer for Shadows of the Damned

* Monster Hunter Tri G for the 3DS was a key attraction but there was no chance we could wait hours in the queues. Actually same goes for Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Battlefield 3.

Some games had closed off areas to better the experience

Props made for Dragon Quest’s 25th anniversary

* Anything that involved needing to understand written or spoken Japanese – damn my disability. It’s also what stopped me checking out Square Enix’s text-heavy but pretty looking 3DS RPG ‘Bravely Default: Flying Fairy’ (wonder if they’ll change the name if it gets a Western release).

The new game for Biohazard (Resident Evil) is based on a ship, mocked up here

People playing on Sonic Generations

* A shed-ton of other things that google searches are telling me were at the event but I didn’t know about. Like, what?! The Behemoth (guys behind Castle Crashers and Alien Hominid) were there in person?! There were wearable animatronic cat ears that reacted to your mood?! Nani?!

Random note: it was announced that ‘Ni no Kuni’, the joint venture from animated studio Studio Ghibli and games developer Level-5, has received an early 2012 release date.

The Street Fighter X Tekken section focused on Ryu VS Kazuya

Square! A huge slime and chocobo hovered overhead

Due to all the crowds and hectic timing at the event, I didn’t get around to taking many photos/videos (especially since nearly all the booths banned such activity). However I’m in the process of stringing together all the quick little vids I did take along with some extra photos not embedded in the last few posts here. Hopefully you’ll get a bit of a feeling of what it was like there.

TGS 2011: technology and dragons

Here are some things we did get to catch at the 2011 Tokyo Game Show;

* This year, the event featured the wonderful tagline, “GAME-dancing your heart”. Fans could buy official bags and t-shirts featuring the phrase. The VIP ticket holders automatically got the t-shirt.

* A huge dragon figure dominating the Capcom stand, for the RPG adventure Dragon’s Dogma.

A dragon hovers over the players of Dragon’s Dogma

* Lots of cute Japanese ‘booth babes’ being swamped by guys (mostly) taking many photos, some being rather intrusive in my opinion. Some otaku were equipped with some insanely huge and expensive cameras.

* Some very well-made official and unofficial cosplayers of game characters.

* Huge vid-screens showing trailers and interviews for Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, and Saints Row: The Third.

A demon girl poses for some cameras

Gladiator girl explains the selling points of the game

Smash Bros Brawl cosplayers among others

* I got to play on ‘Rhythm Thief R’, a fun 3DS game that seemed to me like a cross between Prof Layton, Elite Beat Agents and Lupin the 3rd.

* Played Rage for the PS3 – I think after playing Borderlands with Han, this game seemed somewhat disappointing, but maybe I just didn’t get enough time with it. One of the staff was really good with explaining the game modes in English to me. It had an interesting way of resurrecting your own character after getting shot to bits, using the two control sticks to match the patterns on screen that acted as a defibrillator.

* Assassins Creed Revelations – got to have a bash against random people on the multiplayer mode. I found out the only kill I made was against Louise, muhaha. Wasn’t used to the PS3 controller since I’d played the previous games on Xbox, but along with what was shown on the trailer, it looks like it’s gonna be an epic finish to the main series plot.

* Mass Effect 3 – played very nicely and Lou (who’s a total fan-girl of the series) played the demo twice (due to short queues) and we both can’t wait for the release. You got 15 minutes on an egg timer to play as much of the demo level as you could with some default character settings and some experience points to spend. I rushed on my play-through (I hate rushing) and ‘just’ beat the boss in time.

EA’s corner of TGS – the demo of FIFA 12 was next to Mass Effect 3

Louise being very excited to get an early play of Mass Effect 3

* Sonic Generations is beautiful. Half of it playing like the classic original games and the other half based on the decent bits of the more recent games. We had the option of playing one of two different levels (everyone went for the new 3D level rather than the well-known 2D level from the first game), and received a sheet of Sonic stickers for playing. We were actually playing on 3D TVs with 3D glasses on… that felt kinda weird and actually messed my play up a couple of times but I never have been good with 3D stuff.

* Saw a bit of the packed Street Fighter 4 tournament. The players were at God-like levels, but we had much more to see so didn’t stay long. We cheered seeing the odd English name on the obviously very Japanese-heavy knock-out tier list.

* The Konami stand had a collection of Metal Gear Solid models displayed next to the latest versions of the game.


Capcom showing off their latest 3DS game

One of the few videos for Rhythm Thief R on loop was an interview with contributing music artist Miwa

* Trading card games are still popular in Japan and were in ample supply everywhere. Papercraft models of various characters (like Sonic) also seemed to be scattered here and there.

* Smartphone games had their own dedicated section on the show floor. Popular brands such as Street Fighter, Monster Hunter and Space Invaders all had iOS or Android titles on display.

* Japanese universities pimping their video game programming and design courses. There were playable homebrew games on PC and DS, plus some brilliant artwork on the walls.

* Being handed various promotional gifts such as booklets, fans, DVDs, mini pencil boards, cards and carrying bags.

University’s booths showing off their own games and artwork

Bags, booklets and stickers obtained at TGS

Tokyo Game Show 2011

Right, getting on with blogging about Japan despite now being back in England (and still not finding enough time), I shall restart with one of the events I went to that’ll be the most ‘out of date’.

17th September 2011

Louise, Graham, Edwards, and I took one of the Shinkansen (bullet trains) to Japan’s capital to catch the Tokyo Game Show (the rather famous once-yearly video game expo/convention).
To purchase tickets for this event, you had to buy them in advance via a machine in a combini (mini-mart like Seven-Eleven, Lawson or Family Mart). Rather fiddly but thankfully Graham helped us out with the excessive Japanese reading and staff questioning required. You could buy them on the day, but we knew they’d be a bit more costy and would also add to the queuing.
Ooooouh and queuing there would be. We turned up a little ‘early’ but after we got off yet another train, we were surrounded by people all flooding to the same place – the convention center ‘Makuhari Messe’.

The main queue to get into the TGS

The main queue to get into the TGS

The TGS entrance

TGS entrance


Konami showing an interview and yet more queues to get to certain games

The Xbox 360 area

While in Japan, I rarely saw Xbox games in shops compared to other consoles, but this was the first sight I saw upon entering

Dragon Quest and Super Mario Bros

Itagaki Street DS features characters and themes from both Dragon Quest and Super Mario Bros. It’s based on the classic Monopoly-like game with some Mario Party-esque elements added

The latest Monster Hunter game

Various stewards directed incoming visitors to the show. There were also some staff with megaphones, enticing gamers to their booths with promotional gifts

Unlike Graham and Edwards, Lou and I didn’t get the chance to buy the limited ‘VIP’ tickets, so while they skipped ahead and got to go in an hour earlier than everyone else, we found ourselves in a very large queue. We thought we were pretty far ahead but actually after the bag-checks… it just kept going. This thing wrapped round the entire building and snaked in on itself several times to cope with the sheer volume of people attending. Must have took us two hours to get in, it even rained at one point and this nice Japanese fella shared his umbrella with us. I noticed a fair few people playing on their DS or PSP to pass the time.

Marc and Sonic

Marc leading Sonic to victory

Lou and Sonic

Louise posing with the famous Sonic

Graham and Sonic

Is Graham (and his epic t-shirt) faster than Sonic?

When we finally got in, we were overwhelmed, there was so much going off and it was so difficult to move through the large crowds. It was also muggy hot, everyone got rather sweaty.
We couldn’t try out many of the games due to massive queues, and time restrictions made it impossible to see everything on offer. Some things only happened on particulars days as well (we were only there for one of the two days it was open to the public – the press and companies had access previously on the 15 and 16th).

Nendoroid Miku Hatsune

A giant ‘Nendoroid’ version of Miku Hatsune

I’ll save what else I was writing about the event for later as I’ve found I’m taking far too long over typing things up and getting everything edited.
Ven’s words of wisdom; “Break it up into a greater number of smaller posts. Will be easier to write and easier to read.” 🙂
I’ll share some photos amongst them too, plus I’m making a small video.

Official TGS website –


Back in Japan, upon telling Kazu when my birthday was, she exclaimed; “Your birthday is Pocky day?!”
I nodded; “It’s also Remembrance Day in the UK… Pocky-poppy-birthday!”

You know what Pocky is right? Japan’s favourite chocolate dipped stick snack. It’s known as Mikado in the United Kingdom (but the chocolate tastes more like Dairy Milk, the original is darker).

Different types of Pocky

Different types of Pocky

Wikipedia history entry goooooooo;
“Pocky was first sold in 1966, and consists of a biscuit stick coated with chocolate. It was named after the Japanese onomatopoetic word for the sound Pocky makes when bitten, pokkin (ポッキン). The original was followed by “Almond Pocky” in 1971, with an almond coating, and “Strawberry Pocky” in 1977. Today, the product line includes such variations as milk, mousse, green tea, honey, banana and coconut flavoured coatings, and themed products such as “Decorer Pocky,” with colorful decorative stripes in the coating, and “Men’s Pocky,” a dark (bittersweet) chocolate and “mature” version.”

November 11 is ‘Pocky Day’ in Japan, since 11/11 kinda looks like four sticks of the snack lined up, so the Glico company will be dominating with some sales today (they have TV adverts promoting the day and everything).

Since it’s now November 11, 2011 (11/11/11), which won’t be seen for another century, and I’ve turned 30, I wonder if the universe will implode. Nope, we’re all still here. I’m gonna look out for other anomalies in space-time instead. I’m totally buying some National Lottery tickets.

Can’t think of anything particularly profound to say now I’m 30… don’t particularly feel that old either, so that must be a good thing ^^;

My parents got me a funky USB fan-assisted fold-away laptop table so now I can type on Maiko and use a mouse comfortably in bed. Thanks again mum and dad!

Ouh! Just applied for tickets to the filming of an episode of Red Dwarf X *crosses fingers*

Fav tweet from yesterday;
“Tomorrow is 11/11/11, not 11/11/11. Bloody Americans.” – laurenme0w (I don’t know her)

Fav birthday message from today;
“Congratulations on the completion of your 30th solar orbit since your first unassisted contact with the Earth’s atmosphere.” – Ven

Back in the UK

Did I mention I was back in England?
Hmm, I gotta update this place. Told you it was gonna be out of order. Ah well.

Heat wave

Japan has a much more prominent set of seasons than anywhere I know of.
Nurgh! Heat wave! No, not the book by Richard Castle, I’m talking about the insane heat and humidity here in the Osaka area of Japan. The cold days and nights from when I first arrived here quickly vanished, now it’s just hot. I’m talking that silly ‘foreign hot’ that this English boy just does not cope well with. Upon venturing out, a wall of heat hits me like that scene from an Absolutely Fabulous episode where Edina and Patsy instantly faint upon stepping off the plane. It also reminds me of parts of American I’ve visited where I’ve suffered just as badly. Jumping shadow to shadow just to stay in some slightly cooler shade also reminds me of my visit to the Greek island of Kos. Simply walking down to the local supermarket has me covered in sweat and yearning for the glorious air-con within. What’s worse though is that this is supposedly tame compared to what’s to come in a few weeks.

Japanese culture has developed to combat said heat waves. I’ve actually noticed it a lot in some anime shows but it’s never really hit home til I’ve seen it first-hand.
I see guys wearing bandanas made from small towels, or towels just slung around their necks to wipe the sweat off their brow while walking. I’ve even started carrying one in my backpack, but I feel more like I’m hitchhiking across the galaxy rather than being Japanese.
I watch cyclists bezz by wearing huge hats and full face visors to block out the sun, most simply resorting to umbrellas (or parasols) to keep the rays off them (on and off bicycles).
I’ve noticed a lot of women wearing those ‘arm-sock’ things to protect their arms from the sun too, I hear most don’t like getting tans.

Following the example of Japanese business men I have purchased a ‘Super-Dry’ t-shirt to wear under my smart shirt (on the rare occasion I wear that rather than my t-shirts). I dunno if it absorbs sweat or what (it claims to magically stop sweat) but it certainly stops gross sweat patches forming around your armpits and down your back. Sadly it does mean an extra layer though, so I feel it’s making me warmer than I have to be.
Electric room fans, all types of hand fans, and A/C units are obviously very popular right now.

I’m also personally buying far more ice cream and ice lollies than I normally would during an English Summer. I’m so glad that Louise’s flat has two fridge/freezers, even bread has to be stored in them because it’s goes mouldy very quickly these days.

The heat is certainly another reason I’ve been slow with updates and such on here, it just makes me so lethargic, even with cool air blowing at me, sorry. It also causes me to struggle when trying to sleep and then when I’m trying to wake up. Bottled (refrigerated) water is a must… mmm, ice cubes in Cola…

What really helps is how much cooler the flat and outside feels when it’s raining and ooooh does it rain here. We’re currently in the ‘rainy season’ so when Japan isn’t being fried by the sun it pelts it down with rain. Cats and dogs for pretty much most of the day, sometimes days at a time. Talking of dogs, I saw a small dog dash out of nowhere to hide under a car from the heavy rain, it made a little whimper from under there too, awwww.

The Japanese look at me funny most times, but even more-so when they see me without an umbrella in the rain. I don’t even bother with my waterproof coat anymore because it’s far too hot and humid to wear even if it is raining.

I like thunder storms, I also like the sound of rain against the window when you’re curled up indoors.

Kushiya Monogatari

From 15th June 2011

Our visit to Kushiya Monogatari after the cinema in Namba Parks.
It’s a ‘do-it-yourself deep-fry’ kushiage restaurant – pick as many of your favourite skewers as you like along with unlimited side dishes and desserts.
There’s chicken, beef, salmon, scallops, fish, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, and other meats and vegetables from refrigerated case.
You cook them yourself by dipping them in a paste, covering them with bread crumbs, and then deep-frying them at your table.
I really liked the cheese doughnut balls (that could be instantly fried), and the little sausage cut like a squid (it opened up as it fried).

At this time it’s ¥2625 for 90 minutes tabehodai (all you can eat), plus an extra ¥1,050 for nomihodai (all you can drink).

Lou, Han, Drew, random Kushiya Monogatari staff, customers, and me.
Sample of the ‘Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom’ song by Parry Gripp ( )

My current situation

So, my current situation, since I haven’t updated in a very long time.

Location: Osaka in Japan, I’ve been here since 2011 March 16th (yeah, year/month/day, that’s how I roll).

Right, let’s see if I can get some entries written up and added here. I’m kicking myself for not even starting a decent blog while I’ve been out here in Japan, but I’m always like that with journal-style things. I kept up-to-date with people who emailed me though, so I don’t feel that bad.

Did I mention that I was in Japan?

I have little bits written up and mixed up collections of photos, so my future entries maybe a bit jumbled up timeline-wise but that’s pretty standard for me too.

For now, here’s a photo of a black cat (my Kuro Neko plush) covered in several Fox’s Triples (bars of milk chocolate sandwiched by two oaty textured biscuits).

Chocolate Kuro Neko

Om nom nom mew!

Origins of the subspace lab

This website was originally home to my CV with links to my other websites and pieces of work. A lot of it was pretty old and I rarely updated, so Ven (one of my awesome friends) convinced me to set up this WordPress jobby. This place will now become a dumping ground for my current thoughts, galleries of photos, artwork, and a general mish-mash of other random stuff. Don’t expect frequent updates though.

The concept of subspace (or hyperspace) is often used in various science fiction media, generally as an alternate region of space co-existing with our own universe, which may be entered using an energy field or other device.
I would love to be able to open up subspace pockets and store or retrieve any item I wished, being able to use it to travel across long distances would be epic too. One of my original manga/RPG characters (Kiki Kikowa) uses subspace in this way and (being a super intelligent alien girl) even has a large laboratory located within such (there’s a head-nod to Washu if you’re a fan of the Tenchi Muyo series).

When trying to come up with a URL and name for my first major web-presence online, this is what popped into my head. SpaceCookies was taken, Ven had that :p
Now I just have to figure out what to do with the SpoonyBard domain. There was a plan once, I forget.

Right, on with tweaking the site and trying to sort out a decent and fitting theme. Any ideas/suggestions/comments, send them this way ^_^

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