Putting My Drawing Tablet to Use

I’m almost completely done with making thumbnails for the 250+ games we have listed on the site. It was an easy matter of getting shots of the title screens for every game and editing them to be thumbnail size.

A few games caused problems, though. Like that arcade game called Download. It’s almost impossible to search for on the googs. And then there’s Ninja Gaiden X, which was a mobile phone game released in Japan in 2004 and it no longer exists. This is the only title screen I was able to find for it (yeah, that’s the biggest size too):

So I definitely had to remake it from scratch for the thumbnail. With my trusty drawing tablet and growing knowledge of Photoshop effects, I came up with this:

Ta-da! It would have taken too long to learn how to do a fire effect for a simple thumbnail that almost nobody will see, so I went with the glowy effect instead. I gained some experience points!

Sand is Tasty

I’m sorting through Mato’s massive folders full of pictures and scan again. One of the grossest false friends to me is how “sandwich” is called “sand” in Japanese. As long as you know what’s up, it’s not a problem, but what if you took it literally!

Cute Japanese Let’s Player on YouTube

I’ve been scrubbing through Japanese Let’s Plays of Dark Souls 2, trying to find blind playthroughs so that the player would hopefully be interested enough in the cat to talk to her a lot. I had a suspicion that the cat, who calls a few beings the “Four Old Ones” in English, would call them the “Four Heavenly Kings” in the Japanese subtitles. A lot of people talked to the cat only a few times and then left, so I went through about six LPs before I found what I needed.

On the way there, I stumbled across a Japanese LPer who plays lots of games, including the Soulsbornes, Outlast, Gone Home, Journey, Dragon Quest Builders, Minecraft, etc etc etc.

Her name is Lily and you can find her videos here! It’s really refreshing hearing a soft and inquisitive voice in a Let’s Play :3

Maybe Bobobo Isn’t so B-b-bad

I apologize profusely for the title up there ^

In researching the Four Heavenly Kings, I had to watch a few episodes of the Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo anime. It grated on me so bad because everyone was yelling and overreacting half the time. I understand it’s a silly anime that breaks a lot of rules, but my gooooodness, I couldn’t take it.

Then I got the first volume of the manga to search for additional examples of Bobobo’s four kings. I found a few references and jokes that had me laughing out loud:

Dangggg, what an obscure reference! I had to look at gameplay of the old Legend of Kage NES game to make sure I was right, and yup. Nice one. I might end up reading this whole manga once my research is done. So hey, if I can’t hear anyone yelling and screaming, Bobobo is a pretty good experience!

Garlic Jr. and the Spice Boys

They captured Mr. Popo in a little magic jar.

Mato & I are watching old episodes of Dragon Ball Z was part of our workday today. I’m surprised at how much more talking there is in the English dub versus the original Japanese.

Thank Giygas for ImageOptim

I’ve been working on making thumbnails for each of the 252 individual games that are covered on the main site this week. My work computer is a Mac, which is good and bad in different ways. One bad thing is that many of the programs I use on Windows aren’t available for Macs. BUT! There’s a program called ImageOptim for Macs that removes bloated metadata and crunches the images down to much more web-friendly sizes. Check this baby out:

So much savings!!

Many Fun Topics Brewing from Yakuza 6

As we’ve been playing Yakuza 6 these past few weeks, Mato & I have been writing down localization examples that would make great topics/articles for the site. The one that has us most intrigued right now is the Live Chat mini game.

You can make Kiryu hunt-and-peck his way into convincing girls to strip on camera. Besides this being totally out of character for Kiryu, thus making it really funny, the best part is the chat on the side. The above image is a poor example, but the chats are full of hilarious usernames saying weird things, memes, creepy things, anything you might expect to see in a chat like this. It really does feel like it’s real. So of course we’re interested in seeing what it’s like in Japanese.

And in case you’re wondering: yes, we recommend this game. Its story isn’t as great as Yakuza 0, but it’s still a really fun adventure.

Hidden Map in a 1992 Magazine

Mato was searching for something in our vast stack of Japanese gaming magazines today. He found a map, probably drawn by a kid back in 1992, stuffed inside one of them:

I wonder what other secrets our magazines might be hiding!

Not Even a Map Can Save You!

I was working on getting screenshots from an old Japanese text adventure game for an upcoming article. All the text is in English, so I thought I’d have a decent chance of knowing what I was doing. Hah, I was wrong. Even the age-old trick of drawing a map didn’t help:

Some of the rooms didn’t connect properly at all. Like, if I went West from the Tem Rei room, I’d end up two screens north. And if I go East from that same room, I’m suddenly three screens north. And then some rooms repeat if you keep going the same direction. The game doesn’t tell you that you can’t go West from “road”, it keeps reloading the screen so you think you’re on a road that stretches on forever.

Also, don’t ever hit a ZAK. It’s instant death.