6.22.2008

Back in Action

My folks have not only left town, but have left the entire country and returned to good old Kentucky. It was great having them here, but it left little time for either playing games or blogging about them. So it's good to finally be back. (Also, the 'B' key on my keyboard is acting up. So if you see any words missing a B, it's because B is for some reason furious at me and refuses to go on the screen every time I tell it to.)

Meeting my parents in Tokyo for their first few days in Japan did allow me to bring my new PSP into public for the first time. Thus far, my PSP time had been spent in the (non) comfort of my apartment's floor chair. Since the original Game Boy, I've never been the type of person to take my portable gaming devices into public, I think for a combination of 2 reasons. The first was an embarrassment (which is largely absent now) of gaming in public, and the second being that I never had an opportunity to play games while on the go.

Living in Japan without a car, and relying on public transportation, has really showed me the benefits and joys of commuter gaming. It's a great way to pass the time on a train or bus, and take your mind off the minutes or hours until your destination. It's also made me realize that not all games are great (or even playable) in moving vehicles. DS touch screen games (such as Puzzle Quest) are virtually impossible on a train. Similarly, games where sound is an integral and necessary part of the game play are difficult to play on trains because, obviously trains are very loud.

And that brings me to Patapon, the $20 game that is the only thing I had time to play last week. I'm really enjoying not only the rhythm mechanics of Patapon, but the art style and character designs are incredibly unique and cute. If you can consider a militaristic army cute. has captivated me so much that I can't help but enjoy even those aspects of the game which I really want to dislike. For example, as was widely reported when the game was released earlier this year, it is a common occurrence in Patapon to have to stop every few missions to do some grinding in order to create stronger and better-equipped units. The game play is so interesting and fun, that I even am enjoying grinding for gear. Unlike many RPGs, I'm not bored at all by this.

I'm near the end of the main game now, and am currently doing some grinding to get the best army I can before doing the final missions. Hopefully, I'll finish the game later this week, and post some more thoughts then. In the meantime, I've got a small boat load of games (and other stuff) to ship home before I move back to the U.S. next month.

2 comments:

Daniel Primed said...

Hey welcome back, "commuter gaming" now that is a very interesting expression you've coined there ;). I never play games on public transport even though I catch plenty of it. I usually prep up for Uni or am fortunate enough to run into someone I know.

Korey said...

Honestly, I love playing a game on a train when I'm traveling somewhere. It's a fantastic way to pass the time. As far as I can remember, I've never even taken a portable gaming system out in public in the U.S.

But it also saddens me, there's so few good public transportation systems in the U.S. I wish more people commuted (or could commute). Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but it's a great way to catch up on my numerous unfinished portable games. Thanks for another comment, Daniel.