Yesterday I took a trip to Akihabara, Tokyo's electronics shopping district. If I thought that the Tokyo Game Show was computer gaming heaven, it was clearly only because I'd never visited Akihabara.
The picture at the top left is a six-storey Taito video arcade. I didn't go in. The reason I didn't go in was because I had already investigated three other multi-storey arcades on the same block.
If you've never been to Akihabara, picture a street lined on both sides with five or six storey buildings. Every floor of every building sells DVDs, mobile phones, CDs, or computer games. The street continues for a couple of kilometers. Every street running off that street also is packed with five or six storey buildings, all containing more DVDs, mobile phones, CDs, and computer games.
I went into some kind of shopping overload. In addition to grabbing a Kingdom Hearts II Sora action figure, I've also gone and got a copy of Ossu! Tatake! Ouendan! for my DS, plus the following game soundtracks:
* Zone of the Enders
* Zone of the Enders II
* Silent Hill 3
* The Legend of Zelda
* Katamari Damacy
* Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Video games are ridiculously cheap here, and not just the ones of *cough* dubious authenticity. DS games were going for about 3000 yen each, which translates out to about $40 AUD. PS2 games were only a bit more expensive. It's a shame that (a) I don't read Japanese too well, and (b) Japanese PS2 games don't work in Australian machines, because they have all sorts of crazy crap available here.
Speaking of which, Final Fantasy III and Xenosaga I & II Compilation are both out in Japan for the DS, as well as Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, but they're all fairly text heavy games so I sadly chose to pass them up and wait for them to make their way to Australia. Likewise I saw the Phoenix Wright GBA games that have not yet come out in the West (numbers 2 & 3 of the series). Seeing as they're billing Phoenix Wright 4 as No 2 for its American release it seems likely that we won't be seeing those titles for this generation of hardware.
Today I'm going to Shinjuku and Tokyo Central, and maybe if I have time to Jinbocho (the book district as featured in the anime Read or Die).