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Episode 3: CHIBI-CAST

by Danny Bivens and James Charlton - July 26, 2011, 2:40 pm PDT
Total comments: 22

Two-thirds of the Famicast return for an update on the Japanese gaming landscape.

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James Charlton and Danny Bivens team up to deliver the third episode of the Famicast. Being a man down for this episode (Japan Correspondent, Matt Walker, was unable to join), the crew puts together a slightly shorter episode than usual. Nevertheless, it's still Famicast a go-go as the guys bring you the latest from the Land of the Rising Sun. Danny and James share what they have been playing lately, including the newly released Star Fox 64 3D. James also explains about a new “game” that he picked up a few months ago that has kept him busy for nearly the past three months.

Next, the crew discusses the Play for Japan soundtrack, a charity album for earthquake relief in Japan containing tunes from some of the most famous musicians in the world of gaming, which was released this month. Listen to find out where you can purchase this awesome compilation! Danny and James also go through the recent and upcoming releases on Nintendo platforms before closing the show by answering your listener mail, with topics ranging anywhere from bottle caps, capsule hotels, poop, and the state of PC gaming in Japan.

If you have any questions or comments for the Japan crew, stop by our forum thread or email us directly. We will try to answer all of your questions, with the best questions appearing on the show!

This podcast was edited by Danny Bivens.

Music for this episode of The Famicast is used with permission from 8 Bit Weapon. You can purchase their music and shirts from their website 8bitweapon.com

Additional music for this episode of The Famicast is copyrighted to Nintendo, and is included under fair use protection.

Talkback

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)July 27, 2011

Jump in and ask some questions for next time right here!

CericJuly 27, 2011

Congratulation on getting a Longterm Interactive Life Accessory aka a Bouncing Baby!

I'm hoping to acquire a new one soon.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusJuly 27, 2011

Nice show, gents.  Keep up the good work.

CericJuly 27, 2011

I enjoyed the show.  Thanks for reading my letter.

The reason I asked about McDonald's Danny's place of residency :P: was that I've heard from people who made the trip over that the burger and fries looked almost exactly like the pictures they received.  Sort of a statement of how the culture is different.  Though the online discussion really sailed that ship home.  I should have asked what is the oddest thing you've bought from a vending machine and what is something you are surprised you buy regularly from a vending machine since you've moved to Japan?

Now I'm also sort of curious about Game Naming trends in Japan since you mention the name of Rhythm Heaven had a different name that is meant for everyone over there.  Do the kids really get into characters and gaming as much as it looks from the outside in?  Are they as independent as the media that makes it over make it appear (walk home alone, go shopping alone, ride the trains to big cities by themselves from a relatively young age, etc.)  Though that might just be a where I live type of thing that makes it sound odd.  Even if my parents would have allowed me or I wanted to go around like that you can't really get anywhere without a car here in Southern USA with a few exemptions.

Oh, and Famicomplicated I don't know if Japanese kids toys are packaged like US kids toy but I personally invested in a pair of tin snips for the sole purpose of cutting the twist ties and packaging.  Saves my sanity on Christmas.

AVJuly 27, 2011

was the music a nod to the ads every few minutes? it seemed like allot of music interludes

Did anyone else find James to be really quiet? Or am I just going deaf?

If you have a significant other in Japan, is that person Japanese or a foreigner like you? Have you found being a foreigner an asset or hindrance in getting dates/attention? In your relationship, has the cultural divide been a significant issue?

ShyGuyJuly 27, 2011

Jonny has certain tastes?

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)July 28, 2011

Quote from: Shaymin

Did anyone else find James to be really quiet? Or am I just going deaf?

No you're right, I was a little quiet. Was either my mic turned down low or I was incredibly tired from my 2-hour sleep  :P:
I'll try and compensate next time!

Quote from: Mr.

was the music a nod to the ads every few minutes? it seemed like allot of music interludes

New topic = musical interlude. Just sit back and enjoy!

Quote from: Ceric

Congratulation on getting a Longterm Interactive Life Accessory

Thanks!  ;D

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)July 28, 2011

@Jonnyboy117 - I took the liberty of answering your off-topic question in the other forum!  ;)

noname2200July 28, 2011

First off, a belated congrats to James on his new copy of Baby Papa: I hear the difficulty curve gets easier, but it sounds like you're handling it just fine!

Thanks to both of you for answering my question, especially since it took an interesting tangent regarding online gaming and Japanese e-mail addresses: both of those tidbits were new to me. I think what prompted my question was the success of Recettear on Steam, and the mention of how Steam sales in the mid-five figures already surpassed Japanese sales, as well as Falcom abandoning PC development. As someone who likes both PC and Japanese games it's kind of a bummer to hear that the two don't mix, but with such limited Japanese PC releases it's not really a surprise either.

TJ SpykeJuly 28, 2011

Yeah, at first I thought he just got the name of the game wrong (I thought he was referring to Babysitting Mama), until it was mentioned it was in real life. My congrats too.

yoshi1001July 30, 2011

The song in the Pokemon iPhone app is is "ポケモン言えるかな? BW" (Can You Name All the Pokémon? BW), the current ending theme from the anime. We probably won't get it unless they rework it for "Can't Stop Catchin Em All".

Yey Hakone. Also, yes, Japanese TV sucks--commercials and most TV programs cause headaches.

@noname Anytime, man! Keep the questions coming, too. Hopefully, we can make the Famicast a bit more regular than what it has been lately.


@yoshi Yep, ポケモン言えるかな?BW is the name of that song. Like you said, it would be surprising if they were to release the app in English speaking territories with the same Japanese song. Not that Pokéfans wouldn't dig something like that, though.


And hey, am I the only guy that can tolerate Japanese television? I will give you this, though. On the programs where they are trying food, I don't see how it's that freakin' delicious EVERY SINGLE TIME. You're telling me that at least ONE of those dishes doesn't taste like a steaming pile of crap?!

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusAugust 02, 2011

It was ten years ago, but one of the most vivid things I saw on Japanese TV in regards to food was this show about some guy who goes around staying in little Japanese equivalent of a bed and breakfast or small/medium traditional style hotels.

He would stay there at least overnight, but a couple of nights was not uncommon. He would proceed to completely gorge himself through all 3 meals of the day, each time resulting in at a minimum of 2 dozen large now empty bowls stacked in the background while he gives his verdict which mostly revolved around "Oshii" with little else. Given the sheer volume of food he had to be eating every waking moment during his stays. And it showed.

The man was so fat that I have no problem believing that he really did eat every bowl of food delivered to him and the resulting aftermath. I also don't have a problem believing that he had died years ago from imploding under the gravity of his own mass.

Not to mention, food programs were extremely popular then and I can only assume the trend continues.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)August 02, 2011

Quote from: The_Dan_x

And hey, am I the only guy that can tolerate Japanese television?

Yes.

Quote from: oohhboy

It was ten years ago, but one of the most vivid things I saw on Japanese TV in regards to food was this show about some guy who goes around staying in little Japanese equivalent of a bed and breakfast or small/medium traditional style hotels.

Not to mention, food programs were extremely popular then and I can only assume the trend continues.

Yeah, they're more popular than ever, still with only the word "Oishii" being said.


So did you go to Japan during High School or something?

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusAugust 03, 2011

I went to Japan for 9 months after graduating High School back in 2001 paid for by the Tokyo Dome "Big Egg" Corporation because an executive wanted more people from New Zealand because he really enjoyed his time here. Unfortunately my Japanese never developed properly due to the lack of reference materials that are Japanese/English which meant I couldn't make any reasonable progress. Complete language immersion works amazingly well when you are 5 years old, but it isn't something you can do when you're 18 and you have to literally base everything you do on guess work. While I can't watch Anime without subtitles, I can pick up divergences between what is actually said and the translation. It doesn't sound like gibberish, it's all very familiar, but everything feels only just out of reach. If I ever have another chance with a slightly modified teaching regiment and reference materials, I know it will all fall into place very quickly.

Big Egg paid for everything besides airfare. They gave you a job at Karakuen Uenchi which at the time was been rebuilt, so I missed out on half the rides. Housing, transport, healthcare, spending money(On top of the job), schooling, basic utilities. Shouted us a trip to Disney Sea, a trip to a water park and a candle light Jazz dinner on top of Tokyo Dome Hotel. That Beef medallion for main course was so good, to this day, I have effectively refused to eat any other beef steak simply because no beef steak will ever measure up to that one meal ever again.

If you know where to look, there is a photo of me on NWR/PGC.

Another Japanese Food TV holy shit moment was when they took an X-ray of one of those skinny big eaters washed down with a Barium Milk Shake. His stomach had expanded as if it had no limits other than how far it could push every other organ out of the way.

Minna no Rhythm Tengoku seems to be doing very well in Japan. How much of that do you think is due to marketing? I see they have THIRTEEN different commercials for the game.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)August 04, 2011

Quote from: MegaByte

Minna no Rhythm Tengoku seems to be doing very well in Japan. How much of that do you think is due to marketing? I see they have THIRTEEN different commercials for the game.

It's funny because the adverts only show a 2-player mode, the one with the entire family "playing together" they're all just chanting encouragement.


I'm surprised it's doing well, this game is rock hard and hardly family friendly.
Shows what a bunch of cute seals rolling on the floor in sync can do to sales!

noname2200August 05, 2011

Quote from: famicomplicated

I'm surprised it's doing well, this game is rock hard and hardly family friendly.
Shows what a bunch of cute seals rolling on the floor in sync can do to sales!

Most of my aunts were actually into NES games during the 80's, and they didn't really bother with videogames again until stuff like I Rule came around. And as we all know, NES games were generally pretty brutal...

This is anecdotal, but I think it may apply to many other families. I don't think it's difficulty that puts off the rest of the family, especially since multi-player competitive games tend to be some of the hardest games out there.

With rhythm especially, everyone can "participate," even if they aren't actually playing.

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