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Technology Review June 9, 2010

Filed under: Assigment,Game,Tech Review — mavichakp1 @ 3:33 am

Monster Hunter is the name of a video game franchise that is very highly popular in Japan, developed and publish by Capcom.
Accroding to the Vgchartz, the lastest hand-held version of the game on PSP had sold over 850,000 copies on the first week in  and since then had been selling over 2 millions copies counting on in Japan.

This game is setting in a unique fantasy world where the world was not only inhabit by human but also others creature especially the Dinosaur-like giant lizard creature. In every game, you took a role of a “Hunter”, the person who make a living by hunting such a creature and protecting your village from the request of your local leader or a hunting guild, Hench the name “Monster Hunter”.

The charm of this game is in the game play and core mechanic, since this game is a real time action game, so unlike in Rpg game during the combat you will have to control and maneuver through monster attack by yourself, and when each monster have a different attack patterns and characteristic attack that sometime can be complicate to dodge, the player will have to stay focus and learn the habit of each monster just like in the real wildgame hunt.

The same also apply to attacking, since there is no such thing as “lock on” system in this game, Hunter will have to learn the range of his weapon and aim precisely to where he want to attack, using certain type of weapon on certain parts of monster could also give you a different effect, for example if you use a blade and cutting type weapon on the tail of the monster multiply times, after making a certain amount of damage you will finally cut the tail of that monster off, Ultimately making the monster attack that involve using tail become much more less dangerous when it trying to swing its now stump tail around.
Each time you defeat the creature you will be able to carve it corpse to get the material that will help you in your future hunt, ranging from a simple meat that you could grill and eat it to increase your stamina, to a scale and shell which could be made into a weapon and armor that will provide you a better protection.

Also since there is no “level” in this game, you get much more feeling of achievement when you can easily beat your old nemesis without hurting yourself too much, you could feel the sanctification of see how much your playing ability have really improve during the course of the game and not just a cosmetic abilty like higher status points or stronger spell since such a things doesn’t exist in this game

Another point that make monster hunter appealing is the co-operation between player in multiplayer mode, in this mode monsters become much more stronger than when you’re playing solo while the player have the same amount of penalty of how many time he can “faint” during the fight and also the same amount of time limit so it’s up to the teamwork and cooperation of you and your friends to help each other and beat up on the monster together. It is also important to communicate with each others since even with a full party of 4 people some of the hunt is still dangerous and the monster could easily turn the table around by knocking out several party member at the same time.

All in all, monster hunter is a very interesting and enjoyable game and it is not surprising to see how it’s all the craze in Japanese teenager at the moment, since Japanese culture are all about being part of the team and not individual which fit into the core mechanism of the multiplayer aspect of monster hunter. So I would like everyone to try this game and enjoy the hunt and cooperation with your friends!


Otaku Culture June 8, 2010

Filed under: Assigment,Culture — mavichakp1 @ 3:50 pm

Otaku culture is one of the culture in Japan that is large enough to create a market for themselves. The word Otaku could be use to describe a Mania or someone who is having an obsession with something in particular. But it is more common to be use to referring the group that love Anime,Comic and Video game as a whole

What make this sub-culture interesting to the producer is the power to buy of the Otaku group is very high, they would buy things like a limited edition of the game or a whole set of figure and toy of the character they like just to be “hardcore” and show their love to the series.  So even if your series of Anime finish or Your video game already release,  you could still make the money off the related product since Otaku will still buy them. Even 10 Years old Anime like Evangelion is still alive and making money to the company (to the point that they’re remaking the series) because their product still sell off due to the Otaku sub-culture

They are also creating a new market for Japan by forcing back the things these Otaku love (usually something “cute” like a cat ears, or girls wearing certain type of clothes) back into the real world, the example we can see are the maid cafe.

Although the Otaku culture aren’t as strong in the US as in Japan, but they are gaining more popularity due to to import of Japan culture and the exchange culture on the internet.
So I think it is also a good idea to consider these type of customer if you’re going to do the business, since these guys would be the most loyal customer to the thing they like.


Japanese student and the train ride

Filed under: Assigment,Culture — mavichakp1 @ 3:17 pm

Subway train is the main way to get from one place to another in Japan, and they also have an impressive system that support it too.
But after talking to the students from Waseda University in Japan, I also learn the surprising facts that most of them lives at their house while taking  1.5-2 hours train ride a trip everyday from their home to the campus!

Although the train are convenient since you could easily travel to shopping place or  cool hangout place this blessing technology could also become a curse when you and everyone is so rely on it!

I could not believe they would waste 3-4 hour of their lives everyday on the train! Not to mention the rush hour in the morning where there are lots trying to get on 1 crowed train, which is not something I would want to experience everyday!
Also you have to be on time for the train or you might risk being lost for your class or meeting.
I don’t think I could cope up with all that stress everyday, but these Japanese student taking it like a normal routine.
This really show how you would define thing as “normal” differently depend on the culture you were raise!


Shabu Shabu

Filed under: Assigment,Culture — mavichakp1 @ 12:19 pm

Shabu Shabu is one of Japanese type of hotpot food, it is also a famous food for tourism.

When you go to Shabu Shabu restaurant, you’ll have a pot of boiling water on your table and then the server will give plates of

vegetables, meat and pork. You can put the vegetable into the pot when the water is hot enough, but for the meat you have to pick it up with your chopstick, put it into the pot and swing it around a little bit for a few second before you pull it from the hotpot and eat it together with 2 types of sauce that was on the table.

I think it is one of the Japanese culture that the most delicious meat is the one that was consume in the most simplest way of cooking, For example other than the Shabu Shabu where you just put the meat in boiling water. Popular traditional Japanese dishes like Sushi or Sashimi also made from Raw Fishes that didn’t pass many process of cooking before it was serve to the customer.
It is also interesting that Japanese food are consider to be more healthy than other countries food, does that have anything to do with their simple way of cooking and eating?


DNP and Louvre museum collaboration

Filed under: Assigment,Techonology — mavichakp1 @ 12:08 pm

During the tour in DNP, we were showed some of their sample work with the France Louvre museum,
and the one that caught my eyes the most is their 3D Model of the actual statue piece.
They achieve the realistic 3D by using 3D scan on the art and it is very detailed model, you can see the place where the color is different or the place that had been broken.
They also shown us how this technology could allow us to zoom in to see the detail surface of the statue or even flip it around and see it from different angle, something we would not be able to do on the actual museum to the actual piece.
The machine near by also allow you to “reconstruct” the statue and customize it as you like using different material, color and accessory

This is one of the thing that I think, show the fantastic way to use our technology for. This will allow more people to be able to access to the beauty of the arts. If they would improve this technology I could imagine how it would be easily distribute to schools and university to help people study the piece due to the digital nature of 3D model, instead of taking months of careful transportation like the old way.


Nico Nico Douga June 7, 2010

Filed under: Assigment,Communication,Culture — mavichakp1 @ 10:09 pm

I’m actually quite surprised that many people never heard of this video website before when the D3 Publisher show us this website,

Nico Nico Douga, is the video website similar to youtube that have a really large user base in Japan. (Facebook and Youtube.. They seem to have Japanese version for everything)

The special feature for this website including Uploader Comment, where the video uploader could choose to put the user comment up on the video. Of course the view could also disable it if they want to see the actual video and not a swarm of floating text.

The interesting point is that the “culture” or “atmosphere” of this website is very close to the Japanese web forum culture base on Anime, Video game and Otaku stuff and there are many video of these field in the website as well.

They even make their own theme song by remixing a lots of popular otaku culture song together and make a video game call Nico Nico Douga Rpg which I think is really impressive at how a lots of people group together on a website and still they manage to express their interest and create thing like thos .

Although it is a bit hard to navigate if you don’t know any Japanese, it is still a very cool website to check out and there are many English speaking user lurking around so you should give it a try!


Oh Japan!

Filed under: Assigment,Culture — mavichakp1 @ 8:55 pm

One thing that you could see in Japan and not in other country?

18+ content items sitting on the shelve in the normal store like it’s a normal item, In place like Akihabara they also have advertisement of Adult video game on the street.

There is this one big store where we visited that had a lots of comic and game and other toys lining up, then there is a section for adult content item but they don’t separate it from other section!

I know that Japan is pretty open to thing like this and they are big on censoring but it seem like they did not even hide these thing from kids since you can see it pretty much everywhere if you just pay attention to your surrounding.
And if you haven’t notice even the Television in our hotel have porn channel, although you have to paid to access it, you can still watch their “preview” for free about a minute so anyone even a 5 years old kid might accidentally hit the button and see it.  Japan is pretty convenient in accessibility to everything but maybe they should reconsider some  of them…


Video game Market in Japan

Filed under: Assigment,Game — mavichakp1 @ 8:14 pm

After visiting D3 Publisher and Q entertainment, I think I get a little idea of which direction the market for video game in Japan will be moving on to.

Both companies have similarity in that the video game they recently and currently developed have a focus market group, like the Otaku (which then divide to Male and Female group) for D3 Publisher and for Q Entertainment it’s the group that been following their game using the design that would be recognizable by their fan.
I think this is a good idea for the current market situation where there are lots of video game developer out there, making the game that would appeal to general audience probably make your game bland and not recognizable in the swarm of video game where the big title from the big developer will be the first one that people caught attention on.
By going small and the focus on one group you can built up your loyal base and then keep expanding the territory later when you think you can compete with the big company.


Japanese gaming behavior

Filed under: Assigment,Game,Techonology — mavichakp1 @ 8:00 pm

In Japan it is not uncommon to see group of people sitting together and playing their portable game device, especially on the second floor of fast food restaurant like McDonald’s (which not provide only only seat  and drink but also free air condition and wifi!)
I might mention before about the different between gamer in the US and Japan but this behavior and the different between culture also affect the development that we can see in video game in both countries.
Since it is so easy to find a group of people to play with around you in Japan, The game developed by them also seem to include the Local Multiplayer and they do not have to worry to much about the Wifi or Internet play, which in turn make their sale suffer in country like US where gamer don’t step outside of their room. The good example for these would be Monster Hunter the game that is highly popular in Japan but not doing very well in the US (well it wasn’t until PS3 bring out the ad-hoc party in US and people can start playing multiplayer inside their room). Even highly popular series game  like Dragon Quest IX also fall into this category only have the local multiplayer and not Wifi.

From your US gamer perspective do you think you would be able to regularly find a group to play video game while you’re outside like in Japan?


The manner in Japan

Filed under: Assigment,Culture — mavichakp1 @ 7:40 pm

As we travel in Japan we could see the manner of Japanese people, for example on the escalator if you are going to stand you have to leave one side for people who are going to walk up.
Another example would be on the train, people would only talk quietly or not talking at all, you could even see the sign that warn you to lower the volume of your music.
Even their elementary school children who are on the field trip are more organize than our study aboard group!
They are always walk in two line and like Dr.C said they could arrange their position for the group photo more neatly and quickly than us!

It really amaze me at how they teach everyone in this country to be so organize and respect the manner of people, something my country (Thailand) had been struggling a lot (especially with the recent situation). They are so good that sometime I wonder if the people we saw on the street are actually human and not a robot or something!