Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Return from Shanghai

I just returned from my 2 week trip to Shanghai. I've been to Tokyo a few times, Seoul once and now Shanghai - I feel like I have Asia pretty much covered at this point.

Tokyo is very much a 'boys' city - ninjas, robots, porn, etc where as Shanghai is pretty much a 'girls' city. Lots of shopping, eating, shopping, more shopping and more eating. In fact I'd say the girls over there run that city more than any other city I have been to. From seeing guys holding the girls purse to watching all the guys getting yelled at by their women nonstop. All the guys looked very tamed to say the least. My girl - her uncle, he told his wife that she cooked food too slowly and she hasn't cooked since. That was 20 years ago. He asked me if I knew that the nickname for Shanghai girls is cows? I'm all...you think they are fat? He said no, 'they are tough like cows'. I told him it hella doesn't mean the same thing in English.

The city definitely has a lot of energy though. I always describe LA as being one suburb stamped over and over and over to make up the city. If thats the case then Shanghai is definitely a downtown stamped over and over and over. The city just stretches out in every direction as far as I could see. Although there are a lot of foreigners over there (and I do mean a lot - they have a section called, 'California Town' with strip malls and stuff) I still got asked by random people if they could take their picture with me. That and I got approached by a lot of younger kids wanting to speak English with me. Yeah, I don't know why either.

As far as gaming goes in Shanghai - I'm afraid I didn't get to see a whole lot. I only saw one arcade which had no fighting games - just Initial D for miles. I only saw one dedicated store that was a videogame store which sold almost nothing but hardware. You could buy GBA Micro bundled with a flash cart. I saw a few other random stores selling mostly DS and PSP's though. Pretty sure that Nintendo makes money on every DS sold so I guess it works out for them over there. Saw a ton of bootleg GBA / DS carts with 50+ games on each cart. Pirated games were more common to see than real games, thats definitely for sure. I only saw one PC Cafe (I don't read chinese so maybe there were a ton more?) which was packed with kids playing the standards - counter strike, wow, etc. The trains, subways, etc are advanced enough where people can still talk on their cell phones so instead of seeing people playing Tetris on their phone like in Tokyo or something - people just continued to talk on their phones. I'm sure there are a ton of people playing videogames in shanghai but I didn't really see a whole lot to be honest.

My girl's cousin is a professional flute player for the shanghai orchestra or something like that. She entertained us one night after dinner by playing the flute and the last song she played was the SMB theme so the kids definitely know some history of videogames. I just couldn't get a good grasp of how much more they knew.

Since I was gone for 2 weeks I missed a lot of the random news that happened. I saw that EA Chicago is closing - that really sucks and I hope everyone makes it through this rough point in their life. I saw that Cory left the GoW franchise. I need to go pick up Mario since that came out while I was gone I guess. I still need to finish Phantom Hourglass. I brought in on the plane with me but to be honest I really didn't feel like playing a new experience - I wanted something where I could turn my brain off and just zone out. So I beat Symphony of the Night 2 times total (once on the way there, once on the way back). God damn I love that game, still. I noticed that this is the 10 year anniversary for it coming out. Maybe I'll try to write something about why it's so great. I tried to play Rondo and maybe I'll lose my cool kid card but I just couldn't get into it. It's not that it's hard it's that I just don't feel any reward for doing anything in the game. I never played it when it came out and maybe I've just played too many of the 'Metroidvania' series to go back at this point. I still go back and play Castlevania 1 from time to time though, shrug.

My Uncharted demo just finished downloading (btw - gone for 2 weeks and come home and have to update all my fucking consoles - god damn I hate turning on my ps3 sometimes) so I'm going to go check that out. Can't wait til that last sentence gets used out of context.


Anonymous said...

I usually play through SotN about once a year. Still my absolute favorite game of all time. I'd love to read your thoughts on it.

- Barry

Andrew A said...

Uncharted, omni, Uncharted lol.

Your ass should've gone through Osaka! Next time dude!

Derek Daniels said...

Damn....it takes someone from Canada nonetheless to fix my English. Sad day....

Australian Ninja said...

I recently picked up the 2-disk version of GOW2 and really enjoyed the documentary segments. I wish more game developers would release stuff like this. It's not like I'm a technical person or anything, but it's fascinating seeing how a game is created, and all the departments involved.

Also, I looked out for you on the doco, and there you were - combat man!

As for Castlevania:SOTN, I'm still playing that game for the very first time, on PSone. I've had the game pretty much since it was released and only started it this year. That's the trouble when you have too many games, it takes literally YEARS to get through them!