Top Posts

Features

Recent Comments

  • James Ives: 3D Dot Gamer Heroes is not voxel-based. read more
  • Soufiane KHIAT: I'm programmer in this project Thank if you like Walk The Line... If you have any question I can try to answer read more
  • kayin: 19 bucks does seem high, when you can get the similar, though less featured, Beatwave app for free. read more
  • Baines: I'm not fond of it at all. The mix of detailed textures and high resolution with low poly models and overall simple design is an read more
  • virtual golf: hi i read your blog . Your blog posts is very good . read more

About GameSetWatch

GameSetWatch.com is the alt.video game weblog and sister site of Gamasutra.com. It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and oft-ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.

Read More

Column: Tokyo Beat

Column: 'Tokyo Beat': The $2000 Video Game & Strange Regional Disparities

September 15, 2009 12:00 PM |

['Tokyo Beat' is a bi-weekly GameSetWatch-exclusive column by writer Ryan Winterhalter, focusing on expressions of game culture in Japan. This time, he checks out some of the more expensive games in Akihabara.]

Akihabara is a place that has been sold to the outside world as a gamer's paradise, a place where one can find and cheaply buy any video game ever made. Every year during Tokyo Game Show, the gaming press is overloaded with trip reports and stories about great Akihabara finds.

The reality, however, is not quite the same as the legend. The number of game stores in the famed district has been reduced greatly over the past decade. As the number of small stores shrank, a handful of larger stores gained dominance.

You can still find any video game ever made in these stores (Traders and Super Potato being the most famous among them.) However, this ability comes at a price. If one looks hard around Tokyo, the prices at these stores can usually be beat.

For collectors, the convenience of these stores outweighs the usually small price difference. From an outsider's perspective, the price of this convenience can sometimes seem to be too much. There are certain games in Akihabara that sell for hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Often these games are what the Japanese call kuso-ge (literally “Shitty games”) and only expensive because of their rarity. Other times the games are available in other formats for a small fraction of the price. There are some outrageously priced games in this vaunted nerd heaven. Some of the worst are presented below:

Column: 'Tokyo Beat': The Pixel Art of the 256 Bros.

August 18, 2009 4:00 PM |

['Tokyo Beat' is a new, bi-weekly GameSetWatch-exclusive column by writer Ryan Winterhalter, focusing on expressions of game culture in Japan. This time, he checks out a group of video game inspired artists.]

A small collection of artists gather, every four months or so, in Tokyo’s most famous game bar, the 8-Bit Cafe, These artists don’t use paint, ink, stone, or any other traditional medium. Instead, they utilize “dots”. By vertically placing small rubber blocks into a square, the artists create what they call “dot pictures”, or what we call pixel art in English.

mariopixel.JPG

Column: 'Tokyo Beat': Street Fighter Club's First Rule

July 21, 2009 8:00 AM |

['Tokyo Beat' is a new, bi-weekly GameSetWatch-exclusive column by writer Ryan Winterhalter, focusing on expressions of game culture in Japan. This time, he checks out a venue for some of the more hardcore Street Fighter players in Tokyo.]

Shinjuku Sports Land: Shibuya Branch is not your typical arcade. Located in one of Tokyo’s biggest shopping and clubbing spots, it’s a place where you can find a game of Street Fighter or King of Fighters at almost anytime. Whether it’s geeks hanging out all night, couples on a date, or club kids taking a breather between venues, someone is always at Sports Land. Despite or maybe because of, the range of players, competition can be fierce.

“Oh man, you better bring your A-game when you come to Sports Land,” one Shibuya club goer told me. To be sure, other arcades around the city have a tougher reputations, but Sports Land is no slouch. It’s not the skill of the players, however, that make Sports Land notable.

On most nights, the place is populated by random strangers grabbing a few rounds in between train transfers on their commute but on Thursdays, the crowd changes. The place starts to look like an amateur sports club. Something like a bowling or softball league in America. Everyone here knows everyone else.

Column: 'Tokyo Beat': Pecha-Kucha and Game Culture in Tokyo

July 5, 2009 8:00 AM |

fc2_1.JPG['Tokyo Beat' is a new, bi-weekly GameSetWatch-exclusive column by writer Ryan Winterhalter, focusing on expressions of game culture in Japan]

A small white sign marks the entrance to Super Deluxe, a bar in Tokyo’s party center, Roppongi. It’s easy to miss, but it catches my eye just as I pass. I enter the building, and make my way downstairs. I arrive in time to find a table, but not early enough to score a place to sit. The venue is packed.

Over two hundred and fifty people mill around drinking, chatting, and waiting for the event to start. The crowd is diverse, mostly comprised of expatriates from one country or another. English and Japanese seem to be the languages of choice, but occasionally I hear a bit of German or French. Finally, the lights dim and Pecha-Kucha Night begins.

Pecha-Kucha Night is simple. A presenter comes on stage with a slide show prepared. He or she has twenty slides and twenty seconds for each one, for a total of six minutes and forty seconds. The first presenter is a photographer, John Sypal, who discusses his photography featuring foreigners in Japan. The next is a German student discussing political statements through “guerilla gardening.”

Some presentations are hits, like the Wai Wai Steel Drum Band’s performance. Others are so boring that most of the audience treats it like an intermission, a time to use the restroom and grab another beer. In 2003, Pecha-Kucha Night started in Tokyo as a place for architects to discuss their work, but its size and scope has expanded greatly since then. Participants can give presentations about anything, including games.