Saturday, January 15, 2011
Why the Japanese Are Insane
If you've never played it, here's the quick and dirty on it: absurd mini-games where you earn money to buy trinkets, other mini-games, and tools for your PSP. The mini-games include chopping wood (or bunnies), capping pens, counting people, getting ladies' phone numbers, performing seances, and cooking pottery. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but is strangely addictive, as I've written before. The entire concept of the game is strange to say the least, and I'm slightly disturbed by my daughter's love of the mushroom hunter game, but spending anything more than ten minutes with the game gives you a clear sense that while the Japanese may be insane, they are also brilliant.
The game takes in all the socialization that our Japanese friends seem to love, while also taking advantage of the fact that the PSP works best in short doses. The games are just strange enough and have such a strange amount of variety that you keep playing just to see what will happen next and collect more stuff (I want more duck training toilets). This is a game that Americans could make, but would never make this good because we just don't get it. For some odd reason, the Japanese have some deep understanding of the psyche involved in enjoying something like this -- an absurdist collector mentality, if you will.
I had heard of a sequel being produced, and I thought I saw one, but I believe it is only available in Japan, which means all the instructions will be in Japanese, a language I do not understand.
If you have a PSP and this game seems remotely interesting, I recommend you download it or find a hard copy for yourself. You can get it from the PlayStation Network for under ten bucks, so it is well worth it. If, on the other hand, you didn't understand the appeal of any of this -- stay the hell away. Playing the game won't change your obviously dysfunctional mind.