A weekend without TV, Xbox 360

My several-month-new Pioneer plasma TV has gone on the fritz, shutting itself off within seconds (up to 5 minutes, if lucky) of being turned on. I believe an internal overload circuit has been activated after the recent storm activity, and needs to be reset. Imagine my horror when the planned weekend of vegging out with the 360 evaporated.

Forced to find alternative pursuits, I played on other consoles.

Prince of Persia: Rival Swords (PSP)
*** (out of 5)
I’ve had this game for awhile now, but never really gave it any love. The camera controls take a little while to get used to – I come from the Japanese school of automatic best-camera POV – but once you know how, you stop falling to your death. Am currently stuck on the first giant boss with a possible bug that prevents the game from telling me when to stick him in the head with my dagger. A charming game. Still, some moments have been nothing but pure wall-jumping pleasure.

Nervous Brickdown (DS)
***1/2 (out of 5)
This game attempts to put a spin on the age-old Arkanoid/Breakout formula, and succeeds, if your definition of spin is ramping up the anxiety. By the way, did you know the paddle in Arkanoid was actually a spaceship? Just one of the many things you learn reading blast! So now while you’re keeping your balls up in the air with the touchscreen, you have to accomplish other tasks such as coloring illustrations, “driving” your paddle left and right down a 3D racetrack, and so on. Essentially your brain will often be playing 2 games at once. Novel.

Crazy Campus (Mobile)
**** (out of 5)
Admittedly, I’ve only just started on this phone game, but it holds a tremendous amount of promise. Like a good old-fashioned Japanese dating/time-management sim (Princess Maker sequels in English, where are you!?), you are a college student in his last semester whose friends have all graduated ahead of him/her. Your task is to put in the study hours, make money at a part-time job, join a clique of stereotypical friends (cheerleaders/jocks/nerds/hippies/hip-hop heads/etc.) and hook up with the hot girl graduation. Oh, the life I never had.

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I also spent Sunday afternoon planning a trip to Japan with some friends. Nobody brought a laptop, so I had to surf with my PSP and free Brewerkz Wi-Fi (they rock). Everything was jotted down on napkins, although I’ve since started a wiki to keep everything together. Hopefully it’ll grow and become a useful resource for other otaku pilgrims planning similar vacations in the future.

You can take a look at the link below. Contributing requires a Wet Paint account as it is powered by their software. Would be appreciated!

japan.sangsara.net