Saturday, 9 June 2012

Last Night in Japan

So it rained the whole day today. Which made it a bitch going ANYWHERE. However, I managed to make it to Diver City to catch the giant Gundam in action. Watching it, I joked to my friend that we should get into the Gundam and fly off. Which led to more banter between us before I was telling him about this old joke I remember from back when the life-size gundam was first revealed a few years ago. This was back when N.Korea was being a dick and doing some missile tests and me and another friend were joking that the Gundam was secretly a working prototype that would only activate if N.Korea tried to launch any ICBMs at Japan. 

Anyway, after that we headed to Akihabara because we still had several things we wanted to get. I managed to 'convince' my friend to get a 3DS. Which makes it 3 things I've managed to convince him to buy this trip, a PS Vita, a DSiLL and a 3DS. If only I was this successful at selling to others -_-
I also saw something hilarious while walking in Akihabara. Gendo Ikari of ALL people being used to promote Schick razors. His expression in the commercial is hilarious, as is Reis. Because of the laugh the advertisement gave me, I bought the razor since it was fairly cheap anyway. 

Because of the rain, we didn't feel like going to other places and walking in the rain. I was already wet enough because I didn't want to buy an umbrella just to have to throw it away when I returned home the next day. So we spent most of the time trawling Akihabara's arcades and playing UFO catchers. First of all, I'll say this, UFO machines nowadays are FUCKED UP beyond all belief. I think they realised the old methods were too easy to crack and they came up with new ways of stopping people from winning. 

Just take a look at the machine setup. You're supposed to topple the box so that it falls down and releases the latch that will drop the prize down into the slot. Sounds easy? It's really not, because of the way they set the machine up. 
First of all, because of the fact that the power of the claws is near non-existent, don't expect to be able to lift the box very far. Furthermore, the layout is set up so that the box is sort of on an incline so that if you lift it up, it'll pretty much fall back into place. So you have to try multiple times so as to budge it a little before it'll fall a little. And it's not cheap at 200yen per try.  I tried it for a while before giving up on this particular machine. 

Which is not to say I didn't win anything. I did. I got myself a Macross Frontier cloth poster. This game was also rigged as hell. The poster was supported on two sides so the centre was over empty space. You had to drop it into the slot as usual. Take a look at the Ranka version over there. HOWEVER, there are several strips of god knows what materials on the sides of the machine that increases the friction of the prize with the edge by a factor of over 9000. And they were damn long as well, so it was near impossible to get it because you could only nudge it little by little to drop. I've seen grown men walk away from the challenge of winning these things. Nonetheless I managed to persevere. 

My 2nd prize of the night. A Rei Ayanami figure. This was a different machine from the previous one, and the most popular variation I've seen. Basically a little plastic plank is balanced on a round plastic ball and if you manage to tilt the plank enough, the plank drops and trips a ledge which drops the figure into the slot. However, as usual the ball is made of some unholy material and the force of the claws are crap. However, I managed to do pretty well for this, managing to catch it with about 1500yen. This is the most popular variation of UFO catcher that I've seen probably because it requires VERY little placing. The other types all have sticker markers to indicate where the prize should be placed to ensure MAXIMUM difficulty for the player. This however just requires a plank placed squarely on a ball...

Now for the last prize. Frankly, I didn't really want this, but I had already invested too much money in it to just walk away and let someone else win the prize based off my hard work. I can only say this prize was pretty damn fucked up to catch. Everytime I thought I had it, the plank shifted again so it was still secure on the ball. 

On the other hand, I managed to get three of these bags. So suck on it Sega -_- Also, you apparently need a basic knowledge of physics to be able to catch those things reliably -_- Me and my friend; who's an engineering architect, actually spent most of the time discussing where to hit with the claw to try and achieve what effect and then discussing what to do. 

Also, apparently one of the Taito staff members is damn friendly. I was looking at this japanese teenager (in his later teens) try to win a persona 4 canvas bag from the UFO catcher. This variation had the bag balanced on 2 metal poles so you had to tilt it and somehow push it into the empty space between the poles. Usually the bag starts off as parallel with the poles so it's really hard to knock down. Apparently, this teenager had so much trouble, the staff member did him a favor and rearranged it so that it was already tilted so all the teen had to do was use the claw to push down in the centre and the bag would pretty much fall down. Sadly, the teen STILL couldn't do it. Seriously, wtf failure was this? It got SO BAD the staff member helped him out a SECOND TIME. By opening the case and then pointing out WHERE TO hit with the claw. It's like WTF?? I can not believe someone can be this bad at this. Apparently, elementary physics is not a required course in Japanese education. 

And he still failed the first two times -_- Seriously, wth. Ah well, if he had given up, I was planning to just win the bag. Considering it was THAT easily placed. 

On my way back, we saw even more maids lining the streets. I gotta admire and pity them at the same time. It had been raining the whole day and it was near 11 and they still had to stand in the streets to try and get customers. 

On the other hand, I managed to get over 100 street passes with my 3DS while in Akihabara TODAY. Just in one day. Yeah, I'll never get this in Singapore -_-