Sega Megadrive Mini Review (Japanese Genesis Mini) Part 1 of 2 – System Overview, Region Exclusives

Picked up my pre-order on September 19th from good ol’ Don Quijote and the first impression is that it’s very cute.  About half the size, seems sturdy and well made right down to the little doors, and doesn’t rattle.  The sound slider definitely sticks more than mine ever did though.  The included USB cable is even Sega-branded, though the HDMI cable is not.

aer viewSega also makes it clear that the Japanese version is the definitive one, because right from the start you notice how necessary six-button controllers will be to your time with this machine.  For they are actually seven button controllers, having a “mode” trigger on the right side, a press of which brings up the system menu allowing for quick saving and loading (and allowing for all the save scumming you want).hakodate view.jpg

The line-up is also objectively better.  Comparing exclusives, the theme is definitely quirky and unique Japanese titles that really help round out the line-up getting dropped on the Western version to be replaced with another game from the same series that is already on the system.  Even the Asia release is better than the Western one.  Let’s look at the lists, broken down by genre: Continue reading

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The Sega Genesis/Megadrive Mini is Already a Sold-Out Success

Last week Sega announced another ten games for the system, bringing the total up to thirty, and this past weekend I went out to pre-order the thing, only to find it sold out almost everywhere!  It doesn’t come out until mid-September and there’s still another ten games to be announced, but apparently everybody in Japan is locking in their purchases already.


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“one night, hot spring” is a Dumb Game

I wasn’t at all surprised to find out that the developer of “one night, hot spring”, npckc, is a foreigner living in Japan, despite apparently trying to pass themselves off as Japanese (though, to be fair, I don’t think they’ve ever claimed to be so, they just try and create the impression in people’s minds strongly enough that they’re never asked directly).


An private outdoor bath attached to a guest room at a ryokan.

Lot’s of Westerners who (naturally) become envious of those actually born in Japan do this, and I certainly understand the feeling, but I don’t think it’s a healthy approach all the same.  However, that’s just my opinion.

Where it starts being a problem, however, is when they wade into sensitive social and political issues and wind up, intentionally or not, using their false identity to give extra force to their particular opinions and arguments. Continue reading

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Yakuza (Ryu ga Gotoku) and Tone

I would think that with the video “Why Yakuza 0 is a Masterclass on Managing Tone” this would have been put to rest (though that video is a little meandering and perhaps doesn’t state their thesis clearly enough for the casual viewer), but I was watching some video reviews for the Western release of Yakuza 6, and it’s a point that keeps coming up.  From Gamespot:

“The unambiguous objectification of women in these (cabaret and live-chat) mini-games continue to make their inclusion uncomfortable in their own right…but these kinds of mini-games have always perpetuated an unbeleivable inconsistency of character for Kiryu.  There’s a conflict between the canonical depiction of him as a strong, stoic, honorable saint, and a version who is a really creepy, bumbling perv.”

No, no, and no.

DSC04571 copy

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A Study in Bad Social Science, re: Immigration

Or, A Response to “Why Does Japan Need Immigrants” from VisualPolitik EN.

This video is just so mismatched between it’s slick presentation with its authoritative host, and it’s completely bonkers research methods that I couldn’t help but write up a post for it.

Research methods are important.  You have to consider where and how you’re getting your information from which you are drawing your conclusions.  This is true regardless of whether you’re sharing those conclusions in a scholarly paper for Nature, or simply with your friends over dinner.  With that in mind, let’s go through the video.


First line:

“Japan, a country that brags about two things:  the first is their used underwear vending machines, which yes you really can find on the streets,”

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Vox’s “Japan’s rising right-wing nationalism”

A commentary.

Meiji Shrine at New Years

I think what I dislike about Youtube channels like Vox most is their attitude.  It’s a attitude that says, “all you need to learn about this topic can be had in a seven minute video.”  They rarely leave room for doubt, or reserved judgement, or the need to educate yourself further.  No, trust them, they’ve looked into it and will give you all the information. Continue reading

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Misunderstanding Yasukuni

Mindy Kotler has, according to her on CV, made her entire career out of being critical of Japan.  Or, to put it another way, she has made a career out of Japan-bashing.  Which of these is more true is really for the observer to decide.  This post will deal simply with her total ignorance and wrongheadedness displayed in a piece on Yasukuni that I was unfortunate enough to come across.


The piece aims to compare Yasukuni Shrine, which is dedicated to the souls of the millions who have died in service of the Emperor, to Arlington National Cemetery, on which holds the remains of some select hundreds of thousands who have died in service of the US military.  As the title, “Sorry Japan:  Yasukuni is not Arlington” reveals, the aim of this comparison is to prove that they are fundamentally different places (with the “sorry” indicating that Yasukuni will come off unfavorably in this comparison).  So let’s have a look at the arguments in the order in which they are presented: Continue reading

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