Sunday, September 16, 2012

Andriasang is dead! Long live Andriasang!

This week something very sad happened that changed my life forever. Anoop Gantayat, the dude who runs the best English language website for Japanese games Andriasang decided to stop when he got a non-gaming job that would keep him very busy. Andriasang, for the past few years it has been around has always been one of the first websites that I check besides d-addicts and Sankaku Complex.

Anoop provided the kind of Japanese game coverage that hardcore people like me want and need. A lot of the news can also be found on other websites but Andriasang always had it first, had other fun stuff like Anoops last info about the Senran Kagura t-shirts and there was a personality to the postings.

It was like listening to news from a friend who knew his Japanese games and why people like me spend so much time and money on them and not to mention for me so much effort into learning Japanese just to play them. Anoop used to write for IGN back when they were awesome and had recruited staff from hardcore gaming websites and write a lot about Japan.

Now mainstream gaming has turned their eyes from Japan. People say PSP has no games but that cannot be further from the truth in Japan and not counting SF4 on xbox, my PSP is my most played system. I love the Vita and now I can play most of my PSP and PS1 games on it. There are other websites just not as good as Andriasang. I want news about any Japanese game especially the obscure ones, not just those that might get ported. They are:

Magicbox : Old reliable. Was the go to website before Andriasang. Slow to update.

Siliconera: Updates a bit faster than Magicbox. Not as much news.

Gemetsu: ok I guess.

Bdash: New one. Still too early.

So I thought, maybe I should turn this is into a positive. Maybe its time to practice learning to read Japanese gaming news and expand my reading beyond RPGs and karaoke. Right now I'm doing Famitsu, 4gamer and jin115 which luckily can be accessed at work. Right now, even reading headlines is a chore. Hopefully, one day I will be able to glance at a headline in Japanese and understand it in a flash instead of going word by word. Its also difficult when a game's name is in English/katakana and I'm trying to figure out where a word ends and the next one begins. Some words that I need to remember:

体験版 - taikenban/demo. karada (body) + ken from shiken (exam) and ban is supposed to be edition. Demo in japanese is body testing version.

発売 - hatsubai/on sale. The first kanji means discharge; departure; publish; emit; start from; disclose; counter for gunshots. Don't you just love kanji with like 7 possible meanings? Of course the 2nd kanji means to sell.

発表 - happyou/announcement. 7 meaning kanji + on the surface(omote). I'm guessing its publish + on the surface

独占 - dokusen/monopoly. The second kanji is uranai (divination). Who said kanji made sense? Basically the Japanese reaction to Bayonetta 2 being a WiiU exclusive. Made me consider getting a WiiU for a second since I think Bayonetta is the greatest DMC style action game ever but I'm pretty sure it'll be ported in the future.

I've been playing Project Diva Extend/F and Dreamy Theatre Extend so not much Japanese practice there since reading the lyrics is fatal in a music game but I've been working my way through Japanese grade school kanji. Currently at grade 4 and using Nouben kanji quiz to study. Of course answering multiple choice questions is a lot easier than knowing all the pronunciations and kanji combinations. Its gonna be a while before I can say I know my grade school kanji.

Back in high school, I used to play a lot of Japanese RPGs without being able to read a thing. It was basically memorising whatever option does what I just guess the story from facial expressions. With voice acting, I could understand stories now but I've still got a long way to go in terms of reading. Basic conversations, no problem. That's why I enjoy playing the AKB games on my PSP. I can read and understand almost everything. Plus I can pull up the dialogue anytime to look up words I missed.

Downloaded the Bravely Default demo yesterday and got a headache from reading. I even thought about getting a Pokemon game cause they have furigana lol. This year, I've finished Fire Emblem Kakusei and Legend of Dragoon. Just started on Lunar: Silver Star Harmony on my Vita cause I need something with voice acting to make reading easier. Hopefully one day, I shall be able to read Japanese proficiently but it will be after a few more years of kanji study.

Back on topic, a big thank you to Anoop. I'm too lazy to register on Andriasang to say thanks. Should have registered long time ago. Andriasang was one of those rare hardcore websites that will always have a place in my heart like the classic Dave's Sega Saturn Page. I still don't have to heart to delete Andriasang from my Opera speed dial and find myself clicking it all the time hoping for one more update from Anoop.

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