The Quest for a Game

My current favourite video game is a sort of puzzle-rhythm game for the Nintendo DS called Elite Beat Agents. My brother introduced me to the game when we were home in the Philippines last December. It’s a good thing, too. I’ve been playing and enjoying the game since January while the game only got released in Australia just a few days ago.

The thing is, I’ve already played through the default level once and almost done playing the more difficult level. I just felt like it was getting a bit old. Although I still enjoy it, I want to be able to play new or different songs. I then realised that I should’ve also bought the original Japanese version of the game called Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! while I was still in the Philippines. I was pretty sure it was available there as my brother had one.

Then, a few weeks ago, I felt fortunate that we were going to Japan. I could just buy the Japanese game when we get there. As a side note though, the sequel of the game will be released in Japan a week after we return to Melbourne! Damn. Anyway, I’ve placed Ouendan on my what-to-do-in-Japan list.

I only started to actively search for the game about mid-way into our stay in Japan. I thought that it would be very easy to find. Just go to the rack where all the other Nintendo DS games are and pick it out from there. But, no. I didn’t find it in the first electronics shop I went to. In the second shop, I decided to get help from one of the sales people on the floor.

I tried asking him: “Osu Tatakae Ouendan wa arimasu ka?” I hoped I said “Do you have Osu Tatakae Ouendan?” correctly. Right or wrong, he started talking to me. Here’s the problem: I may know how to ask the right question, but I’m not fluent enough in Nihongo to understand the reply. I tried reading his body language but there was nothing. His face was expressionless and he wasn’t making any hand gestures as he talked.

I clarified to him that I don’t really speak Japanese very well: “Nihongo ga hanasemasen.” Translation: “I don’t speak Japanese.” which is actually a bit ironic since I’m saying it in Japanese. He started talking again and he was moving his two index fingers and thumbs to form a rectangle in the air this time. The gesture didn’t help any as I still couldn’t understand what he was saying. He could still be speaking in Japanese or a heavily accented English. I can’t really tell. I finally gave up, apologised (“sumimasen”) and left the shop. They probably didn’t have the game, anyway. I was definitely regretting my failure to brush up on my Nihongo before we went to Japan.

On our last full day in Japan, we went to Akihabara, an area in Japan known for lots of electronics shops. I didn’t realise that the place also had lots of manga and anime shops! Anyway, I digress. If there was a place I’d find the game, it must be there at Akihabara. We also did our homework before hand. I had Raquel write down the kanji (Chinese characters) for the name of the game on a piece of paper so that I could just show the piece of paper to the sales person next time. That should avoid any further confusion as to which game I really wanted.

The good thing about Akihabara was that more employees at the shops speak English. They were able to tell me that the game was just sold out, at least. After going through several shops, I finally found a shop that has the game in stock! At last, my search was over. I promptly bought it, of course. Mission accomplished.

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Published in: on May 8, 2007 at 10:23 pm  Comments (4)  

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hehe. So, still planning to go to Japan with your friends then? I really recommend you study a bit of Nihongo first before you go. Or at least make sure one of you speak Nihongo. It will make life a lot easier. Also, get a Japan Rail Pass from a travel agency. You can only get this outside Japan. It will basically cover your ride on JR trains in Tokyo for the length of time you paid for. The advantage is that you can take the train as often as you like and you’ve already paid a flat fee. This would include the train to and from Narita airport and Tokyo.

  2. Well, me and my friends actually want to go to Japan just to visit Akihabara. It was a thrill, really, that I learned that you went there. Are you telling me that you don’t know at all that Akiba is the Otaku Central of Japan? 😮

  3. I didn’t know that. Good thing I found it in Akihabara then. 🙂

  4. you can’t find one here in the Philippines. I had it ordered from a friend of mine who has a sister who lives in Japan. Apparently, the game is really hard to find.. even back then, we have to wait for the game to be available. You’re really lucky to have found one. :d


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