Remembering that time when Anamanaguchi rocked the shit out of London

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Anamanaguchi: Endless fantasy tour. London, 2013 | Random J blog

'You're gonna love this soundtrack' were the words said to me by a friend as we preceded to play Scott Pilgrim vs. the world: The video game. I thought nothing of it. Despite being good friends, we rarely talk music. I've never emplored with him in great depth as to which songs I like or what my musical tastes are, so how the f**k would he know to make this assumption!? These were the thoughts running through my mind in the 6 second gap between him making that statement and the first stage of Scott Pilgrim loading up. The stage starts up, the music plays. I love the song and it's barely even begun. I never give him enough credit for how well he knows my musical tastes.

This was my introduction to Anamanaguchi. A chiptune band from New York.


Japan. A fourth time first. A first time experience. Living and working for 5 of the 365.

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Way back in November I was fortunate enough to get to visit Japan for a fourth time. But on this occasion it was for work, during which for 5 days I was working in my company's Japanese office. I wasn't excited about this prospect initially, mainly because my head was too consumed about the hassle of getting to and from the airport and how awful the flight would be. But as my flight touched down on the tarmac of Narita airport it hit me. I'M GONNA GET TO WORK FOR 5 DAYS IN JAPAN! OH FUCK!


I bought a Wii U.

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Nintendo network ID: Random-J | Random J blog

After a long time of not really caring about the Wii U, over the past 6 months I'd finally been tempted. Lured. The carrot had been dangled. Firstly by playing Super Mario 3D world at a friends house (amazing game by the way) and then by seeing Mario Kart 8 looking all sorts of amazing and shit. The thought of knowing a couple of my friends have Wii U's and would be tearing it up on the racetrack in this game online without me - I did not like. Plus, Mario Kart 8 was looking like the type of game that you just have to own. So I bought myself a Wii U. 

It would seem that the timing was perfect, as I managed to pick one up for just £200. I say 'just' as though £200 is not a lot of money (which is it to me. My plans for a June getaway have now been dashed). But for a new premium edition of a console bundled with not 1, but 2 games is a steal. Tesco had a special offer where they were selling the Mario Kart 8 console bundle for £220 and were also running an offer where you could get £20 off if you spent over £150. On top of this, Nintendo are running an incentive where-by if you register Mario Kart 8 online before June 30th you can download one of 6 Wii U games for free. Regardless of how much of a flop you think the console is, you have to put the haterade down and admit that this is a good deal. A very good deal. So here I am. The owner of a Wii U. I am now struggling to think of what games I will buy for this console until the new Super Smash Bros. comes along. But I have a Wii U now. At this point I am praying to the Lord Jebus Christ that Nintendo throw triple A games and third party support in a Nintendo direct during E3 to make me feel less guilty about essentially buying a console for one game.

If you are down for chilling in my corner of the Miiverse, feel free to add me. The Wii U does not feature Friend codes, so you won't have to sit and cumbersomely enter a 15 digit code. It only took Nintendo a decade, but they got there in the end. 

My Nintendo network ID is Random-J.


Review: HBO's Looking

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HBO's Looking | Random J's blog

There have been gay focused shows in the past, but the focus has always been on hedonism and drugs for the most part. A bunch of guys who are well off and just f**k, snort and pill pop their way through life. This is a type of life for some, but worryingly it seems to be an overall perception of the gay scene. The reality is that whilst this is part of the gay scene, it isn't the gay scene as a whole and for many gay guys their lives are pretty 'scene' free. But it is the easiest picture to paint. Many gay TV dramas in the past have played up to this image and as a result have not done a great deal to dispel it. The focus on these TV shows has always somewhat shown how destructive the gay scene is and the way in which it damages men to a degree. But there has never been a focus on love and gay guys wanting what many of us as human beings want - to find love and seek acceptance. To find your true calling. To advance in your career. The stuff that we get in those 'straight people' shows, because d'ya know what - gay guys have to deal with this shit too.


The end of a Wong-Kei era

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The end of a Wong-Kei era | photo courtesy of http://shinfellfromthesky.blogspot.co.uk/

Anybody who has frequented London's Chinatown for...well, Chinese food will have heard of Wong-Kei. It may not have lots of fried dead animals or bright lanterns and gold dragons in it's windows like all of the other establishments, but it does often have a steaming pile of rubbish right outside of it.

When being told about this place via a friend or a friend of a friend, this place was probably recommended to you not on how good the food is. But because how ghetto-nasty the building is and how infamously so-bad-it's-good the service is. Service so infamously bad that the establishment has it's own Wikipedia page, which of course highlights this -5 star service. Service so infamously bad that Wong-Kei was coveted with the award of being the rudest restaurant in London.


I'm not falling for 'Titanfall'

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When Titanfall was shown off at E3 some people were soiling their underpants and tweeting out 3 word acronyms for how amazing the game looked. Others were sat motionless with a tear running down their cheek in a state of melancholic bliss. Some where completely oblivious to it all and only caught the wake of the aftermath and then proceeded to not really care about the game at all. The later was me. Yep. I was that guy.


Game review: The legend of Zelda: A link between worlds

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The legend of Zelda: A link between worlds | Game review

I was sceptical of Link's first new 3DS outing at first because I have a bad track record when it comes to handheld Zelda's. I start them, but never finish them. To this day I have not completed a single one of the handheld Zelda adventures. I had also read a rather negative review over at Destructoid which stuck with me, even amongst the hundreds of glowing reviews published elsewhere. But I finally took the plunge with Link brand new 3DS debut, because in all fairness; Nintendo has never released a bad Zelda game. Some are better than others, but not one of them has been terrible.

A Link between worlds is set in the exact same Hyrule as A Link to the past. For Nintendo to do this was a bold move, because it is such a highly regarded game and is my favourite Zelda game of all time. I should have been excited at a chance to revisit this world, but I was full of doubt going into this game because I didn't want my memories of the game to be ruined, tainted or desecrated. But Nintendo have done a marvellous job; balancing the sense of nostalgia and familiarity, whilst giving you a lot of newness to the point that you sometimes forget you are traversing the same map you did over a decade ago.


First impressions: Lightning returns: Final Fantasy XIII

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First impressions: Lightning returns: Final Fantasy XIII | Random J blog

Every gamer who completed Final Fantasy XIII-2 knew there was going to be a sequel due to the explicit 'To be continued...' which was slapped onto the screen in the final moments of the ending. So there being a XIII-3 is no surprise. Whether this game was / is welcomed is another thing entirely, as XIII managed to cause a divide within the Final Fantasy fandom in a way that no other game in the series had managed to since VIII.

Square are hell bent on making XIII 'work', and Lightning returns is Square Enix's last chance to prove to us that XIII is as rich a tapestry of a tale as we are led to believe. Final Fantasy wiki entries allude to there being an amazing story and a vividly crafted lore around all of the XIII mythology, but for one reason or another Square Enix haven't done a wonderful job of telling this story in any of the games.

Lightning returns genuinely features Lightning as the main character, something which irked me about XIII-2 as you only took control of Lightning at the very start of the game for all of 10 minutes and then that was it. You could also argue that Lightning was never truly the lead character in XIII - as the story was told from Vanille's perspective and was centred around the retrieval of Serah, which soon revealed itself to be part of a bigger mission which involved more than just Lightning and Snow. This is a criticism which Square Enix seemed to have taken on board here, because you only ever control Lightning and she is very much THE main character. Wonderful. It only took Square Enix two games and a whole generation.


Dynasty warriors gets a Zelda re-skin for Hyrule warriors. Pray for this game.

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I saw a GIF on Tumblr (one of many) of a Zelda game which looked like Dynasty warriors. I thought it was a fan made mod. Googling indicated it was actually a thing. An official thing.

I have many conflicting feelings about this.

First off, I need to talk about those graphics. Now, I know that Nintendo give the least amount of fucks when it comes to graphical clout in comparison to Sony and Microsoft, and I should be used to this by now. Alongside this, the Dynasty warriors series has never been all that beautiful to look at. But at a time when Microsoft and Sony are plugging their 8th generation beasts with their beautiful looking games, and their 7th gen systems still pumping out amazing looking titles - Hyrule warriors should be looking a hell of a lot better. The game looks basic. A 3DS could probably run this game. Probably.

I'm going to need a moment. Because I'm trying to understand how this doesn't look anywhere near as good as the Wii U tech demo. Not even close.

The latest addition to my gaming family. The Nintendo 3DS.

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Random J's Nintendo 3DS | randomjblog.com

There's a new gaming system in my life. It doesn't play HD movies and isn't the most graphically powerful on the market, so it must be from Nintendo.

Okay. That was shady, horrible and unnecessary. Especially given that none of the above matter in this instance because I am in utter love with my Nintendo 3DS.

When I first played the 3DS I really liked it. But I've never been one to pick up a system at launch. The one exception was when I trekked to HMV on Oxford street at stupid o'clock in the morning and then again at stupid o'clock at night to acquire the sodding thing. But generally, I'm a wait-and-buy kinda guy. My whole 'thing' with holding off buying gaming systems is the inevitability that:

  • A newer sexier, new and improved model is never far away
  • Patience rewards you with the virtue of a better library of games

Plus, I can't deal with the stress of having to try and track a new system down and fret over shitty priced bundles with games I don't want.

In this instance, a key factor in me handing over money for a 3DS was that I was travelling to Japan for a week at the end of November and I wanted something to occupy my time during the flight that I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep on for shit - because I can not sleep on planes. Plus, knowing that Japan is 3DS crazy, I knew I'd be able to be a complete StreetPass whore for a week. These were the 2 factors which made me think 'Fuck it, just buy the thing'. Those and also the new Zelda game that I needed in my life.

If you would like to add me as a Friend, feel free! The more the merrier.

Random J: 0189-9555-4139

My Mii plaza is always open.