The senbei came over tonight with a Japanese Playstation 2 and a selection of bizarre games which, once again, affirm that the Japanese people are some of the strangest on Earth.

First is a bizarre game called Yoake no Mariko, which (get this) is a voice acting simulation game. Seriously. You get a character, acting tips, a movie sequence and an onscreen script. Then you speak into the game-supplied microphone peripheral at the prompted time and the character’s mouth moves to your words. You’re scored on how well you fit the allotted time and your intonation, and the story of the cartoon (with character designs by Spumco of Ren and Stimpy fame) will change depending on your performance. DDR-like, a phantom announcer will yell things like “Excellent!” and “Boo!” after each line you perform.

At the very end you can watch a highlights reel / trailer of your movie with your recorded lines stuck in. It’s very, very strange (but cool). Apparently it was popular enough in Japan to force the release of a sequel. Neat!

The second game is one I can’t really put into words. It’s called Super Galdelic Hour and is published by Enix, and to my eyes resembles nothing less than a party game starring busty females dressed as Teletubbies. The mini-games include things like whack-a-mole, boxing, a version of sumo wrestling that involves the women whacking their butts together, each trying to knock their opponent out of the ring.

Only one word works: disturbing.

Finally, Sega’s super sequel, Space Channel 5 Part 2. Gameplay is similar to the first game, but now we get different costumes for Ulala, kicked-up-a-notch dance moves and soundtrack (featuring the return of our retro friend, “Mexican Flyer”), rapping, singing, bemani-style playing of instruments, and a full cast of characters old and new.

Soul-singing space president! Police playgirls! Space cheerleaders! All cheer in our glorious engrish!


Best of all, the PS2 controls seem a little more forgiving than those on the Dreamcast release.

Computer hunt update: laptop’s been ordered. Estimated delivery 9/24. O torture!

Song of the day: “Mexican Flyer” (Gomi’s Lair Radio Edit)

  • I actually witnessed people playing the "Butt the other person out of the ring" game while in Japan. No sumo suits, but amusing nonetheless.

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