Posts tagged ‘nintendo’

Geek or Chic

Nintendo’s Game & Watch series were all the rage in the ‘80s. They were sleek, hand-held devices you carried in your pocket, and as soon as you whipped it out, all your playground friends would be glued to your shoulder.

It’s hard to fathom that back then each console played only one game title — Donkey Kong, Snoopy, Parachute, and Super Mario Bros. among the best sellers — but kids enjoyed playing each for hours on end. (Attention-deficit disorder arrived much later.)

If you remember Game & Watch, you will have a burst of nostalgia when you these see this:

It’s a business card holder in the guise of the game console, so although you can’t work on your high-score, you can certainly impress (or shock?) employers with your awesome geek-cred. Created by Namco Bandai susidiary Ban Presto, it’s a sleek aluminum case with a dual facade: a classic Game & Watch on one side and an old school Nintendo game controller on the other.

Business cards are one of the most important tools of networking in Japan; presentation is everything. So if you’re looking to turn heads, a Nintendo card holder just may be your ticket.

Himawari

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March 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Sick of Texas Hold ‘Em? Try Your Hand at Koi Koi

Q: Long before Nintendo became famous for Super Mario Brothers, what was it known for?

A: Japanese playing cards.

I’ve never seen a deck quite as pretty as the Hanafuda (“flower cards”), which combines traditional Japanese games with western-style cards.

However, unlike the standard U.S. deck, which consists of four suits — Hearts, Diamonds, Spades and Clubs — Hanafuda uses 12 suits, one for each month. The pictures correspond to what’s in bloom during that time of year. Pine, cherry blossoms, plum, willow, chrysanthemum and wisteria are a few examples. There are also colorful images of ribbons, animals, and the moon; even a sake cup, which, like an Ace, counts as both a 1 and a 10. Kampai! 

hanafuda9

Probably the most popular game to play with Hanafuda cards is Koi Koi, which comes across sort of like a combination of Go Fish, Mahjong and Blackjack (okay, maybe that last one’s a stretch…). Each card has a point value (1, 5, 10 or 20) and you win by pairing the images up and getting the most points.

hanafuda

Players get eight cards to start, with an additional eight face-up in the middle as the pot. To “capture” a card, you play one of yours and if it matches one of the face-up cards (meaning it’s from the same month), you keep it. If it doesn’t match any of them, you add it to the field.

For complete rules, check out this site.

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Decades later, Nintendo is still manufacturing these cards. Some have a Mario Brothers theme. Of course, if you’d rather play on screen, there’s a digital version, too.

Sarah S.

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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February 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

This videogame teaches you what?!

Most of the time I think it’s great when a male-dominated industry wises up to the marketplace and decides to include women, but I’m not so sure about Nintendo DS’s latest Japanese videogames. The popular, ubiquitous handheld device has cards for every game under the sun: action, sports, first-person shooter, and, in the U.S., it includes classic titles like Metroid, Super Mario and Legend of Zelda.

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Now the Japanese company is branching out into “women’s titles” like “My Happy Manner Book,” and “DS Therapy” (hmmm). These so-called games are actually self-improvement exercises with quizzes and tests on par with questions you see in grocery store magazines, and I doubt they’ll be making their way stateside anytime soon.

I think the best title is (deep breath) “Female Power Emergency Up! DS.” You need to see it to believe it. Brought to us by, yes, a women’s weekly fashion magazine (called Anan), FPEU! (for short) is a videogame that encourages its players to improve themselves in the areas of beauty, romance, exercise and make-up application, and then tests you on your knowledge of diets and even fortune-telling.

These topics (well, maybe not fortune telling) certainly constitute an emergency if you’re competing on America’s Next Top Model, but for the rest of us the game might serve to point out inadequacies we didn’t know we had. Perhaps the target audience skews to junior high or high school age (after all, what 17 year old really reads Seventeen magazine?) with FPEU serving as a pocket-sized big sister giving advice, but this is one life coach I’ll probably skip!

Sarah S.

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October 25, 2007 at 7:34 am 1 comment


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