While this is a trip to Japan to see the real life Kanto region from Pokèmon Red and Blue, today we made an excursion. Stopping overnight in Tokyo, it was the perfect opportunity to go to an area in Tokyo that, as a gamer, I’ve been looking forward to immensely.
Odaiba is a man – made island just off the Tokyo coastline. Developed into a commercial playground in the 1990s, this place lies within Tokyo Bay just outside the Greater Tokyo area. And commercial playground it sure it, with multiple malls, a giant Ferris Wheel, Onsen amusement park, the world’s largest car showroom, a Legoland and Madame Tussauds, and most importantly for me, a huge arcade and an arcade amusement park hybrid in Sega Joyopolis.
Indeed Sega has always been revered for their Arcade units but who’d have thought they’d make an amusement park out of it. From major Sega franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog and House of the Dead, to guest appearances from all sorts of media such as Ace Attorney, Transformers and Attack on Titan, the indoor park features various attractions with a video game twist. Whether it’s swirling around inside a shoot em up, running a treadmill against a group of people or performing 360s in a half pipe, the place certainly fulfills a certain niche market. Unfortunately each ride can only take a small number of guests at a time and it takes quite a while to rotate to the next group which means just like any amusement park, there’s a lot of queuing. Plus, devastatingly for me, the Ace Attorney attraction was in Japanese only… At least you can come and go from the park as you please all day to see more Odaiba.
The arcade was much more enjoyable however, considering the games were much more accessible. Time Crisis 5, Tekken 7, Mario Kart Arcade in the same vein as Mario Kart 8. There was even a Luigi’s Mansion machine. Plus the Dance Dance Revolution machine had every song selection from every version ever released! Which means a lot to someone in Britain where Euromix is all we ever got to… But I’ll try and cover what we played in the arcade in more detail another time.
Odaiba was a real exciting place for us to visit but I can’t help feeling arcades and shops are things you can find in all over Tokyo. What perhaps sets Odaiba apart then is the architecture across the island. The Fuji TV building alone is a real sight to behold let alone many of the others on the island and that includes the bridge connecting the island with the city. Furthermore it’s the fact that everything is laid out so plainly and in such close proximity that makes Odaiba such a commercial success. Ultimately if you like that sort of thing you’ll love Odaiba, playground is perhaps the best way to describe it, but aside from the interesting architecture there isn’t much more to it than that.
Tomorrow we go back on the Pokèmon trail as we head towards to real life Viridian Forest.
Finally I leave you with this. DDR is like riding a bike, once you’ve learnt how you never forget… if only time apart made you better at it though…