My Favorite Things About Japan - Melty Blood
The elegance of the game is hard to deny, and so is the appeal. The excellently rendered characters are mostly rail-thin high school students, but they wail on eachother like it was their job, their unbelievably mannered Japanese appearances only matched by their ferocity. I don't know why, but there's something fantastic about the cute meets gore aesthetic.
Why is Melty Blood so amazing? Well, for one, I'd never heard of it. When I first saw it in Hiroshima it was a discovery for me, and I got to see it in its full arcade glory. Secondly, it's a doujin game, meaning it was completely produced by fans with little or no budget. Why is this amazing? Because it's now one of the most popular fighting games on the PS2.
Take a look:
Ignore the cheesy metal music...the PS2 soundtrack is actually wicked awesome.
Only in Japan could a game like Melty Blood make this transition. Only in Japan are arcades still the forum for excellence in gaming that they once were in the States. Only in Japan does one's prowess on the joystick and things like the 50-hit combo still mean something. Only in Japan could a relatively unknown, fan-produced PC game sweep the nation as an arcade hit and then qualify for release on the most popular gaming platform ever.
I bought a Japanese PS2 so I could play it. I'd say check it out, and you may be able to check an older version if you run a PC, but otherwise it could be hard to come by in America. Either way I think it's a work of art, and worth mentioning as one of my favorite things about Japan.