My Favorite Things About Japan - Melty Blood

I like 2D fighting games, as anyone who knows me is aware. In Japan, moreso than in America, they are still considered an art form. Here I can wander the halls of innumerable video arcades, slipping coins into glowing machines and watching my 2-dimensional characters beat the snot out of eachother for hours on end. Most games I know on sight, or at least I recognize their franchises...but when I first encountered Melty Blood I became transfixed.

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm way behind of the dmac blog updates, so ill just spout some stuff out:

that game looks quite amazing!

on the apartment tip, we are playing starcraft like it's our jobs.

my sister got married this past weekend, insanity.

also, LTJ is playing 6 shows in florida in february. each night they are playing an album from their discography. me, ben, chris and pat are already in the process of ordering plane tickets and making arrangements with my sister to stay with her cause we are going down there to see the motherfucking PEZCORE and LOSING STREAK SHOWS. i know if you were here you would be joining us.

chris says this will be the last time he will ever see LTJ, cause i mean, how can this be topped?

hugs and kisses,

Blogger darrell said...

Speaking of gaming...I might start playing WoW soon...cause aparently it helps you make it through the winter here. Do you all play WoW at all?

Congrats to Lauren Callow...I guess since she and Bart are both married now he probably has to take her name out of his organizer. Oh well.

And as for LTJ...holy shit! I almost want to fly back for the Pezcore show...but that would cost so much money it's stupid. Sigh, you'll have to bootleg them and bittorrent those jams over to me. Chris is right though...a good end to one's LTJ career.

Te amo, I love you Michael Bluth

Blogger Ashuri said...

just wanted to say hi and tell you to visit http://soundsandpictures.blogspot.com/
some friends of mine got a bolex out and made a movie of 14th street in DC, put it on YouTube, thought you'd be interested
MeltyBlood looks the shit

Anonymous isaac said...

It's called Melty Blood. MELTY BLOOD! That alone is enough to make it one of my Darrell's favorite things in Japan.

It does look pretty sweet too. I like 2D fighters, but only against the computer, because I'm not very good at them... :'(

You should play WoW.

Anonymous isaac said...

P.S. FFXII is being released here at midnight, and I'm gonna HIT it UP. Collector's Edition FTW.


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