You should be playing … Another Code: Two Memories


Source: wikipedia.com

If you’re a fan of point-and-click video games like Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright, there’s another game you should add to your collection. Another Code: Two Memories, is a brainchild of Cing, a no-longer existent company responsible for games such as Hotel Dusk: 215 and Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (otherwise known as the Kyle Hyde series).  The game takes the best elements from all other these other gaming classics and brings us a short but sweet story of a girl, her missing father and a ghost.

As you might have guessed, ‘memory’ is central to Another Code’s main story. The game introduces us to thirteen-year-old Ashley Mizuki Robins who is sailing to Blood Edward Island, having received a letter from her father who she has presumed dead for eleven years. She is soon separated from her aunt and ends up in an old graveyard, where she meets a ghost.  He has no memories, only that his name begins with ‘D’. The two search the abandoned mansion of the Edward family who used to own the island, each of them hoping to retrieve their memories; for Ashley, it is the night her mother died and for D, it is how he died.

Source: spong.com

It’s not a DS… it’s a DTS!

The game reads like a lovechild of Hotel Dusk and Professor Layton. There are a number of puzzles, although they are much easier than anything Layton might throw at you, and lots of secret tunnels to the point where it’s just ridiculous. In what kind of house is the kitchen hidden behind several secret doorways? Still, it’s a charming game and it has two layers; the story of Ashley and her family and the Edwards family.

Source: hardcoregaming101.net

What lets the game down is its length, or lack of it. Even though it takes place across the span of one day, I finished it in 6 hours on a lazy Sunday. You can buy it cheap in the second hand section of your local GAME or Amazon for about £8 but it’s still not an ‘economical’ game. As well as that, two of the characters (I won’t say who) are spitting images of Kyle Hyde and his partner Brian Bradley, so it feels unoriginal in places. Another Code did come first, however, although my heart will always belong to the DS-dwelling badass that is Kyle Hyde.

So, is Another Code worth digging into your pocket for? Definitely. Will you get much gameplay out of it? No. However, it’s light-hearted, entertaining and an addictive story while it lasts. It’s perfect for the puzzle fan and is the ideal game if you’re on a plane or train for a couple of hours. It’s also one of the few games that actually makes use of the DS’ dual screen! Cing made some brilliantly-designed games and it is a shame that they are now defunct. Once you have played Another Code, I urge you to buy Hotel Dusk and Last Window while you’re at it. There really need to be more mystery games like these.

Cooking with Dog


When my boyfriend told me he was taking cooking lessons from a dog, I was understandably concerned. Last time I checked, dogs can’t cook. That said, it turns out that he followed a tasty tonkatsu recipe last weekend and we both managed to eat it! So, I’d like to introduce you to Cooking with Dog.

There’s no shortage of videos here, so have a flick through and get some inspiration. You’ve got everything from doriyaki to katusdon to Japanese Christmas cake. Slightly short post this week but the wealth of videos makes up for it, right?

Stats, sex and samurai


I’ve been keeping an eye on my stats for a while now and learning how people come across the blog in the first place. In short, some of you have weird tastes. I thought I’d share some of the weirder search terms that have linked people to my blog…

The Top Ten

Date Masamune rules the blog, along with several other samurai and lots of Japanese food. I didn’t realise Roy Mustang was still so popular, though.

Anime, manga and games

1) I love everyone who put these words into. Google 2) Cloud Strife is fictional. 3) What on earth is indictment hair?

Pandas everywhere!

I really don’t think I’ve ever blogged about pandas but apparently a lot of people find the blog looking for them. I may have to do a panda special if I want a sudden influx of views! Incidentally, here is that picture of the panda hugging a policeman…

Source: thisinsaneartist.tumblr.com

History homework

The best search terms were too long to screen grab, so I typed them out below.

how did ieyasu’s childhood as a hostage affect his quest to become shogun? how did being a hostage affect his rule as shogun?

I definitely never answered this question but I bet this question is on someone’s syllabus and it’s really freaking them out right now…

tokugawa shogunate: an illustrated guide to the punishments of the tokugawa shogunate

I never really liked Ieyasu…

Dirty things

There were so many different search terms but I’ve just taken the most popular ones as examples. You people are disgusting!

Well, that makes no sense…

The second one must be from a song about a stalker. I really don’t know how typing this into Google brings you to the blog.

And finally, by far the weirdest one of all…

Obviously the 20 odd people who were looking for this ‘workshop’ must have been a bit disappointed when they found a Japan blog!

Cute fruit in Japan


Anyone who has been to Japan before will testify how amazing and, in most cases, huge the fruit is. On top of that, it’s delicious and doesn’t compare to anything bought in your local UK supermarket. This week, I’ll be showcasing some of Japan’s greatest fruits and even throwing the hiragana in. That way, if you go to a Japanese market, you can read the signs and feel really proud of yourself (well, I certainly did when I last went). It is also important to realise that fruit is commonly given as a gift over there, which will be useful knowledge if you’re ever someone’s guest.

Momo もも

Momo means ‘peach’ and, whilst they are usually imported overseas, are typically available in Japan at a limited time of the year. Peaches are seasonal in Japan and are generally sold in the summer time, with hakuto considered to be the sweetest and most delicious. I’m not sure if it’s the soil or the weather or something else but, for whatever reason, Japan’s peaches are huge! When I was at a station stocking up on healthy fruit on holiday, the lovely lady actually gave me a peach for free. As you can see in the picture above, it came in a little polystyrene basket and sat perfectly in your palm!

Melon めろん

Source: nickspics.net

Melons are by far the most expensive fruit in Japan and can sell for more than the equivalent of £200 each. It is commonly given as a gift when visiting someone in hospital. The finest and therefore priciest melon is the musk melon, which is exclusive to Japan, but you can still eat it on a budget if you settle for a prince melon at 500 yen.

Suika すいか

Source: leesean.net

Just as it is in England, the watermelon is a seasonal summer fruit in Japan. In 2001, the inventive square watermelon made its debut, prompted by the fact that it rolled around when being cut and it would not fit properly in the fridge. This was the birth of fashion food in Japan; perfectly shaped watermelons grown in glass boxes. The selling price is 10,000 yen. A popular summer past time is suika-wari, with a blindfolded person trying to split a watermelon with a bat as others shout instructions at where to strike. To find out whether a whole watermelon is ready to eat, give it a light tap and listen for that dry clear sound.

Ichigo いちご

Source: english.people.com

Everybody who has ever come across anything to do with Japan will know what ichigo are – strawberries. Japan currently has the largest production of dessert strawberries and it is one of the most common and popular flavourings in sweets and desserts. They are grown across Japan throughout the year, from the base of Mt. Fuji to Nyoho and Toyonaka, which are the most famous production regions. There are plenty of strawberry-picking farms dotted around the country, so it’s well worth an unusual side trip next time you’re there! Japan really loves its strawberries.

Ume うめ 

Source: michael.otacoo.com

Plums have been a central part of Japanese culture for centuries, originally introduced into the country from China. The fruit is associated with the beginning of spring, as its blossoms are the first to appear in the year. This occurrence is celebrated in Tokyo, shrines and elsewhere with a plum festival (ume matsuri). The actual fruit is more sour than its western counterpart because it is usually processed in a number of ways before it is eaten. The most popular processed products from plums are, of course, the sweet alcoholic beverage umeshu and umeboshi, the pickled version commonly served with rice.

If you really want the cream of the crop (get it?) you should visit Senbikiya in Tokyo, Japan’s most elegant, top-of-the range and expensive greengrocers. Here, apples the size of a child’s head sell for 2,100 yen (£25) each and a perfectly-shaped melon goes for as much as 34,650 yen (£264.50). It might sound crazy but, even on a slow day, business is good because of the importance placed on the perfectness of the gift of fruit. Anyway, is it really that different from how much we might spend on a box of chocolates, apart from the obvious fact that it’s much healthier?

Congratulations to …

Chris from Manchester, for winning the Memoirs of a Geisha giveaway that ran last month! Your prize should be with you later this week.