Sunday, 9 June 2013

NEWS: Sunday Update

Hey guys,

This week's update is a day late once more, because I went to Spa Resort Hawaiians yesterday with my good friends Jerry and Joe.

It was really nice to get into the pools and waterslides again. I have some great experiences with waterparks - both at Wet n Wild in Australia, and of course, who can forget Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia? So, I was understandably really looking forward to this place.

Fortunately, my good friend Steven Thompson (of Happy Steve, Angry Steve fame) got us some discount tickets for about 1,000 yen each. This was very fortunate, as the usual price of admission is around 3,000 yen. The second reason this was fortunate was because of the inevitable pay-wall.

At the resort, your price of admission covers the pools, the onsens, the "hulu show" and the "spa world" - a series of outdoor themed spas. What it does not cover, is the waterslides. Because who goes to a waterpark to ride on waterslides? The waterslides were 400 yen each ride, or 2,400 yen for a day pass. We arrived at around 2pm, and discovered that there was a special "half day" pass from 3pm for 1,200, so we ended up getting that, but were still pretty grumpy.

Pay-walls are a phenomenon i have complained about in Japan before. Back home, pay walls don't stand, because people will just refuse to pay them. Most folks would be willing to pay a slightly higher price of admission if it covers literally everything in the park. Japanese people are apparently willing to pay high admission and then still pay for pay-walls on top of that.

Pay-walls are particularly ridiculous when combined with things that should be free, like national heritage sites or temples. Seriously. Temples have a pay-wall. They are even considering pay-walling Mt. Fuji!

But besides that, we actually had a pretty good time. The slides were lots of fun, and the outdoor "edo-period onsen" was a really nice experience. I rate the park 7/10 because of the pay-wall and also because its too crowded (we went on a cloudy, random Saturday and it was super packed. I can only imagine how it must be during the summer vacation).

On the gaming front, nothing too exciting happened this week. Next week E3 kicks off, and I'm assuming that all the major players are waiting until then to make any big announcements. I'm personally covering the Ubisoft and Nintendo press conferences for the Escapist, but will most likely pick up other stories that my colleagues don't get to.

And here's last week's news:
Story of the week:

Okay guys, that's it from me for this week! Be sure to subscribe to my twitter for up-to-date news and blog updates, my youtube channel for gaming videos, and check back here every Saturday for a roundup of my Escapist news pieces!

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