The last time I went down to Akihabara early in the morning was for the launch of Super Mario Galaxy and I didn’t see much excitement. On Thanksgiving Day I braved the cold to see Japan’s excitement for Dragon Quest IV. Granted this is a remake, but this is a Dragon Quest game so we should see some fans waiting outside, possibly playing with Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker to kill time. And… a little bit before Dragon Quest IV is released there is a small line outside of Yodobashi Camera. Success!
Let’s keep exploring Akihabara on the dawn of Dragon Quest IV.
Softmap had a huge line. The line was so big the only way to discreetly get a picture of it was to run on the other side of the street and I still wasn’t able to capture the people standing around the corner. Dragon Quest IV must be huge!
Wait a second… these people aren’t waiting in line for Dragon Quest IV. They are all waiting in line for a hentai game! Seriously! I couldn’t believe it either, but Softmap held a talk/signing event for an eroge game on the same day Dragon Quest IV was released.
Across the street, people started lining up at AsoBitCity. I grabbed a drink and ran into the line to wait for a copy of Dragon Quest IV. It wasn’t as big as the line at Softmap, but it’s a respectable size. The time flew as I played Princess Crown and listened to a remix of Star Guitar, one of the highlights on the new Shinichi Osawa album. I was so focused on counting beats I didn’t realize I was in the wrong line. The long line I was standing in was for the same eroge game adventure game. AsoBitCity was having an event for it too, but it was on a different day. To attend you needed to wait in line to get a ticket and buy the game that day. Dragon Quest IV’s queue was on the other side of the store and it was considerably shorter than the line I was standing in.
There is a picture of a wall advertisement for the game Akihabara was excited about, Pastel Hatsubai Kinen Premium.
But, Dragon Quest IV did come out too and some stores flaunted related merchandise. On day one there was no shortage of Dragon Quest IV. Even today, local stores in Shibuya that still have copies of it.
Perhaps, lining up in Akihabara is a thing of the past unless it’s for something really limited (Crisis Core PSPs) or a special event. In either case none of these lines rivaled a queue I saw at the Women’s 109 in Shibuya. During a rainy night a few weeks ago, girls were huddled together clutching their umbrellas waiting for the store to open. The lucky ones were already seated under the 109’s roof; the unlucky ones snaked up Dogenzaka Hill. This took place sometime in the middle of the night… think “AM” middle of the night. The 109 opens at 10AM.