The Average Gamer

Rubber Katana > Wiimote

Way, way back in November 2005 I wrote a series of posts outlining reasons why most people don’t play games. The first one talks about interfaces – basically the traditional D-pad + analogue stick controllers are fiddly and it takes time to get used to them.

Things have changed in the past 20 months – I can hit targets using controller analogue sticks these days. (Big, slow-moving targets). And hey, check out the popularity of the Wii with grandparents and other non-gamey types. I saw it coming!

But the really exciting part is that I finally found Mazan: Flash of the Blade. Or as I called it back then:

“…a great game in one of the video arcades on Oxford Street. The concept wasn’t that exciting – get zoomed down corridors as you take out the bad guys – but instead of a gun or joystick and buttons you had a great rubber katana to slash and parry the ninjas. Sadly, I don’t remember the name of it but every time I saw that game being played, there was an audience Oohing and Aahing in the background and once people saw how simple it was (just pick up a stick and wave it in the receiver’s frame) they would give it a go.”

Apparently, I wasn’t big on paragraph breaks back then.

Mazan: Flash of the Blade is an arcade game from 2002 with a whacking great sensor and a big black rubber sword. Brilliant fun! There’s one in Funland at London’s Trocadero. If you were disappointed by the poor Wii katana action of Ubisoft’s Red Steel then head thee over to the phonebook and find out if any local arcades still have this game.

(If you do go to London, it’s just downstairs from the Trocadero bowling alley, in the far right corner. Rather annoyingly, they’ve secured the katana to the machine with a rope that’s about a foot too short, so it’s quite difficult to block the undead ninjas. Please bring a strong thin rope about 5 or 6 feet long so that you can re-secure the katana, should anything untoward mysteriously happen to the one they already have. We wouldn’t want it to go missing!)

My flash wasn’t working properly, so here’s a photo I stole from 4 Color Rebellion.

Some guy playing Mazan: Flash of the Blade

Check out their Flash of the Blade experience. Read through their hopes and dreams that were presumably dashed by the crappy execution of Red Steel. Hopefully the possibly forthcoming Red Steel 2 will be much better.

Finally, here’s a YouTube video of some other dude playing Mazan. I think it’s actually the same guy as in the picture above but I didn’t see anything linking the YouTube user to 4 Color Rebellion.