Monster Hunter World is Awesome

Monster Hunter World is a great game that proves that hard work, attention to detail and a focus on fun can still make a successful game in this the age of lootboxes and corporate greed in triple A gaming titles. It isn’t without its flaws – an unnecessarily complicated process to play with friends, underutilized gathering hub and some underwhelming weapon designs are a few. Overall though, Monster Hunter World is a great game that has been a commercial success with over 7 million copies shipped and counting.

Monster Hunter at its best

For those new to the Monster Hunter series, the games involve hunting monsters, from cute bird-like egg thieves to giant dragons. The gameplay premise is you progress from fighting lowly creatures, to battling behemoths while learning about your environment, crafting gear from defeated foes and getting stronger not from leveling up your character’s imaginary stats but from improving as a player and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents. Mix in 14 weapons, an open world, the creatures than inhabit it and an overarching story and you have the latest installment – Monster Hunter World.

Monster Hunter World light bowgun action

Ballerina armed with a giant hammer

I cannot express how satisfying it is to hunt a monster and make weapons and gear from its parts. The feeling of accomplishment when you finally defeat that giant fire-breathing T-rex only to face off against a flying, poisonous, fire-breathing wyvern! After a while you realize that you are starting to learn your opponents, you research their weaknesses, prepare the necessary tools and have practiced enough to the point where you are dancing around their attacks like a ballerina armed with a giant hammer.

Monster Hunter still isn’t for everyone

Though some might say otherwise – Monster Hunter World isn’t for every one. Though World has fine tuned the Monster Hunting Formula a bit, it still has some rough edges. However if this game clicks, especially if you have friends to hunt with, its one of the most enjoyable experiences in gaming at the moment and some will argue for a while. The first and only Monster Hunter game I played for any extended time before world was Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii. Back then the gaming world wasnt so connected online and I had no real world friends to play with.

Monster Hunter World Sword and Shield action

Fast forward a decade and after a long period of handheld only releases Monster Hunter is back on consoles and its epic. I’m 100+ hours in and I am having just as much, if not more fun, than when I hunted my first Great Jagras.

Games as a service? eww!

Many Triple A gaming titles have become unbearable grinds infested with lootboxes and DLCs. They say games are now a service with the emphasis on the dollar signs and not the product and consumers. Monster Hunter World proves that the old ways of designing a complete game can still be successful, I am very happy it is successful and looks to continue to be for a long time.

Monster Hunter World Barroth

How you played or plan to play monster hunter world? Leave your thoughts in a comment below – also let me know if we can hunt together; I play on the PS4.

Black Panther is the movie we need

Black Panther is a commercial hit. The King of Wakanda has been ruling the box office worldwide for weeks now. It took its time arriving in Japan but Marvel’s Black Panther movie was worth the wait.

Poke the Colonizers

I’ve never been one to get too emotional when watching movies but from the opening scene I had a feeling that I can only describe as my head-swelling and by the end I was teary eyed and ready reclaim my throne. I grew up in Jamaica – a former colony of Britain; so many of the low key pokes at the colonizers resonated with me. I strongly believe that black people are disconnected from their roots and divided intentionally.

Lessons for all

Black Panther’s music, sound, cinematography, story, casting and effects are to notch. However, underneath is all I feel there is a message. It may be a fictional world but it does overlap with reality and there are some important lessons there for all to see.

Important Movie

Personally it was so inspiring – those are my people, they look like me! They aren’t drug dealers, thugs, thieves, criminals, slaves, inmates etc. Go see it if you haven’t yet! take your kids, take your mom, take your neighbor; this is an important movie for all descendants of Africa and their friends.

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Tokyo 2020 mascots revealed

As a big fan of the summer Olympics especially athletics it goes without saying that I am excited for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We are two years away but I have been following and will continue to follow as the excitement builds.

Japan is character country

Japan is a country obsessed with characters, mascots and all things cute. Many Companies, police departments, prefectures, sports teams and more have characters that represent their brand. Since moving to Japan Its unbelievable how powerful characters like anpanman, doraemon and pikachu are and thats just the tip of the iceberg. The mascots for Tokyo 2020 were recently revealed. Its been a multiple-month process of illuminations with the final 3 being voted on by Japanese elementary school kids to choose the lucky mascots to represent Tokyo 2020 Olympics and ParaOlympics.

B > A > C = A

From the three choices I’ll say favourite was B with A coming in slightly behind then C. The kids overwhelmingly voted for character A and the reactions so far seem mostly positive. Their names will be revealed later in the summer.

What are your thoughts on the chosen mascots – which of the 3 choices did you like? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

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Is learning Japanese with Anime, Manga and Video Games possible?

Japan is known worldwide for being one of the leaders in the video game industry. Companies such as Capcom and Nintendo are well-known brands. While video games like Mario and Final Fantasy are some of the biggest franchises in entertainment not just gaming. Reading manga and watching anime is a national pastime in Japan and many popular series such as Dragon Ball, Gundam and Naruto are mainstream outside of Japan as well. The real question though is; Can anime, manga and video games teach you Japanese? Are they a practical learning tool? The answer is yes but not on their own.

Learning a Language

Learning any language involves developing the ability to communicate in and understand said language. This can be speaking, writing, listening and reading. These 4 skills develop at different rates for different people and can go from understanding simple words and phrases to complicated essays, movies etc. Anime, manga and video games involve listening, speaking and reading – that’s three of the big four covered.

Word of the day? Hadouken!

Personally, I got used to the sound of Japanese from watching anime and playing video games – Hearing Ryu screaming “Hadouken” for the millionth time made sense when paired with learning Hiragana. Mimicking my favourite anime villain as I unsheathed my imaginary katana is not your typical phonics lesson but was helpful in hindsight. Reading the first chapter of the Dragon Ball manga in hiragana and Katakana was an interesting challenge that proved far more engaging to me than mundane text. Adding writing through the various free hiragana/katakana/kanji worksheets flooding the interwebs is super easy to do. I’ve met people who learned Hiragana in a few sittings but don’t be disheartened if it takes you longer. The genres and topics for anime, manga and video games are endless – you dont have to focus on action-packed stuff like I do – there is sci-fi, everyday life, history etc

In conclusion, if you are learning Japanese (or don’t want to forget what you learned) watch your favourite anime without subtitles, read an untranslated manga and check if any of your favourite games offer text/speech in Japanese (I’m currently playing Monster Hunter World with Japanese audio). Pair that with some books, worksheets and other traditional language learning efforts and you will see the difference.

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Dell Inspiron 7577 Gaming Laptop

My Christmas/New years gift to myself was a new laptop; the Dell Inspiron 7577 Gaming Laptop. Honestly I was never a fan of Dell Laptops but now that I live in Japan my research lead me in the direction of this laptop and I eventually made the plunge. A 20% off holiday sale also didn’t hurt and after more than one month of usage I will say that I am happy with the purchase. The Dell Inspiron 7577 comes in so many configurations I think its best that I first share the specs on my model.


  • – Screen: 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Screen
  • – Processor: Intel i7 3.8 Ghz
  • – OS: Windows 10
  • – Memory: 8GB, DDR4, 2400MHz
  • – Storage: 128 GB SSD and 1 TB 5400 RPM
  • – Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GDDR5
  • – Other: Blutooth, Wifi, SD Card reader, USB 3.0, mini HDMI etc

Saved on Graphics Card

I could have gotten a better graphics card but decided to save a little as I don’t run many graphics intensive games and the GeForce GTX 1050Ti was more than enough for my needs after reading benchmarks. Overall I paid 122,500 yen or $1125 including taxes and shipping to my rural island. The laptop itself was under $1000.

Heaviest Laptop I have ever owned

This laptop is easily the most powerful laptop I have ever owned with the tradeoff being that it is huge and heavy – weighing in at 2.65 kgs. For comparisons sake – my old laptop/ultrabook was a 13 inch Sony Vaio T series that weighed 1.70 kgs. That Vaio is one of the best pieces of technology I ever bought but sadly the Vaio line is no longer with Sony.

Dell Inspiron 7577

Dell Inspiron 7577

Ultrabook to Gaming Laptop

So I went from having a ultrabook primarily for university to a gaming laptop that will be my primary personal computer as I no longer have a desktop. Performance-wise I have had absolutely no issues so far. I use my laptop now for light gaming, video/audio editing, blogging, streaming and coding. I’ve been playing Xcom, Age of Wonders III and Civilization 6 all maxed out with no issues; but again I am not one to play graphically intensive games on PC as I play mostly strategy games and RPGS on PC.

The build quality of the Dell Inspiron 7577 is really good. The laptop feels strong and sturdy but again a little hard to lug around as I do occasionally for multiple hour ferry rides. I really love the backlit keyboard, and the HD screen but the mousepad has been a little finiky – maybe I just need more time to get used to it.

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Star Wars AT-M6 Plastic Model Kit – Giveaway

Do you wish you had a state of the art deterrent to protect you and yours? Have the rebels blown up another of your bases and continue to threaten your livelihood? Are you a detested warlord that need to strike fear into your opponents and subjects? Well my friends I have found the perfect armoured cavalry for all your explosive needs and more!

AT-M6 Plastic Model Kit

The All Terrain MegaCaliber Six or AT-M6 for short is a mobile heavy artillery walker used by the First Order during their war with the Resistance. With the untimely death of an unnamed First Order official I have procured one AT-M6 to be given away to a lucky Jamaipanese YouTube Channel Subscriber! All you have to do is to be a subscriber to the Jamaipanese Youtube Channel – click the link below to enter and may the force be with you.

AT-M6 Plastic Model Kit

Click to Enter Star Wars AT-M6 Plastic Model Kit – Giveaway

The competition will run for 2 weeks from 12:00 am on Tuesday February 13th to 11:59 pm on February 26th – Japan time. One lucky winner will be contacted via email. Please respond and provide your coordinates um I mean snail mail address within 3 days or another winner will be chosen. Entries open to any inhabitant of the known universe including the outer rim who are subscribed to the Jamaipanese Youtube channel. The winner must provide an address for the AT-M6 to be sent from my secret base in the sea of Japan.

I repeat all you have to do is to be a subscriber to the Jamaipanese Youtube channel and click the link in the description to enter. Ending this transmission in 3, 2, 1…

AT-M6 Plastic Model Kit


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Car Stickers in Japan and what they mean

Whether visiting Japan or living here; you will see various stickers on cars. Inquisitive minds like mind will wonder what the meaning of the different stickers? I am here with the answer!

New/Inexperienced Driver

New/Inexperienced Driver

The shoshinsha mark (初心者マーク) or Wakaba mark (若葉マーク) is the mark of a new driver because in Japan a simple red L is not enough. Just like the “L” Japanese drivers will easily know who is a new driver and so take the necessary precautions. This is the mark I am currently rocking on my car at the time of this post.

Driver with a Disability


Driver with a Disability

The next symbol I can only describe as a white-on-blue four-leaf clover (heart) shaped umbrella indicates a driver with a disability. Japan apparently decided not to use the well-known ISA symbol to allow for a broader array of disabilities than a wheelchair implies.

Elderly Driver

Elderly Driver

The Kōreisha mark (高齢者マーク) is the mark for elderly drivers or according to Japanese Road Traffic Law it indicates “aged person at the wheel”. Drivers 75 years and older must display this mark and with Japan’s ageing population this mark is more popular than the one for new drivers.

Hearing Impaired Driver

Hearing Impaired Driver

The last symbol is the “butterfly mark” to indicate drivers who are “hard of hearing”. Th symbol is creative in that it is actually two yellow ears stylized to for the wings of a butterfly on a green background!

Honda Life

My car currently decorated with new driver sticker/mark and lots of snow…

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Japan Scene 5: New Barber in love with my hair

Four months into Japan, I had yet to get a haircut. Why? I was originally planning to do it on my own but as the week went buy I didn’t get around to it. It reached the point where I was starting to look like a young rasta. Honestly, my hair wasn’t a problem until it started taking up more and more time to comb in the mornings so I inquired and was told of a barber on a neighbouring island that could tame my locks.

Japanese level up?

I managed to call and use my limited Japan to set an appointment. 10 am on a Sunday morning, that should easy enough. One 5 minute drive, a 15-minute ferry and a 3-minute walk later and I was there. I must say I was impressed with the look of the place. I was welcomed in typical Japanese fashion – these people are serious about their customer service. I showed the barber the look I wanted, sat in his chair and hoped for the best.

Barber: Wow! This is my first time cutting someone from Jamaica’s hair.
Me: Please do your best 😃
Barber: poke poke prod prod* wow it feels so cool, rub rub, pat pat

The Barber then went into a mode I can only describe as an excited Chef seeing a slab of meat they are excited to season and cook. Though instead of salt, pepper, oil, season, pots and other cooking utensils it was various combs, electric tools, razors, clippers etc. 30 minutes after dancing around my head gleefully My hair was shampooed and plated/styled before a request for my photo to be taken, I obliged.

Barber: I hope I did a good job
Me: You did great, I am very satisfied.

During the cutting process, I learned many things about my (new) barber. I now know he is my age and enjoys videos games and the German football league among other things. I happily say that I’m glad I found a new barber.

Check out my new barber’s website – Barber Iwasa

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Unicorn Gundam Tokyo

Are you a huge fan of Gundam? Have you not seen the Giant Unicorn Gundam currently on display in Tokyo? Shame on you! Save every penny you have for as long as you can until you have enough money and go see it now! You can thank me later.

The full-sized, 20 metre tall behemoth is the crown jewel of DriverCity Tokyo. Located in the Odaiba district it’s a giant mall dedicated to all things Gundam. Fans of the franchise could easily lose a day here exploring all it has to offer.

The Gundam transforms at night as you can hear the audible gasps of fans of all ages around you. This attraction is honestly like no other and even non-Gundam fans can appreciate its splendour. The Unicorn Gundam is a great stop for any visitor to Tokyo just be prepared to hurt your wallet as there is no way you are leaving the compound without buying something.

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