Friday, December 19, 2008

Guitar Hero! or Merry Christmas from the Chinese Supermarket

So I had been itching to play Guitar Hero and/or Rock Band since I've been gone. I'm sorry, that game is just too much fun.

Last month I had ordered a Guitar Hero controller (for the Playstation 2) and a USB adapter so I could play a "Guitar Hero" clone game on the computer.

However, it didn't quite work right. The timing for the detection was often off, and sometimes it just wouldn't detect it at all. I didn't know if it was the controller, the adapter, or maybe the computer processor just wasn't good enough to handle it.

In any case, I couldn't satisfyingly play Guitar Hero, so I began to save up for a Playstation 2 (PS2). And this month I ordered one off of (Chinese e-Bay). it cost 1100元 (yuan) or about $160 for the system, 2 controllers, and some games.

So I ordered the system yesterday, Thursday afternoon, and received it today, Friday afternoon. That's the one nice thing about ordering stuff online in China: it's usually cheap for delivery, and as long as its ordered from Shanghai, it's next day.

Anyhow, I fired it up, and the good news was, for games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, the game played as it was supposed to, the timing was right and the controller worked great.

The bad news however was that quite often, like 70 to 80% of the time, the song would stop midway, as it would as if the disc was cracked or scratched or something. I had bought discs for Guitar Hero 1, 2 and 3 and Rock Band, and they all experienced this, which WOULD lead me to believe that something was wrong with the PS2. HOWEVER, ALL of those discs were pirated copies, burned DVDs. So I'm not totally sure if it is the machine or the discs. So today I ordered an original disc for Rock Band (cost about $7). If the original disc plays fine, its because the other discs are copies. If it has the same errors, its the PS2, which I kind of hope its not, because it's always kind of a hassle to exchange stuff purchased over the internet, and you're usually stuck paying the return shipping fees at least one way. In any case, I'll learn what the problem is soon enough.

Anyhow, I have a gym membership here in Huzhou, and I try to go to the gym 3-4 times a week, but I often get lazy and it becomes 2-3 times a week (more often 2). Unlike at home, where I can just walk 100 yards and be at the gym, here I first have to bicycle 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the gym. And as the weather has gotten colder, it has made me less enthusiastic about going.

But, despite getting the PS2 today, I DID go to the gym, not the least of which reasons being if I didn't go, it would've been only once this week, and I do really try to keep it to at least 2 times a week at minimum. After the gym I went to Tesco, the Wal-Mart like store near my gym. Since about the middle of November they've been playing Christmas music throughout the store, which is nice, and they also have signs up saying "Merry Christmas"
The funny thing about it is this: You see where it says "Merry Christmas" and then right below it are some Chinese words? You'd THINK that those Chinese words are the Chinese words for "Merry Christmas". But you'd be wrong. Merry Christmas in Chinese is 圣诞快乐 (Sheng Dan Kuai Le, literally "Christmas, Be Happy") But the words in that sign are 疯狂购物节 (feng kuang gou wu jie), which literally translates to...

"Extremely Popular Shopping Holiday".

Haha, at least the Chinese aren't kidding themselves about it.


  1. what we learn from your blog!! That is too funny but true! No kidding here!!
    Is the Christmas music just "music"? or is there Chinese??

  2. No, the Christmas music is real, honest to goodness American Christmas music. Some songs are older, some songs are newer (like a re-mix of an old song), but there is singing and they're in English.

  3. Yeah they didn't even try to be subtle on that one. "We wish you an extremely popular shopping holiday. We wish you...and a happy new year even though ours doesn't come until the first lunar month."


  4. lol. now Steven is funny right here...:)