Yesterday was a flurry of action and after being to so many places, I think it's worthwhile to record down some of my experiences.
Firstly, my day started with 6 Exits. Me, J.Fluffysheep and Zwei were allowed in with a media pass, where we were allowed to try the first 3 exits, which were of course supposedly the less scary than the remaining three. J.Fluffysheep has an article about our experience here and while I agree with most of the points about how underwhelming it was (I was really anticipating finishing the whole 6 rooms) as well as how vague the instructions could be at times, I would like to highlight some points which I find uniquely Obaken.
One, there was a red thin paper sash we were supposed to wear throughout the game. This represents our life and if a ghost managed to snatch it, it would be game over. I have never had that in any other escape game, and this adds to the challenge of the game, keeping us on alert in case a ghost sneaks up on us. It also adds a "game" dimension to 6 Exits, and I would have considered this to be very Fatal Frame-like if I were armed with a camera as well.
Two, there is a time limit every room. This is very stressful. Seriously. Especially when I'm used to the 1 hour overall time limit for escape games, having a time limit per room is very, very stressful, but it does add to the atmosphere and the stress makes you miss things that you wouldn't have in other escape games. If you are intending to head down to 6 Exits, make sure you stay calm. There is a continue system if you run out of time in each room, though you'll have to pay a small fee each time!
Three, each stage is not easily cleared. Vague instructions aside, each room was not to just simply "escape". Taking J.Fluffysheep's depiction of the third room, we actually had 3 goals then -- Hide from the killer until he left, find a knife, and plunge the knife into a spot marked out on the killer's back. In any other normal escape game, it would only be "find a knife" or "hide from the killer an find a knife". The additional stage of "plunge the knife into the killer's back" actually helps the player to immerse themselves more into a video-game-in-real-life situation, because real-life killers don't simply vanish when you find a weapon. Kudos, Obaken!
Lastly, and this is one of the points which I respect Obaken the most, is the use of humans as ghosts. This brings the entire game back to the traditional Haunted House theme (obakeyashiki) and by going to 6 Exits, you not only get to feel what it is like being in a Haunted House, but you also get to escape from it! Not to mention, that some goals make the experience more video-game like as well!
Like what J.Fluffysheep mentioned, we weren't allowed to take photos, however I've found an article on rocketnews depicting how the game layout was like for the first 2 rooms in Japan. The layout differs slightly in Singapore though.
The first room with chains:
The second room that scares through sound alone:
And that's actually all about 6 Exits from me. You can read J.Fluffysheep's article for more details about each level our overall experience and the rocketnews article about the execution and background of this game!
I would recommend people to try it out, in fact I did so already, because the experience granted by Obaken is definitely not to be missed. If you have ever wondered even just once how it would be like to be in a Haunted House in the cultural festivals of High School Japanese students, why not try 6 Exits, because it's that and more!---------------
After 6 Exits, me and my friend decided to go on to Funan Anime Matsuri (FAM) to see if there was anything we would be interested in. That was a mistake because FAM was more of a disappointment to me than anything else.
From a bird's eye view, FAM was...
I have never considered FAM to be of a huge-scale but I always enjoyed looking at the stash of figures on sale as well as the food. Perhaps it's because of it's noon on a weekday, that the range of products on sale were quite limited.
I'm sure there would be a lot of other figures and goods that will interest many others, but they are not of my fandom, or perhaps were not fully displayed yet. In fact, I was very anxious to check out the Love Live goods that took up half of the booth space but in the end, the main thing that caught my eye was the full display of the after-school Love Live! figures.
Sadly, I have never been a big fan of this line since their faces and hair never did cut it for me. And that's all that interests me for the Love Live! goods on sale.
There were quite a huge number of kuji at FAM, note to all the kuji-lovers. Most of them were the regular kinds in anime stores. I saw one for Love Live Angelic Angel, which I had no idea if it was on display or kuji-able, sadly. The main kuji that caught my interested from FAM was Angel Beats. Not only did I not expect this show to have a Kuji (after so long since it aired), but the Kuji was not of the usual Banpresto kind.
If you know of the rotary kuji where you a colored ball will come out (often depicted in anime with the grand prize being free onsen tickets), then you've got the right one!Each play costs $15 and correct me if I'm wrong, but every colored ball does have a corresponding prize. Sadly, most of them are rather eroi, though official, and since I was trying to kill my chances of getting eroi materials to go on the train home with, I decided against playing it. Here's some examples of the prizes you can win.
Next stop on the list was Clarke Quay where I bought some matcha powder (green tea powder) as I was running out. Holidays meant green tea as my midnight fix so I'll have to restock no matter what.This costs about $6-7 and weighs around 40g. It is in fact the cheapest option I could find available then, and as it's not the brand I usually get, I was anxious to see if this would meet my standards.
It comes in a can with a set of instructions on how to open it...
... to reveal a packet of green tea power enclosed in plastic!
The powder is actually of quite high quality and you don't actually need a lot to brew nice green tea. The key is "less is more" so make sure to not add too much powder or the tea will be not go down smoothly. Who would like to drink tea with specks of tea powder in it? Ew.
Bakerzin. The one I went to was at Vivo city, where I enjoyed a nice slice of strawberry shortcake. They had a promotion for a cake-tea set on weekdays. The Bakerzin branch there is quite silent on weekdays and the relaxing atmosphere and fragrant tea helped me relax while planning for my upcoming trip to Japan.
The strawberry shortcake is one of the best in Singapore, with soft moist cake sandwiching thick cream. This is one of the strawberry shortcakes in Singapore that's close to those served in Japan and I urge you to try it out if you intend to taste one similar to those in Japan but don't possess the finances and time to travel there!
Dinner was at Hide Yamamoto at Marina Bay Sands. The ramen, more or less the only cheap thing available ($12 for small, in the picture below), has soft char-siew that just melts in the mouth. The best time to have a piece is when it's just served because that's when it's the most tender!
Before anyone else intends to ask me this, the rectangular pieces are the meat. If you've been to Ajisen and eaten their ramen there with the circular pieces of char-siew, the ones served here are of a different cut. Each piece is lined with fat that helps the meat simply melt in your mouth.
The egg is all gooey for mine as well, the way the yolk simply oozes out when you bite into it is amazing! The bamboo shoots are not to be forgotten since they add a new texture to this dish, giving it a very much needed crunch.
And if you can't spot the noodles, that's because they have so much ingredients that it actually covers the noodles! Also, before anyone comments about me forgetting to mention this fact, the recipe for their ramen is actually 110 years old!
Here's a picture of my half eaten dinner, and a larger ramen size on the left if you need a comparison.
Hide Yamamoto's gyoza came with 6 pieces and two sauces to dip in. It's a tad oily, but that doesn't draw away from the pleasure of biting into the gyoza and feeling the fragrant sauce in the gyoza itself slow ooze out.
Their cod fillet was delicious as well. The meat is tender and easy to chew, though that's not really necessary because the meat just melts in your mouth, leaving behind a tantalizing after-taste of butter that isn't too oily.
All in all, an expensive day but definitely enjoyable. 6 Exits was actually not bad, but I need some more time to think if I would actually bother heading down to FAM again this weekend. Bakerzin and Hide Yamamoto are nice places to dine at, but I only go there rarely, and now I can't wait for the next time I'll be there!
Written by Reina-rin