Speaking about modern Japanese culture, we couldn’t pass video games ! It’s impossible to miss this popular hobby these days. The correlation between city-pop and video games is not obvious, in fact at the beginning of the 80s, video games were mainly played in arcades: Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros … but the cultural link remains loud enough for certain games to make us feel like we’re traveling to the land of the rising sun, with a city-pop playlist in our headphones!
Let’s start with a video game monument. Outrun (released in 1986) is one of the first car games to integrate a steering wheel into its arcade machine. An immediate worldwide success! We are very much in the theme of Tatsuro Yamashita ‘s album “Big Wave” which we have already told you about! Moreover, the latter made a trailer resembling it during the recent vinyl releases.
The original game
Tatsuro Yamashita ‘s trailer
Tokyo Xtreme Racer (Shutokou Battle)
If everyone knows Initial D and its famous Eurobeat soundtrack, we have here selected the Tokyo Xtreme Racer series which puts you behind the wheel of illegal races in the middle of the night in Tokyo on the famous “Shuto” highway, and particularly the “Inner Circular Route” which is a bit like the Parisian ring road! The game was released notably on Dreamcast/PSP/PS2. There is an atmosphere close to the night races of Gran Turismo or Ridge Racer Type 4 released on Playstation 1 . All this is perfect for a little “ Wangam Highway ” by Miki Matsubara !
Regular players of the Assetto Corsa game can also install the Shutokou Battle mod !
The Yakuza series
Impossible to talk about city-pop without mentioning the Yakuza series ! Tatsuro Yamashita (him again!) even has a few songs of his own in Yakuza 6 ! Obviously, Yakuza 0 is our favorite, the game taking place in 1988 !! Too bad, there are no city-pop songs to sing at Karaoke ! We would have liked a “ Plastic Love ” or “ Stay With Me ” or even “ Sparkle ” DLC. Imagine Kiryu Kazuma singing on it… We’ll ask the artificial intelligence then!
Impossible to talk about Yakuza without mentioning Shenmue , its spiritual elder! Shenmue takes place in 1986 in Yokosuka , south of Tokyo (below Yokohama to be precise). We play Ryo Hazuki in a faithfully reproduced Japanese neighborhood. The musical atmosphere is very far from city-pop (although some J-POP music can be heard), but the scene is set ! We can even play Outrun in Shenmue 2 ! The circle is complete, thank you SEGA !
The hero of the game: Ryo Hazuki
Little visit to Konbini!!
A little game of Outrun ?
Densha De Go!
What’s better than a train trip to relax and listen to City-Pop? In Densha De Go , you are the driver, and watch out for gaps! The train in Japan is always on time! Every second is counted! However, we regret that the first versions of the game did not have a “Traveler” mode to simply enjoy the journey…! There are also similar modes in other Train Simulator type games or even in Railfan on Playstation 3 !