^I did not get the impression harimoto did that bad. Manipulating the heart means you take control of a persons emotions. In a extreme case, it can be a form of brainwashing which results in relentless obsessive fanaticism. Manipulating emotions means manipulating the not necessarily so rational part of a person. Akiyama and yokoya make their decisions based on logic, they plans are very carefully prepared and executed timely (granted akiyama gives nao enough free reign to work her charm on other players). Basically, akiyama's and yokoya's plans require a reading of the actual flow of the game and act according to what they believe will happen based on what they have seen. That can be a severe limitation since their plans would be limited to the natural flow of the game. Harimoto does not have that limitation in the least. By controlling the irrational aspect of a person you don't have to observe and predict the flow of the game to make a plan but rather you get the chance to completely determine it. For instance, harimoto did effectively destroy yokoya's team in a second. All he did was use his cute brainless oompa loompa to make yokoya's teammate a tad horny and he had control over him. By doing that, harimoto changed absolutely everything for yokoya. My impression was that harimoto got as far as he could have considering yokoya and akiyama were that much smarter than he was.... Next time akiyama and yokoya could be in some serious trouble if harimoto manages to get control over more players.
My list will be:
1. Contraband game (collision of nearly equal forces provides breathtaking feast of intellect and strategy)
2. Minority rule game (clever and cool; Fukunaga put up a great fight, but just had to succumb to Akiyama's awesomeness)
3. Pandemic game (I liked the idea of a 'virus outbreak' and a 'cure'; it's another showdown between Yokoya and Akiyama, just on a smaller scale; also a nice and tense moment when Yokoya, the picture of politeness, asks Akiyama to contact with him, and you just totally can tell that Akiyama knows he's being duped in some way, but cannot refuse, because the moment he does, Nao's idea of peaceful solution goes down the drain)
I loved 17 Card Stud Poker as I was able to get the winning strategy by myself
Rulewise the minority game was great as it was the most *fair* one where strategy was worth the most
Contraband was good, it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time it was a thrill, but I felt that it had enough votes already, so I went with the Pandemic game. When they actually mentioned the game I felt oh this is going to be good.
For one I really like the setting of the game. It was good to know that from there on they will commence to the next round. It was a really good game but I really missed Fukunaga in it. Yokoya played the game very good, it was not his best but I liked how this game got him two very important allies for the next game. It was really a game that set the forth round for him as well. The idea with the locking in the cabins was just mind- blowing to me, I was like oh I know they will use these in some way and they did in the best way.
The character were really good in the game it seemed like everyone can win when the first began. It was a game where fighting not just mind - fighting but hitting and such was shown in in Liar Game.
Brilliant game, that I would not mind seeing a similar concept to anytime soon.