News Article

Feature: Why I Love Import Gaming

Posted by Kerry Brunskill

Import gaming addict Kerry Brunskill explains the appeal of overseas gaming

I’ve been fascinated by Japanese games for as long as I can remember, going right the way back to faux-Japanese Amiga games like Leander and Apidya II. There's something appealing about Japanese game design and art which can't quite be matched by western titles, and although many would argue that Japan is becoming less important as a creator of video games, it has a lineage which simply cannot be matched by any other region in the world. Japan has given us the likes of Mario, Sonic, Metal Gear, Tekken, Ridge Racer, Pac-Man and Space Invaders, to name but a few blockbusters. However, it has also given us numerous other niche games which provide an experience that simply cannot be found elsewhere.

Modern gaming has thankfully seen to it that we can now buy titles like Xenoblade Chronicles and Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi in English, and there are plenty of excellent doujin games to choose from on Steam. So we’re sorted when it comes to scratching that import gaming itch, right? What else could Japan have to offer?

A slew of untranslated games and thirty years of still-untapped history, that’s what.

The first thing to catch your eye with a Japanese game is of course the box art, and that always goes one of two ways – you’ll either be assaulted with some impossibly sharp anime art that looks like it’s about to burst off the cover or instead find something as delicate and detailed as an Yoshitaka Amano watercolour.

It doesn’t stop there though; once inside you’ll see full colour manuals packed with beautiful illustrations and the sort of background stories and character info the rest of us have to scrape together online. And don’t get me started on limited editions, each one a treasure box that runs the full gamut of the sublime to the ridiculous: beautiful lithographs, high quality statues, exclusive arrange albums, egg timers made to look like meat getting roasted over a campfire, pencil cases that will never see stationary and even pocket watches! You'd think by this point there just couldn’t be any more game-related merchandise out there, but somehow they keep finding ways to throw incense, pendants, jigsaw puzzles and even plates into enticing oversized boxes just begging to be bought.

There are times when I like to pretend I’m above being swayed by fancy packaging and shiny trinkets, so it’s good to know that import gaming also offers eye opening experiences that you just can’t get anywhere else (not legitimately, anyway). From should-have-been-classics like the Game Boy’s Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru (AKA: For the Frog the Bell Tolls) to downright bizarre titles like PlayStation pet simulator Jellyfish: The Healing Friend, there’s absolutely something for everyone, even if you never knew you wanted them in the first place!

Even if you’re not the sort of person that decides to learn a new language just to play a few RPGs there’s still plenty to try. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai, Densha de GO! 2, Soukyugurentai...in just those three titles you’ve got a modern rhythm game, a train-driving sim and a classic 2D shmup – all unique, all import only, and all playable without doing anything as crazy as learning how to read a new alphabet.

So if you ever find yourself staring at the endless shelves of safe blockbuster titles and their focus-tested space marines in your local game store and long for something a little different, hop online and grab yourself Puyo Puyo Tsuu Remix for the Super Famicom, Magical Taruruuto-kun for the Mega Drive or Star Soldier Collection for the PSP – it might turn out the be the first entry in your import game collection.


Have you previously dabbled in import gaming? What appeal does it hold for you? Do you think the age of digital downloads will make import collecting a thing of the past, or render it even more enticing? Post a comment to share your thoughts.

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User Comments (56)

Yorumi

#2

Yorumi said:

I've been trying to learn japanese on my own so I can import more games but I keep getting distracted by games I want to play. I think I just need to sign up for a class so I'm forced to learn.

Luna-Harmony

#3

Luna-Harmony said:

First lol
I used to import games and remember the dreaded stepdown transformer needed for an import console but to own a game a year before it come out in the uk and to run at 60hz was great.
But this gen now people need local machines for the console to run the internet for online play.
The playstation 3 and vita, psp are great as they are multi region. But with games comeing out nearer to eachother there is not much use in importing for this gen unless its a usa or japanese exclusive title.

The last console i imported for was gamecube i had viewtiful joe japan edition a year before pal and it run at 60hz also many japanese and usa games.

Blast

#4

Blast said:

GET RID OF REGION LOCKING NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The 3DS has so many awesome and interesting Japanese games that its not even funny!!!!

robbleshague

#5

robbleshague said:

I bought a modded Sega Saturn a few years back and let me tell you folks, that console is an absolute goldmine for 2D shooters.

I've played so many awesome games I never knew existed since picking one up.

Kirk

#6

Kirk said:

I wish Nintendo would just make their consoles region free. Their handhelds used to be but now none of their systems are. At a time when the competition is doing exactly the opposite.

Typical Nintendo; for no good reason anymore whatsoever, from the perspective of the gamer and end consumer, it decides to unnecessarily gimp it's systems in just one more way. Like the Wii U doesn't have enough problems as it is without also being region locked.

Peach64

#7

Peach64 said:

Wasn't there an article up a few months back about why it didn't matter if Nintendo region locked their games as most people can't speak Japanese anyway? Obviously different authors for each article, but interesting that you'd post up two articles that offer contradicting opinions after basically making fun of the Motley Fool doing the same over their thoughts about the Wii U last month.

Tasuki

#8

Tasuki said:

I would import games but for one thing I dont speak any other language but English.

WanderFan91

#10

WanderFan91 said:

I love love loooove importing video games from Japan, particularly the SFC games! :) It really makes the world a wider place, and it's always fascinating to see what games Western gamers never got to experience, or to see how different the Japanese original version was compared to the Western version (if it got altered or censored). It doesn't matter whether it's filled with Japanese language or not or takes place in a really quirky environment, 'cause in the end I play these games for fun plus they whisk me to their world, making playing Japanese games an out of this world experience for me. :)

Some of my favorite imported SFC games are Seiken Densetsu 3, Wagyan Paradise, Alcahest (my first SFC cart ever holds a special place in my heart), Final Fantasy V, Ys IV: Mask of the Sun, and of course the all-time classic game that never got released in America but really should (if only Square-Enix would actually listen to the gamers and re-release this Quintet/Enix game for current audiences to play, not unlike certain games that still need re-releases; i.e. SoulBlazer, ActRaiser 2, Illusion of Gaia, Robotrek; but noooo, it's clear to me that the only Quintet/Enix game that Square-Enix feel deserves a re-release barring everything else not giving a damn about them is the original ActRaiser, treating it like it's the most important game developed by Quintet and published by Enix, when all six games should be treated as equally important (regardless of whether some games are better than the other), and they are wrong by doing that! It just infuriates me that Square-Enix had this opportunity for the PAST SIX FREAKIN' YEARS (the year ActRaiser was re-released for the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console), and did not take advantage of it! ... Okay, personal imo rant over; I'm sorry for my outburst, I just needed to get that out of my system :( The Quintet/Enix titles are important to me, each and everyone of them, and that's why I feel this way; modern gamers should experience these titles) Tenchi Sōzō (Terranigma; I've got mad love for this game, you have no idea).

In the past couple years I've also imported a couple Japanese Game Boy games (one of them being Parodius Da! Shinwa kara Owarai e :D) and a Japan-exclusive compilation for the PSP (TwinBee Portable).

Importing games is fun fun fun! :) I've got a Retro Duo which enables me to play Super Famicom games (it beats risking permanent damage to the SNES console if you make a misstep toward modding, which I will never have the heart to do because the console holds a lot of sentimental value to me; but to each their own, different strokes for different folks), and they work just perfectly on there. :)

I just want to point out that I do like the first ActRaiser, I really do; I just cannot stand its popularity is all (but if people feel the need to praise it so that's fine, I'm okay with that; it's all on them). Also, it was the only Quintet/Enix game to be re-released outside of the SNES; first it was for a modified version for the Nintendo Super System arcade cabinets, then it got a trimmed version made available for a mobile phone, and finally it got re-released for the Wii Virtual Console in 2007. Me, personally, I'm like, "YES! We get it!!! ActRaiser is awesome! Can you give the other games a chance please???" :| "Because the truth of the matter is, the other five were never given a chance at a proper re-release" :(

Mikau94

#11

Mikau94 said:

@Luna-Harmony
When I moved to Europe all of my systems were NTSC so I had a massive step down converter that sat under my bed. I have found that adapters like this are your best friend with older games.
http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/4268/s3010025vk8.jpg
For newer consoles I just buy a different power cord that was designed to handle the higher voltage because the the newer systems are practically identical and the cords are the only things tat have changed. Unfortunately systems like the original XBOX and some Playstation consoles have the power converter built into the console which mean you have to use a converter.

Burning_Spear

#12

Burning_Spear said:

I have such a huge game backlog that I just couldn't see having to learn another language to increase that backlog.

DarkKirby

#13

DarkKirby said:

Take off the region lock Nintendo? Stop living in the freaking past!

Neither Sony or Microsoft do it anymore while you are actually stepping up your game in region locking by taking extra measures against it in the eShop!

joeb1kenobi

#14

joeb1kenobi said:

haha! i remember clipping the tabs out of my SNES so I could play SD Gundam, and pop'n TwinBee and propping my PS disc cover up with a stick so I could play goemon.

retro_player_22

#15

retro_player_22 said:

Nintendo is so strict to blocking region free product, there are even some third party companies that could indeed make a software so to bypass the regional lock for example Datel's Freeloader (for Wii). I mean c'mon if customers are buying games legally, why restrict them? Sad Nintendo block those too, videogames used to be fun when stuff we buy works to our expectation, nowadays it's all restricted nonsense.

ueI

#16

ueI said:

The closest I've gotten to importing is buying a game while traveling in Europe. I don't think I will ever order a game from Japan, but I'm sure I would love some of these if they are ever localized.

boywundr

#17

boywundr said:

I used to import games and systems (handheld only) to the States, but stopped abruptly... because I took a 2 week "shopping trip" to Japan! It was place I always wanted to go before we had kids, so my wife gave in to the whining. I can remember my first day in Tokyo and the childlike amazement I experienced (at 33!). I researched the great places to go (Super Potato!) and had a hard time not spending all my "allowance" in one day - a Famicom, N64, tons of games for each. I had to buy 2 new suitcases to come home... I'm not kidding.

Since then, I want to buy more, but there's a something lost in buying it online compared to the adventure I was lucky enough to enjoy. I'm going back, and I know I'll repeat the process of over indulging in my favorite hobby... it's just when and how to afford 4 people this time without cutting in to my game budget!

vicviper

#19

vicviper said:

Coming from England, I really didn't see a choice but to import games back in 1991, when I was 13 years old and desperate to play games, that were as close as possible to the arcade quality and for those ultra quality games (especially on the SNES and PC Engine) that I just couldn't wait for a PAL release.

I also wanted to own them before my peers, as did they! Playground boasting was an essential part of gaming then! I still remember playing games like Splatterhouse, Lords of Thunder, Bonk's Adventure (PC Engine) and being blown away! Final Fantasy and Secret of Mana on the SNES were truly revolutionary back in their early '90's. I used to get a lot of my games from the USA back then and only a few from Japan.
Without 'grey import' shops, I'd have missed out back in the day. I felt like they were providing an essential service!
I never import modern games though, it's not quite as relevant-for a plethora of reasons- in this day and age.

JuanitoShet

#20

JuanitoShet said:

@Yorumi Do it, you won't regret it! I'm taking a Japanese course at the moment (just got done with the first, actually) and I'm only learning it out of the desire to be trilingual. But being able to read content from imported games is also one of those big personal bonuses. ;)

Honestly though, Japanese is a lot of fun. At least, up until you get to learing the Kanji - I've only seen a small handful of the thousands that are used, but it's a challenge to be had for sure. :)

vicviper

#21

vicviper said:

@boywundr
I'm off to Tokyo in the summer, for my honeymoon mate. Can't wait! I'm looking even more forward after reading your message: it's the main reason I want to go there!

boywundr

#23

boywundr said:

@vicviper
That is fantastic! Have a great time and congratulations!!! :D

I'm a huge fan of baseball, so I went to a Yomiuri Giants game. The atmosphere there was nothing like American baseball, in a fantastic way - massive banners, designated cheering sections, people running around with kegs on their back to sell you "beverages"!!!. There was a man that worked in the hotel I stayed at that was a huge fan of baseball as well and loved to talk to me about MLB, every day! The point is, the people are great and are welcoming, from my experience. That's really the biggest reason for me to go back. :)

Be prepared, though... I liken the experience of stepping off the train in Akihabara to Stendhal syndrome <--- Google it. :P HAHA!

unrandomsam

#24

unrandomsam said:

X68000/Saturn/PC Engine are the ones where it is Japanese or nothing.

I am hoping Datel manages to break the region lock using that museum game.

Barbiegurl777

#25

Barbiegurl777 said:

I've only imported games from the UK in past for my DS my two favorites I imported are:

Real Stories Babies - DS (French Version) Actually from France. :D
Baby Life - DS

I actually had to import real stories babies ds I bought the game based on the french screenshots for the ENGLISH version:

Nursery Mania - DS <-- Do not buy this game unless your looking for a demo of the real game. I bought the english version first & loved it but was puzzled by certain thing's like the back cover of the game saying you can unlock clothes, toy's, etc. Which is a lie in the english version because you can't also when the game end's it show's all ten set's of parents & there babies when the ENGLISH version only let's you play with ONE baby in the game.

I was very insulted by the english version because of how much content was left out of the game. :(

Real Stories Babies - DS is the real deal & let's you actually unlock clothes, toys, etc & you get to play with the ALL TEN babies in the game which is what I wanted to do in the first place in the game.

Save your money on the english version & get the french version. It's well worth it if your into video games that have babies in them. :)

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

SMEXIZELDAMAN

#26

SMEXIZELDAMAN said:

There are enough games to play in English. Why would you get even more?! That is like flushing your life down the toilet! Although the option for Japanese text is always fun to practice with.

Falchion

#27

Falchion said:

I am interested in snes rpgs like dragon quests and shin megami tensei, but i am not gonna learn a new langauge for it. O well i am already super backlogged...

CureDolly

#28

CureDolly said:

My only console is my Japanese 3DS so I can't actually play non-"import" games!

I recently played For the Frog the Bell Tolls, mentioned in this article. It is a funny, quirky game. I like it a lot. I will be playing Puzzle and Dragons Z when I get it for Christmas. I played the lengthy Japanese demo and it is fine - by the way a lot of Japanese games have furigana these days - Animal Crossing New Leaf and Zelda a Link between worlds both have them. So does Puzzle and Dragons Z. So you don't need to know all those kanji, but it helps you to pick them up.

Pokemon X/Y has a choice to have the text in all-kana (like previous Pokemon games) or kanji and kana. No furigana, but since it is aimed at a young audience the game doesn't tend to use terribly difficult kanji.

boywundr

#29

boywundr said:

@SMEXIZELDAMAN Hmm, sort of a close minded comment. I know I love games, love to collect "non-English" games and game related toys and manage to have a beautiful family, friends (gaming and non), a full-time job (animating, no less!!!) and a whole lot more. It's not flushing one's life away, it's just a passion and hobby some of us happen to enjoy...

... but I will say, my first 3DS has been "flagged" for bathroom duty, so you may be half right. :P

sleepinglion

#30

sleepinglion said:

It's a shame so many awesome overseas titles are missed by US gamers. It's one of the few times folks should look the other way on emulation with translation patches.

DamoAdmin

#31

Damo said:

@Peach64 Contradicting opinions? Not quite.

This feature doesn't mention region locking once, and many of the games mentioned are actually on systems which also employed some kind of region locking (Super Famicom, Mega Drive, Saturn).

Saying that region locking isn't as big an issue as people make out is not the same as saying import gaming has no appeal. In fact, as the author of the piece you mention, it might surprise you to learn that I have a massive selection of import games and hardware. One of the key points raised in the original piece was that region locking has been part of gaming for decades.

Actually having to collect specific consoles to play games from certain regions is all part of the charm, in fact.

sketchturner

#32

sketchturner said:

First time I almost imported was for Sin & Punishment on N64. I wanted that game SO SO SO badly. But alas, I didn't want to mess with modding my system.
The first and only game I have ever imported was recently buying Starfy 3 on GBA. Unfortunately, I found it quite a disappointment despite all the rave reviews. Incredibly bland platformer, IMO.

ToxieDogg

#33

ToxieDogg said:

@Damo 'Actually having to collect specific consoles to play games from certain regions is all part of the charm, in fact.'

You were doing really well until that last sentence. No, it isn't 'all part of the charm', it's a needless expense.forced upon gamers, especially in the case of the 3DS as no Nintendo handhelds had region locking prior to this (and it certainly didn't cause any massive problems/expense for Nintendo or any publishers as far as I'm aware).

Interneto

#34

Interneto said:

I've never imported a game but I would love to feel the emotion of trying something brand new without having to wait months to come here (if we are lucky...).

DamoAdmin

#35

Damo said:

@ToxieDogg Speaking purely from personal experience, as a collector I've always taken a perverse sense of pride from owning Japanese systems. I had an import Mega Drive, Saturn and Dreamcast - in fact, I made a point of going Japanese with these consoles, largely because I was a bit of an import snob back then.

When you're discussing serious import gaming and collecting, most ardent collectors will opt for using region-specific hardware. Like I said, it's all part of the charm and having to go that extra mile to appreciate a wider selection of games.

SheldonRandoms

#36

SheldonRandoms said:

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (and it's sequel) changed my life forever. I really lik.......I mean, was obsessed with ELITE BEAT AGENTS (the all capitals just came out for no reason when I typed this, I guess I really was obsessed), and when I found out that there was a Japanese version, I had to import.

I also imported some Super Famicom games about a year ago. I found out that you can play them on an American SNES using a game genie (just gotta unscrew the back of it a little for the cartridge to fit, and there you go). I mostly got cheap games, but also got a few cool ones.

kepsux

#38

kepsux said:

I live in Japan and have an American 3DS I have to import games for because of region locking, does that count?

CureDolly

#39

CureDolly said:

Region locking is an unnecessary pain.

I am not an avid collector, neither do I have much money. I bought my 3DS in the region whose games I mostly play (Japan) because I am there sometimes and prefer playing Japanese games. But it just makes a lot of unnecessary difficulty.

If people want and can afford a console for each region, that is fine - but FORCING people to have one is not charming.

JaxonH

#41

JaxonH said:

I was seriously considering importing a Japanese 3DS LL with Monster Hunter 4, but what stopped me was the realization that without understanding Japanese, the game would be rendered nearly unplayable. I've seen videos of some who boldy step foot into that realm with MH4, but for me, it's hard enough keeping up with Monster Hunter's learning curve in my OWN language, much less do it with strange symbols and meaningless scribbles everywhere.

No, I just don't have it in me to attempt something of that caliber. A platformer, sure, but an RPG, especially one as complex as the MH franchise, not gonna happen. And considering most of the games I would want to import are in fact some form of RPG, I have decided against importing.

kitsunetails8

#42

kitsunetails8 said:

Aku bisa wis ngomongake Japang. Punika sababipun loro Pendhaftaran game favorit sing Jepang impor. Jeh, aku kaya sereal.
Sorry if my Japanese isn't 100% right

DualWielding

#43

DualWielding said:

One thing some people fail to understand that import gaming may be a choice for people in major markets who want to play games not available in their regions but in many countries, in Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Pacific, you are forced to import game because games are simply not available in your country at all or only at outrageous prices... and with region locking Nintendo also forces you to import games if for some reason you moved to a different region

StarDust4Ever

#44

StarDust4Ever said:

I own an A/V Famicom and I have a modest collection of Famicom carts. I also cut the tabs on my SNES to allow it to play Japanese games. This method only works on NTSC Super Nintendos btw. Mostly I collect platformers, puzzlers, shmups, and arcade type games that require little knowlege of Japanese. Some of my personal favorites are FC Devil World, Binary Land, Nuts 'n' Milk, Bombliss + Tetris 2, and SFC Parodious Da! I also have the Japanese version of Picross 3D (NDS), and the GBA Edition of SMB2j (Famicom Mini Series), as well as the GBA "artstyles" games, Sound Voyager, Obrient, and Rotohex.

ogo79

#45

ogo79 said:

ive got a few famicom/super famicom carts.
king of demons for the win suckas!

Arakune616

#46

Arakune616 said:

Just leaving a comment here to spread the word about an ongoing petition to remove region locking on the Wii U/3DS. We already have over 27K signed and will send it in to Nintendo once we have 35k so we can show them that this is what their fans really want.

Thanks for you support in advance ^^

eza

#48

eza said:

Nice article.
I was always a PC gamer until the Gamecube, so region-locking didn't exist for me back then.
I started with the DS. I stumbled across online recommendations, and eventually to the NTSC-UK 'First play' forums. The people posting there were very helpful: buying games the first day they could get hold of them and giving impressions of them from an importer's perspective.

I wouldn't bother with anything text-heavy because I don't speak Japanese.
But with games where the story isn't important, or is told mainly in pictures (like Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!) then you only really need to learn two words of written Japanese: yes and no, and the 'no' is the word that has two repeating symbols.
After a couple of times you recognise yes and no in Japanese, and then there's a little bit of trial and error. For instance, you press a button within what looks like an options screen, get asked to press yes or no. Press yes, and another yes/no box comes up, but this one's in red? Press no, because this is likely to be the 'are you really sure you want to delete your game?' prompt :-)

I think my first import was Nintendogs, from the gone, if-not-forgotten, Lik-Sang.
After Lik-Sang got closed down by a Sony lawsuit, I got my imports from Play-Asia.
I have the Japanese release of Electroplankton, with the bundled blue headphones that I've never used.
Daigasso! Band Bros I bought immediately as I'd been following the developer's video updates and thought it was the most amazing idea for a game that I had ever seen. Then the expansion song GBA cart for it and Band Bros DX.
Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! and its sequel. (I Also later bought Elite Beat Agents but the songs weren't as good as the Japanese ones).
A great crazy drumming game, which came with two plastic drumstick-style styli to use with it.
And more, too many to list (or remember).

I still play them today, though some of my older and more-played games are starting to not work well: I think over-use has worn down the contacts on the cartridge; and I don't know how I can fix them.

Nintendo released a Japanese<->English dictionary for the DS, which saved me when I was in Japan and had to ask for directions!

I bought a Japanese DSi. My experience with the DS showed me that all the really cool quirky games would get released in Japan months or years before they would come out in Europe, if they would at all.
If I had to be region-locked, then I wanted that region to be Japan. And I knew all my old DS games would work.

But then my importing was brought to an abrupt stop with the 3DS :-(

I really miss it, and have been thinking of getting a Japanese model when Nintendo do a hardware refresh of the 3DS.
However given their recent direction towards country-locking with the NNID, I'm feeling pushed towards using an "unauthorised technical modification" to enable region-free.

Shambo

#49

Shambo said:

I'm from Europe and have quite a number of NTSC games for GBA, DS and Gamecube. Even some Japanese games on all 3. But I'm really saddened by how many great looking games on 3ds and Wii U still haven't reached Europe, and some probably never will :(

LittleIrves

#50

LittleIrves said:

I'm seriously considering getting a Japanese 3DS to play Japan-only eShop/VC/demos... but i don't speak a lick of Japanese. And I'm at a point in life where I can't devote time and energy to learn. Is there a good resource or list of games that are import-friendly for non-native speakers? Like the kinds of games @eza mentions above? Thanks!

JebbyDeringer

#51

JebbyDeringer said:

I've been playing some of these fan translated SNES classics that Nintendo will never release here. Amazing games we never got to see.

MayhemStaff

#52

Mayhem said:

I've been import gaming since 1991, when a US SNES arrived to banish the blues and I never looked back. The only times I've gotten a PAL console in the 20 years since was either when having a chipped PAL console was the better option (PS2) or having the hardware fail would be very difficult to replace (Xbox 360). With simultaneous release schedules and hi-def pictures the norm now, most of the reasons to import have gone.

Except price. And with region locking mostly going (bar Nintendo's daft decision to put it on for the 3DS), then having a foreign account for digital games often makes them much cheaper. And potentially another way to also get games that may not be released in Europe.

eza

#53

eza said:

@LittleIrves hi, I couldn't find the guides that I used to refer to. NTSC-UK is no more - their domain is up for sale and their forums have switched to a different provider. Their forums are still around though, but on a different domain now.
I did find this, which is similar to the guides I used to read: http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2012/02/05/how-to-play-japanese-games-and-rule-at-it/
However, the guy writing it does sound like he's pretty good with languages. Better than I am, at least. The best I can do in Japanese is to read "Nintendo" (or "ni - n - te - n - do" - check the characters that make up their name on their .co.jp website -you'll see the "n" character repeated)
I did try to learn a bit of Japanese, especially the writing, when I spent a little time there - but it really is a script that 'if you don't use it, you'll lose it'.
(Found this with the Chinese Kanji characters and the Hiragana and Katakana)

But ignore all that - all you need to know is "yes/no", and to stay away from RPGs because they're all about the text!
(Oh and another interesting thing about Japanese: I would often ask a Japanese friend of mine to translate what my games said for me, but he would rarely be able to look at something and translate it straight off: he'd always ask me for the context first. This made me think that it would be a very very difficult language to learn properly without actually living there and being immersed in it)

Anyway, as I mentioned, NTSC-UK have moved since I last looked at the site, but their 'first play' forum is now located here: http://www.bordersdown.net/forums/102-Import-Video-Games
(oops wrong link - that's the import games forum, but go up a level and you'll see the 'first play' one)

element187

#54

element187 said:

@Peach64 those two wildly different motley fool opinions were opined by the same author.

@all those complaining about region lock, just import a Japanese 2ds if it is that important. A tiny itty bitty tiny vocal minority isn't going to get Nintendo to reverse region lock. Region lock is strictly to manage the content between regions to keep their ESRB rating in each region where they want it without drastically modifying a game to fit three regions..... You guys might not like it, but Nintendo does this strictly for their largest market, parents buying video games for their kids who make their content decisions strictly on the ratings.

Because a few thousand fans are making noise isn't going to get Nintendo to do something that might alter their biggest market... Stop complaining and import a 2ds, it's inexpensive enough, I'm thinking about doing this myself with the 2ds..... I'll probably wait for the Wii U to drop under $200 usd and import a Japanese Wii U then to get all the JRPG's that we are likely to miss.

stealth

#55

stealth said:

I love importing too. Amazing article. Other journalists need to stop ignoring us

Rune_Meister88

#56

Rune_Meister88 said:

:3 awesome!! i quite agree!! my first taste of jap import wasthe japan-exclusive shonen jump crossover ds game Jump Fiesta!! love japanese imports particularly anime-tie ins, eroge and jrpg!!

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