Have you always wanted to play Japanese 3DS games on your North American/European 3DS, but couldn’t because of the region lock? Or lamented the fact that North America gets everything before Europe? Well never fear, because RegionThree is here!
The time has finally come… to show off my haul of video games from my recent trip to Japan! I was originally going to throw everything together in one massive post, but it turned out to be far too unwieldy (apparently I like to write a lot… who knew?), so I’ve broken it up into two: the PlayStation edition, which you’re viewing now, and a Nintendo edition, which will come later this week. Sorry for all the “hey look what I got!” posts, but what’s a Japanese entertainment blog without excessive Japanese entertainment purchases, right?
|I bought a new bookshelf specifically to hold everything I bought in Japan.
Feel free to judge
But before I begin, I’ll briefly detail my “criteria” for game purchases during my trip. I spoke briefly about my wishlist on episode 3 of Chic Pixel Plus, but I was most looking forward picking up a few GBA games to beef up my collection and a handful of random titles that are harder to find/more expensive outside of Japan. Ultimately, I was a little disappointed by the GBA game selection in Osaka (more on that in the Nintendo post), but I ended up with eight PSP games, five PS2 games, five GBA games, four PSone games, and two DS games. That’s 24 games total! Since I needed an easy way to break this up into two posts, I’ll just be going over the games I bought for PlayStation systems today.
First up are the four PlayStation one titles I picked up during my trip: Chocobo no Fushigi na Dungeon (Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon), The Vision of Escaflowne, Marriage, and Tamamayu Monogatari, better known as Jade Cocoon: Story of Tamamayu. Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon and Marriage were my two whim purchases – Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon was only $1 and I’ve been amassing a bit of a Chocobo game collection lately, whereas Marriage caught my eye because of the oh-so-descriptive title and the fact that the back of the box touts that it’s a dating sim that takes place after the protagonist has already married the girl of his dreams. Sure, sign me up!
The Vision of Escaflowne and Tamamayu Monogatari, however, are two titles that I’ve been wanting to add to my collection for quite a while. In particular, The Vision of Escaflowne is a game I’ve been pining for for a number of years now, so finding a copy in great condition was a real highlight of my many game store visits. And, while I’ve always wanted to play Jade Cocoon, I’ve been holding out for Tamamayu Monogatari due to its awesome cover art illustrated by none other than Katsuya Kondō of Kiki’s Delivery Service fame, so it’s great to finally have that, as well!
Next we have the first half of my PSP game haul. Final Fantasy Type-0, Pop’n Music Portable 2, and Gekka Ryōran Romance were all on my list, so no big surprises here. Actually, these three games were probably the ones that cost me the most, as none of them have really gone down in price. I looked for a used copy of Gekka Ryōran Romance (an otome game) for ages and finally settled on a new copy for around $50, only to find a used limited edition for about the same price the very next day!
Ao no Kiseki and Nayuta no Kiseki, however, were, without a doubt, my biggest random splurges of the trip. For those unfamiliar, they’re both part of what’s known as the The Legend of Heroes series by developer Nihon Falcom, with The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky for the PSP probably being one of the most well-known titles available in English. Well, I know next to nothing about the series aside from the fact that many of my good friends say it’s one of the best JPRG series out there, so when I saw both of these collector’s editions available for relatively cheap, I figured I’d bite. From what I understand, Nayuta no Kiseki is actually more of a spinoff that doesn’t need any prior knowledge of the series to play. Ao no Kiseki, on the other hand, is the second part of the seventh entry in the series and is preceded by Zero no Kiseki, meaning I really need to play that before diving into this one.
Above you can see two PS2 gems I grabbed – the one on the left, Love Com, is the game adaptation of one of my favorite shojo manga series. It seems like it might have some otome game elements, and for less than $5, I couldn’t pass up!
Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!!, on the other hand, is a title I’ve had my eye on for ages but never picked up. As you can probably guess from the cover, it’s an otome game, but with a twist – Love Revo puts players in the shoes of an overweight girl who wants to return to her thinner “glory days” and win the guy of her dreams. If you think that sounds rather horrible (“Lose weight and you too can get a boyfriend!”), don’t worry, I’m mainly interested in it because I’d like to see how the game handles the weight loss/relationship aspect. I don’t have high hopes, but it could prove to be an amusing train wreck. Again, at $5, I won’t consider it a major loss even if it is awful.
Next up is a little title I’ve been meaning to get my hands on for ages, Boku no Natsuyasumi 2! Well, not this title specifically, but I’ve always wanted to try a Boku no Natsuyasumi game and this is the one I ended up with. I can’t wait to give it a go!
Now these were a great deal – I managed to grab the premium boxes of both Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3: Unmei no Labyrinth and Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4 for only $10 total! As you can probably tell, they are entries in the same series, which is well known for being one of the few otome games that incorporates RPG elements. While I originally just wanted to pick up 4 due to it having more appealing character designs (to me), when I saw the HaruToki 3 premium box for only $5, I had to snag it, as well.
The unfortunate part of this story is that Unmei no Labyrinth is actually what’s usually referred to as a “gaiden” game, meaning it’s a side story (I believe in this case it takes the characters out of their fantasy world and puts them in a high school setting). I can’t very well play it if I haven’t played the original HaruToki 3! I guess that’s another game to add to my list…
Now here’s a game I wasn’t thinking would pick up at all, but I couldn’t pass it up when I saw a brand new copy of the limited edition on sale for only $3! So into the basket it went. Kanuchi Shiroki Tsubasa no Shou is, as you’ve probably guessed, another otome game. I don’t know much about it aside from the fact that it takes place in a fantasy setting and is broken into two games, with “white” being the first part and “black” being the second part. Since there are a lot of neat goodies in all these limited edition boxes, I’ll do a more in-depth posts on them in the future.
If it isn’t obvious by now, PS2 otome games are extremely cheap and in great abundance! Many of these titles also have PSP versions that generally go for $40 or more and are often only ports or have minor additional content. As such, I highly recommend folks interested in checking out otome games to look for PS2 titles… but be wary of eBay! Otome game prices seem to be hugely inflated there, so I’d suggest going through a friend who can buy second-hand titles from Japan and mail them to you or an import service that will help you buy from sellers on Amazon.co.jp or Yahoo Japan and ship internationally.
|fuzzy stegosaurus not included|
Well, that’s it for the PlayStation side of my game purchases in Japan… Stay tuned for the significantly smaller Nintendo side of things later this week!
Sorry for the radio silence over the past week! I’m back from presenting at my very first academic conference, so I can finally take a breather and return to a regular blogging schedule. I don’t want to inundate everyone with too much Animal Crossing: New Leaf (lest you think this has converted into an Animal Crossing blog), so today I’ll talk about another game that’s been on my mind: Rune Factory 4.
It went under my radar a couple weeks ago, but XSEED Games actually dropped a hint on their Facebook page that they might have picked up (or be working on obtaining) the license for Rune Factory 4. In a response to a fan inquiry, an XSEED employee wrote, “We’ve had an itch to work on another Rune Factory game since we loved Frontier so much, so let’s see if we can’t grab a back scratcher somehow…”
Natsume has brought over all of the Rune Factory games besides Frontier, but the above statement certainly makes it sounds like they don’t have exclusive rights to the series. Personally, I’m a big XSEED Games fan, so I’d be more than happy to purchase the localized Rune Factory 4 from them, but in the end I really don’t care who picks it up, as long as somebody does!
Of course, with a Japanese 3DS now in my possession, I could very easily import the Japanese version of the game, but for titles like these that are likely to come out in English I generally like to support their western releases. So how do I deal with the waiting game? As you can see from the above three examples and the title of this post, with fanart, of course!
I’m glad to see some really beautiful pieces of Japanese fanart floating around on the internet, and that so many of the characters are represented! But looking at all of this great art is just making me want the game more, if anything. Unfortunately, given the track record of Rune Factory localizations, we probably won’t see it released in English until well into next year. Good thing I have Animal Crossing: New Leaf to keep me busy! And yes, there are already Rune Factory 4/Animal Crossing crossovers in the form of fan-made clothing…
And I’m sure there’s more where that came from!
You certainly don’t start with that cute little house at the top of the page! No, instead you’re stuck in a tent until you can pay off your first loan. You can’t start working as mayor until you get a house, as well, so it’s pretty imperative to pay off that loan straight away. Luckily it doesn’t take very long at all to do so. It’s pretty quaint under the stars, though, don’t you think?
Here’s my first act as mayor – planting a tree! I love how you can see all the townspeople gathered around. Funny that I started out with not one, but two, tigers, though!
A glimpse inside Shimoyake (Egbert in English)’s house. He’s certainly into all things astronautical!
Guess what came in the mail today?
That’s right, the limited edition Animal Crossing: New Leaf 3DS LL! I’m sure those of you following me on Twitter have already heard, and others may have guessed after my hints in previous Animal Crossing: New Leaf posts, but I was dead set on preordering one of these puppies as soon as they were announced. But enough with the pleasantries. On to the pictures!
Just some shots and details of the lovely, colorful box. Please excuse any graininess in these photos… It’s times like these that make me really wish for a fancy camera!
The box is actually a lot thinner than I expected, and has an interesting matte finish on the cardboard that makes it quite nice to the touch! I should’ve put something in so you could gauge the size of the box, but I imagine it’s only about an inch and a half thick.
The Vision of Escaflowne is, without a doubt, my favorite anime of all time. Dating back to 1996, the series tells the story of a high school girl named Hitomi who is transported to the world of Gaea and finds herself an instrumental figure in war where men fight with superpowered mechs known as Guymelefs. Though the premise may sound similar to countless other anime, its beautiful soundtrack, compelling cast of characters, and mix of action with an art style and emotional depth typical to shōjo series make it, in my opinion, a true masterpiece. Not only is it rare to see an series created as an anime first and then adapted to manga (Escaflowne actually got both a shōjo and a shonen manga, which shows how diverse its viewership was), but Escaflowne was markedly more popular internationally than it was in Japan, making it somewhat of an oddity.
|Drab colors, blasé textures… Hardly fitting for one
of the most artistically-inspired anime of the 90’s!