Archive for January, 2010

Adventures in Japanese Games 3 – Cordelia VS.Cordelia?

January 24, 2010 - 11:57 am 25 Comments
BohepansTheThird asked:

In this third installment of the series (which seems to only have Paneru de Pon in it so far…oh well.), Cordelia faces her worst enemy yet: Herself?! Official title that’s once again too long for YouTube: Adventures In Japanese Games – Paneru de Pon’s Cordelia Starring in…”Paneru de Pon: Clone Wars?!” With a special surprise waiting at the end! …Are you still reading this? Stop! Watch the damn video already! O_O! I swear, some people… *mumble, grumble…* NOTE: Okay, so I used Divine …

The way imports are made to be played – Rocket Japanese!

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Get ready to assemble your team and fight for the lost!

January 23, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

Set Your DVRs and Bookmark Your Favorite Websites…

BioWare Is Set to Release an Explosive Mass Effect 2 Launch Trailer

Mass Effect 2, the best videogame of 2010, is only five days away. And to whet your appetites, BioWare is releasing the game’s official launch trailer – two spectacular minutes of explosive gameplay, erupting with action, intensity and relentless emotion. It’s a small, but powerful glimpse of the epic Mass Effect 2 universe. Prepare for sensory overload!

Critics worldwide are raving about Mass Effect 2. X360 Magazine and gamesTM in the UK have given the game a perfect 10/10, and the game has been stamped with editor’s choice awards from Official Xbox Magazine and PC Gamer in the U.S.

Download the trailer at Launch Trailer/

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Mass Effect 2 is an emotionally charged shooter/RPG set in a vast science-fiction universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players will once again step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, commanding a crew of some of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a challenging and potentially suicidal mission. Featuring intense action, a rich futuristic storyline, space exploration and emotionally engaging character interaction, Mass Effect 2 delivers an unparalleled cinematic experience for games. Mass Effect 2 will be available on the Xbox 360 and PC on January 26th in North America and on January 29th in Europe.

For more information, please visit

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Important Importables Review: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 (Koei Selection) for PSP

January 23, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports Review: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 (Koei Selection) for PSP

Section: Reviews, Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, PSP, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Role-Playing, Sim

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Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 PSP box art

Title: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 (Note: Play-Asia lists it as Harukanaru Jikuu no Uchi de 2.)
Price: $19.90
System(s): PSP (also available for PS2)
Release Date: November 9, 2006
Publisher (Developer): Koei (Koei)
ESRB Rating:N/A, Cero B for Ages 12+
Pros: Lots of mini-games, quite a few locations to visit, lots of different characters, voice acting, watercolor art style, fairly easy to build relationships and improve your character’s stats.
Cons: Battles and mini-games are, for the most part, exceptionally easy. Mini-games get annoying after a while. Looks a lot like Harukanaru Toki no Naka de.
Overall Score: 7/10

Koei’s Neoromance line is quite popular in Japan. Rather than referring to one series, it refers to multiple series, Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, La Corda d’Oro and Angelique which are designed to appeal to female gamers. All Neoromance games have some sort of RPG, simulation or strategy element to them, combined with dating simulation and relationship building elements. Harukanaru Toki no Naka de is designed to appeal to female gamers with an interest in Japanese history. Harukanaru Toki no Naka de is the second entry in the series, and has appeared on Windows PCs, the PlayStation 2 and finally the PSP.

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de

Back to the past

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 starts in a manner similar to the original Harukanaru Toki no Naka de. Like Akane, Karin is from modern Japan. (You can change her name.) She is summoned to the past, specifically a region called Kyo in the Heian period. There is a split in government over who should be the emperor, the current emperor or the last emperor. There are also all kinds of demons and monsters appearing around Kyo.

Karin is chosen as the Ryujin no Miko and brought to the past to bring peace and order. She has eight Hachiyou guardians, who are supposed to aid and protect her. However, when she arrives in Kyo there is already a Ryujin no Miko there who has been recognized and approved by the last emperor, and all of her Hachiyou initially reject her. So, as Karin, you must win the trust of the Hachiyou, dispel the monsters, bring the people together and make Kyo peaceful again. Oh, and you can also have one of the eight guardians fall in love with you along the way.

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de

An incredibly easy adventure

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 is easy. I know, it looks intimidating, what with how the dialogue boxes are displayed and what initially looks like an unusual RPG battle set up. Trust me, once you get started, it is incredibly simple to succeed.

First off, talking to other characters is very simple, even if you don’t know Japanese. That’s because next to the response choices there’s a little picture of Karin, or whatever you named the heroine. When you highlight a dialogue response, her face will change so even if you can’t exactly understand everything you’re saying, you can respond properly just based on mood. In addition to that, if you say the right thing to a character, his facial expressions change and you can generally tell based on that. Plus, dateable guys will have a little happy animation with stars in front of him showing if affection has risen or dropped.

Second, building up your stats is easy. You can just play simple little mini-games, where you help rabbits win races for example, to build up. Unfortunately, the mini-games, of which I’ve seen three – a rabbit race, a card game and one where you have to stop at dial at a certain spot, get quite repetitive and old quickly. You can visit certain locations to talk to certain people. Once you’re strong enough, you can face off against certain monsters inhabiting areas to cleanse them.

The RPG battles are fairly easy and straightforward as well. Your character is in the back, and two of the dateable Hachiyou guys are in front. Attacks are fairly standard and if you’re familiar with RPGs you’ll be fine. You can encourage your warriors, use techniques, help heal, attack, escape and also seal. You don’t control the two Hachiyou, so you don’t have all that much to worry about. You can use magic as long as your Hachiyou’s moral is high and you have cards, there’s no need to worry about levels or experience and your HP is restored after each battle.

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de

Best for beginning gamers and those interested in period games

It seemed like, with Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2, Koei wanted to give fans more of the same. Both games are set in the Heian period, most of the characters in the sequel look similar to the ones in the previous game, the battle system is identical and many of the voice actors even return to voice characters in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 that look like characters from Hakukanaru Toki no Naka de. The story is different, but its so similar that it may actually annoying and discourage people who played Hakukanaru Toki no Naka de from playing Hakukanaru Toki no Naka de 2.

Personally, I just couldn’t get into it. It’s odd, because I enjoyed the little bit of Hakukanaru Toki no Naka de I tried. I think part of it is because it is so similar to the first time, and another part is that I’m not a big fan of period Japanese dramas, games, stories or tv series. So playing a game that shares so much in common with the previous entry really made it difficult for me to enjoy it. That isn’t to say that Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 is a bad game. It’s just that the setting and similarity to the previous game may limit its appeal to certain gamers. It’s my least favorite of the three PSP Koei Neoromance games I’ve had the opportunity to finish.

On the plus side, if you want to try one of Koei’s Neoromance games, Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 for the PSP is a great place to start. It’s cheap, since it’s available in a best price version for under $20, it’s easy to play even if you have trouble reading Japanese and there’s quite a large fan community for the series. Plus, since you’ll likely have not experienced the first Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, you won’t experience the same feeling of deja vu and be able to appreciate Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 for its own merits.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports reviews the Final Fantasy Vocal Collection Vol. 1: Pray CD.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports looked at six highly anticipated games due out in Japan in 2010.

Read [Japanese Lifestyle] Also Read [] Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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Jersey Shore: Super Mario Bros

January 21, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

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Yakuza 4 Flask

January 21, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

Pre-orders are open at Sega of Japan:

If we can import it you can bet we’ll be posting impressions!

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Super Mario Trend

January 21, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

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Important Importables: Import games to watch out for in 2010

January 17, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Import games to watch out for in 2010

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Consoles, PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox-360, Handhelds, DS, PSP, Genres, 2D, 3D, Action, Adventure, Shooter, Role-Playing, Sim

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Espgaluda II Black Label

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means that there are hundreds of new games waiting to entertain us. 2010 has only just begun, but hype has already started to surround some forthcoming releases that have already been announced.

Today’s Hot Japanese Imports is going to take a brief look at some of these forthcoming games. One upcoming Japanese game from each of the six major consoles has been chosen to be highlighted. Maybe they’ll one day be released outside of Japan, maybe we’ll never get to see them unless you import them. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to look.

Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 3rd Story (DS)

It’s been a few years, but a brand new Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side game is in the works. Previously, all new entries in the Girl’s Side series have debuted on the PS2, but Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 3rd Story is a DS game. Not much is known about the game at the moment, other than it is set seven years after the very first Girl’s Side game, will feature the skinship system and will once again follow the main character through three years of high school. Three dateable male characters have been announced so far, the idol character Ruka Sakurai, the jock Arashi Fujiyama and the studious Tamao Konno. If the last character’s name sounds familiar, it is because he is the younger brother of Tamami Konno, a possible rival/friend character from the first Girl’s Side game.

Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 3rd Story is currently scheduled to debut sometime in 2010. Since the DS is region-free, you’ll be able to import it and play to your heart’s content. There’s probably no chance of it being released outside of Japan, so plan on importing it if you want it.

Summon Night Granthese

Summon Night Granthese (PS2)

Summon Night Granthese is notable for two reasons. First, it could possibly be last RPG for PS2. Second, it is an action RPG, while most Summon Night games are either strategic RPGs or standard turn-based RPGs. It will contain some series staples though! You can play as either the close range fighter Lost or long range shooter Millet. Also, the whole summon aspect is kept intact, as both characters have summoning abilities.

Summon Night Granthese is currently scheduled to make its debut this spring. The PS2 is not region-free, so don’t order a Japanese copy unless you own a Japanese PS2. Localization chances seem slim, since the PS2 is pretty much dead over here. If any US company was going to release it though, it’d probably be Atlus.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII (PS3)

Final Fantasy Versus XIII is part of the trio of games set in the Final Fantasy XIII world. (Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII are the other two.) Very little information about it has been revealed, other than the hero will be Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir and ruler of the Caelum Dynasty and protector of the Crystals and another prominent character will be Stella Nox Fleuret, princess of Tenebrae, whose family is an enemy of the Caelum Dynasty.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII still doesn’t have a definite release date, though it did appear in a Jump Festa 2010 trailer in Japan. When it does eventually come out, you could always import the Japanese version since the PS3 is region-free. A worldwide release is pretty much guaranteed though, so I’d say stay patient rather than import.

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP)

Okay, technically Birth By Sleep is already out in Japan, but since it’s only been out about a week it can still qualify for the list. The PSP entry in the Kingdom Hearts series is an action RPG, like all the others. It stars Terra, Aqua and Ventus, three keyblade users, and is set before all of the other games in the series. Instead of following all three as they journey together, you follow each character on their individual journey to find Master Xehanort and Vanitus, and prevent the spred of the unversed.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep made its Japanese debut on January 9, 2010. If you decide to import it, expect to pay between $55-$64 dollars for it. It will be receiving a worldwide release eventually, but if you can’t wait you could import it. The PSP is region-free, after all, so you’d be able to play it on your system.

Espgaluda II Black Label (Xbox 360)

Espgaluda II Black Label is the home version of the arcade shoot’em up Espgaluda II, and the sequel to Espgaluda. You pick one of three characters, Ageha, Asagi and Ceceri, each with their own specialties, and shoot your way through the levels. There are new game modes added in for beginners and returning fans of the series, so players of all skill levels will be able to play and enjoy the game.

Espgaluda II Black Label will be out February 25, 2010. There’s no word yet if it will be a region-free release, as some Japanese Xbox 360 games can be played on US consoles. The game is going to cost between $69-75 dollars, if you decide to import it. It probably won’t receive a worldwide release, so if you love bullet-hell style games, think about importing it.

Zangeki no Reginleiv

Zangeki no Reginleiv Wii (Wii)

Zangeki no Reginleiv is a new game from Nintendo that’s basically a hack and slash based on Norse mythology. You are a young god who joins a guild of other gods to face off against gigantic, monsterous creatures bent on pure destruction. You can choose which equipment suits you best, then head off to attack enemies. You’ll be able to tear apart enemies with said weapons, either alone or with friends thanks to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support.

Zangeki no Reginleiv comes out in Japan on February 11, 2010. The Wii is not region-free, so you’ll only get to play Zangeki no Reginleiv if you own a Japanese Wii or it’s released by Nintendo in North America. If you do import it, expect to pay $65-70. As for an international release, it’s too early to tell. Nintendo’s been surprising fans lately, releasing games like Starfy, Style Savvy and Heracles outside of Japan. So it could one day get a US release.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports reviews Harukanaru Jikuu no Uchi de 2 for the PSP.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports listed 10 of the top PSP imports from 2009.

Read [Japanese Lifestyle] Also Read [] Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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Crazy Japanese Wii games

January 15, 2010 - 12:48 pm 25 Comments
MaverickStrife asked:

I look at some of the stranger Japanese games, including cooking and Tim Allen simulations … wii nintendo maverickuk peter bridger

No Idea what’s being said? – Grab Rocket Japanese!

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Project Natal Innovation Journey

January 9, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

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Important Importables: Top 5 import PSP games of 2009

January 9, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Top 5 import PSP games of 2009

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Handhelds, PSP, Genres, 2D, 3D, Music, Role-Playing, Sim

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Hope 2010 is going well for all of you so far! This week we’re looking back at 2009 again. Last week, we went through the top five DS games released in 2009 and this week we’re doing the same thing, only with PSP games.

So sit down, relax, and check out Hot Japanese Imports’ top five PSP games released in 2009. You may even discover a game that you missed, and wished you hadn’t. Of course, that may not be such a bad thing. By now, a game you missed when it first came out could be rereleased as a Best title at a better price!

Idolmaster SP Missing Moon

Idolm@ster SP: Perfect Sun, Wandering Star and Missing Moon

The first Idolm@ster game to not be released on a Microsoft console! There were three games released, but all feature the same gameplay. The difference is, each game has different idols to raise and a different rival character. For example, Perfect Sun has Haruka, Makoto and Yayoi as idols and Hibiki as a rival.

Its best to think of the game as a pet simulator. Except, instead of an animal, you’re raising an idol. You must play mini-games to keep her strong in three different areas, vocals, visual appeal and dance, pick her song and outfits and then take her to auditions to try and earn her more fans and tv time.

Best versions of all three games are being released in January, 2010, so it could be a great time to pick up one of the entries and give it a try. They’re not terribly import friendly, so only get it if you have some experience reading hirigana and katakana.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva was probably one of the most unexpected successes of 2009 in Japan. It is a rhythm game starring the Vocaloid Miku Hatsune. The tracklist features some of her greatest “hits,” and players press the circle, square, triangle and X buttons in time with the music. Doing well earns you new songs, costumes (some can even make her look like other Vocaloids) and items for her room.

But it doesn’t end there. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva also allows you to create custom tracks and music videos. You can import mp3 files into the game, then create button presses and a music video starring Miku to run in the background while you play it. It’s the kind of game that never gets old.

It was so surprisingly successful that not only is a sequel planned and in the works, but Sega is also going to release a downloadable additional track pack on the PlayStation Store with extra songs.

Persona 3 Portable

Persona 3 Portable

This is a remake/port of the incredibly popular PlayStation 2 game Persona 3. (Not the Persona 3 FES edition, unfortunately.) It’s essentially the same game, a group of high school kids with the mysterious power of personas explore a dungeon called Tartarus at night to stop shadows and everyone from developing the Apathy Syndrome.

Persona 3 Portable is different, because it offers a whole new play option – for the first time in a Persona game you can choose a female lead! Also, a number of issues from Persona 3 have been fixed, like you can now control your party members in battle.

This is probably the one Japanese game everyone is hoping and praying will receive a worldwide release in 2010. Make it so Atlus!

Tales of VS

Tales of VS.

The first Tales of fighting game. It gathers together characters from multiple Tales of entries, like Luke from Tales of the Abyss or Philia from Tales of Destiny.

It’s fairly import friendly as well. There’s a lot of English text, like characters names and some other miscellaneous information. Plus, fighting games don’t really rely all that heavily on story and dialogue. It’s more about getting to see all of your favorite characters fighting in the same game.



Think of Invizimals as a PSP version of Pokemon. The gimmick is that little Invizimals creatures roam throughout our world, but you can only see them through the PSP camera. Your goal is to find them with the PSP camera, capture them, train them and battle against other Invizimals players.

Plus, if you don’t already have a PSP camera peripheral, Invizimals comes with one! Not too bad, considering you’re paying about $54.90 for the Asian version import, the same price you’d probably pay for a regular import PSP game. The European version will cost you £34.99/$55.99.

Even better, Play-Asia lists Chinese, English and Korean as the languages for the Asian version. So it could even be in your own language! Or, you could find an online site that carries the European version of the game and import that, and then know it’ll be in English.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports lists some of the most anticipated DS and PSP imports arriving in 2010.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports listed 10 of the top DS imports from 2009.

Read [Japanese Lifestyle] Also Read [] Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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