Archive for July, 2012

Japan Import: Square Enix includes Japanese and English in Final Fantasy III for PSP

July 19, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Square Enix includes Japanese and English in Final Fantasy III for PSP


Good news from Famitsu! Final Fantasy fans with a PSP who don’t already have a DS, iOS device or Android device can get Final Fantasy III even if Square Enix doesn’t decide to officially release it outside of Japan. Like a handful of other game releases from Asia, Final Fantasy III will have both Japanese and English language options.

Like the DS, iOS and Android versions, this incarnation of Final Fantasy III is an updated remake of the original NES game. It has an expanded storyline, more detailed characters, an extra dungeon, more refined character classes and of course improved graphics. There’s also an in-game gallery filled with character concept art. The only thing the PSP version is lacking that was present in the other portable ports of Final Fantasy III is touch screen controls. Which makes sense because the PSP has no touch screen.

Final Fantasy III will be out in Japan on September 20, 2012 and will cost ¥3,990. Since that’s about $50, I really wouldn’t recommend importing it. The other ports are much more affordable. Besides, with all the translation work already done there’s a good chance we’ll see this released outside Japan. Perhaps it will end up being a PlayStation Store exclusive.

If you do decide to import Final Fantasy III, you don’t really have to worry about the language option. When you pop the UMD into your PSP, it will check to see what your system’s language setting is. If it’s Japanese, the game will be in Japanese. If it’s English, you’ll be playing in English.

Read [Tales Source (Japanese)]

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Japan Import: Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition reintroduces players to Kazuma Kiryu

July 19, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition reintroduces players to Kazuma Kiryu

Here’s something from Sega I’m sure you totally didn’t expect. Brace yourself! The company is rereleasing slightly updated ports of even more of its older games. This time, the company’s focusing on a series that’s traditionally done best on Japan, Yakuza. Specifically, it’s hoping PS3 owners will want to experience the first two games again in Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition.

The Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition is exactly what it sounds like. Sega’s taking the first two PS2 games and is bringing them back to the PS3 for people who don’t have a backwards compatible system. The rereleases will have HD graphics and less loading when moving between areas, locations or events. It also will improve the phone booths so Kazuma can manage his inventory from them. The only thing it doesn’t seem to do is add trophy support. Which seems odd because Sega tends to always add that in its rereleases. Perhaps that feature just hasn’t been announced yet.

As a PS3 game, this will be import-friendly if you want it. We don’t know if it will have optional English subtitles yet, so don’t get too excited about possibly importing it. Not to mention it will be ¥5,290 (~$67) when it releases on November 1, 2012. That’s quite a bit of money to spend.

It may be smarter to be patient and wait. Perhaps Sega will decide to release Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition as a PlayStation Store download or something like that. Let’s give it a few months and see what happens.

Read [Sokuho@Hokanko (Japanese)]

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Japan Import: Fate/stay night Realta Nua coming to Vitas

July 11, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Fate/stay night Realta Nua coming to Vitas


Here’s some news that should please people who own a Vita and are fluent in Japanese. Fate/stay night, one of the biggest and most well known visual novels, is headed to the Vita. Granted, it’s just a port of the PS2 release Fate/stay night Realta Nua, but it’s still cause for celebration. I mean, it’s supposed to be a fantastic game.

Fate/stay night Realta Nua is about a two week competition for Masters and their spirit-like Servants to try and acquire the Holy Grail so they can make a wish come true. This is done via a series a massive battles, where the magi Masters have their servants fight one another until only one is left standing. The hero of the tale is Shirou, who unintentionally gets pulled into the Holy Grail War and ends up becoming the Master of Saber. Aside from trying to win the war, players can also help Shirou find love with one of three heroines.

As for changes, there aren’t very many. Touch controls are being added, of course. There will also be a new theme song and opening animation. The biggest change is the inclusion of a free download of Tobidase! Trouble Hanafude Douchuuki 2, a Fate/stay-themed Hanafuda card PSP game.

If you’re concerned about adult content, since Fate/stay night was originally an adult visual novel, you shouldn’t be. The PS2 and forthcoming Vita versions of Fate/stay night Realta Nua are both the censored versions for gamers ages 15 and up. There will be no sexual content so you’ll be able to just enjoy the really awesome story.

Since the Vita is region-free, you can go ahead and either import the Fate/stay night Realta Nua cartridge or download the game when it’s released on November 29, 2012.

Read [4Gamer.net (Japanese)]

Popularity: 3% [?]

I can’t tell if Sonic Hello Kitty is cute or creepy

July 11, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

I can’t tell if Sonic Hello Kitty is cute or creepy

I don’t know what to do with today’s news. Really, I don’t. I’m at an absolute loss.

A new Sonic x Hello Kitty cross over promotion has been announced. This happens fairly often with Hello Kitty, and usually involves Sanrio’s iconic cat dressing up as famous characters. Like for the Capcom x Sanrio cross-over, Hello Kitty appeared in Chun-Li’s outfit. In the case of Sonic x Hello Kitty, it involves Hello Kitty looking like she’s wearing a full-body Sonic the Hedgehog costume.

As crazy as it may sound, I don’t want one. I’m just staring at that image in confusion. Let’s move on with the announcement.

The collaboration was thought up in honor of the Tokyo Joypolis amusement park, which opens this weekend on July 14, 2012 in, you guessed it, Tokyo, Japan. Which means right now Sonic Hello Kitty is a Japan exclusive and you’ll have to turn to eBay or some other site to grab one for yourself. Only one size will be available and you’ll only be able to get one from the three Sega Joypolis parks scattered throughout Japan.

If you’re willing to wait a year, you can get a more affordable Sonic Hello Kitty. Sega and Sanrio are going to make her an international icon as well and she’ll be available worldwide in 2013. Perhaps there will be more than just one size plushie by then, or even other Sonic Hello Kitty character goods.

So, I know I should be looking at this mashup and cooing over how cute it is, but I can’t do it. Somehow, when it’s Sonic Hello Kitty it just feels… wrong. It’s like I’m looking at a Hello Kitty with red shoes that somehow acquired a Sonic the Hedgehog suit. I don’t want to know how she acquired said suit. Or why Hello Kitty would even want to look like Sonic. Thinking too hard about Sonic Hello Kitty while I’m in this state of mind can only lead to bad things.

Read [4Gamer.net]

Popularity: 1% [?]

Persona 4 Arena is region-locked and Atlus explains why

July 7, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

Persona 4 Arena is region-locked and Atlus explains why


If you felt a shift in the force earlier today, there’s a good reason. Atlus announced that its forthcoming fighter with Arc System Works, Persona 4 Arena, is a region-locked game. For Xbox 360 owners, this is no big deal as almost all Xbox 360 gamers are region-locked. This is a huge deal for PS3 owners as it means this will be the first region-locked PS3 game ever.

All PS3 games up until now have been region-free and the system itself is region-free. This meant people could get a system from any country, like one of those ornate PS3s that are Japan-exclusives. It also meant people from any country could import and play any game, which is important since there are many games that don’t get released outside of Japan.

Atlus is challenging the status quo. The Japanese version of Persona 4 Arena will only work on Japanese PS3s, the North American version on North American systems and so on. Which means that importing an early copy from Japan is impossible.

Personally, I think it’s ridiculous, considering the versions are all identical aside from the region-lock. Even the servers are global, meaning you’ll face people from around the world no matter which version you own.

You’re probably wondering why Atlus did this. It’s all about the money. Persona 4 Arena is being released at different price points in Japan, North America and Europe. There’s a big difference in prices. People in Europe would import from North America because it’d be cheaper for them. People in Japan and Asia may even wait and import the North American version because it’d be much cheaper for them. The game comes out July 26, 2012 in Japan, August 7, 2012 in North America and August 31, 2012 in Europe.

While Atlus’ statement on the region-locking has said this won’t be the start of a trend, I think it very well could be. It’s disappointing to see a smaller publisher, especially one that has Japan-only exclusives, supporting region-locking. Let’s hope the company keeps its word and doesn’t region-lock any of its future games.

Site [Persona 4 Arena]

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Important Importables: Wizardry

July 7, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Wizardry

Hot Japanese Imports logo

When we think of RPGs today, we think of games like Fallout, Final Fantasy, Dragon Age and a number of similar titles that have become the norm. The irony is, years ago another type of RPG was far more prevalent, the first-person dungeon crawler with turn-battles. When it came to the best of the best of that particular type, Wizardry was it. It was one of the first RPGs and even thought it may not have the flash and fanfare of other games, it still manages to draw an audience today.

Which means we’re going to talk about the past Wizardry. It seems like a good time for it, considering XSEED was hinting about perhaps localizing the second PS3 entry in the series and Wizardry Online is getting released outside of Japan.

The history of Wizardry

While most Wizardry games have to be imported now, that isn’t how the series started off. It was originally created by Sir-Tech Software, with the first game being developed by Cornell University students Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead for PCs. It was a huge success and eventually ended up being made available on 13 different platforms, among them the Mac, NES, Game Boy Color and even cell phones.

Sir-Tech continued to keep the Wizardry franchise going, releasing games up until it closed its doors in 2001. It’s final release was Wizardry 8 in 2001 for Windows.

In many cases, something like this would have ended the series completely. The thing is, Wizardry ended up becoming quite popular in Japan. It lead to various ports of most of the original games to an assortment of different consoles and handhelds. In addition, it’s lead to 24 Wizardry spin-offs made by other companies with no tie to the original Sir-Tech. Developers who just enjoyed the original games kept the series alive. While each don’t always have a story that directly relates to any of the original eight games, the races available, gameplay and general feel are consistant. Each entry allows players to create a custom party of characters to send into a dungeon. They then go through a first person dungeon crawl, sometimes solving puzzles or going through quests and always finding turn-based random battles and treasure.

In case you’re curious, games aren’t the only Wizardry-related materials anymore. It’s become so popular in Japan that there are light novels/books, manga and even animated series based on it.

Recent Wizardry releases, at home and abroad

In the last five years, the Wizardry series has been doing pretty well. It’s still quite relevant and often in the news. For example, one of Sony Online Entertainment’s E3 2012 surprises was the announcement that it would be bringing the free-to-play Wizardry Online MMO to North America. It will maintain the general feel of the series by allowing players to create a custom character and go through dungeons. It will add some new elements, like a third person view and the ability to work with or against other players, but that should be offset by the ability to still do solo runs. That, and it will retain the high difficulty level of previous Wizardry games by including a permadeath option that can cause a character to be gone for good if players aren’t cautious in the dungeons.

People yearning for the classic experience should be pleased to know that there are still more traditional Wizardry games being released. Both Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls for the PS3, Wizardry: Inochi no Kusabi (Wizardry: Wedge of Life) for the DS and Wizardry Boukyaku no Isan (Wizardry: Heritage of Oblivion) for the DS prove companies still want to make classic dungeon crawlers and people want to play them. They all came out between 2009 and 2010 and while the DS games didn’t receive an English releases, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls did. In fact, XSEED picked it up and released both the original PS3 game and it’s subsequent iOS port in North America. Both games go back to the original Wizardry routes by allowing players to create a custom party of characters, go through an incredibly difficult dungeon and fight lots of monsters. The first person dungeon-view is maintained in each and both games have pretty detailed monster and character art for the turn-based battles.

As for the future of the series, we’ll have to wait and see. XSEED did hint that it will be releasing a sequel to one of its existing games soon. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls had a sequel called Wizardry: Torawareshi Bourei no Machi (Wizardry: The Trapped Ghost Town) in Japan. Maybe we’ll get another download for our PS3s soon.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports plays through Prince Maker Braveness for Windows.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports talked about Kenka Bancho.

Follow Jenni on Twitter for more import game updates and general fangirl enthusiasm!

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Japan Import: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle bringing JoJo back

July 7, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle bringing JoJo back

Here’s some good news. Jojo’s back! Namco Bandai is releasing a new JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fighting game. If you remember it, you’re kind-of dating yourself since this is something of a classic fighting series. I mean, the last time we’ve probably seen one is when Capcom released JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure on the Dreamcast and PlayStation and brought the game to arcades. Now that Namco Bandai and CyberConnect2 are putting together JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle, we may actually have a chance of seeing it again.

The reason for the announcement is due to a new anime adaptation of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga. It’s the 25th anniversary of the series this year and the anime and this game are how it’s going to be celebrated. It’s an unusual series about the Joestar family, which all have special powers, are really strong and happen to be able to be called JoJo. For example, one “JoJo” is really Joseph Joestar, while another is Jolyne Kujo.

We really don’t know all that much about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle, aside from the fact that it’s in development and on it’s way. The only other hint at what’s to come stems from a trailer Namco Bandai’s released.

It has a cel-shaded 3D look, which is always awesome. We also get to see that the “all stars” part refers to the fact that JoJos from many different entries in the manga series will be showing up to fight.

We don’t know when JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle is going to be released. We also don’t know if it will receive a worldwide release. It’s a niche series, so it could stay trapped in Japan. Not that it matters, as the PS3 is a region-free system and anyone who really wants this fighter can always eventually import it.

Read [Famitsu (Japanese)] Site [JoJo's Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle (Japanese)]

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Monster Hunter 4 will only appear on the 3DS

July 3, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

Monster Hunter 4 will only appear on the 3DS

Every year, Capcom holds a Summer Jam event in Japan. It’s always held in the summer and is a good way to get the word out about new games outside of E3 and the Tokyo Game Show, as it means Capcom gets every fan’s attention. The 2012 Capcom Summer Jam was held this past weekend in Japan and a huge announcement came out of it. It turns out Monster Hunter 4 is in development for the 3DS! Apparently, Capcom’s decided to make Nintendo’s handheld the only system to get Monster Hunter 4.

As with all Monster Hunter games, Monster Hunter 4 will allow players to create a new hunter avatar. You’ll live in a new village which is conveniently located adjacent to some fantastic and varied hunting grounds. You’ll then be able to take missions at the local guild to hunt down certain monsters for rewards. You’ll also be able to craft your own armor and weapons from monster bits and pieces and have a felyne (cat monster-person) companion to help you out. Multiplayer wasn’t discussed or mentioned, but MonHun games always have some kind of multiplayer aspect so I’m sure it’ll be stuffed in there.

Capcom also released a Monster Hunter 4 trailer, so people can get an idea of how this new adventure is going to look on the 3DS. You know, see some of the monsters people will be hunting.

Personally, I’m just glad to see the dude in the trailer has an adorable Felyne companion asisting him. I love felynes!

Monster Hunter 4 will be released in Japan sometime in 2013, so we have a while to wait. Capcom hasn’t said anything about a North American release. Of course, the company’s yet to announce Monster Hunter 3 G, the 3DS port of Monster Hunter 3. Hopefully we’ll get one, or both, games! I mean, it’s not like we could just import them. Thanks again Nintendo, for implementing that region-lock!

For everyone who doesn’t own a 3DS, don’t take this news too hard. Capcom likes to release enhanced ports of its games. I mean, Monster Hunter 3 started out a Wii exclusive, but then Monster Hunter 3 G showed up a few years later on the 3DS. Maybe we’ll see a Monster Hunter 4 G on the Vita or perhaps a console a year or two after the original game.

Read [4Gamer.net (Japanese)] Site [Monster Hunter 4 (Japanese)]

Popularity: 1% [?]

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