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Posts with tag import

Get ready to import: DSi not to reach North America until 'well into 2009'


With the Japanese market seeing the release of Nintendo's new DSi handheld later on this year, what could be stopping Nintendo from bringing the device over to North America? Localizing all of the cool software that's available on the thing? Sure, that takes time, but not that much time. So, what is it? The incredible popularity of the DS Lite, says Reggie!

The DS Lite is on track to sell 22% more units than it did last year, says Reggie. Because of the incredible demand, we won't get the DSi until "well into calendar year 2009" Our suggestion? Get ready to import!

Gallery: Nintendo DSi

Items of Import: Look Ahead! Dragon Quest V



How is Dragon Quest IV holding up for you, dear readers? Did you run out and buy yourselves a copy, and power through the game? Does the whole feel of the title scream "Classic!" or does it reek of archaic sensibilities? Perhaps you were part of the faithful minority in the great debate of RPG fandom, at the beginning of the week. Personally, as a little kid growing up in the halcyon days of the Famicom (and later, Super Famicom) era, the opening track of the Dragon Quest series is more memorable and more emotionally stirring than the Japanese national anthem.

So... You may be knee deep in Dragon Quest IV goodness right now, and enjoying its tale of many heroes and heroines. Once you come to that inevitable conclusion, what have you got to look ahead to? Why, Dragon Quest V, of course. Today in Items of Import, we'll take the opportunity of the recent release of the fourth in the series in the Western markets to see what's to look forward to in the second entry of the Zenithia trilogy.



Continue reading Items of Import: Look Ahead! Dragon Quest V

Items of Import: Let's RPG - More Words To Learn!



So you've mastered a variety of words to get your import RPG on. You've managed to attack some nefarious evil-doers; cast some magic to heal your party; perhaps you've even worn some new equipment. On top of all that, you were able to save your precious progress!

"Hey, I can do this! Easy peasy Japanesey!" I hear you say. Oh, young grasshopper -- you have much to learn. To be precise, you've another five new words to master. By nature, RPGs are undoubtedly the most text-heavy of all game genres. With its epic narrative detailing a world and its characters, and a menu screen chock full of words describing important stats and what-have-you, there are rarely moments in an RPG one does not look at text.

The challenge of an imported RPG of course comes from the fact that these thousands, if not millions, of words are in Japanese. BUT! Yes, there's a "but." For us as gamers, overcoming challenge is in our blood! And oftentimes, we are used to RPGs in English, so that even in Japanese, we sort of "get it," you know? Nevertheless, knowing what's what for sure always helps, and Items of Import is here for you once again to expand your Japanese RPG vocabulary.

Continue reading Items of Import: Let's RPG - More Words To Learn!

Items of Import: Let's RPG - More Words To Learn! part 2

3. Ability

Your regular sword slashes and fire magic just ain't cutting it for this fight. Or maybe you just want to pickpocket some gold from the creature in front of you, all stealth-like. Perhaps that jump attack your dragoon knight has will just turn the tide of the battle.

That there above, readers, isn't a blogger's typical spelling error. In J-RPGs, our English word "ability" is morphed into abiriti, a friendlier pronunciation for Japanese tongues. And as I've mentioned in the past, the script for the word is in katakana, specifically designed for foreign words.

Always with this word, you will find that selecting it will take you to a secondary screen, with even more weird and wonderful Japanese words. All this blogger can tell you is: Good luck! With any imported title, part of the fun is figuring things out by trial and error -- it's not the end of the world if your Level 56 Hero of Awesomeness dies in battle because you don't have a clue what to do. Experiment! Click away on all the crazy Japanese words. You'll get there!

4. Experience

For an RPG fanatic, seeing your characters grow and become stronger is nothing short of satisfying. You remember those times when he was just a wee boy, wielding a short sword at Level 5. Look at him now! A grown man, all chiseled and weary, holding a great big battle axe. I remember when you came home crying -- all you had on was some simple leather attire, and all the kids at school wore shiny mithril. And, uh, that's enough of my dreams of being the good wife in the small and peaceful village of Dresnia.

We all know and love experience points. As gamers, we are always on the lookout for when our heroes will go up a level. We want it in chart form. So to sate your appetite for leveling up in a Japanese language RPG, behold the text image above. As I repeatedly point out (to the annoyance of the readers possibly!), the first script is the more complicated kanji form. You will tend to find fairly equal amounts of both variants. Often, it will be between some other words. In this case, the phrase can more than likely be translated as "Experience points needed for next level."

5. Load

In our last lesson with RPGs, we came across the Japanese for "save." Sometimes, however, your progress in the game is halted by some horrible mistake you made on the way. Lucky for you, you had an alternate save slot of an earlier time in the game. Call it "gamer's premonition," if you will. But where is that all important "load" button!?

Oh, yes, it's right there on the, uh, right. How convenient of this newfangled column! In Japanese, "load" is fairly similarly pronounced like the English, except for the extended ending. We're sure you will find this word useful to recognize in-game, when you simply get stuck on something.

Closing Off



So now you're equipped with a good variety of Japanese words in a typical RPG to recognize and press away. It still takes months of keike--, I mean, experience, to completely enjoy an imported title. A lot of people will, of course, want to understand the epic story being told (Note to self: Get to writing a "common narrative words in a Japanese RPG" column one day!). Oh, and by the by, a little something called Blue Dragon Plus was released today in Japan. It's time for me, and you, to place an order after posting this! Good luck, and keep persevering! Or as they say in the Land of the Rising Sun, ganbatte!


Items of Import is a fortnightly column dedicated to titles only out in Japan. With in-depth impressions of games long before localization and knowledgeable language how-tos, it attempts to bridge the gap between the import savvy and import fearing. Come on, now! You, too, can make that giant leap! Yokoso!


Items of Import: Sigma Harmonics preview



So there are those certain types of games that deserve an immediate import -- the language barrier isn't too steep, and the gameplay is universally appealing. A lot of titles, however, require a good ability in Japanese to navigate. But a part of the appeal of this column is not simply being an "importer's guide" on what's easy and import-able, but also to expand upon our readers knowledge of upcoming games out of Japan that may or may not see an overseas release. Said games may be the triplest of A's; or in other cases, it could be an ultra quirk-fest of a game that has no chance of sailing across to the Western shores.

With that in mind, today's Items of Import looks at Sigma Harmonics, a "mystery RPG" developed in-house at Square Enix. Having just released in Japan, this is a title that deserves more of our attention since an original IP from the publisher has been a long time coming. The official website for the game is loaded with content right now, and we can learn much from reading and translating it.

Gallery: Sigma Harmonics




Continue reading Items of Import: Sigma Harmonics preview

Items of Import: Let's Enroleplaying Games!



After a lot of deliberation, Joe Player finally decided to try importing a game from Japan. It was nerve-wracking, clicking through to an online retailer and perusing the list of unusual titles. With fingers poised above the keyboard, he hesitated -- would his credit card information be safe? Should he choose express post? How long would delivery take?

He was worried -- did he make the right choice? Was his Japanese sufficient to play the game? He'd learned hiragana in classes, and picked up some ninja phrases from fansubbed episodes of Naruto. Would it be enough? He would soon find out.

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Items of Import, a new weekly feature that will make you feel a little less worried about your import choices. Sometimes playing a game in Japanese can seem like a daunting task. But make no mistake: Items of Import is here to nurture you, guide you, and teach you the ways of Japanese games. Keep checking this space for your dose of import impressions and language lessons.


DS Fanswag: Space Invaders Extreme, Arkanoid, and a paddle to play 'em with


We've got an ultimate game pack up for grabs with this latest DS Fanswag! One lucky reader is going to walk away with Space Invaders Extreme ($19.99), Arkanoid DS ($19.99), and an import paddle controller (in white; $29.99), and all for the low, low price of a comment.

What do you need to do to win? Well, since it's almost time for E3, tell us what you hope will be announced at the show! You may enter once per day and the contest will run through Sunday, July 13th; that night, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, entries will close, and we'll choose one winner in a random drawing. To enter, you must be 18 or older, and a current legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). Have questions? Check the official rules.

Japanese commercial get: Ecoris

It's no secret that we're very interested in Ecoris. With Wi-Fi compatibility included, plus the RTS theme, this game is quickly becoming the recipe for excellence. Even the game's big, spiky protagonist, Dorian, looks like the kind of main character we want in our games: completely ridiculous.

The latest Japanese commercial, which is embedded past the break, shows most of what we said. Keep in mind though that, like all Japanese commercials, the video is a bit shorter than what you're used to.

Continue reading Japanese commercial get: Ecoris

New videos for SD Gundam G Generation: Cross Drive

It's highly unlikely that SD Gundam G Generation Cross Drive will ever make it to the states; obtaining rights for 500+ characters spanning over a dozen different series, most of which having never made it out of Japan, would be a nightmare. Still, we like to keep up to date with the SRPG on the off-chance that a North American publisher might take a risk and pick it up, much like Atlus did with Super Robot Taisen Original Generations 1 & 2 for the GBA.

Bandai Namco has updated Cross Drive's official site with a two-minute-and-a-half trailer and a new commercial, advertising its August 9th's release. If you're at all interested in the title, or if you just have a bizarre fetish for chibi mobile suits, make sure to check both of the clips out!

See also: Mobile Suit DS Lite

More Archaic Sealed Heat scans turn up


While we burn for new info on Archaic Sealed Heat, we'll happily take these enormous scans, even if they're mostly filled with images we've seen before. You know what else we want to hear about? Companies jockeying for the chance to localize this bad boy. Between the amazing top-screen FMVs and our love for all types of RPGs, we're going to need to see this one head outside Japan within a year of release. We're willing to wait -- but don't make us wait forever.

Hit the jump for the scans, all of which are clickable for hi-res versions. And we're not kidding when we say that the bigger versions are big.

Continue reading More Archaic Sealed Heat scans turn up

Insect Wars preorder papercraft

Now that Kanji Dragon's release is behind us, it's time for us to set our sights on the next Success Corp. release that we plan to obsess over: Insect Wars (Konchuu Wars). The latest update on the tactical RPG's site shows off a papercraft model of a horned beetle -- just one of the dozens of customizable units in your army of mechanized bugs -- equipped with an intimidating cannon on its back. This will presumably be offered as a limited gift to gamers who preorder Insect Wars in Japan. Scurry past the post break for a better look at the paper replica.

Continue reading Insect Wars preorder papercraft

Insect Wars is the bee's knees

We shooed Insect Wars (Konchuu Wars) away when the game's beetle-filled screenshots first flew into our periphery, believing the bug to be an uninspired pest. "Go away," we said, "and bother us no more." In our defense, language barriers kept us from understanding what the Success Corp. title was trying to communicate with its antennae and movement patterns.

Having studied its habits, we found that the game isn't a Mushiking clone as we'd originally assumed, but a tactical RPG where you command an army of customizable, mechanized insects. Our mouths were agape, monocles falling from our faces when the truth was revealed. Below is a sampling of Insect Wars' creepy crawlers:
  • a rifle-mounted praying mantis with buzzsaws -- my god, buzzsaws! -- for arms
  • a lightning bug that terrorizes foes with its beam cannon tail
  • a heavily-armored, treaded snail (pictured above) which acts as a transport for other units while healing them
Not since Puzzle Quest have our loins ached for such a game. Insect Wars swarms into Japanese stores this August 2nd. Head past the post break for a minute-long trailer.

Continue reading Insect Wars is the bee's knees

Friday Video: Fast as lightning

Since we talked a little about import games here this morning, showing off a trailer for a game often mentioned in the same breath as "if only" seemed appropriate for our video spotlight. If you're one of the four people around who isn't familiar with Jump Ultimate Stars, let us enlighten you. Jump Ultimate Stars is a fighting game packed with hundreds of manga characters. Yes, hundreds, from dozens of series ... and it also happens to be a great fighting game on the DS. Check out one of the trailers for the game after the jump.

Continue reading Friday Video: Fast as lightning

New details on Ecoris



The more we learn about Ecoris, the eco-centric RTS, the more we're planning to riot if the game doesn't get an English-language release. Get Atlus on the project right now!

The latest updates on Ecoris focus on the beginning of the game, and there are some new details on online play as well. As the story opens, our fruity hero, Durian (sometimes Dorian in non-Japanese articles) begins to notice that not all is well in the forest. Development and pollution are destroying the ecosystem. He's not alone in his observations; the squirrels have noticed the same thing. On their own, the forest creatures are too weak to fight back ... but if they team up, anything is possible.

Some other interesting facts about the game: apparently, there's a level-creation mode (we can only guess this comes in as you start to rebuild the forest), and once created, you can utilize those new stages in online battles. Our translation here may be a little rough, but it also seems as though Durian can either summon some sort of ancestral spirit, or take on its form, and you will need that power to pass certain sections.

Ecoris is sounding more fascinating every day. For those gamers for whom the language barrier isn't a barrier at all, this one is looking like it may just be a must-import title.

DS Lite cover is TOTALLY METAL



If you're looking for a matte black look for your DS, look no further. Replacement cases are way better than DIY solutions, at least in this instance. This sleek aluminum shell is, frankly, pretty hot, especially with all that white peeking through. And hey -- just in case you harbored a secret desire to replace your soccer ball with a DS Lite one afternoon, this may be just the thing you need. Because it's metal.

The black aluminum shell sells for ¥2,520, or a little more than $20.

[Via Famitsu]

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