Saturday, January 31, 2009

Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XIII team up!

Sneak a peek at Final Fantasy XIII through Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete!

Guess what is available for pre-order in Japan right now!

Final Fantasy VII on Blu-ray!

And guess what else?

It comes with a playable demo of Final Fantasy XIII for the PS3!

That is epic. Period.

It is very import friendly as well. The movie itself has an English audio option, although the default is Japanese (Hey, it is a Japanese movie!). Furthermore, since Japan and the U.S.A. are in the same "region" as far as Blu-Ray movies are concerned, this will play in any American Blu-ray player. And since PS3 games are region free, the demo will play just fine in an American PS3.

There is a catch or two, though. The demo itself IS in Japanese with no English options. Furthermore, only the FIRST printing of the Blu-Ray will have the demo, so you'll have to pre-order it as soon as possible to get the demo. Also, if you want the movie but don't care about the demo, the movie can be bought without the demo for a little bit cheaper.

Buy the movie with the demo HERE

Buy the movie without the demo HERE

Have fun playing! And watching!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Interesting Import Only Game #2: Pop'n Music

Pop'n Music series for the PS2, PS1, Dreamcast, and others

Today's game is called Pop'n Music. It's a series that has a total of 20 versions in the arcade (1 through 17, plus Animelo, Animelo 2, and Mickey Tunes). Home versions have been released for Animelo, Mickey Tunes, and versions 1 through 14, plus a Best Hits version. Versions 7 and newer are on the PS2, the preferred console for these games.

This is a rhythm game (like Guitar Hero or DDR), except that it is played by hitting 9 big, round buttons with the palms of your hands, assuming you use the Arcade Style Controller (ASC) instead of the smaller Pop'n Mini controller (both shown below).

Popn ASC vs Home Controller
(Custom made ASC; image pulled from

The interesting thing in Pop'n Music (and in many other Japanese-only rhythm games) is that pressing a button always makes a sound that is in the song. Pressing the wrong button will make it play the song incorrectly, while pressing the correct button too late or too early will make the correct note play too late or too early, respectively.

Also, Japanese rhythm games tend to be harder than American ones. Example:

Don't let that scare you away, though! The songs don't start off nearly that hard. Here is one that's still a little harder than the beginning songs:

As you can see, it essentially amounts to musical Whack-a-Mole! It is truly great fun, although it is admittedly expensive to get the full size controller.

More information about the Pop'n Music series can be found by clicking HERE

The most recent version of the game can be purchased HERE

The official arcade style controller is hard to find and generally costs around $500. You can check eBay for it. The official Pop'n Mini controller will generally cost you around $50, but again, it's a little hard to find. An excellent alternative to purchasing the official ASC is to purchase a home-built one from, or other similar places. You might be able to find one of those on eBay as well.

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Interesting Import Only Game #1: Namco X Capcom

Namco X Capcom for the PS2

Time for the first ever "Interesting Import Only Game" post!

The game for today is called Namco X Capcom (pronounced Namco Cross Capcom) for the Playstation 2.

Namco X Capcom Boxart
(Box art)

Ever wanted to see Heihachi Mishima from the Tekken series face off against Akuma from the Street Fighter series in a tactical battle? Or how about KOS-MOS from Xenosaga versus Rockman Juno (Megaman Juno) from Rockman Dash? Well, these and many more can happen in the tactical RPG, Namco X Capcom!

There are over 100 characters, nearly all of which are from a variety of different Capcom and Namco games. The four previously mentioned games only scratch the surface. There are also appearances from Resident Evil (or Biohazard in Japan), Ghosts 'n Goblins, Soul Calibur, Darkstalkers, Klonoa Heroes, Rival Schools, and many more!

Two completely new characters lead the way through the story as all the universes that these games belong in start to crash together. Characters from other games start appearing, and they don't know why they are where they are! As you progress through the game, you get to find out what's really going on while getting to play as many of your favorite characters. There is nothing like it in the U.S.A.!

The only problem with it for English speakers is that everything is completely in Japanese. Since it's story based and has complex menues, a basic knowledge of Japanese (or a willingness to experiment a lot) is required to enjoy this game.

I have personally been unable to finish it as it is normally a 70-100 hour game, and it takes even longer for me since I have to spend time translating sections of it to understand it. My Japanese isn't yet good enough to not use my electronic dictionary (which will be featured as a Interesting Import Only Game later, as it is for the DS).

Here's a clip of the gameplay to let you see what it's like. It goes from a grid format typical of strategic RPGs to psuedo-real-time, one-sided battles where the player either only attacks or only blocks. This video shows the attacking part (which is much more fun XD)

You can find out more information about Namco X Capcom by clicking HERE

You can buy Namco X Capcom (The Best version) right now by clicking HERE

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Just starting!

Here is the beginning of what is sure to be an epic site about all things imported from Japan, especially video games. This may be wishful thinking, but I will try to take it as far as I can, and I will see where it goes.

In short, the blog will focus on video games, but other areas of imported Japan items may be mentioned from time to time.

Please check back often for updates, which should be at least a few times a week, depending on the time I have available to me.

Have fun playing!
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