Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tokyo Game Show 2009 PSP Games

The PSP got more love than anybody else this year, and it shows!

While I saw no more than 5 noteworthy new games on other platforms, I counted a total of 12 for the PSP! So, let's get down to it:

Valkyria Chronicles 2

The sequel to the PS3 title, Sega thought it would be better to put it on the PSP. Perhaps the third will be on the PS3 again? I'm not sure. Still, despite being on a significantly weaker platform, the graphics still look pretty nice.

The Last Ranker

Yet another new RPG, The Last Ranker finds itself on the PSP. It has the graphics to be great, but does it have the story? I suppose we'll have to find out and see.

Naruto Shippuden: Narutimate Accel 3

Naruto comes back to the PSP, and everybody loves Naruto! Well, you would think so based on the number of games he has, at least. Still, this impressive-looking-at-least-on-the-surface title might be something worth playing.

Minna No Tennis

Japanese for Everyone's Tennis, will this game live up to it's name? Not everybody likes tennis, especially in video game form, so it's hard to say.


A new entry in the LOOOOONG .hack series. If you've been keeping up with it, you'll probably want this one, too, as the story does seem fairly epic. However, if you haven't been keeping up with them, this one might be too little too late.

Echochrono (or Echoshift)

It seems as though this game can't decide what it wants to be called. At it's announcement, it was called Echochrono, but a couple days later it was changed to Echoshift. Well, either way, it's the successor to Echochrome, a unique puzzle game that challenged your perception of space. This puzzle title chooses to challenge your perception of time instead with intriguing results.

Dynasty Warriors 6

There's not really much to say about Dynasty Warriors... more of the same, but it's on the PSP this time. Good for some, boring for others. Which category do you fall into?

Disgaea Infinite

Another humorous entry in the Disgaea series appears on the PSP, and flan seems to be a central theme for some reason... Well, it seems to me that this is one of those games that you'll either love or hate.

Darius Burst

A futuristic space shooter for the PSP... because you can never have too many futuristic space shooters. Classic gaming demands this to be true!

Danball Senki

Is it an anime? Is it a video game? I can't tell anymore, but it appears that every little kid now has miniature robots they can fight with. Challenge the other kids to a mini remote controlled fight so that you may have all of the glory!

Crystal Defenders

Final Fantasy Crystal Defenders has been available on the PS3 for some time, but now you'll be able to play it on your PSP as well! Hey, it's a fun tower defense game, so why not?

Angel Senki

An MMO on a PSP? Really? Well, that's what it claims... though it seems that it's also available on the PS3 via PSN. So, a PS3 title? A PSP title? Or both? I'll have to keep an eye on this one and let you know later.

Well, that sums up the new stuff from TGS this year.

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tokyo Game Show 2009 PS3 Games

Here's one of the big 3 this year!

The DS, the PS3, and the PSP seemed to get all of the attention, with a heavy focus on the PSP, to be honest. But, here are some great new PS3 titles to look forward to.

Yakuza 4 (Ryu ga Gotoku 4)

Called Yakuza in the USA and Ryu ga Gotoku in Japan, the 3rd one hasn't even made it to our shores yet, but the 4th one was recently announced for Japan at TGS this year. Thus the reason for importing. Who knows, though there are supposedly plans to release 3 on PSN, we may never get 3 or 4 in the states.

Star Ocean: The Last Hope: International

The international version of Star Ocean: The Last Hope has been announced as a PS3 exclusive, surprisingly coming straight to the US shores, unlike previous Square Enix International Versions (Final Fantasy VII International and Final Fantasy XII International, I'm talking about you). In fact, you can even pre-order it!

Resonance of Fate (End of Eternity)

Called Resonance of Fate in the US and End of Eternity in Japan, this ambitious RPG was actually announced a few months before TGS, but they released a nice new trailer for it at TGS. It's time to meet all of the characters, and they do look pretty! (also available on Xbox 360)

Nier Replicant

The PS3 exclusive version of Square Enix's new IP, Nier. With a decidedly avant-garde style to it, it looks like an exciting title. Let's see what else Square Enix does with it, especially since there is both a PS3 exclusive version and an Xbox 360 exclusive version.

Hustler King

I almost don't want to put this one in here. A pool game? Really? Oh well, pool is still fun... I just don't see how it could beat the real thing, which is generally pretty accessible for most people, at least in the US.

Other PS3 news from TGS!

Gran Turismo 5 has a release date for Japan. It's coming March 2010, assuming that you believe that they won't delay it.

Sony has announced a limited edition Final Fantasy XIII PS3 Slim! Too bad it's pink and white:


Sony's motion controller seems to be set for a Spring 2010 release, and there will be several PS3 titles that will be re-released with motion controller functionality, mainly Resident Evil 5, PAIN, Flower, and Little Big Planet, as well as some all new titles that feature the functionality like Ape Escape, EchoChrome 2, and Tower. We'll see how good it turns out when it's released.

Next up is the behemoth PSP post, which will probably have to wait until tomorrow due to time constraints. School + work + being sick + TGS can suck away your time like nothing else.

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Tokyo Game Show 2009 Wii and Xbox 360

Wii price cut and new Xbox 360 games

Well, the only real news on the Wii is the price cut. It's dropped down to $199 now, but there were no interesting games announced for the Wii. It's unfortunate because Japan often gets a lot of cool Wii exclusives, but not this year, unfortunately.

So, onto the Xbox 360 games.

Nier Gestalt

Square Enix has decided to do something interesting with Nier. There will be Nier Gestalt for the Xbox 360, and Nier Replicant for the PS3. The main difference seems to be who you play as. For Nier Gestalt, you will be playing as a father trying to save his daughter. The style is very avant garde, and it looks like a very fun game.

Ninety Nine Nights 2

The sequel to Ninety Nine Nights has been announced. I never played the first one, to be honest, but the sequel does look like it has some potential.

Mushihimesama Futari Ver. 1.5

An odd helf-sequel, this danmaku shooter (Japanese for Curtain Fire) is a niche release from Cave for those who just can't get enough of bullets absolutely everywhere. Actually, it's already available for pre-order!

That's actually about it for the Xbox 360. Some good stuff, but since it's Japan, most of the good stuff is for the PSP and PS3, which is coming up soon!

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tokyo Game Show 2009 iPhone, Mobile, and PC Games

2 of Each, Just How Interesting Are They? You Be The Judge

First, let's start off with the iPhone.

Sliding Heroes

In this "Action Strategy" game, you control a small troop of heroes, and you guide them through dungeons by using the tilt functionality of the iPhone. You tilt, the heroes slide, thus Sliding Heroes.

Hills and Rivers Remain

A strategy title with decidedly less action than Sliding Heroes, this one focuses on castle-like junctions that are there for the purpose of defending and attacking. Not bad for the iPhone.

Next, we'll move on to games that appear on other mobile devices, meaning, most likely, they'll never appear in the USA. But, as you might notice, it's probably not too big of a loss.

Kyaba Shoppi

Choose your outfit and becoming the most beautiful girl at the restaurant so creepy guys can stare at you with creepy sparkles in their eye! ... I'm not so sure about this one...

Danball Senki

A somewhat cheezy anime-styled game where you battle tiny robots against other kids' tiny robots. The cutscenes look pretty good for a phone app, but if you're going for looks, you might want to look into the PSP version anyway.

Last, but certainly not least, the PC games.

Crash Time 3

Because crashing is fun when you don't get hurt. This game is all about the crashing, so go out, crash, and crash some more. This one will also be available on PS3, Xbox 360, and the DS (because it makes sense, I swear!)


Square Enix tries to leverage it's experience with RPG's and expand into puzzle games. This strange combo could very well be strangely compelling, especially since individually, these two genres probably eat up an average gamer's time more than any other genre. Combined, you will have no life at all! Well, only if it really turns out that good.

Next up is Wii and Xbox 360, but they'll have to wait until tomorrow, methinks.

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Tokyo Game Show 2009 DS Games

DS Games of Interest at TGS 09

These are the DS games that caught my eye. New announcements with debut trailers tend to catch my eye more than anything else, and that's what I would like to bring you today.


Not actually a new announcement, but Okamiden is an installment in the Okami series, but this one is for the DS. The gameplay for Okami seems almost tailor made for a touchscreen, so I have high hopes for this one.


Miyazaki is doing games now? Well, sorta. Studio Ghibli has been contracted by Level 5 to provide all of the art for this game, and it looks beautiful!

Montessori Music

I have mixed feelings about this game. On one hand, I love music games... on the other hand, educational games tend to bore me (with very few exceptions). Combine them, and you get Montessori Music, which I will either love or hate.

Ghost Trick

Now, this game looks interesting. I usually enjoy a good puzzle game (which is what this appears to be), and I love the music in this trailer. This one will be one to keep an eye on.

Cross Treasures

Square Enix is arguably the king of the RPG, so when they join forces with someone, it's usually noticed. This time, Square Enix joins forces with V Jump, a magazine that talks about new manga and video games related to manga, to create a new RPG for the DS called Cross Treasures. Looks promising, as most Square Enix RPGs do. Not all SE RPG's actually turn out well, though, so we'll have to see on this one.

iPhone, Mobile, and PC titles are coming up next.

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2009 Started Today!

My Favorite Video Game Expo Started Today...

And due to being sick for the past three days or so, I am bogged down with work... but I will still be scanning all the news coming out of TGS to bring you any exciting information on import titles that I can.

Much like AWA (which I was actually able to attend, unlike TGS, unfortunately), I'll be reporting mainly threw my Twitter account:, and I will post a large summation post here when the event is over. I expect that this post will be extremely large... so it might be broken into parts, but they will be posted pretty close to each other.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter to get the latest news that I've been able to find! ^_^

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

AWA XV 2009 Follow-up!

In short, AWA was awesome!

Now for a little more detail. Of course, AWA stands for Anime Weekend Atlanta, so it is focused on anime, not video games. But there are a couple vendors there that sell import video games, and the video game room has a few imports that you can play for free (provided that you are willing to stand in line for a turn).

Probably the best way for me to show off what I have seen at AWA is to show you pictures. There aren't a whole lot of them, but as I said, there wasn't a WHOLE lot of video game stuff... but certainly enough to keep my attention for a little while.

I saw an import console that I have never seen in person before... and it was for sale! Too bad I couldn't afford it ;_;

Bandai Playdia

Bandai Playdia 2

It's called the Playdia, and it's made by Bandai. Yes, that is a wireless controller. That console was released only in Japan in 1994, 11 years after the Famicom and 4 years after the Super Famicom. Considering that, it's 8 bit graphics were extremely dated, but the wireless controller is impressive! Also, the only publisher who ever made any games for it was Bandai. Nobody else wanted to, which is never a good sign. But what a collector's item! Too bad I didn't have $90 for a useless console. You can buy the Playdia console here if they have it in stock... which, honestly, they usually don't. You could always sign up for automatic email alerts to let you know when they do get one in stock, though.

The seller who had the Playdia also had two games for it.

Playdia DBZ Game
Buy Dragon Ball Z: Shin Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku: Chikyuu-hen (Playdia) at if they have it in stock.

Buy Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S: Quiz Taiketsu! Sailor Power Kesshuu (Playdia) at, again, only if they have it in stock... these games and console are really rare.

These two totaled to $90 as well. The seller was willing to offer a cheaper combined price, but seeing as how I couldn't afford one or the other separately, I knew I wouldn't be able to afford a bundle, even if it was discounted.

I did buy one thing from that seller, though! A rare, boxed copy of Mario To Wario (the "To" is pronounced like "Toe" and means "And") that was only released for the Super Famicom in Japan!

Mario To Wario

It's a puzzle game where you control Wanda (the fairy thing) by mouse, and you guide Mario to safety (and to Luigi) because Wario put a bucket on his head, and Mario just can't get the bucket off by himself! It's a silly premise, yes, but the game is pretty fun, and it's all in English! Very import friendly. You can buy the game without the mouse here or with the mouse here, but, again, they rarely have them in stock.

The same seller (again!) had a pretty nice selection of imported PS1 games.

Japanese PS1 Games
Buy Games for PSone™ at

"Who is this seller?", you might ask. It's Mad-Gear! He's lacking in import games recently due to the higher exchange rate, but he's still got a few golden gems, and it seems he'll occasionally take special requests if he can find the exact game you want.

In the video game room, there were a couple of import titles. Most notable was Melty Blood and Beatmania IIDX (shown below)

Buy Beatmania IIDX Gold in standard edition, Konamistyle Special Edition, or Konamistyle Special Edition Complete, once more, none of these are in stock right now. Go figure.

There were also a collection of different card games you could purchase, which is somewhat related to video games... sorta.

card games galore

Last, but not least (well, probably least to some... but not to me!), video game related cosplay!

Taokaka BlazBlue
Toakaka from BlazBlue

Sephiroth Final Fantasy VII
Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII

Jam Milia Rage Guilty Gear
Jam and Milia Rage (from left to right) from Guilty Gear. They made sure to inform me that they were not wearing all of the costume that they had brought along because it was just getting too uncomfortable... but it still looks pretty good as is!

Auron Final Fantasy X
Auron from Final Fantasy X

Ness Puala Jeff Poo Earthbound
From left to right: Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo, all from Earthbound. I actually know the guy cosplaying as Poo!

Well, I think that sums everything up. I'm already looking forward to next year, which I will undoubtedly be covering in my blog and on Twitter once again!

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

note: images now fixed

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) Starts Tomorrow!

The Second Biggest Convention In Atlanta Starts Tomorrow

And while that doesn't directly relate to import video games, it does relate indirectly to it. I will be keeping my eye open for any interesting import video game items available there, especially in the dealer's room.

I hope you look forward to the stuff I can find!

My personal AWA coverage will be available on Twitter HERE (feel free to follow my twitter account while you're at it ^_^)

For more information about the convention, visit the AWA Official Website

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Monday, September 14, 2009

Learning Japanese

How do you go about doing it? Especially on your own?

Kanji Dictionary DS

Well, the best way is a combination of self-teaching, formal classes, and a native Japanese speaker to practice active conversations with. Well, the BEST way is to live in Japan for a while, but the above is the best way without actually leaving your home country.

Many of us do not have access to formal classes or a native Japanese speaker. If you don't have access to these, you'll have to rely on books and imported entertainment (like video games!) to help you learn Japanese.

For grammar, there are plenty of books that will teach you good Japanese grammar. The same is true of vocabulary. Where I had the biggest problem, personally, was learning Kanji, those really complicated pictograph-style characters.

The best book that I have found for teaching Kanji is Remembering the Kanji by Heisig. Well, it's actually a three part series of books. The first book teaches you the meanings of around 2000 Kanji... and you don't even need to know Japanese to learn them. The theory is that it's MUCH easier to remember all of them if you learn the meanings and the pronunciations separately. The second volume then teaches you the pronunciations of the same 2000 Kanji. The third book adds another 1000 less-used Kanji or so and teaches you the meaning and the pronunciations, again, separately.

On top of that, there is one tool that is almost indispensable when practicing your Japanese in video games, and that's an electronic Kanji dictionary. The cheapest way to get one that recognizes handwriting (very important for finding characters you are unfamiliar with!) is to get Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten for the DS. It is sometimes called Kanji DS Dictionary, and it is exactly that, an electronic Kanji dictionary for the DS. It's worth every penny, especially when you consider that dedicated Kanji dictionaries can cost several hundred dollars.

To buy Remembering the Kanji: Volume 1, try HERE
To buy Remembering the Kanji: Volume 2, try HERE
To buy Remembering the Kanji: Volume 3, try HERE
To buy Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten, try HERE

Have fun learning!
-Kuro Matsuri

Friday, September 11, 2009

Import Video Game News: Gundam 30th Anniversary PS3 Slim Bundle

Gundam 30th Anniversary PS3 Slim

Gundam PS3 Slim

Earlier I had stated that I hoped that Japan gets different colors of the PS3 slim like red, green, blue, purple, or other more interesting colors than black, white, and grey. Really, I hope either the US or Japan get that, but I think it's more likely for Japan.

Well, this is the next best thing. Well, kinda the third best thing since the second best thing would be a PS3 Slim with some sort of customization or something on it. It's a special Gundam 30th Anniversary PS3 Slim Bundle. While the PS3 itself is just a standard PS3 Slim, it comes with a First Print Edition of Mobile Suit Gundam Senki Avant and, of course, special box art. Mobile Suit Gundam Senki Avant is the Japanese equivalent of Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. Some hate it, some love it. I suppose this bundle is for those who love it.

If you're interested in the bundle, try HERE (THIS PRODUCT SELLS OUT QUICKLY!)

If you're interested in just the game, try HERE

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

News: Final Fantasy XIII Japanese Release Date and Price!

Final Fantasy XIII now has a release date and a price!

Well, it does for Japan, at least.

A YouTube Flash-based ad was discovered that showed the release date, and with some careful URL editing, this exact image was discovered:

FFXIII Release Date

So, December 17th is the release date, and it has been confirmed by Square Enix already. When they confirmed it, they also announced the price. 8800 Yen, which translates to about $95... ouch. But there is only a general release date for the US (Spring 2010... at least that's what they're "aiming" for), so if you want the game months before your friends, or you just want it as soon as possible, importing it is the only way to do so.

The good news is that you can preorder the game for a little less than the launch price right now through They have it available for $89.90, a price that will be available until Dec. 12, 2009, at which point the price will go back up to $94.90.

To pre-order Final Fantasy XIII, try HERE

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri
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