What got you into import gaming?

Talk about all aspect of Japanese games.

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What got you into import gaming?

Postby Bighab » Sat Aug 14, 2004 4:35 pm

What got you into import gaming or what was your first import game? For import it could be a game of another language. I for one never thought I'd be playing Japanese games. One day I came across a Front Mission fan site. I was reading about Front Mission for the SFC. I saw that the menu's were entirely in english and that it seem easy to play. I had to have this game. A strategy/rpg with customizable mechs :o I was so happy to get one from ebay. Being a fan of strategy and strategy/rpg's I soon realized that those genre's are quite popular in Japan too. I have been playing japanese games for almost 3 years now. My japanese skills are still quite piss-poor though :roll: I can figure out most in-game menu's fine. But I usuallly don't know anything about the story,except for a walkthru I might find on the net.

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Postby Azazel » Sat Aug 14, 2004 5:02 pm

Well I got into about in 96 or so so I've had a good 7 to 8 years. I think it was my last year of school and I found out about emulation and how they translated FF2 on the NES and FF5 on the Snes. I eventually bought a saturn and PC Engine later on. This is the mjaor import stuff that I got into Dragon Quest 5, 6, 4R Shin Megmai Tensei series Shining Force 3/Langrisser for stretegy/RPGs Various PC Engine/Saturn shooters action/RPGs on the PC Engine While I can mostly understand the main parts of a story in a Japanese game I really don't play too many of them anymore.

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Postby m0nk3yb0y » Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm

I got my Super Famicom fox Xmas when I was 11. I got it the Xmas it came out, with Super Mario World.
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Postby evilmess » Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:07 pm

eBay! It was just last year that I started importing once I realized how easy and affordable it was thanks to evilBay. I started with SFC and then onto Saturn games. I gotta give credit to this site for helping me make my choices in the game I buy. The game database here has been really helpful. Thanks GP! ;)

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:01 am

I actually watched a lot of anime in high school and my first couple of years of college. Some of those guys played import games. I never touched imports until the Saturn came out. I went to small game shop - they sold some import games, w/ a 4-in-1. I lifted Magic Knight Rayearth immediately, for the low price of $79.99 -- the cart was $89.99. I took a break from games, stopping about a year before moving here, then going full force about 2 years into my Japanese residency. Now, It's a bit out of hand.
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Postby delafro » Sun Aug 15, 2004 2:23 am

Well, let's see, there's several reasons. I got my first import games more or less by accident, I was doing a buy/trade for some Sega Master System stuff in the parking lot of a Funcoland, and the guy offered me a great deal on some Saturn stuff, and I jumped on it. Lots of crap US games, but there was also 2 imports, Thunderforce and Capcom Generations 2. Not bad. Then when I went to Japan, it was of course a great opportunity to pick games up, which I did. Cost was always a big barrier for me but now I could get stuff for a little bit cheaper at least. I found out about a lot of Famicom games that never made it to the States, so to me I thought of it in a way of those games as brand new NES games, which I'd definitely like to see. Of course, any exposure to the Japanese language helps me as well, as I'm trying to study what I can. The other thing that's kept me going is the packaging and box art, it's just so much cooler. You know US and Japanese GBA boxes- well, there is no comparison on that at all. The Famicom Minis are a perfect example of this. BTW, I gotta say that Series 3 looks better than the other two, if that's possible. The Disk System asthetic was a great choice on Nintendo's part I'd say.

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Postby mepian » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:35 pm

I finally started buying import games in september of '98, also with the Saturn. A couple of games made up my mind for me, namely Elevator Action Returns (solely for the arcade port of Elevator Action) and 1942 on Capcom Generations 1. Only a month after I've taken my baby steps I got my copy of Radiant Silvergun and never looked back. These days 80% of the games I buy are imports. I'm still catching up on all the PSone games I missed out on that weren't released here in Europe, among many other classic systems.

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Postby Strychnine » Sun Aug 15, 2004 7:46 pm

Like many people here, I got into import gaming because of the Saturn. But that's the short version. I had been a Nintendo fanboy since I got my first NES when I was 5. I thought Sega was the devil. Then Mortal Kombat came out, and the SNES version of couse only had "sweat". Being the bloodthirsty 10-12 year old that I was...I of course had to get a Genesis for my birthday for the sole purpose of Mortal Kombat gore. Oh and the Sega CD for Night Trap (yes, the makings of a perv right there). Then the 32-bit era came, of course I got the N64 release day, and told Sony to go fuck themselves. Then Square told me to go fuck myself and I bought a PS1 for FFVII. Then the Dreamcast came, and I became the profit of Doom - telling everyone that its going to flop, the PS2 is right around the corner (my fanboyism stopped with the 64). Little did I know I would be eating my words later. The Dreamcast came and went, after talking all the crap about it - I finally picked one up because it was $50. Well, I learned my lesson and begged the gods at Sega forgive me, and since picking up a Dreamcast I started trying to buy all the games I could find for it (which actually has left me with quite a bit of crap, but hell...I was supporting Sega). In a madquest to repent for my sins I picked up a Saturn and started buying games for that - but quickly realized that most of the US releases were crap, so now I'm in about 40 Saturn games later...about 3 of which are domestic. Well, that's why I started importing. I guess it wasn't the Saturn, I guess it was because I was a horrible, horrible sinner. Plus, I'm still trying to get the hang of Japanese, so imports help with that. I still do try to pick up all of Sega's releases for the new consoles.

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Postby ArnoldRimmer83 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 11:09 pm

Not much of an interesting story for me. Basically I just remember getting kind of mad whenever I saw an interesting looking import featured in a magazine, that wasn't coming out here. Nintendo Power used to frequently have features on Japanese SFC RPGs, even when they fully knew they would probably never get released in the US. Emulation was definately a big factor in me finally getting fully interested in emulation. Its one thing to read about imports, but after playing them, it becomes more desirable to have them. Or for me at least it is. Emulation also helped me discover imports. Most I probably never would've heard of otherwise. And sometimes packaging can play a part. As delafro said, Japanese games usually have nice boxes.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:02 am

Beautifully illustrated story, Strychnine. I guess a big question for me is will I even bother with US games when I move back to the states. Considering my consoles are all Japanese, I'd have to mod them. Considering they're going to be replaced by their descendents in a year or so, probably a stupid move. Also considering I'm buying shitloads of games now - I could go a year w/o buying a new game and be fine.
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Postby Azazel » Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:03 am

I guess if it doesn't cost that much to mod them it might not be a bad idea. I have no idea how much that costs or if they have any external mods or import converter for the current systems. at least with US games if you don't mind waiting a little bit you can get most stuff cheap as US stuff drops in price pretty fast. Import stuff takes longer for there to be a price drop. Plus there's just not as many good titles to get as there used to be so you could easily just play stuff you have and that will last a few years.

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Postby Darkchii » Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:26 pm

First, allways been a big fan of jap anime, started with all those retro robots cartoon. Back in those genesis days, when I saw Import oriented charaters I a video game, usually in those Renovation/wolfteam games(Valis series, el viento, Arcus odysey ect...), I allways tought those games were so much more intressting than those US oriented. I also remember in those old EGM magazines, there was allways a section of import stores( Diehard, is the only one I remember), with tiny image of all sorts of import games.( that was before the internet ) I recall watching those pages for hours, looking a all those titles and mostly cool picture of PCE games. I knew that one day that I would be a heavy import fanatic. When I got my PS1, soon after that is were I started collecting imports, saturn, PCE, Dreamcast, and now mostly PS2.
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Postby Schmeetz » Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:39 pm

I've been playing imports for about 15 years or so now. (looks at above sentence) Eek. I'm getting old. To put it in perspective, my first gaming experience was the MSX system, as it was wildly popular in the Netherlands (thanks to Philips, which I think you know as Magnavox or something in the US, who produced a large number of MSX systems), and since official support dried out rather quickly and the scene in those days was pretty solid, a lot of people started importing games (mostly RPGS, funnily enough) from Japan and due to easy copying, everybody got their hands on it. My first real RPG experience was Ys, closely followed by Xak, and I've never been able to let go of those series up until now, especially Ys. As the scene started to dwindle, people begun to take their imported Super Famicoms and Mega Drives to meetings and fairs, and when I saw a Japanese copy of Gradius III on sale there, I was sold and bought it. Ever since then, I've been modding and/or importing my consoles and games (if not from Japan then from the US if only for the ability to play games at 60Hz), and it's gotten seriously out of hand after I went to Japan and picked up a Dreamcast, Saturn and Duo. I now stand before you with too many modded and imported consoles, cobbled-together hookups and power converters, and many games I still cannot fully comprehend despite my learning the language for 5 years. Damn those imports. Damn them to hell.

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Postby delafro » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:52 am

Gaijin Punch wrote: Also considering I'm buying shitloads of games now - I could go a year w/o buying a new game and be fine.
I'm in the same position pretty much, and I'm still finding stuff that I want. I'm just buying a little bit less than I was otherwise. It's a sad state of affairs, I tell you. Yeah, you'll keep buying games... once you start, can you stop? That's the question

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Postby Azazel » Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:57 am

You can stop if you want to.

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Postby delafro » Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:23 am

That's true. Make sure that you don't go to the games store, that's a step in the right direction.

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Postby dj898 » Wed Aug 18, 2004 2:14 am

hmm... not sure about importing since my first PC after Apple IIe clone was PC-8001 which followed with FM-NEW7 soon after. About a year later got myself PC-8801SRII or something along with used PC-9801. Was heavily into gaming as there were tons on PC-88/98 series at that time in Japan. PC-9801 and FM-NEW7 were meant for micro mouse project I was involved at that time so didn't really have that much games... Those two were half dismantled all the time as we were testing/building boards to test out... Console wise it wasn't till I got into university that I got myself first Saturn. However moving around and having no fixed place meant I have it packed and stored at relatives house pretty much all the time. I kept buying titles though reckon I would be able to play once I have place to myself... didn't happened till I moved to Sydney and got a job. That's when I really into console gaming and soon my collection grew to include DC, and PC Engine. Didn't get into PSX till much later though... and then I got Xbox for b/day present and GC following year... and the rest is as they say the history. :)
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Postby nutribrain » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:12 am

It started back in 1992, I think. After several more or more domestic consoles like a Neo Geo, MegaDrive, Atari Lynx and Gameboy, I bought a small white PC-Engine. Some weeks later the CD-ROM attachment and then loads of imports, as there are only imports for the PCE :) Several years I was just collecting PCE related stuff. I bought a SuperGrafx and more games for my beloved PCE. Three years ago it got more and more consuming. I lost interest in the PCE stuff as I had nearly every game which I wanted, but being very far away from owning every game for this system, I bought several consoles I always wanted to own. Like a Virtual Boy, Vectrex, PC-FX and many more. Like three years now, I spend most of my monthly income for games, 98% import games. I enjoy it very much to play games that not so many people are playing on systems not so many people own. I know that a game doesn't get better when there's some kanji inside but I like overlooked and sometimes also crappy titles...

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Postby Pingu » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:11 am

Well I saw some neat games that my friend had and became quite taken by them. After getting a saturn I started importing games from other regions.
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Postby dave4shmups » Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:10 am

The fact that I love scrolling shooters (shmups) and that there are so many awesome ones that never made it to the States.

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Postby mb7241 » Sat Sep 04, 2004 4:46 am

If I remember right, I started when I saw this odd-looking (yet somehow I still recognized it) Super Nintendo cartridge at a local flea market (in a place in the US where there's very few imports to be found). It turned out to be the NBA-licensed version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition, and though it was $5, I bought it for my first Japanese import game. My second and third imports were much better games, though (Dragon Quest III (Famicom) and Final Fantasy Collection (PS1)). Geez, this was about a year and a half or 2 years ago... My first big import purchase was when I bought 10 loose SFC games for about $52 (Dragon Quest III, Dragon Quest V, Dragon Quest VI, 2 copies of Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI, Romancing SaGa 3, Seiken Densetsu 3, Super Mario RPG, and Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce), and my first import system came about 6 months ago, in the form of a British Super Nintendo (my second system was a Japanese PlayStation :D , probably among my better investments).
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Postby oceanfr » Tue Sep 07, 2004 4:54 am

I dunno, maybe wondering what all the Snes games I missed were..... :D


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