Finally! The second issue of the importing feature has been finished, apologies for the delay! Lockdowns caused some erratic & missing deliveries to occur, but I now have a big stack of games to get through in the coming months – means there should be regular issues every few weeks going forward. There’s a lot of Vita stuff, I’ve found it the easiest to import for oddly enough, but I’ll be mixing them in with other consoles as much as possible to keep things varied after this one. On with Vol. 2!
Saki Zenkoku Hen Plus (PlayStation Vita)
Well I didn’t lie when I said in the last issue that I had the Vita version of Saki on the way! With the game now moving onto the nationals we get 3 different school and 12 new characters to play as, each with their own abilities. As you would expect there hasn’t been much done to the gameplay, it’s similar to the original and there’s not much that can be done with richi mahjong anyway I guess. The game has had a boost visually, the most noticeable being the resolution increase over the PSP original that offers a clearer picture of the tiles. This was pretty much my only issue before, but that was a fault of the system instead of the game really.
Thankfully its not just a resolution bump as your time at the table is little more dynamic this time, with the animated character portraits and hand winning poses. This version is definitely the best way to enjoy Mahjong on the go, but is it worth an import? Well that’s where it gets difficult. Fans of Saki & Mahjong will enjoy the game no doubt, but at a cost. Standard version is relatively cheap, seen it as low as £30 including postage, but the International & Plus editions (I got the Plus edition) can regularly command some high prices at £70+. You’ll really have to hunt like I did for a good price if you want the expanded releases.
Onechanbara Z ~ Kagura ~ With NoNoNo! (PlayStation 3)
As a long time fan of the Onechanbara series (I wonder if Origins will ever actually be fixed on PC) this was in the first batch of games to get imported for the PS3. First time ZII players will likely have not thought anything of it, but some of those that had tried the series before in the west may have wondered who the vampire chicks were. Well that’s where this game comes in, and it’s surprising lack of a localisation given we got ZII, as Kagura is the featured protagonist this time with her sister Saaya as backup, and a special character added to the PS3 version of the game. Gameplay is quite similar to ZII really, there’s also several stages you’ll recognise from the sequel when going back to this one, so you should feel right at home.
As you expect going a generation back as well the graphics take a bit of a hit, but the character models are still pretty well done at least – the only real stickler would be the occasional bout of slowdown. The addition of NoNoNo is a good one here, she has to be unlocked and offers a different style of play which no doubt helps the game overall. Being a fan of the series meant it was a no-brainer for me to import due to it’s relatively cheap price & offering some backstory to the new duo in ZII Chaos, the addition of NoNoNo from the Dream Club series was the icing on the cake. As it is a Japan only release, there’s no translation offered so it really is an import recommended to fans of the series or those looking for a cheap boost (around £20 – £30) to their import collection.
Genkai Tokki: Seven Pirates (PlayStation Vita)
From the folks that brought you the card battling Monster Monpiece and the first person dungeon crawler Moero Chronicle, the next entry just happened to be a typical JRPG – only this time the focus was on Pirates & monster girls. You play as Parute, a young pirate captain building her crew whilst searching the seas for the seven treasures. Otton makes a return from the previous games to tie it all together and will offer occasional clue towards treasure. As you expect from the developers, that does mean fan service ahoy! And some ‘creative’ uses of the Vita’s touch aspects, but that shouldn’t distract you from what is a competent JRPG.
You’ll generally explore the seas heading to events on a 2D map, with the game taking on 3D exploration once you get onto dry land. There’s plenty of monster girls to add to the crew as you plunder your way through the game. Not having a localisation means knowing some Japanese is needed to enjoy the humorous side of the game, there’s no fan translation available that I know of. Vita JRPG aficionados or those familiar with the previous games would likely gain the most from importing, at around £30 it’s not too expensive either.
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Rocking the world of gaming since the Atari 2600, has now settled down to bask in the warmth of moe. Moe is life for a moe connoisseur.