Import the Fun Vol. 5

It’s been a while since the last issue of this feature, not for any particular reason really other than work taking up a lot of time – usually the case early in the year. Still have plenty more games to get through before this line of features is exhausted, especially with me adding a New 3DS to my device roster, so plenty more on the way too. That means this volume does feature a Nintendo 3DS game for the first time, something I’ll be looking to add more of as I knuckle down with importing games again. I could do with getting through the ones I already have first though…..

EX Troopers (PlayStation 3/Nintendo 3DS)

One of the first games I imported for PS3 back in the day was EX Troopers. The Lost Planet spin-off looked interesting enough and offered up a whole new set of characters and style nothing like the main series. Granted, gameplay was still quite similar as you’ll generally be exploring difficult terrain and fighting huge monster bosses, but that’s about where the similarities end as even the planet fighting on is reworked. It’s really the visual flair that sets it apart the most. The cel-shaded visuals are a treat and the manga styled cutscenes play into that as well, with plenty of style to add to the Lost Planet substance.

Surprisingly I actually prefer this on the Nintendo 3DS. The games visuals really come alive on the 3D screen of the handheld and circle pad pro support meant it played well on the New 3DS too. You’ll need a modded 3DS to dump the cart as there’s also an English patch out there for 3DS, not the best translation but worth a try if ya Japanese is rusty. The PS3 version does benefit from HD on the big screen, but the 3D implementation is that good on the 3DS that it was worth the effort for me.

The price has crept up over the years for importing, only cost me about £12 back then, with PS3 prices sitting around £20-£30 these days. 3DS version is pretty much double the price, with additional caveats too, so its a lot more effort than just dropping the disk in a PS3 – whether the 3D visual splendour is enough to sway is up to you.

Sengoku Musou 2 with Moushouden & Empires: HD Version (PlayStation Vita)

Never really bothered with the Samurai Warriors side of musou, probably even played the Warriors Orochi games more over the years, but this caught my eye when I noticed it was a thing. My brother used to play the hell out of Samurai Warriors 2 Empires back when I used to play Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires on X360, so its not the first time I’ve come across this really. Taking place in Japan instead of China, it plays out just like any musou Empire game from back then, pick an officer or create and try to unite the realm under your banner. This version also has the added benefit of incorporating Xtreme Legends content, giving one plenty to play through

Graphically it actually looks quite similar to Samurai Warriors on the X360, probably a little more refined, but also plagued by some framerate issues. Seems to pack more enemies on screen than other Vita ports for musou games, which is likely the cause. I suppose the only downside is that it offers a more classic outlook of the series, it’s missing the likes of playing as an officer and building up like we have now on Empire games, but that could also be a positive for long standing fans. The Vita does have plenty of Musou games, but nothing from before the likes of DW7 really in the west which gives this a little extra appeal.

Importing is a little tricky. I got it digitally through the store quite a while back, so I’m not sure if they actually released a physical Vita version as I’ve never seen one. There is a physical PS3 version though if that is preferable, which seems readily available but prices vary a lot from $30 up to $100 on the likes of eBay. Probably worth it at around $30/$40 for series fans.

Girls und Panzer: Senshado, Kiwamemasu! (PlayStation Vita)

Having previously looked at Dream Tank Match in the debut volume of this feature, you may be forgiven for thinking that was the first sampling of Girls Und Panzer gaming – but nope, this Vita release I’ve actually had longer. With the PS4 game offering a new story set after the events of the movie, whilst also retelling the events of the movie, this Vita game retells the events of the first season – including missions from the perspective of other characters & teams within the school team.

The game plays similar to the more recent PS4 game, only a little simpler, as you’ll generally be taking your team/tank of choice and completing simple missions. Out in the field it looks decent on Vita, no doubt helped by the cel-shaded anime styling, with enough detail on the tanks to make up for the simple environments. The delivery of the story mode is actually quite good on this, there’s the usual visual novel style dialogue sections, but ample usage of anime footage is used throughout too and the quality is good. Granted, if you’ve seen the anime then you know how it goes, but it is good unlocking missions for other crews and getting a different perspective on some of the events.

As expected of Girls Und Panzer, it’s not really that difficult to acquire. On the likes eBay it can be had for less than £30 on PSVita, though if you want the special edition that has a bunch of goodies you’ll be paying much more than that.

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Geoffrey Wright

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.