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Import Spotlight

Hands-on: Pokemon White

Oct 03 // Jonathan Holmes
Pokémon White (DS)Developer: Game FreakPublisher: Nintendo/The Pokémon CompanyReleased: September 18, 2010 (JP)To be released: Spring 2011 (NA/EU) The first thing you'll notice about Pokémon White is that its opening movie is focused, serious, and very story-driven. It looks a bit like a water-colored storyboard for one of the many Pokémon movies that have come and gone over the years. Barely any Pokémon are shown. Instead, you see a green-haired young man being crowned king of... something, presumably of some mysterious organization. It's actually a pretty evocative and borderline spooky little animated storyboard, more like the intro to a Castlevania game than anything I've seen in the Poké-verse before. After that, you get a gameplay montage with the traditional Pokémon intro music, with the words "Hope," "Dream," and "Discovery" scrolling across the screen. It's a very different introduction to what feels like a definitive change in direction for the Pokémon series. Thankfully, the game still hasn't "grown up," but it has definitely filled out. Despite being on the same hardware as the last main entry in the Pokémon series, Pokémon Black/White is a definite technical step up from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum. If anything, the fact that Game Freak was stuck with "the old DS" seems to have just pushed them harder to try to impress us. Unlike with past Pokémon sequels, they couldn't rely on the the power of new hardware to impress the crowds. Instead, they had to pour every ounce of imagination and craftmanship into the game as they could, and it shows. It's hard to go back to Diamond/Pearl/Platinum now that I've been spoiled by Pokémon White. I'm not going to even try to list all the ways that Game Freak polished up the Pokémon formula. That would lead to a laundry list of epic proportions. From basic menus to fonts to in-game shopping, everything about the game has been tweaked for the better. Instead of getting into all that, I'll touch on the three areas that show the most drastic improvements: the environment, the story, and the battles. The fully polygon-based backgrounds are stunning. There is so much going on with them; little animations and flourishes that don't necessarily jump out at you, but work to make the whole experience feel much more cared about. The soundtrack is also much more dynamic, and will change on the fly for a variety of reasons. For example, the second or third town you enter has a rather sparse soundtrack, until you meet an in-game drummer and guitar player. Talk to them, and they'll start to play their instruments along to the music. It sounds like a little thing, but enough of these little moments added together really makes the world you're looking into through your DS screen feel like a real place. More eye-opening are the new dynamic camera angles. Depending on where you're going and what you're doing, the camera will act accordingly to help express the moment. It may swing behind your back to emphasize that you are moving through a three-dimensional space, or pan out for a sweeping "crane shot" to emphasize the distance you have to cross, or zoom in for a dramatic close-up when a serious Poké-moment is about to go down. These camera moves don't happen all the time, but that only makes it more dramatic and evocative when they do. There is one area where all you have to do is ride your bike across a bridge for about a minute (albeit a huge bridge, on the way to a city that greatly resembles Manhattan). There are no battles, little dialog, and no need to explore, yet because of the camera work, it's one of the most memorable parts of the game that I've seen yet. As the opening cinema hinted, the game is much more story-focused. You spend much more time talking to and battling against/alongside) your rivals, getting to know the game's gym leaders, and thwarting the game's token Pokémon "Team" -- Team Plasma. That green-haired man from the opening is named N. He definitely has some association with Team Plasma (their king, perhaps?), and as such, he plays a major role in the plot. You see him around a lot, though at this point in the game, it's not entirely clear if he is your enemy or not. At one point, he took me on a private Ferris wheel ride just to hang out. Maybe there was something more menacing about that then I could tell, but it seemed that he was working against the knowledge of Team Plasma, in order to tell me something super-serious. Due to my shabby Japanese, I'll have to wait until the game gets localized next year to know for sure what that was all about. The emphasis on spending time with recurring characters is all over this game, particularly with your rivals. You'll see them at least once or twice in every town, where you'll talk to them (in person or over video chat), battle them, or team up in double (or even triple) battles. You work with them so closely that "rivals" doesn't actually seem accurate anymore. They feel more like party members who just happen to spend most of their time out of your party. As in the most recent Pokémon games, there are two rivals in Pokémon White/Black: a cute, upbeat blonde girl named Belle, and a serious, spectacled, dark-haired boy named Cheren. Although my Japanese is too weak for me to be sure, Belle seems to symbolize the American way, where Cheren symbolizes Japan. In fact, that "East and West together" theme seems to carry on throughout the whole game. There is a lot of stuff here that seems to be an attempt to recreate America, but from a Japanese perspective. You'll even meet a few NPCs that speak English. Ironically, it's usually a Rastafarian-looking dude who is constantly dancing. They remind me a lot of Tom from Shenmue, but in a good way. As for the triple battles I just mentioned, they're awesome. They really force you to think differently about the game, as your three Pokémon can only attack opponents that are directly in front of them, or one space to the left or the right. That means the Pokémon on the farthest left can't attack the enemy on the farthest right. That's actually just the first way to take three Pokémon into battle at a time. There are also rotation battles, where you can switch between three Pokémon on the fly without any penalty losing your turn. In short, true "party-based combat" has finally come to the Pokémon series. For me, that would have been enough of a gameplay evolution, but it's actually just the start of the new ways to play the game. There's more new stuff here than I could possibly list, but highlights include the wild double battles, the new types of moves (like the water/fire-type scalding splash), multiple new online features (including live, real-time trading with anonymous strangers), and strangest of all, the Inception-like Dream World. I haven't gotten to try it myself yet, as the site has been down for the past two weeks, but in theory, the Dream World lets you put one of your in-game Pokémon to sleep. From there, you can play in their subconscious on your real-life personal computer at the website www.pokemon-gl.com. While dreaming, you and your Pokémon can get new items to be used in the waking world, and best of all, interact with at least thirty Generation-1 Pokémon. After meeting them in the Dream World, you can plant the idea in their heads to show up in your DS game. After you wake up, they'll be somewhere in your game of Pokémon White/Black. That's actually the only way that I know of to see those thirty Gen-1 Pokémon, or any old Pokémon, for that matter. I've heard that you see more "old" Pokémon in the wild once you beaten the last boss, but I won't know for sure until I do that myself. I can say with certainty that every "regular" Pokémon I've encountered in the game so far has been brand-new. In a series first, you won't even see the Pokémon mascot, Pikachu (better known as "Pokéman" to non-Pokémon-playing parents), unless you trade for him or do that Dream World stuff. I don't miss him, though. The game's two new Pikachu equivalents, a limited-time-online-event fire mouse named Vicitini, and a flying electric squirel named Emonga, are totally badass. In fact, I don't miss any of the old Pokémon. This new group is incredible, particularly because of their animations. I've been carrying around my DS since I got the game, showing my new Pokémon to the people of America, and they've all voiced their approval. You may not have been impressed with all the new Pokémon designs that you've seen thus far, but trust me, that will change once you see them in motion. The animations here use a combination of traditional frame-flipping animation and computer-aided squash-and-stretch animation, and the results are smooth and expressive. Of course, there are always a few duds. I'm not particularly taken with the red guy made of rock wearing a karate gi, but for the most part, this new group is as good or better than their Poké-predecessors.  The designers at Game Freak put a lot of love into the these 156 new Pokémon and their character-specific animations, and it shows. So that just scratches the surface of all the things that I love about this new Pokémon game. I'd say more, but I promised myself that I'd cut this monster off at 15 paragraphs. In short, Pokémon White is easily my favorite Pokémon game in the series, and I will not hesitate to buy the Black version when it comes out in the US next year. If you wanted Pokémon to get a total reboot, or go MMO or Grand Theft Auto on us, then you likely won't be too impressed by this game. You probably won't be happy until Pokémon isn't Pokémon anymore, and therefore, this series propbably isn't for you anyway. However, if you're a past or present fan of Pokémon, but have been waiting for the series to take some risks, and stop relying the on the same style, presentation, gameplay, and most of all, Pokémon, that have been mainstays for the past fifteen years, then you might also declare Pokémon Black/White as your new series favorite. It's easily the newest-feeling Pokémon game to see release since Red and Blue.
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I planned on having this post up last week. I figured that playing through ten hours or so of the new Pokémon game would be enough to give you some impressions of how the game turned out. I was wrong on two counts. Fir...

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Ten things I didn't love about Final Fantasy XIII


Feb 05
// Dale North
It's only fair, right? While my list of ten things I loved about the import version of Final Fantasy XIII was quite easy to make, this counterpoint was a bit more difficult. I didn't want to nitpick, but I did want to have an...
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Is Valve building a digital distribution monopoly?


Nov 28
// Josh Tolentino
Steam is pretty much the de facto standard for PC gaming these days. Even the most retail-loyal PC gamers likely have used it in some way, shape or form. Valve's Steam-powered empire also dominates the digital distribution la...
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Importing FTW: Bayonetta PS3 is region-free, in English


Oct 28
// Topher Cantler
If you're anything like Jim, you can't wait for Bayonetta to come out. Well, guess what? You don't have to. Siliconera has confirmed that the Japanese PS3 version, at least, is not only region-free, but presented completely i...
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Taiko no Tatsujin Wii gets a sequel next month


Oct 15
// Colette Bennett
I'm sad that the Taiko no Tatsujin games were not a success in America, but I know why -- the American version, Taiko Drum Master, simply lacked the musical oomph that the original Japanese games pull off so well (and I'm not...
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Play-Asia sale: 20 percent off items paid with Visa card


Aug 31
// Dale North
Importer Play-Asia is running a pretty good sale right now. Pay for your purchases with a Visa card, and you'll see that 20 percent has been taken off your total.  This is, of course, a promotion that they're running in ...
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Eyes crossed: Japanese vid for NIS, Gust's Trinity Universe


Aug 04
// Joseph Leray
I'm not sure exactly when the crossover craze got started -- perhaps in 1996 with Capcom's X-Men vs. Street Figther -- but it seems like they're popping up everywhere; Super Smash Brothers, Capcom's Vs. series, Dissidia: Fina...
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Otakon 09 shmup report: Hands-on with 3 hot Japanese STGs


Jul 22
// Topher Cantler
There are plenty of reasons for a nerd to attend Baltimore's annual Otakon. Some go for the cosplay, some for the concerts, some to see the debut of the latest in anime, manga and related merchandise. Any of the above is fine...
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Ignition is nixing gaijin voice-overs for Muramasa


Jun 12
// Joseph Leray
Little tidbits about Vanillaware's Muramasa: The Demon Blade keep popping up lately, the latest being that Ignition Entertainment (who are publishing the title in North America) have decided to keep the original moonspeak voi...
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Xseed: Losing Muramasa opened the door for Fragile


Jun 09
// Joseph Leray
Like many games developed by small Japanese studios, Vanillaware's Muramasa: The Demon Blade has something of a shaky history. Questions about whether or not it would be imported, and by whom, created quite the kerfuffle amon...
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Xbox 360 version of Ghostbusters not region locked


Jun 09
// Nick Chester
Ghostbusters fans and Xbox 360 owners across Europe were more than a bit peeved when they first learned that Sony had locked down Terminal Reality's game for a timed PlayStation 3 release in that region. Destructoid is based ...
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Get PSP imports through Hong Kong's PlayStation Store


Apr 01
// Dale North
Siliconera drops some knowledge about the Hong Kong PlayStation Store: Apparently you don't need anything but your credit card (from any country) to purchase games from there. In other words, connect to the Hong Kong PlayStat...

Destructoid review: Tatsunoko Vs Capcom

Jan 06 // Jonathan Holmes
Tatsunoko Vs Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes (Wii)Developed by Eighting Co. and Capcom of JapanPublished by Capcom of JapanReleased on December 11, 2008 (Japan)I'll start with the Tatsu-what-now question first -- Tatsunoko is the company responsible for many of Japan's most popular animated series, including Speed Racer, Macross, Evangelion, and (if you like Jesus) Super Book. What's weird is, none of the characters from those series show up in this game (probably due to the licensing for those big names already being owned by other companies). The Tatsunoko side of things in Tatsunoko Vs Capcom consists of characters that for the most part haven't been popular for over twenty years (which is probably where the "cross generation" thing comes in). The only modern character from Tatsunoko is Karas, a sword wielding, demon-yakuza from an OAV series of the same name. Every other Tatsunoko rep. is either a 1970's looking action hero in a skin tight jumpsuit, a giant, clunky looking robot, or cute/ugly genie-thing. This lack of currently marketable Tatsunoko characters was the first thing that tipped me off to the fact that Tatsunoko Vs Capcom is not a game that's shooting for mainstream appeal.  The Capcom side of the roster is even more packed with obscure characters. Sure, Ryu and Chun-Li from Street Fighter II are here, but everyone else from Capcom hails from a series that either never got popular or hasn't been hot for years. The game has Mega Man, but this is the Mega Man Legends Mega Man we're talking about, e.i. "the one from those 3D PS1 Mega Man games that no one played". Mega Man's sister Roll also makes an appearance, but this is the broom wielding, decidedly not boob-missile-firing Roll from Mega Man: Powered Up, one of the least successful Mega Man games ever made. Morrigan from Darkstalkers, Batsu from Rival Schools, Joe from Viewtiful Joe, and Alex from Street Figther III are all here too; and all represent fighters that have long since been abandoned by Capcom. The protagonist from the fourth Onimusha game came to the party as well, despite the fact that no one knows who he is. Most random of all are PTX-40A from Lost Planet and Saki from Quiz Nanairo Dreams, two extremely cool characters who most Capcom fans didn't take notice of the first time they were introduced, let alone hoped to see in an all-star fighting game. I give Capcom a lot of respect for showing off such an odd-ball cast, as it would have been much easier (and likely much more profitable) for them to just throw a bunch of Resident Evil characters, some Cammy thong-shots, and other crowd-pleasers into the game just to appease the mainstream. Having a cast so filled with misfits and fallen idols makes Tatsunoko Vs Capcom feel all the more like a genuine love letter to die-hard Capcom fans; to the kind of gamers who are actually still hopeful for a Mega Man Legends 3 or a Lost Planet 2. Delivering that kind of service to the true Capcom fan gives Tatsunoko Vs Capcom's cast an underdog charm that more makes up for their lack of star power.Charm will only take a fighting game's cast so far; what's really makes or breaks a fighting game's roster is its level of diversity of unique fighting techniques and play-styles. That's where Tatsunoko Vs Capcom really excels. One or two of the Tatsunoko guys have slightly similar fighting styles, but other than that, just about every character in this game plays completely differently. As great as this may sound, it may be a little off-putting to long time fans of the Superhero Rave series, especially fans of Marvel Vs Capcom 2. Other than Saki playing a bit like Cable, (and Ryu, Morrigan, and Chun-Li playing pretty much like they always have), there aren't a lot of characters here that will feel too familiar to Capcom fighting game vets.The best example of how different Tatsunoko Vs Capcom's characters play can be found in the the game's two giants, Gold Lightan and PTX-40A. I don't care how many Capcom fighters you've played, you've never used characters like these two before (not even via Action Replay). Both of them are big enough and over-powered enough to have been the game's bosses, but each of them are playable from the start. They stand about two screens in height, and though neither are all that effective in a highly technical fight, being able to play as a character that huge is still worth it, just for the thrill of being... huge. Their inclusion to the game's roster is just another example of how Tatsunoko Vs Capcom strives to provide players with something unique, even if it means making some pretty big changes along the way. Probably the biggest style change between Tatsunoko Vs Capcom and the previous Superhero Rave games is its huge amount of moves and techniques that reward you for planning ahead. There are so many characters here who can do stuff like charge up their regular moves, plant time-bombs on screen (and sometimes on their opponents), utilize "auto-counter" specials and supers, change their fighting style on the fly, and use moves that actually increase in power the more they connect. A lot of of this stuff has never been done in a Capcom fighter before, and makes the game feel incredible fresh a lot of the time, especially when compared to the "rush-down or fireball/uppercut trap" strategies that are so dominant in most other 2D fighters. The largest risk that Capcom and Eighting took in the development of Tatsunoko Vs Capcom was actually their the decision to release this game exclusively for the Wii. The console maybe known for a lot of things, but having controllers suited for fighting games isn't one of them. For traditionalists, Tatsunoko Vs Capcom is playable with both a GameCube controller and the Wii's Classic controller. If you play that way, all the chain combos, "quarter-circle then fierce punch", and other Street Fighter lessons you may have learned over the years are easy as ever to pull off. There is a little bit of a tweak though; where most of the games that evolved from Street Fighter II use six attack buttons, Tatsunoko Vs Capcom only uses four. I only mention this to be thorough. Even for long time Street Fighter fan like myself, this change only took a couple of matches to get used to. For fans of SNK's brand of four-button fighters, it will take even less time. Easy to get used to or not, what's really important about the four button set up is that it does not effect how many moves each character has. Ryu still has a his jab, strong, fierce, short, forward, and roundhouse attacks, so Street Fighter purists need not riot...yet.  No, the riot will have to wait until after they've played the game with the Wii remote and nunchuck, or with the Wii remote alone. When played with those control schemes, the game effectively stops playing like Street Fighter II on steroids, and starts playing a lot like (I can't believe I'm saying this) Super Smash Bros. Brawl. That's right, Capcom has finally moved past the control method they've used in every one of their fighters since the original Street Fighter. When employing the option to play Tastunoko Vs Capcom with either of the Wii's packed in controllers, one button is used for all your regular attacks, one button is used for all your special attacks, both buttons together are used to activate all of your supers, another button is used for your "Mega Crush" (a counter move that drains a bit of your energy, like Final Fight's 'extra joy'), and the last button is for tagging your partner. Despite this huge change, the controls still retain some of their Street Fighter versatility. If you want to get the most out of the game, you'll still need to do some hadouken and shoryuken motions occasionally, but that's only if you want to use a special move that is slower than the one that's already assigned to your special move button. If you just want to start sticking out chain combos, supers, and specials without caring how fast they go, you do not have to master the art of "quarter-circle then fierce punch". Forget master, you wont even have to know about that kind of stuff. The old ways are still there for purists, but with Tastunoko Vs Capcom, they are no longer mandatory. This control scheme might remind some of you of Capcom Vs SNK: EO's "easy operation" control method. The difference here is, this time the "easy operation" is actually easy, and it doesn't detract from the amount of strategy a player needs to use in order to win a match. Capcom and Eighting have finally leveled the playing field between Street Fighter veterans and Street Fighter virgins. When using the Wii remote or the Wii remote and nunchuck, someone who has never played a Street Fighter game before 2009 (I'm looking at you, Brad Nicholson), can learn to do every character's moves in a matter of minutes. That doesn't mean they'll know how to use them well, that type of mastery only comes with practice and experience. Still, it's a landmark moment in Capcom history to play a Street Fighter based game that finally abandons the notion that difficult to perform thumb-acrobatics are necessary in making a fighting game "legit". Speaking of easy controls, did I mention that Tatsunoko Vs Capcom's has twenty-two mini games (one for each character)? I know what you're thinking -- "Why can't they stop making mini games on the Wii rabble rabble" and "Mini-games are for old people and stupid turds rabble rabble". C'mon people, that kind of whining is so 2008. Truth is, mini-games have been in Capcom fighters from the very start. The only difference here is, Tatsunoko Vs Capcom just has a few more of them( by a few, I mean about twenty). In terms of quality, they range from the stupid-but-fun (like Ryu's fireball throwing competition), to the smart-but-painful (like the Tatsunoko genie-thing's Math battle), to the just plain awesome, (like PTX-40A's top-down, 2D shmup version of Lost Planet). It's almost not fair to call this last one a "mini-game", as it's much more robust and well thought out than a lot of WiiWare or XBLA titles. PTX-40A's game can be played by up to four people simultaneously, involves no motion controls, and can go on endlessly. The game is played for points, so it's not impossible to think that some may end up playing it for hours, maybe even days. In terms of breadth of content, there are technically three different levels to the mini-game, each containing multiple enemies, power-ups, and their own bosses. If you call yourself a true fan of Lost Planet, you pretty much have to buy Tatsunoko Vs Capcom just to play this game-within-a-game. Ok, enough with the praise. This wouldn't be a "well and balanced" review if I didn't bring up some of the things I didn't like about Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, right? Alright, let me think... uh... I guess the graphics could be a little better? Everything looks great during regular gameplay (especially the character animations), but on those rare occasions that the camera zooms in too close to somebody, the textures and polygon models here sometimes look a little lower in detail than those found in some of Capcom's other Wii games (like Zack and Wiki). This isn't  true of all the game's characters, just a few, like Morrigan and that cute/ugly Tatsunoko genie-thing. Overall, the game's clever use of shading filters, lighting, and texture maps make it one of the better looking Wii games I've played yet, but if you go into it expecting to never see an ugly texture or jaggy polygon, you're going to be a little disappointed.Crap, that wasn't all that negative, was it? Ok, how about the fact that the game doesn't have online play? Is that something that bothers you? Personally, I could give a rat's ass, but I guess some people might think that matters. Oh, I got it, the backgrounds! They pretty much look like crap. Only four or five out of the twelve of them are character specific, while the rest are just generic settings like "ancient Japan at night" and "the city streets". There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but taken along with the fact that these backgrounds are made of even less well crafted polygon models and textures than the game's characters, and you will come to an unquestionably valid deduction; Tatsunoko Vs Capcom's backgrounds are the worst thing about the game (but if you care that much about the game's backgrounds, chances are this isn't your kind of thing in the first place). A quick note about the Tatsunoko Vs Capcom's music; it's awesome. Each character has their own theme that plays when they tag into a match, and they all sound great. Roll's theme even has vocals, which fits the characters moe' style like a glove. For me though, the stand out track is Viewtiful Joe's theme. Hearing that music brought back so many great memories of playing Viewtiful Joe back on the Gamecube, but those memories made me all the more sad that this may be the last game Joe ever appears in. The game's developers seem just as attached to the character as I am, because after you score a combo above fifty or so hits, the word "viewtiful" pops up on your combo counter. For every moment where the game's graphics look a little crappy or there is some other insignificant niggle standing between you and enjoying the game, there are at least ten "viewtiful" moments like that to make up for it. So to wrap up, Tatsunoko Vs Capcom is definitely worth importing, more so than any other Japanese Wii game I've played yet (and with how easy it is to play Japanese games on an American Wii, I've played me a few). If you've ever liked a 2D fighter at all, or have any sense of attachment to any of Tatsunoko Vs Capcom's characters, you will regret it if you pass on this game. Don't take the risk of waiting for it to come to the US, because after spending the better part of a month trying to learn all of its ins and outs, I'm fairly certain that if Tatsunoko Vs Capcom ever comes to our shores it will be changed to the point of being barely recognizable.Do you think it's OK for you to miss out on one of the best fighting games to see release in the past ten years (and perhaps the last game on Earth to ever feature the world 'viewtiful')? Answer that question and you'll not only know if you should buy this game, but you'll also know more about how much you like fighting games in general, and Capcom games in particular.  Score: 9.0 -- (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)
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It's been about eight years since Capcom has released a new game in their patented "Superhero Rave" sub-genre of fighters. Though they've been involved with other "Vs" fighting games since then, like Capco...

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New releases this week: Nothing good


Dec 22
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
OK, so technically, there are a few games coming out this week. A few shovelware DS and Wii titles are out that were delayed from last weeks releases and there are this weeks Virtual Console releases too. The point is that no...
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Onee Chanbara finally makes it onto US Wii consoles in 2009


Jul 09
// Jonathan Holmes
Onee Chanbara games are a lot like school in the summertime- no class. Yet, the "cowboy ninja girl vs zombie horde" centered game series, birthed on the PS2 in 2004, has seen releases on everything from cell phones ...
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Nintendo hinders Daigasso! Band Bros DX piracy attempts


Jun 27
// Dale North
Regular readers know and have heard me say often that my favorite DS game is the Japanese music/rhythm game Daigasso! Band Bros. And it will continue to hold that title for another... few days, until my import copy of Daigass...
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New info on Daigasso Band Brothers DX: Instruments and songs galore


Jun 05
// 8BitBrian
Dale has already mentioned the sequel to Daigasso: Band Brothers the other month, but now we've got a few screens and some info regarding the game courtesy of Famitsu.The game boasts having over 200 songs to choose from when ...
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Nintendo 'explains' Smash Bros. Brawl European delay


May 19
// Jim Sterling
Regular readers of Destructoid will know my long-standing complaints concerning the farcical period between Super Smash Bros. Brawl's North American and European/Australian release dates. Despite a range of excuses, Nintendo ...
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HAPPY! Taiko no Tatsujin DS sequel's menu translated


Apr 25
// Colette Bennett
Today is a beautiful day, folks. No only did a new Taiko no Tatsujin game (Taiko no Tatsujin DS 7-tsu no Shima no Daibouken) come out for the DS a few days ago, but thanks to the glory of the internet, I can read the menus in...
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Australia strikes back: GTA IV pre-orders canceled, imports inevitable


Apr 16
// Jim Sterling
As we have stated many times by now, life sucks when you're an Australian gamer. Overcharged, underappreciated and barred from legally purchasing a variety of titles, the Australians don't have it easy, and it seems that the ...
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Daigasso Band Bros gets a sequel... wait, we never saw the first one!


Apr 09
// Dale North
Ah, Daigasso Band Bros. When I bring it up (or play it), people either ask "what the hell is that?" or say "oh, I love that game!" But it's something you'll never find on North American store shelves. This...
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Import Alert: Mario Kart Wii won't work with Freeloader


Apr 08
// Dale North
We thought that Datel's Wii Freeloader saved the day for importers. Up until now, it allowed you to play any Wii or Gamecube game, regardless of region, without modification. Importer Play-Asia is informing customers that thi...
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Tekken 6 hits US arcade in Houston


Mar 04
// Dale North
Capcom isn't the only one with a shiny new arcade mega-hit on the way. Tekken fans have been waiting patiently to get their hands on a US arcade release of Tekken 6, weird-ass characters and all. While the Japanese have been ...
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Europe rejoice: You can get Lost Odyssey early, in English, for super cheap!


Feb 04
// Jim Sterling
While lazily perusing NeoGAF this morning, my jaw almost fell off its bloody hinges when I read that Play Asia was selling Lost Odyssey, right now, in English, on a region-free disc. Quickly burrowing my way into the thread l...
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Atlus brings Arcana Heart to US for $29.99


Feb 01
// Dale North
I love Atlus. They just seem to know what I want to play, and that's probably why my gaming shelf is packed with their titles. Somehow they knew I wanted to play Japanese brawler Arcana Heart, too, and now they've announced ...
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New Taiko No Tatsujin DS screenshots reveal RPG elements


Jan 22
// Colette Bennett
Taiko No Tatsujin DS was by far my favorite import I played last year, and I have been too busy beating at my DS with sticks to even daydream about a sequel. Luckily Japan is way ahead of me, and recently pictures started pop...
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Final Fantasy IV DS lite accessory set


Dec 13
// Dale North
While we have a bit of a wait to play an English version of Square Enix's DS remake of Final Fantasy IV, nothing is stopping you from decking out your DS lite with this licensed accessory set from Hori.Play-Asia is accepting ...
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Japanese version of Lost Odyssey features an English voice track


Dec 07
// Dale North
Nihongo ga wakarimasu ka? Actually, you don't need to understand Japanese when listening to the dialog in an import copy of Mistwalker's Lost Odyssey.Xbox 360 RPG Lost Odyssey features two language tracks: English and Japanes...
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Wii Super Famicom controller and Super Mario Galaxy OST available for import


Nov 21
// Dale North
Topher recently broke our hearts and told us that we'd have to hit eBay to nab the Super Famicom-lookin' Wii controller or the Super Mario Galaxy Platinum soundtrack, as both items were exclusive items available only to Japan...
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Sega to bring more import hotness to Wii-owning wide-eyed devils


Nov 07
// Jim Sterling
In a move that we could only hope brings more cries of "best week EVER" from Retroforce GO's very own Chad Concelmo, Sega has promised to deliver more import Genesis titles to the Wii's Virtual Console. Following in...

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