For this installment of "Have you ever" I decided to take a topic that I myself normally stay clear of and see what my fellow Dtoider feels about this particular subject.
The last time I can remember importing a must have game because I was so hooked on the idea was the original Pokemon blue (yes captain obvious that explains the picture) but when I originally imported it back in the gameboy era importing wasn't such a huge and controversial idea. I remember I had just been on holiday to Florida and was quite young at the time so decided to take in some good old fashioned american cartoons that us limeys didn't get to enjoy. The biggest one at the time was a little show called Pokemon, which was the abbreviation for the Japanese franchise Pocket Monsters which I'm sure you'll all know, well most of you. I'd become so addicted to the show that when we left I decided to start up the old 56k modem (which of course meant mining some coal and fueling the steam powered engine that was on the back of it) and investigate how I could get more of this fix. I was so happy to find that Sky One was showing Pokemon and so I could continue watching Ash's journey of getting gym badges he never deserved and barely ever capturing any pokemon due to him been too busy making friends.
At the same time that my investigation took place I saw that there was also a game for my favourite (and only) handheld console that was rather cheap even including shipping. So I pleaded my mum for her card and then went back to the internets! This attempt was sadly thwarted due to the address requiring a ZIP code and not allowing me to put in my Postcode. So I was defeated . . . . .
Until a shiny ray of light came to me from the back of my GamesMaster magazine. Amidst the porn, ringtones and pictures of Mr T readily available for download I saw an advertisement for cheap imported games to the UK.
As you can tell the story ended happily and I got my game months before the show started airing on SM:TV which was a saturday morning show here in the UK and I had already caught as many pokemon as I could from the blue version before my friends could even buy it yet!
At the time I knew nothing of whether my consoles were region locked region free PAL NTSC, I'd never looked into that kind of thing because I didn't need to. Nowadays though this is the main concern and/or problem with importing games. When Super Smash Brothers Brawl came out in America, everyone in England who was after this game was given no reason as to why we had to wait nor why it was taking so long to get to the rest of the world after Japan had been happily brawling away for months. Some tried importing the game after doing dubious things to their Wii's and for what? To get the game earlier because they didn't want to wait.
So let me ask you this, first of all have you ever imported a game for whatever reason it may be (the most legitimate of which been that only the country it was imported from got the game), do you stand by your action and believe you would do it again because it was worth the extra work and cost? And lastly do you think that if games were given more availability at the same time with world wide releases would it stop importing or will certain countries still get screwed over by been left in the corner for no reason other than the fact the games companies don't have to supply their products to everyone.
I myself think importing is a waste of time now, I had gotten my pokemon game back when I was younger because I never knew it would be coming out for the UK, but now that it takes illegal means to set my consoles up for imported games to get them earlier I just don't think it's worth the hassle. That's just my opinion though, at the same time I'm outraged I had to wait so long for SSBB to get no extra content or even an apology/reason for the wait. Stupid Reggie, I hope he fornicates himself with a wii motion plus peripheral until he dies of exhaustion from been a big meaty bastard.