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Important Importables: Import games to watch out for in 2010

Sections: 2D, 3D, Action, Adventure, Columns, Consoles, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Exclusives, Features, Genres, Handhelds, Japanese Imports, Lists, Originals, PS2, PS3, PSP & PSPgo, Role-Playing, Shooter, Sim, Wii, Xbox-360

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Espgaluda II Black Label

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means that there are hundreds of new games waiting to entertain us. 2010 has only just begun, but hype has already started to surround some forthcoming releases that have already been announced.

Today’s Important Importables is going to take a brief look at some of these forthcoming games. One upcoming Japanese game from each of the six major consoles has been chosen to be highlighted. Maybe they’ll one day be released outside of Japan, maybe we’ll never get to see them unless you import them. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to look.

Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 3rd Story (DS)

It’s been a few years, but a brand new Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side game is in the works. Previously, all new entries in the Girl’s Side series have debuted on the PS2, but Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 3rd Story is a DS game. Not much is known about the game at the moment, other than it is set seven years after the very first Girl’s Side game, will feature the skinship system and will once again follow the main character through three years of high school. Three dateable male characters have been announced so far, the idol character Ruka Sakurai, the jock Arashi Fujiyama and the studious Tamao Konno. If the last character’s name sounds familiar, it is because he is the younger brother of Tamami Konno, a possible rival/friend character from the first Girl’s Side game.

Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 3rd Story is currently scheduled to debut sometime in 2010. Since the DS is region-free, you’ll be able to import it and play to your heart’s content. There’s probably no chance of it being released outside of Japan, so plan on importing it if you want it.

Summon Night Granthese

Summon Night Granthese (PS2)

Summon Night Granthese is notable for two reasons. First, it could possibly be last RPG for PS2. Second, it is an action RPG, while most Summon Night games are either strategic RPGs or standard turn-based RPGs. It will contain some series staples though! You can play as either the close range fighter Lost or long range shooter Millet. Also, the whole summon aspect is kept intact, as both characters have summoning abilities.

Summon Night Granthese is currently scheduled to make its debut this spring. The PS2 is not region-free, so don’t order a Japanese copy unless you own a Japanese PS2. Localization chances seem slim, since the PS2 is pretty much dead over here. If any US company was going to release it though, it’d probably be Atlus.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII (PS3)

Final Fantasy Versus XIII is part of the trio of games set in the Final Fantasy XIII world. (Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII are the other two.) Very little information about it has been revealed, other than the hero will be Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir and ruler of the Caelum Dynasty and protector of the Crystals and another prominent character will be Stella Nox Fleuret, princess of Tenebrae, whose family is an enemy of the Caelum Dynasty.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII still doesn’t have a definite release date, though it did appear in a Jump Festa 2010 trailer in Japan. When it does eventually come out, you could always import the Japanese version since the PS3 is region-free. A worldwide release is pretty much guaranteed though, so I’d say stay patient rather than import.

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP)

Okay, technically Birth By Sleep is already out in Japan, but since it’s only been out about a week it can still qualify for the list. The PSP entry in the Kingdom Hearts series is an action RPG, like all the others. It stars Terra, Aqua and Ventus, three keyblade users, and is set before all of the other games in the series. Instead of following all three as they journey together, you follow each character on their individual journey to find Master Xehanort and Vanitus, and prevent the spred of the unversed.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep made its Japanese debut on January 9, 2010. If you decide to import it, expect to pay between $55-$64 dollars for it. It will be receiving a worldwide release eventually, but if you can’t wait you could import it. The PSP is region-free, after all, so you’d be able to play it on your system.

Espgaluda II Black Label (Xbox 360)

Espgaluda II Black Label is the home version of the arcade shoot’em up Espgaluda II, and the sequel to Espgaluda. You pick one of three characters, Ageha, Asagi and Ceceri, each with their own specialties, and shoot your way through the levels. There are new game modes added in for beginners and returning fans of the series, so players of all skill levels will be able to play and enjoy the game.

Espgaluda II Black Label will be out February 25, 2010. There’s no word yet if it will be a region-free release, as some Japanese Xbox 360 games can be played on US consoles. The game is going to cost between $69-75 dollars, if you decide to import it. It probably won’t receive a worldwide release, so if you love bullet-hell style games, think about importing it.

Zangeki no Reginleiv

Zangeki no Reginleiv Wii (Wii)

Zangeki no Reginleiv is a new game from Nintendo that’s basically a hack and slash based on Norse mythology. You are a young god who joins a guild of other gods to face off against gigantic, monsterous creatures bent on pure destruction. You can choose which equipment suits you best, then head off to attack enemies. You’ll be able to tear apart enemies with said weapons, either alone or with friends thanks to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support.

Zangeki no Reginleiv comes out in Japan on February 11, 2010. The Wii is not region-free, so you’ll only get to play Zangeki no Reginleiv if you own a Japanese Wii or it’s released by Nintendo in North America. If you do import it, expect to pay $65-70. As for an international release, it’s too early to tell. Nintendo’s been surprising fans lately, releasing games like Starfy, Style Savvy and Heracles outside of Japan. So it could one day get a US release.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Important Importables reviews Harukanaru Jikuu no Uchi de 2 for the PSP.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Important Importables listed 10 of the top PSP imports from 2009.

Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

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