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Important Importables: 2010 DS import gift guide

Sections: 2D, 3D, Action, Adventure, Casual, Columns, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Exclusives, Features, Genres, Gift Guide, Handhelds, Japanese Imports, Music, Originals, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Shooter, Sim

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Inazuma Eleven 3: Sekai e no Chousen!! Spark DSIf you’re looking for a Christmas/Hanukkah/winter holiday gift for a gamer you love, an import video game could be the perfect choice. After all, it’s something your loved one may not have thought of or been able to afford, since they’re usually more expensive than domestic games. Plus, it’s always neat to own a game from another region.

So, once again, Important Importables is putting together a series of import gift guides. This week I have ten import DS game suggestions for people of varying Japanese skill levels. All of the below games are region-free except for one – Pokemon Black and White. So any DS or DSi will be able to play them. And, since it’s only November, you’ll have plenty of time to order and buy them!

Bokujou Monogatari: Futago no Mura (Harvest Moon: Twin Villages)
Price? Around $50
System? DS
Genre? Simulation
Import-Friendly? Not so much.
Summary? The newest Harvest Moon game, which lets you choose whether you want to live in a farming or ranching village. Once again, lots of new characters to meet and bachelor/bachelorette options.

Inazuma Eleven 3: Sekai e no Chousen!! Spark or Bomber
Price? Around $50
System? DS
Genre? Soccer RPG
Import-Friendly? No
Summary? Inazuma is going to Soccer Island and form an ultimate Inazuma Japan team. Recruit characters and take down opponents in soccer matches with special attacks. The two versions have two different opposing teams and other than that, they’re the same.

Last Window The Secret of Cape West DSLast Window: The Secret of Cape West
Price? Around $50
System? DS
Genre? Adventure
Import-Friendly? Yes, if you get the European version
Summary? The sequel to Hotel Dusk, which follows Kyle Hyde’s adventures a year after the original game. Kyle has been fired from Red Crown and he’s going to be evicted from his Cape West appartment because the building is being taken down. Just after he hears all this, he receives a mysterious note asking him find the Scarlet Star hidden in Cape West.

Love Plus +
Price? Around $50
System? DS
Genre? Girlfriend simulation
Import-Friendly? No
Summary? An enlarged and enhanced version of the original Love Plus with all new events included. For example, you can now go on a vacation date with one of the three girls. Owners of the original game can also import their information to Love Plus +.

Metal Max 3
Price? Around $60
System? DS
Genre? RPG
Import-Friendly? No
Summary? A post-apocolyptic RPG where you get to build/manage mechs and tanks, recruit party members and hunt down monsters and nasty people who threaten the peace.

One Piece Gigant Battle DSOne Piece: Gigant Battle
Price? Around $55
System? DS
Genre? Fighting
Import-Friendly? Pretty much. There’s some text, but it’s mainly a fighting game.
Summary? A fighting game set in the One Piece world. You can go through the storyline, create your own “crew” by unlocking characters and multiplayer fighting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support battles over the Nintendo WiFi Connection.

Pokemon Black/White
Price? Around $64
System? DS
Genre? RPG
Import-Friendly? Yes if you’ve played Pokemon games before, no if you haven’t.
Summary? The latest DS Pokemon game. There are lots of new pokemon, friendly rivals, a new bad-guy team, 3D cities, animated battle sprites, multiple Wi-Fi options and more.
IMPORTANT: Pokemon Black/White is a DSi-enhanced game. So it will only play on Japanese DSi or DSi XL units. It will play on all DS and DS lite units, regardless of where you bought it.

Taiko no Tatsujin DS: Dororon! Yokai Daikessen!!
Price? Around $60
System? DS
Genre? Music RPG
Import-Friendly? Yes. The RPG storyline part may be difficult to understand, but overall it’s quite import-friendly.
Summary? Play the drums on your touch screen, either alone or with up to four friends. You can play songs for fun, test yourself daily to see if you’re getting better or play through an RPG game to defeat monsters (by playing music).

Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 3rd Story DSTokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side 3rd Story
Price? Around $55
System? DS
Genre? Otome – life and dating simulation
Import-Friendly? If you’re familiar with the TMGS series and otome games, then yes.
Summary? An all new entry in the Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side series. Go through three years of high school, trying to do your best, build your stats and find love. There are all new bachelors, plus this entry features two female best friends, no rivals and love triangles.

GG Series Collection+
Price? Around $55
System? DS
Genre? Everything – it’s a game collection
Import-Friendly? Yes
Summary? It’s a collection of 30 small games, many of which were originally released in Japan as DSiWare. It mainly has action, shooting and puzzle games.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Important Importables suggests some import PSP games you may want to give as gifts.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week suggested some spooky anime and Japanese horror movies to watch on Halloween.

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

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4 Comments

  1. Jenni, I don't get it. You give some very good ideas for games here, but some of them are not import friendly. So why have them on an import list if it doesn't make sense to import them? It makes it more of a "In Japan" list than a "You Can Play This" list.

    JewWario
  2. The reason they're there is because some people who may read the guide may be fluent in Japanese. So for them a game that wouldn't be import friendly for everyone else would be for them. The "Import Friendly" category is for people who are just learning the language or don't speak it at all.

    And the four which aren't necessarily "import friendly" are pretty big or important releases in Japan, and so deserve a spot on the list.

    In general, all would be import friendly in the technical sense, since they can play on any DS or DS lite regardless of region. (I'm pretty sure the Love Plus, Pokemon Black/White, TMGS3 and Inazuma games are DSi-enhanced though, and would only play on Japanese DSis.)

    Jenni Lada
  3. HAHA! You do have a point.

    Regardless, I heartily agree with your choices and look forward to seeing one or two of them wrapped in pretty paper this December for me.

    JewWario
  4. But I still might say that if something isn't 'Import Friendly' then it might not belong on an 'Import' list. Perhaps a 'Hopefully It Gets Imported' list might be better. A week of games that need to be known about, but aren't good to import?

    JewWario