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Important Importables: 2010 console import gift guide

Sections: 2D, 3D, Action, Adventure, Columns, Consoles, Exclusives, Features, Fighting, Gaming News, Genres, Gift Guide, Japanese Imports, Originals, PS3, Racing, Role-Playing, Shooter, Sim, Wii, Xbox-360

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The Important Importables gift guide deluge of 2010 continues! This week, I’ve put together a selection of nine import console games that could make great gifts this year. There are three PS3, three Xbox 360 and three Wii games listed below. Perhaps one could be a nice surprise for someone you love.

Now remember – only PS3 games are region-free. If the person you’re shopping for bought their Wii in the US, don’t buy them a game on this list. They won’t be able to play them. Also, double check before buying any of the Xbox 360 games on this list, as some are region-free and some are region-locked.

Dream C Club Xbox 360 ドリームクラブDream C Club Platinum Collection
Price? Around $35
System? Xbox 360
Genre? Dating Sim
Import-Friendly? Nope. It’s region-locked so it only plays on Japanese Xbox 360s. Also, it’s text heavy.
Summary? This is a dating simulation where you have one year to visit a hostess club and try to win the heart of one of the hostesses by talking to her and playing mini-games together.

Espgaluda II Black Label
Price? Around $75
System? Xbox 360
Genre? Shoot’em Up
Import-Friendly? Yes. It’s region-free and you don’t really need to read to shoot enemies out of the sky.
Summary? A vertical shoot’em up with awesome character designs and backgrounds, multiple gameplay modes and three characters to choose from.

Hakuoki: Junsouroku
Price? Around $77
System? PS3
Genre? Visual Novel / Girl’s Dating Sim (otome)
Import-Friendly? No. There’s LOTS of text.
Summary? This is a dating sim for women set in the Bakumatsu period and starring members of the Shinsengumi as chasable bachelors. The PS3 release includes a port of the original PS2 games Hakuoki and the sequel/fan disc Hakuoki: Zuisouroku. In it the Shinsengumi have been cursed and players step into the shoes of Chizuru, a daughter of a doctor who is searching for a cure for them.

Initial D Extreme Stage (Best Version)
Price? Around $45
System? PS3
Genre? Racing
Import-Friendly? Yup. There’s some text and event scenes from the Initial D series, but it’s mostly about racing.
Summary? If you’re tired of waiting for Gran Turismo 5, pick this up instead. It’s cheaper and already available. It has over 20 cars, over 25 drivers and eight race courses from the series. Unfortunately, you can’t download additional DLC content unless you have a Japanese PSN account.

Mushihimesama Futari Ver 1.5
Price? Around $75
System? Xbox 360
Genre? Shoot’em Up
Import-Friendly? Yup. It’s region-free and doesn’t require really any reading skills.
Summary? A shoot’em up where you head into a forest to shoot down lots of giant beetles and search for a missing prince. You can go through as either the younger prince Palm or the forest goddess Reco.

Tales of Graces
Price? Around $75
System? Wii
Genre? RPG
Import-Friendly? Nope. It’s an RPG, which means there’s lots of text. Plus, it only plays on Japanese Wiis.
Summary? This follows the adventures of Asbel, son of the lord of the city of Lhant. He decided to become a knight after his friend Sophie supposedly and mysteriously died, but abandons his dream and steps up to be Lhant’s lord after his father died. But is Sophie really dead?

テイルズ オブ グレイセス f Tales of Graces F PS3Tales of Graces F
Price? Around $65
System? PS3
Genre? RPG
Import-Friendly? Yes and no. Yes, because its region-free and will play on any PS3. No, because it’s a text-heavy RPG.
Summary? See what I wrote for Tales of Graces Wii? Put all that here, only add improved since this new version, which comes out December 2, has an additional character, more costumes, more skills and an Accel battle mode.

Twinkle Queen
Price? Around $65
System? Wii
Genre? Fighting
Import-Friendly? No – it isn’t region-free and will only play on Japanese Wiis. If you have a Japanese Wii, then yes. It’s a fighting game so there’s little text.
Summary? This is a fighting game for 1-4 people starring famous female characters from multiple adult dating simulations. For example, there are characters from Shukufuku no Campanella and Shin Koihime Musou. It is an all-ages game, despite the adult-game character cameos.

Xenoblade
Price? Around $68
System? Wii
Genre? Action RPG
Import-Friendly? Nope. It’s an RPG and a region-locked, Japanese Wii game.
Summary? A steampunk-RPG where humans are fighting against strange machine soldiers, trying to survive. Players start the adventure helping Shulk get revenge on the people who destroyed his hometown.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Important Importables suggests some Japanese novelties you may want to give as gifts.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week provided a 2010 import PSP game gift guide.

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

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