Games I buy: Tokyo Edition

While in Tokyo, Japan, I spent some time shopping for games, which is something I generally do whenever I'm in a new area.  Whether I'm returning home to Minneapolis, visiting my friend in Tampa, Florida, or flying overseas to Japan, I'll find the locations of the Used game stores and try to visit each one.

I'm not searching for anything in Particular.  I generally browse their selection and check prices for all of their stock.  Occasionally, I'll come across a game or a price that sets off some alarm bells in my head.  "Wow, they have a copy of Dragon Force on Saturn.  Sweet."..  "Holy crap, Psychonauts on PS2 for $20?!"

While I'm still in the US, I'll pull out my cellphone and check the price against what is listed on Half.com.  If there's more than a $15 gap in favor of the game I found, I'll buy it and list it on Half.com when I get home.  But, if it's a game I'd be interested in playing sometime in the future, I'll probably buy it anyways.

These days, I haven't bought a whole lot of new games because I have almost everything I want.  Or I feel that I have too much and should stop buying games.

That's not the case in Japan.  In Japan, used games for retro consoles are pretty cheap, so when I come across a game with Gem-like qualities, I'll buy it.  And such is the case with every game on this list, except this first one.

PS3/Bluray - Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete 1st Edition

Though, Advent Children Complete really isn't a game.  The 1st Edition release contained the demo for Final Fantasy XIII on PS3.  I decided to buy it because Square has no plans to release a disc version of the demo in North America.  And the Advent Children Complete film is entirely in english.  Or, at least, subtitled.

I figured the "1st Edition" might be difficult to come by since it's a first edition.  But, Square saw fit to produce nearly 2 million first editions of this set, so this product was everywhere.  Every store I went to had copies of Advent Children Complete.  Most used stores even had it.  In fact, Yamada Lavi in Shibuya, which is where I bought it, actually had their copies discounted to around $52.

DS - English of the Dead

While browsing game stores in Shinjuku, I came across English of the Dead for the DS at a Softmap.  I was instantly entranced by the sheer concept and the throwback to Typing of the Dead for Dreamcast.  It's basically the same game!  Instead of typing out words to kill zombies, you translate Kanji into English.  What a perfect vehicle to learn more Kanji!  Instant Purchase.

DS - Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! 2

I found this game at a Trader located in Akihabara for a mere $20!  For those who don't know, the Doki Doki Majo Shinpan is a dating sim sort of game where you must determine whether or not underaged school girls are witches.  In order to make that determination you must touch and grope these girls with the DS Stylus.  Take a look at this video for a demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phSZ_rNhDsw

The first Doki Doki Majo Shinpan was release in 2007 and prompted much internet humor.  In 2008, SNK released this follow-up that was rated even higher on their Adult-content scale.

Anyways, $20 is pretty cheap for one of the more bizarre Japanese DS releases.

DS - Ketsui Death Label

This is one of the rarest DS games to date.  Ketsui is a "bullet-hell" shooter made by Cave.  It was released in limited run and contained a DVD with video of professionals running through the game perfectly.  I found Ketsu when I started doing my serious game hunting during my trip.  It was only $46 at Geo in North West Shinjuku.  $46 is an excellent price considering it goes for 2 to 3 times that on ebay.

Dreamcast - Project Justice

That Geo was an untapped vein of gold.  I also found Project Justice for only $26!  Another game that sells for over $100 on ebay.

Project Justice is the 2000/2001 follow-up to Rival Schools released on Playstation.  Rival Schools was one of Capcom's first truly successful 3D fighters (if not THE first).  The sequel refines all the early 3D hiccups and is a fantastic polished product.

Playstation 2 - Dance Dance Revolution Festival

The third game I found at that Geo was DDR Festival for only $20.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find DDR Party Collection while in Tokyo, but I did this DDR game which was released after it.  DDR Festival was the Japanese release of the American version of DDR Extreme (a horrible horrible game).  But it featured slightly better music and a couple Japanese Pop songs that are pretty fun.

For only $20, how could I not add another PS2 DDR to my collection.

Dreamcast - Ikaruga

Shooters on the Dreamcast aren't too difficult to come by, but they are very difficult to come by cheap.  Shooters are what have kept the Dreamcast alive way WAY past it's expiration date.  The Dreamcast basically died in 2002 in both America and Japan.  But thanks to the Naomi Arcade hardware (which was a Dreamcast), arcade perfect console ports kept the Dreamcast alive until just two years ago with the release of Trigger Heart Exellica (also available on XBLA).

I wrote a bit about it in these two lengthy posts: http://theschlock.com/blog/?p=129 and http://theschlock.com/blog/?p=128

Ikaruga was released on the Dreamcast in 2002 and was a perfect port from it's Naomi Arcade brother.  But would become obscure by its niche genre and dying console.  Ikaruga became hugely popular in the underground gaming scene when it was released on the Gamecube and brought over to America in 2003.  It was still niche, but it was finally playable on an American console!

I love this game. ^_^  It's one of my top 20 games of all time (which needs to be updated).  It's one of those games that found the perfect balance between difficulty, gameplay and game design.

I've seen copies of the Dreamcast Ikaruga in Japanese stores for $100+ before, but this was the first time I came across a used copy.  It was only $36!  I don't care if it's opened, I want to play it!

Now I just need to find a cheap copy of Border Down.

DS - Rittai Picross

When searching the Geo in Takadanobaba (north of Shinjuku), I found a Poster for this game.  I love Picross DS, so I was instantly captivated by a 3D Picross game.  I figured that I would definitely use this game to kill time on the Bus.

And it killed way too much time.  In fact, I blame Rittai Picross for taking this long to write about my Japan trip.  I don't think I've ever been addicted to a game like I was with Rittai Picross.  I didn't get a single thing done after I returned from Japan because of this game.  It's the perfect time-killer.  The puzzles only took about 15-20 minutes to complete.  Every time I finished a puzzle, I told myself that I could easily squeeze another one in before bed.  I'm only back on the wagon now because I completed every single puzzle in the game.

I wouldn't really even describe this game as fun per se.  It's just a puzzle game like Sudoku or Crosswords.

Anyways, Rittai Picross is new in Japan.  It was release in March 2009.  Also, it was developed by Hal Laboratories (creators of Super Smash Brothers) so stay tuned for a North American release.  You too can have your life sucked away for a month!

Playstation 2 - Vib Ripple

Vib Ripple is the sequel to Playstation's Vib Ribbon which is very much a product of its time.  Vib Ribbon is a vector based game that would dynamically constructor its level based on whatever CD you put in the Playstation.  You control Vib (that rabbit character on the front) and jump around in the level while your music was playing in the background.

In Vib Ripple, I have no idea what you actually do.  It's not vector based.  I don't you play using your CDs.  I think it's just a bunch of stupid mini-games with Vib.

Anyways, it was $5 and a had $5 store credit after buying Advent Children Complete, so I got it for free.

Sega Saturn - Rayman

Speaking of $5, I also bought Rayman.  I'm not really sure why.  I heard this game was good?




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