Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ignorant American Gaming

As I teased in a previous post I decided to start up a new segment entirely devoted to gaming. The theme to this specifically won't be gaming in general. As the title suggests I will focus more on titles that are foreign to the average American audience. Basically this means I will be talking about a hell of a lot of Japanese games that range from the bizarre to unique to the unlikely.
So as you're reading this you may be thinking to yourself, "Hmmmm, another white guy with an adoration for Japan reviewing video games, what could he do that hasn't been done before? What makes him unique?" I'll be honest with you.... not a whole lot. I will admit I used to be a lot "worse" with this whole Japanese thing. I was into it in a big bad way. I was the type to crank through hours of anime while chomping on Pocky with my Rhyo-oki plush in my arms surrounded by Dragonball Z and Final Fantasy 7 posters. Also I was overweight so that didn't help either. I was a living cliche. Thankfully I got out of that before high school ended. Now there are a few things that did retain in my interests since then. A love for Japan in general is still very present but I'd like to think my interests in the subject has expanded and is no longer the center of my entire existence.
Going back to the title once again, I feel it's very fitting not only with my approach but also with my perspective. There are other internet bloggers and vloggers out there who are way more informed and obsessed on the subject that I am. The first one that comes to mind is Gaijin Goomba. Now I do not want to bring Gaijin Goomba down as I really like his videos. He is really good at what he does with bringing Japanese culture in with his gaming discussions and reviews. But this is because he has an actual education on the subject. He knows the language, he lived there, he has credibility I cannot compete with. I can accept the fact a lot of the bl/vloggers out there I can't compete with because of their extensive knowlege and game collection. I've seen the backdrops to the AVGN, Pat the NES Punk, and Clan of the Gray Wolf videos. I've also seen what the touch on and I only wish I had the collections they had.
Two paragraphs later, what does set me apart? While I don't physically have the collections that some of the other guys do I still have the knowledge and interest. I've gone in and out of many phases like anyone has and jumped on the bandwagon with other things later on in life, but there are three things that have been in my love and interests for as long as I can remember: Couches (I'm not kidding), Bagels, and Video Games. I have been playing video games as long as I can remember. I don't have the ability to remember before I started playing. That doesn't set me apart. All of these bl/vloggers have been doing that. What sets me apart specifically with the subject matter this segment will touch on is the perspective.
Unlike other bl/vloggers, I don't know Japanese. I never lived in the country teaching English. I've never even visited the country. I have always had an interest in the games. Not just the style of game but the literal version that would come out in Japan. Since I've owned and did the whole buy/sell/trade on most consoles I did for a little while dive into the import scene. I certainly wasn't on the up and up cause those games are sure expensive. I did have a few that were unique to country or wouldn't be released in America until some time later. The two consoles I did this with were the Dreamcast and first Playstation.
Why would I do this? Why would I need to go through all the effort of importing a game when there are either versions of said game in America already, will eventually come out in America or there are much better games that could be played that are available much more easily in America and are in a language I understand. Well, I'm a sucker for a unique experience. When I would play an American game they all felt about the same. When I would play an import it felt like something from another world. It was a unique epxerience and while similar to American games they would feel different enough to warrant an extra effort toward them. Maybe it's the different language, maybe it's the themes or style in their execution, but it's something I'm either not getting in America or from American gaming. In short I like experiencing the romantics around it. Think of it like visiting another country without having to travel.

What my new segment will be about are Japanese games that fall under at least one of the three criterias:
-They are exclusive to Japan.
-Are the Japanese version of a game that was also released in America.
-Are an American release of a game very uniquely Japanese.

I decided I wanted to get back into imports with my recent re-purchase of a Dreamcast (I have missed it so much!) which has a really weak region lock. Super easy to play imports. I will slowly be building up my import collection from there with the hopes of picking up a Japanese Sega Saturn one day waaaaaaaay down the line. Aside from that my resources and budget for imports are limited. I do want to also import some games for my original Game Boy and PS3, as well as download the PSN imports for the original Playstation. So I will mostly be talking about Dreamcast games with this segment I imagine.

To start things off, though, I will go with something uniquely Japanese: Persona 3.

Keep an open eye for my post on this in the near future. I just got the game and will need to put a lot of time into it before I can give a full review, but still keep watching for it.
Hope you all look forward and/or enjoy this coming segment!

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