• 2011 Import Video Game Round-up

    There were a number of games worth checking out that were released in Japan in 2011 but will probably not arrive in in the West. Fortunately a few like Last Story, Pandora's Tower and Catherine have now found publishers over here, which is great news for gamers everywhere.

    The PS3 saw the release of the HD remaster of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, based on the 2010 PSP release. It added an online mode and the ability to transfer characters between PS3 and PSP and is one of the best Monster Hunter experiences. Also, the 3DS had Monster Hunter 3G. Ni no Kuni, originally released on the DS, saw a PS3 version at the end of 2011.

    Tales of Xillia, the 13th in the Tales series or RPGs, sold very well in Japan, receiving rave reviews.

    Gundam the 3D battle, a giant robot combat game, scored highly here with an 8/10, with good use of 3D and a tough enough challenge. Gundam Extreme Versus was released in December for the PS3.

    Also on the 3DS, there was AZITO 3D, a strategy game for which information is hard to come by, although the theme is building a secret base, protecting it and doing research sessions, so if you fancy yourself as a bit of a Blofeld, it might be worth checking out, but check out some screenshots first to see the level of Japanese required.

    Professor Layton and the Last Specter had a whole section called "London Life" removed, so to get the full experience, it would be worth importing the US version.

    A bit of a departure for the series, Final Fantasy Type-0 on the PSP is an action RPG, with real-time battles and a decent story. Reports suggest that this is being developed for a Western release too at some point.

    The Japan 360 saw a couple of Otaku releases in the shape of Gal Gun and Idolmaster 2, the former of which, being a lightgun-with-the-pad style game, can be played without any Japanese knowledge, whereas the latter will need some wiki help to proceed. Being the home of new shmups, the 360 also offered Akai Katana, Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu and Muchi Muchi Pork & Pink Sweets, Eschatos and Bullet Soul, which received mixed reviews, but all worth checking out if a shmup addict.

    Senran Kagura on the 3DS covered off both Fighting and Perving in the same game. Bouncy with plenty of fanservice. Alternatively, there was Nanoha A's The Gears of Destiny on the PSP, or Ougon Musou Kyoku X, ported to the Xbox360

    On the PC, there was Ys I&II Complete, Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim Collectors Pack and Ys: The Oath in Felghana Collector's Edition, plus around 17 Ys soundtracks.

    On the horror front, the Wii had Ikenie No Yoru, an ambitious effort using the balance board, which provided plenty of scares.

    Also unlikely to make it to our shores was Evangelion Sound (3nd) Impact and Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Extend, both ryhthm action games for the PSP.

    There are probably plenty we have forgotten, so please add your comments.

    Meanwhile, if purchasing any of the games above, please consider using our affiliate link to Play-Asia

    Have a wonderful 2012 in gaming. Many thanks to all the Bordersdown readers who contributed to this article.