Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Out-Cast: Episode 08 - Japan Only Games

This is the eighth episode of the Out-Cast. In this episode, we talk about the "Japan only" games we have played. We report on not only if the games were good or bad, but our experiences, how they hold up over time, and if those with no Japanese ability can play them. Please leave any comments or questions in the section bellow.

Download: Mediafire, iTunes

00:00:00 Introduction
00:01:51 What's the Happs?

  • Used DS XL
  • Michael Jackson Memorial Party
  • Peace Walker
  • Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

  • GameZone
  • Split/Second
  • Bayonetta
  • Ouendan I/II
  • Dragon Age
  • Castle Crashers
  • Fallout 3
  • Surgery
  • Nakajima Megumi
  • Kano Yoko Fan Event
  • Yamato Event

00:55:15 News
  • Giant Eva
  • Idol Master 2
  • Karigurashi no Arietti (The Borrower Arrietty)
  • Tactics Ogre
  • Gundam Unicorn

01:17:32 Japan Only Games

16-Bit Era
  • Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Scrambled
  • Ranma ½: Bakuretsu Rantōhen (Released in the US as Ranma ½: Hard Battle)
  • Umihara Kawase

32/64-Bit Era
  • Tobal 2
  • Vib Ribbon
  • Evangelion 64
  • Soukaigi
  • X-Men vs Street Fighter (Sega Saturn)
  • Ore no Shikabane Koete Yuke (Walk Over My Dead Corpse)
  • Sampugita
  • Gunparade March
  • Ace Combat 3
  • Remote Control Dandy
  • Tokimeki Memorial 2
  • Macross: Do You Remember Love? (Sega Saturn)
  • Robbit Mon Dieu
  • Evangelion: Girlfriend of Steel (Windows 95)
  • Gepi X
  • Radiant Silvergun

  • Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Sho
  • Blood+: One Night Kiss
  • Metal Wolf Chaos
  • Gundam Seed: O.M.N.I. vs Z.A.F.T. I/II
  • Sonic Gems Collection
  • Rhythm Heaven (GBA)
  • Another Century's Episode I/II/III
  • Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (PS2)
  • Namco X Capcom
  • Sakura Wars III/IV
  • Shikitei
  • Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
  • Macross Ace Frontier/Macross Ultimate Frontier
  • Princess Crown

Music in this edition:
Phantom Minds - Nana Mizuki
Plenty of Grit - Megumi Hayashibara
Tobal 2 OP - Checkered Career (original album version)
dear FLOWER -Chie Kajiura


SolidBoss said...

I wake up amd bam here is the new episode :D
Thanks guys and nice photos! XD

m2use said...

Excellent podcast as always. I wish it was longer, 3 hours is not enough for me ^^. I'll definetly check out some of talked games!

Tom said...

Great podcast, I really enjoyed it. Have any of you guys played Sin and Punishment 2 at all? Kyle mentioning the badassery of Treasure reminded me of it, and I'm curious of your impressions if you played it. Also, for Gwyn, if I've never watched any Gundam in my life, and I don't know anything about it, would Gundam Unicorn be a good place to start? It's on Amazon for $45 on Blu-ray, and you seemed very pleased with the first episode. Should I dive in and get it, or hold off and watch some other Gundam series out of the bajillion there are?

Tom said...

Oh, and I forgot to ask; Richard, now that you're working freelance for Gamezone, did you quit your other job for the mytsical unnamed Japanese place to work for Gamezone? Or are you doing two jobs at once?

Kyle said...


Yes, Sin and Punishment 2 is the real deal! You should definitely check it out! It isn't the longest game in the world, but you wouldn't be disappointed.

And Gwyn will get upset at me when I say this....while I can't comment on whether or not Gundam Unicorn is good/the best way to get started with the franchise, if you do decide you want to check it out, you should save yourself some dough and check it out on the American PSN. Its available for full purchase in both HD and SD (for transferring to a PSP) formats.

riley said...

Nice podcast. Glad to see Gwyn is doing better. I suppose I do have a question for Gwyn. You guys talked about how you're supposed to give up hobbies after college. And yet, Gwyn makes regular references to "guys from the office" coming over and playing games. Has he simply corrupted them away from the norms of Japanese society or does he work with social outcasts? Also, since you say everyone seems to play portable games on their commutes, is this not considered gaming in terms of what is appropriate for an adult to do? Thanks again for a great episode.

Gwyn said...

@Tom - No, I wouldnt recommend Gundam Unicorn for someone new to Gundam since its a 30th anniversary project - as such there are a few references dropped about past events.
While old, you should start with the original Gundam Movie Trilogy. Its available on DVD in the US subbed. Then do the Zeta Gundam tv series (also available subbed in budget thinpacks), followed by the movie Char's Counterattack. This will bring you up to date with the bulk of Universal Century (UC) timeline. Then you can do Unicorn. If you want to expand a bit, there are 3 good OVAs from the 90s: 0083 Stardust Memory; The 08th MS Team; and 0080 War in the Pocket.
Notice that I havent mentioned Gundam Wing or Gundam Seed, etc - these are all alternate universe storylines and have no bearing on Gundam Unicorn or the Universal Century timeline.
Naturally, being a hopeless collector, I recomment buying the above if you have the budget for it. UC Gundam is VERY rewatchable imo. With Unicorn though, I wouldnt recommend watching it on something like a PSP screen - such a small viewing area would really do the great animation a disservice IMO. But hey, Im on record as not being a fan of downloaded anime. Personally I think that the movie/anime service on PSN is backwards, overpriced, underdelivers and pretty much is a waste of time, imo.

Tom said...

@Kyle: I actually own it already, I just wanted to hear (or rather, read) your impressions. It is a really sweet game, but it's hard as hell! I played through on Normal, and I got completely and utterly stuck on the final boss. I had to go back and playthrough on Easy so I could finish it. I'm gonna go back through on Normal and Hard again, though, now that I have all the boss patterns down.

@Gwyn: Thanks so much! I'll get on Amazon tomorrow and start placing orders. As for Unicorn, you said Part 2 is coming out in December, I believe, is that just for Japan?

Gwyn said...

@Tom: November 12. I believe it will be a simultaneous worldwide release although in the US Amazon has exclusivity on it.

Regarding the original movie trilogy - keep in mind that these are compilations of footage from a 30 year old tv series. They've been cleaned up but they still look old. However they introduce SF elements that are still used to this day and the story is seldom surpassed even in modern SF imo.

Roku said...

I just wanted to say thanks for answering my question in FULL FORCE! You guys rock, I was wondering before about quite a few of the titles you went over( Gunparade March, Gundam Seed omni vs Zaft 1/2, the A.C.E. games, and Sakura Wars.) And I can't thank you enough! I won't ask anymore questions at the moment because i'm sure you might answer some in the next cast. I would like to say however that many western mech fans feel cheated. And it's definitely something that hasn't lost appeal(ex. look at how well the last 2 tranformer movies did.)And it's not that people over here don't like animated stuff or anime doesn't have appeal. Look at the success of Avatar the last airbender(call it not anime all you want it's asian influenced animation and story) and how people went to that god awful movie by shamalamadingdong, even knowing it's terrible and doing it out of hope that it was a 10th good at the show and to support their love of the animated show. Showing I think that anime can have appeal and success and fandom in the West. Just don't skimp us on the good stuff Japan!

Gwyn said...

@Riley - Good observation! Its an easy question to answer though - I work in the gaming industry so I naturally have a much higher percentage of hardcore geeks working at my office than is normal (although I rank probably in the top 10% of the geeks in the office - most dont believe all the otaku-ish events I go to on the weekends! lol).

riley said...

@ Gwyn: I thought it might be something like that. Thanks for the clarification.

KG Jung said...

JPs don't pirate? Probably not on average, but I'm sure some do. If some members of the population can murder and commit fraud, pirating a movie or a song is hardly out of the question for some JPs.

I read a post claiming that JP movie audiences are remarkably quiet. Nobody talks for the most part while the film is showing. Is that accurate?

Question for Gwyn and Richard: Since it seems both of you have attended May'n and Nakajima Megumi concerts, which singer do you think has better singing ability? Megumi's voice seemed very limited in Macross Frontier, but then again she is both the singing voice and voice actor for Ranka while May'n is only Sheryl's singing voice. I am curious if Megumi's singing ability, when she isn't trying to sing as Ranka, is noticeably better.

KG Jung said...

I would love to hear your comments on the Fallout 3 ad for Japan:

I can only imagine what a counter ad about the stereotypes in western games would be.

Radical Dreamer said...

While Gwyn has a major hard on for UC Gundam. I much prefer the AU Gundams. In fact, there's an easy way to figure out if you'll like UC Gundam, it's called Gundam Seed. While Seed is an AU Gundam, it reuses the best plot points from the UC universe and combines them into an excellent story. Or, if you're feeling really brave, you could try out my personal favorite, Gundam X.

Nakajima is by far the more talented singer of the two. The problem in frontier is that Ranka as a character sings almost all ballads while all the Sheryl songs are upbeat. In real life, Nakajima can sing both types of songs, but May'n can only do upbeat ones.

riley said...

@Richard: If you don't mind me asking, does your new job replace your old one or does it just add to it? I think it's great to be able to do something you love-congratulations on getting the job! :)

KG Jung said...

Hmm, since you guys are in Japan and can directly translate sources maybe you can confirm or debunk this. From reading various boards (mind you since this is the internet, veracity is at best suspect), it's my understanding that Kanno actually wanted to write more complicated, challenging songs for Nakajima, but couldn't. Nakajima's voice range was so limited at the time that she didn't have a lot of leeway when it came to composing songs for Nakajima/Ranka. To be fair though, Nakajima was a total novice when it came to singing and voice acting. When Kawamori was getting Macross Frontier together, he wanted to get someone totally new to play Ranka. They held a VA contest and Nakajima won. To have Macross Frontier be your first VA and singing role must have been quite daunting. Now this was 3 years ago so with proper training and experience, I'm sure Nakajima has gotten better since then.

Another thing I hope you can confirm or deny is this: Kawamori originally intended for there to be much more balance between Ranka and Sheryl in terms of popularity and development. He didn't want one to dominate over the other. Supposedly, Kawamori wasn't quite sure how to create this balance and ended up leaving it to someone else to do and this person ended up focusing character development on Sheryl instead which helped that character become much more popular with the fans. From what I see it's certainly true that Sheryl is a much more developed character than Ranka. Hell, she's a lot more likable as well.

I don't recall any one of you mentioning that you saw the Macross Frontier movie. Was it something you guys didn't want to bother with? Will you get the blu-ray?

Gwyn said...

Hi there from a run down business hotel in Sydney! Working 48 hrs with no sleep kinda blows but on the up side, I managed to catch Stephen Lynch live at a local gig!
@KG Jung: Well, I cant say I've heard of a source for that particular rumour. Ironically, I hear the opposite complaint from a lot of western fans - that her voice has too much range nowdays and isnt always as high and cute as it was when she debuted. Cant please everyone I suppose. And if Kanno wanted to give Nakajima songs with more range - well, the 2nd Macross F movie next year should be just the opportunity she was looking for so fingers crossed!
And yes, I did see the Macross F movie about 3 times (I believe Richard saw it twice) and also have the bluray on preorder :-)
As for balancing the characters - the popularity is fairly even here in Japan. During the series broadcast, I'd have agreed that Sherryl was more popular but after the movie (which did a better depiction of Ranka's early idol career), Rankas popularity shot right up there. And there are a lot of elements about the show that have been VERY carefully balanced to keep the popularity of both characters about equal. I cant go into any details but lets just say Ive heard some interesting marketing stories from people involved in both the series and the movie.

Eegads, theres ANOTHER Soul G concert being held this year? Awesome! Looks like they are doing live versions of the recent 'From lantis' cover album.
Crazy-ass summer. I have THREE concerts to go to just on the TGS long weekend!

Radical Dreamer said...

Sadly, my freelancing does not replace my old job, but luckily I am able to both at the same time. Maybe one day I will be able to make a living on freelance work alone. But if not, I'll still be happy to know I got this far.

@KG (called you HG in my previous post ^_^;;)
I was quite surprised we never mentioned seeing the Macross Frontier movie, until I realized we saw it months before we started the podcast! As Gwyn said, I saw it twice, and I will also (reluctantly) be picking up the Blu-Ray. In Japan, the Blu contains a PS3 Macross Frontier game based on the PSP games Macross Ace Frontier and Macross Ultimate Frontier (my review of which will be up on GameZone later this week). It seems to be a trial game to see if their is interest in a full PS3 Macross game. So if I want that game in the future, I better support it by buying the Blu.

KG Jung said...

@ Gwyn and Richard

I am presuming the stories are coming from translated articles, but I really can't vouch for that. It doesn't make complete sense either way. First of all Kawamori, the creator of Macross, really couldn't figure a way to balance the characters? Even if he couldn't and left it to a subordinate, did he really remain so uninvolved in the plot development that the story so favored one of the girls over the other that he just stood by and let it happen? If it's true he wanted a good balance between Sheryl and Ranka, Kawamori did a a terrible job in the TV series since it so heavily favored Sheryl. Sheryl got the lion's share of character development while Ranka really didn't progress all that much as a character. Sheryl starts off as a rather unlikable diva with an attitude problem, but who does mature from her trials and becomes a much more stronger and admirable person. Ranka remains relatively static. Since Kawamori seems to have gone out of his way to make Ranka more equal with Sheryl in the movie, it would seem there is some truth that he wasn't fully on the ball with the TV series.

Anyway, I thought it was weird that neither Gwyn or Richard mentioned watching the movie. A PS3 Macross game based off Ace Frontier/Ultimate Frontier would be awesome, as much as Sega AM2's Macross game (the Macross game I think most of us fans were waiting for). It's tempting me to get the blu-ray of the movie. By the way, how was the movie version? From the few reviews I've seen, it sounds a bit disappointing.

Since Gwyn is such a Sakamoto Maaya fanboy, why isn't he in her fan club? Wouldn't that help out in getting tickets for her concerts or is there a "foreigner need not apply" rule?

Anonymous said...

I just found your site after searching for "Hatsune Miku podcast." I'll listen to your podcasts over the next few days.

Don't know about your history yet, but I was one of the weird fans who looked through the previews sections in early 90s GamePro magazines. They'd always include games with little to no chance of localization. I couldn't afford imports back then, but I was usually impressed by what I saw. And around 2002, when I was disappointed by the games released in English, I discovered the fan translation scene. Ever since then, I've been selectively enjoying odd import games.

I've made it my rule that if I'm importing a game, then it must have no important text (other than "press start" or something), or else it's fan translated. So that's why I imported the UK version of Rosy Rupeeland, and why I held off on importing Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side for the DS until a partial fan translation was released.

Anyway, thanks for the podcast.

Gwyn said...

@KG - Lol, no theres no anti foreigner bias in fanclubs, none that Ive come across anyway. In fact, the fact that the membership forms are purely in Japanese only keeps most of the foreign rabble out, hehehe. No, for me its a simple financial issue. Fanclub memberships average about 6000yen a year and theres at least 4 or 5 that I want to join. That makes for a pretty hefty lump sum, and if the singer/group in question doesnt have a concert that year then youve pretty much wasted your money. I find that auctions were the better solution - but with the surge in Maayas popularity, her ticket auction prices have gone through the roof as well unfortunately.

Haymar said...

@Gwyn If you have watched Gurren Lagann, what is your opinion on it? I enjoyed it quite a bit, despite not being into mecha anime much. Would you recommend gundam for someone who liked Gurren Lagann? Thanks and great podcast!

riley said...

Normally, I wouldn't ask so many questions but since you seem to be answering them on the page as opposed to the podcast, I won't hold back. :)

A simple question. What goes first, the first name or the last? Ex. Is it Gwyn Campbell or Campbell Gwyn in japanese?

Gwyn said...

@Riley: Well, the new way we are handling questions is that the longer or more discussion worthy ones are handled on the podcast, while smaller, more specific ones are handled on the site. Hopefully this will create a good balance, although suggestions are always appreciated! (also, Im in between business trips now, so this is the only time I can actually reply to questions for another week or so).
To answer your question, family name comes first, although with anything written in katakana (ie, foreign names) the order can be pretty much anything. This is because its hard for the Japanese to know which is which. If its written in Japanese, the family name is usually fairly obvious. So the staff at the local hospital call me by my surname, whereas a random guy at work sometimes calls me Mr. Gwyn. I just tell then to call me Awesome to avoid confusion. Sadly though, noone seems to listen.

Layfons said...

Great podcast guys, love hearing about the latest events and games in japan.
Gratz on the freelancing job for Gamezone as well Richard. Looking forward to more of your game podcasts.

@Gwyn: I noticed you work in a game industry, any tips on how to get a job at a game industry. I'm currently in university/College dunno what they call it in the US and currently learning computer science and game programming. However i'm currently doing a 1 year gap job at Accenture. Just wondering if you have any tips how I can approach this.

KG Jung said...

Hate to tell you this Gwyn, but there are camera rips made by JPs of anime movies. At least I'm presuming they are JP and not one of you evil foreigners :P . For example, there is a camera rip floating around of the "The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi" made from a JP theater and you can see the screen fairly clearly. I'm guessing this theater didn't have the anti-video recorder countermeasures that you mentioned.

"I've got to . . . . . . . SAVE AMERICA!"

Classic, just classic . . . . more catchy than Dude Bro II. Next Metal Wolf Chaos game: Presidential mobile suits launching out of Abe Lincoln's nose from Mount Rushmore.

Rudie said...

Interesting podcast. Do you guys know that ex-GAMEFAN dudes are making a similar podcast? (Actually searched yours out because they weren't updating enough.)

Really happy to actually hear from someone that had played that Pissed over child cover game. Was intrigued by it.

I wanted to note a few things! Sonic Gems Collection definitely DID come out in America, just it supported the US soundtrack instead of the JP soundtrack. Infact I'm fairly certain there was a US copy of it at Trader 2.

Similar note. Xmen Vs. Streetfighter supported a 4MB cart (not 2MB), and last I checked (Jan. this year) is around 1500-2000 yen at various stores in Akiba. There's also what's called a 4in1 cart for the Saturn that acts as a cheat device, 1mb, 4mb, and import enabler. The only game that had a 2MB cart were some of the SNK games, which were obnoxious because of the graphical errors if you played them with a 4MB cart.

Another thing Deathsmiles 1 was just released in America, not Deathsmiles 2. Part of the reason those games keep their cost high is a limited print run (because they know their audience so they know how many copies to make.) I can think of 2 stores in Tokyo that definitely have most if not all of Cave's PS2/Xbox360 shooters. While not in every store, the stores that will have them WILL have them.

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