Thursday, 10 March 2011

Sonic 3: Are Japanese Retro Games the Way Forward?

My Japanese copy of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 finally arrived in the post today:

I bought this off a South Korean-based Racketboy user, molotovwars, for $16 (~£10) including shipping. I'm really happy with my purchase, it has all the bits and bobs it was bought with. I must say I'm always surprised at how well looked after second-hand Japanese games are. This is my third Japanese Mega Drive game now and all three are in excellent condition. No sun bleaching, no scuffed cartridges, no missing manuals, no mysterious rattling inside the cartridge, it's fantastic. £10 is how much I would have to pay for a local copy of Sonic 3 on eBay, and I guarantee that none of those are in as good condition as my new one. 

You'd be hard-pressed to find this amount of goodies in a 2nd hand game from the West.

I find myself thinking more and more of exclusively buying complete-in-box Japanese copies of Mega Drive games that have no real language barrier, as the advantages outweigh the slightly higher prices. The artwork is usually better, the manuals are usually in full colour and are brimming with illustrations, many games lack the censorship imposed by their non-Japanese counterparts and I'd be lying if I said the novelty of having a favourite game in Japanese didn't excite the weeaboo hidden within the darkest corners of my mind.
An example of the colour and style found within a Japanese manual. More below.

I'm getting to the point where I either own the majority of Mega Drive games I remember from my youth, or that the remaining few are astronomically expensive. I find myself thinking that I'd like to have a go at Sega games I've never played before, and not just the classics or the obscure titles. Sourcing these from Japan might be the way forward methinks.


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