Top 25 Best Import Games Ever – Part 2
Baten Kaitos Origins (US)
Expect To Pay: £30-40
Quite how a sequel to the bizarre card-based RPG was ever deemed commercially viable is anyone’s guess. But whether it was a hilarious joke on someone’s last day or a well-meaning yet naive notion that this kind of game could ever escape niche appeal, we’re glad it happened. The card mechanics permeated the experience to an even greater degree than in the original and even with titles like Kingdom Hearts: Chain Of Memories singing from the same hymn sheet, there’s still nothing out there quite like this. Time to bust out the dusty old FreeLoader, then.
Aquanaut’s Holiday: Hidden Memories (CHI)
Expect To Pay: £70-100
This sedate Asia-only underwater adventure is already changing hands for silly money, if only because the one full English SKU seems to be something of a modern-day rarity. More experience than game in the traditional sense, it’s easy to kill hours just chatting to fish and photographing submerged curiosities. It still looks awesome some five years on (which is more than can be said for a lot of other games the same age) and if you see a copy for sale, we’d advise you to pick it up if you can afford it; not only is it uniquely brilliant, the price hasn’t stopped rising since the day of release.
Suikoden III (US)
Expect To Pay: £40-60
Strangely, the only main series entry to not receive a global release is also arguably the best. The Trinity Sight System gave players the opportunity to view the story through three different sets of eyes (just as Shining Force III’s similarly Euro-dodging second and third discs did) and combat was refined and improved over the earlier games, making this one of the most fondly remembered RPGs of its era. Visually, it doesn’t stand up so well today, but even so, completionists and genre fans really should have a copy in the collection.
Captain Rainbow (JPN)
Expect To Pay: £20-25
From the makers of Chibi-Robo comes this daft tale of a washed-up superhero sent to an island where similarly forgotten characters from Nintendo’s past are put out to pasture. Many of the cameos will fly over the heads of Western gamers, but some – like Birdo and Punch-Out!!’s Little Mac – should please seasoned gamers. Wandering the island and befriending a bunch of has-beens might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but true to classic Skip form, the team somehow manages to make the seemingly mundane surprisingly good fun, even if the humour is a bit coarser than in its other games.