Top 25 Best Import Games Ever – Part 1
E.X. Troopers (JPN)
Expect To Pay: £25-35
This anime-styled Lost Planet spin-off only launched at the tail end of last year, but Capcom has already ruled out any chance of a Western release; sadly, the in-game speech bubbles are art assets rather than text boxes, so localisation (which was never planned from the start) would be a huge undertaking and involve redoing a huge amount of the assets from scratch. It’s a real shame, too. While Lost Planet 3 sets its sights on more traditional third-person shooter territory, E.X. Troopers is an evolution of the co-op focus seen in the sorely underappreciated second game. The PS3 version is naturally Region Free, so shoot for that one unless you have a Japanese 3DS.
Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (JPN)
Expect To Pay: £20-30
Sure, Ouendan sort of got a Western release in the form of Elite Beat Agents, but anyone who has played the Japanese original will be able to tell you just how much more entertaining it is than the localisation. The bonkers short stories that pan out in the background of each song are, if anything, better if you can’t understand them. The J-rock craziness fits the look and feel of the game far better than EBA’s soundtrack, which brought together the unholy trinity of Madonna, Jamiroquai and Avril Lavigne for the first (and hopefully last) time. Will run on any DS too, handily, so run along and get your import on.
DJ Max Portable 3 (US)
Expect To Pay: £10-15
Hardcore rhythm-action fans might point out that this isn’t perhaps the best game in the franchise. But given that it’s the only one that got a US release, it’s far easier to recommend from a pricing point of view. This is as traditional as rhythm-action gets, but don’t be put off by the simple presentation; a host of customisation options let you tailor the experience to be as mild or as challenging as you like, plus various modes incorporate more and more buttons to really get your hands dancing. If you think you’ve got skills when it comes to music games, let this overlooked gem be the judge. You might not like its ruling, though…
Chain Dive (JPN)
Expect To Pay: £15-20
This 2.5D oddity is the exclusive invite-only party of the article; it’s so far off the radar that without being tipped off about it, you’d have no idea that it had even happened. A hyperspeed platformer of sorts, Chain Dive sees you traversing levels using grapple points and freezing foes with melee strikes in order to fling yourself off them as well, smashing them in the process. It’s confusing and slow at first, but, much like Bangai-O, it’s immensely satisfying (not to mention dumbfounding for casual observers) once you fall into its unique rhythm. You may not have heard of it before, but by the time you’re clearing entire levels without touching the ground, you’ll be glad you did.