• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

Opinion Do you import games?

Do you import games?

  • Yes, I import to get games that I can't get in my region

    Votes: 42 42.0%
  • Yes, I import to get a better price on games compared to my local price

    Votes: 6 6.0%
  • Yes, I import for the sake of content differences (censorship, exclusive content, etc)

    Votes: 14 14.0%
  • No, I'm not a weeb

    Votes: 38 38.0%

  • Total voters
    100

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
29,332
70,266
1,405
USA
dunpachi.com
Region-locking has been a spotty thing for as long as I can remember, with various tricks (cutting off your SNES cartridge-slot tabs) and aftermarket products needed to play games released in a different region.

But now things are pretty open.

So I'm curious if GAFers use the option of importing games for one reason or another.

I'm in the USA so we get most games, but there are a number of releases that are Japan-only or only released digitally in the USA but get a physical copy in the EU or ASIA-region, so I import from there. The majority of my imports this gen have been shmups and puzzle games, which usually get a physical release in Japan or ASIA-region but not elsewhere.

I know availability is only one facet of importing. Sometimes people prefer the goodies included with a game (like the EU version of LoZ: Link's Awakening compared to the USA version) or they prefer the cover art. Maybe the game is censored in your region but not in another region. Maybe importing the game costs less than buying it at a local shop.
 

Ceallach

Smells like fresh rosebuds
Aug 8, 2007
6,667
758
1,385
36
There are certain titles I import, VNs that don't get released or titles based on properties that don't have a western presence.

But most of my imports are retro titles. I have a huge thing for old mecha PC88, 98, MSX, etc tites and import them a lot from private deals and Y! auctions
 
  • Fire
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

MudoSkills

Member
Mar 2, 2014
2,192
1,122
675
Rarely these days. I got all the region free Cave shmups on the 360 last gen, but the only thing I've imported this gen was an Asian copy of DJMAX Respect. At the time it wasn't a sure thing it would get a western release, and the HK store is all in English for the DLC.

It's relatively pointless for me importing games I'm interested in early as I don't speak Japanese.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

CuteFaceJay

Member
Sep 11, 2019
1,301
730
335
I did for the first mainline Pokemon game on the DS as that was going to take another 2 months before it got to the EU. Just imported from US. Still got it too :D
 
Mar 5, 2020
576
914
365
www.otakugamers.uk
I import regularly from Japan, but it's mainly for games that don't get a release here - currently have a Dream C Club Mahjong game on the way for Ps3 :messenger_smirking: There's one specific seller based in Japan on eBay that I use, they always have good prices and delivery is usually only around a week to the UK, so it's easy enough these days to fill out my collection.
 

IKSTUGA

Member
Jan 9, 2019
884
727
415
I've only imported a couple of games, all of 'em from Play Asia.

- Mushihimesama Futari. A fucking amazing shmup on the 360.
- DunDunpachi Black Label or something? Another great 360 shmup from Cave. Nice username OP BTW :messenger_winking:
- Guilty Gear Xrd. I think originally it didn't come out in the EU, so had to import.
 
Last edited:

MiguelItUp

Gold Member
Feb 24, 2015
6,332
5,326
800
I definitely imported when there was something I REALLY wanted that I knew or didn't think would come stateside. The last few times the games I imported surprisingly came stateside, haha. So, I've been more patient these days as it's apparent the titles seem to come to the US eventually. Well, for the most part.
 

Naibel

Member
Sep 17, 2019
440
804
350
France
I do it as well, mainly with retro stuff (Japan Saturn library ftw) and occasionnally with newer stuff. I bought the Tank Nintendo DS from America back in 2004 because waiting for the European release 6 months later was insufferable. Thank god release dates between regions are less spread out nowadays.

I'm itching to import P5 Scramble once I'll be able to, because godammit Atlus, when will you release it for Christ's sake ?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

Moogle11

Banned
Feb 7, 2020
1,657
1,631
565
No. I have very mainstream AAA tastes and can’t remember the last time a Japanese AAA I cared about didn’t come out the same time in the US.
 

Ahjumbie

Member
Mar 26, 2013
3,199
2,767
1,030
www.twitch.tv
I used to import games . I think my KOF 96 and Samurai Shodown 4 are both the Japanese versions for the Neo Geo cart system . J&L and Penguin Village in Manhattan were the only places I knew where to get those games and jeez did thet let you know it ..about $300 a pop . I would never spend that much money on a single game anymore
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

GreatnessRD

Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,066
958
510
Baltimore, MD
I used to during the PS2 era. Wanted to on 360, however, Wrestle Kingdom was sold out and I wasn't paying $200 the second market was looking for at the time. Hasn't been a need for me PS3 era to present.
 

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
29,332
70,266
1,405
USA
dunpachi.com
I've only imported a couple of games, all of 'em from Play Asia.

- Mushihimesama Futari. A fucking amazing shmup on the 360.
- DunDunpachi Black Label or something? Another great 360 shmup from Cave. Nice username OP BTW :messenger_winking:
- Guilty Gear Xrd. I think originally it didn't come out in the EU, so had to import.
Rarely these days. I got all the region free Cave shmups on the 360 last gen, but the only thing I've imported this gen was an Asian copy of DJMAX Respect. At the time it wasn't a sure thing it would get a western release, and the HK store is all in English for the DLC.

It's relatively pointless for me importing games I'm interested in early as I don't speak Japanese.
Some of those shmups are crazy-expensive which is why I buy the ones I want at launch, even if I have to import.

The CAVE shmups on PS2 and 360 are easy examples. I bought Mushi Futari, Espgaluda 1 and 2, Saidaioujou, Daioujou, etc used for around $40.00-$60.00 each from various Amazon and eBay sellers years ago. Spending $40+ on a used game felt pricey at the time.

Most of those go for $100-200 now. I genuinely feel frustrated that newcomers to the genre don't have easy access to these classics without paying through the nose. It's unreasonable.

I do it as well, mainly with retro stuff (Japan Saturn library ftw) and occasionnally with newer stuff. I bought the Tank Nintendo DS from America back in 2004 because waiting for the European release 6 months later was insufferable. Thank god release dates between regions are less spread out nowadays.

I'm itching to import P5 Scramble once I'll be able to, because godammit Atlus, when will you release it for Christ's sake ?
Good callout on the Saturn collecting. Some older console libraries are pretty bare unless you import. 100% of my Saturn collection is imported from Japan, not only due to availability of games but also due to price (US versions are crazy expensive).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Naibel and IKSTUGA

Impotaku

Member
Jul 26, 2014
2,471
1,195
575
Leeds / UK
I have imported since the first gameboy days i refused to accept the offerings of what was deemed suitable for me because i happened to be born in a certain country. Some games never get released others heavily cut because my fragile uk mind couldn't possibly comprehend japanese culture without been dumbed right down. Things a bit more mixed in the current gen as thanks to nintendo finally embracing totally region free gaming i have been more inclined just to pick up domestic releases but i still do get japanese games and the same with PS4 but pretty much everything before that barring x360 is all Japanese imports.

Pretty much nearly everything you see on those shelves are Japanese games. A lot of years worth of importing up there, smuggled out to the uk one game at a time lol.
 
Last edited:

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
Mar 18, 2013
13,723
2,958
970
Omaha, NE - USA
I miss importing games, especially for PS2. Play-Asia once a upon a time had a nice selection of PS2 imports. This was back when Kingdom Hearts II Final Remix was a thing and Final Fantasy XII International were hot items. . Unfortunately I bought what I could afford and haven't looked for more in a while. Of course there are a lot of games on eBay I want. I just spend money on new games. I have a handful of PS1, PS2, and Saturn imports. I bought Puyopuyo Tetris when it was a popular import and had not been released here.

A lot gets localized. When I bought Dark Souls III on the JP PSN marketplace. I bought a couple Arcade Archives. They're all now on the NA PSN. I once purchased from a GAF member who lived in Japan. I bought a X-Men VS Street Fighter, Panzer Bandit, Hokuto No Ken on PS1, and a bunch of other awesome games. I even got Kid Dracula for GB. I love the box for X-Men VS Street Fighter

I own my Chinese +Korean copy of Demon's Souls for PS3. I definitely want more, but I can either afford the new games I want or buy imports. There are a few that I would buy right now if I could. I also would like to own a PAL PS2. I own a NTSC Slim and a JP Slim model.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

Alphagear

Member
Mar 13, 2018
620
781
380
Mostly retro PS1 games especially RPGS not released in PAL. Only buy NA versions.

Regret not buying some of them earlier. Some of them cost a small fortune.

The only 2 games I imported on release overseas were RE4 on Gamecube NA version and Demon Souls Japanese version.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi
Jun 15, 2019
1,766
3,042
435
I *have*. As a general rule no, but I don't really buy physical anymore, primarily digital on Steam. That being said I have imported some stuff. Got some NTSC-J copies of PS1 games I like, the old Resident Evil's, Metal Gear Solid Integral, Soul Edge, stuff like that. A friend brought back a copy of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for me last time he was in Japan. I also imported the remasters of REmake and Zero before they were available physically in the west.
 

deriks

4-Time GIF/Meme God
Dec 21, 2013
4,830
3,569
1,060
Recife, Brasil
Nintendo doesn't exists here a while, so everything is imported either from a local store or from yourself

PlayStation and Xbox exists here and most games are localized, so I don't really care to import, unless it's a limited edition thing, like my Sonic Mania collector's edition which was cheaper to import.

Retro games are a hit and miss. I got Toy Story with original package for R$50 (less than US$10), but Mario World is like R$100, what the fuck?
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

Tarin02543

Member
Oct 14, 2007
2,600
599
1,380
Yes, I've imported quite a few Japanese Saturn and Neo Geo CD games.

This will stop since I have my DE10 Nano and once I will have my Saturn Satiator card at the end of this year.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

Bakkus

Member
Oct 12, 2014
2,538
826
570
26
Norway
Yes. I have hundreds of imports from SNES, PS1, 2, GBA, GC, DS, PSP. My Genesis/CD, Saturn & N64 are all NTSC consoles, so all my games on those are imports. There's also the problem with 50hz PAL games which I wouldn't wish for anyone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

entremet

Member
Dec 6, 2008
85,719
383
1,455
Very rarely. And I'm mostly digital these days so even less. The last time I imported was in the 360 generations.
 
Last edited:

Old Retro

Member
Dec 17, 2019
641
815
325
I haven't gotten an import since around late 1996 when I bought Rockman 7 and Outrun for the Saturn. I used to listen the Outrun CD in my car, as you could play it in a standalone CD player :lollipop_smiling_hearts:
 
  • Fire
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi
Oct 4, 2013
4,205
1,994
875
USA or Japan
www.thunderboltgames.com
Every once in awhile, if the US only gets a digital release, I'll keep an eye on prices for import and grab it when it's reasonable (mainly Swtich games).

I also have about 500 Japanese Saturn, Dreamcast and Famicom games that I picked up when working/living in Japan. So, not really "importing"; just buying games in the area I lived at the time.
 

Bigfroth

Member
Feb 21, 2013
284
209
610
I don't import to much last game I imported was Aquanaut's Holiday: Hidden Memories PS3 from Play Asia. It was a Good game.
 

01011001

Member
Dec 4, 2018
5,076
7,853
570
not as much anymore nowadays... back in the day it was because german versions often got censored to death as soon as there was too much violence going on.
but now even Mortal Kombat 11 is not an issue anymore and even Nazi symbolism is ok now... so, the need to import anything has gone down dramatically over the years.

price could still play a role, but the price differences are negligible
 
Last edited:

PhoenixTank

Member
Jul 13, 2017
1,360
1,492
705
These days not really, but back in the DS & Wii days, yeah. The DS was thankfully region free from the get go, and it wasn't too much of an effort to softmod a Wii for homebrew and region free capabilities. Europe tended to get stuffed with release delays a lot more back then too and NMH1 was censored. Importing a bunch of games from Canada was painless and actually cheaper or at parity back then.
Last import was actually Cave Story+ for Switch. EU publishers were dragging their feet on a physical release, then suddenly it was added to the eshop a few weeks after my physical copy arrived.
 

Danny Dudekisser

I paid good money for this Dynex!
Oct 13, 2008
21,021
8,445
1,480
No, I'm not a weeb. If a game is any good, it will get a stateside release, and honestly, importing is for idiots.

Also, I just imported a PC Engine Duo RX, a Japanese Mega CD 2, Kingdom Grand Prix for the Saturn, and 2 Japanese Neo Geo CD games in the last week.

Actually, I was also watching a video last week about Cave Shooting Collection Kan on the 360. I didn't play mine all that much (always been meaning to), but that sonbitch goes for like $800+ these days, used. That's crazy. Gotta snatch those niche import releases up while you can.
 
Last edited:
Jan 14, 2018
4,655
5,665
780
I always import games, I like it.

In my country, the people usually like very commercial and very common games.

I am more of a gamer type that tries different games or that almost nobody knows their existence, so I always resort to importing.
As in the case of the onechanbara saga I always get the games and nobody knows the saga in my country.

It also happens that I prefer the European versions over the American ones.
Or if they are games that I consider strange or that are impossible to obtain, I get them, I am also a collector of games that are difficult to buy.
 

Guilty_AI

Member
Apr 12, 2020
3,428
6,060
680
Nope, all digital for me nowadays.
Still a weeb tho.

Aside from me however, there was a time that my sister would import certain 3DS games that she couldn't get here. I believe Xenoblade Chronicles was one of them.
 
Jan 11, 2019
13,629
49,537
1,320
Tokyo, Japan
I have imported since the first gameboy days i refused to accept the offerings of what was deemed suitable for me because i happened to be born in a certain country. Some games never get released others heavily cut because my fragile uk mind couldn't possibly comprehend japanese culture without been dumbed right down. Things a bit more mixed in the current gen as thanks to nintendo finally embracing totally region free gaming i have been more inclined just to pick up domestic releases but i still do get japanese games and the same with PS4 but pretty much everything before that barring x360 is all Japanese imports.

Pretty much nearly everything you see on those shelves are Japanese games. A lot of years worth of importing up there, smuggled out to the uk one game at a time lol.
This is my dream 💙
 
  • Like
Reactions: Appleprosy

Valonquar

Member
Jun 27, 2013
2,677
1,492
755
Winston Salem, NC
I used to import a lot more than I do these days. Most stuff makes it over here in similar enough shape that I am fine. As long as the JP audio track is there I'm good. Fuck some trash NA/EU voice actors, with very few exceptions.
 

Susurrus

Member
Feb 7, 2007
1,703
332
1,520
Washington, DC
I find it a bit ironic, back in the days when I did want imports it was a lot harder and region capabilities were an issue. These days it is all region free, we have digital options so we don't even have to get physically, and to top it all off my inlaws are Japanese and my wife sometimes goes to visit her family (I go w/ her about half the time) so it is super easy for me, but there is not shit that I want to import. I played PSO2 on PS4 for a little bit. I picked up Hatsune Miku f Vita (didn't know it would be localized since it was the first to) before leaving Japan, back when I left in 2013, and later got Phantasy Star Nova also on Vita when my wife went back to Japan to visit family, but that is it. There isn't anything else that I've seen that I want. I live in the US and we get most things. Everything else we don't get that are always suggested are vertical shooters, Gundam games, or dating games, DOAX none of which I"m interested in. I seriously see nothing we don't already get despite looking every now and then.

I do import controllers, though. I picked up the PS4 gold and crystal gen 1 controllers a long while back that we never got (we got gen 2 which are slightly different, especially the gold backing, I prefer Gen 1's style of black instead of the tanish). I also picked up an Ocean Shade XBone controller since it was way cheaper in Japan and I was visiting said inlaws at the time. Same w/ Green/Pink joycons. My Vita is also an OLED blue system which I got since it was a few months before I left so I just got it from amazon JP.

If I'm wrong on titles, though I'm always down for suggestions, my Japanese skill is decent enough to play all except super text heavy games, so language barrier isn't terrible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

Cato

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
5,405
8,479
755
I regularly import games for PS1 and PS2, mainly from japan and mainly using ebay.
We have very little in the form of retro stores here in Australia so I have to import and Japan seems to have the best/largest selection of older games.

PS3 games I find I can still mostly buy, on ebay, from local australian sellers but that will probably dry out too over time :-(
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
29,332
70,266
1,405
USA
dunpachi.com
Psikyo Collection Vol. 1-3. I'm debating ESP Ra.De. Psi. I sold PC v.1-2 and feel stupid.
The recent ESP Rade port is solid.

Excellent!! i can suggest that search ketsui for ps4... is a great game and actually seems to be a rare gem to find.
And so is Ketsui Deathtiny.

Feels like there will be a lot more shmup ports in the coming years. Errything getting ported and added to branded Volumes and Libraries and Collections.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Heimdall_Xtreme