Group photo, 33 games in total (for now)
This is my import collection and one that is very much still a work in progress.
The general rules I set to myself were relatively simple:
- They have to be Japanese games;
- They have to be cheap (collecting on a budget);
- They have to be complete sub-sets (divided by franchises/series);
- They have to be a black label (first print) version;
- They have to be complete in box (CIB) with manuals, cases, discs and any other extra like promotional/registration cards.
Starting from the top, my complete MGS set, featuring each game that was released on the system. Fun fact: the one with the green boxart is the Digital Graphic Novel, known as Bande Dessinée in Japan which is French for 'comic strip' The content of the boxset for MGSPO(+), it's just the two games Closeup on the \"Deluxe Pack\" boxart. Fun fact: This was a re-release of both MGS PO and MGS PO+ as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of MGS
There are a miriad of different versions of these boxarts (for PO, PO+ and PW). The issue is that it's hard to track them all down because each was part of a different bundle. I also tend to shy away from boxsets in general, but I made an exception for this because at the time I still needed both titles and this appeared as an auction on eBay with a weird name which made it go unnoticed compared to similar listings. Paid around €13 as nobody bid on it but me while other listings with accurate names sold for around €45. PW was around €5, BD was €15 and Ac!d 1&2 were around €7 and €10 respectively. I have no plans to go after the different variants for PO/PO+ and PW as there's no point in doing so.
Moving on, the next set is the Phantasy Star Online one. From left to right, PSO1, PSO2 and PSO2: Infinity
One might argue that PSO2 and PSO2:I are the same game with minimal differences and they'd be right. However, if you speak Japanese (or if you're patient enough for the translation patch to finally be completed) Infinity is the definitive version to play. The set is technically complete, albeit there a couple of more copies I have my eyes on. They're novelty more than anything, but would be an interesting addition nonetheless. All three of them were €2 each. Yes, €2 (two) each.
Top right is one of the most pleasant surprises I've had. It's the 7th Dragon set. Fun fact: 2020 and 2020-II are both spinoffs of the main 7th Dragon series and the only 2 games with this setting
They're tactical JRPGs set in a modern world, but one that is infested with monsters and the like, however it's a very interesting couple of games, the combat has interesting mechanics plus they were made by Sega. Well worth the €2 for the first and €5 for the second.
Under the MGS games, there's a number of misc games. Tactics Ogre doesn't need any introduction Magna Carta, an adventure rpg (fully in 3D) game with a lady with air balloons on her chest Lunar Harmony of the Silver Star is an old school JRPG part of the Lunar series, very good game (only one on the PSP) Jeanne D'Arc is another game that doesn't need any introduction. You must play this game, one of the best tactical rpgs on the system
These 3 games were some that I lusted over for a while. I played the original games in the Ogre series (all of them) and this is very very good. Lunar was something that I didn't play before, but turned out to be a decent game. Jeanne D'Arc is probably in my personal top5 of must play games. Paid around €3, €14 and €5 for them respectively.
Next is another set, the God Eater one. God Eater, God Eater 2 and God Eater: Burst
Not much to say about these, they're similar to Monster Hunter games, but with a more steampunk/sci-fi vibe to them. I personally prefer them over Monster Hunter because of this setting. If you like Monster Hunter, you will like these games, that's for sure. There are still 1 or potentially 2 variants that I would need to fully complete the set, but the crown jewel is probably GE2 as a lot of people thought it was only released on Vita, but it did actually receive a physical release on the PSP aswell, albeit only in Japan as far as I'm aware. It's definitely an uncommon game. Paid between €3 and €5 for each.
Next is another batch of misc games. Final Fantasy Type-0, one of the best action rpgs on the system Resistance Retribution (still factory sealed) Wild Arms XF (Crossfire) Fun fact: It's a \"Sample Loaned\" version. Apologies for lack of focus, my phone is retarded
Final Fantasy: Type-0 doesn't need any introduction, it's a great action rpg set in the Fabula Nova Crystallis
timeline. If you've ever played Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core, this is similar to that in terms of gameplay. Here however, the game has a heavy steampunk/sci-fi theme. One of the best looking games on the system.
Resistance Retribution is a title was I was not planning on getting. I played it before and it was very fun (as fun as a shooter on the PSP can be anyway) but when I bought MGS Ac!d 1, this was available from the same seller so it was one of those 'oh fuck it all, I'll take it, why not
' kind of purchases. I was going to pay shipping anyway, so might've aswell combined it with something else. Upon further inspection, the yellow sticker is applied on top the outside of the plastic and it's from the Famitsu Magazine and there's another warning sticker (in orange) on the back which covers the bar code and says something along the lines of "this game is not to be sold separately
", which puzzles me as I couldn't find any reference to Famitsu ever bundling PSP games with issues of their magazines, but the orange sticker is inside the plastic and it's factory sealed so I have no idea what's the deal with it.
Wildarms XF is another small puzzle. I bought it because I wanted it (it's another very good tactical rpg by the way) as I was a fan of the originals on the PS1, but when I opened it I noticed something that I didn't see anywhere else. Normally, the only thing on the "shell" is the UMD logo, but this also has "Sample Loaned" printed below it. Upon some research, I came across a few threads about some PS4 games having the same text on the disc and the speculation was they were essentially review copies sent to magazines for free. However, loaned obviously means that it wasn't for the magazine to keep as the more traditional pre production "Promo Version" copies we have here in the West but was most likely meant to be sent back to the publisher once the review process was done.
Anyway, FF:T-0 was €0.01 (yes, 1 cent because of an auction nobody saw that ended in the middle of the night for Western people, RR was €7 (as part of the bundle with MGS A1 mentioned above) and WA:XF was €35. Guess that offsets for the disgusting luck I had on FF:T-0.
Moving on, bottom left are the 4 games in the Monster Hunter Portable series. Monster Hunter Portable full set
These games don't need any introduction, however they're a clusterfuck to sort through. If I were to list all the differences between each of them (or even just between MHP2 and MHP2G) I would be here all day, let alone trying to explain which is which compared to the Freedom Unite variants we got in the West. MHP2, MHP2G and MHP3rd are relatively common (albeit you'll most likely find them in a "Best Price" yellow label which is the Japanese equivalent of "Greatest Hits", "Platinum Games" and all that trash here in the West) but MHP1 is actually quite an uncommon title, especially with a black label. Price for the first one was €5, the other 3 were €10 as a bundle.
Are you still with me? We're almost done, don't worry. Legend of Heroes saga First closeup Second closeup
This is probably the most challenging set of them all. As far as I'm aware there are a total of 9 games released on the system which were part of the same franchise. These are the first 6 I could get a hold of. There are still 3 that I'm trying to locate, but I'm almost there. Unfortunately, only one of these received a translation patch, but if you speak Japanese they're very very very good games and I can't possibly stress it enough. Prices ranged from €3 to €5 each.
And last but not least, the final 2 games. Star Ocean: Second Evolution and Silent Hill Zero
Silent Hill Zero is essentially the Japanese version of Silent Hill Origins, but the interesting part is that the game is fully in English. Only the text (menus, description of items and actions you can perform) are in Japanese meaning that this is one of the very few story driven games on the system that you can buy from Japan and have very few language barrier issues with. I wanted it because of the much better looking cover (in my opinion anyway).
Star Ocean: Second Evolution is another jrpg and a port of the original version but a very good one at that. I still miss the first one (SO: First Departure) and another variant to complete the set. Both games were €11 for Silent Hill and €3 for Star Ocean.
A couple of considerations. A lot of what can be seen here was mainly bought through eBay, however a few games were actually purchased in person by me back when I lived there years ago. Overall, I have probably spent a gross of €150 into building this collection in its current state which factors in the shipping fees, import duties for some bulk orders exceeding tax-free limits and of course the cost of the games themselves. As it currently stands, it's probably worth around €300. A lot of games were cheap to buy for me, but on average their individual value is more in the €10/each range.
And there it is ladies and gentlemen. I wanted to documentate this because for the next few months I will have a lot of things to do in real life and I don't know when I'll have the time to get back at it. I'll make a follow up in 5 or 6 months, depending on when I'll have another substantial update to show, which may or may not include a trip to Japan to stockpile on yet more games.