I recently bought a Japanese 3DS and man, that eShop is good. From Sega 3D Classics such as OutRun and Fantasy Zone to Virtual Console releases like Trip World and Joy Mecha Fight, there is a ton of great stuff there that just isn’t available on the North American eShop.
Although you can apparently use foreign credit cards on the Japanese eShop, the actual Japanese point cards are way more fun. Here are some that I’ve bought:
OK, so if you have no idea what Yo-Kai Watch is, watch this:
Alright, that video doesn’t do much to explain what the series is all about, but if you found it as charming as I do, keep reading.
The popular/easy explanation of Yo-Kai Watch is “Pokemon with Japanese ghosts,” but it’s more than that. Thanks to word of mouth, passionate fans, and some shrewd marketing by Level-5, Yo-Kai Watch is an absolute phenomenon in Japan right now.
Everywhere I’ve been, from convenience stores to shrines, has had some sort of Yo-Kai Watch goods for sale.
For some, it’s no big deal and/or pointless. For others, it’s like a pilgrimage to Mecca. I’m not sure what exactly standing on the sidewalk outside Nintendo HQ in Kyoto meant to me, but I’m glad I did it.
The neighborhood surrounding the headquarters is quiet and typical of an off-the-beaten-path Japanese neighborhood. There are cute houses, large apartment buildings, and a handful of convenience stores and restaurants. The most remarkable place in the neighborhood is probably the plum field.
Even more unassuming than the neighborhood itself are the Nintendo buildings. Grey, quiet, and pretty much totally walled-off, you’d really have no idea that brilliant, creative, and insanely colorful games were being made inside.
My big shopping goal for this trip to Japan was to acquire a Japanese 3DS system. From Sega 3D Classics to Gaist Crusher to the Virtual Console, I had dozens of reasons for wanting one. I went to a couple of game shops and saw everything from plain systems to special editions featuring Luigi, Monster Hunter, Animal Crossing, One Piece, and more. But one system caught my eye above all others- The Dragon Quest Monsters 2 special edition console. I’m a huge Dragon Quest fan (I even do a Dragon Quest podcast that will have a third episode, I promise!) and I just knew this was the Japanese 3DS for me. It was used, but as you’ll see in the pictures below, in perfect condition. And at 17,800 Yen, it was a damn good deal. Let’s take a look at it!
P.S. Please enjoy the lovely floral background provided by the comforter on my hotel room bed :-)
My soon-to-be five-year-old son’s interest in video games has been steadily increasing since he inherited a DS Lite from a family friend a few months ago. He frequently breaks into the cabinet housing my DS games and he’s been having a lot of fun with Mario, Zelda, and Chibi-Robo!, even if they’re a bit too difficult for him to really master at this point. So when Nintendo sent out an email earlier this month announcing their Play Nintendo Tour 2014, I couldn’t wait to take him to check out this family-focused demo event. Continue reading →