What a Fist of the North Star Fighting Game Taught Me About Importing and My Love of Anime Tie-in Fighting Games

On staff, Francisco Garcia Fuentes is known as the heavy Japanese import gamer. A neat aspect, in my favor, is currently Francisco has everything he orders shipped to my house, so I get to open boxes filled with titles like Demon’s Gaze, Seventh Dragon 2020 II, and the Queen’s Blade strategy-RPG that came out a few years ago. For me, import gaming is another step one takes to become hardcore, akin to buying and collecting Gen 2 video games like Atari 2600s, translating and crafting foreign language patches, and buying an arcade cabinet. Looking for my own affordable (you know, because importing games is an expensive endeavor) venue into import gaming, I went with a safe bet; a dirt cheap copy of a PSP fighting game based on the Fist of the North Star spin off  Hokuto No Ken: Raoh Gaiden – Ten no Haōh.

I chose Ten no Haōh thinking a fighting game would ease the biggest barrier when playing import games, text, usually, this is a bigger problem with rpgs and strategy games, learning how to even play the game. Deciding I could finger my way around the familiar opening menu, (oddly in English, which I have noticed in the other titles Francisco has played where random text for stats and menus will be in English), with the usual Story Mode, VS CPU, Practice, and Options choices readily available, I went forward, thinking button recognition could be easily learned from a round in practice mode.

I then learned Japan uses the “O” button as the “yes” command, with the “X” button as the “No” command on the PSP. After my entire way of life came crashing down around me, I thought back to how in anime, when exams are handed back, circles mean that the answer is right, where an “x” means the answer is wrong. Makes sense. Even now, I will forget this fact and hammer the “X”, becoming frustrated at how I am now back at the title screen. THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME PEOPLE!

Varied character selection, the one true weakness for a dork like myself.

Varied character selection, the one true weakness for a dork like myself.

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