Videogames, politics, science, all the important things in life.

Bastardized American fratboy gaming from Japan by way of France.

Posted by nfinit on July 17, 2007

Today I’m going to talk to you about Senko No Ronde, because dammit, someone needs to.

First, a logic puzzle. If you saw this on the shelf at the local StopGaming, what gaming wonders would you think lay within?

I’ll tell you what you’d think, you’d think you were going to play some whacked-out Japanese game featuring anime girls with enormous hooters. In other words, unadulterated fun.

In contrast, what would you think when presented with… this?

You’d think the disc within contained some sort of vaguely sci-fi third person shooter, the sort of thing the Xbox 360 has done plenty of times before, only this time apparently based on Lego’s Bionicle franchise.

The games above are both Senko No Ronde, and it is indeed some whacked-out Japanese awesomeness featuring a cast of anime chicks with enormous boobs, but you wouldn’t know this thanks to Ubisoft’s utter (and typical) cluelessness. It is a 2d fighter/Shump hybrid set within a lush 3d engine, the very definition of a niche Japanese okatu-targeted game, and Ubisoft has decided to ruin any chance at traction within the US. If you’re the sort of gamer who would pick up a game called “WarTech” based on the above cover art, then a 2d Fighter/Shump isn’t for you, and if you’re the type of gamer who knew about Senko No Ronde beforehand, you find this cover confusing and the cost– $60– insulting. How very Ubisoft.

Thing is, had Ubisoft recognized what they had here– a Japanese title on a system starved for reasons for gaming okatu to pick something up for it– they’d have a nice little sleeper hit on their hands. As has been shown, there’s money to be had in openly pandering to the okatu set. And at least the guys who ported over Earth Defense Force— the title’s only real competition until Trusty Bell and Blue Dragon are released– had the common sense to realize that there’s no way you should be charging the full sixty dollar MSRP for something that’s obviously a niche title.

I’m not proud to say that I found a used copy at StopGaming for $40 used. Hypocritical of me, I admit but I’m sure that sting of pride will be much alleviated thanks to the vintage ’97 Miata I’ll be buying with it twenty years from now.

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