Retro Uprising
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Found in Translation

Not long ago, the face of the video game industry had a form far different than what we see today. During the years leading up to the current console generation, Japan ran the show, leaving Western gamers at the mercy of sluggish localizations and with no choice but to read and re-read import coverage as they waited impatiently for killer titles to trickle overseas. Even landmark, blockbuster games like Final Fantasy VII took their time in making the transition to English; nine months separated the Japanese and American releases of the franchise's 32-bit debut, an unthinkable delay today.

Those unwilling to wait for Japan's best and brightest to arrive through the proper channels often resorted to craftier means. Importing, though often prohibitively expensive, allowed gamers to play the same titles that publishers were readying for English shores -- provided they made the proper modifications to their consoles. But these folks clearly made up the minority, as most video game enthusiasts lacked the budget and fortitude to slowly plod through an expensive import game with a kanji dictionary always at the ready.

For most of us, these Japanese games were a complete mystery until they showed up on the shelves of our local game stores -- and if they never made it, well, these lost titles would remain a mystery forever, the object of both speculation and wonder.

Found in Translation: Inside the Noble Art of ROM Hacking from 1UP.com
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