Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rant 31: Hell have no fury like a fanboy scorned! Region Locking = Piracy, Hacking and Modding.

GOD I AM PISSED! When I get angry at the game industry I usually get angry at JRPG publishers in the PAL region or about release date changes or Square-Enix but now Nintendo? That's weird of me considering I am the guy who tells people Nintendo is great! Nintendo will never let us down! Nintendo aren't evil! Well I guess now I have to retract that statement.

Talk to me before 2000 and all what I said above would be 100% true, but after then? Well in 2000 I was introduced to my first JRPG, Final Fantasy VIII. Why does this matter? Well I also live in Australia, the land that gaming neglects for intellectual gaming experienced that aren't on the DS. Sure this seems kinda full of holes but let me continue. After I played my first JRPG I gain a whole new love for video games that has been slowly becoming scorn for the industry as time progressed.

For those who don't know Australia only sees about 50-60% of all games released in the world and the JRPG genre is the most neglected. The thing is that it's not the market, it 3 major factors
1) Our games are determined by what the UK and Europe gets
2) There isn't enough information on the genre for people to know about it properly in Australia
3) Everyone thinks Final Fantasy and Square-Enix when they hear the term JRPG

Why does this have me angry at Nintendo? Well the Nintendo 3DS is region locked! I've had to import games in the past for the GBA, DS, PSP and PS3 and with the region locking on 3DS I can't buy an Australian 3DS and import JRPGs for it. Why should you care? Well I don't expect you to care unless you're in the PAL territory. We in the PAL territory have been screwed on game releases. Check a list of games released and compare the regions released. Guaranteed you'll see that Japan and the US get a lot more games released, count all the JRPGs alone and it's a small ratio. I bet you Americans can name 10 JRPGs on any console without really trying but here in Australia, we're lucky to have 10 on a console period from the PS One to today and anything before it is almost none existent. You know what was our first Final Fantasy? FFVII! Our first JRPG? You'd have to search Wikipedia for that information.

The region locking of the 3DS not just restricts PAL territories from JRPG but restricts a lot of games period. Just you wait, you'll see tons of games getting released in the US and Japan that isn't coming to PAL territories. Believe it or not a fair few Australian gamers are angry with the US because of getting game that we don't and while that is Petty, it's because they don't know who to blame, nobody really does unfortunately. Now on top of Australia missing out on games and not being able to get them outside of piracy, modding or importing everything including consoles the US citizens who actually know Japanese will now be missing out on games thanks to the region locking because guess what people? The Japanese games won't work on the US 3DS! All you giant mecha fans are probably now screaming at the top of your lungs.

Now the reason why this has me pissed at Nintendo is because of the fact that the PAL region hardly gets JRPGs and Nintendo JRPGs especially. Oh sure we got Chrono Trigger(DS), Final Fantasy(GBA, DS, PS1/2/3), Kingdom Hearts(GBA, PS2,PSP,DS), Dragon Quest whatever the heck I don't care about(DS,PS2) and Golden Sun(GBA,DS) plus a few others nobody really knew about but what about the stuff we missed out on? I mean the Wii only got 2 JRPG releases out of how many? Did we get Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadows? Did the SNES get any JRPGs?

Also Nintendo are big complainers about piracy. You want to know why piracy exists? It's because of region locking, over pricing and thieves. You want to know why people chip console in Australia? It's so they can import! It's not because they want to pirate games, not because games are too expensive(which they are at AU$99.95-119.95 for a PS3 or 360 game) it's so we can play any game from any region! Let's look at Blu-ray and DVD players in Australia, you know which ones always sell? Region free players! In Australia we are NOT pirates! We just want a fair go with everything! You know why Australia loves the PS3? Because the console is region free for games! We like our portable consoles for the same reason!

I'll finish this up with a statement I'm famous for,
It sucks to be PAL!

I don't condone modding or hacking but can understand why some people do it, assuming it's for region unlocking. I don't do it either.

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