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For those who don't know what it is, it is a DS game that is basically a bunch of little old school 8-bit (but original) games... overhead racer, 2D SHMUP, turn based RPG, etc. Then the game makes you do a bunch of specific challenges within these games.
You mean like English language versions? If you're just pirating what you could be importing, I'd say it's best to import and support the developers or whatever. But if it's incomprehensible in Japanese and there is an English pirated hack, might as well go for it. Especially on games that will probably never make it into English officially.
Whether or not to pirate, like any moral choice, is ultimately up to each individual (assuming that they have the know-how to do it). Morality is never absolute. It's a sliding scale that moves for every person. I personally like supporting industries and products that I enjoy, especially if they need the support. But if I have no reasonable alternative, then I'll certainly endeavor to experience something some other way. I feel absolutely no guilt for reading reams of scanlated manga, because I pour shit-tons of money into the industry, and I always support my favorites, when they become available. As far as games, I see no problem with downloading the English version of Mother 3, because the alternative (importing the game and reading the translation while I play) is not comparable. But if it came out here, I would buy it. And I almost always buy new (usually discounted) instead of used, partially to support the developers and publishers and partially to NOT support GameStop. You might save $5 off of the retail price, but where is it going?
Like I said, everyone has their own moral compass (assuming they aren't heavily religious). There's no point to judge anybody else, because someone could turn around and judge you just as easily. Still, it does trouble me that the youth of today has grown up thinking that every non-physical good should be free for their consumption. In certain industries, like music, the creators can still make money by touring. But what alternate revenue stream does, say, an animation studio have? What motivation will those creators have to do their best work? As today's entitled youth grows up, it could really spell the death (or, at least, vast shrinkage) of many creative industries.
The piracy trends in the video game market are interesting. A system like the DS is easily pirate-able, so why doesn't it have the crippling piracy rates of the PSP (assuming it isn't just the larger install base)? I think it's because of the audiences. The audience for the PSP is young (mostly moral-free), and tech-savvy. Ergo, they can and will pirate the shit out of anything that is possible to pirate. But the DS (and Wii) hit such a wide audience that most of them don't want/wouldn't even know how to pirate. And many of them probably fear the repercussions, because they aren't as knowledgeable. That's a pretty smart audience to court.
Sony's just lucky that the PS3 hasn't been hacked yet (has it?).
Anyway, it really isn't expensive to import games. I usually wait for deals and get them for $20-$35. And the language barrier is usually very small (except with RPGs).
I just completed, a few seconds ago, the last challenge: beat all of the games.
It's been a blast. You don't know it yet, but you need this game. You really do.
It's so hard to talk about it without spoiling anything, and I do want to avoid spoilers, since discovery in this game is, like, 10% of the fun. Which doesn't sound like much, but the game is a lot of fun. 10% of 1,000,000 is 100,000, know what I mean?
I'll just say that the game is clever. Everything we know and love in old NES and arcade games, everything we forgot about and loved in old NES and arcade games, is in this game in some way.