Out of country, out of mind

Hey nerds, Scurge Hive really does exist, even beyond developer ROM carts. I know this for a fact because my copy has shipped from NCS, and NCS has never lied to me in the decade-ish we’ve been doing business. It’s a relationship built on trust, yo. To commemorate the occasion, here is a small nugget of linkiness: my 1UP Scurge Hive review, which in retrospect is overlong and ramblesome. Ah, whoops. Old habits.

Between this and Contact, your guilt-induced obscure-but-deserving gaming purchase quotient for the month should be full up. (I’d like to add Touch Detective to that list, but I just can’t.) That should leave just enough for you to buy FFXII next week, because seriously, who would want to ignore the best game in the series since (IV/V/VI — insert your favorite 16-bit entry here)?

Incidentally, I’ve taken to doing practically all of my non-import game shopping at NCS as well. It’s about as pricey as EB Games, sure, but it’s 100% less evil and horrible. I’m a big fan of supporting the little guy. Although they probably won’t need the help now that Lik-Sang has shuttered its windows while screaming curses about Sony’s mom into the night. Admittedly, I never once did business with Lik-Sang due to its high sketchiness factor, and I certainly don’t want to jump on the bandwagon of ill-informed nitwits mobilizing to defend/decry Sony, but the precedent set by a court outlawing imports is not at all reassuring. Without import gaming, this stupid hobby would be considerably less entertaining. Hopefully this will be a console exclusive for Lik-Sang and the British high courts alone.

And be sure to pour a 40 in the memory of your UK gaming brethren. Their already meagre games selection just became even worse. You wouldn’t think such a thing would be possible, really.

25 thoughts on “Out of country, out of mind

  1. Hopefully this will be a console exclusive for Lik-Sang and the British high courts alone.

    I hope not! If it is it’s almost guaranteed to show up everywhere in six months!

  2. Europe isn’t entirely a pit of misery, you know. For a hundred terrible PAL releases, with giant borders and no 60hz mode, there are one or two games that receive vast improvements, with extra areas and bugs ironed out.

    So uh no I guess it is not really worth it anyway. Even if we did get a LIGHTSABRE in Ico.

  3. Well, there’s always eBay for them, right? If my memories of Lik-Sang prices are correct, it wouldn’t be that much more expensive.

  4. Please, JP, that was uncalled for. This isn’t the nineties anymore and Lik-Sang was never the only way to get imports. I hate all this exaggeration that keeps Americans thinking the UK is some hole with five games available.

  5. I don’t know much about the UK and their gaming, but I do know that I really want the European versions of Metroid Fusion (Hard mode? FUCK YEAH!), ICO, and Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits.
    Are there any other UK games that got awesome upgrades? MGS2 and 3 only semi-count, seeing as America got those eventually…

  6. Uh oh, looks like someone woke up on the “take every glib remake seriously” side of the bed. Don’t look so down, Mr. Grumpypants!

  7. I like play-asia.com better, anyway. A Japanese ceramic white PS2 currently goes for $180 on play-asia.com (http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-o-49-en-70-1lyz.html), while the same system goes for $265 on ncsxshop.com (http://www.ncsxshop.com/cgi-bin/shop/SCPH-70000CW.html). I think Lik-Sang’s perceived sketchiness comes from their extensive use of semi-broken English throughout their site, though I always thought it gave them a wonky sort of charm. But I’ve ordered several times from them with no problems. I’m just wondering how far-reaching the repercussions of this will be. Will all import sites be prevented from selling Sony products? Will this only affect the UK?

  8. NCSX charges more because they have to deal with an importer middleman, but I don’t mind the extra cost because they provide a level of customer service that Play Asia doesn’t. Both stores have screwed up my orders at one point or another, but how they dealt with their mistakes made a big impression. PA claimed their system makes it impossible to make a shipping mistake and refused to refund or exchange the product they sent me in error. NCS apologized and mailed a replacement the same day, taking it on faith I’d return the faulty merchandise.
    Winner: NCS forever.

  9. But did NCS include totally rad Mega Man ZX and Dead Rising stickers with your order? I think not! Good point about the customer service, though. I guess I’ve been lucky with my orders.

    I did get a really cool Taiko no Tatsujin toy from NCSX. If only I could figure out once and for all how to turn it off, so that it doesn’t shriek unintelligible Japanese instructions at random moments. I suppose the battery will eventually run out.

  10. You can find it glib, I find it smacks a sore spot and reinforces a misconception.
    I was tempted to just use the Picard facepalm ASCII as my first response, except a) I don’t have it saved and b) you’d probably ban me for it.

  11. Scurge is at Wal*Mart, of all places. Didn’t see it in any of the other usual stores—Circuit City, EB/Gamestop—and most disappointingly, not at Toys R Us, where I was hoping to make it a part of their buy 2 get 1 free sale. I guess it’s going to have to wait.

  12. PlayAsia waits until the day before your super-special-edition pack is released to inform you that the preorder you’ve had for TWO MONTHS cannot be filled and then cancels your order entirely. Not puts it on hold, not asks if you want to keep it active and wait for a second shipment possibly–erases it entirely from their system so if you DO re-order it and wait, you go to the back of the queue.

    NCSX has extras of said pack so that you can do business with them instead.

  13. Not that I did a lot of business with Lik-Sang, but they certainly did right by me the couple of times I ordered from them. They were the folks I got my copies of Radilgy and Under Defeat from. They gave me free shipping and I never had to worry about getting shafted (though really, should I be worried about them running out of a new release for a system that’s been dead for half a decade?)

    So yeah, boo to Sony for that. In all fairness, though, Lik-Sang’s response wasn’t exactly businesslike either.

  14. Actually, post-death Dreamcast games are released in insanely limited quantities and were among the most expensive games I saw in Akihabara. So yeah, good thing you preordered.
    I’m not sure where the podcast’s audio problems stemmed from since the monitor deck sounded fine. I equalized the worst of the interference out (it was MUCH worse) which is why the sound quality is muffled and awful. It’s really disappointing because the actual content was exceptional.

  15. Touch Detective looks a little too cutesy for me. And the puzzles in the worst Sierra game still make more sense than some of the stuff from 7th Guest. (Well except for Gabriel Knight 3, but the good programmers were fired by then.)

  16. Ultimately, the decision to go after importers is a rather stupid one in business terms. Regardless of whether a product’s sold in its home territory or not does not change the fact that it has been sold. The manufacturer still gets their money regardless. This is just Sony getting anal about something (surprise, surprise), though technically this is about imported PSPs not the games themselves. I’d imagine there would be no problem importing the games themselves, given that they’re not manufactured by Sony, and that the only problems with disc based media are manufacturing defects and S&H related damage. You’d just have to find another way to play your Japanese games *cough* mod-chip *cough*. And aren’t PSPs region free anyway?

  17. Man, all this anticipation for Scurge: Hive, endured for a year or so, and at the last minute you make me 2nd guess it. Which is really ironic since you were one of the bigger motivators to get it (aside from the artist). Speaking of which, it does have some of the best cover art in a long time.

    And while we’re on the topic of UK import gaming, I second the wanting of UK Mr. Driller DS, but I have no idea where to find UK import games like this, seeing as how there’s almost zero reason to import UK games. Except Shenmue II and Winning 11 games.

  18. Well, I wasn’t aiming for bait-and-switch or anything. The hour I’d spent with Scurge as of a few months ago led me to believe it was going to be amazing; after playing through the final result, the remainder of the game didn’t live up to that first hour. The only major problem is the level design, though.

  19. I have happily been content with Contact the past few days. I might give Scurge a whirl if it is on the level of Metroid or should I just wait till next week until FFXII? Decisions, decisions.

  20. “You’d just have to find another way to play your Japanese games *cough* mod-chip *cough*.”
    I kind of suspect that this was the culmination of their previous action against Lik Sang for selling mod chips. It’s like the Wild West, but where you settle grudges with lawyers instead of guns.

  21. Two years ago, I ordered a game from Lik-Sang and dropped the extra $40 or so bones for the most immediate delivery. It came two months later. I swore I’d take them down. I did nothing. They fell regardless.

  22. what the fuck? lik sang was never sketchy. They always did right by me, 100%, and i’m sad to see them go. I wouldn’t have bought a Sony product anyway, but i’m double-boycotting them now. Ha.

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