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Posted: April 19, 2006 (01:48 AM)
Well, here we have it. The reason why Microsoft Japan can't satisfy local gamers is more than their inability to supply software tailor made to the local market. It stretches beyond the incompetence they've shown in targeting their machine at the correct audience, and it has absolutely nothing what-so-ever to do with their Japanese business practises. Their problem lies in customer service and support, and the lack of care they have in dealing with the end-user is quite frankly, disgusting.
Of course, my sour opinion of their latest console is based on a personal experience that needs to be told. I can't say this situation will be the same for everyone, but if their indifferent Japanese nature is anything to go by, then I'm willing to bet it's game over Japan.
My problem started a few weeks after I bought the launch console when my launch copy of Ridge Racer 6 became unplayable. Removing the game from the unit revealed a series of small, semi concentric circles along the outer edge of the disc that were in fact, rather deep scratches. The marks themselves were no longer than about a centimeter a piece, and were all located in the same region of the disc at various depths from rim. Needless to say, it was unplayable, and figuring it was just a freak occurence I went out and bought a second copy of that game.
All was well for a few months until just recently when Project Gotham suffered a similar fate. The same scratches were in roughly the same places, and the result was the same DoD errors experienced previously. A quick examination of my game collection revealed a further 2 titles in similar states of damage with both Perfect Dark Zero (a game I barely played due to its total crapness) and the awesome, Call of Duty 2 being affected.
I was pissed.
Calling the Xbox Service center in Japan offered the usual responses, "send the machine back and we'll fix it for you", "we might be able to replace the games"... that was until i mentioned I had bought one of the titles from Singapore.
And here's the catch:
Microsoft Japan will replace the games bought locally, but they won't touch the foregin product.
I know. That seems fair enough on the surface of it, but when you stop and consider for a moment that the machine in question was made for the NTSC-J region, as was the copy of Call of Duty 2, you need to stop and ask WTF?! It's no good to claim the game you bought was compatible for your machine and sold in technically the same region, it has to be from the same, very specific corner of that region.
Better yet though, when I stated my reasons for importing it (namely MS Japan's complete inability to release games in a timely fashion) the CSR I was speaking with actually agreed. HE AGREED! He understood why someone might look to import compatible software from countries other than Japan, but was unwilling to do anything in regards to replacing the damaged goods. Not even a refund or a promise to supply the game once it receives a local release... nothing.
So that's left me with this, one copy of Call of Duty 2 that's completely useless, and a claim from MS Japan that the DVD drive wasn't actually defective. Apparently either it's supposed to scratch the discs, or I scratched them myself.
The CSR's words, not mine.
I couldn't believe it, so to drive the point home I went on to mention the rubber pads that previous Xbox drives have to protect software. He again said that the rubber isn't necessary, though failed to comment on why supposed internet experts (thank you Llama) demand that it is. Brilliant!
So according tio Microsoft I'm a liar and a cheater. Awesome work guys! If you had been Sony, you might have gotten away with lying to your customers as the vast majority of them are Moms and Dads, but your product is different. Of the 120,000 owners you proudly speak of in Japan, I'd hazard a guess and say that 99.9% of them are hardcore and follow the technical, underground issues such as the whole rubber thing very closely. If you can't be honest with us, who can you be honest with?
So anyway, to make a long story short (too late!), I'm tempted to sell my 360. I have no intention of relying on MS Japan for my new software, and seeing as how they couldn't promise me this wasn't going to happen again, I'm finding it hard to justify importing new games as replacements will be impossible.
Fantastic way to screw yourself out of support guys!
This saddens me as I consider the Xbox 360 an awesome machine, and have long supported Uncle Bill in his quest for home console domination. My library of original Xbox games numbers in the 100's, as would my 360 collection eventually. Now I just don't care anymore, and I'm convinced that everything you've ever heard about their grand plans for Japan is hogwash. Bullshit lipservice to hide their incompetence from not only the public, but their Seattle Overlords as well.
For now, you can count me out of 360 gaming and I don't know when I'll be back. You've pissed me off Japan, and I'm moving towards Sony faster than you may believe.
You score as of April 19th: 120,000 minus 1
Users with accounts on the HonestGamers site are able to contribute reviews and occasionally other types of content. Below, you'll find excerpts from as many as 20 of the most recent articles posted by midwinter. Be sure to leave some feedback if you find anything interesting!
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Once known as the Japanese RPG with an odd name, From Software's latest is both an outstanding success, and a bitter disappointment. It's the type of game that screams for more development time, caught as it is in a vapid middle ground, languishing somewhere between "could have been" and "almost was".
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Game: Densha de Go! Pocket: Yamanote-Sen-Hen (PSP)
Posted: November 29, 2005 (07:54 AM)
One of the great things about living in Japan is the number of cute high school girls... another would be the train sims. I know, I know. Like you probably just did a moment ago, there was a time when I scoffed at such ideas as well. On a scale of cool to geek, train watching ranks up there with comb-overs and plaid pants, yet I can most honorably confirm that Densha de GO! Portable is the bomb.