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  1. FWIW, this copy of volume 5 doesn't seem to be complete - it only contains the section about Snatcher, but the cover lists many other games covered inside.
  2. The Backup magazine's back issues are also all currently on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited subscription service, which makes it significantly cheaper if you want to read them all. It might be difficult to subscribe to the service if you're outside Japan, though. As for GameLab, while it's true that the magazine ceased its monthly publication in 2017, they still publish 2-3 issues a year as well as books under the GameLab label. The next full issue is scheduled for December, and they just put out a pamphlet mini issue called "GameLab Doujinshi" sold at game-related douhinshi events.
  3. These are advertised as the "official" guides, and what I find interesting about them is that while one volume - the "monster and item" book - is by a Japanese author (Makoto Takeshita, who I feel like I've seen credited on other guidebooks), the second "dungeon solution" volume is credited to Sir-Tech Software and a Japanese translator. I wonder if the publishers had the rights to the western strategy guide but felt it didn't live up to the standard of Japanese guides so had to commission an entire second book to cover what they thought was missing.
  4. Zork 1, along with a handful of other Infocom adventures, were ported to the PC-98 in the early '90s by SystemSoft. These are impressive ports -- they've rewritten the text parser to take Japanese commands with Japanese grammar. Infocom's parser was never a simplistic VERB NOUN parser, and could handle complex commands with references to multiple objects, up to and including things like "TAKE ALL BUT THE BOOK THEN DROP THE CANDLE", and the Japanese one can too, which couldn't have been easy to implement. They're also commendable translations, and add a bunch of GUI shortcuts and things such as icon graphics for all objects. I didn't know about this guidebook, though - it's a fantastic find. Zork 1 was ported a second time in Japan a few years later, to the PS1 and Sega Saturn. That release added different graphics, a dynamic menu system instead of text input, and music. It has its own strategy guide.
  5. There's this one (Western Digital, and it's also a RAID case) for around $600, but external ones are consistently about $200 more expensive than in the US, sure, and most of them are only through external sellers. You definitely want to go internal with those sizes if you're looking for prices more in line with America (still more expensive, of course, but by a lesser margin). Besides, with those sizes you'd want to invest in a RAID, so you'll go for internals anyway.
  6. Wait, what? I just looked on Amazon, Rakuten and even Bic Camera's online store and they all offer 12TB (as well as 14TB) HDDs. If you buy on Bic they're way overpriced but on Amazon they're actually not that much more expensive than on the US site. Applicable for same-day shipping and Prime, so it's not some import seller either. Sure, you won't find them on the shelf in any physical electronics stores (though you probably can if you dig through specialty shops in Akihabara and the like), but that's just lack of demand from the average customer frequenting those shops. They're definitely available if you want them, though.
  7. I had a gut feeling things had gotten a lot better just in the past 2 years, so I opened the last week's issue and compiled a thorough list of Western games mentioned (not counting the upcoming game release listings): P6 - One page ad for NBA2K 19 P16 - Top 30: (1) Spider-Man, (3) Minecraft (switch), (7) Shadow of the Tomb Raider, (11) Conan Exiles, (14) F1 2018, (26) NBA 2K19 P18 - Top 30 anticipated releases: (23) Red Dead Redemption 2, (40) Assassin's Creed Odyssey P20 - Top 30 Downloads: (7) PUBG Mobile P28 - Reviews: The Messenger (switch), Mini Metro (switch) P84 - Game preview feature: Assassin's Creed Odyssey (8 pages) P116 - Feature on racing games: MotoGP 18 (2 pages), Assetto Corsa (2 pages), Ride 3 (1 page), V-Rally 4 (1 page). No Japanese games at all in this feature. P158 - Marketing Report column: 1 page analysis focusing on Spider-Man's sales. P159 - Masahiro Sakurai's column: He talks about the TGS Game Designer award, which Gorogoa won this year. P162 - Difficult Game Topics column: this week's topic is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX series. It's a technical article, and almost no games are discussed, but Crysis is mentioned in passing. P185 - Back cover editorial column: Discussing TGS. Red Dead Redemption 2 and Days Gone are mentioned as game featured on the show (among many other Japanese games). So just one ad among the dozens of ads for Japanese games in this issue, but a fair amount of actual coverage. Make no mistake, the magazine's still mostly about Japanese games. But it's an improvement.
  8. Found this thread from the latest Famicom Tsuushin upload - and thank you so much for these, by the way. Reading the small print, the Gavas system isn't as huge a scam as you're making it to be. The complimentary bucks that came with the issues are just a part of the story, and in fact, one couldn't use just them to get any but the cheapest prizes. Anything 1800 gavas or more (which is the value for a Disk System game) required special gavas, which one could get by submitting stuff to the magazine for their reader-contribution columns and having it printed. You could get up to 5000 gavas for a printed item (it differed for different columns and different types of contributions). It doesn't seem too far fetched that a talented kid artist could get several drawings printed and earn enough for one of the big prizes. Heck, you have to commend them for not allowing paying for big prizes with just complimentary gavas - this has to be an attempt to stop kids with access to money (or dedicated adults) from buying dozens of copies of the the same issue.