Time flies...

Several years ago, when I originally started to become a fan of Japanese games, anime and all that stuff that produces weebos all over the world, I had all sorts of reasons to complain about the treatment Europe and specially this country received with most releases. Europe was and still is a complicated place for international companies to deal with. Unlike the US, Europe is divided in many different countries that greatly vary in sizes, cultures, languages, rules and markets. This obviously makes it harder to localize media in general. To make things worse, some of those countries don't really accept foreign languages very well in their products and almost require them to be translated. As a result, the hassle of localizing videogames in so many languages was a big enough problem that pushed them away from being released here. At that time, even some of the most popular and successful titles from big companies never saw a PAL release in their original format. Other titles that eventually made it here would arrive several months (sometimes years...) later. I believe I have been complaining about these things since I was about 13 or 14 years old.

Nowadays, things are completely different. So different that it's hard to think they were so bad in the past. In just a few years, the videogaming market in Europe suffered some drastic changes. At the moment there is an insane number of  Japanese titles being released for several platforms to the point that it's almost impossible to keep up with them all. The number of limited editions for both western and Japanese games is also insanely high, with certain countries receiving their own exclusive PAL versions. Even small, independent companies are opening stores and releasing limited editions and other exclusive Japanese stuff in their PAL format.

Senran Kagura Burst 2 Shinobi Edition is one of the greatest examples of Europe's current status when it comes to limited editions and exclusive items. 15 years ago, it was absolutely unthinkable to see such an "odd" title being released in PAL format, let alone a limited edition of this caliber. It's quite amazing and it makes me happy to see that the gap between Europe and Japan/US is much, much shorter.

I really don't have anything against NTSC versions. I prefer PAL versons simply because I grew up with them and became attached to them. I didn't have access to NTSC exclusive titles and my tiny childhood collection was made of PAL games only. At a certain point, when buying things online started to become a trend and I finally had access to an enormous amount of items that were previously near impossible to get, I would still be focused on just getting PAL stuff. My monetary limitations wouldn't allow me to collect everything from every region as you can imagine, so focusing on PAL games was a way to narrow down my already extensive whishlists. Sadly, this basically meant that I was leaving many masterpieces out of my collection. I just couldn't buy everything from every region as you can imagine. 

As my collection started to grow over the years, I slowly started to buy a few NTSC exclusive titles and there are still many others I expect to buy in the future. However, with so much stuff being released in Europe like I never imagined before, I have some very strong, brand new reasons to continue to focus my attention on PAL releases. 

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