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Thursday, 2 August 2012

What’s In the Box? Real Sound: Kaze No Regret


    Real Sound: Kaze No Regret is a Japanese game made for blind people, so there are no visuals to speak of as the game is made entirely around sound, kind of like an interactive audiobook. Made by WARP, the creators of D no Shokutaku and EO (Enemy Zero,) this is without a doubt the most unique and interesting game on the Sega Saturn. WARP were known for using sound as an important mechanic in some of their games, so Real Sound seems like a natural fit for the developer, and they also have the honour of being the first developer to create one of the first ever games to be made for blind people which is still highly sort after in Japan to this day.


   Kenji Eno, WARPs founder and director decided to make Real Sound after visiting visually impaired fans who had wrote to him about his games. Curious as to how they were able to experience playing video games, Kenji went to visit them and see for himself first hand how they were able to experience and enjoy games. This inspired Kenji to make the game specifically for blind people, where the game was based around sound and would give them the same experience as those who weren’t blind. The game was a Sega Saturn exclusive and did receive a re-release on the Dreamcast with some visuals, but the game was essentially the same, and still one to be played by listening to the audio.

   I wish I could tell you what the game is about, but I can’t, as to play the game requires an understanding of Japanese, which sadly I do not possess. But what I can say is that if you are studying Japanese, and are at an intermediate to advanced stage of your learning of the language, then this game is the perfect study aid. Most Japanese adventure games are a perfect way of helping you learn and further your studies of Japanese, but none will ‘test your metal’ as to just how much you have learned as Real Sound will, as without any visuals to help you interpret what you don’t understand, you have nothing to go on other than the audio itself.


   Real Sound comes in a double Saturn case as the game is spread across four disks, and comes in a plastic slip case, which has clouds pictured on it, with the all important collectors spine card cased within it. The game has an accompanying braille manual, a post card, and numerous other cards that have Japanese on one side and pictures of cloud skylines on the other. What really makes the game unusual from a collecting standpoint is that it comes with a packet of herb seeds, that’s herbs as in the traditional garden or ‘kitchen’ herb, and not the cannabis variety. I have tried in the past to find out what herb the seeds are, but haven’t been able to find anything out, and although I know I could just plant them and find out, I’d rather not open the packet and plant them as this would make the game incomplete from a collectors standpoint. Some might find this a really unusual thing to pack in with a game as an extra, and it is, but for WARP its rather tame as a previous game, Short Warp, came packaged with a condom amongst other things, so in light of this, its not that outlandish.

Real Sound: Kaze No Regret - Sega Saturn
4 disks
Outer plastic sleeve
Spine card
Braille manual
Post Card
8 Cards
Packet of herb seeds

Herb Seeds Front
Herb Seeds Back
Braille manual

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