Spot The Gaijin: five curious inclusions in the latest Japan-centric Xbox sale

By Luke Albigés,
As Golden Week celebrations begin in Japan, Microsoft has joined in the revelry with an extra Xbox sale for this week. While many of the featured games are from revered Japanese studios, others are... well, very much not. So what's going on here?

"Save up to 50% on Japan-inspired games," reads the official sale description on the Microsoft Store, which widens the goalposts slightly and allows the sale to feature more than just games developed in Japan. This alone hand-waves a fair few of the stranger inclusions, but that still leaves a decent amount that are a stretch at best, and just downright bizarre at worst.

Still, the Golden Week Xbox sale has some decent deals on some of Japan's biggest games — a half-price Final Fantasy game is pretty much never going to be a bad deal, and a third off Monster Hunter World's superb Iceborne expansion is a great price (as low as the DLC has ever dropped, by our records) considering the sheer volume of content it adds to the base game, which is available with Xbox Game Pass. But that's not why we're here. We're here for the weird inclusions, not the obvious ones. So with that, let's pick out some of the gaijin and see if we can work out what they're doing in this Japan-centric sale...

Scott Pilgrim vs the World: The Game - Complete Edition

scott pilgrim vs the world in the golden week xbox sale

Scott Pilgrim vs the World might seem like a strange fit for this sale at first, but seeing as there's an Akira reference right there in the image above, this one shouldn't take a whole lot of explaining. Creator Bryan Lee O'Malley was heavily inspired by Japanese manga for the original books (on which both movie and game are based), and a lot of cultural references bleed into all things Scott Pilgrim as well. On top of that, the game itself is a clear love letter to River City Ransom — which, as it happens, is also in the sale should you fancy a bit of a gaming history lesson, or there's the brilliant modernised River City Girls on Game Pass instead — so all the more reason for it to be here. It doesn't hurt that the rerelease is as cheap as it has been since its January launch, currently at 35% off. Honestly, it's worth the asking price just for the awesome pixel art and the banging Anamanaguchi soundtrack.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World™: The Game – Complete Edition
$14.99£11.99€14.99$22.45$19.99
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World™: The Game – Complete Edition

Rediscover the beloved 2D arcade-style beat 'em up inspired by the iconic comic book series and movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World! Play as your favorite characters – Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers, Knives Chau, Stephen Stills, and more! Team up with three of your friends as you battle your way through waves of tough enemies to defeat the League of Evil Exes!



Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red has no plans to shelve Cyberpunk 2077.

20% off isn't bad for the first ever sale appearance from CDPR's open world RPG Cyberpunk 2077, although this is perhaps neither the most obvious time nor place to drop the price for the first time. Connections here are a little more tenuous than in our previous entry, but they're still there to a degree — Cyberpunk, both as a brand and as a broader genre, typically comes with a lot of Asian influences and references (if not always positive ones). In addition, CDPR's game also proved popular in Japan on release despite launching in a heavily censored form, so there are a few factors that could be contributing to its inclusion in the Golden Week sale. Either way, with the team tossing out updates and improvements at a decent rate, a Series X|S update due later in the year, and a cheaper-than-ever price point on the store, there hasn't been a better time to get involved, especially if you're on the new consoles.
Cyberpunk 2077
$59.99£49.99€69.99$99.95$79.99
Cyberpunk 2077

Users may experience performance issues when playing this game on Xbox One consoles until this game is updated.

Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. You play as V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality. You can customize your character’s cyberware, skillset and playstyle, and explore a vast city where the choices you make shape the story and the world around you.



Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition

ara fell enhanced edition in the golden week xbox sale

Riddle time: when is a JRPG not a JRPG? There are dozens of correct answers to this, of course, but "when it's made in Ohio" is a pretty solid one, so ten points if that's what you went with. Discussions about whether 'JRPG' is a genre in its own right or if the game in question would need to be developed in Japan to qualify will likely rage until the sun burns out, but they're not too important here as Ara Fell certainly looks the part, even without direct ties to the Japanese games that clearly inspired it. Ara Fell evokes the 16-bit JRPGs of yore, with visuals that call to mind SNES classics like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, while mechanics and systems do their part to afford the game a more modern and evolved feel. Bonus points for it being cheaper than ever, too.
Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition
$14.99£12.49€14.99$22.45$18.99
Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition

Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition is a 16-bit era, Japanese-style role-playing game. Take in the beauty of a magical world floating above the clouds, then take on a menacing race of vampires hidden in the dark.



Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered ~ SuperHeroArt

Okay, so with most of these, we've managed to work out links and correlations, but with Ghostbusters, we drew a big ol' blank. Fortunately, a friend of the site just happens to be probably one of the world's biggest Ghostbusters fans — seriously, he's massive, and also really likes Ghostbusters — but even he could offer little more than to corroborate our suspicions that the franchise is just generally pretty well liked in Japan, adding that themes of yokai (ghosts/spirits) would likely help it find an audience in the territory (thanks, Jay!). Still, the game itself is a good time, commanding a solid 4.12 TA community rating and currently available for a whopping 75% off. If you ain't afraid of no bargains (or double negatives), that's a pretty sweet deal.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered
$29.99£24.99€29.99$49.45$39.99
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered

The beloved and critically acclaimed Ghostbusters video game is back!

Strap on your proton pack once again and join the Ghostbusters on the adventure with the voice and likeness of the original crew as you battle to save New York!



Battle Chasers: Nightwar

battle chasers nightwar in the golden week xbox sale

This one is kinda similar to Ara Fell, although there's a clear difference in presentation. Battle Chasers: Nightwar might not look like those wonderful old JRPGs, but it evidently drinks from the same well. It's a curious hybrid RPG where structure and exploration draw more from western influences while combat plays very much into the traditional JRPG methods, offering Atlus-esque fights akin to Persona or Shin Megami Tensei battles where preparation and planning are paramount. Once again, we've not seen this one at a lower price, so if you like the sound of an RPG that combines both western and Japanese sensibilities, you're unlikely to do a whole lot better than this.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
$29.99£23.99€29.99$39.95$29.99
Battle Chasers: Nightwar

Battle Chasers: Nightwar is an RPG inspired by the console genre-greats and the 90s cult comic book. Experience deep dungeon diving, turn-based combat presented in classic JRPG format, and a rich story driven by exploration of the world.



And that's your lot! Feel free to point out any other weird inclusions or recommended pickups in this sale — or indeed jump in and let us know if we're just being dumb and missing something obvious with one of these — but otherwise, enjoy this extra sale. Kanpai!
Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Hey, I'm Luke! I've been playing games since way back in the 8-bit days, and have spent the last 15+ years writing and talking about them professionally for anyone and everyone who would let me. Monster Hunter fanatic, wearer of many fine hats, and always up for a raid.