Having recently visited Nin-Nin-Game, I learned that there have been some changes (and not the good kind), so I have decided to re-evaluate this import shop to keep you, my dear readers, properly informed.
Nin-Nin-Game is a relatively small game store, but it carries some unique items that you may not find in other import shops. If you’re really lenient with spending, and if you’re looking for special edition versions of games, here’s a decent place to look, but I recommend searching other import shops or proxies before coming to Nin-Nin-Game. I would consider this store a last resort.
Nin-Nin-Game isn’t as reliable as it was when I made my first purchase. It’s a shame, really. I had great experiences with this store right off the bat, but somehow it went downhill. It’s truly disappointing.
Still, there are a lot of aspects that I consider a hit or a miss on this website. I will say this a few times throughout the review.
I have only purchased game-related products from this website, so the focus of my review will revolve around video games. However, Nin-Nin-Game does indeed carry a variety of products which includes figures/toys, DVDs, blu-rays, books, and music.
From what I have seen so far, Nin-Nin-Game generally lists gaming software and any upcoming special/limited edition products on its main page. If you’re interested in other products, you can take advantage of the search tool or explore any of the categories listed on the left navigation bar.
Nin-Nin-Game carries rare products that were released in the past but sold out quickly (probably because they were limited edition). Some items are also difficult to obtain because they're exclusive to certain countries. For example, Nin-Nin carries Final Fantasy necklaces that were only sold on Square Enix’s online store, which only catered to a small number of countries. Canada not being one of them by the way. However, Nin-Nin-Game does carry those necklaces and they do indeed ship worldwide. The insane prices may be the only problem in this case. Personally I would never pay almost $400.00 (plus shipping) for a necklace. Or $400.00 (plus shipping) for an old special edition. I can get some items cheaper using a proxy...New or used.
I am pleased to inform you that I found products that were sold exclusively at the Japanese Capcom store. Jenn and I purchased a set of Okamiden temperature sensitive teacups as a birthday gift for a friend from Nin-Nin-Game. These nifty items were sold out at CDJapan, but they were available at a decent price on Nin-Nin-Game!
In all honesty, it takes a bit of browsing to actually figure out what Nin-Nin-Game has. They won’t carry all the products sold at the Square Enix store or Capcom store. Sometimes they just happen to order them and have them in stock. Be sure to use the search engine!
Nin-Nin-Game will make a list of what will be included in each item, which is all you really need to know. If you’re looking for in-game content descriptions, you’re better off looking elsewhere. On the bright side, Nin-Nin-Game offers the maximum information necessary for a customer to purchase a game. This in particular is excellent for special edition products.
The prices can be a hit or a miss depending on what you’re trying to buy. Although, from what I've seen as of late they're more of a miss.
|This is more than double the original price, which is 21 090 ¥. And this |
product hasn't even been released yet! It's rare, sure but that's insane!
The cost of limited/special edition products can be reasonable as long as they are not high in demand and as long as they are not really old releases. If they happen to be high in demand, I seriously recommend looking elsewhere. You may find yourself paying way more than you should if you buy something from Nin-Nin-Game.
On a more positive note, I find that you can purchase Japan-exclusive products at Nin-Nin-Game. An example would be the Final Fantasy XIII accessories you would find on the official Square-Enix shop in Japan. They’re extremely pricy, but available. Another example is the Tales of Xillia Famitsu DX Pack which could only be purchased on the Ebten/Famitsu online store. Keep in mind that these products will come at a hefty price.
Most special editions will include a bonus (the pre-order bonus) without any extra cost. Some apparently have exceptions. If you want the pre-order bonus for certain special edition products, you may be charged extra. I really don't understand why they would charge extra for pre-order bonuses in some cases. I'm simply making note of it because I noticed it after looking at some special edition products recently.
Keep in mind that prices might soar when you least expect it! This is more towards special editions, but let's hold that thought.
I ordered the Tales of Xillia Famitsu DX Pack here at Nin-Nin-Game, which was 15 900¥ (Approx. $203.00 CAD) after selecting the EMS shipping method. The price of the item before shipping was approximately 13 500¥ (Approx. $172.00 CAD). That was actually pretty good compared to the other import shops at the time.
There is a catch to pre-ordering special editions at Nin-Nin-Game! If you want something, you might want to order it as early as possible. When the release date drew near for the Tales of Xillia Famitsu DX Pack, the price shot up. It went from 13 500 ¥ to 18 000 ¥! That’s more than my pre-ordered copy plus EMS shipping, which is bloody insane. I can understand them raising the price of the products (not that I approve of them doing it for pre-orders). Demand must have gone up and quantities of this item were limited. I’m glad I pre-ordered Tales of Xillia a month before the release date.
Some of the older special edition products are also very high in price here. If the item you are after appears to be extremely expensive here, then it probably is. Try out a proxy that is not Nin-Nin-Game.
If you’re looking to import standard edition versions of videogames, I do not recommend Nin-Nin-Game. I find that their prices can be rather high, and they even charge extra for pre-order bonuses. It may range from 1000 ¥ - 3000 ¥, which I consider a stretch. This is the only store I know that does this and I consider it a big flaw.
I can understand if Nin-Nin wants to charge buyers for old pre-order bonuses, since they're no longer in print, but I find it unreasonable for them to do this for future releases. Consumers can order at Play-Asia and have a high chance of securing a pre-order bonus without having to pay an extra 1000 ¥ (Thank goodness).
Nin-Nin-Game won't get my money for standard editions unless I'm desperate or other import shops are out of stock.
EMS shipping costs appears to have increased quite a bit. I checked the amount for the Tales of Xillia Famitsu DX Pack, and the EMS shipping method now costs 3200 ¥. Previously it was 2400 ¥.
If you pre-order an item it will be shipped out on the release date. Or the day after. If you're just buying an item that has already been released, Nin-Nin-Game should ship it within 2 - 4 business days, but sometimes it can take up to a week. I suppose that’s not too bad.
I highly recommend you add tracking to your package. When I was doing some research , I read about some bad Nin-Nin-Game experiences from buyers. I learned that some goods were lost in transit. This happened more than once by the way.
If you don’t select an option where there is insurance then you will not be compensated if your package is lost. It’s sort of a given, but I’d just like to leave a reminder for those who prefer to use SAL.
The cost of shipping standard edition games seems similar to Play-Asia. In other words, not overpriced. Standard edition games usually go for 380 ¥ SAL. When I chose EMS for my Tales of Xillia Famitsu DX Pack, I paid 2400 ¥ for shipping, which isn’t bad considering how big the box was. Then the price increased over the past couple of months. EMS shipping is now 3200 ¥ which is at least 10.00 - 11.00 more than it initially was. It’s ridiculous.
Fortunately standard edition shipping costs remain more or less the same.
A little gift
When you order using EMS, you also receive a little gift with your product(s). There are some figures/toys you can choose from, but I only discovered that recently. Since this is a French website, not everything is fully translated in English. In French mode, you can actually see everything. If you select “Pick your gift! EMS” under the navigation bar in English, you’ll receive a “coming soon” message. However, if you click on it while you’re in French mode, you’ll see lots of pictures and lots of options!
When I first signed up, I attempted to add a credit card just to check out the procedure. It was surprisingly confusing to me. Somehow I led myself to the Paypal page... Odd, yes, I’m aware of that. I got lost trying to add a credit card. That’s definitely a first for me. I think their instructions are a tad confusing because English isn’t the staff’s main language...
Fortunately I had no intention of actually adding my credit card to Nin-Nin-Game. I preferred paying through Paypal. It’s easier and it’s safer. To be honest, I didn’t completely trust Nin-Nin-Game when I first joined. I was sceptical about the site because I hadn’t heard much about it over the internet at the time, even after researching it for days.
Even today I would still rather give them my Paypal e-mail address than my credit card number. Just keep in mind that they immediately take your money if you use Paypal, which is how it normally works.
I think the amount of padding included in the boxes varies depending on what product(s) you ordered. My Tales of Xillia Famitsu DX Pack was packaged in a huge box, but there was almost no protection on the inside. I don’t know if you want to count two pieces of thick paper as padding...but that’s what I got. It was used for the poster only (which actually had a small dent that I had to pop back out). I suppose it makes the box lighter if there’s less padding. Plus the Tipo plush isn’t fragile. Everything still arrived safely and that's all that really matters!
I'm definitely going to compliment Nin-Nin-Game for being careful with fragile items. The Okamiden teacups were padded with a spongy/foamy material inside a little box.
|The Okamiden Teacups are safe under this pile!|
Navigating through Nin-Nin-Game is rather straightforward.
If you know what you want, just type in a few keywords in the search engine. If you’re using their navigation on the left of the page, you’ll find several categories and subcategories. Just keep clicking and you’ll go deeper and deeper!
It might not take long to find what you want because you can choose how many items show up on the page. You can see 10, 20, or 50 items at once. Plus you can also sort by alphabet (A-Z or Z-A) or by price. I’m a tad disappointed you can’t sort by release date though...
Another great thing about this store is that there are popular categories listed at the top of the page. That might help you find what you're looking for! At least it will give you a hint as to what is available at Nin-Nin-Game.
You'll notice Nin-Nin-Game likes repetition... For example, the information provided on FAQ and General Terms and Conditions are the same. You can also find repetition on your orders page. If you select the order number, you will see your order information. If you click on the "details" button, which is very close to the order number, you'll see the exact same order information. It's silly, I know.
If I’m planning on importing expensive products from any site, I want to be able to contact the staff members. Communication is extremely important to me because if something goes wrong with one of my orders I want to be able to solve any issues or get a refund. I mean, who wants to spend $400.00 and find out their merch is lost or was never shipped? Poor communication is the reason why I refuse to shop at Nin-Nin-Game now.
Recently I sent two e-mails through their “Contact us” button. One regarded their increased EMS shipping costs and the other was a product request. I waited two weeks and never received a reply from them. I once believed they would reply to me if I left a message on Facebook. Oh, how wrong I was. They answered other messages, but completely skipped over mine. The funny thing is that I left a message on their Facebook wondering if they still answered questions sent from their “Contact us” button. I received a clear answer on that one. Seriously, Nin-Nin staff, is it really that difficult to answer that question with a yes or a no?
Facebook seems to be Nin-Nin-Game’s main communication system these days. They still should have a few members on the side answering questions through e-mails, though. It does seem rude to ignore e-mails. Not everyone uses Facebook. However, even when people do use Facebook to contact Nin-Nin-Game, there is no guarantee they will receive a reply. My guess is that Nin-Nin game just likes to avoid conflict or anything they consider trivial.
The contact button really seems pointless. They might as well say “Contact us on Facebook!” Although, in my case they should just say, “Please don’t contact us at all”.
I recommend contacting Nin-Nin-Game as a test before making an order if you're worried about their communication.
If you select the "Contact Us" button it gives you various options, requesting a product being one of them. Don't bother with that because Nin-Nin-Game honestly won't answer you. I've tried it and haven't gotten a response since. You can most likely find what you want using another proxy. And it'll probably cost less.
Product Availability: 7.5/10 (They’re slowly developing into something bigger, but they have a decent selection)
Product Information: 8/10 (you get what you need)
Pricing: 6.5/10 (If you’re pre-ordering a game you should be able to secure a pre-order bonus without having to pay an extra 2000 ¥. Prices of special editions will rise quite a bit before the release date.)
Shipping: 6.5/10 (They usually ship within 2 – 4 business days, but lately it seems they've been slow. Nin-Nin’s standard shipping prices decent as well. EMS recently became more expensive though)
Payment: 6/10 (Adding a credit card may cause confusion. Paypal’s the way to go)
Packaging: 8/10 (If items need protection, Nin-Nin-Game will provide it)
Site Navigation: 8.5/10 (It's relatively easy to navigate through the store)
Communication: 3.5/10 (If you're lucky you'll get a response)
I will probably only ever purchase special/limited edition games from this store in the future, and perhaps some Japan-exclusive game-related goods if I'm desperate and out of options. And by that, I mean if all other import shops don't have it or if the items they're selling are overpriced...like Yesasia.
I used to think I would make future purchases at Nin-Nin-Game because I had a good first experience, but I’ve changed my mind. Their prices are higher than they should be. I mean, Nin-Nin-Game is stationed in Japan. Or at least they ship from Japan, so they shouldn't make pre-orders for special editions so expensive.
Considering their poor communication skills and odd and expensive shipping costs as of late, Nin-Nin-Game would be extremely lucky if I purchased from their store again. I would definitely check out AmiAmi, CDJapan, or Play-Asia (in that order) first before hitting this store again. If you’re looking to import old games or other special edition products, try Mandarake or a reliable proxy like FromJapan.
Import at your own discretion.
Best of luck!