Japan game charts: May 8-14

PS2 sports sims, DS brain-teasers, and portable critters rule the Japanese top 10 ... again.

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One thing that can be said for the Japanese sales charts--they are consistent. Week after week, the same genres are represented on the same platforms, often by way of the same titles.

This trend is especially true of the DS brain-training oeuvre, as Nintendo's strategy of targeting traditional non-gamers with non-traditional games continues to pay dividends in Japan. During the week of May 8 to 14, three brain-training titles--Kahashima Ryuuta Kyouju Kanshuu: Motto Nou o Kitaeru Otona DS Training (2nd), Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day (5th), and Eigo ga Nigate na Otona no DS Training: Eigo Duke (7th)--again turned up in the top 10, where they have stayed almost every week since their respective releases. This situation looks to continue--the DS debut of the original brain game, Tetris DS, landed in number two.

The Japanese also are notoriously fond of portable games involving pint-size creatures and protagonists. Their enthusiasm was evident on the best-seller list, which had Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance at number 10 and Pokemon Ranger: The Road to Diamond and Pearl for the DS at number eight. At number six was Animal Crossing: Wild World for the DS, which has remained a top title in Japan since its release last November.

But while Japanese gamers like portables, they still prefer to play sports games on consoles. The number one title of the week was Jikkyou Powerful Major League, the latest entrant in Konami's baseball sim series for the PlayStation 2. Three slots below at number four was another PS2 Konami sports game, Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007. The only other console game on the charts was the non-sports title Square Enix's Dragon Quest: Shounen Yangus no Fushigi na Daibouken, also for the PS2.

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