Three new entries occupy the enviable positions of being the top three best-selling games in Japan, March 1-7: The Pokémon series returns with a DS game, a PSP which is supposedly the last in the popular .hack series, and a re-issued Dragon Quest game.

Pokémon Ranger: Path of Light is the third in the spin-off P okémon Ranger series but still retains the familiar catching, befriending, and training of peculiar monsters.

The .hack franchise of comics, animations, and games actually revolves around a video game - a fictional online multiplayer game called 'The World' - and various characters' exploits both inside and outside of that environment.

The .hack//Link game is the sixth, and quite possibly the last, in the video game series, though for all that it is actually the first on PSP. The others have all been limited to PlayStation 2, though not all of those were widely available outside of Japan.

Dragon Quest XI comes just in time for Japanese gamers who have milked the January DQVI remake for all it's worth. DQXI offers a tougher experience than its predecessors, but also offers greater character customization.

The game was originally released in Japan in July 2009 but has now been re-issued as a budget title. It's due out in North America and Europe this summer, for those eager to get their hands on a translated version.

As usual, Friend Collection sells 35,000 copies. Its creator, Yoshio Sakamoto, has also been involved with the Metroid and WarioWare games, and certainly has successfully developed games for a wide variety of players.

As a result, on March 11 he gave a talk at the 2010 Game Developers Conference, discussing the challenges of creating such a diverse range of titles as well as on how he drew influences from film directors such as Dario Argento, Luc Besson, Brian de Palma and John Woo.

Sales for the week March 1-7

1) Pokémon Ranger: Path of Light (DS): 160,000 (160,000 total)
2) .hack//Link (PSP): 60,000 (60,000)
3) Dragon Quest IX (DS): 41,000 (41,000)
4) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii): 41,000 (3,452,000)
5) Kenka Bancho 4: Year One War (PSP): 36,000 (108,000)
6) Friend Collection (DS): 35,000 (2,917,000)
7) Aikido Nobunaga's Ambition (PS3): 33,000 (33,000)
8) God Eater (PSP): 29,000 (543,000)
9) Wii Fit Plus (Wii): 26,000 (1,720,000)
10) Resident Evil 5 Alternative Edition (PS3): 23,000 (215,000)

Unit sales are rounded to the nearest 1,000
Source: Media Create.

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