Let’s face certain facts, internet, the Japanese are one of the reasons that console gaming exists. Yes, western developers, particularly on the PC, were major players in how the video game industry developed, but the bulk of the heavy lifting on consoles was done by Nintendo, Sega, Capcom, Squaresoft, Enix, and Sony. As each generation of gamers have enjoyed their Zelda and Final Fantasy games, there are many games that have not made it to the west. Most of the time these are games that simply wouldn’t appeal to the audience like the plethora of dating sims available in Japan, but sometimes real treasures are not released in the west. At one point, the Final Fantasy series itself was not deemed to be suitable for western audiences and Final Fantasy II, III, and V were not released here until the Playstation and DS remake/rereleases. Final Fantasy IV easytype was sold to western audiences over the regular version due to the fact that the developers thought we needed easy games. Today we are going to look at some games, some modern, some older, that should be released in the west. At this point in the video game industry, with digital distribution taking off, there is little reason not to publish these titles.
|I know you want it|
7. Mother 3 – Gameboy Advance
Mother 3 is the latest game in the much loved Mother series. Western gamers have only received one game from this series and that was Earthbound, or Mother 2 if going by its Japanese name. Earthbound is one of those legendary games that few people have played, but it has left an impression on all of them. Mother 3; however, was not released in the west (Which is pretty obvious since it made this list). From all reports, the game certainly lives up to the grandeur of Earthbound. What’s made worse is that Nintendo flaunts it’s lack of release. Adding the game’s protagonist, Lucas, to Super Smash Bros. Brawl was a slap in the face for all western fans who desperately want this game. With Nintendo trying to push its e-shop on the 3DS, it is possible that they may release this game, but at this point, there are no signs of this gem being released.
|Never go with a hippie to a second location… there could be dinosaurs.|
6. Final Fantasy Type 0 – PSP
Final Fantasy Type 0 was released on the PSP as part of the Nova Fabula Crystallis project, a project that included the Final Fantasy XIII games and Versus XIII. In a baffling turn of events, there has been no mention of this game coming out in the west. The reason for this, I would assume, is that the game is on the PSP and was released at the very end of its cycle. Releasing a brand new PSP game in the west now, especially such a big one would be a waste of money. The assumption is that Square will update the game to be on the Vita and release it that way, but as of now, there are just rumours sliding around the internet. It would be very strange for a Final Fantasy game, even a spinoff, to not get a release in this day and age, so hopefully we will find out something at TGS.
|If this never comes over, I think I’ll cry|
5. Valkyria Chronicles 3 – PSP
Valkyria Chronicles 3 is the latest game in the Valkyria Chronicles series and has much the same problem as Type 0. Releasing a PSP game now is suicide. Valkyria Chronicles 1 and 2 were incredible games, but suffered from lack of an audience. The first one was released on the PS3, but was a financial failure. The second game downsized to the PSP, but launched late enough that many no longer cared. The third game was released in Japan awhile ago, and there doesn’t seem to be any plan to bring it over, especially since Sega is in trouble now. Did the west do this to itself? Was the financial failure of the first two games enough to stop western production? That seems likely, but it still hurts.
|The best commercial failure series there is!|
4. Final Fantasy X and XII international – PS2
The Final Fantasy is the largest RPG series in the world and is loved, and hated, by millions. It would come as a surprise for many to know that there are director’s cuts versions of several of these games. Many people do not know that our version of Final Fantasy VII is one such version and the terrifying Ruby and Emerald Weapons made no appearance in the original game. We have not been so lucky with Final Fantasy X or XII, however. These games add a whole list of great new features and balance changes to the games and any Final Fantasy fan would gladly kill a nun to get ahold of a copy. It is possible that Final Fantasy X HD will be the international version, but so little has been announced for this game, it is unclear, but it would be the perfect time to release it. There is little hope for XII at this point, however.
|This is Dark Bahamut and he wants to be your friend|
3. Seiken Densetsu 3 – SNES
It is unfortunate that there isn’t a more western-friendly name for this game as few gamers would understand how big of a deal it is that we didn’t get this game from the title. Seiken Densetsu 2 was released in the west as Secret of Mana. Thats right, internet, we missed out on a sequel to one of the biggest SNES Squaresoft RPGs. What is even more heartbreaking is that Seiken Densetsu 3 was a lot better than Secret of Mana. Unlike all of the awful modern Mana games, this one was a real treasure and definitely the best in the series, and when you are the best compared to Secret of Mana and Legend of Mana, that is really something. Square is big at rereleasing its Final Fantasy games, but not so much its other series. With a bit of luck, some anniversary will get this game a western release.
|Mantis Ant was just the beginning…|
2. Radical Dreamers – SNES
I would be surprised if anyone who read this actually had ever heard of this game. It is a text adventure game only compatible with the satellite view add-on (Something I’d never heard of until I wikipediaed this). So why is this important, you may be asking? Well, if I told you that this game featured a lead named Serge, a thief named Kid and a wizard named Magil who turned out to actually be called someone named Magus, would that interest you? Radical Dreamers was a semi sequel to Chrono Trigger, and the inspiration for Chrono Cross. The story for one of gaming’s finest games is all there: Lynx, the Frozen Flame, and the rest, but with some pretty major connections to Chrono Trigger unlike Chrono Cross and its ancillary references to the first game. This makes the game a bit of a better sequel even though a much worse game. It is a piece of gaming history that most people in the world have never had a chance to touch. I’m not going to lie to you, internet, there is almost no chance of this game ever resurfacing, legally, but it should.
|It’s a good thing we have circle A to guide us!|
1. Shin Megami Tensei 1 and 2 – SNES
The SMT series is one that has been gaining popularity with the Persona games hitting the mainstream. Unfortunately, the main series has not fared as well, and there is still little chance of us seeing a release of the original two SMT games. These games have the Judeo-Christian god as the main antagonist and that is a hard sell in the predominantly Christian west. Of course, many gamers don’t care about that kind of thing, but fear of publicity could be enough of a turn off. The games feature a pokemon-style monster collection and a dark, unique story featuring some pretty awesome moral choices and consequences. They were games far ahead of their time. It is possible that Atlus may release these games someday, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
|This is God and he’s kind of a dick.|
There are many big games that don’t get released in the west, only to find a home at a later date. Super Mario 2, known in the west as the Lost Levels was released with Super Mario All-Stars. The aforementioned Final Fantasy games are now available for everyone to play. There was a recent scare that Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story would not be coming out in North America, but, fortunately, a dedicated fan campaign was able to bring those games over. It is always a shame when a big release does not come over to the west, and money is usually at the heart of it. Hopefully with online distribution networks, or anniversary packages, some of these games will eventually make it out of Japan. Until then, most people will simply wait, or download them illegally.
– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer