Posted By Austin Yorski about 4 months ago
In this day and age, fan translations exist for just about every video game worth playing. Emulation is bigger than ever, even going so far as to support an entire console with only the promise of illicit ROMs. English speakers exist in a constant state of choice overload. Yet I am not satisfied.
There are still plenty of titles that I would love to see given proper, official localizations in North America. I’m sure many of you would rather support talented translation team like XSEED Games as well, so let’s take a moment to highlight the gems that Japan continues to keep to itself.
How quickly things change. If this list had been written only a few years ago, I would instead be lamenting the fact that Atlus never brought us Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Luckily, the continuing success of the Persona sub-series eventually led to that game being updated and translated for a western release–Hitler and all. Now we find ourselves in the opposite predicament.
Japan received a vastly improved PSP version of Eternal Punishment last year. This build featured better loading times, quicker battles, an entirely original scenario, a new Shoji Meguro soundtrack, and updated art. For reasons that have never been fully explained, Atlus USA decided against localizing it. You can still pick up the original PlayStation release off the PSN, but who wants to be stuck with the inferior version? It’s entirely understandable to forgo physical releases of PSP titles in North America, but passing over it entirely is disheartening.
Next verse, same as the first: The PlayStation Portable is dead in America. It was dying when Sega released the third Valkyria Chronicles in Japan. Thanks to low sales of the relatively disappointing VC2, we ended missing out on the much-improved successor, both on UMD and through digital distribution. We only got to meet the Nameless Squad through Namco Bandai’s Project X Zone, a full 2 years later.
This is an absolute tragedy. I’ve said before that Valkyria Chronicles is one of this generation’s best new intellectual properties, and I’m not alone. Our own Yousif Alshaker retroactively gave the original one of BT’s only perfect scores. Missing out on the third entry is simply unacceptable. At this point, our only real hope is that Sega will be compelled to do some sort of HD Collection for the PSP releases. I’d buy a PlayStation 4 for that.
We meet again, Sega.
The Yakuza franchise has a similar story to Valkyria. We were getting every entry in the series until a few years ago, when the well suddenly went dry. Whether you blame this on Sega’s financial straits or the protracted console cycle, the end result is the same: Ryū ga Gotoku 5 has remained in its home country. This is galling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the so-called “Japanese Grand Theft Auto” finally managed to capture the elusive perfect 40/40 from Famitsu, the premiere eastern gaming publication.
History lesson time! Fire Emblem started way back in 1990 with Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light on the Famicom. English speakers didn’t get in on all that sweet SRPG action until 2003′s Rekka no Ken, simply called “Fire Emblem” in the West. Unfortunately, our introduction to the brand was the prequel to a game we never got: Fūin no Tsurugi (usually translated as “Binding Blade” or “Sword of Seals“). Long story short? We never got the Fire Emblem with Roy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Timeline SNAFUs aside, the Game Boy Advance game Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi is supposed to be just as good as the prequel that hooked many of us on the franchise. A Virtual Console release would be good enough (although Nintendo’s digital distribution problems are another matter entirely), but a full Shadow Dragon-style remake would be even better. While we’re on the subject, Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (Genealogy of the Holy War) could use an update and translation as well.
Someone get on that.
You may remember Shining Force as Sega’s version of Fire Emblem. That would be reason enough to desperately want more from the series, but apparently the latest Shining titles play “like Valkyria Chronicles Meets Final Fantasy X.” You may now commence drooling.
In all seriousness, I would love for Sega to reintroduce the Shining series to the West. 3DS and/or Vita ports of Shining Force Feather, Shining Blade, and Shining Ark (Famitsu scores: 32, 32, 33) would all be welcome, as would any future releases. Especially considering Intelligent System’s recent success with Fire Emblem: Awakening, this seems like the perfect time. Such a move would also provide a modicum of explanation for Sega’s legal threats against YouTube users that uploaded footage from Shining Force III.
Speaking of Shining Force III, how about actually finishing that localization, Sega? Seriously, guys.
Namco is the biggest troll in the English localization business. They spend most of their days depriving the West of games in series like Digimon, Klonoa, Super Robot Wars, One Piece, and Xenosaga (especially in the UK). Then they turn right around and perform Herculean feats of copyright negotiation to bring us something like Project X Zone. It’s no surprise that their flagship Tales franchise is no different.
We got Tales of Vesperia, Graces, and Xillia, but completely missed out on all of the Nintendo DS iterations. It’s my understanding that Tales of the Tempest is not worth salvaging, but apparently Innocence and Hearts are great. Both have since received PS Vita ports, which are the versions we would (presumably) get if any translations were in the cards. However, a weak Vita install base and Namco Bandai’s usual shenanigans mean that there’s no way to know if we’ll ever see either. Maybe if we all buy Tales of Xillia….