Wishlist: 12 Games That Need Official English Localizations, 10.0 out of 10 based on 9 ratings

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.

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PSP remake)

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.

Valkyria Chronicles III

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.

Yakuza 5

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.

Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi

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.

Shining Force (any of them)

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.

Tales of innocence / tales of hearts

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….

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  1. August 07, 2013 at 03:36pm
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    …Yakuza 5…I needs my Kamurocho fix…*beats up a random street punk*….not enough. X3

    In all seriousness, definitely a great list. Especially to add in there Policenauts, it would be an awesome list. But, one thing to note is that there are talks of the Ace Attorney vs. Layton game coming over. I’ll need to double check from the Anime News Network about that.

  2. August 05, 2013 at 09:35am
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    No Seiken Densetsu 3 AKA what was supposed to be highly anticipated Secret Of Mana 2? A game was teased here in the west but Square (bloody idiots) cancelled the localisation?

    Thanks to fantranslation- and emuscene we could finally play it. (though not-so-legally) It is a gem that is easily on par with classics like FF6 and Chrono Trigger. I would love to own an official translation, the game is really that good! And has a lot of replay value too!

  3. August 05, 2013 at 06:28am
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    Great list. Personally I am looking forward to Final Fantasy type-0 (possibly best FF in years) and Yakuza 5. Played Yakuza 3 and 4 and loved them. Really sega, why stop localizing this… :(

    Didn’t like persona 2 so much. Compared to Persona 3 and 4 this game really dissapointed me.

  4. August 05, 2013 at 01:52am
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    I’d want them to bring the games like Idol Master or that hostess one. They were X-box 360 exclusives to begin with so Microsoft definitely had some leeway in licensing them to for the states already.

  5. August 04, 2013 at 09:04pm
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    Valkyria Chronicles hurt the most for me. I was actually introduced to the series by the second one and loved it. It remains the only game that I am seriously considering importing.

    I would also like to see the rest of the Fire Emblem localized. I just recently managed to get my hands on all of the English-released ones. Wasn’t there a recent DS remake in the series that did not get localized?

    At least there are fan translation projects going on for those games.

    I haven’t heard of Shining Force before, but if it is being compared to both Fire Emblem and Valkyria Chronicles, I would definitely buy it.

    I did not hear much about Legend of Heroes either, but I do like playing on my PSP and Vita, so I think I’ll pick it up by your recommendation.

    • August 04, 2013 at 09:33pm
      In response to DarthJ46
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      Apparently, I already own Shining Force I and II. Is someone else using my Steam account to buy games or do I completely black out whenever I purchase something during a sale?

      Also, for some reason, I am not able to edit my first comment.

  6. August 04, 2013 at 08:50pm
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    If they would fully localize Shining Force III, all 3 scenarios, to anything it would be shut up and take my money and probably the system it came on too. I briefly considered getting a Sega Saturn just to play III but it turns out that the Sega Saturn version is missing quite a lot of the game since the US/UK games only have Scenario 1 of 3. Cruel choice there, one scenario of SF goodness but to have no chance at the real ending seems equally as cruel.

    Shining Force Feather is another one I would like to see localized.

    I want Shining Force Dark Dragon too, and its just a slightly better version of the Sega Genesis game for GBA. But just to play SF on the road would probably be worth it at the right price. (My price for a game I have beat multiple times is like 20.00, I know, I know, that is Leon-like in miserliness).

  7. August 04, 2013 at 08:35pm
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    There may be some hope still for Yakuza 5:
    http://www.seganerds.com/2013/05/29/sega-customer-support-responds-to-yakuza-5-question-with-haiku/

    As for Trails SC…oh the anguish of waiting. I pray rumors of its cancellation prove to be just rumors.

    As for a personal localization wish, I’d wish we could get more of the Sakura Taisen series even though I know 5 didn’t do that well.

  8. August 04, 2013 at 08:27pm
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    It’s worth noting that a youtuber by the handle dowolf is doing what she/he calls a “Let’s Translate” of Ace Attorney Investigations 2 (that’s AAI 2 if you’re a bug fan of acronyms). So far he’s done a pretty good job, evening coming up with some decent English versions of the pun-tastic names. Worth checking out, especially since it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be an official translation until I’m rich enough to bribe Capcom.

    • August 05, 2013 at 03:07pm
      In response to iverniler
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      I meant “big fan”. Sorry if I accidentally insulted acronym enthusiasts.

  9. August 04, 2013 at 08:24pm
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    My biggest wish is for the Playstation versions of SMT I and II to be officially translated and ported over to the XBLA and PSN. Too bad that Policenauts is not happen as I really loved Snatcher.

  10. August 04, 2013 at 07:16pm
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    I NEED TRAILS 2 SO BADLY. SO VERY BADLY.

  11. August 04, 2013 at 06:54pm
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    I would commit several acts of genocide if it meant getting Professor Layton VS. Ace Attorney localized.

  12. August 04, 2013 at 06:30pm
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    Gods, I’d punch a bear to get Yakuza 5. As I’ve said once and I say again: I love this series.

    I certainly wouldn’t mind getting Jojo either, although a buddy of mine is already going to import the japanese version. Also this may be pretty stupid of me, but isn’t the use of trademarked names in Jojo permitted due to that Fair Use thing?

  13. August 04, 2013 at 05:32pm
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    Damn, how much I would give for all parts of Shining Force III translated on Virtual Console/Steam. I am a huge fan of Shining Force I and II and from what I hear from some people III is even better.
    It might even be worth it financially considering how small the Saturn’s installbase was. Then again, there probably aren’t that many people that know about the series at all.

  14. August 04, 2013 at 04:57pm
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    Mine would be the games you can already get fan translation rom hacks for..SeiKen Densetsu 3 ,Treasure Hunter G etc etc..

    Officially sanctioned and translated versions in the the store.

  15. August 04, 2013 at 03:28pm
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    Unfortunately fan translations are done by, well, fans. That means that they have inconsistent translating talent, relatively little money to put into the project, no guarantee of team members staying on the project and the occasional threat of legal action.

    Just look at how long Fate/Hollow Ataraxia has taken* and that’s for a game pretty well known (for a visual novel).

    *Also note that the official 97.3% complete for that project is actually misleading. A member of the group working on it has pointed out that what really matters is how much is validated, which is more like 70%.

    • August 04, 2013 at 08:25pm
      In response to Granten
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      Same can be said for the Majikoi games, which are practically doomed to remain forever partially translated. The first game because of its translators hectic schedule at a new job and the second because its translator got sick of it.

  16. August 04, 2013 at 01:44pm
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    Rumour has it that Type-0 actually has completed voice work, and that makes them not localizing it seem even sillier.

  17. August 04, 2013 at 01:05pm
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    So, what are those games in the title image? I know the middle one is Policenauts, but I’ve never seen those other two.

  18. August 04, 2013 at 12:36pm
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    Another thing is that we in the EU don’t have any version of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. You think that we could at least get the US ps1 version…

    • August 04, 2013 at 02:20pm
      In response to FanOfDeath
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      it’s on the US psn you could always make a US psn account and buy it like that.

  19. August 04, 2013 at 12:36pm
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    It seems the author hasn’t tried Super Robot Taisen. Some of the current ones derserve an English localizations than any of the other mentioned strategy games. But I guess he hasn’t tried them.

    • August 04, 2013 at 03:26pm
      In response to Kubernes
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      *shrug* I think SRW fans have long accepted that the sheer licensing nightmare that the series represents is not something that will ever be overcome.

      The fact that two games actually came over and proceeded to do mediocre at best means I find it hard to blame Atlus for not even bothering with the costlier OGG or 2OG as well.

  20. August 04, 2013 at 12:27pm
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    My list is pretty similar, Valkyria Chronicles 3, Langrisser series, Tales of Innocence and Hearts, Shining Force 3 P2 and P3 (be nice to get them all in a compilation), Super Robot War series, Fire Emblem 4 and 5, and Legend of Heroes sequels. Also want anything we don’t have relating to the SMT franchise.

    Live A Live always seemed interesting.

  21. August 04, 2013 at 12:14pm
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    You forgot Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen No Toki.

  22. August 04, 2013 at 11:31am
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    I wish Square Enix localized Sigma Harmonics, but whatever.

    God how I wish we could get a 3DS remake of Genealogy of the Holy War. Personally, I got into the series with The Sacred Stones through the Ambassador Program, but Nintendo does owe it to Roy to localize his own game, even though Super Smash Bros. 4 is most likely going to replace Ike with Chrom.

    • August 04, 2013 at 11:43am
      In response to Phantom Roxas
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      Sigma Harmonics looks cool. Thanks for reminding me of that one.

      Personally, I hope Awakening’s “Marth” shows up in Smash Bros….

      • August 04, 2013 at 03:27pm
        In response to Austin Yorski
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        Or, dare we hope, Tharja? I mean, she’s clearly IntSys’s favorite, so if the Smash team is asking for their input…

      • August 04, 2013 at 06:02pm
        In response to Austin Yorski
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        I wouldn’t bet on that. Having two characters that look so much alike (since Lucina never changes her outfit) would likely be rejected just to avoid confusion in fights.

        Honestly, I don’t think Ike has anything to worry about either, unless they’re dead set on including someone from Awakening but also totally unwilling to include three Fire Emblem characters. He’s still a popular character, and the only Lord besides Marth with more than one game to his name. Removing him doesn’t make much more sense than removing Marth would.

  23. August 04, 2013 at 11:30am
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    Fun little fact. The prequel to the Fire Emblem we got, Fire Emblem: Fuin no Tsurugi, or FE6, isn’t as good as FE7. Not by a long shot. The game is plagued with low hit rate, especially with thrown weapons, low growth rates, horrible supports, single RNG (double RNG was added in FE7) and the story is just meh.

    But if you are interested, a full fan translation of the game does exist, so you can just play that.

  24. August 04, 2013 at 11:10am
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    I wouldn’t hold my breath for Mother 3. I don’t know how well Earthbound on eShop is selling, but considering the bitch-fit people threw for it being $10 after begging for YEARS to get it released over here on virtual console, I doubt Nintendo is going to be putting too much emphasis on getting that one ready for the US proper.

    Beyond that, great list, basically everything I would think has even a remotely realistic chance of getting localized and that I would hope for.

    As far as less realistic chances that I’d like to see, I would like to see more of the Super Robot Taisen stuff come over, especially EXCEED, the Queen’s Blade/Gate games, the .Hack games we didn’t get, and Devil Summoner 3.

    • August 04, 2013 at 12:30pm
      In response to Sylveria
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      When was there a Devil Summoner 3? Do you mean the first one that was on the Saturn and PSP we didn’t get?

    • August 04, 2013 at 06:43pm
      In response to Sylveria
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      There are people bitching about the price of Earthbound? XD Christ people, these fans really are a finicky bunch.

  25. August 04, 2013 at 11:05am
    Aya
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    I gotta say I would buy every game on this list. (just started the Yakuza series and it’s awesome!)

    I wish that anime tie in games were being sold in the states but I understand that they are a niche of and niche market. :(

  26. August 04, 2013 at 11:02am
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    For me apart from PErsona 2: EP my biggest wish is one for Suikoden: tsumugareshi hyakunen no toki.
    I want that one more then anything

  27. August 04, 2013 at 10:36am
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    Why does everyone think that Trails in the sky SC isn’t coming? It is! Xseed are localizing it as we speak but the game is just so HUGE it’s taking quite a while to get done. I’m serious! The game’s script is humongous.

    Also Tales of Innocence on the Vita please Namco. I really want to play that game officially.

    And SEGA! Get off your arses and localize a bloody Shining game.

    • August 04, 2013 at 10:39am
      In response to Reikshiryo
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      “We still plan to move forward, slowly but surely, until the project either gets done or becomes completely and totally unfeasible – whichever comes first. If series fans want to hurry us along, they’ll need to convince more people to buy the first game so we can have more funding to hire more people to work on the second, and have bigger numbers to convince our investors that Trails 2 is worthy of being prioritized.” – Tom Lipschultz, XSEED Games

      • August 04, 2013 at 01:40pm
        In response to Austin Yorski
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        I don’t know when you got that quote from, but as a Xseed Forum regular I can tell money is not the issue at the moment actually. It’s more to do with the size of the script. That comes directly from Xseed. People have suggested crowd funding before but that won’t be able to hurry them along with the script.

  28. August 04, 2013 at 09:45am
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    Well for Shining Force 3 localization they would have to rewrite certain areas of the first story as when it was shipped came as a stand alone game and ended the series there. To get the whole experience you would have to get the trilogy and crack them with a translation patch and then it would work and so far that is the only way we have legally. I would love to see Shining force Feather over here.

  29. August 04, 2013 at 08:53am
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    Wow, I didn’t think anyone else had even heard of Live a Live! Props, Austin.

    Pretty much every game on this list is something I want badly, with the Ace Attorney games and Jojo topping that list. I’m hoping they at least release a PSN version of Jojo, even if they just keep the Japanese voices and translate the text.

  30. August 04, 2013 at 08:08am
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    Ah, the Persona 2 duology, will we ever get a complete set of any versions? Loved how much more comfortable the interface was in IS and I’d be so happy to be able to play EP with the same treatment.

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