As new consoles and handhelds begin to pop up over time, new games pop up that make you say “I have to have THAT!” Unfortunately, along with the newer hardware comes region locking. As of 2012, the PS3 is currently the only platform that is 99.9% region free (Persona 4 Arena being the .1% as it is the only PS3 game with a region lock), while the Vita and Xbox 360 are partially unaffected by region locks (while the PSP is also region free, it’s becoming less and less relevant in the west, while the DS is also losing support to the 3DS). Because of said region locks, some games are just incapable of being played on a console/handheld of a different region. Thus leaving us to hope for localizations to happen. Sometimes, it just never happens. So I’ve compiled a list of 10 games that were either recently released elsewhere or are set for release that have no plans of being localized, but should.
Dragon Quest 25th Anniversary Collection
Japan recently celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Dragon Quest series by releasing a compilation package for the Wii. Included on the disc were Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II and Dragon Quest III. Rather than being a simple collection of ROMs slapped together on a disc (ala Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii), the collection features both the original Famicom editions and the Super Famicom remakes. On top of that, the collection featured a reprinting of a nifty strategy guide, plenty of artwork from the three games via an art gallery in the collection, a sneak-peak at Dragon Quest X and a replica Mini-Medal and bag. It’s a crying shame that it’s been a year now and this set has not even been thought of for a western release. The only way western players can even play the first three Dragon Quests is if they track down either the original NES cartridges or the Game Boy Color ports. The first Dragon Quest is the easiest to come across, but it’s honestly not aged well at all on the NES. However, the second and third games are a bit more pricey on the NES, as well as the Game Boy Color ports (which are split into two cartridges, as DQ and DQII are paired together).
Neither of the three titles are available on either the Wii’s or 3DS’ Virtual Consoles. We also end up missing out on the Super Famicom remakes, once again, which heavily improved the game mechanics (the GBC ports are based off the SFC remakes).
Dragon Quest X
Speaking of Dragon Quest X, here’s another one that has had virtually no word of getting a western release as of yet. Japan recently got their hands on the first fully online Dragon Quest title. This seemed to fix my one problem with Dragon Quest IX, as the multiplayer aspect of that title required you have friends locally with their own copy of the game, which is no easy task seeing as how the series isn’t anywhere as big in the west as it is in Japan. Being able to choose between different races was also a nice touch.
While the game is initially only available on the Wii in Japan, a Wii U port is in the works. So even if the Wii release is too much of a stretch here, we can always hope for the Wii U port to make it to the west.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D
Okay, I swear that this is the last Dragon Quest game on the list! This one’s for the 3DS and is a complete remake of the first title in the Dragon Quest Monsters spin-off for the Game Boy Color. This remake includes the ability to import monsters from Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2, battle other players’ monsters online and Street Pass with other players. Like the Anniversary Collection, the original isn’t available on the Virtual Console. And like DQX, there’s been absolutely no word on a possible localization. With Square-Enix having stopped releasing DQ titles after the DS port of Dragon Quest V, we’re left with hoping Nintendo will give us *something* Dragon Quest related, as they’ve taken the job of publishing the series in the west since IX.
Project X Zone
What do you get when you mix Capcom, Namco-Bandai and SEGA characters together? You get Project X Zone, the sequel to Namco x Capcom, for the 3DS. It’s a tactical RPG and the 3DS could honestly stand to use more RPGs. The previous game in the series never saw a localized release, but thankfully Katsuhiro Harada, producer of the Tekken series, is trying to push for Namco-Bandai to release the game outside of Japan. We can only hope they listen to him and follow through with it.
Valkyria Chronicles 3
Valkyria Chronicles is an interesting series. Due to word of mouth, people began to find out about this tactical RPG for the PS3 that nearly flew completely under the radar. The game got a few pieces of DLC made afterward and a sequel was announced…for the PSP. From a business perspective, I could see why they did this. It costs less to make a PSP game than it does a PS3 game, Valkyria Chronicles was always a risky series to push as it gave a total twist to World War II compared to what we’re used to seeing in war games and more people owned PSPs in Japan compared to PS3s. The real problem lied with the west – where anything that falls onto the PSP ends up failing to make sales due to the rampant amount of piracy that goes on for the platform. That was the case with Valkyria Chronicles II. It ended up seeing more torrented downloads than actual sales, which prompted SEGA to not localize the third title in the series, which was also for the PSP.
One thing I’ve always suggested was to release it as a PSN-exclusive title. Since we now have the Vita along with the PSP, it wouldn’t hurt to bring it to a platform that focuses a little more on digital downloads. Heck, some risky titles saw some form of success with a budget digital release, such as Corpse Party, which was recently confirmed to have its sequel also released digitally in the west. Going the digital route saves money on producing a physical copy, which would mean only PSP users could purchase that as the Vita does not use UMDs. Plus you’d end up getting both PSP and Vita users if it were digital. Hopefully SEGA either chooses to go the digital route, or at least lets another company publish the title for them.
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
We meet again, Square-Enix. Here we have another 3DS RPG from the company, one that resembles a classic Final Fantasy title every step of the way, includes plenty of voice work, multiple endings, quests and achievements for communities created by players. So why the heck hasn’t this even been hinted at getting a release?! Oh right. They’re too busy pushing more of Final Fantasy XIII and Kingdom Hearts.
Ryū ga Gotoku 1 & 2 HD Edition/Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Edition
Technically, we already got the originals for the PlayStation 2. However, Yakuza 2 is a bit tough to come across as not many copies were made and SEGA completely disregarded advertising it. In fact, how we even got Yakuza 3 still baffles me. Needless to say, it’d be nice to have this HD compilation released here. Having all of the games on one platform and for those who missed out the first two would be extremely nice.
I’m beginning to notice a trend where a lot of these games listed are on Nintendo platforms. Needless to say, this one’s an incredibly odd one. The game has been released outside of Japan in PAL territories. A tremendous push from Operation Rainfall was made to have the game localized…and it has never been released in North America. The game’s already in complete English and was released in Europe, so why it never got released in NA is incredibly saddening. The story’s rather dark and something really needed on the Wii. With the Wii U being backwards compatible, there really is no reason not to try pushing this out for the holiday and noting that it’s playable on either system.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
This one had some really awful timing. Between Persona 4 Golden, Persona 4 Arena, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers and Shin Megami Tensei IV being announced (and mostly released), P2:EP basically had little room to stretch its legs. We originally got the PSOne original of this title (which was the second half of P2), but not the Innocent Sin. Later on, we got Innocent Sin via the PSP, but we’re still missing Eternal Punishment. I’m being a little hopeful and assuming we haven’t heard anything because Atlus has been rather busy trying to finish bringing the two Persona 4 titles here. Hopefully we’ll at least see a digital release, since it may be a bit late to release a UMD version.
Hatsune Miku Project DIVA f
Let’s finish this off with something that isn’t an RPG. SEGA teased us a bit by having a Project DIVA demo at E3 this year as a test to gauge interest. Unfortunately, we’ve heard nothing and it was inevitable that it wouldn’t guarantee anything. Part rhythm-based music game, part music video maker, this is something Vocaloid fans have been begging to see released outside of Japan. The title’s available on both PS3 and Vita. Being the Phantasy Star Online lover I am, you can only imagine the stupid grin that grew on my face when I saw that one of the songs featured Phantasy Star Online 2 cameos.
So what do you all think? Agree? Disagree? Know of any games I should’ve included? Feel free to let me know!