Monday, February 15, 2010

5 Games that should be Localized

Written by pikaby

DS and Wii games from Japan that should be localized in the US, just because they are awesome. I'll do myself a favor and avoid the obligatory Mother 3(Earthbound 3) game, because that's what every Nintendo fan wants over at the States and so it isn't really worth explaining further. (Why do I want Mother 3 in English? Because it's awesome!!!!!one!!!1!!) <--Typical response.

Tomodachi Collection (DS)
Basically this game is Nintendogs, with Miis replacing cute puppies. You get an island with a blank apartment block and you're tasked to populate it with Miis. You can make your own on the DS, or you can import your Miis from a Wii console into it. The Mii editor and the appearance of the Miis are replicated perfectly on the DS(although I have a little gripe with skin colors being a tad different), and a voice synthesizer and personality option is set for the DS. The voices can be creepy at first, but they grow on you, and soon you'll be trying to make the craziest artificial Mii voices not known to man(I know I did).
You can feed the Miis, give them new clothes or interior furnishings, teach them phrases, let them make friends and marry each other, and a bunch of other stuff too. Like Nintendogs, Tomodachi Collection stands as one of Nintendo's 'evergreen' titles, and it's a huge hit in Japan, being at the top ten in the charts consistently ever since it was released and it sold more tham 2 million copies in its lifetime, and the numbers are still rising. Casual gamers in the West would lap this right up, although there is the issue of how to make Miis pronounce English words when you can only spell them out. Japanese characters are easy, but this is a more complex language to deal with.

Densetsu no Stafy 4 (DS)

Got The Legendary Starfy? Sick of it? Nintendo got off on a bad foot with the Starfy series in the US, porting the 5th and weakest game to the US and trying hard to give Starfy and his pals a 'cool' attitude(just check the official site), which he doesn't freaking need. What the hell is wrong with being cute? It's the same with Kirby too. Anyway, The Legendary Starfy(which is known as 'Densetsu no Stafy: Taiketsu! Dairu no Kaizoku-dan' in Japan) isn't bad by most standards in the eyes of Starfy fans, but to most gamers it's short and too easy.
This is giving Starfy a bad image in the West. Nintendo should seriously consider porting the much better prequel of Stafy 5 to the US, which is much better in many aspects, is longer, gives a bit more challenge and more to do after beating the game(three endings and a huge pile of collectibles). If you thought The Legendary Starfy was bad, give the 5-pointed hero a second chance and import this. In the likely case Nintendo doesn't want to translate it.

Nanashi no Game (DS)

I don't know much about this horror game since I don't have it, but it's developed by Square Enix and it revolves around a cursed RPG game killing anybody who plays it.....after 7 days. Sound familiar? You get to go around getting scares and at certain points, actually play the RPG game, which looks a lot like Pokemon Red/Blue and gets more graphically glitchy and corrupted as you go on.
I may not have it, but it's all kinds of intriguing. It's something I would gladly try out in English to fully understand the depth of the story.

Taiko no Tatsujin Wii
This is my personal recommendation. Taiko no Tatsujin is a rhythm game that involves you beating the center and rim of the drum as red and blue notes scroll leftwards in time to tunes from popular anime, J-Pop songs, game music and more. As you can see on the box a drum accessory is provided. Taiko Wii is more family oriented, as portrayed by the TV adverts for it, but underneath it lies the same maddeningly frustrating challenge for hardcore rhythm gods. You start off easy, but once you get to the harder difficulty setting you're hooked. It's not as pretentious as say, Guitar Hero, and it does its job very well.
If you've seen this before, well, Taiko no Tatsujin was actually localized just once on the PS2, but it failed to see much success due to a drab song selection with most of the anime and J-Pop taken out, and not many of the original songs Taiko fans love so much. Namco, give the series one more try in the US. It sold decently enough in Japan to get a Silver Award in the Everyone's Recommendation selection, so bring it here. Bring on some rhythm fun mixed with rhythm hell.

Kotoba no Puzzle: Mojipittan DS
Also from Namco is this Japanese Scrabble-like game where you line up hiragana characters and the resulting phrases you make will earn you points based on how long it is and how many you make in one go. It's quite an addicting affair, and with over 200 layouts to clear you can expect some brain-racking especially if you know the language.
But it's a far-fetched idea for those who don't. Hence there's no chance in hell that this word puzzle gem will be seen in the US. This is my own idea though- what if they could restructure the game without changing the gameplay? Give us the same hiragana-arranging stuff, but translate the in-game encyclopedia into English and include a section to teach us the letters and phrases before we start playing. Would do a much better job of teaching Japanese the fun way (rather than Ubisoft's My Japanese Coach).

Okay, so the list more leaning on DS than the Wii, but that's a given since the DS is region-free right out of the box so I could try out more Japanese games on it.

Let's see these masterpieces on our shores, hey?

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