The recent developments with the fan movement to get Nintendo of America to localize Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower got me thinking. Nintendo of America has been especially selective on what games have been getting localized over the last few years.
Many people out there will be quick to say that Nintendo has been doing this for years and they are right. Mother 1 + 2, as well as Mother 3, were both games that had a large fan movement to beg Nintendo to localize these Japan only titles but as we know that never happened.
Other titles in Nintendo’s past that never got localized and released in North America, that I personally wanted at the time, include Sin & Punishment (N64), Nintendo Puzzle Collection (GCN), Giftpia (GCN), Doshin the Giant (GCN), multiple Starfy Games (AGB/DS), multiple Fire Emblem games (most notably AGB/DS), a few F-Zero titles and expansions, many NES Classics (AGB), Band Bros. (DS), Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS), Chibi-Robo 3 (DS), and much much more. Now that I think about it the list of games that have gone missing from Nintendo is really staggering and I feel that many of these titles would have some sort of audience here.
With that said this article is going to take a look at those Wii titles that just didn’t make it from Japan to North America, and those that didn’t make it to the rest of the world.
Missing in North America
Disaster: Day of Crisis
Regions Released: Japan, Europe, and Australia
The first game on this list has two things in common with Xenoblade Chronicles. First, Monolithsoft, which is a subsidiary of Nintendo, developed both games. Second, both games will have been released in Europe but not North America.
Disaster: Day of Crisis is a third person action adventure game where the player must do whatever it takes to survive. The game features shooting elements, and puzzle elements. Disaster: Day of Crisis also allows players to use the Wii Remote and Nunchuck in fun ways like performing CPR to save lives.
From my understanding even the Japanese version of this game featured English voice acting, which makes the localization process even less taxing. For more information on this game check out part of a feature I used to run known as Lost Nintendo Games where I discussed Disaster Day of Crisis in greater detail.
Another Code: R
Regions Released: Japan, Europe
Another Code: R, a point and click style game, is the sequel to the Nintendo DS title known as Trace Memory. Trace Memory did come out in North America and was an ok game. It wasn’t game of the year but it wasn’t garbage and I know for a fact that it had an audience.
The developer behind Another Code: R is the now defunct studio known as Cing. Another one of Cing’s games was published by Nintendo in Japan and Europe but not North America. What game? Last Window: The Secret of Cape West. Last Window was a sequel to the DS title Hotel Dusk: Room 215, which did get released in North America and had a few fans.
New Play Control! Pikmin 2
Regions Released: Japan, Australia, and Europe
Yes it’s just Pikmin 2 with Wii controls, but this game is fantastic. North America was lucky enough to get New Play Control! Pikmin. Sadly we were unable to get the sequel meaning people here can play the first game with the new controls but not the second. It sounds unfair and I’m sure it wouldn’t take very long to get this game localized at all. No excuses for this one honestly.
This section will look at various Wii games that didn’t see a release outside of one or more regions. The games may have been released only in Japan, or just didn’t make it to select regions. It’s also worth noting that Another Code: R, mentioned earlier, never made it to Australia.
Fatal Frame IV
Region Released: Japan
The forth installment of the Fatal Frame series was published by Nintendo in Japan. Unfortunately it never saw its way overseas at all. There have been numerous fans that I have talked to that were upset that this title wasn’t localized.
I’m even aware that fans have translated the game and an imported version of the game can be hacked, or modified in some way, to play the fan translation. I don’t know if doing so requires a hacked or modded Wii but the real question is why do fans need to go to these great lengths at all?
New Play Control! Chibi-Robo
Region Released: Japan
Yet another New Play Control! game that I didn’t get to try. I was really hoping for this title to come out all over the world since Chibi-Robo was a great GameCube game that came late in the consoles life and many people didn’t get a chance to play it.
Nintendo also didn’t release the third Chibi-Robo game, for the DS, outside of Japan.
Zangeki no Reginleiv
Region Released: Japan
Zangeki no Reginleiv is one of the few Wii titles that actually took advantage of the Wii Motion Plus, so it never coming overseas is clearly upsetting. This title is rated CERO: D in Japan, which is equivalent of an M rating in North America.
I feel like part of the reason many of these games don’t come out in North America is because they may be somewhat violent and Nintendo of America is worried about their image. In this era of Nintendo seeing a game like Conker’s Bad Fur Day would be impossible.