Pandora’s Tower was released some time ago in the North American eShop as a Wii Download, an odd release since the service is so far exclusive for 1st party games. A mistake in the initial listing provoked some confusion, but after being fixed it was revealed that the the game was published by Nintendo, revealing some good news for fans. Why?
During the last generation, Nintendo of America (NoA) refused to publish some games that were released in Japan and Europe by Nintendo, so unless a third party company decided to take the publishing rights, the game would never reach the continent. In the case of Pandora’s Tower, it was XSEED who decided to acquire the physical publishing rights of the game.
With that said, the release of this game on the eShop revealed that Nintendo is able to digitally publish not just the games that were published by another company, but also those that never reached the region. So here, I will talk about five games that I think they need to publish as a Wii Download in the North American eShop, and as an extra, three games that Nintendo could localize overseas.
5 games that don’t need localization
During “Operation Rainfall“, people wanted to persuade NoA to localize three games: Pandora’s Tower, The Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles. However, the company only published the latter and XSEED decided to publish the other two.
The Last Story is a third-person RPG game that used a real time battle system combining stealth and strategy elements. The story is about a mercenary called Zael, along with his group, who comes to the Lazulis Island hoping to find work. During one of their jobs, Zael obtains a mysterious power that would affect his destiny. We did a review of the game, which can be read here.
The game also was worked on by big names, directed by the creator of the Final Fantasy series Hironobu Sakaguchi and the music composed by Nobuo Uematsu, who is know for working on many games of the Final Fantasy series. He is even the composer of the main song of Super Smash Bros. Brawl!
A last thing to mention is that it can be played with the Classic Controller, so a digital release would mean the game could be played with the GamePad without much issue.
The sequel of the DS game Another Code: Two Memories, or Trace Memory in North America, this is a point-and-click adventure game where players need to find a series of clues and solve puzzles, and unlike its prequel, it is obvious this entry used motion controls.
The story is set two years after the events of Trace Memory and it shares the same heroine, Ashley Mizuki Robbins. After arriving to Lake Juliet in order to visit her father, she start to recover her memories and your objective is to help her to uncover the mysteries about her mother’s death and find the truth about “Project Another.”
The game was pretty well received mostly due to its story rather than the gameplay, and since the Wii U already has a DS Virtual Console as well, it would be nice if they release both games.
The first Wii game developed by Monolith Soft, this game is an action-adventure survival game focused on three different gameplay mechanics: exploring, on-rail shooter phases and arcade like driving sections. This gave the game a lot of variation, and that isn’t including some different minigames based on the Wii Remote.
The main character is a US Marine named Raymond Bryce, where during a rescue mission a dormant volcano abruptly erupted, losing a close friend during his escape. After quitting his job and starting to work behind a desk, he is drawn by the Government in a guilt-trip where he is left facing off against a terrorist organization called SURGE and struggling to survive against the full force of nature’s wrath.
During its localization there were conflicts between Monolith Soft and Nintendo of America, since NoA thought that the dialogue “wouldn’t fly” with the country’s audience. After changing the game’s lines, forcing the studio to call the original cast to record the changed lines, Monolith Soft wasn’t happy about this. They decided to release the original version in Japan.
The funny thing about this story is that NoA never published the game after troubling the studio to make those changes, and the European release got stuck with the modified version of the game.
Despite its lacking visuals, probably due the studio’s lack of experience in the platform, the game was nicely received thanks to its arcade gameplay and it would be a fun experience if released on the eShop.
This game is actually a remake of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, made for the competition’s consoles in the previous generation. The title didn’t just get the content from the Director’s Cut version, but in order to make it similar to the fourth Fatal Frame game, the graphics were remade, and few gameplay elements including camera angles and even the voices were updated.
Just like the original game, you use the Camera Obscura to take pictures of ghosts in order to exorcise them, however the exploration of the game was changed, making the game played in third-person perspective. Another change is that you play with the Wiimote-Nunchuk combo instead, where you use the Wiimote to aim and take the pictures.
Why it wasn’t released back in 2012 is a mystery, mostly considering that the 3DS spin-off Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir still got released. Maybe they didn’t want to release a Wii game a few months before the Wii U?
Considering that Fatal Frame 5: Maiden of Black Water will be released this year in the West, it would be a good opportunity for Nintendo to release this title that never reached the North American continent.
I bet you are surprised with this choice, mostly considering this game was published in North America, but it does make sense that I add this game to the list. Why? It is for a small reason: while the North American version only came with the English voices, the European release included the original Japanese cast, which is more catchy since the songs were composed in that language.
If you never played it or heard of it, Rhythm Heaven Fever is a rhythm game that uses many levels using different rules, requiring the player to play in synchronization in order to beat the level. The controls are really simple, in fact you will only use the A and the B button to play.
And to be honest, I would prefer to buy the European version over the North American one.
3 games that need localization
Despite the fact that Tecmo wanted to bring the game to North America, NoA declined to publish the game in the country. To make the story even sadder, the title was confirmed for the European region but the localization got canceled shortly after the announcement from NoA.
The plot is pretty simple: in 1970 five girls were kidnapped by a serial killer in a sanatorium located on Rougetsu Island. Later they were rescued by the detective who was pursuing the criminal, but the girls lose all their memories of the incident in the process. A decade later, two of the girls died mysteriously invoking fear of the same fate to the remaining three girls. In order to recover their memories and learn about what happened ten years ago, they decided to return to the island.
The gameplay follows the premise of the previous installments in the franchise: you use the Camera Obscura to fight against hostile spirits, and this time there is a new element called Spirit Flashlight, a torch that uses the moonlight to exorcise spirits. It was also the first game of the series to get rid of the standard controller, making use of the Wii Mote and Nunchuk combo.
It is worth mentioning that from this game forward, all the upcoming entries of the series would be exclusive for Nintendo’s systems including the remake of the second and the 3DS spin-off four years later.
Now that the fifth entry of the series is going to be released overseas, maybe it will interest Nintendo to localize this title to see if it sells well, or at least, we can hope to see a remake in the future if it doesn’t share the same destiny Project Zero 2: Wii Edition.
You play the role of an ordinary guy called Nick. He has an alter-ego, Captain Rainbow, who was a popular TV superhero a long time ago. In order to regain his populariry, he travels to a place that dreams come true: Mimin Island.
This is an action-adventure game divided in two sections: during the adventure part you will pass time with other residents of the island, helping them in sidequests which can include many minigames or bug catching.
After helping those residents, you will be granted with special crystals called Kirarin, which are used in the action part: every time you get 20 of them, a star will fall being able to grant a wish. While you carry it to an altar, you are challenged by an enemy that wants the star, and if you succeed, you can either grant your wish to become a hero again or help one of the islanders.
The residents you help are actually Nintendo’s characters, including an out of shape Little Mac that needs to lose weight, Birdo who was imprisoned after being wrongly suspected of a crime and Devil (from Devil World) with the wish of becoming the number one villain in the underworld. Other characters from other games were included and the weirdest one in my opinion is the main character of the NES game Golf. Yeah, I’m not joking, he is called Ossan.
This game would be a lot of fun to play, and despite that the game was used as an example of wasting money by Chris Pranger mostly due how much the voice acting would cost, they could just translate the text to English and feature it as an import game.
Chibi-Robo! Plug Into Adventure!
Published by Nintendo in Japan.
Most of you already know about this game, since it was released worldwide for the Gamecube. The reason I’m mentioning of this game is because it got a re-released for the Wii as a part of New Play Control!, which was released only on Japan.
For those who never played it, Chibi-Robo! is a adventure platform game where you control a small robot that does housework for humans. Your objective is to help him to become the top ranked “Super Chibi-Robo” by doing good deeds for the family that owns you and also for various toys in the house.
Bringing this game over should not be hard at all, since the only localization work needed would be for the new text and the manual. An alternative would be if Nintendo released a GameCube VC service, but since they currently need to focus on GBA, NDS and N64 games, it is really unlikely.
There are a few other games they can bring over or localize, but I decided to feature the ones that are more likely to be published. If you want to share your opinion or know another game that could be published, feel free to write it in the comments.
When it comes to gaming, I don’t choose a side nor the budget, but how much fun I will get from playing.