Nintendo’s latest home console didn’t have a good start (neither the Nintendo 3DS), but this time there’s another element in the formula: the lack of third party support. This forced Nintendo to show what they can do best: exclusives, and there’s a lot of them. From the core Nintendo franchises like Mario and Zelda,  new IP’s like Splatoon or second party exclusives like Devil’s Third and Bayonetta 2, these games are helping to grow the console’s game catalog making it unique, featuring plenty of games you can’t find anywhere.

Sadly, there are games (not just exclusives) that were released for the Nintendo Wii U in Japan, and  were not localized in other territories. Here are my top choices of the 5 games that should have been localized outside Japan.

fatal frame v Fatal Frame V: Oracle of the Sodden Raven
Released on September 27th, 2014

Hyrule Warriors wasn’t the only game co-developed by Tecmo Koei and Nintendo, there’s also the latest entry of the Fatal Frame series, which localization wasn’t announced yet. The game is basically a survival horror game based on Japanese-like horror stories, such as old Japanese buildings, the use of cameras and the presence of water as a fear element. One of the original aspects of the game is that you use the Wii U GamePad as a camera that allow you to see stuff you can see on the TV screen, and also allows you to attack ghosts making the controller an essential aspect of the game.

The previous entry, for the Nintendo Wii, was almost localized in the West but Nintendo decided to not publish overseas. There’s some hope, since a spin-off of the series was localized by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS, being Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir.

puyo puyo Puyo Puyo Tetris
Released on February 6th, 2014

Weirdly enough, the Wii U is the only console without a Tetris game which is kind of disappointing, and the closest thing to this famous puzzle game is Heptrix, an eShop entry by the developer Jose Varela. It’s not like this in Japan, where SEGA published Puyo Puyo Tetris. Developed by the popular Sonic Team, this crossover mixes two of the most famous puzzle games (like the title, Puyo Puyo and Tetris) and adding an online mode for up to 4 players. Also, the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS were able to connect together if you wanted to play with a friend, and also had  a replay feature that can be shared online.

This title acts as both a digital and a retail release for the two Nintendo consoles from almost one year ago, and why it isn’t released in the West is a mystery. Lastly this game would have made a great memorial title for Tetris’s 30th anniversary!

yakuza-1-2-hd-edition (1) Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Edition
Released on August 8th, 2013.

Another SEGA title, Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Edition was originally released for the PS3 but SEGA decided to do a Wii U port, being the first game on a non-Sony console. These two action adventure games follow the story behind Yakuza member Kazuma Kiryu (the Japanese mafia). After spending ten years in jail for a crime he never committed, he discovers that a big quantity of money was stolen from the Tojo Clan, and basically, this is his journey to recover it.

This popular series doesn’t just include an open world; it is also packaged with RPG elements allowing players to upgrade their character with the experience you get from fighting on the streets. When released for the Sony PlayStation 2, Yakuza was praised for its storyline and Yakuza 2 for its fighting system. Considering the original titles were localized pretty late (one year for Yakuza and two years for Yakuza 2), there’s still some hope this HD collection will reach the West, at least as a digital release.

dragon quest x Dragon Quest X
Released on March 30th, 2013

Also known as Dragon Quest X: Rise of the Five Tribes Online, this MMORPG by Square-Enix was originally released for the Nintendo Wii in 2012, but got an enhanced release for the Wii U (and later a release for the 3DS). Using a monthly fee, this title mixes the traditional RPG genre with elements of an actual MMO, allowing the player to access an open-world environment including plenty of towns, enemies and quests. There are also multiplayer elements, the main one being the option to create groups of up to four players.

Including the fact Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate isn’t being released for Nintendo’s home console, Dragon Quest X’s localization would be a great idea, after all the title features cross-play with another platforms (like Android devices and PC).

17-taiko-drum-master-wii-u-edition-5 Taiko no Tatsujin

There are actually two releases from the popular Namco rhythm series on the Wii U: Taiko no Tatsujin: Wii U Version released on November 21st 2013 and Taiko Drum Master: Tokumori on November 20th of 2014. The main objective is to hit a simulated taiko drum using the corresponding “tonotes” across a song, where it can be done using a special accessory or using the Wii U GamePad touchscreen itself. The series is quite popular in Japan, and considering the success of the series in Japan (already two titles for both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and five games for the Nintendo Wii), it won’t be a big risk to bring them to the West, at least digitally.

mario kart gp dx

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX
Released on July 25th, 2013

I’m breaking the rules here for two reasons: it’s an Arcade game and it was released outside of Japan, so I will just consider it as an additional idea. It’s Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, made by Namco Bandai Games and Nintendo (just like the latest Mario Kart 8). But wait… why add this game if we already have Mario Kart 8? It’s really simple, the game’s mechanics and items are different and include many new courses, which is a breath of fresh air for players.

For example, the karts and items are chosen from a random roulette, there’s a team mode where two players combine their karts in a new powerful one (one player drives while the other attacks), a better Battle Mode and of course, an arcade style game. Pac-man and Don-chan (From the Taiko series) also make an appearance as new playable characters.

monter hunger g

Are there more games?

Of course, there are plenty of games we won’t have in the West which include some from Nintendo’s own library of games, not to mention the eShop which we didn’t touch on. More Japan-only retail titles include MONSTER HUNTER FRONTIER G which is another MMO game for the system (the title was originally released in 2007, and got its Wii U release on December 11, 2013), as a part of the Capcom 30th Anniversary releases. Another game is Kamen Rider: Battride War II, an action-RPG game with a similar gameplay of games like the Warrior series, is one of many Bandai Namco Games titles the West is missing. Still, most of them are “Party Games” or “Mini Games collections” type.  Lastly there’s SANGOKUSHI 12, which literally is Romance of the Three Kingdoms 12. This series is pretty popular for mixing simulation and strategy based on the dynasty times. The only game we can play is Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV Wall of Fire (as a SNES VC title).

Do you know of any Wii U games that aren’t in your region which you would like to see localized?  Let us know in the comments below!

Eric Weichhart
When it comes to gaming, I don't choose a side nor the budget, but how much fun I will get from playing.


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