A short while ago, Nintendo seemingly closed the door on the possibility of releasing Wii RPGs Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower in the U.S., much to the chagrin of its fans, some of which launched a grassroots effort called Operation Rainfall to get these games published.
It’s no surprise that Nintendo politely passed on the opportunity. The Wii is on its way out, and the company would rather transition to Wii U, the new console that debuts next year.
Of course, this isn’t the first (nor will it be the last) time games from Japan never appear in the west.
In fact, there are quite a few import titles for Game Boy Advance and DS that’ll probably remain in Japan.
That said, you won’t see the following in GameStop any time soon.
Ouendan and Ouendan 2 (DS)
The premise remains the same. People are in trouble, and it’s up to three gentleman to cheer them up/achieve their goals through expertly choreographed dance routines. Instead of three agents, though, the Ouendan games star male cheerleaders.
That alone makes Ouendan better than Elite Beat, but we also think the music is superior.
Why won’t these phenomenal games come Stateside? Well, no one would buy a game starring a male cheer squad, and the soundtrack is too foreign for western tastes. Oh yeah, and both games are in Japanese. Kind of an issue.
Ah yes, and you shouldn’t call them simply Ouendan and Ouendan 2. The full titles are: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2. Good luck with that last one.
Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars (DS)
Manga fans went bonkers over these Super Smash Bros. inspired brawlers that pull popular characters from a plethora of high profile franchises, including Bleach, Dragon Ball, One Piece, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Naruto and Yu-Gi-Oh!, and that barely scratches the surface.
When can you purchase these four-player beat-em-ups? How about never? Multiple licensing issues put the Jump games out of our reach. Try importing them instead.
Mother 3 (Game Boy Advance)
This beloved role-playing game takes place in the Nowhere Islands, where a young boy named Lucas sets off to rid the land of the oppressive Pigmask Army. Fans have begged Nintendo for years to localise it, but the company ignored those requests, probably because the game debuted in 2006, towards the end of the GBA’s life. Thankfully, there’s a fan translation atStarmen.net.
Kuru Kuru Kururin and Kururin Paradise (Game Boy Advance)
Both of these games task you with (carefully) guiding a constantly moving stick through a series of mazes without touching the sides. The first game made its way to Europe, but for some odd reason, neither titles invaded North America. The Game Boy Advance, however, is region free, so you can always import.
Daigasso! Band Brothers (DS)
Released as a Japanese launch title in 2004, Daigasso! challenges gamers to use different instruments to compose a song. Players can enjoy over 35 different songs, including tracks from Nintendo games like Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda and F-Zero. It is without question one of the DS’ best, but don’t hold your breath waiting for Nintendo to bring it, seven years later, to the U.S.