Nintendo DS is a fabulous platform with a varied software library that can pretty much fulfill anyone’s needs. And being cheap and easy to develop for and one of the most popular platforms of all time, its software library is massive. Unfortunately, many great games never get localized, be it for piracy threats, licensing issues, localization costs, and other barriers. With 3DS on the horizon, the window for these titles to be localized is getting smaller. Thankfully, Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata announced that even after 3DS’ launch, Nintendo still plans on supporting the platform through localizing their back catalog of titles that were only released in Japan. Currently, we have no idea which titles they have in the works, but here are five Nintendo published titles that would definitely be a welcome addition to the DS’s library in the west.
Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow
Consider the series recent track record for localizations, it’s quite the wonder the latest Fire Emblem hasn’t hit store shelves outside of Japan. The title is a remake of the second adventure that appeared in the remake of the original Fire Emblem on the Super Nintendo (that’s a mouthful). This time around, players get to create their very own main character, choosing their gender, hair style, hair color, face type, and class type. In addition to the main story, the title includes all new missions to reveal your character’s background. The title also re-introduces the Satellaview missions that have been basically impossible to play without an emulator over the last decade. I’d say this is one of the more likely DS titles to be localized considering the franchise’s history and that the title launched earlier this year in Japan.
If you keep up with Japanese video game sales charts, you will know the title Tomodachi Collection has been on the list almost every week for over year now. What’s this title exactly? Well, it is sort of like Tamagotchis mixed with The Sims, but with your Miis. Players can import or create Miis, similar to Personal Trainer Walking. Once your Mii is settled into a room, you can make them partake in different activities like karaoke, conversing with other Miis, trying on clothes, dating, and even playing a Wii! The title is almost like the spiritual successor to the unreleased Stage Debut title Nintendo was working on during the 64 and Gamecube era. Unfortunately, the director for Tomodachi Collection, Yoshio Sakamoto, said that bringing the title to western audiences would be difficult. The title features synthesized voices, and given the nature of the English language, it would be difficult to transfer the voices over correctly. He says that the voices are a big part of the charm for the title. I say just slap on Animal Crossing’s animalese and localize it.
What? It is a Monolith Software title, you knew it was coming. Soma Bringer! The title is a real-time RPG that plays from an isometric view. Players hack and slash their way through hordes of foes, similar to the Diablo series. While three units take the field at once, you only choose one of the seven different characters to control yourself. You can adventure with two computer comrades or two human players, unfortunately, only via local wireless. The title prides itself in customization of skills, stats, and controls, allowing players to fine-tune each party member. There is a fan translation out there, so there are ways to play it in English. Hopefully, Nintendo will make it easier for us all and just localize it.
Welcome Home Chibi-Robo! Happy, Rich Big Sweep!
Chibi-Robo Park Patrol took Chibi-Robo out of his familiar roots, putting him in charge of revitalizing a park . Happy, Rich Big Sweep puts Chibi-Robo back in the kitchen… er, house. Chibi-Robo’s job is still the same – to clean everything!. This time around Chibi-Robo is equipped with a vacuum cleaner to vacuum up dust, along with all of his old cleaning tools. While cleaning, players find gems which can be exchanged for money. Chibi-Robo then uses his money to buy new furniture and other decorations for the house on the home shopping network. It’s pretty much more of the same, but it is Chibi-Robo! Who doesn’t want to be a super, tiny, cute robot cleaning stuff?
ASH: Archaic Sealed Heat
The Last Story isn’t the first time Final Fantasy’s creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Nintendo teamed up. ASH, developed by Racjin and MistWalker, is a bit of mix between a strategy RPG and your standard turn based RPG. Each character in the party is controlled separately on the field, but characters share action points for movement, forcing players to strategically position their character on the field. Where the player sets the character determines their placement in the party’s formation during battle. For example if you have a mage, you probably don’t want them standing right in the face of the enemy when you engage. You would place them further away while putting melee classes closer to the enemy. Once the characters’ positions are set, players engage in a turn based battle similar to what you would see in any RPG. The title uses pre-rendered backgrounds along with full motion video for battle animations, providing players with a break from all the DS RPGs filled with short, blocky, chibi party members.
So as you can see, there are still some fanciful titles that Nintendo could still bring over. Of course, those aren’t the only titles in Nintendo’s back catalog. Nintendo could also possibly team up with third parties to bring over titles they didn’t publish, like SEGA’s 7th Dragon and Namco Bandai’s Retro Game Challenge 2. But as with the New Play Control line on Wii, how many titles Nintendo brings over depends on sales. If the sales aren’t there, you can probably expect Nintendo’s plans to burn out and just turn all of its focus to 3DS.
Are there any DS titles you’d like to see localized?