In more RPG coverage today, I’m going to go over a few unreleased titles stateside or worldwide, on Nintendo systems. Have some of these high-profile, Japan slated games slipped off your radar? What about the altogether unannounced games?
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Slated for a TBA 2013 release in Japan, this Square-Enix published game will probably be a full year after the fact release on North American and European systems. It would be great if Nintendo offered to publish the game themselves, as no confirmation was made for a western localization anyway, and the Nintendo 3DS could quickly benefit from an RPG release of this quality in the Spring, stateside. Games like Bravely Default: Flying Fairy can be compared to Nintendo DS titles like Suikoden Tierkreis: lush, traditional RPG experiences that enrich Nintendo’s catalogue with their in-depth yet expansive themes.
Buffering period: Long Wait. Localization: Probable.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Released in 1998 (JP) then in 2000 (NA), Dragon Warrior Monsters sold especially well in Japan (+2M) as Dragon Quest games do, accounting for 98-99% of total sales. Still, the game was released worldwide. It was a very engrossing, fun game for the Game Boy Color, and received positive reviews. It was compared to Pokemon, without the cutesy coating, with similar rock-solid gameplay. Released in Japan this past week, the game garnered strong sales (+500,000 as of June 6), effectively doubling 3DS hardware sales in its opening week. Handheld Dragon Quest games are usually always Japan specific, till they, like other SE franchises, get distributed worldwide about a year later. The recent history of Dragon Quest releases on DS (Joker 1, Joker 2, the SNES remakes, and Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies) are showing that, regardless of territory respective sales, and whether publishing is by SE or Nintendo, the game will enjoy a likelihood of release outside Japan. Will Nintendo take on publishing of Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D, as it did with its DS predecessor, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2? Buffering period: 1 year. Localization: Probable.
Dragon Quest X: Rise of the Five Tribes Online
Platform: Wii, Wii U
The next entry in the DQ canon will see an initial release in Japan on August 2nd. With its homecoming on the Nintendo Network, it could trigger an array of packaging, platform and localization options. The game’s monthly subscription fee and the 16GB flash drive to play will certainly cause the companies to think hard about interpreting the product for a western audience. In Japan, Square-Enix will put a $110 price tag on the game and requisite flash drive. Will this apply to a western release, or will the game’s release be foregone, or heavily modified? If Square-Enix sees the localization as viable, it would handle publishing, opting possibly for sole digital distribution as it did with some of its Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles titles, or simply a release at retail. Nintendo has rarely come out to publish Square Enix’s games on its consoles, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles for the GameCube being the only game in recent memory… The rest of Crystal Chronicles on Wii was entirely published by Square-Enix, as well as the launch game Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors. Although typically, Square-Enix will localize console based games sooner than on the handhelds, no updates were given for this game at E3. Still, an independent Wii U build of the game may incite future transitions to the West. Buffering period: Anywhere from 10-20 Months. Localization: Probable.
The last of the exclusive Japanese RPGs trio and sole survivor of a worldwide release, Pandora’s Tower was overlooked by Nintendo and as far as we can tell, other publishers, such as XSEED, which itself published The Last Story in North America. The game met with the least amount of hype, even though that’s not saying much for one of the widely supported Operation Rainfall games. It earned better than average reviews and was appreciated in its own right. The game is not exactly a traditional RPG, but takes on a JRPG flair with a hack and slash style. Back in April, rumors spread that the game was indeed going to meet a pre-orders stage at GameStop, coinciding with The Last Story‘s first day at retail (June 20), and that indeed XSEED would be publishing the game stateside. However this is likely just a rumor, as we got no follow-ups or confirmation since. If the game will see a North American release, I wager it would be on the Wii, and not long after June 20, as the only rumor describes. Initiatives by Operation Rainfall to pitch the game to publishers aside from Nintendo have not come to fruition.
Buffering period: Short Wait. Localization: Improbable.
Do not expect to play the 3DS RPGs much sooner than perhaps, an upcoming Wii or Wii U RPG. The consoles already have a nicely updated catalogue with the likes of Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower (EU and JP). But an upcoming 3DS RPG is more likely to make it as a worldwide release, in the end, over a yet to be localized console RPG. Other games that have been rumored are a sequel to The World Ends With You, which is very likely as far as the source can indicate, with any chance of a Final Fantasy Tactics A3 being in development or even in conceptual stages are really unlikely at this point, the series’ producer having now left Square-Enix, with no announcements made at E3.