As you can probably guess just by clicking the link to this article, I speak, read, and write English. Pretty well in fact, if I may say so myself. The only catch is that my only language is English. Normally this isn’t a problem. I live in the U.S, I’ve never traveled overseas, and judging by my available funds, I won’t have to study up on any new words any time soon. The only real current problem with my monolingualism arises when I dive deep into the sea of foreign retro games. There are many titles out there there that have spiked my curiosity with rumors and screenshots or have loose connections to games released in English that I’m a fan of, and nothing is worse than having bits and pieces of a series or narrative you want to devour whole. This has become more and more obvious lately as I’ve been exploring the world of imports and fan translations. An impressive amount of quality games have made it in recent years, officially or not, but for every one game I’m psyched to find in a playable, English state there’s several games, that I would drop kick a puppy to play and understand, that are not. So, here is my list of games I want to see an English release of soon. Like, now soon. I’m tired of waiting. Please keep in mind that this is a personal list and that I’m counting fan translations as an available way to play so you won’t see Mother 3 on this list. If you think an entry is dumb or a weird, or want to learn more about something, leave a comment below. I’ll listen to questions, ramblings, and whining. I can make the time.
But first here are few honorable mentions for the cut that didn’t make it for various reasons:
- Princess Crown (I talk about it too much)
- Famicom detective club 1 (I just gushed over Part 2 last time)
- 80% of the Wonderswan Library (Too vague. very true, but vague)
5) Metal Slader Glory (NES/SNES)
Metal Slader Glory is kind of an enigma to me, but that’s part of the reason it’s on my list. The game is a visual novel type adventure game and if you know anything about me, (or have been checking out some of my recent articles,) then you know I really like these types of games. This game is notable because it’s both a late Famicom and Super Famicom entry. It was first released on the Famicom in 1991 and the Super Famicom Director’s Cut version was the last game released on the platform. The game pushed the limits for both the Famicom and SuFami versions, requiring special chips in the cartridges. The graphics, sound, and (supposedly) story are known for being highly polished. It’s also historically significant as the last game Hal made before being incorporated into Nintendo. I guess you can say the big draw for me wanting Metal Slader Glory in English, like, now, is that I want to learn more.
Metal Slader Glory on Famicom (left) and Super Famicom (right)
4) Magic School Lunar! (Saturn)
Lunar. What self-respecting RPG fan can hate the Lunar games? They are the definition of charming RPGs with wonderful characters, stories, art, engaging combat, Lunar: Silver Star Story and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue pretty much do everything well, right down to the cool collector’s packaging. The only exception I know of is Lunar: Dragon Song on the Nintendo DS and well, let’s just shove that game back into the darkness under the rug where it belongs. So, you may ask, what about the last remaining game, Magic School Lunar, the only other remaining game? Well, to be honest, I don’t have much to say, because the darn thing isn’t in English yet. The base game for it, Walking School Lunar for the Sega Game Gear has an English fan translation but I don’t care. I want the bigger, full sized Lunar experience. It’s more fleshed out on Saturn, it’s got more depth on the Saturn and it’s by default prettier on the Saturn. I am pretty surprised there isn’t a full translation of the game given how well loved and received the other two games are. (What’s that? There’s a third one on DS? Shush. You’re imagining things.) Please, somebody release this in Englsh. I know the Saturn is notoriously tricky to deal with, but C’mon. it’s more Lunar. I would love to wake up the day before I post this to find a new translation popped up overnight but let’s face it. Not gonna happen. Still want it now though.
Magic School Lunar (Sega Saturn)
3) Cosmic Fantasy 1 and 4 (PC Engine CD/Super CD)
Ok, this is kind of a personal, and I’ll be honest, shallow entry on this list. Ok? Mmkay.
First off, I am a fan of Cosmic Fantasy 2 the only Cosmic Fantasy game released outside of the land of the rising sun, even though I know that from a technical standpoint it’s not great. I know that the combat isn’t anything exciting or innovative, the main game graphics are average at best, and the random encounter rate is less than stellar. But the game does have some fun points beyond the fun fact that it was the first big game my mega nostalgia crush, Working Designs, put out. The cutscenes are well animated, the story is fun with some surprising depth and twists sprinkled throughout, and I love the semi-campy fun space fantasy vibe it gives off. So that’s why even though the gameplay is…. Well, a C/C- it’s a solid passing grade,( right?), that I want to to see an English release of the first game as well as the concluding title in the franchise. A good chunk of the overall series revolves around the cast of the first game and I want to learn more. A fan translation is in the works for it, but it’s been going on since 2008 and is only now around 50 percent and I don’t think it’ll be out before I’m 30 so it’s a valid point for this list. As for Part 4, (which was divided into two game, Persona 2 style), these games look polished. The graphics, the battles, the maps, the game modes, they all look so dang good, the opening parts of Part 4 are very impressive for the 8-bit PC Engine, and I want a piece of that. That is why I want both Cosmic Fantasy 1 and 4 in English. Now, please. I’m not as patient as I pretend to be.
Top: Cosmic Fantasy 1, Bottom Cosmic Fantasy 4 Part 2
2) Shin Megami Tensei If… (SNES)
The Shin Megami Tensei series is a huge one, consisting not only of a strong main line of massive games but also several spin-off series like the Persona and Devil Summoner games. Shin Megami Tensei (or MegaTen for short) and it’s side series have earned a reputation of being rich, engaging, complex, and often challenging quality titles and rightfully so. This being said, the series hasn’t always been very popular or even too visible on the American and European radars. That’s because the west didn’t officially get a MegaTen game until Revelations: Persona in 1996. That’s almost ten years since the first game hit the scene in 1987 and in that time six whole games in the MegaTen Lineage were released. Luckily, most of these games have seen English releases through official or unofficial hands. However, Shin Megami Tensei: If…, has not. This is strange to me because If is something of an oddity, an in-betweener. MegaTen If bridges the gap between the more typical MegaTen adventure and a Persona game. It features a high school class, a modified recruitment system and one of the main characters is a main character in Persona 1 and 2. Having this game translated would not only be smart from a historic/evolutionary standpoint, but it would also probably bring in some good money for the developer, Atlus. If is the lost link that leads to Persona and the Persona franchise is hands down the most profitable branch of the Shin Megami Tensei tree. It begs for an English release and I want it. Now please.
Shin Megami Tensei If… (SNES)
1) Napple Tale (Dreamcast)
Napple Tale is great. It’s a sweet, charming, cute gem hidden away in the Dreamcast library that I really wish I would hear more people talking about. It may look a little rough around the edges today with chunky polygons but the style still holds up and the music done by the great composer Yoko Kanno is absolutely fantastic. Napple Tale is an odd Platforming/RPG Hybrid (as explained on the case.) Gameplay is divided into 2.5D action platforming segments and quests directed upon you by the inhabitants of the games dreamlike world. The platforming is a lot of fun and even has a crafting side part where you can craft familiars, magic assistants, to help you in the levels. The problem with playing as a westerner are the questing elements. They involve a lot of interacting with characters and story progression. If you can’t read Japanese, this is going to be difficult on you. There are a couple text guides out there but they are fairly vague. A large emphasis of the entire game is still lost on you. This is why Napple Tale is number 1 on this list. it is SO CLOSE to being fully playable to me. I want to play it and I want to play it now.
Oh well at least the sound track is
Good. Check it out.