Even with many superb Wii titles currently available in the North American market, gamers in the region are still getting shafted to some degree due to promising releases only coming out in Europe and Japan. While niche genres such as dating sims and puzzle games are more popular in Japan — making no localization understandable — games in more mainstream genres haven’t made the jump over seas yet, and probably never will.
5. Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, or Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen in Japan, was developed by Tecmo and published by Nintendo in Japan on July 31st, 2008. Since that time, many fans of the series were anticipating an eventual North American release date; Fatal Frame was already a well-established franchise, and this Wii entry looked to be of high quality. However, several game breaking glitches prevented the game from making its way even to Europe. Fatal Frame IV still maintains a popular following, as a group of coders released an unofficial patch for the game that includes English subtitles.
4. Captain Rainbow
Releasing August 28th, 2008 only in Japan, Captain Rainbow is certainly one of the strangest titles to come from Nintendo. The game follows the story of Nick, a TV-personality who is able to transform into a yoyo-wielding superhero. Nick’s TV show loses its popularity however, and he ventures to Mimin Island to wish his popularity back. The inhabitants of Mimin Island are obscure Nintendo characters, including Brido (Super Mario Bros. 2), Mappo (GiFTPiA), and Tracy (The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening). It’s unknown why Nintendo hasn’t yet brought Captain Rainbow to any region outside of Japan, and considering it’s been two years since the game came out, don’t expect a localization anymore.
3. Zangeki no Reginleiv
This ultra-violent action title was developed by Sandlot and published by Nintendo on February 11, 2010. Players take control of “spiritual siblings” as they do battle with an army of giants. With WiiMotion Plus support, players can chop off heads and limbs of the giants with over 300 customizable weapons. Zangeki no Reginleiv also supports four-player online co-op play, similar to that of Monster Hunter Tri, No North American or European release date is in sight.
2. Disaster: Day of Crisis
Disaster: Day of Crisis is a genre-mesh developed by Monolith Soft, the developers behind the Baiten Kaitos series on the GameCube. Players assume the role of Raymond Bryce, a ex-Marine and International Rescue Team member. A former military and now terrorist organization called SURGE has stolen several nuclear weapons, threatening to detonate them if the United States government doesn’t comply with their demands. Raymond joins the FBI on the mission to recover the nuclear weapons and ends up taking them on by himself as natural disasters — from earthquakes to flooding — ravage the area. Disaster: Day of Crisis released in all main regions except for North America, notably due to Reggie Fils-Aime’s dislike for the game.
Xenoblade is another Monolith-developed Wii title that may never see the light of day in North America or even Europe. This JRPG features gorgeous visuals and a large overworld to explore, while adding new mechanics to the traditional RPG format, including the ability to see some enemy attacks before they happen. Xenoblade released in Japan on June 10th, 2010, so there’s still hope for a localization due to the relative release of the title, but it has yet to show up on any of Nintendo’s 2010 release schedules.
What Wii games have you imported?
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