For some time now, Nintendo fans have been urging Nintendo of America to bring ports of Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower to North America. Sadly, the company has stated that, while they never say “never,” there are no current plans to bring those titles stateside.
More often than not, that means never.
Let’s wipe the tears from our eyes, pour one out for these three lost companions, and look back at four other games that never saw the light of a North American day.
I’m including this game first because, all things considered, it’s probably pretty terrible. In Japan, Pepsi uses the mascot Pepsiman, created by Canadian comic book artist Travis Charest in the mid 1990s. In 1996, Pepsiman was a special character in the Sega Saturn version of Fighting Vipers. His ability was to “quench one’s thirst,” which no doubt was completely useless. In 1999, the mascot got his own PlayStation game, simply titled Pepsiman. As the thirst-quenching hero, you could run, roll, skateboard, and stumble your way to thirsty people in need.
I haven’t been interested in RPGs since I was a child. I don’t know if I grew out of them or if the genre just doesn’t produce quality titles anymore. That said, Moon: Remix RPG Adventure sounds right up my alley. You play as a small boy who, after a day of playing an RPG called Moon, gets sucked into the game world. Hero, the hero of this world, has gone a little crazy and is no longer the knight in shining armor that he once was. It’s your job to take up the mantle and be the savior the world needs. [Editor's note: Not the one it deserves?]
Policenauts is the only work of Hideo Kojima, creator of Metal Gear Solid, to not make the transition to North America. In Policenauts, a detective travels to a space colony to investigate the murder of his ex-wife. In Japan, it’s been released for a multitude of systems, including the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and most recently the PlayStation Network. Despite plans to bring a localized version to the Sega Saturn, North America didn’t see the game until late 2009 when an unofficial English translation patch was released on the Internet for use with an emulator. Even cooler, they released it to coincide with Kojima’s 46th birthday.
I’m sure a lot of gamers saw this coming. Fans of Earthbound “anticipated” this sequel in much the same way the undead “anticipate” human brains. Their want became a need and they shuffled about meaninglessly until, like Policenauts, a fan translation patch was finally released in late 2008. While the team behind the patch expected a few thousand downloads, the patch was downloaded over 100,000 times in its first week of release. And while there’s been no official comment from Nintendo, gratitude has been expressed by professionals in the video game industry as well employees inside of Nintendo.