Sunday, October 25, 2009

15 DS Games That Should Get a North American Release

Gamers in North America are pretty lucky. We're able to choose from a wide selection of video games at great prices, and game releases tend to be much earlier here than in many other parts of the world. However, there are still plenty of great DS games that aren't available to us unless we import them or use a flash cart. Here are 15 games we'd like to see get released here:

1. Archaic Sealed Heat

Archaic Sealed Heat

Archaic Sealed Heat is a tactical role-playing game developed by Mistwalker, who created games like the Blue Dragon series and Lost Odyssey. ASH puts you in the shoes of Aisya, a princess who has been prevented from taking up the throne as queen. The game features 3D graphics and a battle system similar to Fire Emblem's. Rumors of a US release for Archaic Sealed Heat have been swirling for well over a year, but nothing has ever come of them.

2. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 1 and 2

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan is the series that Elite Beat Agents was based off of it. It plays almost exactly the same way- people in need call for help, and your all-male cheer squad answers their call as you tap your stylus in time with the music. However, the Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan games feature more songs, a rival cheer group, and a terrific sequel. Everyone who wants more Elite Beat Agents would love to see this get a stateside release.

3. Kimino Yusha

Kimino Yuusha

This adorable SNK RPG was created specifically for people who don't have a lot of time for gaming. Kimino Yuusha features 30 minute adventures that take full advantage of both pf the DS' screens. Kimino Yuusha came out in Japan on October 23, 2008, but a US release date has yet to be announced.

4.  Ketsui Death Label

Ketsui Death Label

Ketsui Death Label is an arcade-style shoot-em-up game with a terrific sense of humor. Ketsui Death Label is a great game for players who like a real challenge, and defeating the title's boss will earn you some serious bragging rights. The game is playable even if you don't understand Japanese, so fans of shooting games might want to import this one.

5. Shining Force Feather 

Shining Force Feather

Shining Force Feather is the first game in Sega's popular Shining Force series to be released for the DS. Like the other games in the series, Shining Force Feather is a strategy RPG with turn-based gameplay that still has an action RPG feel. The game boasts gorgeous anime cutscenes and chracter designs by Noiji Ito of Haruhi Suzumiya-fame. Shining Force Feather wasn't released in Japan until earlier this year, so there's still hope for a US release.

6.  Sigma Harmonics 

Sigma Harmonics

Sigma Harmonics is a mystery game created by RPG giant Square-Enix. The story is told in chapters and involves time travel, and was worked on by members of the Chrono Trigger team. Given Square-Enix's popularity in the west, it's a mystery why Sigma Harmonics hasn't been released overseas. We can only hope that will change soon.

7.  Jump! Ultimate Stars 

Jump! Ultimate Stars

Jump! Ultimate Stars is sort of like a handheld version of Super Smash Brothers. There's just one major difference- instead of Nintendo game characters, Jump! Ultimate Stars pits anime characters up against each other. You can play as characters from many popular series, including Death Note and Naruto. The game features over 300 characters in total.

8. Tales of Hearts

Tales of Hearts

Many games from the popular Tales RPG series have been released in the US for other systems, but the DS hasn't been so lucky. Tales of Hearts mixes 2D sprites with 3D backgrounds, giving the game a beautiful look. There were two versions of Tales of Hearts released in Japan- one with anime cutscenes, and one with CG cutscenes. If publishers decide to release Tales of Hearts for North America, they'd be able to choose the version they thought would sell the best.

9. Tales of Innocence

Tales of Innocence

Yet another Tales game that hasn't seen a US release is Tales of Innocence. Unlike Tales of Hearts, Tales of Innocence is a fully 3D RPG. It uses a Linear Motion Battle System that is similar to that of the battle system for the PS2 title Tales of the Abyss. Tales of Innocence also features guilds and allows players to equip each character with a different "style" that will effect the way they fight. Tales of Innocence came out in Japan on December 6, 2007.

10.  Bomberman 2 DS
Bomberman 2 DS

Bomberman 2 DS, titled Custom Battler Bomberman in Japan, was localized and released in Europe, but mysteriously never was released in North America. The game features heavy customization as well as online multi-player. It's more of a traditional Bomberman game than other titles on the DS.

11. 7th Dragon 

7th Dragon

7th Dragon takes place in a world ruled by dragons. Your characters must defeat the dragons to help save the human race. 7th Dragon allows you to create your own character choosing from classes such as Mage, Princess, Rogue, Knight, Samurai, Fighter, and Healer. The game features a unique art style and gameplay similar to that of the Etrian Odyssey games. 7th Dragon was a major hit in Japan, so its lack of a North American release is surprising.

12.  Freshly Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

Freshly Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

This Legend of Zelda spin-off game featuring Tingle, a character who first appeared in the game Majora's Mask. The game revolves entirely around rupees, from the combat system to the game's storyline. Freshly Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland got both a Japanese and European release, but for some reason publishers chose not to release it in North America.

13.  Soma Bringer

soma bringer

Soma Bringer is an action-RPG that features Secret of Mana style gameplay and anime-esque character designs. It offers players a high level of character customization and has 6 classes in total. The story revolves around a magical substance called Soma which the technology in the game's universe is based upon. Soma Bringer came out in Japan on February 28, 2008.

14.  Taiko no Tatsujin DS 1 and 2

Taiko no Tatsujin DS

Taiko no Tatsujin DS is a rhythm based game that features an eclectic selection of music- everything from the Super Mario Brothers Theme to Beethoven's 7th Symphony. Taiko no Tatsujin DS works similarly to games such as Guitar Hero in that gamers take on a musical part in the song they've selected. Taiko no Tatsujin DS has you play the drummer's part using your DS stylus.

15. Tactics Layer

Tactics Layer

Unlike many other games on this list, Tactics Layer has no chance of getting a North American release. Tactics Layer's combination of cosplay-based strategy RPG gameplay with a dating sim visual novel has pretty much guaranteed that the game won't show up anywhere outside Japan. However, we'd love to take advantage of Tactics Layer's downloadable costumes or see if we could do any better in battle if we were wearing a pair of bunny ears. Fans of weird games who don't mind not being able to read everything might want to try importing this one.

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