Top Ten: Games That Never Left Japan

They’re big in Japan! Here’s some of the best games that still haven’t gotten Western releases.

By Kyle England. Posted 03/05/2013 10:00 8 Comments     ShareThis

3. Captain Rainbow

Hey, it’s another game by Skip Ltd.! You might have heard of Captain Rainbow, as it’s gained a sort of cult status in the world of Japanese imports. The game was released for Wii in 2008 and you play as Nick, whose alter ego is washed up TV superhero Captain Rainbow. Nick travels to Mimin Island, a magical place said to grant wishes in order to restore his popularity. On the island are many forgotten characters from actual Nintendo games who have all come to have their wishes granted. As Captain Rainbow, you explore the island to meet people, fight bad guys, and grant wishes.

Captain Rainbow is absolutely packed with content, and every character has his or her own unique story to follow. Interestingly enough, several of these “forgotten” characters are from games that only ever released in Japan, and a couple are even from this article. The cast includes Takamaru, soldiers from Famicom Wars, a robot from GiFTPiA, and the devil from Devil World. Other faces you might know are Birdo, Little Mac from Punch-Out!, and Tao the dog from Chibi-Robo! Also, Mimin Island follows a day and night cycle, and characters follow a schedule set by the in-game clock.

This rich game looks like loads of fun, so it’s a shame we never got to play it in the Western world. Nowadays, we get most of the games from Japan, so it’s surprising that such a recent Nintendo release was confined to the island. But Captain Rainbow didn’t sell very well in Japan, so Nintendo probably didn’t expect such a quirky game to sell in other territories either.

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8 Responses to “Top Ten: Games That Never Left Japan”

  • 192 points
    Robin Wilde says...

    While the Satellaview would have been cool, I think placing it above Mother 3 might be giving it more praise than it perhaps deserves.

    GiFTPIA and Homeland have both intrigued me for years. There are fan translations available for at least GiFTPIA but they’re online only and you have to keep scrolling as you play. They’re perhaps overdue for an attempt at localisation.

    Mother 3 is my second favourite game ever. So that’s that.

  • 192 points
    Robin Wilde says...

    I just checked and it seems a translation for Captain Rainbow is available by rather grey-area means.

  • 15 points
    Crit Hit says...

    A VC release of Fire Emblem: Geneology of the Holy War would be most epic and appreciated. If they were to bring over the FE games, I’d rather they have fans translate the names. I was playing Awakening’s first Outrealm map and I still refer to “Deirdre” as “Diadora”. And it’s Celice, not Seliph.

    But I’m splitting hairs. The FE and Mother series need international release.

  • 784 points
    Marc Deschamps says...

    I’m not surprised about the lack of translation in regards to the earlier entries in the Wars and Fire Emblem series’. The amount of localization probably means that the older titles just aren’t worth the effort. The lack of a port for the 2010 Fire Emblem game is confounding, though. Wonder what happened there?

    As a teen, I was so mad at Nintendo for not bringing over the Game Boy sequel to Pokémon TCG. That’s another one I never understood. Seemed like printing money, to me.

  • 222 points
    PanurgeJr says...

    Couldn’t find a place for Tingle’s Freshly Cut Rupee Land? Poor guy never gets any love.

  • 1244 points
    lukas85 says...

    that stellaview thing sounds pretty amazing, also captain rainbow

  • 276 points
    Nicolas Vestre says...

    I like the honorable mention to the Legend of Starfy series! Some years ago I imported Starfy 2 and 3 (the original wasn’t available on Play-Asia) and have since completed them. I also have Starfy 4, but I haven’t even turned it on…

    The only complaint I have about importing Starfy games is the massive amount of text. Every level is overflowing with lengthy discussions; and even though it’s entirely possible to find your way through the games without knowing Japanese (even I did it :P), the sense of loss is still there.

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