While we’re on the subject of languages, did you know the “Asian” versions of PSP/PlayStation 2/PS3 RPGs are typically in Japanese? This fact is probably commonly known within the savvy Siliconera audience, but it’s still a nuisance if you live in an English speaking region like Hong Kong of Singapore. The only “handy” guide gamers get is a fold out pamphlet with English controls. Of course importing a North American version is always an option and recently Microsoft has gone the extra mile with games like Lost Odyssey. However, Final Fantasy fans are stuck with an official Asian version in a language that may be incomprehensible.
I’ve always wondered why companies didn’t reprint English versions in Asia after the debut in North America. Switching the region coding may be a problem with PlayStation 2 games, but PSP and PlayStation 3 games are region free. Sony Computer Entertainment Asia started doing this with games like Purist Force and handful of internal releases. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII will be Square Enix's first reprint specifically for Asia and it’s slated for May. Sure, that is two months after the US release and nearly three quarters of a year post the game’s launch, but at least this version is in a language easier for the general public to understand. Now if only other text heavy games like Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lion War, Disgaea Portable, Jeanne D’Arc and Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner got the same treatment.