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Which Japan-Only 3DS Games Still Deserve Localizations?

japan-only 3ds games puzzle dragons x

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles’ worldwide release finally brings two Japan-only 3DS games to the West! But there are still some great games on the platform that are still stuck in Japan. What titles do you most want to see get an English release through a modern platform port? Here are our picks.

I could name a whole list of great Japan-only 3DS games (and I have!), but if I can only get one, it’s Puzzle & Dragons X. The game’s a sequel of sorts to Puzzle & Dragons Z, the standalone RPG based on the popular mobile puzzle game. But it didn’t sell well outside Japan! So it’s your fault that we didn’t get the sequel. (Yes, you. Right there.)

It’s a shame, because X brings Pokemon X and Y-like production values and story to the game, making it feel as good as it already played. It beats out Rocket Slime 3, Puyo Puyo Chronicle and others as my selection because of two things: it’s text-heavy enough to need a translation, and it’s not popular enough to get one from fans anytime soon. — Graham

japan-only 3ds games yokai sangokushi

I am a big advocate for Yo-Kai Sangokushi, which is probably the one of the most heartbreaking Japan-only 3DS games. Did you like Pokemon Conquest? Me too! Would you be okay with a similar sort of strategy game, only with Yo-Kai Watch characters instead of Pokemon? Well, this is it.

It’s a genuinely fun game about conquering areas with familiar characters coupled with different gameplay elements and aesthetics. It’s handled quite well and I think you could call it the best Yo-Kai Watch game. — Jenni

ex troopers localization

One game I would hear about constantly from the game-importing crowd was E.X. Troopers. It’s not technically a 3DS exclusive (a PS3 version also exists), but it remains Japan-only. That’s a shame, because it looks frankly amazing.

It’s canonically a spinoff of Capcom’s ill-fated Lost Planet series. Looking at the stylish presentation, it’s hard to imagine that this was a 3DS game. It managed to do that pitch-perfect approximation of manga- and anime-style art using 3D models, long before Atlus made it look easy with Persona 5. — Josh

japan-only 3ds games digimon appli monsters

I remembered playing Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters on my Japanese 3DS. The Digimon spinoff title featured a brand-new cast of Digimon inspired by mobile apps, aptly called Appmon. I also remembered the fun factor of finding possible combinations to produce a more powerful Appmon.

It may be wishful thinking to hope for a Switch port of this game now, since the title is no longer heard of in Japan. However, I can still realistically hope for Bandai Namco to include some of the Appmon in a new Digimon Story game. — Kite

What Japan-only 3DS games do you think still deserve localization? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter! And read our other handy roundtables for more thoughts from the Siliconera team.

Graham Russell
About The Author
Graham Russell, editor-at-large, has been writing about games for various sites and publications since 2007. He’s a fan of streamlined strategy games, local multiplayer and upbeat aesthetics. He joined Siliconera in February 2020, and served as its Managing Editor until July 2022. When he’s not writing about games, he’s a graphic designer, web developer, card/board game designer and editor.