In recent years, we’ve seen unlikely games like Moon and Trials of Mana finally see the light of day in English! But there are still so many Japanese retro games that deserve a similar treatment. (Like Bahamut Lagoon, the Super Famicom classic from Square that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week!) We here at Siliconera wanted to share our picks most deserving of a long-awaited official English release.
How loudly can I yell Sakura Wars? The 1996 Sega Saturn classic is long overdue for an English release, especially in the wake of 2020’s Sakura Wars. In fact, the first Sakura Wars title even got an updated remake for the PS2, ahead of the benighted release of Sakura Wars V in 2005. At this point any of the games would be easily playable on extant platforms, from mobile to Switch to the PS4, PC or Xbox. But more important is that today’s players are all the more receptive to quirky Japanese anime games. It’s time! — Josh
Josh isn’t wrong about Sakura Wars (though the disappointing new game probably didn’t help matters), but the game I’d pick is SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters 2 Expand Edition. With SNK already re-releasing Neo Geo Pocket Color games (though disappointingly, it’s been “oops, all fighting games” so far), it’s a great opportunity to go further. This Japan-only sequel to Card Fighters’ Clash takes the smart card combat system and adds more options.
Honestly, though? I’m psyched whenever any game like this gets new life. Bring ’em on! — Graham
Given the rise of otome games, I think it is a good time for companies to step up. Bring old dating sims back! Koei Tecmo has so many NeoRomance games that would work. La Corda d’Oro has an “in,” thanks to the localized manga.
And given that Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side 3rd Story appeared on the DS and PSP, maybe another port wouldn’t too difficult a task? It would certainly help pave the way for the fourth game! — Jenni
If the PS2 can now be considered retro, I definitely have a title in my mind: Front Mission 5: Scars of the War. You may have seen a complete fan translation circulating out there, but it is somehow still the only mainline Front Mission game yet to have an official release outside Japan. The upgrade system and the Survival mode are so robust that it makes me keep coming back to this game. If it does get a long-deserved remaster with a global release, I’d definitely get it in a heartbeat. — Kite
What Japanese retro games do you most want to see in English? Let us know in the comments!