By Jeff Neuenschwander / December 21st, 2012
This article was written on December 10th, before Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers was announced for North American 3DS release by Atlus USA. The original prediction will still be displayed. However, an additional remark regarding the localization will follow. Enjoy.
This list is less about games that I’m anticipating and more about predictions for what’s to come. The first prediction is this: 2013 will be the year of the 3DS. It will be the third year the 3DS has been out and probably the fourth that developers have been working with the hardware. It makes sense that we would start getting games that we want.
And with that comes my second prediction: five games that are currently out in Japan will not only be announced for localization but released in North America next year. I guarantee it.
If you’ve listened to the 4th episode of the Downpour Podcast, you would have heard that I already made this prediction. However, I only listed four during that podcast. Today, I’m going to add a fifth to that list. And in case you haven’t listened to it, I’ll go into detail why I think each game will be localized here.
With that in mind, here are my Most Anticipated Games of 2013 – Localization Edition.
1. Rune Factory 4 (Japanese Release: July 19th, 2012)
You fall out of the sky onto a dragon who lets you stay at her palace so long as you become the town Prince/Princess. As the Prince/Princess, you must build up the town you rule to attract people. Earn enough respect and you will earn the title “Crown of Crown,” declaring you the ultimate ruler of the town.
Anime-styled cutscenes will be used for introductions of bachelors/bachelorettes – similar to Rune Factory Frontier. Grid-based farming is removed to allow for freedom in setting up your farm. You can also adjust the zoom on romantic scenes between you and your love interest. And, because it’s good to be the “Prince/Princess,” you can have more than one lover.
Save for Rune Factory 4, all Rune Factory games have been localized by longtime Harvest Moon publisher Natsume except for Rune Factory Frontier (XSEED Games). It has taken between four months (Frontier) to just over a year (Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon) for the Rune Factory games to be localized. Based on that track record, Rune Factory 4 should release into North America any time between April and July 2013 – it will probably depend on when Nintendo of America decides to release Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
2. The Denpa Men 2 (September 26th, 2012)
We love The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave. It is a simple RPG that is affected by your location in the real world. As you might have expected, we are equally as excited about the sequel that came out in Japan this past September.
The Denpa Men took about eight months to make it to North America. If that time frame holds up, we should expect Denpa Men 2 to be released May 2013. However, if Nintendo decides to do E3 presentations similar to this past June – when they did a separate 3DS showcase – I could see it being released right after one of the presentations.
3. Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney (November 29th, 2012)
The crossover that mixes the puzzle solving of Level-5’s Professor Layton series and the mystery solving abilities of Capcom’s Ace Attorney series (and incidentally also makes me think of that parody Legal Custodians from the TV show Scrubs). The archeology professor Hershel Layton and the animated defense attorney Phoenix Wright team up to solve the mystery of the Labyrinth City.
Both Professor Layton and Ace Attorney have seen localizations across the board for their respective franchises – aside from this game, the only one that has yet to be localized is Gyakuten Kenji 2 (Ace Attorney Investigations 2). Except for the DS ports of the original Ace Attorney games, all series have taken at least one year to make it to the West. When it comes to localization of the Professor Layton series, it seems that it took a while to get over, with the last few games taking nearly two years before releasing in North America. However, I think that has more to do with NOA wanting to space out the games as they were released in quick succession in Japan.
I expect this to be a joint publishing endeavor by Capcom and Nintendo of America. It should be released at the end of the year, giving Nintendo not just plenty of time to translate but plenty of time and E3 hype to publicize the game.
4. Bravely Default: Flying Fairy (October 11th, 2012)
Jam packed with so much, this is the single game that I bought my 3DS for. The fact that it has yet to be announced for localization has me enraged whenever I think about it – and I’m not the only one. However, we may be on the cusp of localization with the revelation of Square Enix’s recent trademark, “All the Bravest.” With nothing else in the Square Enix line-up matching up with the moniker, “All the Bravest” could very well be the localization of Bravely Default.
So far, Square Enix has been good about localizing their games to the West – obvious exception being Final Fantasy Type-0. This should make its way over and release in the late-Summer/early-Fall.
5. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (August 30th, 2012)
The latest addition to my prediction, Soul Hackers is a remake of the original Sega Saturn game. The game, a sequel to Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner, also released as an enhanced edition for the PlayStation – still only for Japan, as was the Saturn version. As a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series, fans of the franchise will be familiar with a number of in-game aspects.
The only thing that stops this game from coming over, in my opinion, is that we never got the first Devil Summoner game in any version. However, that hasn’t stopped Atlus from releasing other Devil Summoner games, localizing Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Souless Army and Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon. In addition, Atlus has localized a number of Megami Tensei games in the past decade, leaving little doubt in my mind that this game will see the West.
Based on previous localizations in the franchise – which have typically taken no longer than one year – we should expect Soul Hackers to be on North American shelves late-Spring to mid-Summer. And you can bet a number of staff members will be chomping at the bit to play this game (namely, these four right here).
Well, that certainly didn’t take long. And why couldn’t Atlus USA wait until next week to announce this? I could’ve looked badass for this prediction. Now I just kind of look like ass. Oh, well. The staff knows I made this prediction beforehand and that’s all that matters to me.
One down, four to go.
Here’s the North American teaser trailer:
And that is what I’m anticipating for next year. Think I’m right? Think I drank too much of Nintendo’s Kool-Aid? Let me know in the comments.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what’s my most anticipated for games that have already been announced for North American release: HarmoKnight, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate, Unchained Blades, Jett Rocket: Super Surf, and Fire Emblem: Awakening.
2013All the BravestAtlusBravely Default: Flying FairyCapcomDenpa Men 2Devil SummonerGenuis SonorityLevel-5NatsumeNintendoNintendo 3DSPhoenix WrightProfessor Layton vs. Ace AttorneyRune Factory 4Shin Megami TenseiSoul HackersSquare Enix