Rating Each of the Vita's Localization Studios - ArticleAdam Cartwright , posted on 22 June 2019 / 4,347 Views
The very first time I ever wrote an article, it was examining the various developers who specialized in porting other studio’s games to the Vita. It was topical because at the time Sony’s handheld was seeing a flurry of games coming to it from other consoles, ranging from big AAA titles like Resident Evil to small indies like Bastion, with varying degrees of success in the porting process along the way.
The years that followed wouldn’t be dominated by western ports, but by another type of software that began to flourish in 2014 and which has continued in full force to this day – the localization of Japanese games. Largely owing to the Vita’s sales success in the region, where it has sold around 6 million units of hardware, Japanese developers found it an attractive console to develop for, leading to software support which in turn led to plenty of options for western localization companies to pick up.
What I aim to examine in this article is the output of each of the major localization companies, in terms of what they released, what they chose not to release (including when they localized titles for other platforms but skipped the Vita version), as well as some brief commentary on the quality of their translations, before providing an overall rating on their support (outstanding -> amazing – > good -> solid -> poor).
A large part of the reason I love Vita so much is thanks to its brilliant selection of Japanese games and that’s really what I want to celebrate here, but also lament some of the missed opportunities we had along the way.
Highlights – Code: Realize ~ Guardians of Rebirth ~, Exist Archive: The Other side of the Sky, Muramasa Rebirth, Tokyo Xanadu, Zero Time Dilemma.
This little California-based localization house may have started out slow, but quickly blossomed into one of the premier champions of Sony’s handheld. The variety of titles the company worked on is just insane. Most notably it continued a successful partnership with Arc System Works to release a tonne of fighting games on Vita in the west, including Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!, Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend, Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend, Guilty Gear Accent Core Plus R, and Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], as well as visual novels such as Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters and the Xblaze duology.
Yet it was elsewhere that Aksys really flourished. Take for example its work with the otome genre, which was virtually unknown in the west prior to Aksys picking up Code: Realize and Norn9, but expanded rapidly in the years that followed, not least thanks to the firm's own efforts with 7’Scarlet, Bad Apple Wars, Code: Realize fandiscs, Collar x Malice, Period Cube, and the Psychedelica games (although they all have translation issues). Aksys also did things I truly wasn’t expecting – just as I’d given up hope on Tokyo Xanadu being localized, Aksys stepped in and picked it up, and a similar thing happened with Muramasa Rebirth. This was on top of a surprise sequel to Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, entitled Zero Time Dilemma.
Not everything Aksys did was a rousing success. Things like Drive Girls, Mind=0 and Sorcery Saga received fairly mixed receptions, but this was balanced out with plenty of games that were a lot more beloved, like Aegis of Earth, Exist Archive, and Shiren the Wanderer. I’m really not convinced we’d have gotten many of these if Aksys wasn't around, as few other companies were taking gambles on niche Vita-only titles, but that just goes to show how fantastic its support was.
Missed opportunities – Black Wolves Saga, Ukiyo no Roushi, Yuukyuu no Tierblade.
Unlike many of the other companies in this article, it’s very difficult to name missed opportunities for Aksys, as the company isn't tied to any specific Japanese publisher, meaning there aren’t any games that have been actively skipped over. Of course I’d love to have seen more otome titles, namely Black Wolves Saga, Collar x Malice Unlimited, and Yuukyuu no Tierblade, but I’m pretty happy with the selection we got. The biggest sticking point for me is Ukiyo no Roushi, an open-world samurai-action game from Spike-Chunsoft that no localization company picked up; it would’ve been ideal if Aksys had stepped in for this one, just as it had done with other Spike-Chunsoft titles. Still, this is just a minor nit-pick on an otherwise stunning selection of titles.
Overall rating – Outstanding.
Highlights – The Caligula Effect, Dragon’s Crown, Lost Dimension, Persona 4 Golden, Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception/Mask of Truth.
Atlus USA holds the enviable title of having published the highest-rated Vita game on Metacritic – Persona 4 Golden, an epic RPG chronicling the adventures of a group of high schoolers in the town of Inaba. It was an excellent precursor to what would be years of support for the console, including a handful of further Persona spin-offs (all of them rhythm games – Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight, Persona 4: Dancing All Night and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight) and a Persona clone that deserved a lot more love than it got (The Caligula Effect).
Atlus also localized a number of games I’d consider hidden gems of the Vita’s library, such as the well-received lewd gridder Dungeon Travelers 2, one of my own personal favourite strategy-RPG’s (Lost Dimension), and a pair of beloved visual novel/RPG hybrids in Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception and Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth. The company also took a gamble on the children-raising JRPG Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars, which offered a unique if not particularly polished experience, and its work with Vanillaware yielded Dragon’s Crown and Odin Sphere, both of which received substantial critical acclaim.
Missed opportunities – Catherine: Full Body, Dungeon Travelers 2-2, Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen.
Despite supporting the PSP well beyond its final years (Atlus released both Growlanser and Ragnarok Tactics in 2012), Atlus USA hasn’t really extended the same mindset to the handheld’s successor - its final releases for Vita appear to be the Persona Dancing duology. Notably, Atlus skipped over the highly anticipated PS3 remake Catherine: Full Body, which is coming across on PS4 but not Vita, which was a hugely disappointing missed opportunity to send the console out with a bang.
Atlus has also chosen not to localize the Aquaplus dungeon-crawler sequel, Dungeon Travelers 2-2, which is a shame, although a Vita exclusive in 2019 would have always been a difficult ask. It appears the company lost out on the Utawarerumono prequel to NISA as well, although at least that one is still coming to the west on the handheld. Still, it’s difficult to be too disappointed with Atlus USA – the company has blessed the Vita with a bunch of brilliant titles and has only fallen at the final hurdle, which still puts it ahead of most of the pack.
Overall rating – Amazing.
Highlights – Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth/Hacker’s Memory, God Eater: Resurrection/Rage Burst, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs Force, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment/Lost Song/Hollow Realization, Tales of Hearts R.
Bandai-Namco is one of Japan’s biggest publishers, releasing dozens of games each year ranging from big sellers like Dragon Ball to more niche titles like World Trigger. Thanks to Vita’s relative success in the region this has led to plenty of support, a lot of which was brought to western shores by Bandai-Namco's overseas publishing arm. It championed a lot of anime releases, including A.W. Phoenix Festa, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs Force (a lot better than people give it credit for), and One Piece Unlimited World Red/Pirate Warriors 3/Burning Blood, which gave the Vita a lot of variety.
Bandai-Namco also gambled on things that weren’t a surefire bet for the western market. For example it localized Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment in 2014, which went on to spawn a successful franchise that would see three more entries land over the coming years (Lost Song, Hollow Realization, and Accel World vs Sword Art Online), although many fans were critical of its Google-translated text, which included a number of hilarious phrases. The company also revived the Digimon franchise after years of overseas absence, with the brilliant Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (and its sequel Hacker’s Memory), and took a long shot by translating the highly anticipated Tales of Hearts R, a remake of a previously Japan-only DS entry (which suffered from inconsistencies between its text and Japanese voice acting).
It’s also worth mentioning that its branch in South-East Asia provided physical copies of games like Digimon and Sword Art Online (these were otherwise digital-only in the west), and also translated a few titles of its own that didn’t make it overseas, namely two Gundam games (Gundam Breaker 3 and SD Gundam G Generation Genesis) and two Super Robot Wars games (V & X), all of which was really appreciated.
Missed opportunities – Digimon World: Next Order, Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn, Gintama Rumble, One Piece Pirate Warriors 2, Tales of Innocence R.
Sadly, despite the fact that it did seem to fully embrace the Vita between 2013 and 2017, Bandai-Namco made some baffling decisions regarding localizing certain Vita games. The best example of this Digimon World: Next Order, a Vita-exclusive when it originally released, but which came to the west as a PS4-exclusive, despite some confusing PR indicating that we’d be getting the Vita port. Despite translating and releasing Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn and One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 on PS3, we didn’t get the handheld versions of those either.
In South-East Asia, an English version of Gintama Rumble exists on PS4, but for whatever reason this wasn’t extended to the Vita port, which was released in Japan. I’d also love to have seen Tales of Innocence R, the other remake of a previously Japan-only entry in the popular JRPG franchise, make its way across, but I’m guessing the sales of Tales of Hearts R weren’t strong enough to justify this. Bandai-Namco’s support of the Vita has certainly been better than most, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have done more to bring across things that had already been translated.
Overall rating – Good.
Idea Factory International
Highlights – Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds/Edo Blossoms, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 1/2/3, Mary Skelter: Nightmares, Monster Monpiece; Trillion: God of Destruction.
One of the newcomer companies to be established during Vita’s life, Idea Factory International came about after Compile Heart & Idea Factory set up an overseas subsidiary to handle western localizations. The firm's first release was controversial – Monster Monpiece was digital-only and censored because of its questionable content, but luckily the backlash wasn’t enough to put the company off working on the console and a full physical release of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 1 soon followed later that same year.
Over the coming years Idea Factory International localized pretty much every Neptunia title possible (Hyperdevotion Noire, Megatagmension, Re;birth 2 & 3, Superdimension) but it also experimented with plenty of Compile Heart’s other output, including some real hidden gems like Mary Skelter and especially Trillion: God of Destruction. Idea Factory International also tried its hand at some otome, with two Hakuoki games as well as Amnesia: Memories. Of course, not everything was a hit – the dungeon crawler MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death was seen as a fairly bland entry in the genre - but in general its support was appreciated.
Missed opportunities – Date-A-Live: Rio Reincarnation, Gun Gun Pixies, Hakuoki: Sweet School Life, Moero Chronicle/Crystal/Pirates, Tokyo Clanpool.
Likely due to its experience with having to censor Monster Monpiece in localization, Idea Factory International chose to skip future games in the Genkai Tokki series – namely Moero Chronicle, Moero Crystal, and Moero Pirates. While Chronicle managed to get an Asian-English release (along with a Switch port, which is coming west this year), Crystal and Pirates did not, and it was a shame not to see them made available in English. It’s also disappointing that Idea Factory skipped the surprisingly enjoyable third-person shooter Gun Gun Pixies, which is being localized in 2019 by PQube… but not for Vita.
Elsewhere, the company chose not to bring across a dungeon crawler (made by the same dev team as Mary Skelter) called Tokyo Clanpoolm and skipped over the anime tie-in game Date-A-Live: Rio Reincarnation, despite both having potential sales potential in the west (the latter is finally getting an English release this year, but only on PS4 & PC). I could also go on about how it didn’t bring across more otome titles like Hakuoki: Sweet School Life, but I count us fairly lucky that we got the three we did. Still, there was definitely scope for IFI to have done more.
Overall rating – Good.
Highlights – Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom, Atelier Rorona/Totori/Meruru Plus, Deception IV: Blood Ties/Nightmare Princess, Dynasty Warriors Next, Toukiden Kiwami.
A publisher known for its long-running Warriors series, Koei-Tecmo certainly blessed Vita with plenty of these and its western publishing arm brought the majority to western audiences. Between its core Dynasty Warriors games (including a brand new custom-built entry in Next, along with the expanded versions Xtreme Legends and Empires, plus an SRPG spin-off named Godseekers) and other offshoots such as Samurai Warriors 4 and Warriors Orochi 3, there is plenty of choice available. There are also a couple of anime tie-ins - Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk - both of which offer new spins on the formula).
It was with its other releases that the company really began to make a name for itself, whether it be the sea of Atelier titles from subsidiary Gust (including the full Arland and Dusk trilogies, as well as two entries in the Mysterious trilogy) or its own spin on the Monster Hunter formula in Toukiden (plus that game's expanded re-release, Kiwami, and its sequel, Toukiden 2). Koei Tecmo also worked on some neat one-offs, including the unique JRPG Ar no Surge Plus and the trap ’em up game Deception IV, showing the company wasn't afraid to take the odd gamble at times.
Missed opportunities – Angelique Retour, Blue Reflection, Nights of Azure 1/2, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence, Warriors All-Stars.
Koei-Tecmo was one of the first localizers to give up on Vita, deciding in early 2017 that the handheld wasn’t worth investing in anymore. This means that games like Blue Reflection and Nights of Azure from Gust – both of which were released in English on PS4 – didn’t come across, despite the translation already existing. The worst offender was the final Atelier game in the Mysterious sub-series, which didn’t release on the Vita overseas, despite the console receiving the previous two entries in the trilogy. Similar things happened with its collaboration musou game Warriors All-Stars, plus its grand strategy titles Nobunaga’s Ambition and Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
It would also have been nice to have seen the company gamble on trying to get in on the otome market that, as detailed above with Aksys and Idea Factory International, was going from strength to strength in the west. Koei-Tecmo has access to a veritable sea of titles, the easiest of which to bring across would’ve been Angelique Retour, a full remake of what is seen as one of the earliest entries in the genre, but any of them would’ve done just fine. I appreciate what Koei-Tecmo did for Vita while it was working with the platform, but the company certainly had ample opportunity to release a lot more than it did.
Overall rating – Solid.
Nippon Ichi Software America
Highlights – DanganRonpa 1/2/V3, Demon Gaze 1 & 2, Disgaea 3 & 4, Yomawari: Night Alone/Midnight Shadows, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana.
In terms of pure volume, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a company with as many localized Vita releases as NIS America. Even just counting the games from its parent company – things like A Rose in the Twilight, Cladun Returns, the first two Criminal Girls, Disgaea 3 & 4, HTOL#NIQ: Firefly Diary, Penny Punching Princess, The Longest Five Minutes, and Yomawari: Night Alone/Midnight Shadows - there’s an absolute sea of quality and variety.
Yet the company also has several partnerships with other developers and publishers. For example through Kadokawa Games we received enjoyable dungeon crawlers Demon Gaze 1 & 2, God Wars, Natural Doctrine, and The Lost Child; through 5pb we got Operation Abyss & Operation Babel, as well as Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness, and some one-offs with companies like Compile Heart; and Experience Inc and Falcom brought us games like Hyperdimension Neptunia PP, Stranger of Sword City, and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (the latter of which it poached from long-time Ys series localizers XSEED, and managed to make an absolute mess of its first pass at the translation).
Probably the company's most important partnership was with Spike-Chunsoft on the DanganRonpa series, which brought us four titles (Trigger Happy Havoc, Goodbye Despair, Ultra Despair Girls and V3) that rank among the best in Vita’s library (Grand Kingdom wasn’t too bad either). Others were less successful – most of the Touhou titles were fairly bland in terms of their gameplay, and Tokyo Tattoo Girls from Sushi Typhoon Games is among the platform’s lowest rated titles on Metacritic, although landing an agreement with Aquaplus to bring Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen in 2020 was a surprise I don’t think any Vita fan was expecting.
Missed opportunities – Exile Election, Hero Must Die, Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk, Metal Max Xeno, The Princess Guide.
NISA’s Vita support has been somewhat spotty, initially appearing to end in 2017 with Tokyo Tattoo Girls. We’ve seen brief flashes of love for the handheld since then – a trio of physical releases coming this year was a nice touch and the fantastic news that we’re getting Utawarumono in 2020 still feels great, but in the interim things like Labyrinth of Refrain, Metal Max Xeno and The Princess Guide came to a number of other platforms in the west except Vita (despite landing on the console in Japan), which is just a real bummer because there doesn't seem to be any real rhyme or reason to these decisions.
There are also a handful of NIS-developed games that I’d loved to have seen overseas. For example, Hero Must Die is a gorgeous-looking RPG, while Fuuraiki 3, Great Edo Blacksmith, and Special Reporting Division are three more that seemed really unique and interesting too. Overall I’m very happy with what NIS America has done on Vita, but it’s difficult not to lament what more it could have done too (Metal Max will always sting for me!).
Overall rating – Amazing.
Highlights – Gal Gun: Double Peace, Muv Luv/Muv Luv Alternative, Root Letter, Steins;Gate, Valkyrie Drive.
Arriving somewhat late to the localization game, PQube nevertheless did it in style, landing what I’d argue is one of the Vita’s finest titles in the sweeping visual novel Steins;Gate. It followed this up with more visual novel goodness, including a Steins;Gate sequel/prequel (0), another Science Adventure title with a different twist (Chaos;Child), a surprisingly under-rated mystery adventure set in the gorgeous Japanese countryside (Root Letter), and two games that are regarded as among the best in the genre (Muv Luv and Muv Luv Alternative).
Atlus didn’t just work on visual novels though, it also brought over some lewd titles that, in some cases, would cause it difficulties with western corporations. Its attempt to bring Omega Labyrinth Z overseas led to a rather high-profile cancellation, for example. Still, Atlus didn’t have problems with everything – the erotic rail shooter Gal Gun: Double Peace made it through, as did the anime adventure game Punchline and Senran Kagura-style brawler Valkyrie Drive, all of which contained impressive translations.
Missed opportunities – Gun Gun Pixies, Our World is Ended.
I’ve no idea why, but a lot of publishers that stop working on Vita seem to deem it necessary to insult the console before bowing out. PQube did this in late 2018, announcing it was ceasing support alongside the end of production of physical cartridges. This meant that things like Gun Gun Pixies - a Vita-exclusive third-person shooter in Japan from Compile Heart that is coming west via PQube - is skipping the handheld altogether and instead targeting a Switch release.
A similar thing happened to Our World is Ended, a Steins;Gate-esque visual novel from Red Entertainment that was released as a Vita-only game in Japan, before it ditched the platform for its overseas release. Given how well the game that inspired it did on the console, it’s a shame to see this happen, although I can’t say I blame PQube too much, as it stuck it out longer than most and just fell at the final hurdle like Atlus.
Overall rating – Amazing.
Hightlights – Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f/2nd/X, Valkyria Revolution.
Once Sony’s bitter rival in the console space, SEGA switched to being a third-party publisher and in doing so brought a number of memorable titles to the Vita which its overseas publishing arm localized for the west. Most notably, SEGA released three Hatsune Miku games (after initially appearing to swerve Vita, offering only the PS3 port of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F) that provided some of the best rhythm gameplay on the market and was great for playing on the go.
SEGA also took a big gamble on bringing over the crossover fighting game Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax (although sadly not its expanded version, Ignition), as well as the Vita port of the poorly-received Valkyria Chronicles spin-off Valkyria Revolution. The latter game may not have been what fans wanted but it was still nice to see it release on the handheld.
Missed opportunities – A Certain Magical Virtual-On, Miracle Girls Festival, Phantasy Star Nova, Puyo Puyo Tetris.
Sadly, SEGA skipped a lot more than it brought across, the most notable title being its action-RPG Phantasy Star Nova. Developed by Tri-Ace (of Star Ocean fame), it was a big-budget release that sold relatively well in Japan but for some reason SEGA’s western branch decided it just wasn’t worth localizing. This was likely a result of its status as a Vita-exclusive, which is a real shame as it had plenty of sales potential next to other titles like Freedom Wars and Toukiden.
SEGA also failed to cash in on things like Miracle Girls Festival, a Hatsune Miku re-skin that surely would have appealed to some fans in the western market, plus the interesting rhythm game Uta Kumi 575 too. My biggest disappointment is that it didn’t localize the surprisingly enjoyable A Certain Magical Virtual-On. It's easy to import, but would’ve been a lot more fun with English subs. Interestingly, the puzzle game Puyo Puyo Tetris is being released in English, but as with so many games in this article it won’t be coming across on Vita, meaning SEGA's support went out with a whimper rather than a bang.
Overall rating – Poor.
Highlights – Adventures of Mana, Dragon Quest Builders, Final Fantasy X/X2 HD Remaster, Romancing Saga 2, World of Final Fantasy.
Despite being a relative behemoth in the world of videogames, Square-Enix’s Vita support was fairly muted, although its western branch did bring across a number of titles. Leading the charge was Final Fantasy X/X2 HD, a compilation of two of the most critically beloved entries in the franchise. There was no re-translation needed for them and they received a physical release in the west. The spin-off title World of Final Fantasy also came across.
While Dragon Quest has never been huge in the west like it is in Japan, the company did bring its Minecraft-inspired building game Dragon Quest Builders overseas, with a surprisingly solid translation job that really captured the spirit of the world. After a fan campaign, Square Enix also decided to release Adventures of Mana in the west (initially only planning the mobile version), which led to further support in terms of that game’s sequel Secret of Mana, as well as other small, digital-only remakes like Romancing Saga 2 (hopefully, we might still see Romancing Saga 3 on Vita, as it was recently re-confirmed for the platform during E3).
Missed opportunities – Dragon Quest Heroes II, I am Setsuna, Itadaki Street 30th Anniversary, Lord of Apocalypse, SaGa: Scarlet Grace.
Square-Enix missed an absolute trick early in Vita’s life when it released the hunting-action game Lord of Apocalypse in Japan but didn’t bring it to the west. The company could’ve pre-empted the sea of hunting titles that would arrive on the handheld in subsequent years. This was a common theme throughout Vita’s life – titles like Itadaki Street and SaGa: Scarlet Grace would stay in the East (although the latter is coming west, just not on Vita, the platform it was originally exclusive to).
Square-Enix also had a bizarre strategy of skipping Vita for some of its localizations and not others. For example, the musou-action game Dragon Quest Heroes II arrived west on PS4, but the Vita version was conspicuously absent (also bizarrely the case for the Nintendo Switch version too), something which was repeated for the retro-throwback JRPG I am Setsuna. Square-Enix had a real opportunity to make a difference on Vita, but its often questionable decisions meant that western gamers were left without a lot of content that would have really enhanced their experience with the console.
Overall rating – Solid.
Highlights – Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star/Link, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel I/II, Ragnarok Odyssey/Ace, Senran Kagura: Shinovi/Estival Versus, Ys: Memories of Celceta.
The western publisher of parent company Marvelous, XSEED began as an independent entity and has kept its own identity by bringing other publishers' games to the west. This is no more evident than in its partnership with Falcom, which led to a number of brilliant titles coming to the west, including both Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel duology, as well as Ys: Memories of Celceta, one of my favourite action-RPGs on the platform. XSEED has also worked with Acquire (Akiba’s Trip/Beat, Orgarhythm, Sumioni), 5pb (Corpse Party: Blood Drive) and D3 Publisher (Earth Defence Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space) to bring a variety of titles which are nearly always praised for their fantastic translations.
Of course, XSEED worked extensively with its parent company Marvelous too, bringing us games such as Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus, Bon Appetit!, and Esival Versus, plus the charming otome London Detective Mysteria, and the musou crossover Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star. In fact, Fate/Extella Link will be the company's final release on the handheld in 2019, showing it's lasted longer than most and is helping it go out in style.
Missed opportunities – IA/VT Colorful, Luminous Arc Infinity, Net High; Uppers, Valkyrie Drive.
Despite basically having first refusal on any of Marvelous’ games, that hasn’t meant that XSEED has brought them all across. Most notably, titles like Valkyrie Drive went to other publishers (PQube) while Uppers, the enjoyable delinquent brawler, faced a three year (and counting) delay before coming to the west as a PS4 exclusive. Other games just got ignored altogether. Luminous Arc Infinity is an enjoyable-looking strategy RPG that isn’t seeing the light of day over here, whereas Net High is a well-received visual novel that could certainly have cashed in on the growing market in the west.
It’s also worth noting that XSEED has had a long-running partnership with Falcom (as previously mentioned), but lost out on Tokyo Xanadu to Aksys and Ys VIII to NISA. Why this is I have no idea, but I have to wonder whether it was to do with their status as Vita games first and foremost. I’d love to have seen them both with quality XSEED translations, so it’s a real shame we didn’t get them. Otherwise, though, I can’t fault XSEED for bringing across what it has and staying with Vita right until the end.
Overall rating – Amazing.
This was the longest article I have and probably ever will write, and it’s been fascinating to examine the past seven years of localizations on Vita to see just how much amazing content these companies have given us. Make no mistake – I’m grateful to each and every one of them for allowing me to play a slew of great titles on my favourite handheld in English and, without them, the Vita wouldn’t have been anything like the amazing console many such as myself have found it to be.
Yet it’s also been easy to see that every company has made questionable decisions along the way, skipping titles that were either already translated and just needed the Vita versions bringing across, or were easy to access and had solid sales potential in the overseas market but were ignored for whatever reason. The best-performing company in my opinion is undoubtedly Aksys, which has been with Vita from beginning to end and skipped very little, while the worst has been SEGA, a company that put little effort into satisfying its overseas fans.
Either way, I hope this opens some debate on the matter and if you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments – good or bad. The localization houses kept Vita alive long after Sony gave up on it and hopefully there’s something in there from each of them that you can find to enjoy!