The overwhelming majority of Nintendo games are crafted with both Western and Eastern audiences in mind. However, the occasional oddball crops up that's just too nestled in its Japanese roots to justify the complicated localization process necessary for a US release.
Whether its a game that features an untranslatable emphasis on Eastern culture, or a launch title tied to a system that never made it out of Japan, there's a lot of Nintendo releases that North America is missing out on. Some of these games are fascinating, and it's a real shame the US audience was never able to experience them first hand. That being said, there are also a handful of incredibly strange games that should probably never be allowed out of Japan.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes
The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes is a mystery. How on earth could a Spider-Man game not reach the West, the home of the character and his biggest market? The world may never know. All that is known is that the US missed out on an awesome 2D beat-'em-up featuring everyone's favorite wall-crawler and an impressive lineup of villains from his rogues gallery, including Venom, Green Goblin, and Carnage.
Excitebike: Vroom! Vroom! Mario Battle Stadium
Excitebike, a 2D motorcycle racing game, managed to secure a Mario crossover title that never reached North America. The game released exclusively for the Super Famicom, the Japanese SNES, through a device called the Broadcast Satellaview. The game had to be downloaded through the Satellaview, and was released a year after the N64 came out. It would have been counterintuitive to create an outdated cartridge for Western audiences, and it was impractical to implement a new online service for a single localization.
A truly innovative game in its own right, Mario Artist for the 64DD (64DiskDrive) had the potential to revolutionize its industry. The game planned to allow players to paint, compose music, render 3D shapes, and create their own 3D animations. Nintendo wanted players to use these tools to create their own minigames, and to modify content within other 64DD games. It could've invented a console modding scene a decade before the concept even came into existence. However, the 64DD was a commercial failure in Japan, and the game never saw the light of day in any other region.
Nobody knows why this gem never reached the West. As one of the few games in existence that promotes real-life heroes, the opportunity to put out fires and save the day seems like something that could've performed well in the North American market. However, that's only speculation; this SNES title will likely never see a US release.