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.
- Photo: Nintendo / Human EntertainmentBuy on Amazon
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.
Fire Emblem: New Mystery Of The EmblemBuy on Amazon
Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem is a Japan-exclusive remake of a Japan-exclusive Fire Emblem game of the same name. It's a modern, fresh visual overhaul of a classic title as well as the perfect representative for a series that's been occasionally isolated to Japan, courtesy of Nintendo. The Fire Emblem series didn't make it to the US until two years after the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee. That means two of the roster characters didn't even have a playable game in the US at that point.
Fire Emblem has certainly seen some trouble, but has overall been a pretty stable seller for Nintendo, and a new Fire Emblem title was announced for the Nintendo Switch in January of 2017. Needless to say, Nintendo Switch fans are excited.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal FoesBuy on Amazon
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.
Kirby Super Star StackerBuy on Amazon
A tragic case of not enough time on the clock, Kirby Super Star Stacker was well on its way to US shelves, until it got its localization plans canned at the last minute, presumably when the SNES's lifecycle ended just a bit earlier than expected. It was a block-matching game featuring the cute and cuddly aesthetic of Kirby and company, and a title that could've been a blast for Western Kirby fans had the SNES held out a little longer.