Could Switch Online bring these Japan Only titles west?
It finally happened. Announced at the end of the September 2019 Nintendo Direct, the Switch Online service has a catalog of Super Nintendo titles for gamers to play at home and on the go. But amid the high profile release titles was one especially oddball inclusion.
Yes, even in the English library of games, Super Puyo Puyo 2 made the cut in all its untranslated glory. A surprise to be sure, but it begs the question: what other Japan only titles could finally come West through the service? While text heavy RPGs like Live a Live and Bahamut Lagoon would be no-gos, lots of Japanese games are still perfectly playable despite the language barrier. Here are five picks which, as the kids say, would be perfect on Switch.
5: Ghost Chaser Densei
You can never go wrong with beat-em-ups on the SNES, and Ghost Chaser Densei is one of the best ones we never got. Based on the Denjin Makai arcade game, Ghost Chaser Densei features two player co-op, special moves for each character, and even unique combo attacks that two players can perform together!
But most importantly, Ghost Chaser Densei is notable for using an anime-as-heck version of Eye of the Tiger as its final boss theme. It’s not even subtle and the game is so much better for it.
4: Shin Nekketsu Kouha – Kunio-tachi no Banka
A game this text-heavy would normally be an instant disqualifier for this list. But not only is Shin Nekketsu Kouha – Kunio-tachi no Banka linear enough to still be perfectly playable, it provides a bit of context for one of 2019’s biggest indie hits: River City Girls.
Yes, Shin Nekketsu Kouha – Kunio-tachi no Banka is the debut title for River City Girls‘ two protagonists: Kyoko and Misako. They’re even playable once you get far enough into the game!
3: Super Back To The Future 2
The title speaks for itself. There was an actually decent Back to the Future game for the SNES, but by some absolutely bizarre twist of fate, it never came West.
This one would absolutely be licensing hell to get on Switch Online. But I mean… it’s freaking Back to the Future we’re talking about here.
2: DoReMi Fantasy: Milon no DokiDoki Daibouken
DoReMi Fantasy is technically a sequel Milon’s Secret Castle, which is widely considered an NES… game. But don’t let that fool you, because DoReMi Fantasy is considered among importers to be one of the best platformers on the system. Yes, even alongside competition like Super Mario World.
DoReMi Fantasy was actually released on the English Wii virtual console, which is a testament to how import friendly it is. Hopefully Nintendo can make this one happen again on the Switch.
1: Rockman and Forte (Mega Man and Bass)
Look, I’m not going to argue that Rockman and Forte is a top tier Mega Man game. That’s part of why I didn’t rate it in my classic Mega Man series list. Still, this is Mega Man we’re talking about, and Rockman and Forte is a huge treat for Mega Man fans and newbies alike.
While we did get Mega Man and Bass on the Gameboy Advance in 2003, that version of the game suffers heavily from the system’s low screen resolution. In other words, even with the language barrier in place, Rockman and Forte for the SNES is the definitive version. With some of the system’s best graphics, solid gameplay, and the introduction of rival Forte (Bass) as a playable character, this game is the perfect import candidate for the Switch online service.