Lately, a flurry of Square Enix remasters and remakes have brought its classics onto modern platforms for a new generation to enjoy. It wasn’t always like this, though. Square was one of the more adventurous Japanese studios in the 1990s when it came to localization, but plenty of titles it (and Enix) published never made it out of the country. However, with the announcement of the Live A Live remake, Front Mission 1 and 2 remakes, and Chrono Cross remaster (plus Radical Dreamers), the flood gates have opened for even more of Square’s Japan-only titles to get official Western releases.
What Japan-only games could Square Enix release after Live A Live?
With a Live A Live, Square Enix has gone entirely off the script. It was a flop in Japan, and although it’s gained a cult following, it’s a very risky proposition for a remaster, much less a remake. So, the sky is the limit now when it comes to Square Enix remasters.
We’ve compiled a list of five Japan-only games we hope Square Enix brings to modern platforms soon. These have all received fan translations, but it’d be great to have them available in an easy-to-access, officially localized release.
Bahamut Lagoon came out amongst a flurry of excellent JRPGs from Square. Unfortunately, it was released at the end of the SNES’s lifecycle, which was likely a significant contributor to it never receiving a localization.
Front Mission 5
Front Mission has been done dirty by Square Enix, and we’re hoping the Front Mission 1st and Front Mission 2 remakes will put the series back on the right track. Unfortunately, Front Mission 4 didn’t sell that great in the West, which made the studio decide to make Front Mission 5 Japan-only.
This is likely the most obscure title on this list. Planet Laika is about an expedition to Mars at some point in humanity’s future. It’s an RPG-lite that centers around a character with multiple personalities and their investigation of a Mars terraforming colony. It’s a trippy psychological horror game that sometimes borders on nonsensical, but the story is engrossing and sticks with you. Unfortunately, since it was developed by the long-defunct Quintet (but published by Enix), it’s unclear who actually has the rights to this game.
This racing RPG is one of the most unique titles released for the PS1. It’s brimming with style and is a celebration of the Japanese illegal street racing scene of the time. The racing itself is… okay. It’s a very difficult and unforgiving game, but there’s nothing else like it. It also has a fantastic soundtrack.
So, this one isn’t Japan-only, but we’re gonna cheat a little. Terranigma is one of the rare titles that got an English localization for Europe but was never released in North America. Unfortunately, Enix had closed up shop in the United States by the time the game was translated, and the Nintendo 64 was on its way. Rights issues may hold this one up since it’s another Quintet title.
What games do you hope Square Enix brings over next?