You mean why didn't they release a version of those games for the Western markets? They rarely had those markets in mind, especially in regards to the Sega Saturn. English menus and whatnot have always been present in Japanese games essentially because that's how the earliest video games (those born in the USA and which served as a reference) were. Most of the terminology of these menus are English words, anyway. And even Japanese kids won't have an issue with elementary English and roman alphabet. Complete English-language modes are very unusual, though, and they're normally there for completism purposes, such as the ones of Vampire Saviour, Bubble Symphony or the Sega Ages releases. Said that, seems quite clear that for the cases of VS and BS they actually thought about overseas people directly importing the titles from Japan -- you can even find a 50-Hz-optimized mode in the latter.
It's cool a thread like this exists here since the Sega Saturn has been traditionally neglected within the translation circles and seems these days, with a better and easier emulation of it, more and more people are realizing the relevance of its catalog. However, I believe the list above posted through Pastebin isn't going to help much to get more people interested as it is -- it's long and uncommented and it mixes games which do require a translation in order to be played with games which are perfectly playable without translation.
I hope you don't mind me if I take the liberty of making a selection here of what I find the more interesting pieces which should really get some attention so that this thread/subject gets a bit more visibility. I have been playing my Japanese SS since 1995 and managed to enjoy then pieces like Grandia or Princess Crown even without knowing a word of Japanese, so following how the West finally gains access to unique pieces like these 20 years later is something I find fascinating, in a way.
Given that both, Grandia and Princess Crown have active projects, a special mention should go to Tengai Makyou: Daiyon no Mokushiroku
It's so good in almost every aspect that even people who aren't particularly fond of the genre (like myself, I guess) could have a blast with it if properly translated. Good old Tom will be supposedly taking care of it at some point, though there're possibilities it ends up being the PSP version
, which is not as cool for different reasons. Sadly, it could take too many years for this to happen since he's giving priority to Ziria and Manjimaru at least, so until then, non-Japanese-proficent people will be missing one of the genre's milestones, so it's always a good moment to spread the word.Madou Monogatari
is quite a special game too. It's the best version of this popular RPG by Compile, very different to the other games in the series, and one of the best non-action games from this seminal company. Albeit quite a conventional (traditional
) approach to the genre, it's full of charm, good visuals and well-thought-out pacing and flow. A translation of the game's script exists
, though. Not sure if it counts as a "project" or if it may be of some help for starting one.Terra Phantastica
has good reputation among S-RPG fans. Fun battle system coupled with lovely sprites and Akihiro Yamada's fantastic designs.
S-RPGs were indeed plentiful on the system. Flight Plan's reputation had its beginning with Black Matrix
, which debuted on the SS. Some of the most detailed visuals you'll find in the entire catalog are here, a story which tried to be dark and different, I guess, and well, it's the predecessor to the popular Summon Night series. Said that, Black Matrix OO on the PS deserves a translation more than this.
Another lesser-known S-RPG also on the PS, Tilk
, has quite a fascinating rural theme and some good sprite labour. It's by Farland Story series' creator, TGL, and this one, I'm not sure if it's improved over the PS version.Kunoichi Torimonochou
, an adventure game with card-based battles, got my interest for being the only other known piece from Magical Pop'n's creators (Polestar). I merely touched it, but enough to see it was quality, even if in a small quantity. It got a PS port afterwards.Linkle Liver Story
is quite known at this point for its action-based nature. The story is as unsubstantial as any other but it's a solid game nobody plays for being in Japanese.Anearth
is a port of one of the best-regarded RPGs the PC Engine got. Without hesitation, this will get the love and attention from the Western fan at some point. It just need some exposure, as usual.
Another direct port from the PCE is Kuusou Kagaku Sekai Gulliver Boy
, based on a popular shounen animation. Never had the time to play this and it's possible the PCE version is a better form to play it, but everybody says it's lovely no matter what.Cyberdoll
, cool setting and monster design for an overlooked RPG by Betop which you'll only find on the SS.
Much like Marica
by Feycraft (under Victor's budget). This is more teenage and anime-like, but no SD sprites for once.
There're many more, of course, but these are the more interesting I recall. I have a selective game list for the system here, by the way:http://postback.geedorah.com/listados/listado_ss.htm
It's a selection made in regards to relevance or quality, but it has 410 titles listed chronologically, so it can be of some use here.