Tim’s Top Twosday: DS Fanslations

tt_dfhfs_topI’ve been enjoying the original Nintendo DS recently, so today’s top two is dedicated to this terrific two-screened titan. Specifically, I’ll be highlighting two fan-made translations for games that never received a western translation.

Note: while I’m happy to supply links to the translations,  I do not advocate the use of pirated games. If you want to use these translation patches, you’ll need to legally dump the game cards yourself. Capiche? Good. Now without further ado, the games!

Tales of Innocence

tt_ds_talesReleased way back in 2007, this is a flagship title in Namco’s legendary Tales series of RPGs. Set in what looks to be a Victorian-era of a fantasy world you play as Luca, a young man who is unknowingly one of the Fallen, reincarnations of warriors from long ago. Along the way he meets other such avatars, and they travel the world to unite the various superpowers in peace.

The whole thing sounds pretty cliche, but trust me, it’s more than that. When you combine Luca’s innocence with the personalities he’s surrounded by and the intrigue of the whole past lives thing, you wind up with a memorable entry in the series. So memorable in fact, that Namco has released this on the PS Vita with updated graphics and sound.

That being said, you really can’t find a more pure Tales experience on the DS. Other than the original Grandia, I’d be hard-pressed to think of a game with this level of sincerity. The translation is completely polished as well.

SaGa 3, AKA Final Fantasy Legend 3

tt_ds_saga3Remember the Final Fantasy Legend titles for the Game Boy? In Japan, the series was called Makai Toushi Sa·Ga, or SaGa for short. These games, along with their 16-bit sister games Romancing SaGa, were immensely popular in their day, and for good reason. They allowed for a customizable party of characters who change realistically with battle. If you take damage, you gain more HP; if you use an attack, your strength goes up. Think Final Fantasy II, but good.

For the DS remake, they updated the graphics and sound, but they also fleshed out the characters more than they would have been able to on the ol’ Game Boy. The third installment is arguably the best in the series, with an interesting time travel story and some philosophic, adult themes. It’s definitely worth checking out.

There’s the first week’s installment of Tim’s Top Twosday. Be sure to check in next week, when I’ll be discussing my top two reasons to buy an Xbox 360!