7 Best Nintendo DS Games with English Translation to finally understand the Kanjis

At the time when the DS was thriving, there is still a great divide among territories as to what games get localized. These modern times, in order to recoup the development costs, games are made available to as many territories. Thanks to the effort of passionate translators, those games which are stuck without localization are now available to play in English. Here are seven of the best Nintendo DS games with English translation.

Best nintendo ds games with english translation

7. Love Plus

Dating sims are an endangered species on the DS. Love Plus is one of the few such titles that appeared on the platform, and boy, does it have to be Japan only? And it was a shame since this is also an incredible game as it challenges stereotypes commonly associated with the genre. 

The game allows players to go beyond initial courtship stages, experiencing a virtual life with a chosen girlfriend through high school. With the ability to influence the girl's behavior, attire, and even engage in intimate activities through mini-games.

Gameplay introduces innovations, divided into two stages: the initial dating phase and a steady relationship. The first stage involves scheduling daily activities to woo the chosen girl within 100 days. The second stage, in a steady relationship, adds real-time constraints and activity points for interactions. The game implements measures to prevent cheating and introduces elements like "skinship" and kissing mini-games during dates. While some aspects remain typical of dating sims, the engaging variety in character development and activities sets Love Plus apart.

6. Sailor Moon: La Luna Splende (Sailor Moon: The Shining Moon)

In a bizarre twist of fate, a Sailor Moon game was released in Italian only on the DS. Sailor Moon: La Luna Splende (Sailor Moon: The Shining Moon) an action-platformer with an unusual blend of visual novel-style cutscenes peppered with puzzle elements. 

Add to the bizarreness of everything encircling this game, The Shining Moon is also an incredibly difficult game. Imagine a Sailor Moon game with Dark Souls difficulty, there is no need, because this is it. 

5. Tales of Innocence

Tales of Innocence marks a significant entry in the Tales series as the first mothership title for the Nintendo DS. Addressing concerns raised by its predecessor, the game, developed by Alfa Systems, successfully establishes itself as a compelling RPG that not only works on the DS but also impresses with its clean and entertaining gameplay.

Set in a world embroiled in war, the storyline of Tales of Innocence introduces an intriguing twist – characters with past lives, reincarnated from powerful beings. The narrative unfolds through character-driven storytelling, where unique and colorful character designs, reflecting different nationalities, contribute to the overall appeal. Skits, scattered throughout the game, provide crucial insights into the characters' personalities, adding depth and keeping players engaged. The game's narrative strength lies in its ability to tie various elements together.

Gameplay in Tales of series evolves around its action-packed battle system. The developers strike a balance between fast-paced action and challenging encounters. The battle system introduces flexibility in movement, building upon the Dimension Stride Linear Motion Battle System. With three characters in the party, players can switch between them seamlessly, perform aerial attacks, and unleash powerful combos. The Infinity Jam and Awakening features add strategic depth to battles, maintaining the series' tradition of difficulty. The AI customization options for characters further enhance the player's control over battle roles.

This game was ported to the PlayStation Vita, unfortunately again, it was a Japan-only release. Fortunately, there is an English translation of the entire game. 

4. Chou Soujuu Mecha MG (Super Control Mecha MG)

Chou Soujuu Mecha MG is actually one of the best games on the DS. Again, due to lack of localization, the game was overlooked by the majority of the world.  G Mecha MG is a mecha simulation game that puts players in the shoes of Martin, a 13-year-old aspiring Marionette Gear (MG) pilot. Facing obstacles like the menacing Automan robots, players embark on a thrilling journey with the help of newfound friends. The game boasts a variety of missions across a world map, featuring 1v1 battles, group battles with AI teammates, races, and more.

This game offers 120 missions, each with four difficulty levels. The diverse range of MGs, totaling around 100, adds depth to customization, with various styles such as archers, gun-mechs, and ninja-animals. While gamers can navigate missions and purchase MGs without Japanese language proficiency, there is already an English translation, why subject one’s self from suffering.

3. Super Robot Taisen W

The Super Robot Taisen series, largely unknown outside Japan, brings together robots from various anime series for turn-based strategy gameplay. Knowledge of Japanese isn't essential, making it import-friendly for interested players. However, some may just like a translated version of the game for a much more enjoyable experience since there is a lot of text involved in the game. 

Featuring characters from diverse anime and manga series, the game introduces new additions such as "GoLion" and "Detonator Orgun." Players can acquire these characters, regardless of their in-game performance, and selecting three favorite series twice in the game grants those units extra statistical upgrades. The game incorporates familiar elements like a shop where items can be sold, and unique units can be purchased.

A notable addition is the introduction of Burning Points (BP), allowing players to enhance any pilot's stat by one. Each level grants a BP, and characters can accumulate up to 255 BP for various stats. This excludes secondary pilots. Money can be spent to upgrade robot parts, and characters gain a variety of moves and special abilities as they level up, with special abilities costing SP (Special Points). These abilities, such as guaranteed evasion for the next attack, can influence the battle dynamics. Additionally, pilots can switch robots, mirroring events from the respective shows where such changes occurred. The game offers a comprehensive and strategic experience, combining elements of RPG and strategy gameplay.

2. Blood of Bahamut

Blood of Bahamut, developed by Think & Feel for the Nintendo DS and published by Square Enix, is an action role-playing game that integrates a captivating storyline with dynamic gameplay. The game unfolds in a world where the god Bahamut, through its blood, created Behemoths, colossal creatures that posed a threat to humanity. These Behemoths were defeated, allowing nations to flourish on their dormant bodies. However, every 1,000 years, the Behemoths reawaken, and players embark on a journey with a group of seven characters to confront and pacify these monstrous beasts.

The player assumes the role of Ibuki, the main protagonist, who belongs to the Gigant clan and wields a sword with summoning powers. Blood of Bahamut follows a mission-based structure, with objectives ranging from destroying cores, surviving a set time, to defeating Behemoths. The top screen displays the map, the Behemoth's health, and companion positions, while the bottom screen shows the character's status. Combat involves strategic use of abilities, tapping icons to select and execute attacks. While the game's objectives can be inflexible, the Behemoths' formidable life ensures deliberate gameplay. Players can unlock and upgrade character abilities using materials found in stages.

For those unfamiliar with Japanese, a translation patch is available for the game and is essential. While understanding the game mechanics can be achieved through trial and error, comprehending the text is crucial for identifying mission objectives. Attempting to defeat behemoths without meeting the specified criteria will lead to a game over, unless the mission explicitly requires defeating them without additional conditions.

1. Culdcept DS

Culdcept DS is a captivating fusion of Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering. Merging elements from Itadaki Street and Magic, the game incorporates a board game structure with stock systems and complex maps. The victory condition involves reaching a specific total asset value rather than bankrupting opponents, adding strategic depth. Culdcept inherits rules from Itadaki Street and introduces improvements, drawing inspiration from Momotarou Dentetsu for certain card ideas.

Similar to Magic, players have decks of cards, drawing one each turn. The board game aspect involves dice rolls to move around the board, claiming lands by summoning creatures onto them. Players collect tolls from opponents landing on their territory. The game features creature, item, and spell cards, offering diverse strategies. Culdcept DS benefits from refined card balance and rules compared to its predecessors. The revised card set addresses power card dominance, creating a more varied and engaging experience.

The DS version strikes a balance between preserving original rules and adopting refinements from later versions. Creature attributes, such as equipment use, have been detached from races, enhancing game balance. The "fort bonus" rule, splitting salary payments at checkpoints, prevents unfair disadvantages from certain spells. Portability enhances the gaming experience, allowing wireless play with friends and convenient deck-building during breaks. The graphics maintain a pleasing 2D style, with card art featuring both old and new paintings.

Culdcept DS targets mature gamers, incorporating kanji in the Japanese version. While import friendliness depends on language proficiency, Western players fond of board and trading card games should opt in using the English translation patch to finally experience this strategic goodness.