This RPG Is Topping Charts In Japan, But Americans May Never See It

The PlayStation Vita has been out for two months in Japan. So how is a PSP game topping the charts?

Andriasang reports that Konami's Genso Suikoden Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki, released last week for the Vita's predecessor, was the number one game sold in Japan between February 6 and February 12, at 61,784 copies. The latest Suikoden beat out popular next-gen games like Gravity Daze (43,462 copies) and Super Mario 3D Land (19,673 copies) to earn its sales crown.

Suikoden is no Final Fantasy, but it is a popular RPG. Early fan buzz suggests that it's a good one, too.

Question is, will we ever see it? Previous Suikoden games have all made it to North America, but the PlayStation Portable is on its last legs. Sony will release the PlayStation Vita here in the States next week, rendering the old handheld all but obsolete.

On the other hand, the PlayStation Vita will sell PSP titles digitally on the PlayStation Network. It's not out of the question that publisher Konami could release the new Suikoden game as a download-only experience. If the company doesn't have to worry about recouping costs for shipping and printing, releasing the game would not be as big of a gamble.

I asked Konami yesterday if it would consider bringing the next Suikoden game to U.S. shores. The official response: "We don't have anything to announce at this time."

Konami would also not share sales figures on its latest Suikoden game, the oddly titled Tierkreis, which it released here for Nintendo DS in 2009. So it's hard to gauge the series' popularity on U.S. shores — although its fans are loyal and rabid. They still post in dedicated forums like Suikosource, debating series' mysteries and fighting over popular characters.

I've been a big fan of the series for a long time. Blending classic turn-based gameplay with an addictive gotta-catch-em-all-type recruiting system, Suikoden has always held a special place in my heart. But since I can't speak Japanese, I'll just have to wait for Konami to decide whether it's worth translating to English and shipping over here.

Though localization is never that simple, a digital release for the new Suikoden on the PlayStation Network seems like a reasonable and relatively inexpensive option. Or maybe they can just use Kickstarter.