Welcome to In Defense of the Vita, a mini-series dedicated to the defense of the PlayStation Vita. It’s my hope that this series will highlight its strength for those who might be on the fence about purchasing and supporting it while maybe changing the minds of those who have already condemned it.

It is no secret that the Vita has not had the best reception in the West, with plenty of articles and forum users declaring the handheld dead. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m inclined to agree that Sony hasn’t given the system the proper support it deserves, but third-party support for the system is strong and not from the studios one would expect. I am, of course, talking about the high degree of support from Japan.

Dungeon crawling only gets more interesting with time.

Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars. Dungeon crawling only gets more interesting with time.

Localizations of Japanese games appear to be at an all-time high these days and I couldn’t be happier about that. Multiple systems have received an influx in the past couple of years and the Vita has not been a slouch in that department. In the past year, Vita owners have received Atlus’ Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars, Aksys Games’ Mind Zero and NIS America’s Demon Gaze as exclusives, and the only version of NIS America’s Danganronpa to be localized.

On the horizon, XSEED continues to lead the pack of developer support with Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed (August 12, 2014 — unreleased as of the time of this writing), Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus (September 30, 2014), and Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit! (Q4 2014). Aksys Games and NIS America both return with Arcana Hearts 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! (Q3 2014) and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (September 2, 2014), respectively. Fans of J-RPGs shoud look out for Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (August 19, 2014). Corpse Party are anxiously awaiting the localization of the latest entry, Blood Drive, which was released in Japan in late July. However, everything else mentioned is or has been localized for Western consumption.

How could you ignore the pleasant half of that face?  I guess the other side can be a bit of a turnoff.

Danganronpa’s Monokuma. How could you ignore that face? I guess the other side can be a bit of a turn-off.

Those who are looking for their AAA fix should probably look elsewhere. The Vita is admittedly not a system for everyone and may even be considered a niche system, but those who enjoy games from the land of the rising sun have more than enough titles to enjoy. I’d highly recommend picking one up. It may just surprise you.