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Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review

Being a niche gamer is never easy since your taste only account for barely a fraction of the video game industry sales. Even worse, for niche games, the IP truly can live or die by sales as every bit of sale counts among the niche audience. Luckily, thanks to system like PSVita, PC, and PS4 booming in sales, 2015 has been a great year.

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PSVita:

Let’s be honest, this system isn’t going to win over the mainstream or casual gamers. But if you have any interest in JRPG, Hunter style, dungeon crawlers, indie games, and anything quirky, PSVita is the system to own. Even better is that many publishers are pushing out English sub releases that may or may not make it to the west.

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Here are some of best niche titles to own for PSVita:

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Steins; Gate – It’s been out on PC for almost 2 years now, but for those who wish to play their visual novels on the go, the PSVita version is the one to own.

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htoL#NiQ : The Firefly Diary – An exclusive game for the PSVita, from NIS. While it’s not a long game, the story and art certain has a good deal of charm.

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Hatoful Boyfriend – A strange and yet wonderful parody of dating VN starring many unique potential avian boyfriend.

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Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls – Another game in the Danganronpa series, which takes place between the first and second game. While it’s a departure from the VN style gameplay, it’s still holds its own to the series.

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Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Otome Visual Novels (Amnesia: Memories, Code: Realize Guardian of Rebirth, and Norn9: Var Commons) – Otome hasn’t been very popular in the west, but these three are excellent Visual Novels for the female audience.

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Persona 4 Dancing All Night – Taking place 6 months after the events of Persona 4 Golden, the investigation team find themselves in another mystery. This time, they have to dancing their way out of trouble.

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Superbeat Xonic- The successor to DJMax with a similar gameplay to Persona 4 Dancing All Night, and lots of K-Pop.

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Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space – EDF! EDF! EDF!

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Part of a long running JRPG series from Falcom.

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Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess – An expanded version of the original Deception IV: Blood Ties.

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Toukiden: Kiwami – A hunter style game with fast pace action setting players against demons with crossplay to the PS4 version.

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Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines – A JRPG that spans multiple generations.

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Sword Art Online: The Lost Song – An action RPG game taking place in ALfheim Online and follows the same continuity as Hollow Fragment. Fun game for SAO fans.

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Axiom Verge – An indie game with a Metroid feel.

PlayStation 4:

PS4 sales is booming globally and shows no sign of slowing down, so it makes sense for niche games to tackle the large growing audience.

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Here are some of best niche titles to own for PS4:

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Dragon Ball XenoVerse – If you’re a DBZ fan, and always wanted to make a character in the Dragon Ball Universe, this is the game.

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Final Fantasy Type – O HD – Originally a PSP game ported to consoles to sell the FFXV demo. The game itself, not too bad after the patch update.

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Bloodborne – From the makers of cult classic such as Demon Souls and Dark Souls, comes a new IP. True to being a successor of the Souls series, the game is still punishing for the weak.

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Toukiden: Kiwami – A hunter style game with fast pace action setting players against demons with crossplay to the PSVita version.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Hatoful Boyfriend - A strange and yet wonderful parody of dating VN starring many unique potential avian boyfriend.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Onechanbara Z2 Chaos – We got girls in bikinis, zombies, and a cheesy B-rated story. What more can you ask for?

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Sword Art Online: The Lost Song – An action RPG game taking place in ALfheim Online and follows the same continuity as Hollow Fragment. Fun game for SAO fans.

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Galak-Z: The Dimensional – A 2-D scifi shooter with the 90s cartoon feel.

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Disgaea 5:Alliance of Vengenance – It’s a Disgaea game, quirky story with solid SRPG gameplay.

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Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – Where is everyone? No idea but feel free to explore a deserted town.

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Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below – It’s a Warriors game mixed with Dragon Quest elements.

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The Talos Principle – A philosophical puzzle game. Two very unpopular interest, in one very interesting game.

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Earth Defense Force 4.1 – EDF! EDF! EDF!

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Tales of Zestiria – More tales of adventures!

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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The Escapist – It’s time to break out of prision!

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess – An expanded version of the original Deception IV: Blood Ties.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Axiom Verge – An indie game with a Metroid feel.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Invisible, Inc – A turn based stealth game.

Xbox One:

This is not the system that most would turn to, to get their niche fix, but don’t despair for there are games for you too!

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Here are some of best niche titles to own for Xbox One:

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Ori and the Blind Forest – A single player platform adventure playing as a guardian spirit.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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The Escapist – It’s time to break out of prision!

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Dragon Ball XenoVerse – If you’re a DBZ fan, and always wanted to make a character in the Dragon Ball Universe, this is the game.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Final Fantasy Type – O HD – Originally a PSP game ported to consoles to sell the FFXV demo. The game itself, not too bad after the patch update.

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Elite: Dangerous– An expansive space sim.

Wii U:

While Wii U isn’t pouring in niche games, there are a few that are worth checking out:

Here are some of best niche titles to own for Wii U:

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Fatel Frame V: Maiden of Black Water – The highlight of this game is the water effects. Oh and ghost.

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Splatoon – Ink, Squid, Kid, a fun combination. Who knew?

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Xenoblade Chronicles X – An MMO style game.

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Freedom Planet – You like Sonic? Then you’ll like this.

3DS:

After years in the market, the 3DS continues to cater to many, niche gamers included:

Here are some of best niche titles to own for 3DS:

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Stella Glow – A turn based RPG using the power of music.

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Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX – Who doesn’t love Miku?

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LBX: Little Battlers eXperience – It took an insanely long time to get here, but it’s here. And sadly overlooked. Otherwise, it’s about as close to another Medabot game we are going to get (Natsume has no plan for bringing anymore Medabot games over).

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Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight – It’s not a game for everyone, but if you enjoy Persona Q, you’ll like this.

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Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven – A story of seven heroines with seven stories, in a unique strategy battling game.

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker – An extended and updated version of the original Devil Survivor 2, with new stories.

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Story of Seasons – It’s a harvest moon title with the IP moving back to XSeed/Marvelous.

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Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimison - More girl fight!

PC:

PCs are everywhere, and without the need for royalty fee, it make sense that many indie games get their humble beginning here. On top of that, niche games have been receiving ports for niche games that came out this year, as well as older titles. Due to the overwhelming amount of titles, I’m not going to give a full list of every title out (especially for games that receive a port from the console release not within the same year.)

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Here are some of best niche titles to own for PC:

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below - It’s a Warriors game mixed with Dragon Quest elements.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star – More avian adventure.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Tales of Zestiria – More tales of adventures!

The Devil on G-String – An adult VN.

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – Originally a PSP game.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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World End Economica – Episode 2 is out. From the same writer as Holo – Spice & Wolf

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Toukiden: Kiwami - A hunter style game with fast pace action setting players against demons.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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The Fruit of Grisaia – Another adult VN.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Dragon Ball XenoVerse – If you’re a DBZ fan, and always wanted to make a character in the Dragon Ball Universe, this is the game.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Clannad – A game full of feels

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
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Ori and the Blind Forest – A single player platform adventure playing as a guardian spirit.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
Advertisement

The Escapist – It’s time to break out of prision!

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
Advertisement

Galak-Z: The Dimensional – A 2-D scifi shooter with the 90s cartoon feel.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
Advertisement

Axiom Verge – An indie game with a Metroid feel.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Niche Gamer in the West – Year in Review
Advertisement

Invisible, Inc – A turn based stealth game.

Overall, it’s been a fantastic year to be a niche gamer aside and 2016 continues to have a positive outlook despite controversies. Gravity Rush Remastered, Gravity Rush 2, Persona 5, and Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth alone already made 2016 for me. Feel free to comment other niche titles, and niche titles you’re looking forward to!

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