Thursday, July 9, 2020

10 Rarest (And Most Valuable) Playstation Vita Games

By: VitaGuy

Many "Rarest Vita titles" lists have been made over the years, but many of them miss key games in the system's English playable library by excluding the Asian or European exclusives (Vita is region free after all). Other lists are clogged with expensive collectors editions that have much cheaper standard release alternatives. Our Vita list is the top 10 most difficult to attain English language, physical cartridge, Vita games. Some of the rarest titles might surprise you, but they will all cost an arm and a leg to purchase.


What Vita games are included?

1. Only standard releases are included. No collectors editions that have a regular release
2. If a game was only released as a collectors edition package, it will be treated as a standard release
3. No unreleased games. Only games that were purchasable at a retail store location, or as a limited print on a company's website
4. Only English language games from any region

10. History: Legends of War [PAL] (See Current Prices)


When you see History: Legends of War (known as History Legends of War: Patton in NTSC region), you would expect it to be a generic first-person shooter attempting to emulate the early Medal of Honor and Call of Duty games. In reality, this History Channel licenced game is a top-down strategy RPG more akin to Final Fantasy Tactics, or Valkyria Chronicles. It was only given a retail physical release in small quantities in European territories, and has a reputation for being relatively difficult to track down. The small developer who was tasked with the project, Slitherine Software, only releasing a single print run of the game, then continued to work on other strategy RPGs for digital platforms such as Steam and mobile. When History comes up on secondhand platforms it is not incredibly expensive just yet, but it is very rare.


9. Best of Arcade Games [PAL] (See Current Prices)


Best of Arcade Games is a shockingly difficult to find game, especially considering it looks like just another bargain-bin shovelware title. The secret to this title is that it was printed in very small quantities and only released in France and Germany, with some copies making the jump across the sea to England in even smaller quantities. The very small area of release, combined with the overall apathy to the Vita platform in Europe upon its release has made this a hard title to come by. There are two cover variants of this title, the French PEGI print without the gaudy German rating being the desirable one to full-set collectors.


8. Breach and Clear [PAL] (See Current Prices)


Breach & Clear is only 9th place? That’s right people, it’s not as rare as some people will lead you to believe, and that is due in part to its branding as a Limited Run Games. B&C was the first ever Vita title released by LRG, and was given a run of only 1,500 units, so you would expect it to be incredibly difficult to find and expensive based on that prestige. In reality, even though it still makes it in the top 10 most desirable games for collectors of full English sets, it is readily available on secondhand platforms like eBay.

This is due to many collectors who believed they would go for a "Full LRG set" becoming disenfranchised by the aggressive output of the company in recent times. LRG used to release about a game a week, now they release 2 to 3 games, collectors editions of those games, and distribute non-LRG games. Previously, spending $50 every few weeks could get you a full set, now to attain the same completeness will cost you hundreds of dollars a week, some weeks clocking in at $1000+ depending on how many collectors editions and variants they release that day. This has turned B&C into more a malleable commodity that is regularly bought and sold rather than hoarded and kept on a shelf, and often you’ll be able to find 4 to 6 copies at a time on eBay. It will still cost you a large markup from its original $24.99 MSRP, but is at least buyable on most days.


7. Rose in the Twilight [NTSC] (See Current Prices)


Published by Nippon Ichi Software (NIS) and developed by the same people who worked on the Yomawari series and the 2018 sleeper hit "The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince". Rose in the Twilight's ESRB version was only released in a collectors edition box through NIS America's official website in a limited print run. The game came bundled with a squeeze-ball and a key chain, and was only given a single print run, making it very difficult to obtain once it was sold out for its original $39.99 MSRP. The puzzle platformer genre of game play seemingly never goes out of style, so it’s doubtful demand for this title will drop off when considering its quality and rarity.


6. Oddworld: New N' Tasty [NTSC] (See Current Prices)


Oddworld has always been a well known and endearing franchise ever since the days of the Playstation 1, and New N’ Tasty got a small physical print run on the PS4 and Vita in the very early days of Limited Runs existence. At 2,500 units, it has a larger run than many other Vita releases from the company, but the demand for Abe’s games outpaces many smaller runs, making this game the most desirable LRG release out of the 101 Vita tiles they have unleashed.


5. Epic Mickey 2 [NTSC] (See Current Prices)


The rest of this list veers deep into the "Wait, THATS rare?!?" category, and Epic Mickey 2 is shocking on first glance unless you know the background of this release. A game that was mass-produced for almost every other console, the NTSC version of Epic Mickey 2 on the Vita was only released in Mexico as a pack-in title with a single run of Vita consoles. No solid numbers are known, but it is estimated that less than 2,000 units exist in the wild. Very few copies are available at any given time online, and the price has increased exponentially in the last several years, so if you see this for a good price snag it while you can.


4. Handball 16 [PAL] (See Current Prices)


Strangely enough, the rarest PAL title for the Vita is Handball 16. It's a European exclusive sports game that got a few alternate covers in various countries. The UK variant with full-English text and a lack of the German rating on the cover is the most desirable.


3. Ar Nosurge Plus: Ode to an Unborn Star [NTSC] (See Current Prices)


Ar Nosurge Plus was hit by a confluence of factors that created one of the most desirable titles on the Vita. Released exclusively as a Limited Edition boxset only through the NIS America website with a small print run, this updated port of the well-received PS3 RPG is the definitive way to play the game. It was only released on the Vita. The same team that works on the Atelier franchise also developed this title, and it’s seen as a kind of hidden gem by many RPG fanatics. All of these factors together have made this the most valuable and desirable NTSC retail Vita title on the market.


2. MLB: The Show 15 [Asia]


The blame for the absurd rarity of physical copies of MLB The Show 15 can be placed squarely on the shoulders of Sony and how they chose to release this title on the Vita. After not being released in European territories due to a lack of interest in the sport, Sony perplexingly chose to release MLB 15 as a Code-In-A-Box rather than a full cartridge release in America. At almost the exact same time three separate incredibly small physical prints were released in South Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

You would think, if three variants were released, MLB 15 would be easy to find? Wrong. All three variants are equally difficult to obtain. Only 2 to 3 listings pop up every 6 months on eBay, and all for much more than you would expect a simple sports game to cost. For the truly dedicated collector, who wants all three cover variants, it will take you time, patience, contacts in Asia, and a bit of luck. Even hardcore Vita collectors have reported insane difficulty finding all three, some even taking years of searching to obtain them all.


1. A.W.: Phoenix Festa [Asia] (See Current Prices)


The rarest of all Playstation Vita games is A.W. Phoenix Festa. An arena beat-em-up that was a tie-in to the Asterisk War anime that ran from 2015 to 2016. It received a very small print in English only in the South Asian/Malaysian region. It has been elusive to import for at least the last 3 years, and copies are scattered all across the world in the hands of various collectors, making finding one increasingly more difficult as people learn how rare the English variant is.

In 2019, the digital version of the game was delisted on all platforms, meaning that Bandai did not re-sign a licencing contract with the rights holders of the original property. This guarantees there will never be a second print of any kind even if demand is present. Copies appear on platforms like eBay on rare occasions, but often sell almost instantly. Obtaining my personal copy required me to send emails directly to a store in Malaysia and set up a PayPal translation via Facebook Messenger. At that time no copies had been listed on eBay in over 6 months.

Though not known by every Vita collector, Phoenix Festa is the absolute crown jewel of the English full set, and will be the bottleneck for completionists for years to come.




Think we missed a rare PS Vita game? Let us know the missing game in the comments section below.

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