You know that meme with the girl crying that says “please stop saying dumbass things, you’re not even making sense”? But I assure you that is not the case here since Baten Kaitos Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean and Baten Kaitos Origins, AKA Baten Kaitos 2, are real games that existed in the GameCube era – and they are returning this year as HD remasters for the Nintendo Switch!
We saw the announcement for these re-releases, to the delight of all hardcore diehard Baten Kaitos fans (there are five of us), at the February 8 Nintendo Direct – yet many rightly ask, what exactly is Baten Kaitos? Lucky for you, this elder gamer remembers these games, so let’s learn a thing or two about them.
Related: Is Xenoblade Chronicles 3 a Sequel? – Answered
What is Baten Kaitos and When is it Coming Out for Switch?
So, the Baten Kaitos series consists of two JRPG games exclusively released for the GameCube back in the early 2000s. They were made by Monolith Soft, which you might know today for their Xenoblade Chronicles games, and tri-Crescendo, who you most likely don’t remember for anything but they co-developed many JRPGs for Bandai Namco. Their first game, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, was originally released in Japan in 2003, with localized versions coming to the west a little bit later: US release was in 2004, and the EU got it in 2005. Rough times.
Although you would think that during those years, there were many other great JRPGs, and that must be the reason why Baten Kaitos remained in the shadows. Well, you’d be only half right – because even though there were some amazing JRPGs back then, they weren’t on the GameCube, like – at all. So Nintendo and the newly formed Monolith Soft decided to change that.
The first Baten Kaitos brought an interesting approach to JRPG combat with a combination of turn-based and action approaches, all with magic cards that served both as plot devices and as part of the combat system. These cards were also collectibles, and you could play something very similar to poker with them! A couple of memorable characters, an interesting story, and a world to explore… and, of course, a BANGER soundtrack composed by Motoi Sakuraba.
Despite the great overall quality and good reviews, the Baten Kaitos sold very poorly, even in its native Japan, and when I say sold poorly, I mean it failed to reach the planned 500,000 copies sold. Even if the first game was a flop in that aspect, that didn’t stop authors from publishing a prequel in 2006 – Baten Kaitos 2. Sometime later the same year, it came out in North America as well but with a different name – Baten Kaitos Origins, and if you were in Europe… well, TOUGH LUCK, the second game never came out there.
The sequel kept the card collecting core-system from the original, and only expanded the lore of the Baten Kaitos universe with a new cast of characters that were younger versions of the heroes from the first game. Origins also received solid reviews, but sales were even worse this time, and that probably sealed the series’ fate once and for all and threw these games into deep oblivion.
The Return of Baten Kaitos?
Almost 20 years later, by some miracle, someone at Nintendo or Monolith remembered these games and decided it would be a good idea to bring them back in an HD Remastered edition for the Nintendo Switch. As it was confirmed by a trailer and an announcement at February’s Nintendo Direct stream – Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster is as real as it gets, and it’s coming to Switch in 2023. Until the date of release becomes known, check out the game’s official website for more information.
Baten Kaitos having a return after all these years gives us HOPE that some other seemingly forever-forgotten franchises and JRPG titles may also make a sudden comeback – as if we don’t have enough new JRPG games these days, but by all means, keep them coming!
For more JRPG games here on Prima Games, check out How is Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Performance on Nintendo Switch, Live A Live Remake – All Differences from the Original, and How Many Chapters are in One Piece Odyssey?