Four New Games Coming Stateside Courtesy of NIS America
NIS America, the US branch of Japanese game developer Nippon Ichi Software, has promised to bring four new games to American shores over the next year;“Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited,” “Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair,” “Battle Princess of Arcadias” and “Fairy Fencer F.”
The alliterative “Fairy Fencer F,” developed by Compile Heart, is a turn based Japanese role playing game (RPG) featuring anime-style graphics. It follows the story of Fang, a young man who obtains a magical weapon known as a “fury” at the start of the game. Within each fury dwells the spirit of a fairy, who gives the weapon its power.
“Fairy Fencer F” is also notable for its pedigree of staff. Famed artist Yoshitaka Amano, who has worked on the popular “Final Fantasy” series, and collaborated with English author Neil Gaiman on “The Sandman: The Dream Hunters,” provided the concept art for the game.
Fellow “Final Fantasy” alum, Nobou Uematsu, composed the game’s soundtrack. The game’s characters were designed by artist Tsunako, who also worked on Compile Heart’s “Hyperdimension Neptunia.”
With such a distinguished creative team behind it, it’s no wonder NIS America is eager to publish the game in the United States. Currently, the company is aiming for a fall release date, and hopes to push the game out with both a Japanese and an English audio track.
“Battle Princess of Arcadias” is a 2D side-scrolling game in which players take on the role of Princess Plume as she travels her realm, battling countless monsters along the way. The game will be released on the PlayStation Network store with the original Japanese audio and English subtitles.
Fans of Nippon Ichi’s “Disgaea” series will feel familiar with “Battle Princess’s” aesthetics. Like “Disgaea,” the game uses animated sprites rather than the 3D graphics common amongst games today.
But NIS America is not only bringing PlayStation 3 games to the states; the upcoming releases of “Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisted” and “Danganronpa 2” will be for the PlayStation Vita.
Referring to “Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisted” as a “new game” is something of a misnomer. It’s an updated portable rerelease of the PlayStation 3 game “Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten.”
While the original “Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten” was warmly received, averaging a score of 80 out of 100 on Metacritic, “Disgaea: A Promise Revisited” seeks to improve on the game by introducing new story events and music and including all of the original game’s downloadable content.
This is the newest in a long line of portable rereleases for Nippon Ichi’s tongue in cheek strategy RPG series, and NIS America hopes to release the English version of the game this summer.
Like “Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisted,” “Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair” will also be released on the PS Vita. The original “Danganronpa” was released in Japan in 2010 for the PSP, but it wasn’t until the Vita remake was released that the game found its way to American shores. Similarly, the upcoming Vita version of “Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair” will be a Vita remake of the original PSP game.
The “Danganronpa” games are visual novels in the style of murder mysteries, involving a lot of talking to various characters. The Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu, gave “Danganronpa 2” a score of 37 out of 40, and the magazine’s readers voted the game the best of 2012. While the series has not reached mainstream popularity in the west, it does possess a small and very devoted fan base.
While Japanese games have become less popular in the west, they still enjoy a devoted niche following. NIS America hopes to carve out a major place for itself in these four new releases coming this year among this gaming subculture.
By Seann Barbour