Strategy RPG series' North American multiplatform debut backed by Last Rebellion for PS3, Disgaea 2 for PSP, Phantom Brave for Wii, Mana-Khemia 2 for PS2.
Seven years after Sega first announced that its Sakura Taisen/Sakura Wars series would be released in North America, the publisher's promise is going to be fulfilled...thanks to an entirely different publisher. Nippon Ichi Software America has unveiled a robust 2009 lineup of localized Japanese games, spearheaded by Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love for the PlayStation 2 and Wii.
Sakura Wars has been known for offering turn-based strategy about women teaming up to fight evil in giant robots, and the latest installment should fall in line with that tradition. NIS promises that the game will have a storyline that adapts to player behavior and interactions with other characters to offer branching plot lines and six different endings.
Whichever story a player winds up witnessing, it will unfold across eight chapters comprising an estimated 32-40 hours of gameplay. Sakura Wars is being developed by Idea Factory, the studio behind the Spectral Force and Generations of Chaos series, and is set for release this fall.
That's not the only import coming out of NIS America. The company also confirmed that it is readying Last Rebellion for the PlayStation 3. Jointly developed by Nippon Ichi Software and Hitmaker (Crazy Taxi 3, Virtual-On Marz), Last Rebellion will be a role-playing game with a tactical turn-based combat system that lets players target specific body parts. Players will switch between two main characters, melee fighter Nine and magic user Aisha, as they make their way through "a story of revenge featuring a dark antihero." Last Rebellion is set for a fall launch.
On the handheld front, hardcore strategy fans may be pleased to know that Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days will be arriving on the PSP this fall as well. As with the PSP release of Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, Dark Hero Days will add new story chapters, characters, and battle elements borrowed from the PS3 sequel, Disgaea 3.
Rounding out NIS America's slate of current-generation console offerings is Phantom Brave: We Meet Again for the Wii. A revamped version of the original PlayStation 2 strategy game, We Meet Again will feature a new scenario, new characters, and more when it launches in June.
For gamers who favor the PlayStation 2, Nippon Ichi also has Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy set to launch this fall. The turn-based RPG embraces its sequel nature as a theme, offering two protagonists, each with two different endings. Players will have an assortment of attacking and support characters to call upon in battle, as well as a crafting system that lets them scrounge the world for ingredients to create more than 100 specialized items.
@Hellriser: Don't get me wrong. I am VERY glad that we are getting A Sakura Taisen game at long last here in the US but I would love to see the others over here. And with games like Ar Tonelico 1 and 2, Mana Khemia, and Luminous Arc 1 and 2 becoming more popular over here, I have the feeling that Sakura Taisen would FINALLY be accepted very well over here.
@CapedCod: I know, I'm so sick of all these stupidly short RPGs, what happened to the playstationX/2/gamecube rpgs lasting hundreds of hours when the average Wii RPG is about 10 hours and the average 360 RPG is about 30, I thought these disks were meant to hold more? I can only think of five 360 rpgs over 30 hours and Blue Dragon was rubbish and Lost Odyssey wasn't amazing.
wow. too little too late. i always wanted sony to bring more of the japanese titles stateside but i think they missed the boat at this point.
No disgaea 2 for ds? Shennanigans, i love disgaea ds, the psp version is prettier ill give you that, but the disgaea ds is no slouch and its a fantastic game if you like strategy rpgs, so much to level up. I declare shennanigans.
@regix416_basic: Picking the latest Sakura Taisen to port is actually pretty logical. While Sakura Taisen is a great series and enjoyed HUGE success in Asia, with manga, anime spin-off, OST, Character tracks, and even it's own live musical show, and if you look at its release history, The series have received so many ports, updates, and remakes, that puts even the FF series to shame. While that being said, it is still a pretty niche and unknown series (in U.S.), as the series is more of Dating-Sim with SRPG element, rather than vice-versa. So, companies don't know how the game will fair in U.S. market. If they start with the first, than they pretty much have to commit to the next three since the first 4 games forms the complete triology. But by starting with Sakura Taisen 5, you have a new story, and poeple can get a feel on what the series is about, and if the game did reasonablly well, then you can start thinking about porting the original triolgy and might even open door for other dating-sim, visual-novel games. (Tokimeki Memorial, Sentimental Graffiti, or Memories Off series?) Anyway, I'm psyched about this news, as Sakura Taisen 5 is the only one I have not played yet.
I have to admit Nipp's games are cheesy as hell, but there extremely fun and addicting. I'll stick with them, so long as they keep 'em in hand drawn 2D.
@hatieshorrer You are forgetting those of us who don't care where the game is created and just buy rpgs because we love them. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The key word for me now with NISA releases is "quality" assurance. Months after Ar Tonelico 2's release and i'm still irked how they handled a specific bug near the end of the game. The localization could have been done better too. That being said, i'll probably still end up buying most if not all of these because of the RPG elements and the fact that only a handful of companies are targeting RPG fans.
Will NIS release the other Sakura Taisen games over here? I sure hope so. Starting us up with the last one really doesn't seem right, but I'll take what I can get... for the moment. But, please NIS America... PLEASE bring the rest over soon.
I like how Nippon Ichi does a good job filling out the Strat/RPG market, but I have trouble getting into their games. The only game I enjoyed enough to want to keep playing it after a few days was Disgaea. Everything else...just can't seem to care. If I can't rent a Nippon Ichi game, and I usually can't because they're so low profile (except maybe Disgaea now that it's considered a bestseller), I just won't buy one.
Damn, just as i was thinking i'd be able to play all NIS games by the end of the year, 4 more titles... Guess i'll have to get a PS2.
I'm going to buy Phantom Brave for Wii and play it for epic amounts of hours I recommend you do the same. :D
Yes! Finally, Disgaea 2 PSP and Mana Khemia 2 are finnaly coming out! Along with Cross Edge, which is coming out in a few days, NISA seemsto have a great line up for this yeah!:D
@chiralfox I believe the idea is that they can cater to JRPG fans and none JRPG fans by choosing a JRPG that is heavy on western influence.
"NIS promises that the game will have a storyline that ADAPTS TO PLAYER BEHAVIOR and interactions with other characters to offer BRANCHING PLOT LINES and six different endings. " AHA-HA-HA. No. I love it when developers promise impossible stuff for their games, don't you?
Yes, Sakura Taisen 5 is about the New York Kagekidan. But honestly, with both 1 and 3 remade for the PS2, why did they have to choose 5? It's arguably the weakest game in the entire series. Sigh.
Not to say the game doesn't sound cool because it does, but are they sure Sakura Wars is supposed to take place in New York? By the screens I'd say it looks more like somewhere in the southwest. Either way, it looks pretty sweet and I'll more than likely get it when it comes out.
A lot of what Nis has coming down the line sounds really cool.It is great to see a company like Nis (Atlus also) cross platforming their titles.The Wii is not forgotten about.Neither is the PS2.The Disgaea game for the PSP sounds great.The last PSP title was.Also Mana Khenia was crossported to the PSP.(no gift set though).Way to go NIS!!!
God bless companies like NIS, ATLUS and (*sob*) the now defunct WORKING DESIGNS for bringing those quirky yet oh so entertaining JRPG titles to our shores :)