After many teases and inklings, we finally have confirmation that Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus will finally make it’s way westward, once again by XSEED. This entry of the game is a sequel to Senran Kagura Burst, and this one is a Vita game. First let’s talk how this will be sold. Not only will it be digital, there will also be a limited print run of Shinovi Versus. This edition will come with a soundtrack CD and a Shinobi Syllabus, a book containing illustrations, profiles, and strategies. I’m guessing it’ll be similar to the book that came with Shin Megami Tensei IV. XSEED hasn’t announced yet how one will be able to get a hold of these copies, though fans believe it could be through online shopfronts like Amazon. Pre-order methods have not been posted yet as of this writing.
Before Dragon’s Crown and its online beat ’em up mayhem, there was Grand Knights History. GKH was a PSP RPG by Vanillaware that was rather online heavy with players choosing a kingdom to align with and going online to face other players and their kingdoms. Two years after release, publisher Marvelous Entertainment has announced that the game’s servers in Japan will be shutting down, effective October 31, 2013. The game was scheduled to be localized by XSEED (with Europe’s Rising Star Games using their translation of the game for European release). However, when Vanillaware’s time, resources, and funds were running low due to Dragon’s Crown development and UTV Ignition shenanigans, XSEED had no choice but to drop the localization. This disappointed Vanillaware fans, hurting even more so knowing that the text translation was complete and it was up to Vanillware to insert and program the English version (which is then followed up by more QA).
Out of morbid curiosity, I asked XSEED’s Hatsuu if there’s any chance of GKH being picked up again and getting released now. I pretty much expected a “no”, and that’s exactly what I got. So sorry Vanillware fans, this is one game we won’t be playing.
[UPDATE]For the sake of consistency, I’ll just update this article instead of making a new one. Hit the jump to see the update.
After a few hints and inklings since the initial game’s Japanese release, in comes word that XSEED might be localizing a Senran Kagura game. First was the registration of HanzoNationalAcademy.com domain, referencing the setting of the Senran Kagura games. The site is registered to XSEED JKS inc. Going there (at the time of this writing) only shows blank slate with text that reads “Your website is ready. This site has been successfully created and is ready for content to be added. Replace this default page with your own index page.”
Next up was an image of a kinda yellow, kinda flesh toned square tweeted by the XSEED’s Twitter account. This was followed by Kenichiro Takaki, the Senran Kagura producer, tweeting this, and then this.
Now THIS is something I was afraid of. Once the vocal minority got super vocal after a stonking pair of humdingers graced the internet in early April, other companies would become afraid to localize anything Japan makes due to content (instead of sales like before).
For those who don’t know, Senran Kagura is a brawler with two entries on the 3DS (Senran Kagura and Senran Kagura: Burst) and one on the Vita (Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus). The 3DS and Vita games play a little differently on each platform. The 3DS games play like a regular brawler while Shinovi Versus on the Vita plays more like a mix of Dissidia meets Dynasty Warriors. One of the major defining features of this game is the copious amounts of… action on screen. I guess you call it a brawler with Japanese fighting game sensibilities (huge combos, juggles, and crazy ass attacks).
In an interview with Siliconera, Executive VP of XSEED, Ken Berry, said that they were not going to consider localizing PSP vampire pantsing game Akiba’s Trip. However when questioned about Senran Kagura on the 3DS, he stated that they’ll “have to see. It’s not a flat out no…” Japan has had the bouncy 3D-beat-’em-up for a year now with, and they’ll be getting the sequel, Senran Kagura: Crimson Girls, this year. The cart will also come with the first game as well. However Berry chimed in “…but it’s a title that would be hard to bring over as a packaged title.” Not sure if he meant the first game or the second game since the second one is already a package. He did mention that the company does get requests from fans to localize the game. I’m guessing those voices might be a little louder since the 3DS is region locked.
As we learned when they cancelled localization of Grand Knights History, XSEED does not any programmers in the team. So they depend on the original developer to input their translations (rather than do it all in-house). So feasibility of script translation and input must be considered. Since this is a beat-’em-up, I’m assuming the script isn’t too extensive. Even though I’ve yet to get a 3DS, I’d like to see this game come out. How ’bout you?
Coming courtesy of a Famitsu preview, we have some screenshots of Grand Knights History. Looks like Vanillaware’s artstyle gonna feel right at home with the PSP. Screenshots after the jump