News: Japanese Vidya Releases

Death Stranding Is Actually Coming Out

Death Stranding is actually coming out! For the longest time the game looked like absolutely nothing, yet after the trailer dropped this past week we were at least able to see that it is an actual game, rather than just a series of pretty cutscenes strung together by some slow walking sections. It looks like players will be able to have shootouts with humanoid enemies, as well as multi-tentacled Lovecraftian type boss characters. The game also depicts spectral ghost type enemies, which the player can be seen trying to stealth their way around – it is unclear whether players will have the option of taking these enemies down with their weaponry, or if they are a stealth only proposition. We are also able to see that the game will have some basic bitch RPG mechanics, as weapons are shown to have levels, and so players will presumably be able to level them up by accruing exp.

I miss the days when devs would actually design character models, rather than just using photogrammetry.

In what world is this a viable design for an umbrella?

The game will be set in a futuristic America, where the population has elected a female President, and shortly thereafter experienced total social collapse. It will be up to the player to reconnect with a balkanised and isolated America, which for some reason is being terrorised by terrifying ghosts and monsters.

Tomorrow Is In Your Hands

After the collapse of civilization, Sam Bridges must journey across a ravaged landscape crawling with otherworldly threats to save mankind from the brink of extinction. From legendary game creator Hideo Kojima comes an all-new, genre-defying experience for the PlayStation®4 system.

Starring Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, and Lindsay Wagner.

A Journey to Reconnect a Fractured Society

In the near future, mysterious explosions have rocked the planet, setting off a series of supernatural events known as the Death Stranding. With spectral creatures plaguing the landscape, and the planet on the verge of a mass extinction, it’s up to Sam Bridges to journey across the ravaged wasteland and save mankind from impending annihilation.

This picture seems especially reminiscent of a particular scene in MGS3.

Unrelenting weirdness appears to be the order of the day with Death Stranding.

So, at long last Death Stranding has finally managed to move the needle in terms of one’s interest in the game. The premise seems interesting, and the setting looks pretty dope, although one is unclear whether the game is shooting to be and action game or a horror title, or maybe even a mishmash of the two. That being said, there are still many more unknowns than knowns about the game, and so Sony really needs to show off a healthy chunk of gameplay, as one really does not understand what kind of game that Death Stranding is aiming to be. Death Stranding will release on November 8, and will be Hideo Kojima’s first release since his acrimonious split from Konami.

Secret of Mana Collection Is Probably Coming Westward

The Seiken Densetsu Collection was originally released for the Switch back in June of 2017. Due to the time that has elapsed without comment from Square Enix, many had just assumed that this was not coming West.

Square Enix's E3 presentation promises to be big this year..

Collection of Mana is probably coming West.

Seiken Densetsu Collection (聖剣伝説 COLLECTION, lit. “Holy Sword Legend Collection”) is an anthology release of the first three titles of the Mana series. It was released in Japan on June 1, 2017, including Adventures of Mana, Secret of Mana, and Seiken Densetsu 3 in their original formats.

A Western localisation of the Seiken Densetsu Collection would be the first time that Seiken Densetsu 3 had ever been released in the West, and so many had assumed that the reason that the collection was not coming West was because Square Enix would have to go to the effort of fully translating an old SNES ROM. Happily, it seems that concern over the game’s Western release may have been unwarranted. Back in February Collection of Mana was trademarked in Japan, which gave people some hope for a Western release, given that the series is not associated with the Mana branding in Japan, so this is a trademark for a product that would presumably only be released in the West. Now this week Collection of Mana has been trademarked in Europe. The filing of a Trademark is no ironclad assurance of a game’s release, as sometimes a speculative trademark may be filed in order to prepare the ground in the event that a company decides to go ahead with a release – but as these things go this is a pretty strong indication that the Collection of Mana will in fact be released in the West, and all the more so because the trademark has been filed after a long period of inaction by the publisher, indicating that they have spent an extended period of time deliberating the merits of releasing the collection in the West, before deciding to pull the trigger on the project.

There is every reason to be excited about the potential release of the Collection of Mana. For one, it will be the first time that Seiken Densetsu 3 has been given an official English translation. The SNES ROM of Seiken Densetsu 3 has been patched with quite a serviceable English translation for many years now, but Square Enix translations are often of a very high quality these days, meaning that this could well be the best way to play the game for English speakers. An even better reason to get excited is because this game was handled by M2, who are widely regarded as the best developers around when it comes to emulating retro games on modern hardware. M2 have been breathing new life into Sega games since Sega Ages on PS2, they then recreated these games in 3D on the 3DS as 3D Classics, before recently resurrecting the Sega Ages brand on the Nintendo Switch. They also recently handled the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, so the games should look and sound as close to how they were intended as is possible on modern hardware. The games included in the Collection of Mana will be: Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden (translated as Final Fantasy Adventure in America, and as Mystic Quest in Europe), Seiken Densetsu 2 (translated as Secret of Mana in the West), and Seiken Densetsu 3 (never released in the West). The Switch really is a great console for this particular collection, given that Secret of Mana became hugely popular in the West as a co-op multiplayer game, and the Switch supports two players by default. It will be interesting to see whether this information pans out.

Dragon Quest XII Appears to be in Preproduction

Going back a couple of weeks Famitsu broke the story that Square Enix were about to reveal a new Dragon Quest quest in this year’s 28th issue of Shonen Jump, which comes out on the 10th of June. Notably, this is on the eve of E3 2019, which begins on the 11th of June.

The release of Dragon Quest XII is still years away though.

E3 might see a Dragon Quest windfall.

The next Weekly Shonen Jump issue has Square Enix teasing news regarding the Dragon Quest series, leaks revealed. Square Enix teased that this year’s 28th issue of Weekly Shonen Jump, releasing on June 10, will have an announcement regarding the Dragon Quest series.

June 10 coincides with the Square Enix E3 conference, so it’s highly likely a new Dragon Quest game will be announced then.

Most of the Dragon Quest spin-off releases are not so relevant to the West as to require their announcement to be timed to coincide with a Western trade show. It is pretty much just the mainline series which would qualify for such treatment, though perhaps a title in the Dragon Quest Warriors or Dragon Quest Builders subseries might also make the cut. There are many Dragon Quest games that are not this important though. For instance Square Enix could have delayed the announcement of Dragon Quest Walk by one week, which would have allowed them to make the announcement during their E3 presentation, but instead they just decided to announce it this week since it is not all that relevant to a Western audience. So, basically it is very likely that the June 10th Dragon Quest announcement will either be for a mainline title, or for one of the very limited number of Dragon Quest spin-offs which are relevant in the West.

This week during an event held to mark the announcement of Dragon Quest Walk, Dragon Quest executive producer, Yuu Miyake, teased that both Yuji Horii and himself were busy making preparations for Dragon Quest XII. He said that it was still too early to announce the game, but that they wanted to announce it, and asked fans to wait just a little while longer. So, will the June 10th announcement be Dragon Quest XII? Well, that is not yet known. What is known however, is that Dragon Quest XII is currently in a state of pre-production, and so an E3 announcement seems like a pretty good bet.

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