Muramasa: The Demon Blade is once again bound for the Americas. Aksys Games has announced plans to bring the acclaimed action role-player to the PlayStation Vita later this year.
The original title was one of the most spectacular-looking games to come to the Wii, featuring Vanillaware’s gorgeous hand-drawn visual style, and it should look even better on the Vita’s OLED display. Aside from the visual update, Muramasa Rebirth, as it’s called, offers updated controls and four additional DLC campaigns featuring new characters.
No word on an official release date just yet, but if you’e inclined to believe Amazon, you can pencil it in for a June 25, 2013 launch.
Long since abandoned by their makers, the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo Wii endure thanks to a select number of publishers that have kept the home fires burning. Among them is XSEED, the team behind localizing titles like The Last Story, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, and the forthcoming Pandora’s Tower. Digital Trends recently sat down with XSEED’s vice president, Ken Berry, who spoke to the company’s attitude toward bringing games to consoles in their twlight hours.
“The PSP is unique in that it was so wildly successful in Japan,” Berry responded when asked why he stands by the portable “This creates an abundance of great PSP games in Japan that don’t get localized for overseas, so if we find compelling content and can make the numbers work out somehow, even with somewhat low sales expectations, we’re willing to take the risk.”
The Wii is a different story, however, and those looking for XSEED to publish every strange Japanese game we’ve missed out on over the years are likely to be disappointed. “Pandora’s Tower will probably be our final Wii title,” Berry stated, explaining that it and The Last Story were “more of a special one (or two) time deal rather than any kind of trend.” Expected, but rather unfortunate news nonetheless. XSEED is just about the only company keeping the little machine alive, so this very well may be the last game to come to the system.
If you read the full interview, Berry’s comments seems to suggest that digital distribution is very important to XSEED’s future. That should come to no surprise to fans of the company, as many of the publisher’s recent projects have eschewed physical releases, instead releasing exclusively via PlayStation Network and the Nintendo eShop as download-only games.
While both systems will eventually fade into our memories, it’s nice to know that XSEED will keep fighting the good fight. As long as they’re around, I’m sure there will be plenty of niche Japanese titles coming to Western shores.
Following some rumors floating around yesterday, Disney has just confirmed the closure of Austin-based Junction Point Studios:
“It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios. These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We’re extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2.”
The house that built Epic Mickey is no more, adding to the ever growing sad list of studio closures over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, this can’t be seen as too much of a shock in this case given how poor Epic Mickey 2 sales were, with the game only moving 270,000 copies before the end of 2012.
We’ll have more for you as the story develops.
The save files from the games on your Wii’s Virtual Console will not be transferable to your Wii U’s Virtual Console, Nintendo revealed to Kotaku.
Recently, we learned of two big firmware updates coming to the Wii U this year, one of which will be the launch of the Virtual Console on the system. This news was accompanied by the fact that Nintendo will not let users re-download Virtual Console titles previously purchased on the Wii onto the Wii U for free. Instead, they’ll have to be re-bought for a small fee: $1 for NES titles, and $1.50 for SNES titles. However, opting for this scenario will allow for GamePad support.
Should you rather transfer your saves and give up GamePad support, you can still transfer your Wii data over to the Wii U and access your games and their saves through the Wii Menu.
Wii U Virtual Console Games Won’t Work With Older Save Files [Kotaku]
For those of us so embedded in gaming and the surrounding culture, it can be difficult to imagine what a governmental ban on game consoles would look like in practice. Gamers living in China don’t have to imagine, however — it’s a reality, and has been for more than a decade. This could change, if claims made by an unnamed source from the Ministry of Culture are any indication.
“We are reviewing the policy and have conducted some surveys and held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market,” the source told China Daily. “However, since the ban was issued by seven ministries more than a decade ago, we will need approval from all parties to lift it.”
Further keeping expectations in check, Reuters got a comment from an official at the ministry’s cultural market department who self-identified as “Bai”: “The ministry is not considering lifting the ban,” explained the source. Time will tell how this shakes out, but for now, I feel like the existence of these reports is a promising sign and serves as a reminder that there’s progress to be made.
Ban on games consoles may be lifted, suggests Culture Ministry source [China Daily]
China considering end to 13-year ban on video game consoles: report [Reuters]
Boston’s hometown heroes Aerosmith have a six-pack of tracks hitting Rock Band this coming Tuesday, January 29th. This is the first time the hard-rocking, blues-influenced band has graced the RB platform, and the first time they’ve been in a game since Revolution X (or, rather the second time, but we’d like to forget the cash-grab attempt of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith).
The track includes greatest hits such as “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion” from the ’75 album Toys in the Attic, “Back in the Saddle” from Rocks, and a live version of their hit, “Dream On.” Rounding out the pack will be two tracks from the bands newest studio album, Music From Another Dimension!, “Legendary Child,” and “Lover Alot.”
As always, the tracks can be purchased separately at $1.99 a track on PSN and $2 on Wii (or 160 Microsoft points on XBL), or together as part of the “Greatest Dimension Pack” for $9.99, with “Sweet Emotion” and “Dream On (live)” getting Guitar and Bass pro-upgrades for a dollar more.
While I’m glad the track pack is coming out, I would have liked to have seen a wider span of tracks from each era of the band’s career, not just the two albums from the 70s. What say you, music fans?
A Six-Pack of Aerosmith Hits Come to Rock Band [RockBand.com]
In case you haven’t heard, Pandora’s Tower is coming to North America and we’re excited around these parts. The fact that the long-awaited role-playing game is getting localized is cause enough for celebration, but wouldn’t it be killer if the game received a special edition similar to the one XSEED put out for The Last Story?
The correct answer is yes. Yes, it would. Sadly, though, that just isn’t in the cards. The publisher announced via Twitter that this will be a more “streamlined” release, but reversible cover and manual art might happen. And there’s even a possibility, however remote, that honey badgers will come stapled to each and every case. Make it happen, XSEED.
Pandora’s Tower comes to Wii on March 26th, 2013 for $39.99.
Although you might have seen it already, here’s a great picture of 2013′s biggest releases, divided by their console/PC debuts, from internet user KingNL. This picture just encompasses releases on consoles and PC — no portables involved.
Right now, 2013 is looking like a great year for multiplatform convergence, and PC games in general. Just look at the staggering amount of PC games already announced for this year.
Of course, we’ll most likely see many more exclusives on the 360, PS3, and Nintendo side of things this E3, but as it stands, it’s a great time to be a PC gamer, and PC gaming in general is far from “dead.”
Get your wallets ready!
Today is an exciting day for the Wii U — it’s actually getting something new! Balloon Fight has hit the eShop for 30 cents, and it has full GamePad support and fully customizable controls.
Ok, so a 30 year old game re-release it isn’t actually new, and the Wii U eShop still has no unique non-multiplatform releases since week one, but I’m just glad Nintendo broke the silence on the Wii U Virtual Console.
As for everything else, the Wii U eShop is getting The Cave, and a full Funky Barn download. The 3DS is getting Cocoto Alien Brick Breaker, a Brain Age: Concentration Training demo, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars, and Super C.
I’ll always remember Super C as the first game my wife and I played together, when we met many years ago.
If you missed last week’s installment, here it is.
As for what I’m getting, I already have The Cave on PC, but I’ve already bought Balloon Fight (it works great!), and I’ll be picking up Super C later for nostalgic purposes.
This has been a long time in the coming. The marvelous localization masters at XSEED have seen fit to bring Pandora’s Tower to North America this Spring. While that’s awfully vague, a GameStop listing has a more specific date in mind. According to the retail behemoth, this hotly anticipated action role-player will be available March 26th, 2013 for $39.99. Oh and they’re taking pre-orders, because of course they are.
That’s far from an official confirmation, mind you. Retailer listings aren’t always correct and dates certainly are subject to change. That said, these types of things generally have a ring of truth to them.
GameStop – Pandora’s Tower preorder page open [GoNintendo]