Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Couple Bits of Japanese Handheld News

Today just seems like one of those news days, since I do have two pretty-big (well, decently big, depending on your perspective) game announcements to throw out here.  I like these days, even when they're just about games I'm interested in, and don't have proper experience with, which is both of these games this time unfortunately.  The first, which is directly related to the above screen of 999:  9Hours, 9 Doors, 9 Persons, is that the sequel for the game, or at least spiritual/semi sequel to it, is getting a release outside of Japan, specifically to North America.  Both the 3DS and Vita versions (Retail and digital for the latter) are heading this way sometime this fall, but beyond that the details on the specific date are a little sketchy.

The details that -aren't- sketchy, however, is that the game will offer both the English and Japanese audio tracks for those who really just hate dubbing, or want to give it a listen in glorious Nippon stereo.  Even if you don't care for audio beyond the region it's released in, I think we can all agree that just having the -option- should be vital.  Especially when it directly impacts the capacity in which it can be released which I am still totally not bitter about at all or anything, nope.  Beyond that, I don't know what all there is about the game, as I never played the first, and haven't really kept up on the game since the Japanese name, "Extreme Escape Adventure:  Good People Die" just never caught me because I thought it was something completely different, regardless of the fact that it's on the Vita, which as you know will draw my attention right quick.  The new name, Zero Escape:  Virtue's Last Reward, lacks that punch of "Good People Die", but is also a little better sounding regardless.

I'm definitely going to be interested in this now, since I've been clarified as to just what it is.  I've always wanted to give 999 a shot, but, wouldn't you know it, a niche game for the DS is impossible to find in 'the wild' as it were.  I'll still keep my eye out for it, but short of a re-print, I'm not too hopeful on my chances.  I believe I spent all of that luck when I found The World Ends With You (which I have yet to see what the big deal about it is) and Ghost Trick:  Phantom Detective which I thought was fantastic as you might remember.  My only exposure was playing the browser demo that was available way back when and I thought it was pretty great.  With any luck, I'll be able to find it before I can get my hands on Zero Escape, but again, I'm not putting my chances up too high.

Working off the "only mostly related" theme I've got going with screenshots, the above shot of Persona 2:  Innocent Sin should give you an idea as to what the other bit of news is.  If you're not quite there, however, I'll just come out and say it:  Persona 2: Eternal Punishment is getting a PSP-release, rounding off the Persona collection by being the final one to get a PSP version.  (Minus 4 which is getting a Vita version.  Same thing.)  The japanese text in the picture is appropriate as well, since there's no specific North American release mentioned but, c'mon.  It's Atlus.  We know these guys, we trust these guys.  They'll get us the game.  Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they make a special edition out of it that includes a digital copy of the game if you buy it for UMD just to make sure everyone with a Vita will look into it as well.  I certainly will.

Once again, my only real exposure to the Persona series here is Minimal and that's probably for the best, considering the wealth of options that are theoretically available at this point.  With Persona 1, both 2s and 3 on PSP (and thus, will be on the Vita eventually if not already, via digital BC) and 4 on the Vita itself, it's possible that one could have -all of the Personas- at once.  Digital versions of all of them, or Digital of the first four with 4:  The Golden as a card in your Vita, which is likely the route I will go.  I can only hope Atlus does some sort of package deal so I can pick them all up in one fell swoop and just -have them- for whenever I feel like playing an RPG.  Which is often, of course, and certainly not an issue on the PSP.  Looking through the PSP catalog on my Vita has proven dangerous, as I've already just started thinking about grabbing PSN cards at random to just throw at games that I don't have time to play.

It's great to see that these Japanese-centric games and studios are giving us all a chance, regardless of their permanent 'niche' seat.  For all the praise 999 has received, the sequel will no doubt be fantastic as well, and I look forward to grabbing it before it becomes too rare to find.  (Even though I could just download it just as easily, since it'll be on the digital store.)  And with Persona 2:  Eternal Punishment being a Persona game, well, there's likely good times to be had there as well.  It's all a matter of just getting them and getting the time, as always, which seems to be a running theme of this year moreso than previous.  And I love it and hate it simultaneously for times just like this.  Times that make me wonder why the hell some of this stuff couldn't come out last year.  Because goddamn this year.

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