Samurai & Dragons, the free-to-play Vita game that we are likely never ever ever going to get in America, is going to get quite a bit of support in the coming months, and it's all being done with very, very familiar faces. Being that it was announced in the end of January and has released in Japan without so much of a whisper of localization and, considering Sega's status of being mostly dead on that front, it's safe to assume that I will, in fact, never get to play this game, despite being excited back then at the prospect of it. And really, much like the rest of Sega's practices, this just makes it sting all the more since it is a genuinely awesome move. One that, because I don't, nor won't, have the game, I have no idea of its implementation, so bear with me on it while I try to muddle my way through it.
Starting today, through September, the pack of cards initiative begins with players who simply log in to the game. They'll gain a pack of Tokyo Jungle cards which include the Pomeranian, the dog that's become the unofficial mascot for the game because of how often it was used in trailers and the like. Players can also get a pack of cards based on Toro if they own a 3G Vita and update their plan with the chosen 3G supplier over there. Toro, of course, being Japan's unofficial Sony Mascot character, who you might recognize better as an announced character for the up-coming Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. As far as 'free' cards goes, that seems to be the whole of it, but that's not even close to the whole of the cards that will be offered. What all these sets will do is sort of up in the air, of course, as is just what the cards will be, really. Of course, knowing me, I see "cards" and stop caring about anything that makes sense, and just start impulsively throwing money at things.
I should interrupt for a moment here and explain myself a little better. I have, in fact, absolutely no idea what cards do in Samurai & Dragons. Were I pushed to guess, I assume that the cards are the things that have all the actions on them that you can use in the city-building mode of the game. So, buildings to make, improvements to enact, things of that sort, I assume that's all relegated to cards and, perhaps there's just a random element to it in the form of drawing from a deck, though I'm not sure of that at all. One could then assume that these cards, specifically made with these characters in mind, are probably going to be universally more beneficial than those in the game already since they are 'premium' items. Or, if nothing else, they certainly (probably) aren't going to be negative in nature, so there's that. Could I be wrong in this? Absolutely. Should I have....like checked into it some before posting about it? Most times, I would say yes, but this is a game that A) we're never getting, and B) a game that, if we were to get, -somehow-, I would want to be a little fresh on.
With that out of the way, I can begin talking about the card support that's been announced to start November 29th. For starters, a 'deluxe pack' will be released with cards from such series...es....as Sonic, of course, Bayonetta, Yakuza, and Virtua Fighter. (Suggested characters in the set are Sonic, Bayonetta, Kazuma and Akira Yuki) That pack will also contain some in-game money, presumably so you can buy other cards that are less premium or hold out for the sets from the list of other announced supporting series...es, listed below:
- Anarchy Reigns
- Resonance of Fate
- Sakura Taisen
- Jet Set Radio
- Super Monkey Ball
- Space Channel 5
- Panzer Dragoon
- Virtua Fighter
- Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity
That is....well, that is pretty much everything, as you might notice. Pretty much the only thing not listed that's immediately thought of is Valkyria Chronicles, which is strange since Samurai & Dragons is likely going to stay in Japan forever like everything else Valkyria Chronicles. Actually, double-weird since Valkyria Duel is out over there which is, surprise, a card-based game as well and you'd think there could be some sort of cross-promotion there. Maybe there will be, but it's not announced just yet, I suppose. Also surprising to see not listed is Shinobi, I suppose, considering Nightshade is the direct sequel of it or something of that sort, but maybe that's sort of an implied thing. I know a card dedicated to Hotsuma's scarf would be the buff to end all buffs because that scarf was boss as hell. Still, support for Resonance of Fate, Jet Set Radio and Vanquish all seem like very very good signs for the franchises there, seeing as they're likely not the hottest IPs Sega has. Even if they should be hotter than they are because Sega is bad at doing good things.
Of course, it doesn't end there because why would it? That would be insanity if it left there. Also mentioned in the Siliconera article that I linked to is the fact that there are characters designed by the Hatsune Miku illustrator that are Sega Consoles brought to some sort of life. It specifically mentions 'characters', so I assume these aren't merely going to be cards, but perhaps playable characters? Or just outfits that will make you look like them, I'm not quite sure. There is basically a character for every Sega console released, including the friggin' Game Gear, so that's pretty cool on its own merits. It seems a little bit much -just- for cards, which is why I'm suggesting it's more, but I don't really know. When they all release in Japan and never in North America, I guess we'll see, but I can't guarantee I'll remember it by then. What with the whole not releasing over here thing and all.
So, did I really just spend all that time detailing a big, expansive update schedule for a game that will almost positively never see the light of day in North America? Yes. Yes I did. Because it's Sega, it's Vita, and it's overall just something that I think is my kind of game, even if it's not. I'm trying to keep myself under-exposed to the game because I hold out hope that I'll be able to play its likely only-decent offerings. The Free-to-Play structure is profitable as hell in the right conditions, and I'm sure Sega knows this, so there is a very, very faint hope that they'll release this in more territories to try and get a cashflow from them, being that there are people out there who will buy luxury things for the game when offered. Some people who might be me if it comes to things like Yakuza-related things and the like. Some people who honestly, truly wish for this game to hit the West now just so they can buy Yakuza cards even if they are just a thing for a single game and not an actual TCG. Please, Sega?