News by Britta S.
Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s regular catch-up news feature. With each issue we will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!
We’d like to extend special thanks to Britta this edition for compiling every single news piece!
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada launches in May
We can't get enough of the Warriors games here at DDNet, so Koei Tecmo's announcement of Samurai Warrors: Spirit of Sanada (the Western title of Samurai Warriors: Sanada Maru, released a few months ago in Japan) is reason for celebration. It will launch physically and digitally for PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam on May 23 in North America and May 26 in Europe.
This Warriors game departs from the normal format by focusing solely on the legendary Sanada Clan. Historically inspired, as are all Warriors titles, it is set in Sengoku era Japan – a period also known as the Age of the Samurai. The story of the Sanada Clan begins with patriarch Masayuki Sanada, a much-requested character who finally joins the series for the first time. The player follows the clan’s meteoric rise from lowly vassals to powerful lords. The clan’s journey then continues with the story of Yukimura Sanada, following his footsteps from boyhood through to his rise as the legendary warrior, “The Crimson Demon of War.”
Osamu Mieda, the producer for Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada, recently wrote a PlayStation blog post on why the developers chose to focus on one specific clan. The first reason was that the Sanada Clan exhibited “unique resilience and constant effort to overcome difficulties”. Rather than commit suicide upon defeat, the Sanadas lived by the motto “Survive until life is no more”, a belief shared by all clan members. Their banners featured six gold coins, the cost of ferrying a dead soul to the afterlife. Secondly, the developers were able to focus on the character of Yukimura Sanada, known as the “Crimson Demon of War”, who is considered one of the strongest warriors in Japan’s history and featured only last year in a popular series on Japanese TV.
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom shown off in new trailer
Focus Home Interactive and developer Enigami have released a new overview trailer for Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom, the indie action RPG that conducted a successful campaign on Kickstarter. The trailer introduces the action RPG’s world, art direction, environments, and characters with generous detail. You can see the characters’ special powers, such as Kayenne’s telekinesis and Poky’s electromagnetic fields manipulation. Parchments, found on their travels, are key to powerful spells and combat techniques. The game's hyper-dynamic combat takes traditional fighting game techniques and combines them with RPG flair. Typical RPG elements such as levelling up and skill trees are also in evidence.
We are gob-smacked by the astonishing vibrancy, original fantasy world, and slick animation of this trailer and can't wait to get our gaming fingers on Shiness soon. Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It is slated to release by the end of March.
Lock’s Quest Remaster coming to PS4, Xbox One, PC
Lock’s Quest was originally developed by 5th Cell and released for the Nintendo DS by THQ in 2008. The remastered version is developed by Digital Continue, which is headed by Joe Tringali (one of the of co-founders of 5th Cell and the creator of Lock’s Quest). They have remodeled the user interface and controls, remastered the music, and added a new progression system integrated into the story. "It is one of those hidden gems and a fan-favourite" commented Reinhard Pollice, Business and Product Development Director at THQ Nordic. The title is the latest in THQ Nordic’s MAP (meaningful asset-program), the company’s internal plan on which IPs it should focus on for the future.
For comparison, here is a video of the original Lock's Quest Nintendo DS trailer.
In the game, as per THQ Nordic's overview, you "play as Lock, a boy who stumbles upon an invasion of his Village, which triggers a wider war between Kingdom Force and a revived Clockwork Army, led by the nefarious Lord Agony." As a newly trained Archineer, you progress through 75 days of warfare, cover a dozen unique maps, and utilise your skills to build customised towers, traps, walls, weapons, and other defenses. Remaster features include a new progression system that automatically unlocks new turrets at specific story plot points; brand-new Antonia Defense Battles featuring a new map; controls remapped for keyboard/mouse and gamepad input; user interface customised for HD resolution, with all-new GUI art; character portraits refactored in HD; all music remastered with orchestrated introduction and ending.
Square Enix and Yoko Taro announce SINoALICE for smartphones
SINoAlice is a new Square Enix title for iOS and Android, with Yoko Taro (NieR and Drakengard) as writer and creative director. Development is in the hands of Pokelabo (Pocket Laboratory), a well-known Japanese developer of social games (Sword of Phantasia, Devil Maker Tokyo and The Samurai Kingdom). SINoAlice will launch in Japan this spring.
Yoko Taro is promising a “unique and rich world” with an original story. Here is the translated text — thanks to Gematsu — as featured in the debut trailer:
Do you remember? That story read to you when you were little. A story of a beautiful princess and strong hero.
But we’re ignorant. Even now, the girls still wander about.
This is the “Library,” the imprisoned world, a place bound by the story’s never-ending cycle.
Gathered are the characters of the story. These girls only have one wish. To resurrect the “author.”
For each darkness held by these characters, each has a desired future.
What kind of story is the conclusion of the girls that wish for the resurrection of the creator…?
Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo HD coming to PS4, PC
Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo originally launched for PS Vita in Japan in December 2013 and was localised for North America and Europe in March 2015, but flew under the radar in the West. It is a top-down mecha battle game, similar in genre and style to the Armored Core series. The original Damascus Gear had the feel of a promising but limited game. Now Arc System Works and APlus Games are taking the next step with Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo HD Edition, which is due out for PlayStation 4 via the PlayStation Store on February 22 in Japan and PC via Steam in spring 2017. Additionally, a new entry in the series is in development for PS Vita.
We think that this looks very much like a 'new series' attempt, and with a Western localisation already in place for the original game, the chances are maybe not too bad for the new Damascus game (or games) making it over here. The HD Edition includes (obviously) full HD support, 60 frames per second movement, the inclusion of both parts of the “Old Hero and Broken Gears of Time” DLC, and an added after-story in “Hero Creation.”