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)!
Persona 5 Strikers confirmed for Western release
We all knew it was coming, but now it’s official. Atlus will release Persona 5 Strikers on February 23, 2021 in the West. It will launch for PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. The title features English voiceovers in addition to the original Japanese voices. All platforms will support English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German subtitles; additional subtitles are available for PC in Japanese, Korean, and Traditional Chinese. The game was originally released in Japan last February under the title Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers. Here’s the Western announcement trailer:
The launch edition for all three system options includes a digital soundtrack, digital artbook, and behind-the-scenes video. A physical SteelBook Edition will be available for the Nintendo Switch, and only in North America from Best Buy. It includes the SteelBook and everything from the launch edition. The Digital Deluxe Edition includes four days early access, the downloadable content “Persona Legacy BGM & All-Out Attack Pack,” and everything from the launch edition. European or North American players who pre-order at Game Stop or certain European retailers will get a Joker pin.
The Phantom Thieves have set out for a road trip (and all are playable, with their own skills and abilities), but a detective threatens to arrest Joker unless they help investigate strange occurrences across the country. It turns out there is another realm where innocent people are being jailed and made to forfeit their desires. The game takes place in six different cities. The hybrid battle system combined action-combat with pause-and-plan sequences.
Story-driven Dustborn picked up by familiar publisher
I have a real thing for story-driven games, and this one is something I’m definitely interested in. Dustborn, developed by Red Thread Games and announced earlier this year, is one of those titles, but until now it was kind of floating out there with no direction. So what company will be publishing the title? None other than the brilliant minds over at Quantic Dream. The company is best known for founder David Cage and the titles it has developed, including Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human. What a great collaboration between two teams of narrative-lovers. Here’s a teaser trailer for Dustborn, due out on PC and consoles next year:
Dustborn is described as a third-person, single-player, story-driven, road tripping action adventure – what a mouthful that is! The narrative revolves around themes of hope, love, friendship, robots, and the power of words. A band of misfits in a post-infodemic (I didn’t know that “infodemic” was a word until this moment and I plan on using it excessively now) America must cross the continent to bring a mystery package from California all the way up to Canada, Nova Scotia to be exact. Because I’m obsessive about details, driving from southern California to norther Nova Scotia would take 58 hours, which is a long, long way, presumably even longer of a trip in the world of Dustborn. This isn’t the North America we know: it’s 2030, and the continent has been seriously changed thanks to civil war, mass migration, and global warming.
It’s not easy, though, as the leader of the misfits is four months pregnant and being followed by Puritans and Justice. For safety, the group poses as as a folk-punk-rock band, and as a result they need to create original songs, usually sung around a campfire. Each “band” member has their own unique powers, helpful when it comes to basically any encounter or situation. Unique powers aren’t the only way to deal with situations, though: words have power here. Real power. Manipulate people with the power of disinformation, craft new words, and learn a lingual arsenal.
Nekopara Vol. 4 is nearly on consoles
The Nintendo eShop has clued the world in on the release date for Nekopara Vol. 4: it’s listed as launching on December 22 in Japan for the Nintendo Switch. The game is expected to launch for PlayStation 4 the same day, although there is yet to be any confirmation; it was previously announced that both versions would be out this month, and other than the first volume, the series has always launched simultaneously. Previous volumes have also launched worldwide at the same time, so we may be seeing a Western confirmation soon enough. If that doesn’t happen, but can’t wait? This version supports English, Japanese, and Chinese (Simplified and Traditional). Nekopara Vol. 4 originally launched for PC via Steam late last month.
Kashou Minaduki’s father severely disapproves of his son’s patisserie. For a change of scenery, he ends up on a hot springs trip with various catpanions, including Chocola and Vanilla. Kashou becomes determined to confront his father, but Maple and Cinnamon want to first bring him to France for advice from his original mentor. And in France, we get to meet a new catgirl – how exciting!
The artwork and designs are by the series’ creator, Sayori, with an opening song by KOTOKO. The character sprites are somewhat animated (it’s still a visual novel, don’t expect cinematics here) and each is fully voiced in Japanese. There is also a CG Gallery Mode available.
Touhou Luna Nights coming to Switch this month
Originally launched for PC via Steam Early Access in mid-2018, with a full release for PC in early 2019 and an Xbox One version later that year, Touhou Luna Nights is finally coming to the Nintendo Switch. Developed by Team Ladybug and published by Pheonixx, the title will launch in the Nintendo eShop on December 17. Supported languages include English, French German, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (Simplified). Here’s a trailer from late last month:
Touhou Luna Nights is planted firmly in the Metroidvania genre of games (I’m still weary of using a game’s title as a genre but it is what it is). It features a heavy emphasis on exploration and action. A vampire named Remilia Scarlet sends her maid, Sakuya Izayoi, to a world that seems slightly… off. And she was sent with no warning of what was ahead. The world is filled with strange places and monsters. How will she survive and get back home? The game is basically fan fiction based on Touhou Project, which should be reflected in narrative and in gameplay.
The most interesting bit of gameplay mechanics is the time stop system. The 2D game’s graphics definitely reference the 8-bit 2D titles (or “dot graphics,” a term I’ve surprisingly never heard before) that anyone over 30 will remember (and possibly love dearly). The developer promises a sense of tension as Sakuya approaches enemies. The game progresses without repeating elements or collecting items.
– Lindsay M.