This Week in Games
Mineral Megamix Girls
by Heidi Kemps,
Happy 4th of July/start of Anime Expo, everyone! It's time for good ol’ American fun: barbecue, picnics, and fireworks! Unless you've outside of the USA, in which case, uh… Happy Thursday, woooo!
So who here is playing Super Mario Maker 2? I finally put my first course online after making several I didn't judge as good enough. If you want to play it, you can check it out at: 02X-B3H-PPF. Let me know what you think of it!
Anyhow, a lot of niche games and visual novels usually get announced at Anime Expo, so we'll no doubt be talking about those next week. Are there any announcements, gaming or otherwise, that you all are looking forward to from AX? Personally, I'm waiting for the Fate/GO news to drop because I'm sitting on a pile of Quartz and I want my Sherlock Holmes already, dammit.
But enough about next week – there's been some announcements this week, and they're all quite interesting! Let's have a look.
WE'RE GOING BACK TO MINERAL TOWN, MAYBE
LAST MINUTE EDIT: Shortly before this went live, XSEED announced this is getting localized under the Story of Seasons banner. Since I don't feel like rewriting this whole thing, I'm just gonna leave it as-is and say "stop announcing stuff on Thursday morning, dammit!
Hey, did you play Harvest Moon growing up? I was already college-age by the time this games were growing popular, but a lot of folks seem to have fond memories of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town from their younger years. Mineral Town was the debut Harvest Moon title on GBA, and having a portable farming/life sim at the time was pretty novel. It was also a lot of folks’ first game of this sort, so there's a lot of fond memories attached to this title.
So when news broke that a Friends of Mineral Town remake for Switch was announced in Japan, a lot of folks were pretty happy about it! Though a few people have pointed out this this is essentially a remake of a remake -- Mineral Town is based on the PSOne game Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, which is a great game that also has Comic Sans on its cover, making it even better.
Anyway! I'm always glad when people can revisit games that were important to them, so this announcement makes me happy. However, I'm wondering what's going to happen to its Western release. As a lot of series fans know, Harvest Moon was originally called Bokujou Monogatari and licensed to publisher Natsume for translation and sales outside of Japan. Eventually, Japanese publisher Marvelous said, “Wait, we've got our own US branch now with XSEED games, why are we letting these other guys make money when we could just publish this ourselves?!”
So XSEED is now publishing Bokujou Monogatari games under the Story of Seasons label. This is because Natsume owns the Harvest Moon name and copyrights, and now they're just making a bunch of new Harvest Moon titles themselves with no involvement from Marvelous. Now here's the question: how far does the ownership of various Harvest Moon-related trademarks extend? Could XSEED publish the Mineral Town remake as a Story of Seasons game and still use the same character names? That could get messy. I'm eager to see how this turns out – maybe Natsume and XSEED will decide to bury the hatchet and work together on this. That sort of cooperation would be in the spirit of Harvest Moon.
MIKU'S GONNA SWITCH IT UP
It's been a while since the last Hatsune Miku game release, hasn't it? Sega's been bringing the virtual diva to the game space for quite some time, but she's been a bit quiet lately…
Well, until now, because Hatsune Miku Project Diva Mega39's is coming to the Nintendo Switch! You actually pronounce that “Megamix,” by the by. It's a Japanese number-word pun.
And it's looking pretty good, too! It's kinda weird seeing all these PlayStation button-prompt shapes given that this is on a Nintendo console, but whatever works I guess. There will be a mix of old favorite songs and costume modules along with new stuff, including some Switch-exclusive game modes we'll hear more about as the game's early 2020 release date approaches. As long as I can have Mikudayo living in my Switch, I'll be happy. (Give me that Mikudayo amiibo, Nintendo.)
Since Sega's been pretty good about bringing the last few Miku games Stateside, I strongly suspect that we'll see a localization of this in due time… though they'll probably have to drop the number pun in the title to avoid any awkward phone calls. “Ah, yes, do you guys have Hatsune Miku Project Diva Mega… thirty-nine…s…. in stock?”
RIVER CITY GIRLS ARE HERE TO KICK YOUR ASS
We heard a bit about River City Girls several weeks back when it was revealed that WayForward and Arc System Works were collaborating on a new title. Well, here it is, and if you're at Anime Expo, you'll have a chance to try it out!
Kyoko and Misako are two tough-as-nails high school girls who aren't here to take your crap. Unfortunately, their boyfriends Kunio and Riki appear to have been abducted, so it's time to open a good old-fashioned can of whoop-ass on a bunch of punks. Folks who are more invested in the greater Kunio-kun series mythos than I am have noted that this isn't the first time these two have been playable characters, but it is their first appearance in a starring role. Kudos for bringing back some fan favorites, even if I don't really know them! I'm sure I'll get to like them soon enough.
Anyhow, the game looks great. The trailer showcases neat animated intro, some killer 2D artwork… and the brief music sample sounds pretty rad. WayForward's track record is pretty solid, so I think we can expect good things here. Any game that gives us more sukeban girls is a winner in my book.
LANGRISSER I AND II MARCH WESTWARD
NIS America is dropping all these interesting announcements at strange times. A couple weeks ago we got news of Disaster Report 4 coming to North America, and just this week they dropped the news that they're bringing over the Langrisser I and II remake for Switch, PS4, and PC.
It's not terribly surprising that NIS snagged this one, given that they've been cultivating a close relationship with Japanese publisher Kadokawa Games for a while. It marks the first official release of anything Langrisser-related in the States for over twenty-five years: the only Langrisser release up to this point was Warsong on the Genesis, which had some hilarious-in-retrospect edits to the character portraits to make them less anime. Langrisser II has had fan translations, but this is its first official trip outside of Japan.
Given that this is NIS, you can probably expect a lavish, online-store-only limited edition filled with shiny-boobies Satoshi Urushihara art like in the Japanese LE. A few Japanese store-exclusive sets had wallscrolls and pillowcases with actual nudity, which leaves me wondering if NIS would go that far here in the States. And with Langrisser announced, I wonder if NIS has any other surprises in store for AX? We'll just have to wait and see!
Anyhow, we'll wrap up here for this week, because things are going to be busy busy busy here on ANN with Anime Expo and the Summer Preview Guide both happening at the same time. Enjoy your holiday weekend… or your not-holiday weekend. Weekends are good either way.
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