Hey, welcome to Good Goings! A monthly series where I’ll celebrate some stuff that has happened or is yet to happen in the otaku sphere. The world can bring us down sometimes so it’s important to kick back, relax and remind ourselves of the things we’re happy about. It feels like it’s never been a better time to be a geek nowadays so pop on the kettle and let’s get cracking with what goodies have come up this month…
Let’s start with a bit of intrigue in Otome Corner…
While unconfirmed, it’s likely that Idea Factory is localising Cupid Parasite after leaks reveal that the game has been rated in Australia. While I try not to flirt with rumours, this would be sweet since Idea Factory has mostly stayed in their Hakuoki happy area in recent years and Cupid Parasite is pretty popular amongst fans, being the second most wanted Otomate property in Otome Kitten’s 2021 localisation survey. The game is a lighthearted rom-com following a wayward goddess tasked with matchmaking five boorish bachelors on a reality show. Expect teasing and tears – hopefully, more Terrace House than Love Island! (…and it’s official – whoo! Coming Fall 2021)
If you’re one for tall, dark and bizarre, take a gander at The Remainder (PC), an enchanting gothic fantasy about picking up the pieces after a ritual goes disastrously wrong. The Remainder’s lore has been inspired by ancient Eastern religions and Western occultism, wrapped up in elegant prose and a distinct sketched style. Not your everyday otome, Act 1 is available now and Act 2 arrives August 2021.
Falcom’s epic Legend of Heroes series has been chugging along and patient fans will be glad to hear that the long-awaited Crossbell duology, Trails from Zero (Fall 2022 for PC, PS4, Switch) and Trails to Azure (2023 for PC, PS4, Switch), are receiving official localisations. Even better news? NIS America is working with Geofront, who were behind the fan translation. It’s lovely to hear about amicable relationships between traditional localisers and fan outfits rather than the usual CEASE AND DESIST stuff for once! Read Geofront’s side here.
If that’s not enough Falcom news for you, Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails (PC, PS4 and Switch) and Trails into Reverie (PC, PS4 and Switch) are also releasing sometime in 2023. Nayuta is a dreamy ARPG about a boy whisked away from his sleepy island by a starry-eyed fairy. Meanwhile, Reverie acts as a crossover and epilogue for both the Crossbell and Cold Steel games where you can freely switch between three different storylines. I’m still woefully trailing behind, well, all of the LoH games but this is excellent stuff to hear!
An interesting JRPG has recently broken their Kickstarter funding goal: SacriFire (2022 for PC, PS4/5, Switch, Xbox X/S/One) aims to bring 90s classics like Vagrant Story and Xenogears to the present. The story sounds solidly old school. ‘New church soldier finds himself stuck between a thousand year old struggle’ should have its own tropes page by now but the game nevertheless stands out with a gorgeous 2D-meets-3D style. Alongside other quality of life ticks, the Kickstarter additionally promises a deep combat system that challenges the player to wisely change tactics, equipment and skills to exploit enemies’ weak spots. Despite being a relatively new indie dev team, Pixelated Milk are a prolific sort, having already released two rather different RPGs (Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs and Warsaw) to positive acclaim and SacriFire looks like their biggest project yet.
Another call for psychic detectives? nirvanA Initiative, sequel to the trippy dream-diving adventure AI: Somnium Files, is coming Spring 2022 to PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One with a strange case about some Half Body serial killings – yep, take that literally! While not much information has been released regarding gameplay, descriptions reveal that you’ll be walking the beat as a new agent with a familiar AI partner. Creepy and curious in turn, this fresh project from the Zero Escape team is one to watch!
Now that my holy grail is coming out, I was thinking about taking a break from scouting Ace Attorney-alikes for a bit… but then Tyrion Cuthbert: Attorney of the Arcane (PC and mobile) has somehow magicked onto my follow list. Tyrion Cuthbert wears its inspiration proudly but twists expectations by setting the game in a fantastical world of wizardry where you have to use the rules of magic rather than logic to prove the innocence of your clients. Hold onto your haruspices, the release date is still far off in December 2022 but a demo is available and screenshots look pretty clean so far.
Despite the skyscraper popularity of mecha, Super Robot Wars has remained pretty niche in the West with fans having to put up with importing titles from this long-standing series of tactical RPGs. Well, not for much longer! Flying in to celebrate the series’ 30th anniversary is Super Robot Wars 30 (28 October 2021 for PC, PS4, Switch), mashing together a whole bunch of robots from the Gundam franchise. A licensor’s dream (or nightmare), the Super Robot Wars series is known for its huge cast of characters backed up with the voice actors from their respective anime. This colossal crossover is probably best for hardcore fans who can recognise their Mazingers from their Mazinkaisers.
JAST is doing the good work localising another legendary Nitroplus title. Full Metal Daemon Muramasa (PC) is going official on 24 August 2021 on JAST’s own store. Not a story of heroes or for those looking for heroes, Muramasa made its mark over a decade ago and is considered a grim masterpiece amongst visual novel fans with its grand story of mecha demons. I only started reading some of the cult classic VNs in recent years so it really feels like there’s a bumper harvest of big names to enjoy nowadays!
I probably don’t need to elaborate on this much since the upcoming Steam Deck has been plastered all over the community but I’m personally so, so excited that Valve is striking out into the handheld market! I’ve always been big on portable gaming and find it much easier finishing my bloated diet of JRPGs and VNs on handheld so the Deck is a no brainer for me. So far the specs are impressive for a wee thing and Valve claims that it can play your entire Steam library while also being an open system to tinker with, so you can install Windows, other storefronts, etc. Reservations are available in the US, Canada, EU and UK and hopefully other regions will follow soon. If you asked ten-year-old me playing on a hand-me-down GameBoy what I thought the future of handhelds were, I don’t think I’d ever imagine this. The prospect of being able to play everything from your AAA blockbuster to shoestring indie on one device has sounded like wishful thinking before but look I’m here to dream again!
There you go. A bunch of things that put a smile on my face and hopefully yours too. Let me know about your own Good Goings in the comments and have a great day!