INSiGHT: NISA Virtual Press Tour

By Luke Hemming 01.09.2020 1

Earlier this week, Cubed3 was given the opportunity to spend some time with Nippon Ichi Software, for a trial of some of the latest titles on offer from them and partners Experience, YummyYummyTummy, and Nihom Falcon, over the next couple months, and into the coming year. Resident experts Erin and Laura took us through new gameplay, as well as some of the new features that will be available at launch. With a wealth of JRPG's, as well as a few surprises that really make a great first impression, it's safe to say the future of gaming is in good hands, if you are both a fan of classic adventuring as. well looking for a refreshing new challenge.

RPG Maker MV - PlayStation 4 & Nintendo Switch

First up was RPG Maker MV releasing for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on the 11th of September. A PC stalwart originally, with a console release NIS is looking to bring simple game design concepts to the masses. With hundreds of graphical assets at your fingertips, simple games can be created as a beginner that can easily be expanded into fully fledged adventures with as much depth as any company designed title on the market. From modern high school romances to dragon-filled kingdom sprawling epics, there is a lot to like here.

An initial worry was how, with such a simple interface on PC, how could this be translated to consoles. Rest assured, after a quick discussion with the NIS representatives, USB keyboard support is included for PlayStation 4 and Touch Screen implementation for Nintendo Switch. A lot of fun was had when using RPG maker originally, and it is pleasing to see that it will reach a wider audience with a console release.


Disgaea 4 Complete+ - PC

Launching in Autumn, one of the jewels in the NIS crown, strategy RPG Disgaea 4 Complete+ will release for PC with all previous content available. 30 unlockable characters will support honourable Vampire (who doesn't want to be one of those) Valvatorez through extra story campaigns, as well as online features promising one of the smoothest strategy RPG experiences to date. The PC version promises custom maps to prolong the experience, although one thing to note, online features will not be available at launch but are on the way.

As always, Disgaea 4 Complete+ has been updated with minor and major tweaks to allow a more fluid, user-friendly experience. Disgaea has its large fan base, and for fans of the genre, deserves to do so. It's reassuring to know the PC Master Race is not being neglected, as this continues to allow them to experience the ongoing saga. Long may it continue.


Prinny 1+2: Exploded and Reloaded - Nintendo Switch

Continuing the Disgaea theme, fan favourite mascot Prinny is making his platforming debut on Nintendo Switch on the 16th of October. With remastered graphics, and a mascot that leaves an impression, the demo of this quickly showed the interesting game concepts that are going to set it apart from sea of platforming titles available on the portable pouch of joy.

With 1000 lives from the outset, Prinny's adventure follows a collection of often bizarre recipes to create the perfect dish. From what was… demo-ed, a fair learning curve introduces newcomers to the Klonoa-reminiscent 2.5D gameplay. Action is quick paced and smooth, and all every sprite from standard enemies to boss battles are all filled with character. One to keep an eye out for, if new to the franchise, or looking to update your PSP collection to a newer format.


Trails of Cold Steel IV - PlayStation 4

The flagship title for NIS, Trails of Cold Steel IV was touted as focusing heavily on past title lore to bring the largest roster in series history to Liberl. With improved combat being showcased, some battle scenarios intent on leaning into the grandeur of large scale anime screen clearing attacks. Everything looks as devastating as you would expect, but with the inclusion of giant mechs into the fray, the ante is upped to 11.

Adding to the distractions available outside of regular questing is the inclusion of some brand new mini-games to up the playtime hours and provide a bit of rest from the burdens of heroic antics. Adding to the stalwarts of Vantage master and fishing are Poker, Blackjack and Horror Coaster.

Keep a look out for it 27th October, but from what has been shown, fans of the franchise are still going to have a lot of reason to jump back into the series as well as newcomers making a fresh start.

Mad Rat Dead - Nintendo Switch

In a massive shift of direction, by far the most interesting title to come out of the conference was rhythm platformer Mad Rat Dead. Using timed button inputs to progress and attack with your vendetta-infused menace, this one really caught the eye. With a fantastic art style reminiscent of the graffiti laden streets where these rodents would usually dwell, it's really going to pop on Switch.

What really sets it apart, however, is the rewind feature. With infinite lives, any misstep can be rectified with a quick rewind, and scores will be tallied based on its use and time taken to complete the level. Titles like this live and die on the music and Cubed3 is happy to report that from what has been heard, it's all excellent - infinitely hummable, and with a sound test included to keep going back, make sure to search this out when it releases on 30th of October.


Future Releases

Next up was the 2021 releases focusing mainly on the JRPG Market, with some big hitters on the way in the coming year.

YS IX: Monstrum Nox - PlayStation 4 (Nintendo Switch & PC 2021)

Action RPG YS IX: Monstrum Nox promises a sprawling adventure through the world within the walls as one of the six Nostrums in a grittier darker storyline than past titles. Discussion with the team on why a darker setting, explained that Western audiences had been spoken to in development. One of the main focuses on feedback was to tone back the bright visuals and story for a darker tale. Here's hoping this pays off and doesn't alienate dedicated fans of the series.

With new abilities for the Monstrum team, such as traversal through the new sprawling city with the Spidey-esque crimson line, as well as gifts and augments for each character, saving the city from its shadowy inhabits is likely to be a blast for any JRPG aficionado.

Fallen Legion Revenants - PlayStation 4 & Nintendo Switch

Real time battles were the main focus of Fallen Legion Revenants, to influence events with characters Rowena and Lucien. Using both throughout your adventure, every decision has a future consequence that crafts the play-through and adds the all, important replayability factor. With such drastic playstyles between both characters too, this really pricked up the ears as something a bit different that should be perfectly suited to the Switch as a quick pick up and play title.

Rowena offers real time squad commanding in real-time battles, whereas a more quiet approach is taken by Lucien, crafting potions and recipes to help improve his stealth tactics. With some beautiful anime art style to boot, this could be a surprise hit.

Saviors of Sapphire Wings & Stranger of Sword City Revisited - Nintendo Switch & PC

Two for the price of one! Dungeon crawler fans will be keeping their ears to the ground with the release of these titles. Tactics and thought are the name of the game here, with strategic planning needed to succeed. With a large cast on offer, multiple playstyles can be looked at with the aim of setting  traps and exploiting weaknesses.

Each defeat of a cornered enemy reaps high rewards that will further progress character bonds and increase potential. Conversations can also be had with teammates to not only increase development, but really get to the root of their reasons for being there - always a massive plus for a stalwart adventurer. With increase and enhanced content such as improved character creation and new event and equipment, this looks to be the definitive article on its 2021 release.

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SO many great games on the way. It's weird that Switch has to wait for some Smilie That's because of Falcom's loyalty to Sony, sadly.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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