If you’re familiar with Japanese developer CyberConnect2, you likely also know the franchises they’re associated with. They’ve handled the plethora of .hack and Naurto: Ultimate Ninja installments, and a small amount of avid fans remember them for Tail Concerto and successor Solatorobo. They were also known to be working on Final Fantasy VII Remake for Square Enix, until they were announced to be pulled off the project in spring last year for mysterious reasons, further prolonging its development.
There’s a problem with most of those franchises, though: They aren’t their franchises. It’s reminiscent of when people refer to the Dark Cloud games and Rogue Galaxy as Level 5 games, or when Bayonetta and Vanquish are called PlatinumGames titles. But just as Level 5 started making independent ventures with the Professor Layton and Inazuma Eleven franchises, and how PlatinumGames announced plans to do the same, CyberConnect2 is following suit. It’s actually a little disingenuous to list PlatinumGames before CC2 there, since the latter company has actually detailed plans they have for their three independent projects. This was the intention of their press conference in Japan earlier, though it’s clear the projects are still very early in development.
All three projects will be compact experiences developed by smaller teams that will be released digitally worldwide, which are being called the “Trilogy of Vengeance” due to each having the theme of revenge. The company doesn’t have the budget to fund larger projects on their own, meaning anyone who expected these games on par with .hack or Asura’s Wrath in terms of presentation were setting themselves up for disappointment. But CC2 is also working on three larger projects for other publishers, so they’re still making AAA and B-tier titles.
The first among these is Fuga on the Battlefield, an action strategy/RPG that will star eleven anthropomorphic cat and dog children. The description of the characters perhaps piqued your interest if you’re familiar with two of the titles mentioned above, because it takes place in the “Little Bronx Tale” universe like Tail Concerto and Solatorobo, to commemorate its 20th anniversary. The children are fighting to free their families from captivity from the evil fascist Berman Empire, which they’ll seek to accomplish through battles with a giant tank known as the “Taranis.”
The Taranis is large enough to house an engine room, living quarters, a dining room, a workshop and other facilities. It also apparently requires the sacrifices of crew members to use its powerful Soul Cannon, and given the theme of that and the potential story and battle sequences portrayed through the concept art, it could be a title that tugs the heartstrings.
The second game is Tokyo Ogre Gate, a fast-paced action game. The protagonist here is Towako Mutsu, a girl in a stylish schoolgirl outfit who fights in an alternate version of Tokyo’s ogre capital, which is full of demons and magic. Its story begins when the Ogre Gate is opened due to Genshu Kubizuka’s plan to overthrow the Japanese government, and obtain power stronger than any nuclear weaponry known as the Hakumen Konmo. Towako lost her friends and was severely injured herself during the incident, though received a new heart created by peculiar technology known as the “Ogre Engine.”
In the game, Towako’s speed and attack power will increase as she defeats more enemies. The game will pair stylish action with parkour elements and a camera that will switch between several perspectives, so we’ll have to see it in action to get a better feel of what the developers are going for.
The third game is Cecile, a 2.5D stylish action game that will pit four sisters against each other in a ceremony to determine who will ascend to the position of a “witch” in a mysterious castle. The protagonist is the titular Cecile, who was stripped of her voice, giving her a plotline excuse to be the mute main character. She’s the youngest sister of the four and fights with an umbrella and pole sword, and wants revenge against her mother for pitting the four sisters against each other. The oldest sister is Aristel, who lost her husband and freedom, and is forced to wear a restraining device. The second oldest is Rezalia, a former dancer who lost both her legs. Lastly, there’s Carla, who lost her adult body and is doomed to be a child forever, because of course.
Additionally, CC2 is assisting with the development of the Mecha-Ude anime, which was crowdfunded in late 2016. This seems to be a dream project for creator Sae Okamoto, so it’s nice that they’re receiving more professional assistance. They’re also working on an original anime project codenamed “A5.” The “A5” stands for “Astonishing,” “Ambitious,” Advanced,” “Amazing,” and “Animation.” Honestly, everything about their plans is ambitious.
CyberConnect2 only provided concept art and minor design documents for each title, as they’re currently serving as hiring advertisements. They’ll be working on six games in a nigh-simultaneous fashion, and there’s no way they’re equipped enough to handle all of them now, even if the three independent gaming ventures will be smaller titles.
We won’t see the games for a while, but when we do, there should be a quick gap between their reveal and release. Since they’ll be low-budget titles, they might as well release them for every platform that can run them if they can. In the meantime, hopefully CC2’s developers don’t overwork themselves to get all these games done on a good schedule.