Special Feature: NIS America’s 2018 Press Conference

Nippon Ichi Software posted a prerecorded Nintendo Direct-like showcase a couple of weeks ago, where they announced three mostly-new titles and vaguely detailed them. Two titles were brand new: The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince (recently fully unveiled in Famitsu magazine, though details aren’t online yet) and Project Nightmare. The semi-new one here is a remake of the original Disgaea title, which will be more palatable to HD resolutions. This presentation came shortly before their western counterpart, NIS America, held an event of their own, though this one was a live-streamed fan event. Sure, it was low budget, but fans didn’t let that hinder their enjoyment.

That said, hopefully no one expected them to announce brand-new games. NISA is primarily a localization outfit, so the best anyone should have expected were, well, new localizations of Japanese games either recently released in Japan or due for release soon. What was surprising, though, is how they didn’t have many of those such announcements to make either. The event was mostly to remind their audience and others of their upcoming games, and give release dates for some of them. There were four announcements that previously weren’t known.

The Longest Five Minutes

NISA started by showing new trailers for already-announced games they’re localizing from their parent company, including The Longest Five Minutes and Penny Punching Princess. The former is a hybrid between a visual novel and an RPG whose art style is reminiscent of the Half-Minute Hero titles, which is due for a release on Vita, Switch, and PC next week. The latter is an action RPG about a princess who bribes others into fighting for her, due for release on Vita and Switch. It was previously scheduled for release on March 20th and 23rd for America and Europe, respectively, but was given a short delay until April 4th and March 30th for both territories. A new trailer was also shown for The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2, which will arrive on March 27th and 30th for America and Europe, respectively.

Developer Grasshopper Manufacture’s adventure game The 25th Ward: The Silver Case, the sequel to The Silver Case, will arrive on March 13th and 16th in America and Europe, respectively, for PS4 and PC. It’s notably coming in the same week the dual pack including both games, called “The Silver 2425,” will release for PS4 in Japan. Also, Megaten-like dungeon-crawling RPG The Lost Child, a title from Kadokawa Games NISA previously announced, will arrive this summer in the west for PS4 and Vita — the latter of which will only arrive digitally.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. This is presumably the Switch version.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana for Switch received a new trailer, due for a release sometime this summer worldwide. Note that this version will come with the redone translation that recently arrived for the PS4 and Vita versions, though we’ll have to see whether the Switch port arrives before or after the PC version, which has been delayed three times already. A new trailer for SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy for PS4 and Switch was also shown, the successor to SNK Gals’ Fighters. This trailer focused on the outfits, and how characters will have access to three of them: The Heroines Outfit, Classic Outfit, and Alternate Outfit. It will arrive worldwide sometime this summer.

As part of their commitment to Switch, NISA will also publish both Fallen Legion action RPG titles, Sins of an Empire and Flames of Rebellion, for the platform in the Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory pack. They’ll release on May 29th and June 1st in America and Europe, respectively. NISA will also release Happy Birthdays for Switch, the enhanced version of Birthdays, the sandbox creation game from Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada that previously released on PS4 and Steam. It will release in western territories this summer, after the Japanese release on March 29th.

Of the new games announced, two were smaller Japanese offerings. NISA is bringing Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded to western territories, a roguelike title that’s part of the “Touhou” indie-style Japanese series of games. It initially released in Japan for PS4 and Vita in December 2016, and was ported to Switch in Japan in December last year. NISA is only bringing the PS4 and Switch versions west when it arrives later this year, the first signal that they’re close to ending support for Vita. Also announced was Assault Spy for PC, developed by Wazen, an action game that looks better than you might expect a Japanese indie game to. It will be available on Steam Early Access in May, and the full release should follow afterward.

Labyrinth of Refrain : Coven of Dusk. Not that you couldn’t tell.

The final game announced was for a localization NIS fans have been anticipating for a while: Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk, a dungeon-crawling RPG from their parent company formerly referred to as Coven and Labyrinth of Refrain. Here, the player takes the role of a living book that can produce warriors to navigate through the labyrinth known as “Refrain,” one rife with enemies, mazes, and traps. You’ll prepare the party at your base in town, where you can also accept quests from townspeople, create better equipment, and receive assistance from the witch who owns the book the player controls.

Coven originally released for Vita in June 2016 in Japan, and received an enhanced port with new visual features, equipment, and classes in September last year. The western release will arrive this fall for PS4, Switch, and PC via Steam, likely because NIS either isn’t interested or can’t insert the new features into the Vita version. That’s not stopping some fans from projecting their rage at NISA through social media, but for as nice of a system Vita is, their efforts will likely be fruitless.

The event was devoid of surprises, but fans in attendance and those who watched the stream had a good time — even if it started nearly 30 minutes late. NISA is likely waiting until a later opportunity to announce titles like Your Four Knight Princess Training Story and The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince later in the year. Also, don’t be surprised if the Disgaea remake is announced quickly after the Japanese version is revealed. The games announced here are already available for preorder on NISA’s store, with somewhat-pricey limited editions.

Feel free to watch the event here. Alternatively, the trailers for each title have been posted on NISA’s YouTube page.

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