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Sony announces three interesting Japanese Vita titles for North American release

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Posted on April 14, 2014 AT 04:39pm

If you’re a Vita owner who has been hoping for more Japanese-developed games to play in English, then today brings three pieces of good news for you.

Yes, it seems that Sony Computer Entertainment of America went announcement-crazy this morning, as they unveiled three Vita games for our shores that were previously Japan-exclusive releases.

The first comes as no surprise: Soul Sacrifice Delta. The original—a collaboration between Sony, Marvelous AQL, and Keiji Inafune’s Comcept—was an interesting take on the third-person action-adventure monster-hunting genre that has become so popular in recent years in Japan. For Delta, the game is getting a heavy dose of updates and new content, including: a third neutral faction, the Grim; added Archfiends based around classic fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Hansel & Gretel; an optimized graphic engine that supports dynamic weather effects and structural changes; and a refined spells system.

Soul Sacrifice Delta will be heading our way on May 13th. For those who have already played the original Soul Sacrifice, don’t worry—your progress from the original game will carry over to the sequel.

Up next is Freedom Wars, coming from Sony’s Japan Studio, Shift, and Dimps. Now, I’m not really familiar with Freedom Wars, so let me quote the official PlayStation Blog on this one:

Freedom Wars is set in a dystopian world which harbors prisoners, each with a million-year sentence set from birth. You take on the role of a prisoner, forced to fight for your freedom by completing rescue missions that will reduce your seemingly insurmountable prison sentence.

Of course, that doesn’t answer the most important element of the game’s trailer: why is everyone wearing headphones?

While I don’t know that, what I do know is thatFreedom Wars will support up to four players locally and eight players online, where you can either team up with other players or hunt them down in the pursuit of reducing your prison sentence. Another interesting feature are the Panopticons, 47 City-States in the game that serve to divide up the player base. Players from different Panopticons will battle one another or try to steal resources from each other, and in-game leaderboards will show which Panopticons are the highest ranked.

It’s great to see Freedom Wars getting such a quick turn-around in terms of localization—it won’t even be out in Japan until late June, and will then hit here in America at some point later in the year.

Last, but certainly not least, is Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines. Now, this one is a big surprise for me, as it’s the sequel to one of those many PSP games—Ore no Shikabane wo Koete Yuke, literally translated as “Over My Dead Body”—that I never thought I’d see in English. What the PSP was never able to bring us, the Vita now provides.

Skewing heavily into ancient Japanese traditions and stylings—including the absolutely gorgeous art style the game employs—Oreshika is the tale of a clan who has been cursed with having a lifespan of only two years. In order to try to break the curse, you must have each generation of characters not only try to become stronger and more skilled, but lead them to wed deities and produce offspring that, while also being cursed, will be more powerful than their parents.

Thinks of it as Pokémon, except instead of breeding and raising various creatures, you’re doing it with your children.

No exact details on when Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines will be available in English, but I have to imagine it has to be at some point this year if they’re already announcing it. The Japanese release isn’t until July, so just don’t expect anything until at least after that.

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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