Solatorobo: Red Hunter

Dominic Sacco

Solatorobo: Red Hunter

Nintendo has already proven it can bring popular Japanese games to the UK market.

The format holder handled the release of Square Enix’s DS RPG Dragon Quest IX on European shores last year, and then the SNES remake Dragon Quest VI last month.

It also handled distribution for Capcom’s Monster Hunter Tri on Wii last year, a series that is huge in Japan.

Now Nintendo is releasing Solatorobo: Red Hunter for DS over here – an anime-style third-person action RPG. It’s part of the Little Trail Bronx series, which began in 1999 with PSOne game TailConcerto. But what on Earth is it exactly?

The game tells the story of two races – the Nekobito and Inubito. Players control one of the latter, a dog-like character called Red who can transform into a human when fighting against giant robots. Bear with us.

Players are accompanied by Red’s sister, Chocolat Gelato (yes, really), and a cat creature called Elh Melizee as they explore islands, battle enemies and discover secrets. In short, it’s a sprawling adventure game that encompasses a range of different activities.

Red can run, swim, grab enemies, climb ladders, throw crates and attack enemies with a gun and sword. He can even pilot a giant robot himself called Dahak-AZ103.

Hunting gamers

It may sounds bizarre to some but Solatorobo’s core gameplay will appeal to RPG and adventure gamers, while its unique art style will draw in fans of anime cartoons and Manga comics. It also boasts more than 20 hours of game time, four-player multiplayer support, over 70 quests and mini-games such as fishing.

“Solatorobo: Red Hunter offers fantastic anime visuals that European RPG fans will love,” says Nintendo’s marketing assistant Rebecca Archer.

“This engrossing quest is set amid picturesque graphics produced by some of the world’s leading animators and Manga names.”

Solatorobo’s raft of features and unique art style help make it one of the more stand-out Nintendo DS games due this summer.

Red marketing

Solatorobo: Red Hunter is being promoted via a reviews campaign and a series of episodic trailers. The first minute-long video went live in May and a total of four videos will be posted bi-weekly ahead of release.

Manga masters

The game’s unique art style has been developed with the help of Japanese animation studio Madhouse, which has worked on cult Manga hits Ninja Scroll and DeathNote. Artist Nobuteru Yūki also worked on the game.

Hands-on showcase

Nintendo showed off the game at the London MCM Expo last month, alongside a raft of other playable titles including Wii Play Motion and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

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