The RPG genre has always been hugely popular on handhelds, and the DS is home to scores of quality (and lengthy) titles in this space.
Now Sega has a trio of titles that will keep fans of levelling-up and turn-based combat more than happy for the next few months.
Arriving side by side on February 12th is Bleach: The 3rd Phantom and Phantasy Star Ø.
While the former is fantasy and the latter is sci-fi, they both offer adventures in which young heroes with large hairdos battle with monsters and demons.
More importantly, both have an established fanbase eagerly waiting for these new outings.
“Bleach: The 3rd Phantom and Phantasy Star Ø are the latest additions to two highly regarded and long-running franchises,” says marketing and PR executive Kate Billingham.
“Because both series have garnered such a dedicated following of fans of the years, we know expectations run very high. We’re confident both titles will bring fans everything they know and love, as well as some great new gameplay experiences that keep the franchises enthralling and fresh.”
The 3rd Phantom is a first for the Bleach games, taking the series into the strategy-RPG genre to create a fresh experience. The game follows an all-new storyline written by Tite Kubo, the creator of the hugely popular Bleach manga, which is certain to grab the attention of committed fans.
Meanwhile, Phantasy Star Ø marks the debut of the Sega RPG series perhaps best known for its online outings.
Sure enough, this is reflected in the DS version, which features a multiplayer mode catering for up to four players – either over a local wireless connection or via Wi-Fi.
“When we previewed both of these titles at the MCM Expo in London, we were really pleased with public reception,” says Billingham.
“People were coming up to us who have played these games for over ten years, so it was very gratifying to see them excited and positive about the latest instalments.
“Fans have grown up with these games, and we want them to grow old with them too.”
INFINITY AND BEYOND
If Bleach and Phantasy Star are still not enough to get hungry RPG enthusiasts interested, they may well appreciate Infinite Space.
As the third of four titles encompassed by Sega’s deal with Platinum Games, this new IP already has the prestige required to stand out on shelves.
“Infinite Space is a collaboration between the creative minds of Nude Maker – of Steel Battalion fame – and Platinum Games, and as such we have high expectations for the quality of the product,” says senior product manager Ben Walker.
“Platinum Games has a rich history of producing critically acclaimed games. Their most recent release, Bayonetta, was universally well received around the world and we firmly believe Infinite Space will deliver a rich, entertaining and genre-defining experience.”
Infinite Space is a sci-fi RPG that puts players in command of a fleet of starships. As they explore the galaxy and battle with enemy armadas, they can design up to five vessels of their own using over 100 ship blueprints and over 200 customiseable modules.
The game boasts a real-time tactical battle system and a single-player campaign that promises to last over 70 hours. Should players master this, they can test their starships against those over other gamers via the wireless two-player mode.
“The game has reviewed strongly in Japan and we expect a similar performance in the UK,” says Walker. “By occupying a space which has little representation, we believe Infinite Space will be received as a breath of fresh air by both strategy and role-playing fans.”