The cup runneth over for visual novel and otome fans
There may have been way too many people trying to get into this year’s Anime Expo in Los Angeles this year, but I can sympathize with them. After all, two straight years of online-only events has a lot of us jonesing to get back out there and be around those who share our interest in Japanese entertainment. Not only is the expo the place to see all the upcoming toys you’ll be buying and shows you’ll be watching, but it’s also a great source of game announcements. Case in point: Aksys Games and its Anime Expo reveals.
The specialty publisher announced seven games it’s localizing in the west in 2023. Most of the games will release exclusively for Nintendo Switch, but a few will also make appearances on other hardware.
Of the games announced, the one I’m most interested in is Inescapable from Dreamloop Games. This social survival game casts players as a contestant on a reality television show where 11 strangers are dropped on an island with absolutely no rules. Anybody who makes it to the end of the show walks away with $500,000. The game is said to explore the depths of human desire and what pushes people to lust after clout, wealth, and their desires.
In other words, it’s Westworld!
That one is going on my radar, but the six other games are worth keeping an eye on as well if you’ve enjoyed Aksys’s past output. Those titles include:
Shuuen no Virche ~ErroR: Salvation
The English title is pending on this one, but ErroR: Salvation covers a country possessed by the god of death where people are cursed to die by the age of 23. A young woman named Ceres, who has a knack for hastening the deaths of those she meets, puts a pause on her plans to commit suicide when she meets a stranger named the “Watchman of Death.” ErroR: Salvation will release next year exclusively for Nintendo Switch.
Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II
The sequel to 2018’s Death Mark: Death Mark will release next year for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Steam. The trailer is one of those “age-restricted” YouTube videos, so click here to give it a watch. Coincidentally, Spirit Hunter: Death Mark and its sequel, Spirit Hunter: NG, are both on sale right now in the eShop.
Norn9: Var Commons & Norn9: Last Era
Norn9: Var Commons was originally released back in 2014 for the PlayStation Vita. Aksys Games localized the game for western audiences the next year, and in 2023, it’s porting the game to Switch along with its fan disc sequel, Norn9: Last Era, which is being localized for the very first time. Norn9 features the adventures of a young prodigy named Sorata Suzuhara who is thrust back in time to 1919 aboard the ship known as Norn9. The first game covers Sorata’s interactions with 11 others as they explore the secrets in Norn. Last Era features a continuation of their adventures in three parts. Both Norn9: Var Commons and Norn9: Last Era will release exclusively for Switch.
In Radiant Tale, players will take control of Tifalia, an innkeeper who’s given the chance of a lifetime when a strange group calling themselves CIRCUS ask her to be their new producer. I going to assume that amusing antics and passionate romance await Tifalia on her journey. Radiant Tale will release next year exclusively for Nintendo Switch.
Pups & Purrs Pet Shop
Last but not least is Pups & Purrs Pet Shop, which is easily the cutest game of the bunch. As you might expect, this game will give players control over their own pet shop where they can work and play with adorable animals. Look for it next year on Nintendo Switch.
Just what the internet needs: yet another white guy writing about video games.