Staying with its recent trend, video game publisher Nippon Ichi Software will once again go PlayStation heavy for 2014.
The company's 2014 offerings begin with The Witch and the Hundred Knight - a game that was initially announced last year by NIS America and comes exclusively to PlayStation 3 on March 25.
An action-RPG, the game is being characterized as something geared towards a casual gaming crowd rather than the more hardcore/underground gaming audiences.
"The Witch and the Hundred Knight was designed for core gamers, but the controls of the game is a very casual style," President of NIS and NIS America Sohei Niikawa explained. "But the story is for core gamers."
PlayStation Vita owners will be able to get NIS America's Demon Gaze on April 22 - a first-person dungeon crawler RPG in the spirit of the old NES game Wizardry. Developer Kadokawa Games' upcoming title will feature turn-based combat and high-res anime-style character art. Players will also have the opportunity to chose a character's race, gender, class and so-on.
Scheduled to release in May of this year is developer Compile Heart's Mugen Souls Z. The sequel to 2012's Mugen Souls, PS3 game Mugen Souls Z follows a number of the same gameplay elements and features a very similar cutesy moe (pronounced "mo-eh") art style. One thing of note: it appears that this time there will be a character creation tool for custom player-characters, which was absent in the original title.
"Moe is probably unique to Japan - Japanese culture - but we've seen more comics and anime becoming more moe, so we think that is a good way to see a game like Mugen Souls [Z] do well," Niikawa said.
Two more NIS games will be released in summer: PS Vita title Disgaea 4: A Promise Revealed and PS3 game Battle Princess of Arcadias. The former is an expanded version of Disgaea 4 for PlayStation 3 with more than 50 DLC items from the console version included for the portable version. The game will also have a few unique scenarios not found in the original. Battle of Princess Arcadias looks to be a side-scrolling hack-and-slash game in the spirit of Golden Axe and Dust: An Elysian Tail featuring anime-style artwork and a small variety of play modes to mix things up.
In Autumn, two more NIS titles will also be on their way. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Dispair, the sequel to Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, has been confirmed for a Fall 2014 PS Vita release. This Spike Chunsoft developed title will boast a new cast of students along with the return of the original's main antagonist, Motokuma. Fairy Fencer F, another PS3 title developed by Compile Heart, is an anime RPG with a nice-looking art style. It will feature music composed by Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy Tactics) and a combat system that is quite similar to the developer's Hyperdimension Neptunia series.
Jumping the shark, NIS America also revealed plans to localize for North America the PS Vita title Hyperdimension Neptunia PP, which stands "Producing Perfection." Rather than leading the female idols from the RPG through perilous quests, players instead guide their music careers as the girls attempt to be pop stars. While it's a complete change from the elements that gave the franchise a cult following, Niikawa seems to have no issue with it.
"Since we don't develop the game - it's Idea Factory and Compile Heart - we don't know for sure, but I think that they want to expand their horizon for that I.P. and go into different areas of entertainment, " he said.
For those who noticed a lack of PlayStation 4 titles, don't despair. While no exact details were provided, Niikawa did state that the company is working on at least one title for Sony's newest gaming console. More information as to what that/those title(s) is/are is expected to come to light this September.