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NISA Press Event 2017

©NIS America

I haven’t missed the NIS America annual press event since I started going in 2010 or so, and yesterday I spent my evening mulling over video games, musing over cocktails (well, ginger beer in my case) and pizza, and listening to professional nerds tell me about their upcoming products. It’s my favorite event of the year simply because they produce the types of games I’m personally interested in most: dungeon-crawler RPGs and Disgaea.

Disgaea is love. Disgaea is life.

Last night, they were showing an obscene number of titles for the modestly-sized company they are – 19 in total, up from the 8 they showed in 2016 – ranging from visual novels like PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness, to their powerhouse murder-mystery series Danganropa, to the afore-mentioned Disgaea 5 Complete for the upcoming Nintendo Switch. The biggest news was that all of the titles they named would be released at some point in the 2017 calendar year, but that only matters if the games are any good, so it’s worth taking a look over the full list.

Birthdays the Beginning (Steam/PS4)
RELEASE: May 9, 2017 (North America), May 12, 2017 (Europe)

©NIS America

ClaDun Returns: This Is Sengoku! (Steam/PS4/Vita)
RELEASE: June 6, 2017 (North America), June 9, 2017 (Europe)

Culdcept Revolt (Nintendo 3DS)
RELEASE: Summer 2017

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (PS4/Vita)
RELEASE (PS4): June 27, 2017 (North America), June 23, 2017 (Europe)
RELEASE (Vita): September 2015

Danganronpa I-2 Reload (PS4)
RELEASE: March 14, 2017 (North America), March 17, 2017 (Europe)

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4/Vita)
RELEASE: September 26, 2017 (North America), September 29 (Europe)

©NIS America

Disgaea 5 Complete (Nintendo Switch)
RELEASE: May 23, 2017 (North America), May 26 (Europe)

GOD WARS: Future Past (PS4/Vita)
RELEASE: March 28, 2017 (North America), March 31, 2017 (Europe)

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy (Steam/Vita)
RELEASE: March 27, 2017 (Steam), Already Released on Vita (June 2015)

Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy (Steam/Vita)
RELEASE: May 16, 2017 (North America), May 19, 2017 (Europe)

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness (Steam/PS4/Vita)
RELEASE: April 2017 (Steam), Already Released on PS4/Vita (September 2016)

A Rose in the Twilight (Steam/Vita)
RELEASE: April 11, 2017 (North America), April 14, 2017 (Europe)

©NIS America

RPG Maker FES (3DS)
RELEASE: Summer 2017

The Silver Case (PS4)
RELEASE: April 18, 2017 (North America), April 21, 2017 (Europe)

Tokyo Tattoo Girls (Steam/Vita)

Touhou Double Focus (PS4/Vita)
RELEASE: March 21, 2017 (North America), March 24, 2017 (Europe)

Touhou Genso Wanderer (PS4/PSVita)
RELEASE: March 21, 2017 (North America), March 24, 2017 (Europe)

Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle (PS4/Vita)
RELEASE: Summer 2017

©NIS America

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA (Steam/PS4/Vita)

It’s almost necessary to point out that these aren’t all brand-spankin’-new titles – the double-pack of Danganronpa 1&2, along with ports of Ultra Despair Girls, PSYCHO-PASS, and DLC-included Disgaea 5 Complete – but there’s still a lot of titles to offer. Dungeon-crawlers, strategy-RPGs, visual novels, shooters, deck builders, and even… a strategy game crossed with tattoos? You’re weird, NISA, and I love you for it.

The first true standout is the porting of the first Disgaea game to a Nintendo platform since the original game on the DS in 2003. With how well the games have been ported to Sony’s mobile platforms, the controller and mobile possibilities the Switch offers can make it a must-buy for any strategy-RPG fans for the complete DLC along. Even if the DS port was slightly clunky I thought control-wise compared to the PSP’s analog stick controls, it was still easily playable, and a great pocket-sized way of taking one of the best PS2 RPGs on the go for hours and hours.

But possibly the most overlooked potential of the blast of games listed is RPG Maker FES, an RPG-generating set of tools for the 3DS. The RPG Maker license (and similar toolsets) has been around for so long, but to my knowledge it has never been a presence on a big-name portable, and it’s clear this one is intent on doing something that Nintendo failed to do with their Super Mario Maker portable tools: the ability to download additional works made by players. It’s unclear the depth of tools, and being a mobile title typing in dialog is going to be an arduous process, but for the crafty this should be a way to push out some great fan-created content, and in my mind makes it almost at face value worthy of a purchase on sheer potential alone.

You can read more about these individual titles from NIS America’s blog here, along with links to each individual game announced. Are there any that stand out to you, or that look particularly interesting? Share you thoughts in the comments below.

Stand Tall and game on, friends!