E3 Show Daily

Demons, Fighters, Dragons and More

For decades, Atlus has been seeking out uniquely Japanese experiences to bring to the U.S., like the Persona series and Demon’s Souls (the precursor to the Dark Souls series). And the ability to localize boutique titles has only grown with the company’s acquisition by SEGA Games Co., Ltd. Now, at E3 2016, Atlus’ booth is home to the latest round of localizations—as well as some key properties from SEGA itself.

Chief among those offerings is The King of Fighters XIV—a joint release with SNK Playmore that is sure to delight fighting fans. Due later in 2016, the newest in this 22-year-old series brings the classic fighter to PlayStation 4, with a lineup of refinements. Meticulous adjustments to core mechanics make the game more streamlined and approachable to newcomers, while the Combo and Max Mode mechanics have been overhauled. The game includes other dramatic changes as well, like a new Party Battle system that allows teams of three players to compete either locally or online, and an online training mode that matches newcomers and veterans for real-time tutoring. The most dramatic change of all: XIV is the first game in the series with 3D graphics. Atlus stresses that the essence of the series’ visual style is preserved, but the move to 3D is a striking change for the traditionally sprite-based franchise.

Speaking of long-running franchises, Atlus’ booth is also home to the latest in SEGA’s Yakuza series. Yakuza 0 takes players back to 1988, to witness the rise of series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu. This PS4 exclusive offers a standalone story that, while friendly to newcomers, offers plenty for veterans. For example, part of the game puts players in control of series mainstay Goro Majima, the Mad Dog of Shimano. This eccentric character features his own fighting style and abilities, as well as a personality in stark contrast to Kiryu’s. The release date for Yakuzo 0 has not yet been announced.

A pair of handheld role-playing games bring even more depth to Atlus’ E3 showing. The first is Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, due this summer on the Nintendo 3DS. Set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo and featuring more than 450 demons to fight and recruit, the game updates the delightfully challenging battle system of the beloved series with the ability to bring one of seven partners into combat.

Joining it on the 3DS this summer is SEGA’s 7th Dragon III Code: VFD, the first in the turn-based, dungeon-crawling RPG series to make an appearance in the U.S. The complex, standalone story has players jumping through the distant past, the far future, and present-day Tokyo to fend off a swarm of dragons who invade Earth in the year 2100.

Finally, SEGA is showing off a rhythm game starring the wildly popular—and purely digital—singer Hatsune Miku. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X offers 30 catchy songs and nearly 300 costume items, letting players create their own custom concerts starring Miku. Set for a fall release on PS4 and PlayStation Vita, the game lets players interact with Miku and her friends (who are actually aware that they are in a video game!).

From the classic to the quirky, Atlus’ booth is packed with hand-picked variety from the Land of the Rising Sun.

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