After the exciting new acquisitions announced at the Aksys Games panel, I was a bit disappointed that the NIS America industry panel was lacking in terms of new titles. However, that didn't mean the panel wasn't without some interesting news and general good-natured fun.
Jack Niida, a producer from NISA, started us off with a gameplay trailer for Cave Story 3D, an action platformer for the Nintendo 3DS. Cave Story 3D is a remake of the original Cave Story. Mr. Niida gave a quick discussion about what to expect in the game, such as new items, extended stages, and other features.
Moving along, Phoenix Spalding, who does localization and script editing for NISA, was brought on stage to show the English language gameplay trailer for Bleach: Soul Resurreccion for the PS3. A hack and slash game with RPG elements, Soul Resurreccion apparently follows the story of the Bleach franchise from when Ichigo Kurosaki enters Hueco Mundo up until his battle with Aizen. The release date is pinned down for August 2nd, 2011. I'm terribly out of the loop when it comes to Bleach (I wasn't too far into the Hueco Mundo arc when I lost track of the show), but the graphics look sweet and you can choose to play as 21 different characters from the show.
Next up, Steve Carlton, another localizer and script editor for NISA, came up and introduced the official trailer for Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten (you know the one I mean. Where the really excited deep voiced man tells you to "take a dump on the face of common sense".) Nothing new there, but it was fun to watch with a large audience. Then we were treated to a very cool surprise in the form of the president of Nippon Ichi Software, Souhei Niikawa, wearing a fabulous prinny hat and accompanied by appropriate world dominating music. Through his translator, he talked about Disgaea 4, touching on how the move to digital has allowed for the artwork in the game to really shine and how the updated network system allows for endless battles against your online friends.
After that people lined up for the standard Q & A. Besides the normal questions, there were two comments from the NISA staff that caught my attention. The first is that Makai Kingdom on the PSP was brought up. Scheduled for release in Japan on September 22nd, it was stated that NISA is "strongly considering" licensing it for the US, but have no official announcement at this time. Second, fans can apparently "expect" Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 for a US release, but as before there is no official announcement as of yet.
Despite the lack of brand spanking new announcements, a positive crowd plus an appearance by Souhei Niikawa made for an entertaining panel. The two interesting tidbits of unofficial information during the Q & A certainly didn't hurt either. I'm crossing my fingers that what I heard will end being more than just speculation.