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Over in one corner of TGS, there was a modestly sized booth occupied by Flyhigh Works. This is a company devoted exclusively to publishing downloadable titles — mostly for the Vita and 3DS, but there are plans for PS4 and Wii U publishing in the future. It wasn't the busiest of booths, but on a day when the TGS guest attendance came close to breaking into sextuple digits, this was more of a plus in its favor. It was a nice spot to breathe, relax a bit, and chat with the guys running the company.
While the company publishes across multiple platforms, at the moment most of its English-language work is on the 3DS for various reasons. So today we are taking a look at some of what the company has lined up for the rest of the year.
At this time, Flyhigh doesn't do a lot of work with RPGs, though hopefully that will change eventually. For now, the only new title in that genre is Fairune II, sequel to a little game I reviewed earlier this year. The first one was charmingly cute, but also too simple and easy, so it's good to hear that Fairune II has expanded on its base. The second game is literally twice the size of the first, with more puzzles and monsters as well as a skill boosting system that required little medals found throughout the game.
It's still the same little series at heart, so I doubt it will be too terribly difficult. But goshdarnit if it isn't the cutest little retro thing ever. I'm hoping that CIRCLE Entertainment continues to learn from its experiences, and each game becomes better than the last.
The second big title that Flyhigh was promoting wasn't an RPG, but I enjoyed it enough that I'll probably buy it eventually. Majin Shoujo Ep. 2 - Negai e no Daika (Legend of Dark Witch: The Price of Desire) is billed as coming to the 3DS e-shop sometime later this year. The first game was also available to try on the Vita, though it appears there is also a 3DS version that was released in all regions last fall. I had the chance to chat with the game's director, who goes by the professional moniker of NAN-A, and he had a lot to say.
First, it was easy to guess what his inspirations were. He freely admits to loving both the MegaMan and Touhou series, and this game combines both themes. There were two levels available to play on the business days, plus another two on the public days, which provided a fair amount of the game to experience. Not available in the demo version were the upgrade options or the mini-game section, which includes beat-rhythm elements as well as character chats (he's also a fan of Rhythm Heaven and the Tales of series). This seems to sit well with the fans, as the game's official website has an entire page devoted to a design contest for minor enemies.
The basic plot focuses on Zizou Olympia, professional otherworldly deity who is generally tasked with maintaining the balance of between the world of demons and the world of humans. Human magicians require a special ore from the demon world in order to create new magics, and a common plot point for the series is that someone has stolen large amounts of this ore for nefarious purposes, thus forcing Zizou to postpone her naptime and actually do some work for a change. She's rarely happy about that. In this game, the kingdom of Germa has gathered some of the most accomplished magical researchers in the world, tasking them with the creation of what amounts to a magical nuke for the purpose of quickly disposing of any country that threatens them. Then the neighboring kingdom of Leanna gets in on the act, poaching away some of those researchers and starting their own program. So Zizou's nap gets interrupted once again so that she can put an end to this mutually assured magical destruction.
A bit over two years ago, we covered the first game in this series in Japandemonium. The sequel works on the same basic premise of a witch and a hero working together to take down a big bad demon, with the added ability of the witch to actually move around this time (she was petrified in the first one). Still, it plays much the same. The Hero must do most of the close-in fighting, because while he recovers from knockouts fairly quickly, the Witch won't. Instead, she sends out fire balls and slashing winds in regular patterns for as long as she has magic to power it. To keep her stocked up, the Hero needs to pick up crystalized monster blood from fallen foes and deliver it back to her.
Like many downloadable titles for the 3DS, Majo to Yuusha II spent some time as an iOS-only title, and while there is little footage for the current build, there are videos that can give us some idea of what it looks like.
For the 3DS edition, the Hero is controlled with the circular pad, while the Witch is controlled with the XABY buttons. Both characters can be upgraded as they gain experience, and from what I played of the demo, that experience will be both hard-earned and sorely needed.
I'd like to thank the guys at Flyhigh Works and all the studios who are working with them at this time to help prove that the 3DS is a viable platform for affordable download titles. Hopefully we will be hearing more from them all in the future.
And that's the news from TGS,
Your man in Japan,
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