If you are mainly into mainstream games, May will probably be a quiet month and give you enough time to deal with the backlog from the first 4 months of this year, If you are into niche Japanese games though, you might add even more games to your backlog instead of reducing it!
The Caligula Effect
The Caligula Effect is a Vita-exclusive title from Furyu who are usually known for low and mediocre budget RPGs like Lost Dimension or The Legend of Legacy. The Caligula Effect seems to be an attempt to tap into the Persona audience with a similar mix of highschool setting and dungeon gameplay. The main writer for this game was actually part of the development team that created the original Persona as well as Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, so I am at least a bit curious on how this game will turn out, but I am not expecting much to be honest.
Platform: PlayStation Vita (digital only)
Developer/Publisher: Aquria / Atlus USA
Release Date: May 2nd (NA), May 9th (EU)
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd
My readers will probably know by now that I am a huge fan of the Trails series and it’s therefore not surprising that Trails in the Sky the 3rd is my most anticipated title of this month. While the 3rd is part of the Trails in the Sky saga, it is considered more as a spin-off than as a full-fledged sequel (since SC already resolved the main plot) it is nevertheless an integral part for the whole saga.
I am really excited to revisit Liberl and to meet all the main characters from the previous games again. I am sure that the game will feature the great world building and music that the series is known for once again, so it will definitely be a blast to play. It’s just unfortunate that XSEED isn’t localizing the PSP Version since it is a bit awkward for me to jump from the Vita to the PC, but considering the fact that the PSP is an ancient piece of hardware by now, I can’t really blame them.
As far as I know the game also provides pretty interesting background information for the still unlocalized Crossbell games (Zero and Ao no Kiseki) and who knows… if this game and the recently announced PC ports of Cold Steel I and II should be successful we might see Zero and Ao in the long run as well.
Developer/Publisher: Nihon Falcom / XSEED Games
Release Date: May 3rd
Prey is probably the biggest game in May in terms of budget and mainstream-appeal. The re-imagining of the original Prey in 2006 seems to fly a bit under the radar, although the game seems to be coming along nicely from the bits of footage that I’ve seen. Not much more that I can say about this title though since it’s not really my cup of tea.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Developer/Publisher: Arkane Studios / Bethesda
Release Date: May 5th
I played a bit of the first Injustice because it was free on PS+ and while it wasn’t bad it didn’t hold my attention for very long. I am not a big fighting game fan, but if I wanted to play one I’d rather play Soul Calibur or fail at one of the many 2D fighting games instead. Probably doesn’t help that I am not into superheroes, but I am sure it will have its fans 🙂
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer/Publisher: NetherRealm Studios / Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: May 16th
Akiba’s Beat is nominally the third entry in the Akiba series, but doesn’t share many similar elements to the two previos games Akiba’s Trip and Akiba’s Trip 2. Instead of exposing vampires by stripping them of their clothes, Akiba’s Beat focuses more on normal JRPG mechanics and systems and resembles games like Tokyo Xanadu for example. From what I’ve seen it looks like an average Anime-Action-RPG though, so I am not that excited for it to be honest.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Developer/Publisher: Acquire / XSEED Games (NA); PQube (EU)
Release Date: May 16th (NA); May 19th (EU)
Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy
Operation Babel is the sequel to Operation Abyss that was released in the West 2 years ago. Players who already played a Dungeon-Crawler by Experience should know what to expect. Classic First-Person Dungeon-Crawling with a ton of different character classes and anime artwork. I will probably skip this for now since I haven’t even played the first game and Stranger of Sword City yet.
Platforms: PlayStation Vita, PC
Developer/Publisher: Experience Inc. / NIS America
Release Date: May 16th (NA); May 19th (EU)
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a full remake of the second game in the series: Fire Emblem Gaiden (1992). The announcement of this title in January came a bit as a surprise, but since the original game was never released in the West, it was not an unwelcomed one. I am not that familiar with the series as a whole which is why I can’t say anything about the original game, but based on the fact alone that Nintendo is remaking this title shows the renewed popularity and success of the Fire Emblem franchise.
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Developer/Publisher: Intelligent Systems / Nintendo
Release Date: May 19th
Disgaea 5 Complete
Disgaea 5 Complete is the first Disgaea game on a Nintendo console since the port of the original Disgaea for the Nintendo DS and it is pretty clear that Nippon Ichi is using their flagship series to test out the Switch waters. After releasing complete versions of the previous Disgaea games for the Vita, it makes sense to move over to the Switch to grab the Handheld crowd with the Vita slowly fading away from the scene. As a SRPG, Disgaea is certainly a perfect fit for a portable console like the Switch, but the question remains whether the Switch audience is actually interested in such a title.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer/Publisher: Nippon Ichi / NIS America
Release Date: May 23rd (NA); May 26th (EU)
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada
This game is basically a spin-off of Samurai Warriors 4 that was made to coincide with the final of popular Japanese drama series “Sanada Maru”. While all officers from Samurai Warriors 4 and its expansions are playable in this game, the story mode mainly focuses on the story of the Sanada clan during the Sengoku era. The game also features 5 new playable characters (Masayuki Sanada, Chacha, Sasuke, Katsuyori Takeda and Hidetada Tokugawa).
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
Developer/Publisher: Omega-Force / Koei-Tecmo
Release Date: May 23rd (NA); May 26th (EU)
Summon Night 6: Lost Borders
Update: Delayed until further notice
Summon Night 6 is the newest game in the relatively unknown Summon Night franchise and I must admit that even I don’t know much about this series except for the fact that it is a S-RPG with Visual Novel elements. This is the first time that a Summon Night game is being released in the West so closely to its Japanese release date which might help for its visibility (it didn’t help that the 2 other SN games that were localized were released o PSP in the last few years).
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita (both versions digital-only in EU)
Developer/Publisher: Media.Vision / Gaijinworks
May 23rd Delayed
Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception
This game with a tongue-twister title is the sequel to the 2002 PC-Game Utawarerumono that combines Visual Novel elements with S-RPG elements (with a clear focus on the VN elements though). It follows the story of Hakuoro who is found and saved by a family of two girls and their grandmother. He suffers from amnesia and wears a mysterious mask that he can’t remove. He stays in the village during his recovery and quickly befriends its inhabitants. After witnessing how the region in which the village is situated is being oppressed by the emperor, he finds himself leading a rebellion that tries to overthrow the empire.
I actually haven’t played the original game but watched the anime adaptation instead which was pretty cool. I really liked the setting and the characters and I am therefore thrilled that this sequel is coming to the West. I’ll probably need to play the first game before I attempt this new title though since I have almost forgotten everything by now…
One additonal info is that this sequel is actually split into two parts, but Atlus has already announced that the second part Mask of Truth will be localized as well, so there is no need to worry about the story staying untold.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita ( Vita digital-only in EU)
Developer/Publisher: Aquaplus / Atlus USA (NA); Deep Silver (EU)
Release Date: May 23rd
Rime was announced as a PS4-exclusive at E3 2013 and a lot of players were pretty excited about this Team Ico inspired Action-Adventure game. The game went through quite a bit of trouble though and rumors that Sony cancelled the game became wide-spread. Last year the developers announced that they re-acquired the rights to the game from Sony though and that the game would be released on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch. I am curious whether this game will reach the quality of its inspirations after this troubled development history.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Developer/Publisher: Tequila Works / Grey Box & Six Foot
Release Date: May 26th (PS4, XBO, PC); Q3 2017 (Switch)