Sega’s an interesting company. Whenever they appear in gaming news, they seem to accompany either incredibly great things, or disastrously bad ones.
They’re a company that’s created ground-breaking marvels in the gaming world, with titles like Virtua Fighter, Shenmue, and After Burner. They have a stable of niche classics and rabid fanbases for games like Sakura Wars, Valkyria Chronicles, and Phantasy Star. They’re arcade legends that gave birth to countless staples like Golden Axe, Hang On, and Outrun.
Hell, Sega were the one company that was able to give Nintendo a run for its money in the early ’90s, with classics like Sonic the Hedgehog, Shinobi III, and Vectorman. There were other reasons, of course, that included a brilliant marketing campaign, a swath of brilliant sports games, and a reputation for hosting more “mature” games after the infamous Mortal Kombat debacle, but I digress.
In today’s market, though, fans have come to expect disappointment in some form or another. Sonic games regularly hit shelves to disappointing reception. Highly requested niche titles like Yakuza are outright ignored by the company outside of Japan. Even games that were promised to hit the west end up becoming casualties of a deafening silence.
Still, I can’t help but smile when I see something like this arise.
At this year’s Tokyo Game Show, Sega announced that a pair of characters from Valkyria Chronicles will join the roster of Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, a fast-paced 2D fighter that will serve as a celebration of the Dengeki Bunko comics magazine. The roster will be filled with a number of fan favorites that appeared in the magazine’s pages over the years. The confirmed fighter roster so far includes the following:
- Shana (Shakugan no Shana)
- Asuna (Sword Art Online)
- Mikoto Misaka (A Certain Magical Index)
- Kirino Kōsaka (Oreimo)
- Shizuo (Durarara!!)
- Kuroyukihime (Accel World)
- Tomoka Minato (Ro-Kyu-Bu!)
- Kirito (Sword Art Online)
- Miyuki Shiba (The irregular at magic high school)
- Taiga Aisaka (Toradora!)
- Yukina Himeragi (Strike the Blood)
- Rentarō Satomi (Black Bullet)
- Selvaria (Valkyria Chronicles – Sega)
- Akira (Virtua Fighter – Sega)
In addition, the series will include a gaggle of support characters, which span an even greater number of popular titles. The confirmed supporters are as follows:
- Wilhelmina (Shakugan no Shana)
- Leafa (Sword Art Online)
- Tōma Kamijō (A Certain Magical Index)
- Kuroneko (Oreimo)
- Celty (Durarara!!)
- Haruyuki (Accel World)
- Tomoka’s Teammates (Ro-Kyu-Bu!)
- Tatsuya Shiba (The irregular at magic high school)
- Ryuji (Toradora!)
- Kojō Akatsuki (Strike the Blood)
- Enju Aihara (Black Bullet)
- Holo (Spice and Wolf)
- Boogiepop (Boogiepop Phantom)
- Sadao Maō (The Devil is a Part-Timer!)
- Innocent Charm (Ro-Kyu-Bu!)
- Kōko Kaga (Golden Time)
- Kino (Kino’s Journey)
- Mashiro Shiina (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)
- Erio Tōwa (Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
- Alicia (Valkyria Chronicles – Sega)
- Pai (Virtua Fighter – Sega)
The entire presentation, from start to finish, looks simply incredible. The gameplay looks like it could’ve come from the fighting genre’s finest, and the sheer level of fan service is off the charts. Given that the developer is Melty Blood creators French Bread, we should definitely expect a stunning overall product. Initial impressions have been highly positive, and the fan response has been enthusiastic, to say lightly.
Its likelihood of being released outside of Japan is fairly dim, due to the hot mess of paperwork and red tape known as “licensing”. Still, I still can’t help but marvel at such a fantastic overall package.