Microsoft normally has a lot to prove to Japan’s gamers, as traditionally that audience isn’t all that interested in FPSs and other popular Western genres. This year the Seattle-based company announced an insane mix of super-hardcore, Japanese games during its press conference at the Tokyo Game Show, perhaps winning over some doubtful players. The biggest surprise announcements of all involved two of the most hardcore games of all time, Steel Battalion and Radiant Silver Gun.
Above: Radiant Silver Gun on XBLA
In case you’ve never heard of it, Radiant Silver Gun (alternately spelled Radiant Silvergun) was a Japan-only game for the Saturn and arcades by developer Treasure. Like most Treasure games it gained a loyal cult following, but Radiant Silver Gun was special in that it was regarded as one of the best shoot-em-ups of its time, thanks in no small part to its advanced RPG-inspired leveling system and clever stage design. Unfortunately, it came out when Sega had basically killed the Saturn in America, so the game has only been available to collectors with too much money on their hands.
Above: Some recent eBay auctions for RSG
But no more! Despite Treasure developers saying many times in past interviews that RSG would never, ever be remade, apparently Microsoft recently talked the company into it. Now the game is being completely redone for HD, and even inheriting some of the features from Ikaruga, RSG’s spiritual sequel. Planned for release next year, all you guys out there who have the original might want to sell it before it loses all its aftermarket value.
Above: Steel Battalion
Later in the same conference Capcom introduced a new game for Kinect, but this was no Wii Sports knock-off. Capcom, with developer From Software (of Demon’s Souls and Armored Core fame), were making a new entry in Steel Battalion, one of the most niche titles ever made for the first Xbox. The game itself was a pretty hardcore mech game, but the real insanity came from the$200, 40-button controller.
Above: Here’s the original in action
Unlike RGS, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is a new game in the series, the third total (seriously, there was a second Steel Battalion for Xbox). And instead of a $200 controller, now it will use a $150 non-controller, as one of the most intricately controlled games ever is coming to the hands-free Kinect. Sadly, other than the new trailer, there was little info on just how this whole thing will come actually play, but we are anxious to see in 2011.
Above: The Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor trailer
We’re not sure how many new 360 buyers this earned Microsoft in Japan, but we’re certainly impressed at MS for bringing in such niche titles. We’ve always wanted to give the pricey Radiant Silver Gun a try, and Steel Battalion, along with Codename D, gives us new hope for Kinect. Well, new hope next year anyway.
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