Erica Fontaine & Gemini Sunrise (Sakura Wars)
While Ichiro and Sakura both hail from Sakura Wars' Tokyo-based Flower Division, Project X Zone's second team from the franchise expands its scope considerably. Reporting to the New York Combat Revue and Groupe Fleur de Paris respectively, samurai cowgirl Gemini Sunrise and gun-totin' holy-woman Erica Fontaine lend PXZ an international flavor. However, we worry what the theatres of Paris and New York will do if demons invade while Project X Zone's adventures are taking place, we can only guess.
Pai Chan & Akira Yuki (Virtua Fighter)
These two began their digital lives as crude approximations whose character models boasted less polygons than there are words in this sentence. Flash forward to now and Virtua Fighter's Akira and Pai have hung on until the technology existed to make them look as good as they played.
Both skilled fighters have appeared in crossover titles before, most recently making guest appearances in Dead or Alive 5. Akira has also been seen behind the driving wheel in the original Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.
Toma & Cyrille (Shining Force EXA)
Dual protagonists of the PlayStation 2's Shining Force EXA, Toma and Cyrille are an RPG power-couple if ever there was one. He's an orphan boy who dreams of being the world's greatest swordsman, and she's a taciturn magic-user whose origin and motives are shrouded in intrigue.
Sure, their backstories may lack originality, but you've got to hand it to those weapons. Even by Project X Zone's high standards, those are some distinctive outsized battle implements.
Zephyr & Leanne (Resonance of Fate)
Veterans of the PS3/Xbox 360 RPG Resonance of Fate, Zephyr and Leanne could be accused of having a somewhat unfair advantage in that both are kinda-sorta immortal: Leanne is a suicide survivor and Zephyr's debut saw him shot in the head after destroying the seminary where he was raised. Then again, merely-human characters are in short supply in a game about robots fighting vampires and demons, so the Resonance of Fate duo ought to fit right in.
Yuri & Estellise (Tales of Vesperia)
Representing the tenth canonical installment of Namco's popular Tales series, Yuri Lowell and Estellise Sidos Heurassian address the all-important disillusioned knight/naive princess dynamic. Any JRPG worth its XP finds a way to incorporate those archetypes sooner or later.
By porting the characters over from 2009's Tales of Vesperia, Namco Bandai cannily manages to get twice the mileage out of the tough-'n'-magical pair, which is clever. But then, you don't get to be a world-renowned media conglomerate by shelving perfectly good characters after they've served their initial purpose.
Jin Kazama & Ling Xiaoyu (Tekken)
Two of the best-known combatants from Namco Bandai's flagship fighter, Jin and Ling manage to encompass pretty much the dueling tragic and comic tones of Tekken. He's the demonically-possessed son of tragic antihero Kazuya Mishima, infused with an ancient evil that grants limitless power in return for the host's soul. She's an amusement-park-obsessed playgirl whose best friend is a panda called Panda.
If you've never played Tekken, congratulations, you're basically an aficionado now.
Kite & Blackrose (.hack)
Namco Bandai's .hack series debuted ten years ago, and managed to construct a cogent storyline based around life inside a high-stakes MMORPG years before the likes of World of WarCraft were household names. Namco earns extra points for cross-media planning, stretching the story over multiple games and anime series.
Removed from that context, the series' hero Kite and his fellow player Blackrose are less meta-gaming archetypes and more just two kids with really big swords and an appetite for destruction. By that reasoning, they ought to fit right in.
T-Elos & KOS-MOS (Xenosaga)
Xenosaga fans will no doubt be delighted to see series mainstay KOS-MOS joined up with her long-standing antagonist T-Elos for an adventure (comparatively) free from esoteric techno-babble. Newcomers to the series probably don't need to know that these two girlish battle-robots are constructed to be the ultimate intergalactic spiritual fighting machines. They also could go without hearing that KOS-MOS is programmed to think like Biblical supertramp Mary Magdalene while T-Elos is constructed primarily out of the resurrected body of same... but it can't hurt.
Soma & Alisa (God Eater)
The stoic Soma Schicksal & Alisa Ilinichina Amiella occupy supporting roles in God Eater, a game that was published in America as the enhanced Gods Eater Burst. With names that unwieldy and fighting skills that prominent, it's hard to imagine the professional monster-hunters playing second fiddle to anyone other than their cartoonishly oversized weapons.
No longer overshadowed by their co-op partners in Project X Zone, the pair finally have the limelight to themselves, and might celebrate with a weapon upgrade or two.
Haken & Kaguya (Endless Frontier)
Say hello to Haken Browning and Kaguya Nanbu of Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier. If you're in the elite group that played the DS original, you'll be pleased to reacquaint yourself with the game's bounty-hunter protagonist and his ample sidekick.
If you didn't, well, he's a cowboy bounty-hunter semi-based on Captain Hook. And his companion's prominent chest was the first thing you noticed about her, shame on you, but rest assured this is a recurring theme in the original game.