Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Aug 262022
 

I keep hoping for a new Wild Arms announcement. I keep hoping for a Shadow Hearts revival, too.

But in the absence of those two things, spiritual successors have been announced.

Yes, one for each.

WILD BUNCH Productions, founded by Wild Arms creators, has announced Armed Fantasia: To the Ends of the Wilderness, a large-scale JRPG inspired by Wild Arms.

At the same time, YUKIKAZE, founded by Shadow Hearts creators, has announced gothic horror JRPG Penny Blood, inspired by Shadow Hearts.

The two will hold a joint Kickstarter for these games, with a combined funding goal of $750,000 for PC releases. The campaign will begin on August 29.

Overviews of the two games, along with information about how the joint Kickstarter will work, are detailed here by Gematsu. An interview with the two development teams also sheds further light on them.

What stands out to me the most is that these two games are fully embracing their inspirations. Armed Fantasia looks like Wild Arms, and Penny Blood looks like Shadow Hearts.

(According to the interview, the Armed Fantasia characters being called Pathfinders is even just a different translation of the same Japanese word that was translated as Drifters in Wild Arms.)

Armed Fantasia is aiming to have a “gigantic” world map, with the aim being a world map “so big that there isn’t a word to express how big it is.” That makes me a little nervous, both because this is a crowdfunded project and because having your goal just be to have the biggest map possible doesn’t feel to me like the best priority. However, it also sounds like there’s a chance that it’ll be a traditional JRPG world map, which would make me very happy.

Moving on to Penny Blood, while it looks like a Shadow Hearts successor through and through (it’s not visible in any of the screenshots, but the interview describes a “Psycho Sigil” that sounds like the new version of the Judgement Ring), it stands out from its predecessors by involving murder investigations. According to the interview, sub-quests will feature “fingerprinting, voiceprint profiling, mental profiling such as Rorschach tests, and other pioneering methods of criminal profiling.”

One concern I had initially is that the funding goal seems low for this sort of project, but it sounds like the Kickstarter is intended to be used to demonstrate interest and get a publisher on board. With as ambitious as these games look, I hope they succeed.

So a Wild Arms spiritual successor and a Shadow Hearts spiritual successor that’s also a detective game; I haven’t been this excited for a Kickstarter in quite a while! Check out the articles I linked above to learn more about the games, and then join me in waiting for the Armed Fantasia and Penny Blood Kickstarter campaign to go live!

What are your thoughts on Armed Fantasia and Penny Blood?

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  3 Responses to “Spiritual Successors to Wild Arms and Shadow Hearts Announced for Double Kickstarter”

  1. I find it interesting that they are doing a joint funding goal. Having essentially two separate games, and game creators, in one joint kickstarter could be a risky move… especially if one game ends up doing better or being made faster than the other.

    • Yes, it’s an unusual decision… I wonder if they felt that since both are somewhat niche turn-based JRPGs, they might not get as much attention if they held separate campaigns. I assume the same publisher is interested in both if the Kickstarter demonstrates enough interest.

  2. […] Friday we discussed the exciting announcement of Armed Fantasia and Penny Blood, and now the Kickstarter campaign is […]

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