Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Nov 292023

Today had the potential for some exciting video game announcements, so I was looking forward to it, starting with Level-5 Vision 2023 II early this morning.

It began with a message from Professor Layton’s Japanese voice actor, who revealed that when he was first given the part of Professor Layton, he drew inspiration from James Bond. Not what I expected, but that’s a fun detail.

The first game they showed was Megaton Musashi Wired, which will be out on April 25, 2024.

Getting an actual release date for one of the games relieved some of my worries, even though I’m not interested in that one specifically.

Next up was a new trailer for Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time, which I’m really looking forward to! The new trailer highlights changes from the first game as well as a summer 2024 release window. While that’s further off than I’d like, at least it gives me a chance to get through the rush of early 2024 games first!

They spent a good deal of time looking at the next Inazuma Eleven game after that. I’ve never gotten into that series, but since this game has been delayed over and over again for over 7 years now, it’s nice to see it finally making progress. While it didn’t get a release date, there will be a closed beta test for the online features in March 2024.

Now, you know I only watched this live because I wanted Professor Layton news, so I was thrilled when they showed Professor Layton and the New World of Steam next.

The new trailer shows a small section of the game, including a 3D cutscene and some gameplay. Watching them tap around for hint coins and encounter a puzzle might not sound like a big deal, but seeing that good, familiar Professor Layton gameplay make me so happy. Hearing narration during the puzzle-solving was a bit odd, so I think that might have been purely for the trailer (unless that’s the way hints will be handled in this game). It also appeared like they were using the touchscreen, which is interesting.

Unfortunately, Professor Layton and the New World of Steam won’t be out until 2025. With the other games all delayed to 2024, I was expecting it, but it was still a little disappointing.

I had expected them to end with Professor Layton, but instead they went on to briefly discuss the success of the Yokai Watch mobile game, and then they continued with Decapolice.

I’ve been interested in Decapolice since I love mystery games and it seems to have JRPG elements as well, but I was surprised to hear them describe it as an open world game. The showcase also said the release date had been moved to “post-2024,” although a tweet later clarified that they meant 2024.

The showcase ended with the announcement that the next showcase, titled Level-5 Vision 2024: To the World’s Children, will be held in April 2024, teasing an announcement implied to be a new Yokai Watch game. So that’s certainly exciting!

While it was mainly a showcase full of delay news, I was still thrilled to get a longer look at the new Professor Layton game. And the day wasn’t over yet, because Idea Factory’s otome-themed “just chatting” stream was coming up next with the promise of an announcement.

Indeed, Idea Factory kicked things off with the announcement that Cupid Parasite: Sweet and Spicy Darling, is being localized! This is the fandisc of Cupid Parasite, which I loved.

I’ve been hoping the fandisc would get localized, so that was a great surprise! It will be out in 2024, and a Limited Edition will be available as well.

All in all, it was a great day for video game news for me. And while the Level-5 delays might be disappointing, I’ve got plenty of games in my backlog to occupy me in the meantime.

How do you feel about the new trailer for Professor Layton and the New World of Steam? What about Level-5’s other announcements? Are you excited for the Cupid Parasite fandisc?

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Nov 272023

We’ve got a few video game live streams lined up for this week, with the big ones being a Dragon’s Dogma II showcase tomorrow at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET, and of course Level-5’s showcase the following morning.

But the one that’s gone under the radar is that Idea Factory announced an otome-themed “just chatting” stream for November 29 at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET.

Now, since it’s a chatting stream, we probably shouldn’t expect any new announcements. All the same, they did say we “won’t want to miss this one,” so who knows?

The last time IFI announced otome localizations, it was at Anime Expo, with the announcements of My Next Life As a Villainess and Sympathy Kiss. My Next Life As a Villainess is out tomorrow, and Sympathy Kiss is set for February 27, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they have another 2024 title coming. Given the timing, however, it’s even more likely that the stream will highlight My Next Life as a Villainess instead.

Either way, I’ll probably tune in just to see. Who knows, we could end up with a surprise announcement out of this after all.

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Nov 242023

I’ve been pretty excited for the upcoming release of the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy, but the one disappointing fact was that it seemed to be digital-only in the west again.

However, that might not be completely true anymore.

Yesterday, listings started going live at Canadian retailers for a physical ESRB copy of the Apollo Justice Trilogy for the Switch. VGP even confirmed it and said anyone who preordered the import with them and wants to change to the North American version should get in touch.

So it seems the North American Switch version, at least, will be available as a physical copy. (Amazon Canada listed it as the “Pollo Justice Trilogy”, which is questionable, but everything else seems legitimate.) Other retailers haven’t followed suit yet, but yesterday being Thanksgiving might have something to do with that.

I’m excited about this for several reasons. First, I just like having physical copies of my games. I’m one of those people who preordered the import already since it seemed like it would be digital-only here. Second, since Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice were digital-only 3DS releases, this will be the first time those games are getting a physical release in North America! And third, this bodes well for how Capcom views the series.

I mentioned earlier this year that Ace Attorney’s future looks brighter than ever (or at least brighter than it has been in over a decade). The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles getting a localization and a physical Switch release in North America felt like Capcom had faith in the series, faith rewarded by its excellent sales. The Apollo Justice Trilogy being made at all was already another promising sign, and if it’s getting a physical release in North America, that really suggests Capcom believes it will sell enough to be worth it.

(Though apparently they don’t have that same faith in European and PS4 players, let alone Xbox players.)

This is exciting! I’m more convinced than ever that Capcom will follow through with more Ace Attorney games, such as our long-awaited Ace Attorney 7. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to switch my import preorder to an ESRB copy and keeping an eye on other retailers to see if they’ll list the Apollo Justice Trilogy as well.

Will you be buying a physical release of the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy?

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