Xseed publishing Vanillaware's online RPG 'Grand Knights History'

XSEED has picked up Vanillaware's recent PSP release, the turn-based RPG Grand Knights History, with the intention to publish it in both UMD and digital releases this winter. Rising Star Games will publish it in Europe at an unspecified time. Vanillaware, if you can't quite place the name, is the developer of absurdly pretty 2D games like Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Odin Sphere, and the upcoming Dragon's Crown.

Grand Knights History depicts a war between three European-style nations, Union, Avalon, and Logres. Players choose one of the factions, recruit teams of soldiers, and face off against the other two armies in battles that take place over 30 hours. Each team member is fully customizable.

During TGS, I spoke with producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto, from development partner and publisher Marvelous, who explained the unique online functionality of this title -- the part that he thinks will help appeal to western audiences. "The way it works is you have these four parties online," composed from within a group of 32 characters you've built. "When you're online, you can take direct control of one of these; the other three will battle automatically. The other three parties are synced up to the server. But if you can't get online, all four will fight on their own."

While the online play is seen as a feature to draw in western players, the choice of gameplay system displays what seems to be a uniquely Japanese view. "The reason this was chosen: we did Muramasa: The Demon Blade with Vanillaware previously," Hashimoto said, "an action game. Some people are good at action, and some people are not. So with this game -- everybody can play a turn-based battle, and so every player will be able to get through the story and see the end, which is what we wanted."%Gallery-134648%
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XSEED Games to Publish Grand Knights History, from Marvelous Entertainment and Renowned Developer Vanillaware, on PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system

Highly-Acclaimed 2D RPG Headed to North America Featuring Gorgeous Hand-Drawn Graphics, Addictive Gameplay and Unique Online Functionality

Torrance, Calif., (September 22, 2011) – XSEED Games, an independent-minded publisher, today announced that it signed a deal with Marvelous Entertainment to publish the highly-acclaimed 2D turn-based RPG, Grand Knights History, this winter on the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system in North America. Receiving the coveted Platinum Award by Famitsu when recently released in Japan, the title is developed by the RPG veterans at Vanillaware, and takes players to a medieval setting in which they must decide the fate of an epic struggle among three powerful nations.

"XSEED Games is excited to be bringing Grand Knights History to the North American audience," said Jun Iwasaki, President of XSEED Games. "Vanillaware is renowned for their beautiful and striking hand-drawn 2D graphics, and with its stunning visuals and strategic gameplay, Grand Knights History will be a must-have for all PSP owners with a taste for deep, engrossing RPGs."

Presented with a gorgeous palette of rich colors and a distinctive hand-painted art style, Grand Knights History takes place in the land of Listia, a European-inspired medieval continent plagued by conflict as the struggle for land and power sees three competing nations stuck at a standstill. For years, the lands of Union, Avalon and Logres have battled against one another for supremacy, with the resulting bloodshed across the land reaching historical proportions. With no nation able to gain an advantage, the war rages on unabated.

While these three nations vie for continental domination, one captain must choose a nation with which to align him/herself, then recruit teams of able-bodied soldiers and train them into battle-ready knights to send off into the ever-changing online war campaign. It is up to players to choose an allegiance with one of the three factions, then progress through offline questing and intense 30-hour online skirmishes, all making use of deep, strategic RPG combat and expansive customization. Race, sex, appearance, job class, sub-class and weapon type are all freely alterable for every team member, so no two knights are ever the same; and unique massively-multiplayer online functionality allows players to test their knights against others from all corners of North America, without even requiring a constant internet connection.

Grand Knights History was developed by Vanillaware and will be published in North America by XSEED Games this winter both as a UMD disc and download through the PlayStation®Store. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB. Rising Star Games will be publishing the title in Europe.


About XSEED Games:
XSEED Games was formed in November 2004 by a small group of industry veterans led by president Jun Iwasaki with a common vision: to cross-pollinate the avid gaming cultures of Japan and North America. Delivering unique, innovative titles across multiple platforms and genres, XSEED Games is dedicated to publishing products that appeal to and enrich the North American market. More information on XSEED Games can be found at http://www.xseedgames.com

This article was originally published on Joystiq.