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TGS11; Hands-on with Clan of Champions and other NIS news

Submitted by on Friday, 16 September 20113 Comments

NIS America today announced two new PS3 titles at a special Tokyo Game Show launch event, including a new IP from Tenchu developer Acquire called Clan of Champions and a sequel to Hyperdimension Neptunia. Both are slated for a spring 2012 release.

The event was held at the Tokyo Bay Hotel in Makuhari, near the main event, and PS3 Attitude was there to go hands-on with Clan of Champions and see what else NIS has planned for the next 12 months.

Clan of Champions

Clan of Champions is described as a “hardcore multiplayer action game”. It is, as NIS America CEO Haru Akenaga describes, a departure from NIS’s trademark 2D style. It is high fantasy, featuring orcs and elfs, and it has a distinctly western, realist, look. The character models are big, and the studio is focused on creating detailed enviornmental textures and character expressions.

That’s not to say the game isn’t without its ‘interesting’ Japanese quirks. One notable feature sees players not only lose their health, but also their armour. Find yourself in a spot of bother and you can expect to be left with nothing more than a loin cloth to cover your unmentionables. Thankfully, our foes also suffer the same embarrassments, and you can even pick up their fallen shields and swords. So, this feature actually has a practical use and isn’t just a gimmick. Basically, get looting, if you want to stay covered up.

The game can be played either alone, in co-op or with up to three players online. There is also an optional three against three head-to-head mode, as well as the option to form parties and create clans over PSN.

Players can play as either a human, elf or orc. Each has their own qualities but we found the human to be the most balanced. There is room, though, to customise both the appearance and stats of your characters, and there are several weapon options.

Players can also focus on and master weapons. The more you use a particular weapon, say a sword, the more skills and moves you will learn.

Acquire plans to heavily support Clan of Champions through DLC, and we expect to have new quests, items and weapons arrive after its release (or on the day of release, judging by current trends).

Clan of Champions actually reminds us a lot of the unremarkable Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. They share many stylistic and thematic ideas. However, with clan support, customisation options and a practical sense of humour, Clan of Champions has the potential to do much better. Let’s hope so.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2

At the launch event, NIS also announced Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2, which brings us back to familiar, and more than a bit odd, NIS territory. Hyperdimension Neptunia sees you take control of humanoid version of fantasy game consoles to protect the land of Gamindustri. It’s very odd, as we said, but its colourful anime style is certainly lovely.

Idea Factory is still in control, and the studio is promising the following new features:

  • All-new free-roaming style battle system for more strategic combat
  • Streamlined combo system that allows faster combo execution
  • New item synthesis system to craft items and weapons
  • Guild system to take on multiple missions

Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention

NIS is also planning to show PS Vita some love by releasing Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention on the handheld. It will feature all-new characters, stories and game systems. We’re big fans of this tactical RPG series, and we think it’s a good fit for a handheld, so we’re looking forward to counting our geo panels and re-visiting the Item World once again when it arrives next spring.