New Harvest Moon, Bloodstained Games and More Announced at the New Game Plus Expo 2020

Games News New Game Plus Expo
New Harvest Moon, Bloodstained Games and More Announced at the New Game Plus Expo 2020

Because there weren’t enough videogame showcases already, New Game Plus Expo had its first conference today, showing off upcoming titles from mostly Japanese developers. There were plenty of generic and original projects shown off, as well as titles from long-running franchises such as Ys, Harvest Moon, Guilty Gear and Trails.

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox

Publisher: NIS America
Release window: 2021
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

Though it has a modest following overseas, the Ys series has been thriving in Japan since its launch on PC in 1987, with its first two titles later ported to the TurboGraphx-16 in the west. In the 33 years since, the JRPG saga saw seven sequels, and now its ninth installment, which released September 2019 in Japan, is making its way to the west. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox looks to carry on its action gameplay with JRPG elements, while continuing its winding story.

Harvest Moon: One World

Publisher: Natsume
Release window: Fall 2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch

This is technically a Harvest Moon game, but then again it isn’t. It’s complicated.

Due to localization and publishing changes, Harvest Moon as a series has continued under the name Story of Seasons since 2007, while its name carries on through a new series by Natsume, which started at around the same time. It’s all hard to wrap my head around, but the point stands that a new Harvest Moon game, Harvest Moon: One World, is planned to release this Fall. With Story of Seasons and especially other farming sims such as Stardew Valley to compete with, the once hallowed brand has lost a bit of its staying power, but it doesn’t look like Natsume will stop churning them out anytime soon.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2

Publisher: Inti Creates
Release date: TBA
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Meant as a short, retro-styled prelude to the Castlevania-inspired Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Curse of the Moon managed to find its own audience as well thanks to its closer adherence to Castevania’s roots. Now, the game has a sequel in the works, maintaining its 8-bit style with new locations and characters.

Fairy Tail

Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Release date: July 31
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

A videogame adaptation of the popular manga and anime series Fairy Tail launches next month. It looks to contain the same over-the-top battles found in those series through an action RPG format, complete with 16 playable characters and customizable abilities.

Guilty Gear Strive

Publisher: Arc System Works
Release window: Early 2021
Platform: PlayStation 4

Another legacy Japanese series, Guilty Gear has been celebrated for its highly technical fighting game action since the original game launched on PlayStation in 1998. Since then, the series has graced consoles and arcades with tense action and a high skill ceiling for competitive players. Its upcoming game looks to carry that tradition forward when it launches in early 2021.

Fight Crab

Publishers: Playism (Steam), Mastiff (Switch)
Release date: July 30 (Steam), TBA (Switch)
Platforms: Switch, PC

One of the weirdest-looking games shown during the event, Fight Crab seems intent on doing one thing, and doing it well: being a crab, and getting into fights. The trailer shows the aggressive crustacean using its arms, a chainsaw, rocket launchers and even a lightsaber to take down its crabby opponents. Perhaps this will be the crab-based alternative to the aggressive shark simulator, Maneater?

Trails of Cold Steel IV

Publisher: NIS America
Release date: Oct. 27 (PS4), 2021 (Switch, PC)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

Another long-running JRPG series brought west by NIS America, the Trails series is known for its dense world-building and traditional role-playing combat. The Trails of Cold Steel quadrilogy began in 2013, with this fourth installment marking the end of the Cold Steel saga.

Samurai Shodown Neo Geo Collection

Publisher: SNK
Release date: July 28 (digital), Summer 2020 (physical)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch

As part of its 30th anniversary celebration of the Neo Geo, SNK is releasing a collection of its games from the Samurai Shodown fighting game series. The collection includes all five of its numbered installments, including Samurai Shodown V: Special and the never-released Samurai Shodown V: Perfect, bringing the total up to seven games in the package. The collection also includes developer interviews and concept art, and each game is playable online. The game will also receive a collector’s edition version, complete with an art book, music CD and non-functional Mini Neo Geo cartridge.

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