Atlus deserves heaps of respect from Japanese RPG fans all over the world for keeping the aging genre alive and fresh on handhelds while the traditional giants have moved on to compete with Western publishers in the HD market. Now, the company is asking for their rabidly loyal fan-base to rise for one more outing on the PSP before making the final jump to PlayStation Vita by purchasing their latest release, Gungir from developer Sting Entertainment.
Gungir is the fourth entry in the Dept. Heaven series, a string of portable JRPG’s loosely connected by storytelling themes, traces of Norse mythology, and similar artwork styles. Although never actually acknowledged withing the games themselves, the series creator insists every game shares the same heaven and hell.
Apparently, Gungnir: Inferno of the Demon Lance and the War of Heroes (the full title) is also unofficially labeled episode IX, despite only three other games existing, but the numbering system is not a traditional number system based on sequence but rather on originality of the gameplay. A sub-series known as the Union series based off multiple universes surrounding the second main series entry Yggdra Union also exists in Japan, but the side games are not included in the main numbering because their gameplay isn’t original…I have no idea. Someone needs to tell these guys to stop thinking too much.
Despite a little insanity on the developer’s part, the games have been well received by critics in America dating all the way back to Riviera: The Promised Land on the Gameboy Advance in 2004. The launch trailer shows off exactly what fans are looking for with great RPG gameplay and the distinctive art style the series has made its name off of.
Gungir launched for the PSP on June 12th.