Agatsuma Entertaiment isn’t a household name from the Japanese video game world, but it has made a solid run of crowd-pleasers since its foundation in 1997. However, over the weekend, Japanese magazine Famitsu reported that the studio has been shuttered and no longer exists, bringing its brief rise to fame crashing back down.
In the Western world, Agatsuma first entered the scene with an Atlus-published Nintendo 3DS hit called Code of Princess, a very solid beat ’em up game with a similar style to the Sega Saturn classic, Guardian Heroes. Wouldn’t you know it? Both the director and lead programmer worked on Guardian Heroes back in the day, so it’s not a coincidence after all.
More recently, the studio gained a whole new host of fans by finally bringing the Umihara Kawase games to North America. It published the PS Vita version of the franchise’s third entry, Sayonara Umihara Kawase, and its swan song to the gaming world are the PC versions of all three cult-classics. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it as many times as I have to, Umihara Kawase is the best Super Nintendo platformer you’ve never played, and you should definitely check it out on Steam.
As for Agatsuma, thanks for making the dreams of Umihara Kawase fans come true, and thanks for Code of Princess. It’s a shame to see you leave so soon.