Hands-down, one of my favorite game developers ever is From Software. I've been a huge fan of their games for close to 15 years thanks to many unforgettable hours playing their King's Field series. While the US only saw four of the seven total games released to date, the combination of Western RPG aesthetics, challenging gameplay and interestingly doomed characters (the series has a rather NPC high mortality rate) made for memorable times indeed.
Between the mighty Armored Core franchise, Chromehounds, the two stellar Xbox Otogi games and one-shot brilliance of Kuon, there's a lot to love about From's games. That love also extends to From oddities such as Evergrace/Forever Kingdom, The Adventures of Cookie and Cream, Lost Kingdoms, Enchanted Arms, cool imports such as Spriggan: Lunar Verse, Frame Gride and Metal Wolf Chaos. Not to mention the underrated Echo Night games, Eternal Ring, Shadow Tower and Shadow Tower Abyss (one of those great import-only titles that would have been an excellent addition to the US PlayStation 2 library). Of course, not every developer can have a perfect track record. Between you and me, well... We'll kind of forget about a couple of those later Tenchu games. OK?
From's latest project headed to US shores is the Playstation 3 exclusive Action/RPG Demon's Souls and it's looking like one of the best reasons to own the console this year. The fine folks at longtime fan-favorite Atlus USA wisely snapped up the publication rights and is hard at work localizing the game. Although the import version has a multi-language option, it's not just about merely translating the manual and slapping on some new cover art at all.
Atlus has a team of dedicated folks that are spending time tweaking the gameplay and mashing a few bugs here and there in order to make this one of the go-to games for Sony's console whether you crave solo or online multiplayer action. From the screenshots below, you can see From has created quite a spectacular looking game, and from the developer diaries on Atlus' website, you can clearly see that the localization team is working on making this possibly the deepest, most thrilling time you can possibly have in a virtual medieval world packed with enemies trying very hard to make you extinct.
Although the game is a third-person experience, there's a great King's Field vibe in these shots that's quite striking. It's pretty obvious to that all that hard work in creating their first groundbreaking RPG series has led up to this new groundbreaking RPG. It also looks as if From was also inspired by games such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and a bit of Blizzard's Diablo games, resulting in a PS3 title with deep customization options, weapons crafting, brutal baddies and deathtraps that can wipe your adventurer out in no time flat and much more. As for the series part mentioned above, dear reader - that's all up to you. Given Atlus' long RPG pedigree and track record of delivering hit after hit, it looks as if Demon's Souls will be an unqualified success with hardcore RPG fans looking for more than just a quick fix.
October 6th is coming up sooner than you think and I, for one can't wait to see how it all turns out. Of course, with the tag team of From Software and Atlus, how can you go wrong? Especially with either the Regular or Deluxe edition of the game - no matter which one you get... get one, I say!