Heroes, Ninjas, Vampires, Corpses, Fairytales

XSEED Games has an impressive portfolio of popular game series. This year the publisher showcases its mastery of creating and growing ever-more-popular franchises.

The fan-favorites begin this summer with survival-horror game Corpse Party: Blood Drive for PlayStation Vita. This 3D-rendered finale to the Corpse Party series brings players the puzzles, traps, and monsters they love, plus new ways to attack and defend. Simulated surround sound, eight extra chapters, and loads of unlockables make it the most expansive Corpse Party yet.

Tactical shooter Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space also arrives this summer for Vita. This expanded prequel to Earth Defense Force 2017 allows players to choose from three classes--Ranger, Pale Wing, and Air Raider. Seventy-eight missions and a new four-player co-op mode let them use conventional and futuristic weapons against a force of giant insects.

Still in space, a re-imagining of last year's Earth Defense Force 2025 comes this fall to Vita, in tactical shooter Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair. Boasting an impressive graphical upgrade and 50 percent more content, it lets players choose among Ranger, Wing Diver, Air Raider, or Fencer classes, and control additional soldiers. Teamwork is key for the game's 98 missions, as well as its two-player local and four-player online co-op.

From cold space to cold steel, fantasy role-playing game The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel takes players to the nation of Erebonia. This fall, a lore-packed story has players bonding via the new Combat Link system, and turn-based combat is enhanced with the new "ARCUS" skill advancement. The new cross-save feature lets players extend games across PlayStation 3 and Vita.

Fantasy next becomes fairytale in Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale. This role-playing/simulation hybrid lets players explore a colorful story mode, as well as optional dungeons and quests. Bug-catching, rock-quarrying, crop-raising, and item-hunting await (with some treasures found via StreetPass). The farming fantasy begins this winter for the 3DS.

This summer, tough vamps get tougher with Onechanbara Z2: Chaos for PlayStation 4. Vampire sisters turn into demons and perform tag-team combos to take out zombies and players earn weapon upgrades and alternate outfits for them. The game offers an elaborate storyline, 12 stages, and over-the-top combat.

Players who can never get enough ninjas need only look to Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson this summer for 3DS. Twelve original characters return to continue on where Senran Kagura Burst left off. Bounce physics and Japanese voiceovers combine with new tag-team tactics and two-player local or online co-op story mode, resulting in a naughty-but-nice fighting game.

Winter heats up this year as even more of these beautiful ninjas hit the beach in Senran Kagura: Estival Versus. Full anime cut-scenes, an in-depth story, and two dozen playable characters (each with a unique fighting style) result in wacky 10-player (for PS4) and four-player (for Vita) online battles. Players can also challenge each other in multiplayer modes, such as deathmatch and Understorm.

XSEED's current lineup demonstrates not only a talent for creating long-lasting, quality game series, but an ability to constantly reinvent those series for new generations of gamers.

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  • XSEED Games

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