Cult classic dungeon crawling JRPG-adventure game hybrid Kowloon High-School Chronicle was announced for North American release on Nintendo Switch recently. Today we’re pleased to announce not only that the game is getting a European release too, but also that we’re doing a special physical release of the game in partnership with our friends at PQube. You can preorder it right now on our store! Click here to do just that.
What’s that you say? You want to know more? Well, you’re in luck, because I can provide you with 10 convenient, awesome and fascinating reasons to care about this intriguing game. But first, a trailer! Take it away, YouTube-kun.
It’s the game’s first time in English
Originally released in 2004 for PlayStation 2, this Nintendo Switch release of Kowloon High-School Chronicle is the first time this well-regarded game has ever come West. And that makes our lovely exclusive limited edition an honest to goodness collector’s item! Anyone who cares about the preservation of fascinating and unusual games will want a copy of this on their shelf.
It’s the very definition of “cult classic”
The original PlayStation 2 version of Kowloon High-School Chronicle, or Kowloon Youma Gakuen Ki as it was originally known, didn’t sell all that well to begin with. But gradually, over time, it gained a strong fan following through word of mouth — ultimately leading to this brand new Switch version.
The Switch version of Kowloon High-School Chronicle remains true to the original while adding some modern conveniences and touches of polish — it’s now got widescreen presentation in the dungeons, for example, and newly recorded dialogue means that all the story sequences are now fully voiced.
You can control your emotions
The game’s visual novel sequences see protagonist Kuro Habaki, a recent transfer student to Kamiyoshi High School in Tokyo, interacting with his peers and classmates on a regular basis.
Rather than simply picking from dialogue options, in Kowloon High-School Chronicle you choose how your conversations with others unfold by picking from nine different emotions. The way in which you choose to respond will affect how other characters feel about Kuro as the game progresses.
After-school treasure hunting
In the evening, Kuro abandons his normal student life and heads into the ruins beneath the school to hunt for treasure. You’ll need to help him solve puzzles, defeat foes and avoid deadly traps in his search for ancient relics. And it won’t be easy — these ruins don’t want to give up their secrets to just anyone!
Unlike most dungeon crawlers, Kowloon High-School Chronicle’s dungeons unfold room by room rather than as one huge maze; this provides a lot more scope for adventure game-style gameplay than you might normally expect from a game of this type.
Tactical turn-based combat
Also unlike most dungeon crawlers, Kowloon High-School Chronicle’s combat does not feature party-based gameplay where you line up in front of a group of enemies and wail on each other until one or the other of you falls over.
Instead, the game uses a tactical system where you spend action points to move, use your weapons and perform various other actions in battle. You’ll need to think carefully in order to make the best possible use of your available actions!
A cool retro-tech aesthetic
Down in the dungeons, the game’s interface is presented with a super-cool “green screen” aesthetic reminiscent of old-school computers with CRT monitors. It gives the game an extremely distinctive look and feel that, once again, is quite unlike any other dungeon crawler you might have played before. Are you spotting a pattern here?
Whatever is going on here
I have no idea of the context of this screenshot, but if I’m going to get stepped on by a cute girl with a gun, I most certainly want it to be in pixel art form.
Actually, I do know what this is; it’s part of the bonus retro-style “Rockford Adventure” game that is included as part of Kowloon High-School Chronicle. Two games for the price of one!
Dat art tho
Eschewing a modern anime style, Kowloon High-School Chronicle’s art hews closer to hand-drawn illustrations that you’d find in a lavish, full-colour art book. The level of detail, particularly on the character designs, is absolutely astonishing. I mean, look at her dress. Not just “there”.
We might get a sequel
As noted above, Kowloon High-School Chronicle didn’t do that well on its initial release; instead, it had something of a “long tail” and did well over time, becoming a cult classic in the process.
While that’s a fun story, it precluded the original developers from ever making a sequel, so this remastered version gives them another opportunity to do that. Speaking with Famitsu, director Shuho Imai said that he would very much like to make a sequel — but it will all depend on how well this new release of Kowloon High-School Chronicle does. You know what to do!
Kowloon High-School Chronicle’s physical release is available to preorder right now. Digital preorders on the Nintendo eShop will follow soon.
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