JRPG Gamer’s Guide: March 2012


Last month we started a new feature here at GamingUnion.net featuring the latest upcoming Japanese RPGs hitting Western shores during the upcoming month. It’s that time of the month again, which means we have another new round of JRPGs to showcase for all you JRPG fans out there!

And since the next few months are much more sparsely populated compared to our last feature, we’ll also be featuring some games coming out in April and beyond.

Last month Tales fans got an old, but welcome Tales title in Tales of the Abyss for the Nintendo 3DS, a port of the original PS2 release which was only released in North America. This month is a brand new title for the West exclusively on the PS3.

Tales of Graces f takes place in a world which has three different kingdoms vying for dominance over the planet. Asbel, the eldest son of a feudal lord who ends up taking up his father’s position after his untimely death, is dragged into the conflict between the three kingdoms along with his friends.

Unlike the previous Tales releases, which utilized some sort of variant of the Free Run battle system that originated in Tales of the Abyss, Graces features a brand-new battle system which encourages evading your enemy by allow you to side-step them among other new additions.

Tales of Graces will be released exclusively for the PS3 on March 13 in North America. For all you European fans there’s a slight delay until sometime during the Summer due to the addition of other foreign language translations being added to your version of the game.

Europe already got their chance to play this epic Wii release last Summer, but North American JRPG fans will soon have their choice on April 6.

The game is known for having absolutely huge landscapes, especially for a Wii title, along with its unique real-time battle system which blends classic RPG styles with a system similar to Final Fantasy XII.

The game has received over 90% overall ratings in all of the major game review trackers and got numerous Game of the Year awards last year from the European press, so if you’re a North American JRPG fan you should really check out this game when it hits in two months time

Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland is the third game in the recent Arland trilogy and is the thirteenth game in the series as a whole.

The titular character, Meruru, is the princess of Arls, a little kingdom that’s situated north of the republic of Arland. After she meets with with Totori, the star of the previous title in the trilogy Atelier Totori, she becomes enamored with the power of alchemy and decides to become a student under Totori.

Atelier Meruru features a brand new “Development” system that will enable Meruru to further develop her kingdom. Doing so unlocks new areas to explore, and affects the appearance of the world around her. Expect plenty of item synthesis, gathering and questing. The Assist battle system returns with a new addition dubbed “Turn-Cost,” a turn-based mechanic that will add more depth and strategy to battles.

The Atelier series has been a refreshing experience in the JRPG scene, with a well-balanced focus on story, characters, and gameplay. The previous game, Atelier Totori, was very well received, setting itself apart from its contemporaries with a more personable, and emotionally-charged story. Fans can expect even more of that in Atelier Meruru, as several familiar faces will return to meet the new.
The game is set to be released sometime in May in both North America and Europe exclusively on the PS3.

Missed out on the original PS3 release? With Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention, you can take Nippon Ichi’s charming, and ever-humorous cast of Netherworld denizens out everywhere you go.

Planned for release on the PS Vita in April, this portable re-release will include every single piece of DLC released for the PS3 version, as well as four brand new scenarios and two characters on top of the already lengthy experience. Fans can expect plenty of new features, and certainly lots of grinding as the Item Worlds make their grand return.

Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention will arrive on April 17 for the PlayStation Vita.

That’s all for the month of March. Next month we’ll feature the games coming out in April and the games beyond. In the meantime, let us know what you think of this segment in the comments by giving us your thoughts and suggestions. We’ll be looking forward to reading your responses!

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