Check Out Doujin Games, 99 Spirits And War of the Human Tanks

By Ishaan . June 1, 2013 . 6:00pm

MangaGamer have added two PC doujin games to their online store—War of the Human Tanks and 99 Spirits, both localized by Fruitbat Factory, a localization studio focused on translating Japanese indie titles into English.

 

War of the Human Tanks:

 

 

War of the Human Tanks is a strategy game released last year that plays out on a grid. You control a fleet of Human Tanks and face off against opposing Commanding Officers. The game has over 30 maps, multiple endings, the ability to customize your tanks, and a free battle mode to gather additional supplies.

 

War of the Human Tanks costs $9.99 and is available on the MangaGamer online store or through a number of other distributors.

 

99 Spirits:

 

 

99 Spirits is a puzzle RPG released this week, where you play as Hanabusa, a headstrong girl living in the Heian capital in medieval Japan. After her mother is killed by evil spirits, she sets out for revenge. Along the way, she receives a sword passed down from her mother that lets her see the true forms of spirits to slay them.

 

Then, a spirit claiming to be her father destroys her sword, leaving her confused and powerless. She now has to mend her broken sword and find out the truth about her father.

 

99 Spirits lets you capture enemies and master their skills, using them to solve puzzles on the field. The game has multiple endings and lets you toggle between Japanese and English voices.

 

99 Spirits costs $14.99 and is available on the MangaGamer online store as well as through the game’s official website.


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  • ChiffonCake

    I don’t know about War of the Human Tanks, but I remember checking 99 Spirits’ kickstarter some time ago… I hope it manages to get greenlit in Steam, looks pretty interesting.

  • gold163

    I am not sure if I would be able to recommend War of the Human Tanks. The game itself is fun at first, but pretty simplistic and not particularly thoughtful in its design, which will probably turn off a lot of people expecting a serious strategy game. The production values are also pretty much bare minimum for a game like this. I picked it up during a Green Man Gaming sale for $2 but I’m sure I’d have had reservations about purchasing at full price.

    The visual novel side of things, on the other hand, is pretty bad. By western gamers not familiar with the genre it’s been almost universally maligned as trite and poorly written. And to an extent, I would have to agree; even though I enjoyed it, the story and writing themselves are pretty trashy. Furthermore, while the game has four routes, it’s really two routes with two variations depending on your performance in the battles. One of the routes is okay, the other is pretty terribly written all-around and the ending sucks. An entire route can be beaten the first time through in like four or five hours, and it gets easier subsequent playthroughs because you have more resources, more units, and overall more knowledge about how the game works. Route progression is poorly designed and pretty much hinges on whether you win or lose a particular arbitrary mission. Check the vndb entry discussion for more details on that.

    The translation is pretty good. There are very occasional grammatical errors and at certain points the script reads pretty awkwardly, but that might just be because of the bad writing and cheesiness. Overall though it’s easy to understand and seems faithful to the language, although not to the point where things become hard to understand for anybody not used to Japanese translations. For example, I believe honorifics are left out, which is fine because it makes the script read more naturally in English.

    Well, even if a game is bad that doesn’t mean it’s not worth playing. I have not played 99 Spirits, so I can’t comment to that. I just have to say, though — Human Tanks is a really *odd* choice for localization. It seems to me like it would be one of those really obscure, unpopular doujins with really low production values. It’s such an odd choice, in fact, that I’m looking forward to what Fruitbat Factory decides to do next.

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 水木

    *breaks through the window* Did I hear…doujin?

    • ronin4life

      *The distinct sound of a crumbling brick wall occurs seconds after shinasura’s entry. As the dust settles, a two legged large round figure appears to be the culprit and he exclaims with voracity:

      “Oh Yeah!”

  • puchinri

    Both games are looking pretty good and fun, but I think I’m feeling intent on picking up 99 Spirits.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    99 Spirits is awesome. Go for it!

  • Strid

    Tanks has been on Green Man Gaming (GMG) for a while now, even on sale a few times. Not for as long, but as well, 99 Spirits is also on GMG.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    More Japanese doujin/indies game is the best.^_^ Who knows, we will come to a day where we can see Rozenkruezstillete on Steam or E-Shop.^_^

  • CirnoLakes

    Games that still have refused to go through on Steam Greenlight. I am starting to lose faith in the platform.

    There appears to be a vocal minority of people on Greenlight who follow internet memes and vote based upon that on Greenlight. Steam itself has over 50 million users, isn’t going anywhere, and is an awfully important place to be for PC gaming, but gosh if Greenlight doesn’t upset me.

    I don’t know if War of the Human Tanks is there, but I’m strongly considering 99 Spirits on Desura. I’ll definitely be considering both on that platform if both are ever available, I know 99 Spirits is.

    Sorry Steam. Steam lost some of my loyalty when they failed to get so many of the games I care about through Greenlight.

    • CabO

      Heck even Gabe thinks that Greenlight is a bad process: http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/02/09/valve-gabe-newell-steam-greenlight/

    • gold163

      War of the Human Tanks is indeed on Desura. The Greenlight campaign is probably dead in the water due to the game leaving a bad impression with it’s low-rent production values. This means that as time goes on, it increasingly becomes more difficult for the greenlight campaign to gain traction until it becomes practically impossible, which it probably already is.

      The reason why Steam Greenlight sucks is because as you’ve pointed out, the process by which games get greenlit is pretty opaque and not directly correlated with number of votes. What this means is that anybody using Greenlight can’t possibly understand the true value of their vote, since the entire process is unknown to us in the first place and seems to be based on density of popularity at a given time rather than actual demand overall.

      The biggest problem I have with Greenlight is that I think it’s the wrong approach to growing Steam as a platform. People go to Steam because they like the idea of a (mostly) tightly-curated space. Desura is an example of what Greenlight should be. While Desura is chaotic at times and there’s a lot of radio noise, it’s still a platform that has far more potential for catering to a smaller development-focused market than Steam does in my opinion. That sort of thing is a market niche. Smaller games try to get on Steam because they want the attention it can give them, but quite frankly I don’t think a lot of them even belong on Steam.

      • Guest

        “but quite frankly I don’t think a lot of them even belong on Steam.”

        I can agree with that… So many of the games there look like something that would fit a Flash Gaming Site like Kongregate.

    • Guest

      I am somewhat optimistic still… 100 games Greenlit on the same day was in a way dickish and a smart move… Anyways it was enough to get me back to voting and sharing.

      What these games need is advertisement, and sadly not many high profile gamer’s play these kinda games :/

      Edit: It feels hard to write anything about this case…

  • Ladius

    While it’s great to see the Mangagamer store opening up to include more doujin games, I’m still realy sad about Steam’s Greenlight program, since it basically ensues that no such game will ever be available on the biggest, most relevant PC outlet. Valve should really scrap it, since it’s holding back their offer and preventing it from becoming as universal as it could be.

    • Shariest

      I am a bit fuzzled after reading your comment, could you kindly explain why/how it would not get past Greenlight/the problems?
      (I do not know of the situation)
      (Nor have i educated the myself of Greenlight besides voting for 250+ games)

      • CirnoLakes

        Steam Greenlight is consumer focused platform in which games, usually ones that were refused by Steam’s curation team themselves, wind up on. So that customers may vote for the games they care about and get them out so they may buy.

        This sounds great in principal. But as it turns out, many games that were already accepted by Steam such as Nyu-Media and Rockin’ Android’s products have been put on Greenlight anyway. And worse yet, they aren’t making it through.

        Technically, it isn’t just votes that count. Steam has some hidden algorithm or decision-making process whereby they pick the games based upon not only votes, but how much “hype” they think it has.

        As it turns out, a lot of the games which are voted for or which go through are games in which get a sort of “meme” buzz feed, games such as the type which are hyped by an internet let’s play celebrity or the like. And a lot of games which appeal to many of us don’t go through whatsoever.

        Many of which shouldn’t even have to go through the Greenlight process to begin with. I normally prefer to buy games on Steam. But I’ve had to buy a few games on Desura the past few months because Steam simply refuses to Greenlight them.

        • Shariest

          Ugh…So they wen’t Metacritic -_-’
          Gah, i knew they could make even voting more complicated but this?

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Steam allows for upvoting, downvoting and voting for nothing — and turns around and complains about the toxic soup that gets created. Then as has been said, doesn’t Greenlight unless a game can prove through hype how much it will sell before hand.

            All this while apparently (the jury is still out on the new MoeGamer release) still declining pure visual novels, or games having versions with adult material — even if it isn’t the version submitted to Valve.

          • Shariest

            I mean,they can publish adult material…
            Just tie the account currently used by force to the shop…
            Not 18? Go back.
            Of course some kids would make fake accounts, but at that point it wouldn’t be Valve’s problem.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Valve, for a combination of reasons has made the decision not to. They are the AMZN for download games and you don’t screw that up so you can get a few hundred sales of some JP ero game. But there are already available all-ages VN options where the publishers or creators have noted Steam outright declining them.

          • Shariest

            Ahhh…Strongly erotic!
            That cleared things out…
            As well as all of the fore mentioned comments. Thank you!
            Edit: To clear out, i thought they had problems with generally mature-ish contents and such on greenlight titles while excluding the all ready in steam content…
            Yeah makes more sense now… (Slept too much)

          • Ladius

            The others already answered your first question, but I think it’s important to point out that explicit contents are far from the only issue niche Japanese games have to face on Greenlight.

            As you will see on Higurashi and Go Go Nippon’s pages (just to name two examples), lots of people are actively hostile toward their inclusion on the Steam lineup because of their anime character design or because they perceive everything in the visual novel genre (or anything Japanese, in some extreme instances) as hentai or thematically unworthy.

            This is why I said that this kind of stance is ultimately damaging Steam’s potential as an universal marketplace, since allowing the majority of its current users to dictate what should or shouldn’t be sold on it will simply distance consumers with different tastes without improving the width of its lineup.

          • CirnoLakes

            To be fair, just about every game on Greenlight has its share of vocal haters and trolls. I’m actually surprised at how disrespectfully people can behave on Greenlight. Yes, this is the internet. But I figured people on Steam might be more mature than that.

            There is a lot of different ignorant people who use and comment on the Greenlight pages. I don’t think I’ve visited a single solitary Greenlight page that didn’t have some saying something incredibly backwards and ignorant or hateful.

            That being said, I do think that this stuff possibly gets even more unwarranted hate and ignorance than even the average Greenlight game.

            Still though, it’s hard to tell, since Greenlight is littered with trolls and people who seem to hate every single game on it. And most games I come across seem to get some degree of hatred.

            Also, while stuff like Higurashi have some really putrid trolls. Most of the comments on Higurashi Whey They Cry(Higurashi no Naku Koro ni) are massive support. And most of the people complaining aren’t complaining about anime, but the specific classic Ryukishi07 art rather than the PlayStation art.

          • Juan Andrés Valencia

            To be fair… PC gamers can be extremely snobbish at times (I remember seeing a ridiculously long thread at a forum about how ugly the rocks looked in Crysis 2). But then again so are most vocal gamers.

            The problem here is that this can actually jeopardize the release of a game and it’s something that can’t be shrugged off.

          • Juan Andrés Valencia

            That’s a big problem and it’s weird that Agarest War 1 got greenlit (Even though it’s an awful game IMHO) while Higurashi got bombed with “HENTAI GAME, NO THANKS”, “WEEBO GARBAGE”. Hell, Katawa Shoujo has become very popular and many of my steam friends played it so I’m not sure how can we explain the hostility of PC gamers towards japanese games.

          • CirnoLakes

            But Higurashi also has a lot of support. Also Agarest War got a lot of hatred, too.

            Steam isn’t a hivemind. There’s a lot of supporters of Japanese games. And there’s a lot of trolls as well as legitimate haters.

            Unfortunately there’s a vocal minority of people in the gaming community, on both consoles and the PC, who hate games made by Japanese people.

          • Shariest

            Agreed. Thank you for further clearing out the sitaution

  • Alicemagic

    I “check out” Doujin games all the time if you catch my drift.

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