By Eugene . April 6, 2014 . 12:31pm
Sure, when we say Konami, our minds and hearts might go straight to Metal Gear or Castlevania. Arcade purists might think of Dance Dance Revolution while others might think of other niche titles like El Shaddai. There’s a couple of series, however, that are going strong which you may not have heard of: Monster Retsuden Oreca Battle and Dragon Collection.
Both are getting new anime series come April 7th. Dragon Collection itself was argued by Marvelous AQL’s Senior Director Tatsuya Nishioka to be the catalyst behind Japan’s style of smartphone games in an interview with us last year.
Both of these kid-friendly RPGs have a big following in Japan and their arcade versions have a unique gimmick: Players get physical character cards that—as they become more powerful in-game—become physically better as well. How so? By printing them out onto a new physical card that players can take home or show off at school.
Oh, and these cards have your name on them. Last December, for instance, Oreca Battle crossed the more than 50 million printed cards in total, since its inception as an arcade machine in March 2012.
The arcade machines themselves are pretty badass, with Oreca shaped like a treasure chest that’ll spit out the new card. If you want to see how it plays, you can check out the English guide over on Konami’s Asia site. Of course, both of these have their own smartphone versions as well. Dragon Collection is also slated to have a new RPG come out for smartphones this year that’s got a bit of Wonderflick-style one-hand flicking action in it.
In Oreca Battle, main character Orega Fire has the mysterious chest/mimic/monster-thing called Pandora appear before him. Fire discovers that this legendary chest allows him to summon real monsters from Oreca cards, and it’s with this in hand… er, tow(?) and the monsters he summons that he’ll go against the great evil, Muuth to protect the peace of the planet they’re on.
Dragon Collection will focus on Enryu Hiro, who’s a regular kid fallen into the alternate world of Dragon Earth. Here, he’s forced to become a Dracolle Battler to summon monsters in a quest for a legendary treasure, making friends as he goes. Both anime series will air on April 7th.