No, we’re not just talking about the hero’s super long sword. From Software implemented a number of features for the North American version of 3D Dot Game Heroes.
The optional hard drive install and load screen viewer from the recent 3D Dot Game Heroes patch are built into Atlus’ version. Extra block defense levels and character edit data, which were released as paid downloadable content in Japan, are included on-disc in the North American version of 3D Dot Game Heroes. You’ll be able to start the game as a car, tank, shark, Santa Claus, and the “President” from Metal Wolf Chaos. Here’s a sample of From Software’s custom creations.
When asked about other downloadable content, Aram Jabbari, Manager of Public Relations and Sales, said Atlus doesn’t have anything planned. Unfortunately, the downloadable Classic Dungeon characters made in collaboration with Nippon Ichi are for Japan only. Character edit data is cross region compatible so you can download the Classic Dungeon models from Japan or trade custom characters with a friend in Spain and use them even if you have the North American version.
On the plus side, From Software made some additions just for North America. The Japanese version of 3D Dot Game Heroes contains 69 loading screens, which are 8-bit and 16-bit box art parodies of games like Street Fighter II and Dragon Quest. The North American release has brand new loading screen art based on US covers of Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Populous, Secret of Mana, and more titles. The loading screen art From Software made for Final Fantasy III (VI) and Lemmings are fantastic homages.
From Software tweaked other parts of 3D Dot Game Heroes too like allowing players use their shield and sword as a paddle in “Blockout” (pictured), an Arkanoid style mini-game. The Japanese version was shield only.
3D Dot Game Heroes had a ton of video game humor and Atlus plans on preserving the tone in their version. “The localization was kept as true to the original as possible,” Scott Strichart, Project Editor, explained. “Naturally, there were some Japan only type of jokes that we used their localized counterparts, and we did go to lengths to pepper it with North American specific jokes where we could get them in there.”
During the 3D Dot Game Heroes presentation a the King said, “It’s dangerous to go alone take this”. I’m pretty sure you know where that line comes from. Characters in the From Cave joke about From Software titles by giving the hero an “Armored Core” and reference Demon’s Souls with lines like “The true 3D Dot Game Heroes starts here.”
“As you can probably already tell, the references were left intact, although names and words were changed to protect the innocent. The astute gamer will have no doubt when they find the references, though,” said Strichart.
3D Dot Game Heroes hits North America on May 11 and it only costs $39.99 here. In Japan it retailed as a full price game, sold for 7,140 yen ($78) at launch. Be sure to check out our hands on impressions of 3D Dot Game Heroes to hear more about how the game plays.