In Japan, Capcom recently released an anime-esque spin-off of their Lost Planet series, titled E.X. Troopers, released on the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 3. A 4-player co-op shooter featuring manga-style cutscenes, E.X. Troopers was clearly aimed at the Japanese market, while Lost Planet itself is targeted primarily at the west.
E.X. Troopers exists because Lost Planet 2 failed to marry the series’ narrative strengths with those of a party-like multiplayer game.
“[The devteam] had kind of struggled with Lost Planet 2 a bit, because they were going in this direction of creating this multiplayer, almost festival atmosphere, including crazy amounts of content and ridiculous scenarios,” Lost Planet executive producer, Kenji Ohguro, shared with Siliconera earlier this year.
“Sort of Monster Hunter with guns—coming in and defeating huge creatures together—and getting away from some of the narrative strengths that were originally part of the franchise,” is how Ohguro describes Lost Planet 2.
Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work out as well as Capcom would have liked. Thus, E.X. Troopers was born and created specifically with the Japanese market in mind. Very specifically with the Japanese market in mind, according to Capcom USA’s Senior Vice-President, Christian Svensson.
“[E.X. Troopers] was not planned for Western release…” Svensson recently shared on the Capcom forums, when asked about a potential western release. “You can tell this because all of the text is ‘hard coded’ as actual art. The text isn’t just standard ‘text’ that could be swapped relatively easily.”
“To localize a release, one would have to redo a ton of art in the game, not just do the localization and loc QA.”
Ouch. E.X. Troopers had quite the list of interesting designers working on it, too. Resident Evil 5 director, Yasuhiro Anpo, directed E.X. Troopers. Meanwhile, Shintaro Kojima, one of the producers on the Monster Hunter team, acted as producer on the game. Finally, Dai Sato, known for the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Eureka Seven anime series, worked on the story.
Unfortunately, the star-studded lineup of creative staff didn’t do E.X. Troopers much good. At launch, the game only sold around 17,400 copies on the 3DS in Japan, and even fewer on the PS3. Take a look at E.X. Troopers’ stylish manga-esque shooting action below: