If there’s one thing that is utterly fascinating about the Xbox 360, it’s how, despite a lack of mainstream interest, it has carved out a relatively sizable niche audience of visual novel and shoot-em-up fans to call its own in the Japanese market.
Perhaps, it’s due to the ease of switching between PC and Xbox 360 development. Or maybe it has to do with the perception that the 360 is home to more uncensored and CERO Z games than the other two systems. Or perhaps, Microsoft are courting visual novel developers behind the scenes in an attempt to keep exclusives alive in some form, niche as they may be. Regardless of the reason, the end result is that almost every other month sees a gorgeous new visual novel released on the system.
The latest addition to this impressive portfolio is a remake of Phantom of Inferno, developed by Nitroplus, who also worked on the original PC game. The Xbox 360 version features redone artwork, a new voice track, and a tweaked scenario using the recent anime series by Bee Train as a base. The game will incorporate animated scenes from the anime as well.
Phantom of Inferno tells the story of a young Japanese boy who witnesses a murder carried out by the top assassin of an organization named "Inferno." Shortly thereafter, he is hunted down by Inferno and his memories erased. He is then given the choice to either die or be trained as an assassin by them.
While an exact release date hasn’t been finalized yet, Phantom of Inferno is scheduled for sometime during Summer 2010. While the chances of the Xbox remake being localized are slim, now-defunct publisher Hirameki did release the original PC version in North America in 2003 as an AnimePlay DVD. Here are a few teaser screenshots, released exclusively by Famitsu: