UFO Interactive just released The Monkey King: The Legend Begins on the Wii following a theatrical introduction to the mythological Chinese hero. As most of you know, the game is really a localized version of Shin Chuka Taisen, a shoot ‘em up sequel to a late 1980s arcade game developed by Taito. I speculated why they were so adamant on branding Sun Wukong. He is popular in Asia, but rather unknown in North America. Now the pieces are coming together.
In April we did an interview with a member of the UFO Interactive team who confirmed UFO Interactive Creative Group in Hong Kong is “developing concepts for a possible sequel.” Why Hong Kong? In 2005 a company published a comic book based on the Journey to the West tale. Sun Wukong is the primary character in Journey to the West. This connects with Starfish’s upcoming game known as Daisaiou (literally: The Great Sage King) in Japan, which shares the same kanji as the Hong Kong comic book. It isn’t clear if UFO Interactive or Starfish outright licensed the comic book series or if they are working with the creators, but the art sure looks similar.
Daisaiou is scheduled to come out in September in Japan. I’m guessing this is going to be a beat ‘em up game with the Monkey King and it will be released in North America at some point.
Update: JC Fletcher from Nintendo Wii Fanboy (thanks!!) and Siliconera commenter EvilAkito (thanks!!) point out Famitsu actually posted screenshots of Daisaiou that I wasn't aware of. The game is a shmup and it looks like it's using the core Shin Chuka Taisen engine. The license is also unmistakably the Hong Kong comic book mentioned above so expect a sci-fi twist on Journey to the West… in a shooting game.
Images courtesy of Starfish.