Developer 7th Expansion’s popular Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series of visual novel thrillers has come a long way from its doujin — or indie, if you prefer — game days, and is now more of a pop-culture sensation in Japan than merely a “game.”
Over the course of its lifespan, Higurashi has been developed and remade and even re-imagined across the PC, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PSP and even the iPhone, spanning genres from visual novel to third-person shooter. The popularity of the franchise has spawned an anime, a live-action film, a radio drama and numerous print interpretations across a manga and four light novels.
The spiritual successor to the series, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, featuring an entirely new cast and new story set on the haunted island estate of a wealthy family, has seen just as many interpretations across numerous formats, too. There’s the original PC games, an anime interpretation, a radio drama, a manga series and light novels.
Now, Umineko is being re-developed for the PlayStation 3 by developer, Alchemist, who are also responsible for the Nintendo DS ports of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. The original leak came by way of Japanese retailer, GEO Online, who posted a listing for the game on their website, and now there’s off-screen footage of the game from TGS, too.
Alchemist’s Higurashi ports on the DS feature significantly better artwork than the original PC releases, and judging by the video above, one can presumably expect the same stylistic upgrade over the original PC version from the PS3 port of Umineko as well.