Greetings, visitors, and welcome to yet another warm and fuzzy edition of Go West!, your weekly column about Japanese import games, companies going under, and saluting those we’ve lost in battle.
After what seems like an entire month of silence, the Japanese games industry is finally releasing new titles again. This week’s list is full of niche things, but I know that’s exactly the sort of stuff you folks enjoy. I’ll be picking up a few new games myself; one particularly for streaming purposes, the other because I owe it to the developers in question to play their final game.
With that out of the way, let’s get this party started!
Japanese game developer Imageepoch is dead.
The developers behind the Luminous Arc series, The Last Ranker, 7th Dragon, and a host of others games filed for bankruptcy as of May 13th. Making matters worse, its founding president, Ryohei Mikage, is nowhere to be found. Their final game, Stella Glow, launches for the Nintendo 3DS on June 4th courtesy of Sega. After that, the once promising studio will just be another name on the long list of developers that no longer exist.
So what exactly happened here? How and why did Imageepoch seemingly collapse on itself after Mikage had boasted so often and loudly about their mission to save JRPGs?
I sat down with Gaming.moe’s Heidi Kemps and tried to trace the rise and fall of Imageepoch.
This probably goes without saying, but my experience with Imageepoch games in the last few years has been less than great. It feels like ever since they decided to announce themselves as the saviors of the JRPG, things have only gone downhill for their games. Some of the stuff published by other studios has generally been OK (7th Dragon, Fate/Exra), but any time they took a shot at an original game, it’s fallen flat. I miss the days when they were trying things like Last Ranker and Arc Rise Fantasia.
Toushin Toshi is a 3DS remake of Toushin Toshi 2, a fairly well loved adult game from about 20 years ago. That’s right, Imageepoch decided to remake an eroge for the 3DS, of all systems.
With all the sex bits stripped out and a brand new gloss of paint applied to it, is Toushin Toshi worth checking out?