Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series where Operation Rainfall will be briefly covering publishers that specialise in localising niche-market titles into the West. Fans of niche gaming should pay close attention to each of these publishers, and the best way to support them is by purchasing the titles they localise. As the saying goes, “put your money where your mouth is”… Without further ado, we present this week’s publisher:

ATLUS have been around for a long time. The company was founded in 1986 in Tokyo and set up shop in America in 1991. Both branches publish their own games as well as those from other developers, but it is only in Tokyo that games are actually developed. ATLUS are a popular gaming company due to the extremely high quality of the games they have introduced to the general population.

The first game they ever made was Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, which was published by Namco in 1987 and was only ever released for the Famicom in Japan. The next game in the series was also published by Namco, after which ATLUS began to publish their own games. Megami Tensei is still well-played today; the latest entry in the series was the Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2, which was released for the Nintendo DS on February 28th in America. Megami Tensei has also generated many spin-off games that spawned entirely new series’; perhaps the most famous of which is the ever-popular Persona.

It would be impractical to list every single game or series ever created or published by ATLUS; the sheer number of memorable titles they have had a hand in releasing is simply staggering. However, some notable examples include the Trauma Center series for the DS and Wii, the Etrian Odyssey (which is a personal favourite of mine) games for the DS and now 3DS and the Dept. Heaven series which was developed by Sting Entertainment for the WonderSwan, GBA, DS and PSP. ATLUS was even one of the few developers to release a game for the Virtual Boy: Jack Bros..


More recently, ATLUS have been responsible for creating Catherine and Radiant Historia, as well as new entries in some of the aforementioned series’. Vanillaware’s Dragon’s Crown and Odin Sphere, Agatsuma Entertainment’s Code of Princess and From Software’s Demon’s Souls include some of the larger games ATLUS either have or will soon be bringing across to the West. With such an illustrious history, ATLUS is always a company worth keeping an eye on.

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  • I haven’t played any of Atlas’s games, but they do have an impressive line up, that’s for certain.

    • The shin megami tensei series and its persona spin offs are great. The plots of the mainline games seem to take a philosophical route. In Nocturne for example your goal is the rebuild the world based on which of three ways of thinking you like best and what fixes mankind problems. Should the world be survival of the fittest cause man suffers because of the weak? Should man lose individuality and become one with the world, a gear in the machine.  Should man be in charge of their own unique universe separate from all others because mankind’s problems are external and caused by other people? Atlus can really write.

  • Love Atlus own tons of their games going all they way back to the PSone and will likely buy many many more in the future.

  • I haven’t been disappointed by an Atlus game yet. One of the best writers to come from japan too. Trauma center and Megaten and persona. Whats not to love.

  •  Atlus is probably (if not definitely) one of my favourite game companies. You can always count on Atlus to localise those crazy Japanese games that we all love! Though I’m a bit disappointed about the lack of Radiant Historia here in Europe… (At least we got Pandora’s Tower.)

  • Definitely one of my favorites.  Seriously, it seems like just about everything they touch turns to gold.  My first Atlus game was Trauma Center: Second Opinion, and everything they’ve published since then that I’ve played has been phenomenal.  Devil Survivor Overclocked has been a brutally challenging but absolutely engaging experience, Persona 4 Arena may be one of the best fighting games I’ve played in a long while, and Catherine is my favorite game of this generation.  It’s always a happy day when I start a new adventure from Atlus.