Publishing One Way Heroics in the West: An Interview with Spike Chunsoft

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

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Spike Chunsoft is a Japanese developer who has created some of the most popular games date. These titles include: 999, Danganronpa, and Conception II. What some fans don’t know is that they also publish games in Japan. Just recently the company announced that they will be trying their hand at publishing Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics in the West. We had a chance to sit down and talk with them about the upcoming PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita game at E3 2016. This gave us a chance to focus on One Way Heroics and get more of an insight on the game’s premise.

One Way Heroics seems to have that classic RPG look.

Yes, I think it’s a very niche game. It’s actually an indie game developed by one guy named SmokingWOLF. We ended up picking up the title at BitSummit in Kyoto, which is an indie game conference in Japan. So with this title, we decided to do a high res PlayStation Vita port for Japan.

How does the game play?

It’s a forced scroll rouge-like. And if you’re not familiar with this, it’s like a rouge-like dungeon crawler with randomly generated dungeons and item drops; kinda like Shiren the Wanderer, except instead of being in a dungeon, it’s on an over-world map. The player will go from the left side to the right and traverse randomly generated terrain. There’s this wall of destructive light following you, so every time you take an action the wall moves closer to you. This causes problems when you see two different dungeons and you’ll only have time to check out one of them. Even if you make it to the dungeon, you might not have time to clear everything. So you’ll have to clear the chest and fight the monsters all before the light gets to you.

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Will this be a game where you try to push yourself and try to get as far as you can?

Well, in the beginning you’re asked to reach a certain distance and fight this character or find this NPC.  But once you get familiar you can go for as long as the wall continues and who’s to say if there is an end. There’s a system where you can use a vault that will allow you to carry items from one play through to the other.

Even though this is a rouge-like, is there any type of level system?

Well, the levels reset, but you can kinda unlock new perks for your character. This includes stuff like higher strength or or increased carry load. There are also perks that can make the game harder for you. This will grant you a better bonus at the end of the quest. You can also build up your castle, so even though level and things reset, there’s still a sense of progress.

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What stood out about One Way Heroics to make Spike Chunsoft want to pick it up?

It’s very close to the heart [of our company] when you look at past games we’ve done, like Mysterious Dungeon type games. It just seems like a natural fit for us.

When did the team decide that they wanted to release the game in the West?

Well it actually came out in Japan last year. It’s kind of a low-key indie title, so we didn’t know if it was worth the trouble of going through a publishing company. Also, if we were to go through a Western vendor we would most likely need to look into a physical copy of the game. So we didn’t know the best way to approach it, being a mid-tier indie title, from a business standpoint. So we decided to self-publish. This will be a digital only release-via the PSN or Steam. Which kind of sucks if you’re a person who likes physical media, but for us it’s an important step forward. This is the first time we’ve handled all the localization and distribution ourselves. So this is our first truly self-published game and if this goes well who knows what we can do as we move forward.

So what do you think about Spike Chunsoft’s first attempt at self publishing in the West? Let us know in the comments below.

Spike Chunsoft is planning to release Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics sometime this Summer on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on PSN and PC through Steam.