XSEED Announces Huge 2013 Lineup, Including ‘Killer is Dead,’ ‘Rune Factory 4,’ Valhalla Knights 3,’ and ‘Ys’

By Joseph Leray

In a Press Release of Unusual Size, localization specialist Xseed announced their 2013 lineup, which includes a multi-platform console game, a 3DS game, two PlayStation Vita titles, and two Steam games. That’s a lot of work for a company that specializes in somewhat niche titles, which suggests that the doom-and-gloom we so often hear about the Japanese games industry might not be so dire after all.

“Killer is Dead” is the highest-profile game on the roster, and Xseed’s announcement confirms suspicions we’ve had since the company started registering “Killer is Dead”-related web domains earlier this month.

The action game features an executioner named Mondo Zappa who travels the not-so-distant world offing terrorists and criminals at his bosses’ behest. It also happens to feature interchangeable drill arms for Mondo, and fighting a yakuza riding a tiger. My not-so-secret love affair with designer Suda 51 continues.

The “Ys” series will also get a few new Western releases this year: “Ys I & II: Chronicles+” is a bundle of the first two games in the long-running (and under-appreciated) Nihon Falcom-developed role-playing series, “Ancient Ys Vanished: Omen” and “Ancient Ys Vanished: The Final Chapter.”

“Ys: Memories of Celceta” is a re-imagining of “Ys IV,” one of the few games in the series to never see a release in the United States. The game boasts the largest “Ys” overworld to date and will be available on PlayStation Vita this fall.

The Vita will also benefit from “Valhalla Knights 3,” the fourth “Valhalla” game published by Xseed. As usual, the action RPG series will focus on character creation and various job classes. “Valhalla Knights 3” also features a seven-on-seven battle system though, which ups the ante from the six-on-six battles used in earlier games. “Valhalla Knights 3” will be available in the fall.

Last but not least, Xseed is bringing “Rune Factory 4” to the 3DS this summer. The role-playing sim began as a “Harvest Moon” spin-off and has been popular since its debut on the DS in 2006. “Rune Factory 4” adds new romance options and the ability to play as a male or female protagonist, and expands on series touchstones like crafting, cooking, and farming.