Nintendo pulled a grand April fool’s joke at the beginning of the month by presenting a Nintendo Direct on the first. Any news that comes out on that day is always questioned, especially when the one of the biggest bits of news is that the videogame adaptation of arguably the current most popular manga turned anime is finally making its way to North America. I’m not mad at you Nintendo. I’m just disappointed in your timing. Regardless, enough time has passed and it’s true, Attack On Titan: Humanity In Chains is coming here. Like, outside of Japan. That’s amazing! Even if it isn’t exactly what we wanted.
This is exciting. Not just because the series has a huge following, but rather how well it lends itself to gaming. Admittedly, I haven’t actually played any of the Japanese games, so they might not translate well, but they have the potential to be a cross of Shadow of the Colossus and Spider-Man if done correctly. Humanity in Chains received mixed reviews in Japan, but developer Spike Chunsoft released an update with better graphics and online play, and people have enjoyed it since. Plus, if you pick up this game when it’s released you can also download the other two games for free. So there’s some pretty sweet incentive.
For those who haven’t experienced Attack on Titan, you should. It’s a Japanese comic, or manga, that has since been adapted into an animated series with a possible live action movie in the works. The story follows a group of teenagers/young adults living in a walled city. These walls were built to keep out giant creatures called titans. They eat people and destroy stuff. One day, the titans break through the walls. One character actually sees his mother get eaten alive by Steven Tyler. Saddened and enraged, they join the military to try to wipe them out.
Everything seems like it will add up for a fun time. But this is a handheld game. That isn’t a knock on the 3DS at all, but Attack on Titan just screams size. That’s just something you won’t get on Nintendo’s clam shell. It seems like a natural fit for the home consoles. The antagonists are literally giants. A small handheld device won’t capture the scale needed to make these titans seem dangerous. A home console game should be the next logical step. The handheld market dominates Japan, but if these games are coming stateside, a full-fledged console JRPG just makes sense. If that isn’t the plan, the fine men and women over at Spike Chunsoft and Atlus are missing a huge opportunity to grow a brand and make something the series deserves.
They’re already doing a pretty poor job of making this feel like a big deal. All three Attack on Titan games will be virtual console exclusives. They’re digital download only. No physical copies, no special editions or anything like that. Maybe I’m fanboying a little too hard, but this should be something bigger, and Atlus along with Nintendo are kind of treating it as less than that.
Maybe I shouldn’t complain about how it gets here, at least we’re getting it. Which didn’t seem like it would happen. There’s clearly a craving for the series. There’s actually a fan made game in development by Gear Gadget Game Studios. While that still looks fun, Humnaity in Chains will be something more official for the series. Mix that with C stick controls and AoT fans should be satisfied for the time being.
Hopefully, this is just the first of something more for the Attack on Titan series. This is something fans in North America want, but it’s packaged wrong. For now, Humanity in Chains will satisfy our hunger for the series. But a console game has to be the next idea in line. In the meantime, we’ll just enjoy our not-April-fools game.