By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Although the Wild ARMS video game franchise was never hugely popular in North America as it were in Japan, the dedicated fan-base will be celebrating on Dec 20, 2016. Twenty years ago, it was released in the Land of the Rising Sun. Recent news reports reveal Sony (the intellectual property owner) and former staff from Media.Vision (original developer) are involved in bringing the property back to life. It will be based on the original game and Sony’s mobile publishing division ForwardWorks is helming this latest entry. Past cell-phone games used the name to dress up what was basically Tetris and a simple shooter. The hope here is that the new product will be a full-on J-RPG, and most reports hint at this direction.
If this speculation is correct, the audience will be limited to Japan at first. In the time being, I will be hooking up my PlayStation2 to the big screen to enjoy all the games all over again. The love I have for this game inspired by the American Old West and Steampunk will be re-ignited. I will attempt to finish all these original games by the time Wild Arms North American Platinum Anniversary takes place in March 2017. While this later date will not feel the same, lots of people don’t recognize that Star Trek had its pilot shown to NBC February 1965 whereas the broadcast was Sept 1966 — the question asked is which date should be better recognized?
Creator Akifumi Kaneko left Media.Vision back in 2009 and some fans feared no more Wild Arms will be coming. Fortunately, that was put to rest when Pixel Dynamo reported early in 2016 about Kaneko’s Twitter post. He met with executives to plan the 20th anniversary. Since then, not many continuing reports emerged in the months afterwards about what is happening. In the coming days, I like to see the complete library of the past games be offered on via Sony’s PlayStation Network.