Feature JRPG

NIS America Press Event 2023 – Early Impressions of Upcoming Games

Reef Entertainment kindly invited NookGaming and some other outlets to come and meet with them, along with a couple of key figures from NIS America. The event of the day? Check out the first English builds of some of their upcoming games. It is worth adding the disclaimer that these are from development builds so things may change and we only could play a small slice of each game for a limited time, so insights will be limited by that.

Available were demos of:

  • Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless 
  • Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles 
  • The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails 
  • Monochrome Mobius: Rights and Wrongs Forgotten

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless

My thoughts on Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless were too extensive to include in a general article. As such, I’ve written a dedicated article on it.

Check out our early impressions of Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless here.



CRYMACHINA was a pleasant surprise. For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s an action RPG and has been called the spiritual successor to Crystar.

I find that anime action games often lean on the narrative and characters while having somewhat clunky combat. This does not seem to be the case here. In the small portion of CRYMACHINA I was able to try, I found fast-paced and fairly smooth combat. I spent my time dodging around and jumping to avoid enemy attacks, then using combos until they went down. Knocking them into the air and back down into the ground was possible only after wearing them down, and there were a few special abilities too. I got to play as two characters who both had different abilities, but I’m told there’s a third too. I’m sometimes wary of these types of games due to the combat, but I’m certainly interested in continuing to play CRYMACHINA due to it.

As mentioned, I only got to try a small portion of CRYMACHINA, but it seems the narrative will be interesting too. It starts with the death of our main character and their revival as a robot. Making use of cutscenes and with plenty (at least in the opening area) of discoverable lore through voiced memory fragments, it introduced the history of a world where mankind is already extinct and a protagonist who hates humanity but is expected to be a savior. It seems like it’s going to be a fairly emotional story.

The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails

When talking about The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails at the NIS Press Event, they mentioned it was ‘spiritually connected’ to the wider Trails franchise, but not ‘narratively connected’. I’m told by our local Trails fan that some of the titles are much more reliant on having played the previous titles, but it sounds like this is an exception and an easy one to jump into.

The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails is an Action RPG described as bringing a sense of “discover and wonder”, which was originally released in Japanese only on the PSP back in 2012. Despite its age, I found the combat fun. I was constantly moving, jumping into position to throw projectile attacks, and avoiding enemies. Some places were easily exploitable though, with places that enemies cannot go, but the player can sit and launch attacks from.

I only played for a short while, but the gameplay loop seemed to be exploring levels, finding switches, and solving minor puzzles while clearing out enemies along the way with the occasional boss. In terms of puzzles, the ones I saw were along the lines of pushing the correct block into place and activating movement devices. It seems there’s some kind of cooking mechanic too, but it sounds like that’s only usable in the town so I didn’t see it.

While I only played for a brief time, I came away interested. I expect that one of our team will be reviewing it when it releases, so keep an eye out for that.

Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles

Sadly, I didn’t have time to play Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles. Those who were playing it seemed to be enjoying it.

As some basic information, Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles contains the second and third Rhapsody title. Rhapsody II: Ballad of the Little Princess follows Cornett’s daughter and is a direct continuation. Rhapsody III: Memories of Marl Kingdom has different chapters, with appearances from Cornett, her mother, and her daughter in their respective time periods. Apparently, Rhapsody III has the deepest combat.

Unlike the first Rhapsody, the songs are in Japanese only.

Monochrome Mobius: Rights and Wrongs Forgotten

I didn’t have time to play Monochrome Mobius: Rights and Wrongs Forgotten at the event either. That said, while I didn’t try the upcoming PlayStation version, I’ve completed and reviewed it on PC. I think fans of the Utawarerumono Mask series on PlayStation have something to look forward to here.

Check out our Review of the PC version here to Learn More.

Platforms: Various

If you would like to see more JRPGs, you may be interested in our review of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. You can also check out our review of Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Many thanks go to Reef Entertainment and NIS America for access to this event. As a disclaimer, Reef Entertainment provided a train ticket, refreshments, and access to the closed press event.

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