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2021 has lots of games coming up, and Frontline Gaming Japan has compiled a list of Japanese games to look out for this year!

(This article only contains games already announced at the date of its publication, and the list is arranged in order of western release date. Games that were previously released in Japan but are being released in the west in 2021 are also listed. Games with no western release date are also listed at the bottom.)

Also see: Japanese Games at E3 2021: A Roundup

 

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

Platform(s): PS4, PS5, Switch
Release date (JP): 3 December 2020 (PS4/PS5/Switch),
Release date (NA): 26 January 2021

The sequel to 2019’s Atelier Ryza, with many improvements and additions to the gameplay and more content than before.
Read our review here

 

Ys IX -Monstrum Nox-

Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC
Release date (JP): 26 September 2019 (PS4), 2021 (Switch)
Release date (NA): 2 February 2021 (PS4), 2021 (Switch)

The latest game in Falcom’s long-running action RPG series Ys. In IX, Adol finds himself trapped in a prison city as a fugitive, and also gains superpowers. He must team up with other such individuals with superpowers to figure out the mysteries of the city.
Read our review here

 

Persona 5 Strikers

Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC
Release date (JP): 20 February 2020 (PS4, Switch)
Release date (WW): 23 February 2021

An action RPG sequel to Persona 5, in which the Phantom Thieves travel around all of Japan as they tackle a series of cases where abilities similar to their own are abused to brainwash the masses.
Read our review here

 

Gal*Gun Returns

Platform(s): Switch, PC (Xbox One release has been cancelled)
Release date (WW): 28 January 2021 (Switch),  12 February 2021 (PC)

A remastered version of the bizarre 2011 PS3/360 shooter Gal Gun, in which a boy who is accidentally hit by too many cupid arrows and has to fend off hordes of girls through arcade shooting gameplay.

 

Nioh Remastered

Platform(s): PS5
Release date (WW): 5 February 2021

A PS5 release of the 2017 Souls-like from Koei Tecmo. The PS4 version of the game does not get a free upgrade to the PS5 version.

 

Nioh 2 Complete Edition/Nioh 2 Remastered Complete Edition

Platform(s): PS4, PC, PS5 (Remastered)
Release date (WW): 5 February 2021

A version of Nioh 2 that comes with all of the DLC. The PS4 version does get a free upgrade to the PS5 Remastered edition, including access to purchased DLC if it is the base (non-Complete) version being upgraded.

 

Wing of Darkness

Japanese title: Yuuyoku no Fraulein: Wing of Darkness (有翼のフロイライン Wing of Darkness)
Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC
Release date (WW): 25 February 2021

A high speed action game from the new indie game studio Production Exabilities.

 

Darius Cozmic Revelation

Platform(s): PS4, Switch
Release date (WW): 25 February 2021

Two Darius games, G Darius HD and Darius Burst Another Chronicle EX+, ported to the PS4 and Switch.

 

Bravely Default II

Platform(s): Switch
Release date (WW): 26 February 2021

The long-awaited third game in Square Enix’s acclaimed Bravely Default series.

 

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Japanese title: Ryuu ga Gotoku 7: Hikari to Yami no Yukue: International (龍が如く7 光と闇の行方 インターナショナル)
Platform(s): PS5
Release date (WW): 2 March 2021

The PS5 version of Yakuza: Like A Dragon, which includes all of the DLC like the worldwide releases. As the original Japanese release did not include the DLC, this release is known as the International edition in Japan.
Read our review here

 

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town

Japanese title: Bokujou Monogatari: Olive Town to Kibou no Daichi  (牧場物語 オリーブタウンと希望の大地)
Platform(s): Switch
Release date (JP): 25 February 2021
Release date (NA): 23 March 2021

The latest game in the Story of Seasons series, previously known as the Harvest Moon series in the west, in which the player experiences slow life as they manage a farm.

 

Monster Hunter Rise

Platform(s): Switch
Release date (WW): 26 March 2021

The latest game in the Monster Hunter series, using a Japanese-style aesthetic with many new monsters based on traditional Japanese folklore.

 

Trails of Cold Steel IV

Platform(s): Switch
Release date (JP): 18 March 2021
Release date (NA): 9 April 2021

The Switch release of the last game in Falcom’s Trails of Cold Steel series,.
Read our review here

 

Guilty Gear Strive

Platform(s): PS4, PS5, PC
Release date (WW): 9 April 2021

The latest game in Arc System Works’ acclaimed Guilty Gear series.

 

NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…

Platform(s): PS4, PS5
Release date (WW): 22 April 2021

An “updated” version of the 2010 cult hit RPG NieR Replicant, which became better known when its sequel NieR Automata became a runaway hit in 2017.

Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne: HD Remaster

Platform(s): PS4, Switch
Release date (JP): 29 October 2020
Release date (NA): Spring 2021

An HD remaster of the hit PS2 RPG, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, specifically of the Maniax Chronicle Edition version which features a crossover with the Raidou Kuzunoha series. Several quality of life changes were also made to improve the game, some in the original release, others (such as skill selection in demon fusion) through later patches. Raidou can also be replaced with Dante from the Devil May Cry series (who was in the only version released in the west) through a paid DLC purchase.

 

Yuoni

Platform(s): PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Release date (WW): Spring 2021

A first person horror game set in 1990 Japan by indie developer Tricore Inc.

 

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny

Japanese title: Makai Senki Disgaea 6 (魔界戦記ディスガイア6)
Platform(s): PS4 (JP only), Switch
Release date (JP): 28 January 2021
Release date (WW): Summer 2021 (Switch only)

The latest game in Nippon Ichi’s acclaimed Disgaea series, featuring their first attempt at using 3D models for all characters in the series.

 

NEO: The World Ends With You

Japanese title: Shin Subarashiki Kono Sekai (新すばらしきこのせかい)
Platform(s): PS4, Switch
Release date (WW): Summer 2021

A sequel to the 2007 DS RPG The World Ends With You.

 

Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed

Japanese title: Akiba’s Trip First Memory (AKIBA’S TRIP ファーストメモリー)
Platform(s): PS4, Switch
Release date (JP): 20 May 2021
Release date (NA): 2021

A remastered edition of the 2011 action-adventure game Akiba’s Trip, which was famous for how it took place in a reasonably accurate depiction of Akihabara, Tokyo. The remastered edition also replicates the Akihabara of the time, which adds a time capsule aspect for players who are familiar with the real-life locale.

 

Rune Factory 5

Platform(s): Switch
Release date (JP): 20 May 2021
Release date (NA): 2021

The sequel to 2012’s Rune Factory 4. The series’ fate had been unclear when its original developers, Neverland Company, went bankrupt in 2013, but 5 is now being developed by HAKAMA, a new company started by the old series producer Hashimoto Yoshifumi.

 

Phantom Breaker Omnia

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release date (WW): 2021

The latest version of the 5pb/MAGES fighter Phantom Breaker, original released in 2011, featuring two new characters.

 

Shin Megami Tensei V

Platform(s): Switch
Release date (WW): 2021

The long-awaited new entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series, and the first non-spinoff non-portable since 2003’s Nocturne.

 

No More Heroes III

Platform(s): Switch
Release date (WW): 2021

The latest game in Suda51’s No More Heroes series, in which protagonist Travis Touchdown has to fend off an alien invasion.

 

Resident Evil Village

Japanese title: BIOHAZARD Village
Platform(s): PS5, Xbox Series S/X, PC
Release date (WW): 2021

The latest game in Capcom’s highly popular survival horror series Resident Evil.

 

THE IDOLM@STER STARLIT SEASON

Platform(s): PS4, PC
Release date (WW): 2021

The latest game in Bandai Namco’s Idolmaster series, featuring a crossover between the original series and the various mobile phone spinoffs.

 

Umineko no naku Koro ni Saku: Nekobako to Musou no Koukyoukyoku

Japanese title: うみねこのなく頃に咲 ~猫箱と夢想の交響曲~
Platform(s): PS4, Switch
Release date (JP):28 January 2021

A console port of the “complete” version of Umineko, which includes all of the previously released content as well as two additional scenarios.

 

Silver 2425

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Release date (JP): 18 February 2021

A Switch port of the 2018 PS4 release of The Silver Case, Suda51’s cult hit mystery adventure game.

 

Cotton Reboot!

Platform(s): PS4, Switch
Release date (JP): 25 February 2021

Console ports of the 1991 Sega sidescrolling arcade shooter Cotton, and the first entry in retro game store Beep’s “super arrange project” which aims to port other arcade classics to current-gen consoles.

 

Ciel Nosurge DX

Platform(s): Switch, PS4
Release date (JP): 4 March 2021

An HD remaster of the 2012 “seven-dimensional communication game” Ciel Nosurge, which was an odd combination of Japanese simulation and adventure genres. Though serving as a prequel to Ar Nosurge, it was never released in the west.

 

Ar Nosurge DX

Platform(s): Switch, PS4
Release date (JP): 4 March 2021

An HD remaster of the 2014 RPG Ar Nosurge, the sequel to Ciel Nosurge.

 

Memories Off Historia

Memories Off HistoriaPlatform(s): PS4, Switch, PC
Release date (JP): 25 March 2021

Current-gen releases of the main titles in the long-running Memories Off series of adventure games, divided into two releases. Part 1 contains Memories Off 1-4, while part 2 contains 5-7. The eighth game (Innocent Fille) and spinoffs are not included in these collections.

 

Nayuta no Kiseki Kai

Nayuta no KisekiJapanese title: 那由多の軌跡:改
Platform(s): PS4
Release date (JP): Summer 2021

A remastered version of Falcom’s 2012 PSP action RPG Nayuta no Kiseki, which was never released in the west. Falcom president Kondo has mentioned that this release is in part due to requests for a new release from overseas, but there are currently no details on a non-Japan release.

 

Shibitomagire

Japanese title: シビトマギレ
Platform(s): PS4, Switch
Release date (JP): 2021

A new, third game in Experience’s horror series after Spirit Hunter: Death Mark and Spirit Hunter: NG.

 

Otome Game no Hametsu Flag Shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei Shiteshimatta… ~Haran wo Yobu Kaizoku~

Japanese title: 乙女ゲームの破滅フラグしかない悪役令嬢に転生してしまった… ~波乱を呼ぶ海賊~
Platform(s): Switch
Release date (JP): 2021

An otome game by Otomate based on the popular novel series, which recently got an anime adaptation.

 

Eiyuu Densetsu: Kuro no Kiseki

Kuro no KisekiJapanese title: 英雄伝説 黎の軌跡
Platform(s): TBA
Release date (JP): 2021

The next game in Falcom’s acclaimed Kiseki (Trails) series, taking place in an entirely new locale with a new cast and new game engine.

 

 

What games are you looking forward to this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 COMMENT

  1. Wow, a lot of games I didn’t know about yet.
    Wing of Darkness looks really fun, the gameplay reminds me of Zone of Enders.
    How likely is it that the new Idolmaster is comming west?

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