One of the first things you see while going through the LA Convention Center’s West Hall, entering the madness that is E3’s showfloor, is XSEED Games’ official E3 booth. It’s certainly a spectacle, one of their most impressive affairs yet, and behind their larger games like Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection and Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash is a smaller title by the name of Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin. This Japanese indie game, which XSEED is helping develop in tandem with the same developers as Astebreed, plays like a mix between Story of Seasons and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. That being said, only the “Muramasa” type gameplay was available for attendees to test on the show-floor.
Players control Sakuna, a banished Harvest Goddess, as she vanquishes demons and collects materials throughout the demo. Players can jump, have a light attack, a heavy attack, and a especially powerful “skill” that is limited by a power bar that gradually refills over time. Players also have access to her scarf, which she can shoot out in 8 directions, grappling on to either the environment or enemies and can be used to slingshot to enemies or slam them against other enemies and the environment. The game’s artstyle was very clean, with detailed character models and nice animations.
It’s still very early days for Sakuna, the game is currently slated for a “late 2018” release date, but I was explicitly told that the game might take even longer than that to release. Since XSEED is working with the developers, it should release in the West around the same time as it will come out in Japan, but even then the company isn’t quite sure what the timeframe might be since, again, the game is still deep in development, and said developers are a small team. Either way, fans of Muramasa have a lot to look forward to when the title eventually releases on both PlayStation 4 and PC (hopefully) next year.
If you want to know more about this and other announcements happening at E3 then be sure to check out our E3 2017 Coverage Hub.