Keiji Inafune–who left Capcom in 2010 to form his own companies, including studio Comcept–may currently be best known for his upcoming Vita title, Soul Sacrifice; but he also had a 3DS title in the works. And soon, after a year of waiting, Japanese gamers and journalists will be able to try it.
Kaio: King of Pirates was a game first introduced in 2011 and slated for release this year: without much word since then, the game has been pushed back to 2013. But Publisher Marvelous AQL has recently revealed that the title will be playable for this first time this December 21st, at Japan’s Jump Festa 2013.
Developed as an idea by Inafune himself, Kaio: King of Pirates is a loosely inspired version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but starring seafaring pirate animals that personify the likes of Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei. The story revolves around the “Lucifer Coin,” a coin that, when found, imparts on its owner the dominion of the seas, turning that person into the “Kaio.” The game takes place in a legendary part of the ocean called the “Tai Hei Yo,” where a devastating power turned it into a harsh battleground where three different animal races fight for power.
Similar to Soul Sacrifice, Inafune is trying to inject mature themes into what could otherwise be a simple handheld title. He wants the title to be about heroes who fight for their ambition, justice, and life in an era when the winner isn’t always who is right, but who is stronger.
Inafune introduced the idea first through manga, via V-Jump and Strongest Jump: hence its inclusion in Jump Festa, a popular annual convention for Japanese manga in Japan not unlike the U.S.’s Comic Con.
Inafune has planned for a trilogy that will have over 300 characters. Although the game has only been announced for Japan, its announcement was made alongside a English subtitled trailer. With XSEED being a subsidiary of Marvelous AQL, don’t be surprised to see Kaio: King of Pirates make its way to the U.S. soon after release in Japan.
Stay tuned for more information and check out the Gallery of Kaio: King of Pirates’ lovely screenshots after the trailer!