Marvelous were on fire on Wii and DS. I hope Switch brings back that magic, it's starting to do so

Oct 26, 2017
5,762
Wii was a monster hit, that was obvious. But a lot of 3rd-parties either turned their back on the system due to power, or lack of a hardcore audience, or what have you. In most cases, you'd have a publisher throw a bunch of mini-game compilations or at best cartoony spin-offs while the "real" games were made on PS3 and 360. Worse, some IIRC even admitted (was it Ubisoft or EA?) to making said spin-offs for the sole purpose of cashing in and funding said big projects on the HD twins, yeah.

Japan was a bit better. We saw a number of exclusives, such as from Sega with Sonic being of course a reliable one, plus Super Monkey Ball, even NiGHTS made an Wii-exclusive return as Sonic Team USA's swan song. Bandai Namco even had some neat exclusives, including Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (severely underrated IMO), Taiko games (expected), and even Klonoa made a shocking comeback with a remake of the original game.

But those companies still put their biggest efforts on the PS3 and 360.

Not Marvelous.

Marvelous was literally, to my recollection, the only one to do the opposite. They put their fucking ALL on Wii. Releasing hit and hit after hit critically. Highlights included:

- Rune Factory Frontier by Neverland
- No More Heroes 1 and 2 by Grasshopper
- Little King's Story by Cing and Townfactory, lead by Yoshiro Kimura, the creator of Chulip and was a lead at Love-de-Lic
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade by VanillaWare
- Arc Rise Fantasia by Imageepoch
- Discipline for WiiWare by Kazutoshi Iida, creator of Doshin the Giant, Tail of the Sun, and Aquanaut's Holiday

And even some smaller stuff like three Harvest Moon (now Story of Seasons) games, a few Reel Fishing games, and even the sole Nintendo-exclusive Valhalla Knights game; Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga (it was poop sadly). They also did an exclusive horror game called Night of the Sacrifice which never got localized. They did release a sequel to Rune Factory Frontier subtitled Tides of Destiny, but that despite being planned as a Wii-exclusive, got a PS3 port as well (the Wii version was cancelled in EU as well). Worth noting that No More Heroes was ported to PS3 and 360 by Konami and Feelplus after the fact. I don't recall Grasshopper and Suda even having much involvement with that.

Sadly all of those efforts didn't pay off. Even Yasuhiro Wada, creator of HM/SoS had even said he cried about how poorly the games sold, that's awful. :(

Eventually in 2010 a lot of changes were made at Marvelous. Yasuhiro Wada and Yoshiro Kimura left the company to join Grasshopper, but would only stay there for a couple of years (they worked on Shadows of the Damned most prominently. They then formed their own teams; Wada formed Toybox, while Kimura formed Onion Games.

Eventually AQ Interactivie also merged with them I think in mid-2011, forming Marvelous AQL. Things really started to change at Marvelous and their focus, shall we say, changed alongside.

Their old allies from the Wii era went elsewhere, they lost some of their finest talent, but things weren't lost... yet.

Harvest Moon got a decent start on 3DS, especially with Yoshifumi Hashimoto taking over for Wada as the caretaker of the series. His main claim to fame was being the creator of Avalon Code on DS, as well as being the creator of Rune Factory itself. So it was a fine fit IMO. In 2014 the series split from Natsume, who owned the name, and then by force was renamed Story of Seasons and was now being localized by XSEED, who come to Marvelous' possession from the AQ merger. Ironic as they worked together to localize Rune Factory Frontier, Little King's Story, Avalon Code, and a few others.

Sadly, I think it was in Dec 2014 that Neverland, the developer of Rune Factory, shut its doors. This put the series on ice for five years. Rune Factory 4 had just released not long prior and was the highest selling entry to date. Luckily, Marvelous did somehow recruit folks from there to finish what Neverland began; Lord Magna: Maiden Heaven (see what they did there?). Heard it wasn't all that good. The closure might've been costly as they might've lost key members from it, who knows.

While this was going on, Kenichiro Takaki really rose up the ranks at Marvelous due to the Senran Kagura series. From what I remember, he was mostly in charge/involved with the Ikkitousen series which was one of Marvelous' main licensed games on PS2 and the like. So the series began on 3DS (shocking considering later events) and did okay. Then all of the sudden it gets a Vita spin-off(?) that released alongside the anime and did REALLY well in Japan. This seeming caused Marvelous to switch gears and start really gravitating on not just Vita (and later PS4), but also practically make the series it's bread and butter.

Well now that seemingly bit them in the ass a bit. Sony's recent policies caused so much friction with the series, it forced Takaki to retire from the company and join CyGames (however he's still working on some sort of multimedia project with Marvelous). So right now the franchise is on thin ice future-wise (Peach Ball is just releasing on Switch in the west).

Now to move things over more to the present.

The Switch comes out and sells bonkers. Marvelous for quite a while was late to the party. On 3DS they mostly just kept releasing Story of Seasons games and called it that IIRC. They made their bed with Vita (and later PS4) as said and COMPLETELY left Wii U in the dust, only developing Mario & Sonic Sochi on it (you see how odd this was?). It was clear the Marvelous of the Wii and DS era was no more.

Back to Switch. Despite being late to the party, over the last year they've really started to get things really moving on the system, and in some VERY familiar ways.

There's an other name that's important here; Hakama.

Hakama was formed by Yoshifumi Hashimoto as a subsidiary of Marvelous (kind of like Takaki's Honey Parade Games). Hakama's first role was finishing a game he himself fucking announced in 2013 that went without a sound until like the last minute; Dragon Marked For Death. This was an Inti Creates-developed game originally pitched for PSP (weird since they never touched that system to my knowledge and was all over the DS), well as of 2013 it was a 3DS game (far more fitting for them). So years go by with nothing. Then finally one Nindies Showcase in 2017 and then BAM, it's finally shown and fittingly became a Switch game. There was confusion about the 3DS version's fate, but it was confirmed that the 3DS version was no more.

It wasn't found out until the last minute (literally) that Hakama was even involved. The game is self-published by Inti Creates worldwide, but Hakama and Marvelous still retained involvement. Yoshifumi Hashimoto and Hakama are mostly under the special thanks credit IIRC, but still, nice to see him stick around for the 5 years since he revealed the project in an interview with Siliconera. :P

Marvelous would also have minimal involvement with Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes which was mostly a Grasshopper solo venture (though Soleil of Valhalla Game Studios helped out). Nintendo even handled the distribution of the retail release. Now however it's being ported to PS4 and Steam as was announced in May at Momocon... has anything been said since actually? Is Grasshopper doing it themselves? Marvelous is more involved and even XSEED is publishing it in the west this time.

At E3 2018, Marvelous would reveal their first big Switch-exclusive; Daemon X Machina by 1st Studio, a team mostly comprising of what remains of AQ's teams (Artoon, Feelplus, and Cavia). This is basically a spiritual successor to Armored Core, which the producer previously worked on during the PS2 era.

Then things went bigger and into very familiar territory back in February when we got the last major Nintendo Direct before E3 where Rune Factory returned from the dead. Not just a Switch-exclusive remaster of the Rune Factory 4, but also with the reveal of Rune Factory 5, also a Switch-exclusive. Both are under the care of Hakama as well.

Recently we got the announcements of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town (a remake of said game) as a Switch-exclusive, and another familiar, more Marvelous-involved announcement this time; No More Heroes 3, again confirmed to be Switch-exclusive (despite the TSA port just being announced not even a month prior).

Plus you had a couple of Senran Kagura spin-offs (big note; both are banned from really being discussed at length here due to their... nature). Both were since ported to PC in the west however.

Basically, Switch actually feels like it's bringing back some key Marvelous properties that were dormant in recent years and thrived on Wii. A quick list:

- Rune Factory 4 Special
- Rune Factory 5
- Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
- No More Heroes 3 (with Travis Strikes Again being a sort of bonus early thing)

Those are the most familiar from the Wii days.

I'm hopeful we may see a remaster of Muramasa: The Demon Blade on Switch, and maybe FINALLY Little King's Story as well (that got a SIMS-developed PC release a couple years back in the west). Muramasa did get a Vita release with additional content called Muramasa Rebirth way back.

Marvelous really earned a place in my heart during those times back in 2007-2009. I even opened up a short-lived forum dedicated to spreading word about their Wii games. Hell, my twitter account today was opened for that very purpose. In fact that was almost exactly 10 years ago this month. Go figure!

I won't mince words, I got pretty fanboy-ish (it's a secret to no one), but eh, that's how I honestly feel and I will stand by it. If I didn't feel so strongly about this, I wouldn't have made this essay of a thread after all. :P Marvelous' dedication to Wii will always be fondly remembered by me. I hope things return to those days for them on Switch. I was sad to see them change the way they did and it was because of how poorly their top-tier efforts performed. I believe if those were made on Switch today instead, they'd have been VERY successful, especially in the west.

What do you guys think? Do you share the same feelings as I do?
 

vestan

Member
Dec 28, 2017
9,376
Daemon x Machina has really got to bring the heat imo. It genuinely looks solid though especially after the first demo and the immense work they've put into improving it, taking player feedback into mind. But yeah, I've always said this but the Switch kinda reminds me of the Wii in that you've got prolific developers that primarily developed games for the Wii coming back to work on sequels to projects that either started on the Wii or completely new exclusive IPs. I think out of all the developers making Switch games, Marvelous epitomises this the most with No More Heroes 3 and Daemon x Machina. I'd put Platinum up there too.
 
OP
OP
Hero of Legend
Oct 26, 2017
5,762
Daemon x Machina has really got to bring the heat imo. It genuinely looks solid though especially after the first demo and the immense work they've put into improving it, taking player feedback into mind. But yeah, I've always said this but the Switch kinda reminds me of the Wii in that you've got prolific developers that primarily developed games for the Wii coming back to work on sequels to projects that either started on the Wii or completely new exclusive IPs. I think out of all the developers making Switch games, Marvelous epitomises this the most with No More Heroes 3 and Daemon x Machina. I'd put Platinum up there too.
Hell we're seeing remasters of Wii-exclusives like Go Vacation, and possibly Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz as Switch-exclusives. Well the latter is rumored and even then it's an uncertain one from the source. Still the pieces are in place, especially if it's exclusive and they bundle Banana Blitz with the yellow Switch Lite. It's a genius move.
 

mopinks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,106
I can never see the name Marvelous and not associate it with the super famicom game

they should bring that back on the Switch too
 

mazi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
21,129
they seem to be supporting the system well, which is nice to see. i wonder what they have in store after rune factory 3, harvest moon FotMT and no more heroes 3.
 

Asbsand

Member
Oct 30, 2017
5,408
Denmark
I've been hoping for a Wii/DS level from Switch for a while now but it seems there's not enough exclusive projects for it from third parties to make it that kind of system.
 

juice

Member
Dec 28, 2017
45
The only Marvelous series I've ever cared about has been 牧場物語/Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons, but even as a huge fan, I feel they ran out creative steam following HM64 and FoMT.

Could I even imagine them making a modern one that holds a candle to Stardew Valley? Sadly, I can't.
 

hussien-11

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,764
Jordan
I've been hoping for a Wii/DS level from Switch for a while now but it seems there's not enough exclusive projects for it from third parties to make it that kind of system.
Due to the unique nature of the input for those devices (motion controller, touch screen, etc...), almost every game on those systems was exclusive.

I think this is impossible in today's environment, even PS4 is nothing in terms of Japanese exclusives compared to PS2.
 
The only Marvelous series I've ever cared about has been 牧場物語/Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons, but even as a huge fan, I feel they ran out creative steam following HM64 and FoMT.

Could I even imagine them making a modern one that holds a candle to Stardew Valley? Sadly, I can't.
If it’s the quaint bucolic feel that you’re after, with decent storyline, then maybe not. Those two HM games were tops for aesthetic feel and quality.

Mechanics-wise, HM: A New Beginning is top notch for me, and in fact, it surpasses some mechanics of FoMT. I’ve heard good things about one of the Wii releases as well, but haven't tried it myself.

Point being, maybe the series won’t hit upon the overall quality of the two greatest HMs, but there’s still the occassional one that can really do some great things. Hopefully, someone finds that quality again, soon. Switch would be an AMAZING device for it.

If anyone could do it, Marvelous could.
 

fiendcode

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,538
I'd be all over Musasama Rebirth and Little King's Story HD ports. Spread the love to PS4/Steam too.

My dream though is Marvelous working with Mistwalker again on Switch stuff. Like reviving Cry-On on the platform, getting rights from MS to port Blue Dragon, rights from Nintendo to remaster The Last Story, etc.

Marvelous seemed to be a bit late getting there but they're very much all in on Switch now. Their lineup by production division:

First Studio
  • Daemon X Machina
  • Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star
  • Fate/Extella Link
  • God Eater 3 (Bandai Namco)
Hakama Inc
  • Dragon Marked for Death (inti-creates)
  • Rune Factory 4 Special
  • Rune Factory 5
  • Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Honey∞Parade Games
  • Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin (Edelweiss)
  • Senran Kagura Peach Ball
  • Senran Kagura Reflexions
licensed/other
  • Doraemon Story of Seasons (Bandai Namco, Brownies Inc)
  • No More Heroes III (Grasshopper Manufacture)
  • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (Grasshopper Manufacture)
XSEED / Marvelous USA
  • BurgerTime Party! (G-mode)
  • Corpse Party: Blood Drive (5pb/Mages, Team Grisgris)
  • Freedom Planet (Galaxy Trail)
  • Gal Metal (DMM Games)
  • Heroland (FuRyu, Netchubiyori)
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - Ultimate Edition (Wayforward)
 

Ehud

Member
Jun 20, 2019
1
I love Rune Factory, my first game in the series was Rune Factory: Frontier on the Wii and I was really dissappointed when I learned the series got canceled. I had no idea it was coming back! Thanks for making this thread Hero of Legend! I hope Daemon X Machina is good and does well. Marvelous defintly has my support with Rune Factory and the Harvest Moon remake.
 
OP
OP
Hero of Legend
Oct 26, 2017
5,762
I'd be all over Musasama Rebirth and Little King's Story HD ports. Spread the love to PS4/Steam too.

My dream though is Marvelous working with Mistwalker again on Switch stuff. Like reviving Cry-On on the platform, getting rights from MS to port Blue Dragon, rights from Nintendo to remaster The Last Story, etc.

Marvelous seemed to be a bit late getting there but they're very much all in on Switch now. Their lineup by production division:

First Studio
  • Daemon X Machina
  • Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star
  • Fate/Extella Link
  • God Eater 3 (Bandai Namco)
Hakama Inc
  • Dragon Marked for Death (inti-creates)
  • Rune Factory 4 Special
  • Rune Factory 5
  • Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Honey∞Parade Games
  • Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin (Edelweiss)
  • Senran Kagura Peach Ball
  • Senran Kagura Reflexions
licensed/other
  • Doraemon Story of Seasons (Bandai Namco, Brownies Inc)
  • No More Heroes III (Grasshopper Manufacture)
  • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (Grasshopper Manufacture)
XSEED / Marvelous USA
  • BurgerTime Party! (G-mode)
  • Corpse Party: Blood Drive (5pb/Mages, Team Grisgris)
  • Freedom Planet (Galaxy Trail)
  • Gal Metal (DMM Games)
  • Heroland (FuRyu, Netchubiyori)
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - Ultimate Edition (Wayforward)
For whatever reason, Hakama hasn't been mentioned to be involved with Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town yet.