Xseed picks up new Wild Arms, Shadow Hearts

Freshly minted publisher picks up latest episodes in two established role-playing franchises for US release.

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Brand-new publisher Xseed is aiming high with its initial releases, as the company today announced that it has picked up the rights to publish in North America the latest installments of the popular Wild Arms and Shadow Hearts franchises for the PlayStation 2.

That Xseed is localizing a pair of role-playing games for its first efforts isn't terribly surprising. The company was founded by six longtime Square Enix employees and is headed up by Jun Iwasaki, former Square Enix USA president and CEO. Future role-playing imports seem a distinct possibility given the company's stated mission "to bring high-quality interactive entertainment to the US market."

Wild Arms 4 features a new cast of characters, an original storyline, and the new strategic HEX battle system. However, it retains the series' familiar setting of Filgaia. The story follows the sheltered teenager Jude Maverick and a band of idealistic friends who come of age as they travel through Filgaia in the midst of a war.

The third entry in the series, Shadow Hearts: From the New World is set in the US during the Great Depression, and it brings the Judgment Ring battle system to real-world locations, including Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York. The plot follows 16-year-old amnesiac and detective Johnny Garland as he tracks down an escaped criminal. When a monster swallows up his mark (amid a rash of horrific incidents across the nation), Garland teams with a bounty hunter named Shania, and the pair goes off in search of answers.

Both games are scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2006. For more, read through GameSpot's previous coverage of Wild Arms 4 and Shadow Hearts: From the New World.

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