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Disgaea devs intro Z.H.P. for PSP

New superhero strategy RPG to be released by NIS America this winter; publisher also prepping retro dungeon-crawler Cladun for portable, teases next Disgaea for PS3.


While Nippon Ichi Software is best known for its Disgaea line of strategy role-playing games, the publisher's ambitions extend beyond that brand. For example, today the publisher announced a new intellectual property from the Disgaea development team and a downloadable retro-styled action RPG. The company also had something for those who would prefer more Disgaea, as the series' producer teased a new PlayStation 3 installment in that line would be announced before long.

Z.H.P. will let players customize their heroes with drill hands, wheel feet, and other unique characteristic.
Z.H.P. will let players customize their heroes with drill hands, wheel feet, and other unique characteristic.

Starting with the new intellectual property, NIS America will be publishing the PSP superhero strategy RPG Z.H.P. in North America this winter. Known in Japan as Zettai Hero Keikakuin, Z.H.P. lets players create their own heroes and bases of operations, then do battle with the forces of evil on randomly generated maps.

NIS America's other newly announced game uses both its name and its subtitle to describe the game. Cladun: This Is an RPG is a "classic dungeon" action RPG set for release as a downloadable-only PSP game this fall. The game will feature retro-styled pixel-art characters, with players able to create their protagonists from scratch. As with Z.H.P., NIS America is touting the game's character customization features and randomly generated dungeons.

At a NIS America press event revealing the games, Disgaea series producer Souhei Niikawa underscored the importance of both titles to the company. Nippon Ichi Software has decided to limit the number of titles it launches in a given year in order to focus more on quality, Niikawa said, and Z.H.P. and Cladun are products of that philosophy. Z.H.P. in particular was made "to surpass Disgaea," Niikawa said, adding that the team is as excited about the project as it was when making the first game in the company's flagship franchise.

Speaking of that series, Nippon Ichi Software will be returning to the world of Disgaea soon. Niikawa said that the next Disgaea game will be released in Japan for the PS3 later this year, with a full reveal of the title expected by the time the Tokyo Game Show kicks off in September.

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