Just South of Class of Heroes and across the border from Wizardry lies a dungeon crawling RPG series that has never seen a store shelf outside of Japan. Elminage is wildly popular among Japanese gamers with an affinity for first-person dungeon diving, with titles appearing (and selling well) on the Nintendo DS, Sony PS2, and PSP.
These are new screens and artwork of Elminage III, now available for PSP and, of course, exclusive to Japan. The art piece with the demon lady licking a skull was used as the box art. I’m not joking.
These games tend to be met with decent sales and critical praise, though their existence is virtually unknown beyond Japan. Perhaps the masochistic RPG subgenre of which this series is a part tends to be a tough sell in North America? Atlus USA released the original Class of Heroes in North America, but neither of its two sequels made the swim. XSeed recently localized a Wizardry title in digital form only, which yields a little bit easier profitability due to not having to invest in packaging; NIS America did the same with dungeon crawler Cladun and will repeat the process with its sequel. Seems to me that this genre has trouble abroad, and for that reason, developer Star Fish is going to have a tough time finding an international publisher for Elminage.
The first Elminage game appeared on PlayStation 2 and was then ported to both the DS and PSP. The second appeared only on the portables, and this third numbered entry is currently expected to be a PSP exclusive, though with all the porting that’s gone on, that may change.