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Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time

Atlus Bringing Growlanser IV Stateside

The newly re-dubbed Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time will include a raft of improvements.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: January 18, 2012
Every time we think the PSP is well and truly free of releases, someone steps up to keep the party rolling. In this case, it's arguably one of the best final (okay, near-final; we've given up on trying to call it) send-offs the system can have. In much the same way NIS America graced us with the brilliant Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, Atlus is planning on giving the PSP one hell of classic heave-ho with Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time an enhanced port not from the usual PSP fodder of the PS one, but a proper PlayStation 2 port. We're not sure if that's a first, but it's definitely one of the first PS2>PSP ports we've seen.

Rather than trying to sum things up in a way that would belittle the game's core plot, we'll just let Atlus help a little:

[About Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time]
Never before released outside of Japan (where it is known as [i]Growlanser IV: Over Reloaded
) and widely considered the best entry in the long-running franchise, this PSP system iteration of the fourth chapter in the Growlanser saga tells of a land -- once rich with culture and technology -- long ago nearly obliterated by evanescent divine entities. Two millennia later, the mysterious entities appear again, threatening to bring about an end to all things unless a fabled warrior of destiny can rise against them.

Yeahhhh, that's the kind of hype we were looking for. What we can happily offer our own interpretation of, however, is what Atlus is doing to help make the port extra special. No, it's not offering a Japanese voice track (sadly, licensing issues put the kybosh on that), nor will the game be voiced outside of some anime cutscenes (UMDs can only hold 1.8 gigs of data, remember, and hiring a voice cast for a completely new script would be cost-prohibitive for a PSP game), Atlus is doing a full translation of a script they call "one of the largest localization projects in [our] two decade history".

Part of the reason for the extensive script work is the game's 40+ hours of story and a whopping 40 different endings. The studio is adding new scenarios, new characters and a handy message skip option for those that might for some reason avoid reading dialogue in a non-voiced RPG. But hey, who are we to say how one should play a game? The PSP version will also sport better load times than its PS2 progenitor. Not bad for a game that would have never seen the light of day -- on PS2 or otherwise -- outside of Japan if not for Atlus' hard work.

Slated for a Summer release (that's right, months after the PSP will be succeeded by the almighty Vita), in both physical UMD and downloadable (and we're hoping Vita-compatible) form, Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time seems like a nice, meaty way to bid adieu to the little Sony portable that could -- and did! Check out screens of the work-in-progress port by clicking the Images link at the top of the page.