The story behind the existence of the Class of Heroes franchise is a rather interesting one considering what an obscure title it is. For the unfamiliar, Class of Heroes is a series of dungeon crawlers developed by Acquire primarily for the Sony PSP, though there are versions of the the games available on the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo 3DS. The original title was available as both a UMD and a digital release, and it was localized by Atlus, though not received very well. Even our own Alex Lucard reviewed the game following its release and found it to be rather unremarkable. I had a chance to play it as well, and I didn’t make it very far before being forced to shelve it.
Enter Gaijinworks (headed up by Victor Ireland, formerly of Working Designs) and MonkeyPaw Games who not only saw potential in a localized release of the sequel, but even drafted a Kickstarter in order to fund a deluxe UMD edition (which we had the opportunity to discuss with them in not one, but two interviews). The Kickstarter never reached its goal, though the story doesn’t end there.
A short while ago, presales opened up on the Gaijinworks website that stated that if 2,500 people could commit to buying it, a UMD version would still be produced. The goal was met and voting opened up in the weeks that followed to not only determine the cover art for the regular edition, but for a Kickstarter exclusive edition that only those who originally contributed to the fundraiser can obtain. It’s honestly a pretty sweet deal if you’ve been keeping up with the game’s progress for that long.
â€œSo, what’s the big deal?â€ you might be asking. â€œ2,500 people got the UMD version of a game they wanted. Why are you telling me this?â€ There are a couple of reasons why this should be of interest. First of all, those 2,500 that were mentioned earlier were just presales. Meaning, 2,500 people SAID they were going to buy the UMD copy of the game. No payment was collected at that time. Now that the actual sales have opened up, not all of them have been claimed.
Secondly, video game collecting has been on the rise as of late (as evidenced by looking at the current price of Snatcher on the Sega CD. Ew.) As such, Class of Heroes II is poised to be one of the rarest titles for the PSP. To put that into perspective, Panzer Dragoon Saga was produced in a quantity of less than 10,000 copies and that is one of the most expensive titles on the system. Granted, that was a damn fine game and I have yet to play CoH2 to judge its merits as a title that might be worth hundreds of dollars in the future. You do have to consider, though, that RPG’s released late in a dying system’s lifespan have always shot up in value. Go look at prices for Xenoblade Chronicles, and that game just came out in North America in 2012!
The sale only lasts until May 12th, and this is the only print run of this game planned. So if you have any passing interest in owning the UMD version, now is the time to pick it up. And if you don’t, well, the UMD version also includes the digital version so you can play it that way too if you prefer. As I said before, I can’t yet speak to the quality of the game itself (though look for a Diehard GameFAN review of it down the road), so there is a bit of blind faith involved with this release. But it does show a lot of potential and it’s going to be your only shot at this edition.
Please don’t make me say I told you so.