Gamers and developers alike are becoming more open to crossover titles as time goes on. After seeing the success of massive crossover hits like Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, studios are increasingly less protective of their original characters, allowing them to appear in other developers' projects. In a world where Ryu can go toe-to-toe with Pikachu while on a pirate ship, it's hard to be anything but confident that two successful IPs can be mashed together into another popular franchise.
In the case of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, Atlus and Intelligent Systems' attempt to fuse two ubiquitous JRPG titles together, any confidence the developers have in the title is justified. The critically acclaimed Fire Emblem: Awakening proved to be a global hit, and the Shin Megami Tensei series has gained traction worldwide with its high-quality 3DS offerings.
Despite their worldwide appeal, both Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem are inextricably tied to their country of origin, which explains why Nintendo announced today that Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem finally has a Japanese release date. The crossover project, also known as Genei Ibun Roku #FE, will hit Japanese stores on December 26. Although Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem is heavily inspired by both titles' new 3DS games, the crossover itself will be produced for the Wii U.
Fans of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem's 3DS predecessors won't be disappointed, however, as Nintendo also announced that first print copies of the game will include DLC costumes inspired by characters in Atlus' 3DS catalog, including throwbacks to Shin Megami Tensei IV, Devil Survivor 2, and Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem will also feature a special "Fortissimo" edition, which will come complete with a detailed game case, the original soundtrack, an art book, and even more DLC costumes. There's no word yet on whether the Fortissimo edition of the game will also be available in North America and Europe.
Nintendo currently has the North American release for Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem as sometime in 2016, but unfortunately no other details are currently available. Both developers have stand alone installments approaching release, as Intelligent Systems' Fire Emblem: Fates also eyes a 2016 release while the Sega-owned Atlus is currently focusing on Persona 5.
Interestingly enough, Atlus is targeting a global release date for Persona 5, while their crossover project with Intelligent Systems is following the more traditional release schedule for a Japanese developer. Although fans would obviously like not to wait for western versions of their favorite JRPGs, it's possible that the studios working together makes it much more difficult to target a worldwide release. Given the deep fan bases of both franchises, however, the western delay isn't going to turn anyone off from what should be another can't miss crossover game.
What kind of crossovers would you like to see developers pursue next? How goofy can they get before they start to hurt the credibility of their respective franchises? Let us know how you feel in the comments.
Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem releases for Wii U on December 26, 2015 in Japan, with a western release scheduled for 2016.