Microsoft brought its A game to E3 when it revealed Scalebound, an exclusive Xbox One title from Platinum Games. Talk about a megaton announcement. What's even more exciting though, is that it comes from the talented mind of Hideki Kamiya, director of Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe, Okami, Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101. By my count that's six huge swings at bat and six home runs, with a few of those being grand slams.
Sometime after the reveal, Platinum posted a press release on their site with a statement from Kamiya and others. In it, he briefly explains how and why he chose to make Scalebound:
"The focus of my new game is the gigantic beast that reigns over the fantasy genre: the dragon. Dragons have a unique power to capture the imagination, and I’ve loved dragons since I was a child. I’ve always wished that I could create a game featuring this magnificent creature; now the time has come for me to realize my dream."
Since no concrete details have come from Platinum yet, we could only infer about the game with sequences in the trailer. It begins with a Dante-esque character running away from a huge monster until he is eventually sandwiched between the monster and a newly arrived dragon. One thing that's easy to miss is the fact that the dragon is actually an ally of the main character. With a wink, Blond Dante gives the dragon the go ahead to spit fire, taking the monster by surprise. They continue to work together until Blond Dante cuts off a section of the monster, forming armor and perhaps stealing its power. The trailer ends a multi-headed hydra makes its appearance. Blond Dante hops onto the his dragons and takes flight, taking on the hydra with the help of other dragon riders, suggesting a multiplayer component to the game. So this might be wishful thinking but a Monster Hunter game with Bayonetta combos where you can command a dragon and maybe ride it into battle with multiplayer? That sounds exciting to me.
One has to wonder at the dynamics of the the partnership between Microsoft and Platinum Games. Is this a game made to garner more attention for the Xbox One in Japan or is it a game more for the world wide fans of Platinum Games? A bit of both? From the trailer, Scalebound seems to be a game that takes Japanese sensibilities in mind. A Monster Hunter X Guyver mashup that's sure to—at the very least—catch the eye of the innumerable Monster Hunter fans of the country. Will it catch the interest of a majority of the main Xbox One audience: America? How successful can the game be when the Xbox One is probably dead in Japan and it's exclusive to only one console? Only time will tell how great Scalebound will become, but one thing is for sure, Hideki Kamiya has yet to let us down.