Master PS Vita’s Many Inputs with Sumioni: Demon Arts

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Master PS Vita’s Many Inputs with Sumioni: Demon Arts

Sumioni: Demon Arts for PS Vita

So PS Vita is officially out! Many of you are probably holding it in your hands right now, basking in that “new system smell” and lovingly polishing that beautiful screen to a glossy sheen. I know I am!

Still, PS Vita is dauntingly new and different from what I’m used to as a gamer. The touchscreen and the rear touch pad are like strange creatures to one such as I, having played mostly PSP titles since 2006. Even brief stints with other touchscreen devices couldn’t have hoped to prepare me for the subtle sensitivities and nuances of PS Vita – to say nothing of the way it harmoniously mixes its multi-touch functionality with traditional analog stick and button controls.
As more and more PS Vita games utilize these unique features (and game designs get more and more complex and challenging in the process), learning to switch between analog controls and touchscreen actions on the fly, or learning when and how to get the most out of the rear touch pad, will become absolutely essential to your gaming survival.

And that’s where Sumioni: Demon Arts comes in.

Sumioni: Demon Arts for PS Vita

Due for release in North America next month, Acquire and XSEED Games’ Sumioni: Demon Arts is a 2D action/platformer with a classical Japanese setting and a general theme of using ink to thwart your enemies’ nefarious plans. And although your main character is controlled primarily through the left analog stick and action buttons, Sumioni also makes use of PS Vita’s touchscreen and rear touch pad in ways quite unlike any other title currently available or planned. And let me tell you, it really is a gratifying experience to walk with the left analog stick upon platforms you’re literally painting into existence on the fly, or to stand still for a mere moment amidst hellish chaos to restore vast quantities of “ink power” by furiously stroking the rear touch pad with every available finger. And don’t even get me started on how fun it is to set enemy pagodas ablaze with your pointer finger alone!

Sumioni: Demon Arts for PS Vita

Sound a little too complicated for you? Well, take it from someone who’s always shied away from touchscreen gaming in the past: it’ll become second nature to you in no time, and you’ll have an absolute blast with it to boot. Not only will Sumioni: Demon Arts help get you used to the feel of Vita gaming in general, it may just help you get really good at it, too! In my opinion, no other game in PS Vita’s launch window library combines traditional and new control schemes quite so effectively. If any game can make a PS Vita master out of you, surely this is the one.

So make sure you’re ready for action next month! And if you don’t have PS Vita yet… well, what are you waiting for? It’s a truly amazing system, and you won’t be able to play Sumioni: Demon Arts without it!

Comments are closed.


13 Author Replies

  • I like the art style.

  • Looking good, two questions though.

    #1: Will there be a demo?
    #2: What will the price be?

    • Unfortunately, neither of those is a question we can answer just yet. Release details are still being ironed out. We’ll make sure we keep you guys up-to-date, though, when we have more details to share!

  • Not sure if I’ll pick this up. I’m not a huge fan of action games like this. This is one of those would like to see more of it or try it before buying.

  • I’ve been looking forward to this game for while. Hearing that its coming next month has got me excited. Really looking forward to this title. PSV is awesome… but uhhhh …Sony …pssst …PSOne classics please.

  • Can’t wait to try the demo! But how bout a date for Gravity Rush??

  • looked interesting enough the first time i saw gameplay, but after playing around with my shiny new vita, i can tell this game will definately be fun. I just hope theres a demo to confirm my suspicions =)

  • Great game!, looking forward to it =)

    will there be a physical copy or just digital?

    Best Regards =)

    • We haven’t yet announced the release format for the game, but should be doing so sometime in the near future. Stay tuned for future updates!

  • I take it this is a PSN Vita only game? Not a retail release?

    • The game is Vita-only, but physical/retail Vita games certainly do exist, and we have not yet announced the release format for Sumioni. As such, we can’t presently say whether or not the game will be download-only. We should be announcing that sometime in the near future, though, so stay tuned for future updates!

  • The art style reminds me soo much of a little known PS2 gem called Okami.

    Tom, did you ever play Okami and if so, did it inspire your dev team to go with this art style?

    Looking forward to seeing this game in action!

    • Er, I’m not part of a dev team — just a localization team! Acquire would be the ones to ask about that.

      If I had to venture a guess, though, I’d guess they were more inspired by the classical Japanese “sumi-e” art style in general, rather than specifically being inspired by Okami. Although there are similarities between the two games, I think those can all be attributed to a love of sumi-e art more than anything else.

      And sumi-e is indeed quite worthy of taking as inspiration. It’s a beautiful and very important part of Japanese art history.

  • There definitely has to be an Okami VITA. This game proves it.

  • I saw a demo on GameSpot. Nice, but the bosses seem like buildings…

    • Many stage bosses are, in fact, pagodas — pagodas that spawn endless waves of archers and are trapped with all manner of razors, saws, spears, etc. As you damage them, they start to burn, lean and crumble. It’s quite a satisfying experience! ;)

      There are non-pagoda bosses too, however. Big, screen-filling demons, floating eyeball things, etc.

      But if you ask me, the pagodas are the most epic!

  • Has an official release date been nailed as of yet? “Next month” is extremely vague. Please don’t let me 3/6/12 as Mass Effect 3 is dropping on that day like a megaton bomb. Not to mention Unit 13 and MLB 12.

    • No specific date yet, but I think you should be safe — it’s unlikely it’ll be early March, as there are still release details we need to iron out.

  • Okay, for give me for going off topic but I would like to know why my ps vita can’t play my ps3 games via remote play? Kind of a big reason why I got the system. Also when will the vita be able to use music unlimited?

  • Nice!! This game looks like Outland!! That’s a good thing!! Will this game have a platinum?

  • Still no release date info :(.

    Anyhow, just wanted to say thanks for bringing all of these awesome titles over to North America :). I’m still trying to find the stomach to purchase Corpse Party :P.

    • You totally should! It’s an experience you will never, ever forget. It will haunt you FOREVERMORE… mwa ha ha… ;)

  • Will there be a physical release of this game? I know it received one in Japan/Asia.

  • Are you hinting at a March release?

    Also, if you’re not allowed to talk about demo dates or prices, are you allowed to talk about estimated file sizes? :<

    • No, I’m not hinting at a March release — I’m outright saying it! ;)

      And unfortunately, I don’t actually know what the file size will be just yet. I’m sure I’d be allowed to tell you if I did, though! Probably something I should look into before the next PS Blog, huh? ;)

  • Thanks for clarifying Tom!

  • So, download only?

    Psst Half-Minute Hero 2 is calling you guys to localize it. ;)

  • This looks beautiful. I love the Hokusai-esque design ethic. Exactly the kind of thing we need on Vita. Consider me very interested.

  • Not bad.. not bad at all.. Im wondering if it going through alot of polish, it has very dark look to it which is not bad thing. Not everoney like to play a bright blinding game.. I think the dark look is very original.

    also since this art game willthe game be able to save screen shots in as screen saver for ps vita. Kinda like linger of the shadows.

    Also welcome back to ps blog..

    vp-psn legionaree group

  • @poodude (Did I read that right, or has this OLED screen addled my eyesight??)
    Corpse Party is excellent. I bought it on a whim ($20 PSN card for my birthday) and it entertained me way more than most PS3 games late last year. Surprisingly creepy too. Well worth getting.

  • I’m really hoping that this game will also see a physical release since I really like the new solid-state format Sony is using for Vita games (they’re a lot easier to carry around then the old UMD).

    That being said this is coming out next month? That’s quite unexpected, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more info in the coming weeks though. Also has there been any news on Grand Knights History? That’s probably the last of the few PSP games (along with Gungnir and Growlanser) I have my eye on as the system fades into the sunset.

    • No word on Grand Knights History just yet, I’m afraid. We’re still waiting to hear word from the developers, who are extremely busy with their next project. We’ll keep you guys up-to-date when we have more information to give.

  • Tom, love what you folks have been doing over at XSEED. I’ve been a fan of your company’s efforts since the Wild Arms 4/5, Shadow Hearts days (moment of silence for that dearly departed series). I will be picking this up.

    Now… Ragnarok Odyssey. Discuss. Little King Vita… Discuss. If not with me than with your co-workers at XSEED :) I have money, you guys want to take my money. Its an amiable situation for both parties really.

    I love you guys! Peace.

  • I may even buy the Last Story even though my Wii has long since headed to Gamestop. I did buy Valhalla Knights: ES, Fragile and Little King before it went.

    Oh, and my digital copy of Vallhalla Knights 2: Battle Stance for the PSP won’t xfer from PS3>Vita. Just a heads up regarding compatibility.

    • Compatibility of PSP titles with Vita is out of our hands, I’m afraid, but hopefully all of our old PSP titles will be transferable to Vita somewhere down the line. Most already are, and I anticipate the remaining ones will trickle their way into the Vita’s back library sooner or later.

      Thanks for all your support, by the way! It’s always nice to hear of fans enjoying our games.

  • In my frothing frenzy at all things Japan, I missed the MARCH RELEASE DATE.

    Well done.

  • So far so good Xseed. Heres hoping you guys localize more good looking games. IE: Ragnarok Odyssey and Surge Concerto!

  • Next month? Yay!

  • Oh, and please localize as many Japanese games as possible, Ragnarok for example!

  • Replying to your answer to number 11 (to my question!):

    Thanks for explaining the bosses a little. I’d still call a Pagoda a building – lol. In this case, they are a builds with people in it!

  • The gameplay looks solid, as does the art direction. Can you please give a little more info on the story, who the hero is, etc? Xseed releases some awsome titles… release the dam for us Vita owners!

    • Sumioni is a very gameplay-oriented title, but there are story scenes interspersed throughout, told through text scrolls overlaid on top of beautiful sumi-e art prints.

      Essentially, an evil Inkmaster has used black arts to take over Japan, and everyone who could possibly stop him was either killed, brainwashed or imprisoned.

      One of the men who was imprisoned, however, knew of an ancient Inkdemon that had been sealed away on the prison grounds. This Inkdemon, named Agura, was sealed away not for being evil, but for being unconscionably lazy. The imprisoned man, believing Agura to be Japan’s last hope, traded his life to unseal the demon, leaving his two Inkgod companions — a foo-dog/lion and a phoenix — behind to watch over him and make sure he didn’t slip into pure laziness.

      And so Agura was tasked with overcoming his laziness and making his way toward the capital in an effort to stop the spread of evil across Japan at its source.

      Depending on how well you play, the story will unfold quite differently, ultimately leading to one of six different endings.

  • Tom,

    release this game on retail and you have my money.great job guys, is a gorgeous game

  • Thank you Xseed for bringing this over. I hope gets a physicalrelease, because I love me some boxes. =P Plus my 4GB memory card can’t even hold much more as it is. xP

    Love you guys.

  • This looks really cool! Anyone who says the Vita is lacking QUALITY games is blind! I had not heard of this but I’ll be watching it closely now! Please put up a trailer on PSN so I can try to show Vita customers at work(Best Buy) and help sell the game!

  • I have been keeping my eyes on this since i first saw the japanese trailer. glad you guys are bring it over :)

    Also, will you guys be bringing over Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki? Vita really needs more (if any at all) RPGs and you guys always localize some of the best :D

  • Very intersting IP…I decided a while back that the PS Vita was going to be my gateway into previously unexplored titles and genres and with it I wanted to experience the types of games I wouldn’t (or couldn’t) experience on my PS3. This one just made it onto my must have list :)

  • Wow, this looks rather impressive. I’ll be keeping my eye on this and will probably pick it up Day One, depending on when that actually is.
    And I just gotta say, I love you XSEED. I was loving all those PSP titles you were releasing last year (three Ys games and Legend of Heroes) and hope to see a few more with Vita compatibility throughout this year, including the previously mentioned Growlanser game. Is there any news on plans of getting Legend of Heroes: SC released over here? I really hope Trails in the Sky did well enough to justify it. I’d like to see a few more Falcom games make their way over here through you guys. :D
    Keep up the awesome work!

  • Any word on a Shadow Hearts HD Collection, there are many fan sites asking for one, and people willing to pay $60 for it as well. I would love to play it again with trophies, maybe even slide Koudelka in as an added bonus ;P

  • I’ll toss my name into the hat of PSBlog readers who would like LoH Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter to be localized. Day 1 buy from me. As with this game (not sure why I didn’t say that in my first comment, but meh).

    I love supporting the publishers who bring over the games I enjoy.

  • I’m very interested in the game you are talking about in this article! I would love a demo.

  • I’m really liking the look of this game. I’m also hoping there will be a DEMO released.

    I love the Sumi-e art look, it’s well done (Sumi-e art in general being so very, very beautiful in the first place!) this game looks to capture the very essence of it’s meaning and will be fun, and also make all other games more second nature if it employs the PS Vita features as well as you say they do.

    What kind of sound effects/background music does it have?

  • hi!!, i would like to have an answer about the release of Grand Knights History!! i want to play that game, please let me know! Thank you!

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