For the first time since, well, I can’t even remember, I have pre-ordered the Deluxe comes-with-a-lot-of-junk Edition of a game, and naturally it’s a weird one. Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories is a game that 1) I never thought would be completed 2) never thought would be translated to English, and 3) never thought would see a physical release for the West. Thanks to Granzella and NiS America though, I’m happy to say all those things have now come true!
Quick(ish) catchup. The Disaster Report series has been around since the days of the PlayStation 2 when IREM released sequels fairly regularly… until the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. As you might expect, a game revelling in natural disasters, set in Japan, to be released around this time felt a little ignoble. So IREM cancelled the PlayStation 3 sequel along with most of their other games and went back to making pachinko and slot machines. The staff who still wanted to make video games left to form Granzella and were able to acquire the rights to Disaster Report from IREM in 2014. Finally, Disaster Report 4 (known as Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4 in Japan) was released in 2018 and NiS America shortly came to head up the Western localization for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
And that brings us to today, when I finally pre-ordered the Ridiculous Edition of the game (appropriately for PlayStation 4) after getting a nice bonus paycheck at work to cover the $90 cost. What do I get? A backpack that I can’t read, a soundtrack, a lanyard to hold my employee or school ID (I guess?), and a box that looks like an in-game First Aid kit to unceremoniously shove everything else into.
The tchotchkes don’t matter all that much, I’m just thrilled to be able to finally play the game and throw some support to NiS who I rarely get to buy from because 99% of their lineup isn’t my kind of Japanese.