Level-5 has delayed Inazuma Eleven: Heroes’ Great Road from its previously planned spring 2020 release in Japan to “likely” 2021, as well as shared a development update and new information about the title.
Here are the notable tidbits:
- Due to game development issues, production was difficult and the schedule was significantly delayed. The critical user feedback online led to a decline in staff motivation, putting the game in a difficult situation.
- While Level-5 once considered stopping the game’s development, there were fans who sincerely supported them, so they decided to try and resume development somehow.
- Resuming development led to the idea that, by evolving the engine and development systems created in the development of the Yo-kai Watch series, an Inazuma Eleven game could be completed with high quality. By going in this direction, there was the hope that Inazuma Eleven could do something it had never done before.
- Normally, the release timing of a cross-media project is important in order to maximize synergy with corresponding media, but this time Level-5 wants to concentrate on carefully creating a game without being tied to the anime broadcast schedule.
- It will take more time, but Level-5 wants to make Inazuma Eleven: Heroes’ Great Road a culmination of Inazuma Eleven with a high level of freedom.
- Unmei Sasanami is the new protagonist in the game. He loves soccer, but is unable to play due to a certain trauma he experienced, so he decides to play a role in supporting talented soccer players.
- Until now it was common to follow the story of the anime written by Hino in the games, but in order to bounce back from development hardships, this time Level-5 is trying a new strategy. Rather than show a single story, the player will instead diverge with each character’s side of the story. So it’s actually a completely original story just for the game.
- The story will depict the united front of three protagonists—Mamoru Endou, Tenma Matsukaze, and Asuto Inamori—without any time slips. (Though, “united front” may not be an entirely accurate term.) It is up to the player to become friends or rivals in order to have these three characters exist on the same time axis.
- The game will focus on “depth” rather than volume, and thoughtfully depict the characters and situations that appear in the First Football Frontier. While it will ultimately depend on the player, depending on how you play, you can come to have a deeper understanding of all the characters.
- Rather than constructing a single long main story, Level-5 is emphasizing level of freedom.
- While verifying that the system of the original Inazuma Eleven for DS where you drew lines on the screen to indicate where the players run cannot be done again, development on Inazuma Eleven: Heroes’ Great Road will proceed with the intention of being a “completely new title” with a new feel content-wise.
Here is a summary of the story:
There have been all sorts of heroes throughout history.
Those who gained victory and achieved their goal.
Those who met their demise before succeeding, but still inspired others with their conviction.
Those who are victorious do not necessarily earn the title of hero.
Heroes are “pillars of light,” made up by others who seek such a presence.
And here we have an “eccentric hero,” who shines by supporting others.
This is the story of those “heroes'” strides and their great journey…
“I love soccer!”
How happy would I be if I could say such a thing so boldly.
That’s what I think whenever I see people playing soccer on that riverbed.
Their lost ball rolled right in front of me. While throwing it back, I asked the person who came to retrieve it.
“Hey, you’re in the same junior high school as me, aren’t you? Why are you playing soccer with elementary school students?”
“Well, there aren’t enough members in my school’s soccer club.”
“But you’re still keeping the soccer club going?”
“Yep! But I’ll definitely increase our ranks. After all, my goal is to win the Football Frontier!”
By the way, the Football Frontier is a tournament that decides the number one soccer team in Japan.
This guy, despite being in a soccer club with so few members, they can’t even compete in a game, is chasing a goal 100 steps ahead of himself.
What a person…
“That’s impossible,” I said without realizing.
“Impossible… is that so? Yeah, I don’t think that. What’s impossible is for me to give up aiming to become the best soccer player in Japan!”
Saying that, a giant grin returned to his face, full of a mysterious, persuasive energy.
This person… is an idiot…
With the way I felt about soccer, his overeager smile struck all the wrong nerves.
His name was Mamoru Endou, captain of the Raimon soccer club.
That day, I decided to join the soccer team… as a manager.
For some reason or another, I just wanted to do it.
At that time, I was the puny one who couldn’t see what goals laid ahead.
Inazuma Eleven: Heroes’ Great Road is in development for PlayStation 4, Switch, iOS, and Android.
Thanks, Games Talk.