PS2-era dungeon crawler Kowloon Highschool Chronicle comes to Switch

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Kowloon Highschool Chronicle, a PS2 first-person dungeon crawler from Atlus that’s never been released outside Japan, is finally making its Western debut next month, with a Switch release planned for February 4 thanks to Arc System Works.

Originally released for PlayStation 2 in 2004, Kowloon Highschool Chronicle puts players in the shoes of a treasure hunter / transfer student at Shinjuku’s Kamiyoshi Academy, who’s on a mission to explore an ancient ruin beneath the school. With the aid of his friends, he’ll avoid traps, solve puzzles, fight enemies, and try to unlock the secrets of an ancient civilization, while also building relationships with his new classmates.

For its Switch release, Kowloon Highschool Chronicle has remastered graphics and art. This version was released in Japan last year as Kowloon Youma Gakuenki: Origin of Adventure, with full voice acting and the additional content from Kowloon Youma Gakuenki Re:Charge, a 2006 repackage for PS2; presumably, those things will be in the English version too.

Key features, as outlined by Arc System Works:

Deep, Challenging Gameplay: Choose from a myriad of different friends, classmates, and allies and brave the darkest of dungeons in search of adventure and untold wealth. Be sure to build your team with care; the enemies and dungeons will present a true challenge and the wrong teammates may lead you to certain doom.

Innovative Conversation System: Express yourself in the story through feelings and actions. Why choose a canned response when you can give a character an angry glare, loving touch, or a bizarre lick? How everyone views you depends on how straight (or insane) you present yourself.

Revamped Graphics: Bringing the game firmly into the modern era, the art and graphics have been redone in high definition and now match the beautiful character designs, challenging gameplay and compelling story.

A screenshot from Kowloon Highschool Chronicle

It’s always nice to see old cult favourites getting exposed to a bigger audience, and especially when they’re formerly Japanese-only games finally getting their English debut. There’s a huge catalogue of such game spanning multiple console generations, so here’s hoping publishers like Arc System Works continue picking up these gems.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.