With their spiritual successor to the original Mega Man slated for release in September, Keiji Inafune's Comcept has launched a pair of Kickstarters for Red Ash, a video game and anime project that's pretty much the spiritual successor to Mega Man Legends.
One half of the Red Ash project, announced this weekend at Anime Expo 2015, is an open-world action role-playing game called Red Ash: The Indelible Legend. Set on a world filled with treasure hunters and evil robots seeking to destroy humans, the game side of Red Ash will feature characters that share names with the heroes of Mighty No. 9 — Beck and Call — along with an older fellow named Tyger who serves as Beck's "delver" partner.
Red Ash: The Indelible Legend is being spearheaded by core members of the original Mega Man Legends team, including art director Kazushi Ito and director Masahiro Yasuma.
If the $US800,000 Kickstarter target for the game seems low, that's because the Kickstarter isn't for the full experience, but rather an opening chapter/prelude called "The KalKanon Incident."
That's why for this Kickstarter project, we've decided to start with a prologue chapter we call "The KalKanon Incident." This story has always been planned as a key jumping-on point for the universe, and we hope to use this small, but dense taste of the RED ASH universe as a foundation on which to build future content. Whether it's through additional funding, revenue from "The KalKanon Incident" sales, or teaming up with a publisher, this is a story we are determined to tell, and we want all of our backers to be on the ground floor for the creation of this new game universe. We have a vision of a story and universe that we feel deserves to be told, and we need your support to make it a reality!
Along with asking fans to generate $US800,000 for the opening chapter of what the company envisions as a grand fictional adventure, Comcept has also partnered with anime studio STUDIO4℃ to Kickstart an animation called Red Ash: Magicicada.
The goal for the animation Kickstarter is relatively low — only $US150.000 — but that is the asking price for a single five minute animated episode. Five miutes! Stretch goals will extend the episodes into multiple larger parts, and should the Kickstarter's real goal of $US2,480,000 be reached, Red Ash: Magicicada will be made into a feature length movie.
No doubt fans of the Mega Man Legends series, the most recent instalment of which was canceled by Capcom years ago, will be incredibly excited about this project. Having reviewed both Kickstarter campaigns associated with Red Ash, I am cautiously optimistic. I've not gotten a chance to play Mega Man spiritual successor Mighty No. 9 yet, so I have no first hand experience with the quality of product Comcept puts out. Had they waited until after the first Kickstarted game had launched I'd feel a great deal more confident.
Then there's the fact that last year around this time Comcept launched another crowdfunding campaign to help polish a game they'd already raised more than $US4 million to develop.
And again these two new Kickstarters aren't for a full game and an animated series, but a prelude to a full game and — at best — a feature length animated film.
With all of that in mind, I'll curb my enthusiasm until I see more of Red Ash.