As a racing game fan, I’m always on the lookout for fresh takes on the standard driving formula. Aksys Games is definitely bringing something different to North America with a localized version of Japanese PS Vita title Drive Girls, scheduled to release on September 8th.
Taking notes from Transformers and Macross, driving games, 3rd-person action brawlers and blending them on high, Drive Girls puts players at the controls of one of five Drive Girls – five warriors with the ability to transform into supercharged cars. With the world under attack from mechanized bugs, it’s up to these five beautiful girls to save their home of Sun Island, and cross the finish line first.
When the girls aren’t battling mechanized bug monsters, they’ll be in vehicle form racing around the island. Players can upgrade car components and systems to improve their speed and handling as in most racing games, but parts will also effect the girls’ battle skills in combat form.
This is one of those niche Japanese titles that makes me wish I personally owned a PS Vita. It’s a unique hybrid of racing, battler, and customization that you just don’t get from Western titles. Tamsoft has a solid pedigree of fighting games, so that part should be solid. The driving mechanics are probably the biggest question. Is it a gimmick, or a mechanic you’ll spend lots of time using and enjoying? We’ll find out in September!
Developed in Japan by Tamsoft (OneeChanbara, Battle Arena Toshinden, others) with character designs by popular illustrator UGUME, the North American release by Aksys Games will include both physical and digital versions. Aksys Games has a good history of localizing Japanese games, with previous releases including the Zero Escape, BlazBlue, and Guilty Gear franchises. With that experience, it’s a safe bet that this will be a faithful translation.