Ever wanted to date your favorite video game character? Of course you have, whether or not you'd actually admit it in public.
Assuming you're a fan of Namco Bandai characters, your dream is about to come true. That's right, the publisher has announced a dating sim featuring a variety of characters from "across the Namco Bandai Games universe" who have been brought together at a high school just for video game characters.
Namco High, as the new game is called, is a browser-based dating sim that makes use of HTML5 technology to run on a wide variety of platforms. It's the product of Namco Bandai's ShiftyLook project, which aims to bring arcade classics back to life with webcomics, animations, interactive games and other media. The site currently includes webcomics for well-known games such as Katamari, Galaga and Dig Dug, and also incorporates material involving lesser-known characters and games such as Bravoman, Wonder Momo, Valkyrie and Klonoa.
Namco High is being developed in collaboration with What Pumpkin Studios -- specifically Andrew Hussie, creator of Homestuck, one of the most complex webcomic projects out there on the Internet. As such, there's certainly some established storytelling skills behind the upcoming project, though it remains to be seen how well Hussie can turn his hand to something that will (presumably) be rather light-hearted in nature -- not to mention the fact it's not clear yet how seriously the game will take itself. I'm thinking that playing it extremely straight might actually be more funny than making it an obvious parody, though.
Namco Bandai hasn't said what characters will be involved in the game as yet, but the company has a huge roster of published properties to draw from, ranging from Ni no Kuni to the Tales series; Dark Souls to Time and Eternity. Personally I'm holding out for the opportunity to finally tell the black car from the original Ridge Racer how I really feel. I'll settle for a tsundere Ms. Pac-Man, though.
Namco High will be available via the ShiftyLook website sometime before the holidays this year. Let's hear some conjecture from you fine folks out there in Readerland: what characters would you like to see in this curious project?