Feel free to dub 2017 the “Year of the Monokuma,” because NIS America’s Danganronpa releases will be abundant this year. Every previously-localized Danganronpa game will be getting an upgraded release on PlayStation 4: Danganronpa 1-2 Reload will bundle the first two games, and Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls separately. Of course, best of all will be the entirely new (and long awaited) entry into the series, Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4/Vita/PC)! (And if that doesn’t offer you enough quirky class trial fun, there’s Danganronpa VR and the bargain-priced rerelease of Danganronpa: The Animation to look forward to!) If ever there was a time to dive into the killer world of Danganronpa, it’s now!
We haven’t seen the last of the Zero Escape series, either. The franchise’s first two games, 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Virtue’s Last Reward will also be receiving a bundled HD upgrade in Zero Escape: The Nonary Games (PS4/Vita/PC—albeit a bummer for ZE fans who originally played the saga from the perspective of Nintendo DS/3DS. As much as I love [and admittedly prefer] my VNs on Vita, I agree that Nintendo 3DS is in dire need of more visual novels).
Other 2017 HD upgrades (and localizations) for tried and true mystery VNs will include the overdue release of The Silver Case (PS4/PC), by none other than the infamous Suda51 and Grasshopper Manufacture (better known for games like No More Heroes). But perhaps one of the most surprising localizations will be that of the highly-acclaimed 428: Shibuya Scramble (PS4/PC), which was originally expected to never be released outside Japan.
If you’re looking for VNs outside the realm of dark mysteries, we’ll be getting a variety of lovely Otomate romances this year, too! Aksys Games will be treating us to Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ (Vita), Collar x Malice (Vita), and Bad Apple Wars (Vita) (the last being one of my most-wanted VNs originally released in 2015, second only to Reine des Fleurs). Hakuoki will also be returning stateside in Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds (Vita), arguably the most expanded edition of its original story with nearly double the number of characters/story branches to choose from.
Considering it’s only March, I’d say that’s an impressive number of visual novel localization announcements so far for this year. I still haven’t found a solid release date for Aksys Game’s edition of the fandisc Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~, along with some of Sekai Project’s promised console VNs like Fault Milestone One and World End Economica, and who knows what PQube plans on releasing internationally this year, too. 2017 is still young, and I look forward to seeing this list of localized visual novels grow! :D