Video game publishers will sometimes do this interesting, and exciting, thing wherein which they will license a certain name, or variation of a name, in North America and Europe months after certain titles have been announced over in Japan. There are people who troll the world wide web waiting for companies to do this, then spreading the word that it has been done, and the latest to be “caught out“, so to speak, are none other than Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe who have recently licensed the video game title Burning Blood.
Now, as of right now, Burning Blood means absolutely nothing because, for all intents and purposes…it is nothing. There is no Japanese video game that goes by that name at this point in time and it’s not a name we’ve ever heard of before, but we have heard something similar! Crows: Burning Edge is an upcoming fighting game by Namco Bandai Entertainment based off of the highly popular delinquent Manga Crows which, as you may know, was also the inspiration for the movie trilogy Crows Zero, Crows Zero II, and Crows Explode.
The Crows Manga, and also Hiroshi Takahashi’s other work Worst, revolves around a group of young males who all attend a notorious school for delinquents known as Suzuran. At this school, there are no lessons. There’s no Science, there’s no Math, there’s no Art, and there is no English studies. At Suzuran, you learn with your fists. Crows is one of the quintessential delinquent Manga series’ and it unfortunately never got a release outside of Japan, but the possibility of it’s video game counterpart hitting local shores…now, that’s way too exciting!
Even though Burning Blood isn’t anything we’ve ever heard of before, it is similar to the name Burning Edge, which is leading people to believe that Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe do have plans to localise this game, but have simply changed the title for Western audiences. Now there’s a few reasons as to why they would actually do this but the simplest, and the one that makes the most sense, is that they just do not want it to be associated directly with the Crows Manga series. Why though? Perhaps because, seeing as it was never released outside of Japan, it would deter people from getting the game, thinking they wouldn’t understand it because they’ve yet to experience the Manga’s story as a whole. In my humble opinion; that’s an intelligent move.
Here’s the thing, dear reader…what if this is not the case at all? Chances are, it may not be. Burning Edge could be another Europe-only Bandai Namco Entertainment release developed by an independent studio who’ve hit the big time, but I’d like to stay hopeful. The last time the West was delivered a delinquent fighting video game like this was back in 2009 when Atlus brought Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble to our humble shelves; one of THE best games of this particularly niche sub-genre. There’s a possibility I’m the only one, but I’d really like to see Crows: Burning Edge hit the West in a big way. There’s absolutely a market for titles like this. Though it’s prime demographic may be small, it’s still powerful, and I’m sure those of us who belong to it would do anything we possibly could to get out hands on this game, even under a new name.