The ‘Disaster Report’ franchise is nearing its two-decade anniversary, having seen four mainline installments after debuting in 2002 for the PlayStation 2. Despite its status as a venerable franchise in Japan, the series has never really managed to gain much traction in the West.
There are various reasons for this, with the most obvious ones being the convoluted and inconsistent naming scheme and unreliable release patterns. Frankly speaking, the naming scheme of the ‘Disaster Report’ games has a lot in common with the name itself- it is a complete disaster.
Nevertheless, now is the time for the franchise to turn a new leaf with the impending western release of ‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’. Read on to find out everything we know about the newest installment in the earthquake escape simulator.
Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories Gameplay: What to Expect?
The storyline of ‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ is quite simplistic. You play as the protagonist of the story, having only just arrived at the big city in search of employment. However, things quickly take a turn for the worse as the entire region is struck by a major earthquake, leaving the city devastated.
You must now get yourself to safety, explore the area while dodging aftershocks, falling debris, fires and interact with survivors in order to gather information, enough to see you safely out of the collapsing city.
The Steam page for ‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ describes the game as follows:
“Thrust into a tragedy that touches countless lives, you must now make the decisions that will determine who lives and who dies in the chaos stemming from a natural disaster. What will you do in the aftermath of calamity?”
‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ will allow you to customize your player character with a variety of options including gender, face style, and hairstyle. The game will also feature well over 60 NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) that you can interact, and cooperate with across the collapsing city.
Depending on what dialogue choices you make while conversing with them, ‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ features multiple branching story paths and outcomes. This includes the ultimate fates of many of the characters you meet along the way.
The primary goal of the player is to escape the rapidly disintegrating city by finding safe paths amidst collapsing buildings and forming relationships with other survivors. You can even enter collapsed buildings in search of survivors or alternative paths. While you are doing all this, you also have to keep an eye on your “cleanliness” meter, which can stress your character out if they don’t visit the toilet ever so often.
Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories Developers: Who Are the People Behind the Game?
‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ is being developed by Ishikawa based Japanese video game development studio Granzella. The studio is primarily known for its console games including ‘Hototogisu Tairan 1553: Ryuuko Aiutsu’ and ‘City Shrouded in Shadows’. Besides the English port of ‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ Granzella is currently also working on the horizontal shooter ‘R-Type Final 2’.
‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ is being published by Nippon Ichi Software America.
Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories Release Date: When and Where Can I Play It?
Although we do not have a concrete release date for ‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ yet, the Steam page for the game points at an early 2020 launch.
‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ will be available to play on a number of platforms including PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC (Microsoft Windows via Steam).
Disaster Report Series Retrospective:
The first game in the series titled ‘Zettai Zetsumei Toshi’ released in 2002 exclusively for the Japanese market, with a western release planned for next year. The North American version of the game is titled ‘Disaster Report’, while the European version is called ‘SOS: The Final Escape’. Besides the different titles and an additional easy difficulty game mode for the European version, the game was essentially the same across regions.
A sequel titled ‘Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 2: Itetsuita Kiokutachi’ released in Japan in 2006 for the PlayStation 2, with a western release arriving next year in 2007. This time around, the title was altered entirely, with the game being called ‘Raw Danger’ in Western markets. The version was also altered in numerous ways to appeal to a different demographic.
A third game titled ‘Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 3: Kowareyuku Machi to Kanojo no Uta’ released in 2009 but the game was exclusive to the PlayStation Portable and never saw a non-Japanese release beyond South Korea.
After a particularly messy and strained development cycle, ‘Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4 Plus: Summer Memories’ came out in 2018 on the PlayStation 4 for the Japanese market. You’d be forgiven for assuming that the game would never grace western shores, but it looks like developer Granzella is hoping to have another go at winning over other audiences with an English language release targeting 2020.
Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories Trailer:
You can watch the trailer for ‘Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories’ right here.
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