By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Playstation Portable is essentially dead and buried in North America, with the exception of a few last minute localizations from XSEED and Gaijinworks that are Vita compatible. This means that the window for many games to localized is unfortunately closed, and the only way they might come over now is if the Japanese developers make a Vita remake. In the case of Criminal Girls, this is exactly what happened, although most people assumed we still wouldn’t see the title here based on the in-game content.

Criminal Girls is an RPG where you guide a crew of girls who have been damned to Hell on the path to redemption. You not only guide them through dungeons and develop their abilities, but you also have touching mini-games that use the Vita touch screen and rear touch pad. The PSP version was released in 2010 and was never localized, and a Vita re-release with new content came out in Japan last November. Due to the nature of the touching mini-games, it was assumed that the Vita port would not be localized either.

NIS America surprised gamers at the Anime Expo by announcing that they would in fact be giving the game an English release under the name Criminal Girls: Invite Only, and will release it in North America and Europe next year. Certain aspects of the game will be changed for its localization, and in a statement provided to Siliconera (read it in full here), NIS explained that will amount to extra fog and the removal of some of the Japanese audio that responds to the touching situations. While I know some people are completely against censorship of any kind, this seems reasonable to me and if it gets the game over here I’m okay with it. I’m more curious as to how the actual RPG gameplay pans out rather than the mini-games after all.

Anime Expo, Calif. (July 3, 2014) –NIS America is happy to announce that we will be bringing Criminal Girls: Invite Only to North America and Europe next year! The game takes the much adored 2010 Playstation®Portable title Criminal Girls, which was released in Japan only, and revamps it with a host of brand new content exclusively for the Playstation®Vita. Explore the depths of Hell as you lead a female gang of delinquents on their quest to absolve themselves of their sins and be reborn on Earth. But be careful, leading a crew of delinquents to battle and discovery isn’t as easy as it sounds. Wrestle with the girls’ conflicting battle plans, spend some one-on-one time keeping the girls motivated to be their better selves, and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets on the way to reforming them into not just upstanding citizens, but a cohesive, and effective battle group.


About the game:

Seven delinquents, seven sins, and only one way out. Just hired for a new, mysterious job, you soon discover that this isn’t your normal prison gig. You’ve been entrusted with the care of a crew of girls whose sins have damned their souls to Hell and an eternity of punishment… Their only hope of salvation is for you to recognize their unique histories, and to guide them along the path to redemption. Navigate through the four trials of the Redemption Program, and motivate your crew of delinquents to learn the skills to redeem themselves, or leave them to their fate.


Key points:

-Mind Your Manners: These girls aren’t your typical RPG team –they have minds of their own! To defeat the convicts doing their time in Hell’s dungeons, you’ll need to listen to your team’s desires, and choose your path to victory from the ever-evolving repertoire of skills, spells, and combo attacks that they want to use.

-Touching Gameplay: Connect with the girls, and uncover each of their unique personalities through one-on-one motivational sessions with a unique use of the front touchscreen and rear touchpad, and fulfill the girls’ special requests to discover more about their interesting, and often dark pasts.

-Criminal Girls, Reborn: This Playstation®Vita update will mark the first time a Criminal Girls game makes its way to the US, and with English text! The update also brings previously unplayable characters into the fray— Miu and Himekami —and includes brand new scenarios and levels to challenge your prison smarts. It also revamps the much lauded motivational gameplay with updated artwork, and brand new Live2D graphics and effects.

Notice: In order to bring this title to as many fans as possible in both North America and Europe, NIS America has edited certain aspects of this game.


Release: 2014
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Genre: RPG
Player(s): Single
Publisher: NIS America, Inc.
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software

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