Today Nippon Ichi Software announced the new game that was teased last week, titled Bar Stella Abyss.
It’s a roguelike tactics JRPG (what in Japan is defined as “Simulation RPG”) coming for PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch on February 24, 2024.
Only the Japanese release has been announced, but this shouldn’t be a surprise surprise. It’s simply Nippon Ichi’s modus operandi. The western release is likely to be announced in a while by NIS America, which is the company’s western publishing arm. They tend to take their time (we’re still waiting for an announcement about Xicatrice), but they usually deliver.
The story is hilariously peculiar, but also deeply rooted in Japanese culture.
The protagonist, weary of his daily life, is guided to a bar by a flyer. The barista (“Master” in Japanese) offers to make him a cocktail and after drinking it, our hero falls asleep.
In his drunken stupor, our hero wakes up in the “World of Yoi” where he finds himself with his face and arms taken away and replaced by those of a monster.
In the World of Yoi you can meet other customers from the bar, and they will accompany you as your companions. When you run out of HP in the World of Yoi, you wake up in the bar’s toilet completely hungover, your items lost and your level reset.
You can roam freely in the World of Yoi, and when you come into contact with an enemy, you’re transported into grid-based tactical battles in which elemental affinities, position, and terrain are important.
You can unlock about 130 Stella powers that you can equip on your characters’ skills, enhancing them. They reset every time you enter the World of Yoi, so you can try many combinations, creating different techniques.
The bar has several regular customers and by drinking with them, you can unlock beneficial effects when you explore the World of Yoi.
As I mentioned, the game’s story is funnily rooted in Japanese drinking culture. Going to a bar and drinking with random strangers you meet at the counter while having a chat with the Master is something rather normal in Japan, especially considering the challenges of socializing when alcohol isn’t part of the picture.
Considering that Nippon Ichi Software is very experienced in creating tactics JRPGs like the Disgaea series, it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Of course, we’ll keep you posted.