Black, white and blood: It's a formula that Sega of America head honcho Simon Jeffery hopes will help the company have its best year ever, continuing it's four year drive from struggling to stay in the top twenty of publishers to pushing into the number five spot.
Madworld, a blood bath of a highly-stylized action title for the Wii that's so over the top it's almost comical, is just one of four games that newly minted dev studio Platinum Games will be publishing through Sega.
PlatinumGames was formed by by the key members of Capcom's Clover Studio, which made such titles as Viewtiful Joe, Okami and God Hand.
The lead developers and studio head took to the stage last night at Sega's San Francisco gathering to talk briefly about three of the games they will be publishing through Sega as part of a new partnership.
"We are extremely happy to announce the partnership for the first time here tonight," said Tatsuya Minami. "We would like our games to bring happiness and joy to people across the world."
Minami said that recently Japanese game developers have fallen behind western game development, something he hopes that Platinum Games will change.
"We would like people of the world to once more enjoy high quality Japanese games," he said, adding that the developer decided to team with Sega because of the publisher's support of their ideas.
Developer Hideki Kamiya, creator of Devil May Cry, was the first to unveil his game to the gathered press, saying that he hopes it will deliver on the promise made seven years ago when Devil May Cry first hit.
"Seven years ago I created Devil May Cry," he said. "Some said it kick-started the action genre into 3D, but did it really? That is why I have come back to 3D action. It is time for me to make good on that promise from seven years ago."
The answer to that promise is, he says, is an action title set for the Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2009 called Bayonetta, which after showing a short and very confusing clip, he described as a highly-stylized shooting title.
In it, gamers will take on the role of a witch reborn in modern times who uses her powers to fight angels. The witch uses guns, both in her hands and strapped to her feet, in this battle as well as other, yet to be revealed, abilities.
Next, the studio showed off Infinite Line, a science-fiction role-playing game for the DS that is said to be inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End and under development with Nude Maker.
Nude Maker's Hifumi Kouno said the game will be based in a large world and include highly customized space ships. The studio has a team working on 150 different spaceship models and the ships themselves will be designed modularly so you can place different components where ever you want. Players will also be able to place up to 150 different crew members where ever they want to within the ship.
While we didn't get to see the game in action, a series of very complicated screens were drifting on the screen behind Kouno while he spoke about the title, due out next year.
Finally, the studio showed off Madworld, a button-mashing, remote-swinging black and white bloodbath directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.
In the game, due to hit in the first quarter of 2009, you play as leather jacket wearing badass competing in a ultraviolent reality show that has you killing street thugs in as many creative ways as possible.
During the demo, the lead character threw mohawked bad guys against spiked walls, into steel-bladed trash dumpsters that cut them in two, tore out a man's still beating heart, impaled another bad guy with a caution sign and then pulverized his still moving body into a wall of spikes and chainsawed someone in half... length-wise.
The black and white art direction looks like something yanked from Sin City and the over the top violence is almost cartoonish enough to not be gory, which is what the studio was shooting for.
"Madworld was a challenge for us," said director Shigenori Nishikawa. "We didn't want to create a dark and perverse game, but something over the top— comical."
The Wii title fills an important hole in the Nintendo console line up, the studio said, providing hardcore gamers something to play.
Check back in a few for a more detailed walk-through of the live play-through demonstration of Madworld.