Hirameki International announced Wednesday plans to release “Yo-Jin-Bo: The Bodyguards” on October 30, 2006. It’s the company’s latest Japanese “visual novel” to be translated to English, and it’s the first to feature Macintosh compatibility prominently on the package, according to a company spokesman.
Set in feudal Japan, Yo-Jin-Bo tells the story of Princess Hatushime and the samurai who must protect her and defeat the evil that threatens their clan. Not quite an adventure game, Yo-Jin-Bo: The Bodyguards is more akin to a “choose your own adventure” novel, in which you make decisions at key points that affects the outcome of the story. The game features rich illustrations, sound effects, and authentic Japanese voice acting.
Hirameki claims the story will appeal primarily to a female audience aged 15 and up. “There’s plenty here for boys to enjoy as well,” said the company in a press release. Yo-Jin-Bo is a popular game in Japan that has also spawned a graphic novel (manga) and a musical.
Voice actors featured in Yo-Jin-Bo include Masakazu Morita (Ichigo in “Bleach”), Hiroki Takahashi (Kikumaru in “Prince of Tennis”), and Hideo Ishikawa (Itachi in “Naruto”).
Yo-Jin-Bo marks Hirameki’s second attempt at a Mac-compatible title. The first, Animamundi: Dark Alchemist, went on sale earlier this year.
System requirements call for Mac OS 9.1 or later, including Mac OS X (it runs natively), 500MHz or faster processor, 128MB RAM, 8x CD-ROM or faster, 1GB free hard disk space, and graphics system with at least 32MB VRAM.