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Austin Wood

Immediately after releasing my new all-time favorite strategy RPG, Japanese juggernaut Vanillaware is hiring for a new action RPG

Vanillaware action RPG.

After falling in love with March strategy RPG Unicorn Overlord, it's music to my ears to see developer Vanillaware already hiring for a new fantasy RPG, this time of the action variety. 

As Gematsu noted, the studio's official Twitter account recently put out a call for programmers, 2D animators, and background designers to help with "a new fantasy action RPG" that's seemingly been in the works since at least last year. Details are thin on the ground, and it doesn't help that the link for the new job listings currently leads to an error page. But a new Vanillaware game is always cause for celebration, and with the studio returning to action combat after proving its tactics chops, I'm breaking out the good wine for the party. 

The attached promo art seems to hint at the art direction and character design for the game. Not that it needed to; wondering if Vanillaware will nail its art direction is like wondering if FromSoftware will nail its orchestral music. 

Despite its reputation for teetering over bankruptcy after every release, Vanillaware hasn't released a single bad game in its history. Hell, it hasn't released a less-than-amazing game, with the possible exception of the MMO Fantasy Earth back when the studio was still called Puraguru. 

That said, it's been on an especially hot streak the last few years. Unicorn Overlord, its most recent release and my new all-time favorite strategy RPG, passed 500,000 copies sold in under a month. Its previous game, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, was also warmly received for splicing side-scrolling with RTS elements and an unreasonably good, patently unhinged story. 

We then get to Dragon's Crown, likely the studio's best-known game and easily the most relevant point of reference with a new action RPG in mind. Even the teaser art smacks of Dragon's Crown, to the point that I have to wonder if it's actually just a general display of the studio's style and the Sorceress reference is deliberate. It remains to be seen whether this mystery RPG will follow the same 2D style, but it's a pretty safe bet after other Vanillaware games like Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. 

Here are the 25 best RPGs you can play right now. 

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