Shadow Hearts Spiritual Successor Penny Blood Offers New Gameplay Trailer

Yesterday we got a teaser trailer for one half of the Double Kickstarter planned by former WILD ARMS and Shadow Hearts developers. Today, their Double Kickstarter officially launched with a debut trailer of Penny Blood’s gameplay. The turn based JRPG is looking to remix the Judgement Ring from it’s predecessor Shadow Hearts in the form of the Psycho Sigil. It looks to act the same where well timed button commands will yield additional damage and extra effects. If it works like it did in Shadow Hearts, it will be a key component to winning battles. Also, fusing with demons is back as well. We get to see Matthew fuse with a demon for a huge boss battle.

At present, they have made more than half their goal of $750K USD after only less than twelve hours of launching the campaign. It’s safe to say this will be full funded and probably make all their stretch goals. You can read up the press release and watch the trailer below:

Press Release


Penny Blood presents a world twisted in gothic horror and nightmarish imagery rarely seen in Japanese RPGs. In Penny Blood, players follow the story of Matthew, an investigator who embarks on a dark international probe through the iconic Roaring Twenties, amassing allies and confronting trauma in a world twisted by cosmic horror, malice and mayhem. Players will circumnavigate the globe, from the USA to Europe and Asia, and explore nations either recovering or basking in the wake of one of history’s bloodiest conflicts, oblivious to the turmoil that brews beneath the surface.


Penny Blood’s story begins with Matthew Farrell, a lone wolf private detective in New York working for the Bureau of Investigation. Despite hating the accursed powers he inherited from his father, he utilizes his fusion transformation abilities to hunt down monsters at the behest of the Bureau. One day, Matthew is tasked with investigating a strange incident that occurred at a mental asylum in New York. After rushing to the asylum, he finds it teeming with grotesque, rampaging creatures. Utilizing his hidden power, Matthew manages to achieve a narrow victory. In order to unearth the truth behind the bizarre incident, Matthew’s investigation will take him from America to the distant continent of Asia, including Japan and China, as well as to the far corners of Europe. Along the way, he will encounter those who fight for vengeance, those who seek to utilize the aberrant horrors for their own gain, and those who simply wish to destroy. Penny Blood tells the tale of a man who must become that which he seeks to vanquish.


Penny Blood’s overworld maps give a bird’s-eye view of cityscapes and towns that will teleport players to the 1920s, where they will experience the world as it was, unaware of the gruesome events soon to unfold. From busy streets to haunting sanitariums, players will delve into carefully detailed field maps as they purchase items paramount to their quest, investigate supernatural happenings, and battle stygian monstrosities.

The easy to learn, difficult to master Psycho Sigil battle system combines traditional turn-based Japanese RPG strategy with twitch-trigger reaction time in order to maximize the potential of attacks, keeping players on their toes with every encounter. Players can embrace the darkness within by using Fusion to call upon the abyss and fight fire with fire, harnessing the power of the darkness to hurl demons back from whence they came.

Interactions with the demonic will affect the heroes’ Sanity Points. If players lose too many Sanity Points, their allies will succumb to madness, gaining strength and losing composure. However, that boost in power might be just what is needed to turn the tide in battle.


Returning to the helm as composer is Hirota Yoshitaka (of Shadows Hearts and Shadow Hearts: Covenant fame) to inject a sense of dread and eerie unease befitting of the atmosphere. And accompanying him is Akari Kaida of Breath of Fire 3, infusing a heavy dose of jazz into the Roaring Twenties setting.

“This is my second chance. Chances to make another game like this are rare, so please give me your support,” says lead game designer Matsuzo Machida. With direction from Matsuzo Machida, character design by Miyako Kato and music and sound composed by Yoshitaka Hirota and Akari Kaida, Penny Blood promises to sink its claws into players as it revives the darker side of Japanese RPGs.

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