Professor Layton dev Level-5 is resurrecting a long-cancelled horror RPG for Switch

A decade after its announcement.

Professor Layton and Yo-Kai Watch developer Level-5 has revealed it is resurrecting Ushiro, a supernatural horror RPG that was originally announced a decade ago then quietly cancelled, and that it will be making its way to Switch.

Ushiro was originally unveiled during Level-5's 10th anniversary press conference in 2008, and was set to launch on PSP and mobile phones the following year.

According to a fantastically exhaustive entry on the Lost Media Wiki, Ushiro would follow the adventures of Reiichiro Ushiro, a shinigami spirit that could grant a single wish to a person, in exchange for their lives. Supposedly, the horror RPG would give players, in the role of Reiichiro, the ability possess people and experience their everyday existence. Combat, meanwhile, was to be turn-based, and saw Reiichiro battling the manifestation of evil within people's hearts.

Ushiro's promotional blitz continued through 2008, with Level-5 teasing a number of strikingly animated cut-scenes and early gameplay footage, which you can see in the video above. Unfortunately, word on its development stopped soon after - and, in 2010, its website was quietly removed and Ushiro was presumed cancelled. However, while a planned game never materialised, Ushiro did live on - in the form of a light novel series and manga adaptation.

All of which brings us back to 2018, where, in the latest edition of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Level-5 president Akihiro Hino has been discussing the company's history as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. According to Famitsu, as reported by DualShockers, Ushiro's new home on Switch was revealed when the magazine jokingly asked Hino to officially cancel the game so that it could finally remove the PSP section from its "upcoming games" list. Instead, Hino suggested Famitsu move Ushiro into the Switch category.

However, while Ushiro is finally go, it sounds like it's still some way off. Hino tells Famitsu that development on the project (which is described as being "more serious [in] tone and closer to horror themes" than Level-5's spirit-themed Yo-Kai Watch series) has yet to begin.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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