Metal Gear Rising 2nd Anniversary!


Filed: Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Last week, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance celebrated its 2nd birthday!

Hey, everyone!
It’s Kenji Saito, director of MGR.
In order to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of my brainchild, I decided to play through it again recently for the sake of nostalgia, but man, I suck at parrying nowadays, haha.

I can’t believe it’s already been 2 years since this game’s release.
We’ve actually got several people working at PlatinumGames who entered the company because they loved Rising so much, which really made me aware of the impact a game like this can have on people’s lives.

As I write this, I’m looking at the Gecco Raiden figure (sorry, the site is in Japanese only, and the figure is sold out!) that I received from Hideo Kojima.
When the package arrived, I was as happy as a kid on Christmas!

Yong-Hee Cho, designer of Mistral, and Tomoko Nishii, who drafted the original design for Monsoon, have both provided some special 2nd anniversary artwork to commemorate the occasion.

Cho: Second Cut


Happy 2nd birthday! I wonder what Raiden’s been doing the past 2 years…

Nishii: The Only Thing I Know For Real


To this day, I still wonder if anyone helped him to pull of his little show in File R-03.

It’s been 2 years, but cutting and slicing your way through bad guys and, well, pretty much anything else still feels as good as ever!
Don’t forget to occasionally use Zandatsu as well though!

And if you haven’t played Metal Gear Rising Revengeance yet… What are you waiting for!?

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Character Design Pt. 2: Luka, Rodin, and Enzo


Filed: Bayonetta 2, Games

Hello. This is the character designer for Bayonetta 2, Mari Shimazaki.

We’re one day away from the game’s Japanese release! Today I thought I’d talk about some of the male character designs I did for the game.















Here’s a character anyone who played the first game isn’t likely to forget: Luka. Kamiya, the game’s supervisor, asked for Luka’s new design to show that he’s overcome his troubled past from the original Bayonetta, and grown into more of a man.

This ended up being a tougher request than I imagined. I think I was just so used to Luka being a showoff bozo that at first I was taking things in completely the wrong direction.

In the previous game, he was supposed to be a fledgling journalist, but the designs I made this time had him looking like a war correspondent, or the main character from Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi… I couldn’t peg what “grown into more of a man” meant. I knew I had to make Luka somewhat flaunty, but if I took it too far, he wouldn’t fit with the overall design motif of the sequel. I decided to show the player just a hint of the old Luka flair with the hat he wears during his entrance.

In the design I settled on, I think I was able to give Luka some semblance to the young days of his father, Antonio Redgrave. But regardless of how I changed his design, it looks like Bayonetta still treats him more or less the same. I think you can anticipate more of the same classic slapstick in Bayonetta 2.





Rodin was one of the easier characters to figure out.

They didn’t give me any specific direction, so I started trying him out in both traditional Japanese outfits and regular clothes. I learned that Japanese clothes look really good on Rodin and, judging by how fast the designs got approved, I know the team thought the same.

If you’re going to be an arms dealer, I think this is the right look.

Most likely he stopped by Japan to procure some merchandise, and picked out a few outfits on the way, right? (Which probably means he’s gotten his hands on something again, like he did with the PE uniform in the first game.)

I gave his glasses some traditional Japanese craftwork to go along with his outfit. I feel like the Bayonetta team not only puts up with this level of detail, but expects it. This is one reason why I’m grateful to work with them (of course, it’s not like they let me get carried away with everything.)




Just like in the first Bayonetta, we settled on Enzo’s design faster than any other character. Maybe it’s just because his character is so easily understandable, or maybe it’s because his shape makes it so easy to tell what works with him and what doesn’t. The concept for his character is “wannabe Italian gangster”. I like to imagine that he finally saved up enough to buy one nice suit, just to get a bit closer to his dream.

A major change Enzo made from the last game is his color scheme. His key color last time was green, whereas this time it’s dark red. I like to come up with a key color when I design a character (Bayonetta is black, Jeanne is red, Luka is blue, etc.), and once I decide a color I typically don’t drift too far from it. Only, in Enzo’s case, that would mean changing barely anything about him, save the style of his clothes. I didn’t want that, so I took the leap and made him dark red. Well, Enzo’s humpty dumpty figure and sunglasses probably leave a stronger impression than his clothes do anyway. I left his necktie green to display my slight unwillingness to let go of the past.


An Unnamed Witch

Right before Bayonetta hits stores in Japan, let’s share this one last picture.


This looks oddly familiar… this clothing… could it be…?

I think I’ll wait and let you discover her true identity for yourself when you play the game.

It’s only a bit longer until the game comes to NA and Europe as well!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my art!

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Enemy Design in Bayonetta 2 (Pt.2)


Filed: Bayonetta 2, Games

Hello everyone. Bayonetta 2 director Yusuke Hashimoto here again.

I’ve taken some time out from watching and re-watching the Japanese Bayonetta 2 TV spot to bring you some more info on the game.

While the first post on enemy design focused on angels, this time I would like to discuss a brand new enemy type making their debut in Bayonetta 2: demons.

Unlike the strict hierarchical structure of the angels, demons subsist in a brutal dog-eat-dog world. For their appearance, I tried to avoid the cliché sinister look and go for something more inorganic, almost robotic.



Its appearance evokes a feeling of “hatred given form”. I designed it as a beast that prowls around Inferno, looking for prey. Unlike its angelic counterpart Acceptance (centaur), I feel like the design for this one came together (relatively) quickly.



It can slow your movement by shooting you with magic energy shot from its eye. The key concept for its design was “paralyzing gaze”. I gave its attack easy to understand ON / OFF states by having it open up to reveal the eye.



This character is about the same level of the angel Beloved in terms of strength. My goal for the design was to add something fresh to the battles by going as far from a regular humanoid shape as possible. I also just thought it would be cool to have an enemy that transformed from a tombstone. I love the unique way the animation staff got him to move. He is quite a formidable foe.

Let’s take a look at slightly different kind of enemy:



I’m sure this name will sound familiar to fans of the first game. Neither angel nor demon, this enemy can change its shape to adapt to battle.

Now I would like to introduce some of the demons that have forged contracts with Bayonetta.

Let’s start with one of the most iconic Infernal Demons from the first game:



Expanding on the design from the first game, this time we show its whole body.

Thanks to the incredible work of the modeling artists, Gomorrah was able to make the change from ally to terrifying giant boss character.

Next we have a demonic dog who has stolen Gomorrah’s place!



It’s born with faces on both hands and feet. As I designed it, I imagined how they would fight over food…

Next is a horse demon with a giant blade attached to its head!



In addition to this guy, there are a variety of other demons that make their first appearance in Bayonetta 2. Of course, you can’t discuss demons without also mentioning the new “Umbran Climax” system. When using Umbran Climax, the demon that is summoned with each attack depends on the weapon you have equipped. Equip your favorite weapon and give it a try. Exactly how will each demon appear? You’ll just have to play and find out!

By the way, one of the demons was actually designed by a very special guest collaborator named Eiichi Shimizu. Some of you may know him from his artwork in the manga series Kurogane no Linebarrels and ULTRAMAN. The enemy he designed is visible in the E3 2014 trailer (see 0:50)


Also, Check out his blog to see his awesome rendition of Bayonetta!

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Character Design Pt. 1: Bayonetta and Jeanne


Filed: Bayonetta 2

Hello, nice to see you again. My name is Mari Shimazaki and I’m a freelance designer.

I worked on the concept art for Bayonetta and now Bayonetta 2. Today I’d like to give you a little insight into Bayonetta and Jeanne’s new designs.

Bayonetta1_2bayo_01 2_2bayo_02 3_2bayo_03


First, let’s talk about Bayonetta, the “modern witch”, and this game’s main character. Those who played the previous title are likely to notice that her trademark hairstyle has been given a complete makeover. After talking with Hashimoto and Kamiya, the three of us came to the conclusion Bayonetta’s not the kind of girl who’d show up with the same hairstyle for her sequel. A girl can be known to change her hairstyle depending on her mood, so I guess Bayonetta was in the mood for something short. Still, knowing her, there’s no telling when she’ll decide to change it again.

Bayonetta’s overall theme this time is “Solid.”

She’s still wearing black, and I think her shorter hair gives her a generally more masculine look. While her design in the last game focused on curves, this time we see more straight lines. All of her accessories follow this, except her glasses, which I gave a slightly softer design.

There was some debate about where to show skin. Once we decided her new cape would come around to the front, we closed the front of her suit off to let the cape stand out. In exchange, we opened up a lot in back.

As water is a big theme of the second game, Hashimoto requested to make her key color blue. This turned out to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.

Blue doesn’t have the sharp quality of red, her previous key color. As it’s relatively easy on the eyes, making it stand out among all the other textures and colors in the game is a huge headache. On top of that, I had to balance it with black and silver (these colors were also decided right off the bat), which also is not easy. Ever since we decided Bayonetta should wear a sleak, black outfit, it’s always been a nightmare trying to have her properly stand out.


With her guns, finding a good balance of color took a lot of brainstorming. Accenting blue too strongly or giving it too much space didn’t fit Bayonetta’s look. We arrived at the final design by giving them a more striking shade of blue, adding some gold to match her chestpiece, and spreading a silver luster across each gun.

We’ve given Bayonetta’s new guns some antique charms to match her new look. I drew flower cameos that I felt matched the respective gun’s color, and emotion connected to that color.

Taking a step back and looking at how Bayonetta’s design turned out, I realize we went in a direction completely opposite from the last game. That also makes me think Bayonetta’s new look is possible because of her previous one, and will stand out because of that contrast.

I think she gives off a different impression than before, but still owns the name Bayonetta.



Okay, next, let’s talk about Jeanne’s design.

The keyword for Jeanne’s concept design in Bayonetta 2 is “casual.” Design started when Kamiya came up to me and said “I want to put her on a bike. Draw me a biker suit.”

Jeanne is one of Kamiya’s favorite characters, so most anything Hashimoto and I said would get shot down instantly. I just drew biker suit after biker suit until one was approved. There were actually a few more he liked, but they all maintained a relative simplicity similar to her final approved outfit.

I didn’t intend to accentuate this part of her in my concept art, but Kamiya said Jeanne looks flatter than ever. He was happy about it too, so that’s fine I guess.

Thinking of how she would look side by side with Bayonetta, we decided to give her long hair. I wish I was a witch and could just summon my hair into any hairstyle I wanted.


Jeanne still uses her All 4 One’s in Bayonetta 2. Her charms, though, I decided to update with a personal touch. For the last game, I based her charms off each respective gun’s name, but this time I used the name of the whole set as the motif and made Three Musketeers plushes. I borrowed the color scheme from the Three Musketeers Anime.

If I gave these charms to Bayonetta, I feel it’d be a little too much altogether, but I think they add the perfect pinch of sugar to Jeanne’s design. Personally, I’m happy with how they turned out.

Okay, that’s all for this time.
Please look forward to the game’s release. See you again.



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PlatinumGames at GDC 2014

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Hey, this is Andrew Brasher, International Coordinator. Last week I led a few of our staff to my second GDC (Game Developers Conference). I’m going to give you a run through of our GDC experience, for those who aren’t familiar with exactly everything that goes on.

Being based in Osaka, GDC is a bit of a trek for the PlatinumGames team. Our route is Osaka-Tokyo-San Francisco, and it takes more than half a day to reach our destination.

When we arrived in San Francisco, the cherry blossoms of Union Square were almost in full bloom, which was definitely a treat for a Japanese company.


We arrived on Tuesday and had a little time to explore the city before the main conference began.


The PlatinumGames staff takes a walk around San Francisco.


Being an unusual sight, the trolley downtown got brought up in conversation more than a few times.


I feel like I’ve seen this building before… where was it… Oh yeah, we blew this up with a giant microwave.

GDC gets fully underway on Wednesday morning and lasts until Friday afternoon.

It takes place in the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The events are spread across three buildings: North, South, and West.


Here’s the North building.

The Keynote speech on Wednesday includes dozens of presentations by different people who will be speaking at GDC.

The presentations are short—under a minute I think—existing just to give a quick idea of what is available to participants.


Sessions come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are slideshow presentations to rooms of hundreds of people,

some are round table discussions between 30-50 participants, and some are poster sessions that have data graphed out in hallways with an exhibitor nearby to answer any questions.


We sent a team of visual artists and programmers to pick up on what GDC had to offer.


Our Visual Artist Yoshiomi Kure (pictured on the left) on his way to the day’s next session.

We had a lot to take in the three days we were there:


Character studies in BioShock Infinite,


Lighting in The Last of Us,


Design talks on Rayman Legends…

There were plenty of interesting talks providing all kinds of interesting information from some of gaming’s greats, so we kept our schedules packed every day.


The rare times we had a moment to step out of the lecture halls, we wandered through the expo floor

to see what new announcements there were for game middle-ware. The expo was full of companies of all sizes,

ready to show off their newest developments to the crowds of visitors. Every morning there were long lines of participants waiting for the doors to open.


Take a look at what went on inside:




We got to see our friends at Quixel, who Platinum’s been using since their freeware days. It was exciting to see how far they’d come.


Some of the biggest news this year, as you may have heard, was Sony announcing its new Project Morpheus, a VR gaming headset for PlayStation 4.


For some discussion outside of current game development, The Video Game History Museum has a special exhibition on Nintendo this year.


I can’t believe there’s an old Milton Bradley Legend of Zelda board game. I wanted this so badly after seeing it.

The days go by quick but there’s a long time left to digest all the new information. I look forward to checking out GDC next year as well!

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A Day in the Life of a Concept Artist

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Hey everyone, this is Liz! Here at, we like to give our fans the occasional glimpse behind the scenes of game development.

Have you ever dreamed of being a concept artist? Learn what it’s really like in this interview with one of our artists, Cho.

Cho - main

Q: What is most important to you when working on a game?
A: I’m in charge of concept and design work for the game’s characters and enemies, so I’m always thinking about whether the users will find the characters appealing. Of course, different things appeal to different people, but I always wonder to myself, “Would I buy an action figure of this character?”, “Can the player emotionally identify with this character? Will they want to control this character?”, and “Could a player tell the character’s personality at a glance?” So I think about my characters from various different perspectives when I’m doing my design work. Other than that, I try to focus on making the game fun!

Q: Tell us an interesting experience you’ve had working on a game.
A: To make a game fun, the creators on each team need to be in the same mental space. That’s easy to say, but hard to achieve. For example, when I think a concept is interesting, sometimes the entire staff shares that feeling, but sometimes they don’t. Each individual has their own thought process, so we discuss and create, discuss and create, over and over again. Only through this cycle can we create a fun game that every single team member is satisfied with.

Q: What memory will you never forget about your work?
A: Originally I was in the character section, and I was in charge of converting character concepts into 3D. But I had always wanted to create my own original characters from scratch, so I told all my coworkers that I wanted to do character design. Also, I had been taking part in brainstorming meetings because I could do illustrations. So one day, a senior team member happened to notice one of my drawings, and I was re-assigned to do 2D character design in the artwork section! Of course I was lucky that there was an opening at that time, but I was really glad that my persistence had paid off, and I promised myself to make the best possible use of this chance.

A Day In the Life

8:00 AM Wake up
9:00 AM Commute by bicycle
9:30 AM Arrive at work

Cho commute

10:00 AM Start working on character creation
I always decide a goal for my day before starting my work. Sometimes people think that artists just sit around drawing all day, but it’s also the artists’ job to imagine the game world itself. When I do my drawing, I think in as much detail as possible about what kind of people and animals live in this world. I also get ideas from looking at reference material and talking with my coworkers.

12:30 Lunch with coworkers

1:30 PM Character drawing
In the early stages of design, I draw about 100 versions of a character. Each version takes only a minute or so – I don’t make polished-quality art at this stage. I go through the cycle of character sketching and showing my work to the director countless times. As I narrow down the number of versions to 50, 25, and 10, I create more finished illustrations.

2:00 PM Section meeting
Discussion about the game world with the art section.

Cho at work

3:00 PM Continue to refine design

4:00 PM Director check
I always have the director check my work at least once, and sometimes up to 4 or 5 times per day! I have my work checked so many times because, if the character’s design isn’t finished, other sections’ work gets slowed down. Speed is a very important quality for an artist.

5:00 PM Character approaches final version
As I improve the detail level of the drawing, I think about how it will move in 3D and how it can be animated. It takes me an average of three days to one week to brush up a character. The main character of a certain title took a year to be finished!

6:00 PM Director check

7:00 PM Return home

8:00 PM Shower and have dinner

9:00 PM Take care of kids

11:00 PM Free time
I play games in all genres, watch films and read novels and poetry, as well as reading art-related books. This time gives me more material for new character design ideas.

2:00 AM Go to bed

Well, that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed. Tell us so and we might interview more Platinum employees in the future.

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Ruminations on Character Design


Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Hello. My name’s Cho, I did character design in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

I was in charge of enemy cyborg soldiers, sub-characters, boss characters, etc.


Some enemy designs.

Up until now, the world and characters of Metal Gear have been designed by Yoji Shinkawa of Konami’s Kojima Productions. I’m sure this is something most of you already know; Shinkawa-san has a lot of fans from around the world, myself included. As a designer, the biggest challenge I faced during this project was to create characters that would belong to both the established Metal Gear Solid universe and a fast-paced action game like Rising.

As a seasoned fan, I felt I already had a decent understanding of Metal Gear, but now that I had to look at things from the eyes of a creator, I went back and played through the series one more time. My time for clearing The Boss Extreme in MGS4 was 3 hours and 2 minutes, in case you want to know.

You won’t see these characters in the actual game; they were just rough ideas that helped us decide designs.

You won’t see these characters in the actual game; they were just rough ideas that helped us decide designs.

At the start of development, we were free to throw out any ideas we thought would work well with Metal Gear Rising’s world concept. This is probably the best part of the design process; ideas really seem to just flow. It is the time where anything you hit upon that you think might be good you have to push for. After this stage, you start working on basic design layout.

For this entry, I’d like to talk about an enemy cyborg named Mistral.

Initial designs for Mistral.

Initial Mistral designs

Mistral’s initial concept came from Kenji Saito, Rising’s director: “I want tendril-like-objects to come out of this girl, and
I want her to fight with them like a whip!” In previous MG titles, most female characters follow the formula of a mysterious, alluring femme fatale with a tragic past. I wanted to design Mistral in the same mold.


More Mistral designs.

Mistral done in a Mannequin theme.

Mistral done in a Mannequin theme.

I thought about having a cyborg-enhanced body, like Raiden, and a slightly sick-looking face would work best for her design. More than that, however, I wanted something somewhat perverse/weird, so I started rethinking her base design and tried something new.


More Mistral tests.

Then we put about a dozen dwarf gekko arms on her that she could detach and recombine to create her main weapon. After this was approved, we finally had Mistral’s prototype. Next, we did some fine tuning by iterating on colors and cyborg parts. Personally, I wanted Mistral to be wearing a helmet, but Saito-san said he didn’t want to hide her face, so we lost it. The final design we decided on was a more “human,” sexy Mistral.


Mistral full view.

Once we decided an overall look, we started on details. Rising is full of cyborgs and other mech-based characters that need to be carefully detailed, otherwise things fall apart in 3D-modeling.


Mistral details.

This is the final, fully approved body shot of Mistral.

This is the final, fully approved body shot of Mistral.

So there is a glimpse into our design process for a character. While Mistral is an enemy character in Rising, she is one who bears a tragic past that players should be able to feel for. I hope you’ll like her when you play the game.

It won’t be much longer until the release!
Be sure to get your hands on it.

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Staying True to Metal Gear


Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Hey. I’m Kenichirou Yoshimura, a former designer at PlatinumGames who recently turned freelance. I designed enemies and side characters in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Three days before I was about to leave Platinum to go freelance, without much left to do, I strolled over to the nearby Rising team to see if they needed any help. “I could design something small, if you wanted,” I said. Then I saw their designs – the art style could not have been further from the Metal Gear universe. Immediately, I slammed my fist on the director’s table. “You cannot put this in a Metal Gear game!” I told him. Before I knew it, my last three days at Platinum turned into over half a year.

I’ve played through the entire Metal Gear series and I share the same impressions as so many other fans – Shinkawa-san does unbelievable character and mech design. I collect all the art books like everyone else, (not to mention that I love Z.O.E., too.) so if you had told me I was going to be working on a Metal Gear game someday, I never would have believed you. Joining the team, I was as excited as I was terrified.

The first character I designed was Raiden’s rival, Sam. The director asked for “something samurai-like”, so I roughed out a few ideas.

A rough design for Sam.

A rough design for Sam

A rough design for Sam.

A rough design for Sam.

Another rough design for Sam.

Another rough design for Sam.












He looks pretty naked in the first sketch here. In the second version of the sketches we’ve got him battle-ready…

The near-final rough design.

The near-final rough design.

After thinking over some different styles, we finally settled on going in the direction of that second pass. The key points to look at here are:
-Asymmetrical design. His right arm has been enhanced for faster blade drawing.
-The top of the sheath is structured like a gun from the inside out, again for enhancing blade drawing speed.

I argued with the director for a long time whether to have his base color be black with a white right arm, or be white with a black arm. I wanted the black body/white arm personally, but we opted to go with a white body/black arm to contrast with Raiden’s black color scheme, which I think was the right decision in the end.

Usually we’d be close to the final design at this stage, but to have things be true to Metal Gear, we needed to add that extra layer of detail. Once I got into it, all I can say is the detail is insane! (Every single part has it’s own specialized warnings and labels!) But even going through that process, I can’t say I was an expert on what it meant to be truly “Metal Gear.” I had to keep trying and failing, but by keeping all those Shinkawa-san artbooks close at hand, I was able to accomplish what I set out to do.

Sam's final design.

Sam’s final design.

Sam's final design - waist up.

Sam’s final design – waist up.

Sam's final weapon design.

Sam’s final weapon design.

Sam final design detail.

Sam final design detail.

Sam's weapon "saya" final design.

Sam’s weapon “saya” final design.

The sheath was designed by Platinum’s military buff, Muneyuki “Johnny” Kotegawa.

With these designs, my first priority was making sure that when a fan of Metal Gear plays Rising, they would feel they fit right alongside Shinkawa-san’s. I wanted what I designed to be deserving of the Metal Gear name.

So while Konami gave me the green light on most of my work with their initial check, next in line was always a meeting with Shinkawa-san, where he would tell me his opinion of my work directly (which, of course, scared me to death).

“You’ve set my mind at ease,” he said. I was elated.

The Metal Gear staff work hard to stay true to the Metal Gear world; PlatinumGames works hard to ensure quality gameplay. The chance to work with these two different sides of the project has taught me a lot. I’m truly honored to have been a part of this one!

All that’s left now is hoping you guys pick up the game and have a great time.
Until then… Farewell!

A picture of Sam that Shinkawa-san drew for me in an artbook during our meeting!

A picture of Sam that Shinkawa-san drew for me in an artbook during our meeting!

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Maximum Anarchy with Douglas and Max

Platinum Games

Filed: Anarchy Reigns, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

The wraps have come off two new additions to the Anarchy Reigns cast, Maximillian Caxton and Douglas Williamsburg. Max comes ready to fight with both Positron Blades and a Tesla Blitz, representing the best that BPS has to offer, while Douglas is ready to give mutants a pounding with The Twins (AKA Romeo and Julio)!

As a special treat, here is the Japanese Launch Trailer for Max Anarchy!

To wrap up our Anarchy Reigns news, be sure to check back here tomorrow for PG Break for a sampling of “This is Madness” a brand new, original track created by Dilated Peoples for Anarchy Reigns! We will be live tomorrow at 12PM JST, 11PM EDT, 8PM PDT, and 4AM BST.

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Introducing Rin Rin, Fei Rin, and Ai Rin!

Platinum Games

Filed: Anarchy Reigns, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

Madworld’s Rin Rin returns to Anarchy Reigns and she has brought her deadly sisters along for the ride. Check out these awesome character clips for the newest members of the Anarchy Reigns cast!

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