Riviera; The Promised Land
Image: Sting

Update [Wed 31st Jan, 2024 13:30 GMT]: According to the latest issue of Famitsu, Riviera: The Promised Land will be launching on Switch on 28th February 2024 in Japan (via Gematsu & Ryokutya2089). A Western release is still yet to be confirmed.

It seems that the upcoming port of the GBA and WonderSwan Color cult classic has dropped 'Remaster' from the title, and is now just going by its original name. The Switch remaster will be based on the PSP version of the game, but with "the Good Parts of the WonderSwan and Game Boy Advance versions" along with a whole host of improvements.

Those improvements, which were shared by developer Sting on Twitter over the past few months, include multiple background music sources, adjusted user interface and dialogue, the ability to save anywhere, more difficulty options, item synthesis, and more.

We're keeping our fingers crossed for this — and the rest of the Dept. Heaven games — to come to Switch in the West.

Original article [Wed 12th Jul, 2023 15:30 BST]: The first entry in Sting's Dept. Heaven series is getting an HD remaster. Making the announcement on Twitter, developer Sting revealed that a remaster of Riviera: The Promised Land is in the works. Platforms haven't been announced yet, but we hope we'll see it come to Switch. (Thanks, Gematsu).

Riviera: The Promised Land first launched in Japan on the WonderSwan Color on 12th July 2002, which means today is the game's 21st anniversary — an apt day for an announcement like this. The West wouldn't get their hands on it until the Game Boy Advance version dropped in 2005 in North America. PAL regions had to wait until the PSP port in 2008.

In the game, you play a Grim Angel called Ein, who is accompanied by four heroines — Fia, Lina, Seren, and Cierra. Along with his familiar Rose, Ein must seal away the Accursed to save the world. Sting is known for its very unique RPGs, and Riviera is no different.

Riviera differs from many traditional turn-based RPGs in that you get to choose your combatants before every single battle, select the items you can use (you can pick up to 16), and pick between the Attack or Magic Formation. You also don't get to explore the dungeons in the same way, with each dungeon "screen" having options and triggers which allow you to look around, interact with the environment, and fight enemies.

This isn't the first game in the Dept. Heaven series that has seen a remaster in recent years. Knights in the Nightmare — a cult classic on the DS — got a remaster on Switch last year, however, it's currently only available in Japan. It's the same story with 2020's Yggdra Union remaster, which is also only available in Japan on Switch, but that one received a worldwide release on Steam in February 2023.

We don't know whether Riviera will be getting a worldwide release yet, but looking back at the other Dept. Heaven titles, it looks like it may take a while at the very least. We can but hope.

Have you played Riviera: The Promised Land before? Are you a Dept. Heaven fan? Let us know in the comments.

[source twitter.com, via gematsu.com]