Ghoulish platformer Dokuro charms on PS Vita this week

Lead image Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 11.17.48

After enjoying accolades like “Original Game of the Year” and “Best Vita Puzzle Game” in the US, Dokuro finally brings his chalky goodness across the Atlantic Ocean this week. Players in the EU and Australia can finally enjoy Dokuro’s 147 levels of puzzles, platforms, spikes and saw blades.

My past blog entries in the States discussed the story and gameplay at great length, so for our European friends I’d like to talk a bit more about development of this winsome title.

For those unfamiliar with the game, its story revolves around Dokuro, a skeletal member of the Dark Lord’s army, who makes the career change from peon to hero after witnessing the tears of a captive Princess. Filled with newfound determination, Dokuro begins his daring rescue. Unfortunately, the Princess doesn’t even seem to notice he’s there until he quaffs a magical potion that gives him a heroic new appearance and the capacity for fancy sword play.

By swapping forms, players make use of Dokuro’s skeleton and hero forms to solve puzzles and battle foes while safely guiding the Princess to the end of each stage. They also have access to different coloured chalks that can control the environment by drawing ropes, lighting candles or creating pools of water. At regular intervals, Dokuro will encounter a gigantic boss who must be vanquished through a mixture of action and puzzle gameplay, so players will have to be as nimble-minded as they are dexterous!


A fantastical children’s storybook brought to life with a captivating chalk flair, Dokuro is undeniably charming, but it’s got all the depth and challenge one might expect from a robust, first-rate game. This is largely thanks to the game’s director, Noriaki Kazama, who comes from a strong, core-gaming background. His goal was to create a game that was visually striking, fun and accessible while still possessing the challenging appeal that more seasoned gamers would enjoy.

Development began with a simple internal contest at Game Arts. Everyone tossed in game concepts and the winner was the key design element that would later evolve to what we now see.

They knew they were making some kind of escort mission involving a hero who has to pick up a princess and bring her to safety. The definitive art style came later when Kazama was visiting a book store. His first child was about two years old, so he found himself in the children’s section more often than not.

He was so moved by the art style of one particular book, that he was determined to embody that feeling in his current game project. Before long, Dokuro, the Princess and the Dark Lord were taking shape in their signature chalk-art style, but captivating visuals were not enough.

Having worked on hardcore action games, it was crucial for Kazama to make something of style, challenge and substance that could be enjoyed by a large audience. Approaching development with this in mind, his team would constantly design levels, test them on among themselves as well as “non-gamers” and finally strike a perfect balance between failure and success.

For the action-oriented sequences, tight controls were of the utmost importance so the player would never experience a disconnect from the character they controlled. Toward the end, some of the puzzle stages became incredibly difficult, so an option to skip a total of 10 stages was added to let players fully experience the story even if the puzzles stumped them.

When we asked if he had anything to tell his western fans, Kazama said, “Thanks for your passionate interest in Dokuro and his epic adventure. The team and I have poured everything we have into this game. All of us here at PonKotz Troops hope this game provides countless hours of enjoyment for you!”

Dokuro is available from PlayStation Store this Wednesday, 30th January, priced €14.99/£11.99.

85 Author replies

Been waiting a long time for this, Wednesday can’t come quick enough!


Just a couple more days and you can be enjoying all that fine Dokuro goodness!


Thank you, can’t wait for Wednesday to come.


Nor can I!

We definitely appreciate your patience thus far!

not mi ting
ragnorack / soul sacrefice please . first big tittels to me to vita .


Ragnarok Odyssey is still on its way, and we will announce more info just as soon as we can!

The BIG question. Will this be released in the Scandinavian countries?(mostly Sweden)

I was so disappointed to not see Suminoi and Orgarythm over here so would not be suprised if this was the case again :/.


Antonio should be able to confirm when he comes online later today, but I believe this is coming out in all EU territories.


Both Dokuro and Ragnarok Odyssey have been setup to release in Scandinavian regions, so unless there are unforeseen circumstances, you should be enjoying it this Wednesday!


…and by enjoying “it” I of course mean Dokuro. As soon as we have a date for Ragnarok Odyssey, we will let everyone know.

well not much for a 2012 anyhow what about ragnarok odyssey it coming soon or is it gonna be winter 2013.
and any info on you guys releasing those ps1 import games you released in the U.S?


Ragnarok Odyssey is still on its way soon. We appreciate everyone’s patience and will provide dates as soon as we can.

As for the PSone Classics, we are looking into a possible EU release.

I’m not holding my breath. I was already burned by Sumioni and Orgarhytm. How about you bring those games to the rest of us, Europeans, eh?


We don’t have any plans for those particular titles, but for our EU releases, we will always make an effort to include as many regions as possible.

FINALLY ive been waiting for this one. I 100%’ted Sumioni on PSVita last week and man i have to say that game was brilliant.


Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I shall let my friends @Xseed know ^_^

Hopefully you agree that Dokuro is equally as brilliant!!!

Another long release in EU. Does US really hate us that much?


I can’t speak for the entire country, but I assure you that we don’t hate you at all! The long delays were quite frustrating to us as well, but we are really glad the game is finally reaching you!

is there any chance that this will come for PS3 too? god i’d love a good platformer


I can’t speak for what the developers may do in the future, but I haven’t heard of any plans to port this to the PS3.


I’ve always liked the look of this so I can’t wait to give it a go!

I suppose I’ll echo the sentiment and ask if there’s any sign of Ragnarok Odyssey coming in the next couple of months? I know you’ve been working at it for a while!


I really enjoyed the look of this game too!

As for Ragnarok Odyssey, you can expect to see signs soon, but I can’t offer any exact dates just yet.


@DarkHeros09: Don’t get your hopes up. They didn’t list an Aus price, so it’s probably not getting an Aus/NZ release. Thanks SCEE and GungHo, you guys sure know how to treat your consumers right.


We went through the whole process for Australia and New Zealand as well, so I’m not sure why no price was listed. It should come out there on Wednseday.

And still no release date on ragnarok or which was meant to be released in 2012 >.< any info would be nice


We have submitted our master and are working out some issues that came up. The game has already been rated, and we will hopefully be able to provide a concrete date sometime soon. We really appreciate your patience at this time.

ill be giving this one a shot, exclusive vita titles are always nice thanks


I love seeing new PS Vita exclusives too!

I believe this game will be a welcome addition to your digital library.

Will this have a trial?


There is no demo release planned at this time.

I know it’s no substitute for a proper demo, but there are some video walkthroughs online you can take a look at to see if this is the right game for you!


Woohoo! At last. I’ve fancied this game for soooo long! £11.99 you say? Please, take my money, sold! As a lifelong gamer, I’m a fan of most genres, but I’ve alway had a particularly soft spot for a good puzzle platformer, and Dokuro looks right up my alley.

Roll on Wednesday right…after such a long wait, just two more days to go for us patient Brits and our continental cousins.

By the way, does Fred (or anyone else for that matter) happen to know the file size of this little beauty?


If it’s puzzling and platforming you like, Dokuro will definitely charm his way into your heart.

As far as size goes, it’s about 325 MB.

Great news! Day 1 purchase for me, been waiting for this. This week keeps getting better and better after reading the IGC update!!!!


GungHo lives to brighten up everyone’s week! ^_^


Sorry, one last, totally unrelated question. Does anyone know whether Machinarium was ever confirmed for Vita in the end? I read countless rumours and hearsay last year, but I was never sure if the game was ever confirmed or not. Amanita’s follow-up point-and-click adventure, Botanicula would also be a nice fit for Vita’s touchtronic features.


My answer may be unrelated as well, but I’ve got a strange fascination with replying to everyone comment made on my blogs.

I can’t personally offer any word regarding your query, because all I’ve heard are the same rumours you have. Perhaps the developer will be able to answer you?

Also hooray for Dokuro!

Whatever happened to Closure by the way, is that one available in the EU or not yet? If not, is it coming? Thanks.


I’m afraid I can’t offer you any… “closure” regarding that question, though I do really like the art style of that game too. Hopefully the developer or helpful member of the PlayStation Blog community has the answers you seek?


@ 17

It’s coming soon according to the developers. (your definition of soon will be different of course)

@ 11

While I’m sympathetic of the situation with XSEED’s titles in particular, I assume you did at least read the first few lines of the original post first, right?

Wouldn’t it make sense to give Gung Ho the benefit of the doubt at least, especially as they have Aus ratings for this (under Dokuru for some reason) and Ragnarok Odyssey? I’ll assume they’ll confirm one way or the other later.


Thanks for addressing those questions!

And you are correct, our game should be releasing in Australia and New Zealand this Wednesday.

enzo_ferrari1 28 January, 2013 @ 16:33

Any chance of a discount for plus members? Also I’ve been looking forward to playing this for a long time now.


We don’t have a PlayStation Plus discount planned for the launch, but it’s something we may consider looking into in the future.

It’s been mentioned that Ragnarok Odyssey is suppose to come later this year – but if you are/were impatient like me importing is always an option.

Have been looking forward to this – so FINALLY! ^_^


Indeed, importing is always an option, and it’s great to know you were looking forward to this title!

The one thing I would caution about importing is that the physical US copy will not be compatible with any EU DLC we publish in the future, and you would need a US PSN account to download the DLC released in the States.


@ 19 – Thanks for the heads up HA. I loved Machinarium on Mac and iPad, and I’d love completing the hatrick and have it on my Vita too.

@ 21 – Excuse my ignorance Izorpo, are Vita consoles not region locked? If so, having the option of importing US titles is awesome!

Thanks guys.


The PS Vita is not region locked when it comes to physical game copies, but I would offer the same warning/disclaimer I mentioned in #21.

supersmith2500 28 January, 2013 @ 16:48

Awesome, now to wait for Ragnarok Odyssey.


Hopefully we will have some more awesome news for you soon.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the puzzle-filled adventures of Dokuro and the Princess!

Looks mint… Been waiting for this for ages so will defo buy it on day 1. Love these sort of games although my free time and patience isn’t what it used to be so the level skip may get used but will try to crack it first though!


There is no shame in level skipping – after all, that’s what it’s there for! Once get past that road block, you can always go back and tackle that level later.

I recommend waiting until you are really, really, REAAAAALLY stumped though, because you only get 10!

Oh how big is the download too?


It’s approximately 325MB.


Actually, that’s another point. Any idea what the file size is?


It’s about 325MB, so it won’t fill up your entire memory card (just a tidy little corner of it).


Yes, you can import games as they aren’t region locked. Ragnarok definitely isn’t region locked as I’m playing it now.

The only game I can think of that is region locked is Persona 4 Arena for PS3. If ever in doubt if something is region locked a quick google search is always a good idea.


I’m playing Ragnarok Odyssey too!!!

Life ain’t easy for a caster on his own >_<

Also – good tip about the region-lock check.

@izorpo The issue with importing ragnarok is, while the game isn’t region locked from what I understand any DLC released for it will be. And as far as I know changing psn account (as in using a US one you have set up)either requires multiple memory cards or a factory reset every time you want to change accounts which is tedious at best


You hit the nail right on the head!

This is a fair warning for all to heed.


The (US) file size is confirmed at 325mb on a response to post 25 here:
I’m guessing the EU release will be similar (maybe a little larger to account for other languages).


Ah I remember writing that blog…

I was so young back then…

The EU version should be around the same size (give or take a MB or two) since all versions contained the same multiple languages.


Re Ragnarok Odyssey, if I’ve understood all the posts I’ve read correctly, the base US version of the game (on card) contains all the extra missions that were DLC on the Asian release. There are a few pieces of gear which AFAIK still aren’t available on the US store but might be in the future. There doesn’t seem to be any more DLC released. This is a long way around about for me to say – it doesn’t look like you’ll miss out on anything by getting the US version imported and playing it now (I did). If in the end there’s a UK release and DLC, you can probably still sell the US version for 60-70% of what you paid and get the UK version. There’s always going to be buyers as it’s a physical release and last I heard the UK version is only going to be PSN download, though that may change now a different publisher is on board.

The ONLY real drawback is if EU / US versions will be cross play compatible. I’m hoping they will, but who knows.

Hope this helps some peeps.


The game isn’t Cross Play compatible at this time.

Right now, Ragnarok Odyssey is only planned for a digital release in the EU and other regions, and we will be publishing DLC for it as well.


^^ edit by cross – play, I mean cross region online compatible, not PS3 / Vita :)


Ah… I should have read that before responding to your previous comment O_o

But it’s my understanding that players from the different regions will NOT be able to connect to one another.


I’ve had Dokuro since US launch. I am obsessed with it. It is super fun and can be ridiculously hard in the later vignettes of each stage. They actually let you skip a part if you feel like throwing your Vita across the room so you can keep progressing in the game. I wish more game devs would add this feature since I’ve had to give up quite a few linear progression games that I got stuck in.


I agree most fervently.

If you haven’t tried going back for the Platinum, I highly recommend it. As daunting as the challenge may seem at times, there is nothing quite so rewarding as that triumphant joy you experience when you actually conquer it!


Thanks for the replies Antonio – great news that there’ll be extra DLC, shame US / EU versions won’t be able to play together. Seriously considering selling my US version before progressing too far so I can play with UK friends when it’s released over here. Are you able to give us a ball park on release date (guessing not but you never know). Really impressed with the recent PSN releases and have had my eye on Dokuro for ages – will defo be getting it on Weds. Very impressed with the price point too – thanks! More than happy to support developers going digital download only when the prices are so good!


Thanks for all your support.

You could always keep both copies – save one for your American friends ;)

Sorry no word on the Ragnarok Odyssey release date just yet…


Will this game have an extra discount for ps plus members. I will be buying it either way but i know its a dealbreaker for some people.


We haven’t arranged a discount like that for the release, but it’s something we can look into in the future.


Thanks for the reply Antonio. Apologies if I was angry but I guess I’ve grown too used to XSEED/NISA not bothering with Aus/NZ. Looking forward to Dokuro now.


No problem!

The game is a delightful experience, for sure, and we are excited to bring it to as many people as possible!

The game looks cool, I’m surely going to pick it up eventually, but not just yet. There have been so many awesome games recently, like Retro City Rampage, the FF sale, etc. that I’m going to have to wait a month for it, but I’m going to buy it without a doubt :) It looks like the best platformer on Vita. How about a little PS+ discount next month? :P

Pity RO gets released so late, when Soul Sacrifice is almost upon us. I’m sure they are going to devour their sales in Europe. You really should stop messing aroung with us with these late releases, cause in the end you lose even more than we do.


Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate! I actually beat RCR myself and then went back to Platinum Dokuro ;)

As for the late releases, no one hates them more than we do! I assure you, messing around is NOT on our schedule. We will get you Ragnarok Odyssey just as soon as we can!

The dlc is irrelevant at this point unless its going to personally come in and kill Surt for me.

Chances are when I am finished with the game I will sale it on. As people now know that UK version will only be downloadable the used games have been going for more than I paid new on ebay


The mage is hard class to play (they usually are but in Ragnarok even more so). I’m a Cleric (healing between rooms on the cheap as it saves on buying health potions). Moonlighting sometimes as an assassin and as a sword warrior. I’ve acquired nice cards and weapons for the two later classes. Just need the luck conversion card for boss cards I’m missing.

The only drawback to playing with other regions can be lag – but I’ve met many people from the US, Asia and parts of the EU and its been fun. Very helpful online community (reminds me of White Knight Chronicles in that respect)

Would be nice if a PS3 version of Ragnarok Online maybe…wishful thinking. Larger screen would be useful – especially ...

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The dlc is irrelevant at this point unless its going to personally come in and kill Surt for me.

Chances are when I am finished with the game I will sale it on. As people now know that UK version will only be downloadable the used games have been going for more than I paid new on ebay


The mage is hard class to play (they usually are but in Ragnarok even more so). I’m a Cleric (healing between rooms on the cheap as it saves on buying health potions). Moonlighting sometimes as an assassin and as a sword warrior. I’ve acquired nice cards and weapons for the two later classes. Just need the luck conversion card for boss cards I’m missing.

The only drawback to playing with other regions can be lag – but I’ve met many people from the US, Asia and parts of the EU and its been fun. Very helpful online community (reminds me of White Knight Chronicles in that respect)

Would be nice if a PS3 version of Ragnarok Online maybe…wishful thinking. Larger screen would be useful – especially in battles like Surt as its difficult mainly because of the small screen and the boss is so big you can really see his attack patterns (that would be my main criticism of Ragnarok.


Ragnarok on the big screen does sound like a lot of fun!

And as far as I know, the “Instant Kill Surt” DLC will not be released any time soon ;)

I gotta say, you’re awesome with the way you reply to every comment!

Dokuro along with Ragnorak Odyssey have been on my wish list for such a long time. Dokuro is a definitive day 1!

I might as well ask this, are there plans to bring Picotto Knights to EU?


Since my blog I have striven to address every comment that comes my way. Glad to hear it’s appreciated ^_^

We mentioned Picotto Knights in our inaugural press release, but unfortunately we still don’t have a set release date for it.

So long as it’s approved, we definitely want to bring it to the EU/Aus/NZ as well!


hi Antonio, could you tell us release date of Ratchet and Clank QForce for Vita on EU PS Store, please? It’s a really loooong waiting tbh… Thanks.


Sorry no. I’ve only got the inside scoop on the latest, greatest grabs from GungHo Online Entertainment America.

Thanks for the responses. It’s a really nice change on this blog, where we get ignored most of the time.

But one more question: why there are no plans to expand Sumioni and Orgarhytm? What’s taht about? o_O


I love answering blog comments – sorry to hear you are used to being ignored!

As for Sumiomi and Orgarhythm, you would need to chat with their respective devs and publishers for more info. The good folks at XSEED are usually up for some friendly banter.

SOLD ! Cannot wait to play this title, kudos for replying to all comments this is a first !!!!


Sweet! One sale down… just the rest of the EU to go ;)

Dokuro’s global takeover has to start somewhere!

Cant wait to play this game just wish you could some how give us unchained blades as I have wanted to play that since it was announced for the US. ALso I like the look of Ragnar OK odyssey but would like to know if it is like monster hunter for its difficulty as I lost patience in the end with monster hunter.

Finally keep up the great work. Have enjoyed corpse party, demon arts and ogarhythm over the last week and can’t wait to get Dokuro and can only hope for unchained blades.


I will let XSEED know that you are a fan of their work, for sure ^_^

As for the difficulty, I’m an MH veteran myself, and I believe this game is a bit easier, but also very different in its overall feel.

This game is not my cup of tea but since I got tired of waiting for Odyssey I imported it from the states. Works really well and I save allot of space on my precious 32 gig card.


Glad to hear you enjoyed it. It’s tricky stepping out of your gaming comfort zone, but a nice feeling when it pays off!

As for my 32GB card… it’s filling up faster than I expected >_< I need to pace myself better…

Thanks for answering my question re the file size…. In fact you’ve answered every question asked and as I write this there is 43 replies to 42 comments which is unheard of on this blog and a very welcome change!
Looking forward to making a purchase tomorrow, hope its a success for you.


It can only be a success through the will of delightful fans like you! (and the mighty Dark Lord of course – but he is a fickle ruler who spends most of his time capturing Princesses…)


any improvements since the US release? read about some iffy collision detection…


This will be the same version released in the US, and I’ve personally never had too big a problem with collision detection. Part of the Hero form’s cape is outside his hit box, so that may throw some people off, but for the most part the controls are tight and Dokuro behaves as he should.

supersmith2500 29 January, 2013 @ 19:17

Hey there Antonio, will this game get a retail release too?


Outside of Japan, this game is only available digitally. We understand this is a turnoff for some people, but we firmly believe a digital release for a game is better than none, and it would be a shame if Dokuro never had the chance to leave Japan.

supersmith2500 29 January, 2013 @ 19:33

Hmm, it’s a shame that the Vita gets less retail games now. I mean EDF 2017 was also released as digital only as well and for some stupid reason Namco charged it for £35.

But ah well, Looking for for Ragnarok Odyssey. Btw, is that game still scheduled for Q1 2013 by any chance?


We are working to get it out ASAP, but for now all we can do is keep everyone posted once we have a solid date.


I guess I’m glad that more games are coming, but I’m not going to be thankful because I am *sick* of Europe always getting the short end of the stick.
We have half the content of US PlaystationPlus of the games that don’t just stay in the US we always get the later.


Your complaints are perfectly valid, and as publishers, we will continue to do our best to get our titles into the EU PlayStation Store just as fast as we can.

We hope you enjoy Dokuro and the other games we plan to bring over!


looking forward to playing this tomorrow and totally agree with #42 Deena93 that unchained blades would be a very welcome addition to X-Seeds EU selection. Also will ragnarok odyssey be available in retail or just download?


It’s going to be download only and I think you’re going to be very pleased tomorrow!

Also, to avoid further confusion, I’m here representing GungHo Online Entertainment America. XSEED handled Ragnarok Odyssey in the United States, but we are publishing it for EU/Australia/New Zealand.

While I love and respect XSEED, I cannot comment on their behalf ^_^


@Antonio Cara – I hope I will as well, looks an interesting game.


I may be biased, but I loved it enough to Platinum it, and I don’t do that too often!

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