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76  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy Type 0 on: August 11, 2011, 12:29:32 AM
It's here!


Alright some quick impressions finished the second mission and played a bit of 3rd.

+Game looks gorgeous with excellent art direction.
+Combat and such is great. Every character is pretty varied, each with own strengths and weakness.
+ Kill and Break Sights as well as Phantoma are pretty cool sub-mechanics.
+The music seems like it will be Ishimoto's best OST so far.
-The camera can be an utter pain sometimes, it's fine in open environments, but smaller/tighter is where the problem is. The Dev staff is apparently still working on it, so that good.
-Lock-on needs some more adjustments.
-Some frame rate issues.
77  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy Type 0 on: August 10, 2011, 04:20:04 PM
Everyone is fully dressed and I haven't seen any gravity defying hairstyles. Who designed these wacky, outrageous characters?

Well at least the girls are still going into combat wearing miniskirts.

Eh, it worked for Valkyria Chronicles.
78  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Persona 2 IS Remake on: July 28, 2011, 08:41:38 PM

Translation looks good overall, though stuff is kinda eh. Can't pick up in September as this more my alley than Catherine.
79  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy Type 0 on: July 28, 2011, 08:38:13 PM
Man, this really is one best looking PSP games to date.

Digging Jack's fighting style.
80  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy Type 0 on: July 27, 2011, 07:50:18 PM

As for your first paragraph, I don't have a clue what you're talking about.

My first paragraph was address Kevadu not you specific.  My point is FF Type/Agito was not originally meant to be as big as was now (with planned sequels), otherwise it would have just remain as some small FF cellphone game that would never see worldwide release like FFVII: Before Crisis.

As for the second, it blew up in their faces because in their eagerness to reveal Agito and Versus alongside XIII and getting people hyped for the FNC saga, they ended up being overwhelmed with all these simulataneous projects and the result is that we are now waiting 5 fucking years for these games. Obviously at the time everyone assumed those games were work in progress and would be released within a reasonable amount of time but they had nothing. They just created a couple of CG trailers to get people hyped but not even they knew anything about how these games would turn out. These ridiculously long development cycles really get on people's nerves, this was in 2006 and there's no guarantee that we'll be playing Versus next year. It's fucking ridiculous. Bad management, bad PR, everything.

There's no disagreement the FNC has been mismanaged, but doesn't change fact it's still just a marketing band. It's not like FFXIII would have sold better or, worse with it. The games aren't connected in anyway beyond some terms.

That said, it's pretty obvious when those games were announced at that time they meant be released earlier then they were.
81  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Merged Final Fantasy XIII-2 Thread on: July 27, 2011, 05:01:23 PM
Actually, Toriyama stated that it won't be like FFX-2 where they changed everything, so it's likely isn't going to be extreme. It like FFXIII-2 will be FFX only more open-ended.
82  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy Type 0 on: July 27, 2011, 04:55:51 PM
You're forgetting that Type-0 was a cellphone game when it was first announced back then and scope was significantly smaller. The change of platforms along other projects lined-up obviously had an effect on planned time-frame, and really outside of 3 FNC games SE's Dev time has been fine.

It apparently wasn't anything when it was first announced.  Just some ideas and concept art.  Sure, the original plan was for it to be a cell phone game, but it doesn't take much to 'change plantforms' when you haven't started coding yet...

I mostly agree, but my point is even if it had been in coding (which sure they had some stuff done) it still would taken some time regardless since the game's ambitions have obviously changed, and it needed more powerful hardware and staff to bring it fore. This said staff that was already working two other smaller games that need to be finished first. 

Besides I thought everyone knew that stuff was concept footage, there was no way those would look as good images shown. It not usually for a company show off things like that the most recent example being Konami with MGS: Risiing.

Exactly, they had nothing, just a trailer, the platform change is irrelevant. The whole "we have this awesome saga with multiple games sharing the same mithology" thing just blew up in their faces.

How did it blow up in their faces? The entire point of FNC was these games share similar mythology nothing more. The mythology itself interpreted pretty differently between the games, It's not likely these games are sequels or, anything.
83  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy Type 0 on: July 26, 2011, 06:29:02 PM
I really wonder how big the Data Install will be with 2 UMD's.

Announce game in 2006 - start development in 2008 -  release it in 2011
That's SE for you.

You're forgetting that Type-0 was a cellphone game when it was first announced back then and scope was significantly smaller. The change of platforms along other projects lined-up obviously had an effect on planned time-frame, and really outside of 3 FNC games SE's Dev time has been fine.
84  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy Type 0 on: July 26, 2011, 05:26:47 PM
The entire Dengeki article has been translated here and it clears up a few things:
This week’s issue of Dengeki PlayStation had another wellspring of information on Final Fantasy Type-0, elaborating on some of the gameplay systems that will appear in the game that we had briefly seen in the Odaiba demo and in other forms of the game’s media. The interview involved the game’s director Hajime Tabata as well as the game’s art director Yusuke Naora. Here’s a summary of the information we’ve broken down below:


■ The Nation of Concordia
Like the three other countries, Concordia has a Crystal and Peristylium of it’s own. The manifestation of Concordia’s Souryuu crystal is a great dragon who they revere as a queen. The Dragon Queen has a special relationship with Andoria whom was seen in the newest trailer. Concordia’s ruling class is comprised entirely of women, and it is said that they are a “petite” nation but adeptly wield spears or lances, some of which may resemble the traditional Dragoon job class from the Final Fantasy series. Five orders of knights protect the Souryuu Peristylium (loosely: “Five Star Guard Corps”), one of which Celestia belongs to. When compared to the other three countries of Oriens, Concordia is not as advanced from a military perspective, but they control the power of dragons as well as other monsters. Concordia is a country with a feeling of magic and fantasy.

Story & Characters:

■ Class Zero & A Story of War
Director Hajime Tabata makes a note that players should not consider any particular one of the Class Zero students the main character, and this goes for Machina and Rem as well, despite their special role beyond Class Zero. The narrative will be told from the group’s perspective and so it is best to not think of a main character, but the group as a whole. Special detail to the character has been added in gameplay to give them touches of flavor to their respective personalities. Tabata and the team have also worked hard to depict the game as a story of war and all the conflicting emotions that brings; they have also not shied away from showing images of violence and blood that are usually not present in the style that is normal for Final Fantasy. They imply that they must be careful with these scenes to send the right emotions.

■ Deuce (CV: Kana Hanazawa)
Deuce is the brown-haired girl that wields a flute in battle. She is very loyal to her duties at Class Zero, and she is kind-hearted and good-natured even if she can be a bit stubborn. It seems as if manipulating the pitch of her instrument will cause different effects in battle. Her special ability “Concerto” will create an opening in which you will be able to attack an enemy targeting her.

■ Seven (CV: Mayuko Aoki)
Seven is the young woman whom wields a sword-whip. While her expressions are somewhat cold she is kind and good-natured. It is because of this personality that she has won popularity with the underclassmen at the Suzaku Peristylium. Seven’s sword-whip is able to come apart and damage enemies at both close and long range. Her special ability “Catch” seems to ignore elevation differences between Seven and her enemies.

■ Jack (CV: Kenichi Suzumura)
Jack is the young man that has slicked-back hair and weilds a katana. He seems to always have a smile and is able to make wise-cracks easily. In dangerous surroundings he is encouraging his peers to take it easy. Jack’s play style is heavily involved with timed sword strikes, and his special ability “Surrender” is sort of a fake-out attack where he appears to surrender but then throws his weapon into an enemy.

■ Andoria (CV: Megumi Hayashibara)
Andoria is the princess of Concordia, and has a special relationship with the Dragon Queen (which is also the Souryuu crystal) through this role. She respects order and discipline and has a noble and fair spirit.

■ Celestia (CV: Nana Mizuki)
Celestia is from the nation of Concordia and is a member of the prestigious knighthood that protects the Souryuu Peristylium. She is very prideful of her nation.

■ Cadetmaster (CV: Masako Nozawa)
Director of logisitcs at the Suzaku Peristylium.

■ Commandant (CV: Kenji Utsumi)
Director of military affairs at the Suzaku Peristylium.

■ Provost (CV: Shigeru Chiba)
Director of academics and magical research.

■ Commissar (CV: Masako Ikeda)
Authority in charge of magic management.

Battle System:

■ Phantoma
Phantoma will play a large part in the game in the field and how your characters will progress and evolve their magic. When enemies are defeated, you can draw Phantoma from their corpses which comes in three colors: red, yellow, and purple. Doing this will restore your MP in different amounts depending on that color, but where Phantoma is really useful is the development of Class Zero’s magical assets.

■ Magic
The three main schools of offensive magic in Final Fantasy Type-0 are Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder spells. The spells themselves can be modified so that the function in very different ways although they are of the same element. They can be altered to have similar effects to shotguns, rifles, bombs, missles, and rocket launchers. Dengeki lists:

    SHG: Shotgun-type magic that is powerful at short range but fires in a wide shot with little range.
    RF: Long-distance magic with a narrow shot that shoots straight for the target.
    BOM: Powerful at close range and can be used to make quick work of swarming enemies.
    MIS: Homing magic that will chase after an enemy. At higher levels it will follow longer.
    ROK: Magic that is aimed over-the-shoulder. When it strikes it will deal damage to adjacent targets.

For example, the spell “Fire-RF” will function as a long-range “rifle” shot of fire.

■ Altocrystarium
Similar to Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Type-0′s Crystarium will serve as the basis for developing character skills. For magic, the article cites that to refine “Fire-RF” to a higher level of magical potency, six red Phantoma must be used. You will be able to alter the attributes of your magic such as: potency, MP efficiency, casting time, range of fire, and rate of fire.

■ Summon
Shiva takes the spotlight again here, here Dengeki details that some of her attacks are called “Icicle Dance” and “Chilly World”. If you summon Shiva while it is snowing, her elemental potency of ice is increased. Her special attack “Diamond Dust” will require several button inputs from the player as it a continuous or “combo” ability. Odin is also briefly mentioned, with one of his abilities being listed as “Iron Sword”.

■ Multiplayer
Nothing particularly new was revealed about the multiplayer component of Final Fantasy Type-0, but to further elaborate Tabata explained that this game’s multiplayer is played in brief sessions where you will replace a member of the other player’s party. If you would like to join someone else’s game you must do so from the game’s title menu suggesting that the character you control in battle may be independent of your save file’s version. Players who want others to join their game need only check an option in the game’s Configuration menu. You will also be able to stop players from entering your game through this option as well. Players will be able to earn a type of currency through successful play or completion of multiplayer sessions and objectives; this currency’s function will be revealed at a later time.

Active World Map:

■ A Hint of RTS
The students of Class Zero you control will be able to exit to the world map at their leisure between missions. The Active World Map mechanic will introduce ally and enemy units on the world map, and you’ll be able to issue orders to your comrades in Rubrum. There are elements of RTS games at work here, but Tabata shied away from calling them substantial and that it’s more of a basic approach rather than in-depth. You can view them as a sort of mini-game aside from the main campaign. If you should take control of or liberate a town, you will be able to shop there and perhaps at a discount.

■ Work In Progress
Director Tabata says the Active World Map in Final Fantasy Type-0 is extensive and resource intensive and that he and his development team are currently working on reducing the load times from where they currently are, harkening back to the PlayStation days of Final Fantasy to make the comparison. He does note that those who use the game’s Data Install feature will find the load times negligible.

Developer Comments:

■ A Long Time Coming
Final Fantasy Type-0 was first announced back in 2006 as Final Fantasy Agito XIII prior to January’s Square-Enix conference. Since the team was still deep into production of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, development did not begin until 2008. Up until that point, production had only created the trailer and various other visual concepts. The 3rd Birthday’s development put “Agito XIII” on the second rung for about a year until development began in earnest in 2009. Long-time Square-Enix art director Yusuke Naora joined the project with Yusaku Nakai in tow to handle character and monster designs.

■ You Get What You Pay For
Final Fantasy Type-0 will be on two UMDs as well as carry a pricier selling point. Despite this, Tabata reassures that the amount and quality of the content of this game will justify that price point.

85  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FF Versus XIII follow up coming next week + possible new game announcement on: July 06, 2011, 07:35:21 PM
Next up is the Final Fantasy Kart Racer.Play with your family and friends the wackiest racing game on Kinect.Customize your favorite Final Fantasy characters with goofy costumes,race across 12 different tracks including the Shinra Speedway,Luca Grand Prix and the Nautilus 500.

They already did that in the PS1 era, see "Chocobo Racing".

Anyway, this sound like it could be fun.
86  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Breaking: Yasumi Matsuno (FFXII, Tactics Ogre) joins Level 5 on: June 30, 2011, 12:40:43 AM
Square Enix executives put their noses where they didn't belong

SE Exec: We want you to make a single player RPG that feels like an MMORPG; people love MMORPGs.
SE Exec: Ok, that wasn't so hot, so how about we make an MMORPG?

Vaan was always in the game to begin with, furthermore the Offline MMORPG idea was Matsuno's as he is big fan of FFXI and wanted to mimic that style of game on a console.

There wasn't any executives meddling either which Matsuno attested to himself in an interview on TO with 4Gamer:

4G: As you have said yourself, you were the director, game designer and scenario designer for the game. You're often thought of as a multitasker prodigy.

YM: We simply didn't have enough people at that time, so there wasn't any way around it. After I joined Squaresoft, however, I started assigning to others any tasks that didn't have to be done by myself. After all, Squaresoft had a very democratic development process by the time I joined them.

4G: Democratic?

YM: During production, programmers and designers as well would always come up with several ideas. In FFXII, for instance, the huge airship in the game wasn't my idea, but one of the designer's, who wanted to give it a sci-fi-esque feeling. It's a completely different methodology if compared to how Ogre Battle was made.

4G: It does sound harder to do things that way. Still, one usually hears about how important it is to consider the opinions of the whole team. In the other hand, as far as creative works are concerned, I feel it's important to insert somewhere your individual touch, or a your own beliefs. Perhaps that's what game creativity is all about in first place?

YM: Looking at things that way, I could say the two Ogre Battle games I've made were fruits of my own beliefs, while the games I made for Squaresoft were certainly fruits of democracy. Ah, save for Vagrant Story, that is (laughs).

The rest here:

Basically Matsuno wasn't used to being in charge of large teams number over 100 people where development and ideas are done by committee rather than one person calling all the shots of 20 man group. It's probably why he wants to stick too smaller games where he has more control.
87  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Merged Final Fantasy XIII-2 Thread on: June 09, 2011, 09:35:49 AM

Yep, that was pretty nice, I had no idea they were fans of RDR and it's even better that they taking some inspiration with sidequests from it. The Monster System as well as NPCs having some form A.I. sound solid.

The only question I have left is whether they overhaul FFXIII shitty Weapon System or not.  Guess we will find out at TGS.
88  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Merged Final Fantasy XIII-2 Thread on: June 08, 2011, 10:59:56 AM
Something interesting that was posted on SE Members blog:

I’ve had the chance to sit down and play some FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 recently and I wanted to let you know what I thought of it. Before we jump straight into the Hands-On report, however, here are a few key points I suspect you’ll all be interested in knowing.

While still a deeply story-driven game, FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 has a higher emphasis on giving the player choices to make throughout the game. More branching paths, more hidden secrets, more exploration.
Level design sees you returning to unlocked environments to access hidden areas as the game progresses.
A self-contained story set after the events of FINAL FANTASY XIII. XIII-2’s story will be darker and more mysterious.
All-new playable characters (Serah and Noel), plus the return of fan favourites from FINAL FANTASY XIII.
The return of the much loved Moogle. A treasure hunter at heart, he will seek out hidden chests.
Recruit monsters who will aid you in battle, each with unique abilities.

For those of you who wanted more from FINAL FANTASY XIII, the sequel is the game for you. As a FINAL FANTASY fan I had some specific things in mind that I wanted to see from XIII-2 and the more I see of the game, the more excited I get about it..

As you can see from the list above, XIII-2 has seen improvements and expansions in many areas (and these are just features we’re allowed to talk about right now). The designers of the game have made giving more choice to the player a key focus of theirs. Even in the small demo being shown off at E3, the level design features plenty of forks in the road, leading to hidden chests and lurking monsters, as well as wide open areas.

The developers also want players to have more control over their character and a larger variety of experiences in the game, which explains the inclusion of a jump button (the first in the numbered FINAL FANTASY series’ long history), which can be used to find hidden chests. Abilities will be gained throughout the game which will further allow exploration, making you return to areas you’ve visited before to see if your new skills can give you access to hidden areas and items.

Environments are filled with people, many of whom can be engaged in dialogue. A little speech bubble floating above their head will let you know if they have anything interesting to say. All of this dialogue is fully voiced.

Your objectives won’t always be straight forward. Sometimes you will be given a choice of which direction to go to reach your goal or of which order to perform certain tasks in. The E3 demonstration includes the choice to fight a large golem (we’re talking massive - like 20 storeys) or to investigate a mysterious device which has appeared out of nowhere. Investigating the device will lower the golem’s defences, making him much easier to kill, but if you fancy the challenge you can go straight into battle.

Some battles may include interactive “cinematic action” sequences, which require you to press specific buttons at specific moments. On succesful button inputs, rewards are given, depending on the situation. For example, hitting buttons correctly in the first golem battle in the E3 demo results in your party members receiving temporary stat buffs, making the rest of the battle that little bit easier.

We’re not talking too much about the game’s story right now, but we have said that the game takes place a few years after the events of FINAL FANTASY XIII. Lightning has disappeared, presumed dead, and her sister Serah is trying to find out where she’s gone, with the help of the mysterious Noel. You will not need to have played or completed FINAL FANTASY XIII to understand the story of XIII-2. It will help to know some of the backstory, but it has been designed to be accessible to newcomers.

For those who are fans of the franchise, you may be surprised and delighted to learn that Moogles are making a return. One such creature befriends Serah and has vowed to follow her on her quest to find Lightning. He has a few tricks up his sleeves, such as being able to reveal secret chests and other secret abilities which we will be revealing in time.

Another new addition is the recruitment of monsters. They will join your party and each species of creature will have a unique ability. You will be able to switch them in and out on the fly by changing the party’s Paradigm. Yep, the Paradigm Shift system makes a return, with some improvements and refinements. We’re not going into much detail on all the enhancements yet, but we thought you’d like to know that they exist.

So hopefully this whets your appetite a bit and demonstrates just some of the enhancements and improvements FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 will feature. I’m personally very excited about this game and we’ve got much more to tell you about it in the coming months, so keep an eye out here on the Square Enix Members Blog.
89  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Merged Final Fantasy XIII-2 Thread on: June 08, 2011, 08:11:19 AM
Um guys, you know that FFX-2 Int had system which you could use Monsters right?

I like how in the fight with Titan, the whole party dies in one hit.  What a fantastic way to demo your game!

I also love how the dialogue is incredibly bad.  "Do I get overtime pay for this?"  Hahaha, oh Yuna Noel, you are such a wacky teenager!  Just what will she he say next?

Fuck this game.  Square doesn't have a clue.  I'm out.

I have a lot of issues FFXIII. but this a bit much.

First that isn't Titan, it's a new monster called Atlas and all shares with Titan is that he's big though not nearly so. Second you have choice on how to fight him much like FFXII's Garuda. You will probably be a beat him directly on New Game Plus" anyway. Third Noel likely isn't a teenager as the Japanese official site lists his age as "seinen" which can be anywhere from 20-50. Lastly while FFXIII like most FFs have awkward dialogue don't see what's bad about that line. For all we know Noel probably works for the Sanctum.

I'm not saying that FFXIII-2 will be the greatest game ever, but a lot comments folks who have played demo as well as videos in generally seems to show that SE has listened to criticisms about the game and is addressing them.
90  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Square-Enix publishing Tactics Ogre remake for PSP! on: July 22, 2010, 08:36:07 PM
US site and Press Release are now up:


Dream Team of Developers Reunites to Bring the Beloved Strategy RPG to the PSP System

LOS ANGELES (July 21, 2010) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in North America, announced today the upcoming release of TACTICS OGRE™: Let Us Cling Together™, a PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) system reinvention of the strategy RPG. The timing of the release will be announced at a future date.

TACTICS OGRE is one of the most beloved strategy RPG titles of all time, with the game being the only one to place in the Japanese gaming magazine Weekly Famitsu’s “Top 20 games voted by readers” for 14 years running.

Having also worked on such hit titles as FINAL FANTASY TACTICS®, VAGRANT STORY® and FINAL FANTASY® XII, key members of the original TACTICS OGRE development team have reformed to deliver the ultimate version of this definitive strategy RPG experience. Hiroshi Minagawa (Director), Akihiko Yoshida (Character Design), Yasumi Matsuno (Game Design), Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata (Composers) are pleased to return to TACTICS OGRE and to revitalize their masterpiece for a new format and era – created with the simple idea – “how TACTICS OGRE would be if it was developed and played now.”

TACTICS OGRE: Let Us Cling Together, is being reborn from the ground up, with reworked visuals and effects, a re-arranged soundtrack by the original composers, new character growth mechanics and a new Wheel of Fortune system that adds even more replay value to the game.

For more information about TACTICS OGRE please visit the official website at http://www.tacticsogregame.com.


Long ago,
Power was everything.
It was a time called Xytegenia,
where metal, and evil that was enshrouded in darkness was in control.


• From the creators of FINAL FANTASY TACTICS, VAGRANT STORY and FINAL FANTASY XII. The original TACTICS OGRE development team reform to revitalize their iconic title.
• Tactical, turn-based battles are brought to life with stunning graphics, sounds and animation.
• New 3D maps that enhance the concept of height and improved battle engine, offering more compelling and realistic battles than ever before.
• Uncover the truth in a gripping tale of intrigue, betrayal and heroism.
• Near-endless customization and hundreds of abilities to choose from.
• New characters not included in the original game
• New Battle Skill ability, adds to the range of play beyond Magic and Special abilities
• New graphics, music, gameplay and much more make this the definitive version of TACTICS OGRE.
• New and improved visuals that create a TACTICS OGRE experience with more detail than ever before.
• Re-arranged soundtrack from the original composers including 15 new compositions.

About Square Enix, Inc.
Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S. based wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd., a holding company leading Square Enix Group. Square Enix, Inc. publishes and distributes entertainment content under the Square Enix Group’s internationally renowned brands such as Square Enix, Eidos and Taito in the Americas. The Square Enix Group includes a global network of leading development studios located in North America, Europe and Japan. The Group boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property including: FINAL FANTASY, which has sold over 97 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 54 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 35 million units worldwide; and other well-established products and services.

More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at http://www.square-enix.com.

DRAGON QUEST, FINAL FANTASY, FINAL FANTASY TACTICS, SQUARE ENIX and the SQUARE ENIX logo are registered trademarks of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. in the United States and/or other countries. TACTICS OGRE and VAGRANT STORY are registered trademarks or trademarks of Square Enix Co., Ltd. Eidos and Tomb Raider are registered trademarks of Square Enix, Ltd. Taito is a registered trademark of Taito Corp. “PlayStation” and “PSP” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Japanese site is here too:

Famitsu sceens and Artwork:

Some shots:

Deim, Kachua and Vice:

One of the new characters: Ravness Loxaerion


Detailed Interview:

Team Tactics Ogre Details PSP Remake
Minagawa and Matsuno discuss what's changed in the 15 years since the Super Famicom original.

▶Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 03:46, By Anoop Gantayat

Square Enix is readying a revival of classic Quest strategy title Tactics Ogre. In this week's Famitsu, the company shared first details on Tactics Ogre: Wheel of Fate, a remake of the Super Famicom original. The game is due for PSP release at an undisclosed date.

The original Tactics Ogre, fully "Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together" was a Japan-only strategy game that hit Super Famicom from Quest in 1995 (Quest was later bought out by Square Enix). The game was known for its rich world setting and advanced strategic gameplay, with such novelties as height-based play. PlayStation and Saturn ports were released in, respectively, 1996 and 1997, and a Game Boy Advance prequel followed in 2001.

The original staff has assembled for the PSP remake. The staff list includes Hiroshi Minagawa as director, Yasumi Matsuno as designer, Akihiko Yoshida and Tsubasa Masao as character designers and Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata on music.

Rather than "remake," Famitsu actually refers to Wheel of Fate as a "re-imagining" of the original. However, the game will see much of what one would expect of a remake, including a new visual engine, and new story and gameplay elements.

As this is a new version of Let Us Cling Together, the story and character basics remain unchanged. Famitsu introduces characters like Denim Powell, Catiua Powell and Vyce Bozeck, all of whom were in the original. The game will have new characters as well, though. One example is Ravness Loxaerion, a 23-year-old female Walstanian soldier. She's a playable character, appearing in the magazine's array of in-game battle screens.

In addition to the new character, the game will see some adjustments for the story, giving us a closer look at the emotional side of the characters along with added side stories and new stories for the newly added characters. This area of the game is being handled personally by Matsuno, who served as director, scenario writer and designer on the original.

The game will be seeing a great increase in text. This includes newly added descriptions for the various fields of play, and a great increase in the conversations that you encounter in battle. Some characters will have conversations exclusively with certain other characters. You'll also get to hear the emotional state of enemies via dialogue.

The battle system is also seeing some major changes, in terms of both gameplay and presentation. The maps are now fully 3D, allowing you to move the camera around and even view the action from above. The characters are sprite-based, giving the game a Final Fantasy Tactics visual impression. Visuals for enemy units and battle effects have been redone.

The screen layout has been reformed, with a character movement timeline at the bottom of the screen, and a single line text area at the top of the screen for detailing your currently selected unit.

The interface is also being sped up. Your characters will move more quickly. Additionally, the visual effects for magic and skill use are faster.

It looks like we can expect gameplay changes even beyond these areas. Famitsu shows a mysterious screenshot that looks somewhat like a flow chart. The caption for this screen reads "What if you'd made a different choice at that point? Will there be a system that realizes the 'what if?'." Famitsu is usually informed for such speculative statements, so we can probably expect something along this line.


Minagawa, Matsuno and Yoshida appear in the magazine this week for an interview. The interview was conducted by Enterbrain CEO Hirokazu Hamamura who was given a chance to play an early build of the game during the discussion. (If you manage to get your hands on Famitsu, you'll also see a picture of the three developers with a cake. This was apparently readied to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the series.)

Hamamura provided a few impressions as he played. After viewing the game's opening, he selected "New Game" and commented jokingly that the "hand mark" is very nice. As he viewed the opening proper for the start of the new game, he commented that the text has become prettier and easier to read. Minagawa noted here that this is because the resolution has been upped due to the game being on PSP.

Hamamura's initial impression, apparently after just seeing the opening areas of the game, was that the game retains much of the look and feel of the Super Famicom version. Matsuno pointed out that a lot has actually changed from the original. For example, the Super Famicom version did not have the shadows that the PSP version has. Because of this, the game has an overall brighter, fresher look.

One of the goals for the team, said Minagawa, was to recreate the look of the original, while adding in the beautifications players make in their minds due to nostalgia. They're purposely keeping the Super Famicom qualities of the visuals in place. Matsuno joked that it would be praise for them if someone who played the game would say, even with contempt, "This is just like the original!"

There's a lot going on in the background, though, noted Matsuno. For example, they're taking great care to make sure that the sprite visuals for the characters will not be out of synch with the 3D maps.

Hamamura suggested that they should have perhaps remade even the sprite visuals. This was under consideration at the start of development, replied Minagawa. However, they felt that there'd be no need for the original staff to be making the game if they went with that approach, and so decided on the current direction. More intriguingly, Matsuno said that if they were to go the full dynamic 3D route, they might as well make a brand new title. Hamamura joked that he'd like to see this.

While the character sprite visuals are being carried over from the original Super Famicom version, the character illustrations -- the artwork -- is all new. Working on the illustrations is Tsubasa Masao, who previously worked on Final Fantasy Gaiden: Four Warriors of Light.

Matsuno detailed some of the changes are that are being made for the other areas of the game. The game's text will be more readable -- this is both for the font itself, and also for the textual content, with Matsuno himself working to fix what he describes as "my amateurish writing from 15 years back." Players will find a number of areas that have been brushed up.

On the gameplay side of things, Minagawa said that the basic format of the game will remain unchanged. That is, you'll get into battle at points in the story, and you'll have to clear these battles in order to progress. During the turn-based battles, you'll need to make use of your units to defeat enemy armies.

Atop the basic game systems, the staff is working in a number of new features. Minagawa describes the battles as being "greatly changed," although he promises that the essence of the original, including the height mechanics for the maps and the ability to send arrows flying greater distance by shooting from above, will remain in place.

New features mentioned by Minagawa include the addition of "skills," and additional classes. Some of the current systems are being changed. For example, they're removing the difference between male and female versions of a class, a change that will allow players to freely change class without thinking about gender.

The scale and speed of battle will also be seeing adjustments. Minagawa said that he's placing importance on the tempo of battle. Regarding scale, the original featured 10 vs 10 battles. For the remake, players will be able to have 12 members on their party facing off against 18 enemies, making for 30 characters on screen.

One point of note that Matsuno brought up himself was the original's difficulty. In short, it was quite difficult. Minagawa believes that keeping the game as is would be tough, especially for portable gamers. To address this issue, they've added such things as the expected mid battle save feature. There will be other features as well, including something related to the "Wheel of Fate" subtitle. This "Wheel of Fate" element is deeply related to the battle system, and it's something that players will be able to use or not use as they like. For specifics, we'll have to wait until a followup report, but Minagawa said that hints can be found in the screenshots included in the magazine.

Throughout the interview, Minagawa and Matsuno both downplayed the use of the term "remake" or "directors cut" to describe Tactics Ogre Wheel of Fate. Said Minagawa, "The goal of this game is not to make a 'Tactics Ogre Complete Version.' It's to remake Tactics Ogre again for the current generation." Said Matsuno, "It's not just a remake or directors cut. You could call it a 're-imagination.'"

Re-imagination or remake, Tactics Ogre is at last being revived for modern gamers. While Famitsu lists the game as release date TBA, the fact that Hamamura was able to demo it seems like a good indication that we'll get our hands on the game in the not-so-distant future.

Today is a GOOD day. :D
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