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Author Topic: Gasp! An anime-styled RPG for Xbox 360... in August!!?!?  (Read 5011 times)
Tenchi-no-Ryu
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« on: July 01, 2006, 09:39:22 AM »

I was fiddling around on Xbox Live this week and found the E3 trailer for a spiffy new RPG for the 360, developed by FromSoftware, published by UbiSoft - to be released.... in August! The title is called Enchanted Arms and looks pretty cool, in an quirky sort of way.

While the E3 trailer was brief as hell, can probably find it on GameTrailers.com, I dug up this rather long video of the Japanese version here: http://www.em-game.net/wvx/pv_shop_ver.wvx

Be interesting to see how it turns out.

edit: and here's one that shows more actual gameplay - nice little nod to Gundam in there.
http://www.em-game.net/wvx/pv_2005win.wvx
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Mana Knight
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2006, 01:23:00 PM »

I heard the game was just decent in Japan and nothing more.  If I had an Xbox 360 right now (I'll eventually get one though), I'd definitely be getting this game.
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Seiken_Densetsu
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2006, 04:22:57 PM »

I don't see what is so weird about an anime-styled Japanese RPG for the Xbox 360, as there are many of them lined up for it at this moment anyways.

But yeah, I am not really looking forward to it.  I am mainly looking forward to Trusty Bell, and the tri-Ace Mystery.  Also, hopefully the rumors about the new 360 Lufia are true.
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2006, 04:41:50 PM »

I think it's mostly the artefact thought that stems from the X-Box itself having an RPG library comparable in many ways to the N64's.

In other words, not a wide variety, no sir.

Also, the X-Box didn't earn Microsoft many supporters, developer- or customer-wise in Japan. The 360 seems to be doing mildly better, but it's not been too hot an item that side of the Pacific.
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2006, 04:57:47 PM »

I can't say I'm interested in that game at all. Then again the only next-generation RPG I have a mild interest in is Final Fantasy XIII.
enCHANT aRM was not too well received in Japan, but what can you expect? Microsoft has sold 250,000 units of the system so far, hence it is hard to sell a reasonably amount of copies. Also, I dare to doubt, that four released RPGs and another dozen upcoming RPGs will be enough for Microsoft in Japan.
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Eusis
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2006, 05:09:05 PM »

As much as I'm interested in the titles to come (and hoping tri-Crescendo is much better with Trusty Bell than Baten Kaitos), I honestly can't see it taking off in Japan myself. Maybe we'll be surprised, but I doubt anything short of teaming up with Sony/Nintendo will get them a strong foothold at all, and then they'd have to pretty much step out of the console race.

With all that said, Enchanted Arms is probably the one RPG I'm least interested in for the X360. I'll probably pick it sometime, but it's FEoE, Trusty Bell, and the two Mistwalker titles I have my eye on.
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Mana Knight
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2006, 09:37:48 PM »

Quote from: "Professor Gast"
I can't say I'm interested in that game at all. Then again the only next-generation RPG I have a mild interest in is Final Fantasy XIII.
enCHANT aRM was not too well received in Japan, but what can you expect? Microsoft has sold 250,000 units of the system so far, hence it is hard to sell a reasonably amount of copies. Also, I dare to doubt, that four released RPGs and another dozen upcoming RPGs will be enough for Microsoft in Japan.
Actually, when looking at the sales chart from last year and this, it looks there are only 150k or less Xbox 360's in Japan.  From the way it seems, the first Xbox got off to a better start in Japan, although it didn't have as much support coming to it.
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2006, 04:51:02 AM »

Sorry, damn typo. It obviously depends on what kind of third party support you get and so far Microsoft has not received a lot except remakes and original (read: unproven) games. To make things worse for them they even have to publish the Sakaguchi RPGs or the tri-Ace game by themselves, which definitely won't help them in driving up sales.

Not to mention that Blue Dragon will have to share retail store shelves with PlayStation 3 and Wii hardware and software. Granted I don't expect a mindblowing launch line-up from Sony Computer Entertainment, but Minna no Golf 5 and Ridge Racer 7 should perform well enough. And if Blue Dragon gets anywhere near the launch date of the Wii (and hence release date of Dragon Quest Swords), then Blue Dragon will sell as well as enCHANT Arm :P.
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Mana Knight
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2006, 07:45:29 AM »

What I'm thinking is, if Blue Dragon comes out later than PS3 and Wii, or even around the same time, it's not going to sell very well, because most of Japan's attention will turn towards what the Wii and PS3 will have.  Like you said, Dragon Quest Swords of Wii will really get their attention.  If Legend of Zelda: ToP releases at the Wii's launch too in Japan, that should also hurt Blue Dragon.  I won't be surprised if Blue Dragon turns out really good and does well in Famitsu, but I think the release could be just a little too late.
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Eusis
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2006, 07:51:36 AM »

There may be a chance though if FFXIII isn't out by the time those games are out, which I think is highly probable. DQ is a definite threat though, but it's probably going to be more of a side game than anything else, so it may be safe if released a fair bit of time afterwards.
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Mana Knight
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2006, 08:35:29 AM »

Actually, the reason I consider those two consoles a threat is because they have massive BC, something Xbox 360 doesn't have.  The whole reason PS2 sold so high at launch had nothing to do with what PS2 had available (It had a horrible launch and was priced almost as high as $400), but it sold because it was a DVD player and could play all PS1 games.  The Japanese (except the very hardcore) don't have massive entertainment centers in their home filled with game consoles (like many American's do), where they may only have two consoles hooked up at their TV, the most.  The Wii will sell alone for downloadable NES and SNES games (Two extremely successful platforms) along with containing downloadable games for other various platforms, and BC to the GC (Did all right).  The PS3 is the perfect upgrade to a PS2, because it does everything the PS2 does (PS1 and PS2 were the previous most successful consoles), along with being a blu-ray disc player and playing PS3 games, although a bit expensive for now.  Also, unlike the U.S. North America, PS1 games can easily be bought new.  When many people look at the Xbox 360, they just don't see a reason to consider it, because it has limited BC to the worst selling console in Japan, doesn't have many extras compared to a PS2 other than graphics, and they'd solely be buying it for Xbox 360 games alone, which there aren't many being released per month.  So as it seems, even if it was cheap and had an decent selection of games (like a few of the RPGs by Mistwalker), it would still struggle because of what is in the Wii and PS3.

But, what I'm mostly saying is that PS3 and Wii will definitely get Japan's attention, when they launch, and most people in Japan (other than the truly hardcore) will probably forget Xbox 360 ever existed.  A release of FFXIII would do even more damage to those games, if it was released before hand, but it won't.  

I'm not against Xbox 360 at all, because I wished it did well in Japan, but I'll admit I just don't see it doing well there, after I realized how the gaming situation is in Japan.  It will be the first next generation console I get, and I definitely want to see some Japanese RPGs on it.
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2006, 09:37:48 AM »

Looks like our discussion is not on topic anymore, but whatever. Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII won't ship until late 2007. Keep in mind that producer Yoshinori Kitase only recently explained that the first playable demo of Final Fantasy XIII will be available during next year's E3, meaning May 2007. Furthermore, Square Enix tends to begin to ship big-budget titles only one year after a system's launch to make sure the installed hardware base is big enough for a Final Fantasy main series installment to sell more than two million copies in Japan. Just look at PlayStation 2: The system launched in Japan on March 4th 2000 and Final Fantasy X followed on July 19th 2001. By then there were about six million PlayStation 2 units in Japanese home and still back then Square president Hisashi Suzuki asked Sony Computer Entertainment to ship even more units at a faster pace. And there you have one of the key challenges for Sony Computer Entertainment: They somehow have to come up with a decent software line-up for the first 10-12 months following PlayStation 3's launch (my guess is that they are trying to accomplish this by increasing their output of first party games). Because the big guns (Final Fantasy XIII, Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo 4, Devil May Cry 4, Monster Hunter 3, etc.) will only hit in late 2007. And as Sony Computer Entertainment you want to avoid another DS - PSP situation next year. However, Ridge Racer 7, Tekken 6, Virtua Fighter 5, Mina no Golf 5 and a not-exclusive Sonic won't keep customers happy for too long.

Of course, Dragon Quest Swords is nothing more than a gaiden. But keep in mind, that even those gaidens (be it Torneko, Dragon Quest Monsters or whatever) tend to post sales between 200,000 and 600,000 copies in Japan.

With polls showing Japanese consumers eagerly awaiting both PlayStation 3 and Wii, the DS' popularity continuing and PlayStation Portable possibly getting a boost from Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, it will be insanely hard for Microsoft to sell a reasonable amount of copies of Blue Dragon or any other 360 game this winter.
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Tenchi-no-Ryu
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« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2006, 09:38:30 AM »

Well, this thread got off topic lol - but I always enjoy a good debate, so i'll throw my hat into the ring ,and play devil's advocate.

I entirely agree that the 360 isn't being well received at all in Japan at the moment, though it is getting much better Japanese software support than its predecessor. You all know as well as I do that Japan is very, very brand loyal - the fact that Microsoft is trying to gain a legitimate foothold there is laudible in itself. I partly feel bad for the Japanese market due to this inflexibility because some of the software released on the Xbox 360 are incredible experiences (Oblivion for example), and some of the upcoming titles like Gears of War, Halo 3, Alan Wake etc. are very very strong releases. Yes, I'm full aware of the difference between Japanese and American tastes in games, but if we can revel in their software, I don't see any reason why the opposite can't happen.

On the flip side, the Xbox 360 has been received remarkably well in the US, and judging from the showing we saw at E3, they really will give Sony a run for their money for the next console king, especially since the North American market is now the crown jewel for software publishers (see: Konami). I think the old standard of belief that a console is doomed to fail without the undying support of the Japanese software community is finally fading. With developers the likes of Bungie, Lionhead Studios, Silicon Knights, Bethesda, LucasArts and Rare among others supporting the 360 in a big way, we honestly have a contender for our market.

Please don't think that i'm bashing the Japanese market, i'm a fanboy just as much as the rest of you, but let's be realistic. Currently the North American market contains a much more lucrative market for gaming due to the sheer demographic, in no small part to the massive installed userbase of Sony's systems. There is also a final emergence of U.S. developers proving that they too can provide great gaming experiences without living in the shadow of their Japanese counterparts - (see: God of War). While companies like Square Enix still set the standard - there are plenty of US devs out there who are ready to meet that challenge. This is where Microsoft is in a great position with the 360, because they're reaping the fruits of what our market has available for our audience.

Do I think the Xbox 360 is in an RPG hole? Not at all with a triple A RPG like Oblivion available within the first 6 months of the consoles release. I think the quick follow-up of Enchanted Arms and Culdcept Saga before the fall is a good sign for RPGs on the console IN OUR MARKET. Look how long it took us to get FFVII on the PSOne and FFX on the PS2.

Also, let's not forget Mistwalker and Tri-Ace, and the fact that Square Enix and Microsoft did release FFXI on the 360 - certainly it's a port, but it means that there's rapport between the two companies. It's nice that Hudson is bringing FEoE here, but the game honestly looks and plays no better than a Dreamcast title, and hasn't a single drop of innovation.

With the development costs for the next gen consoles being expected to be much higher than the current generation, expect to see alot less third party exclusive titles - and more ports to maximize their audiences. Hell, even Kaz Hirai said to expect the PS3 software to be more expensive than the current norm ($49.99). If we look at the Xbox 360 titles at $59.99 - seeing PS3 titles for $65.99 or even $69.99 isn't that far fetched.

I can tell you from what I heard at E3 from many developers (both Japanese and domestic) - that the price point of the PS3 has caused many of them to re-evaluate their publishing relations with Sony. Not only will Sony's next-gen console market shrink dramatically - but the costs of developing for the console with exclusivity contracts will be such a business model nightmare, that developers and publishers will have no choice but to branch out to remain profitable. With the Wii being a very marginal improvement over the Gamecube in terms of visuals etc. - even Japanese developers will have to consider all their options (even the 360) if the consumer demand for a comperable experience to the PS3 is high. Currently, only a very very small handful of PS3 titles look better than the recent generation of 360 titles.

Anyway - we really won't know until at least a year after all the next gen consoles are released and we get into the real software. Everything else is conjecture, but stimulating conjecture all the same.

Anyways...

About Enchanted Arms itself - I wasn't trying to put the game a pedistal, or try to compare it to something like FFXIII (OMG, I want it now!). I was simply sharing my enthusiasm at having a Japanese RPG coming to the 360 in the US in a little over a month. It gives me a next-gen RPG to play with until October when the big guns finally come out (VP:S, FFXII, etc.). The Mistwalker titles etc. are a year away at least - what's so wrong with enjoying what's here now eh?

Is it just me or does it have a Shadow Hearts vibe?
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2006, 10:16:38 AM »

Quote from: "Tenchi-no-Ryu"
With the development costs for the next gen consoles being expected to be much higher than the current generation, expect to see alot less third party exclusive titles - and more ports to maximize their audiences. Hell, even Kaz Hirai said to expect the PS3 software to be more expensive than the current norm ($49.99). If we look at the Xbox 360 titles at $59.99 - seeing PS3 titles for $65.99 or even $69.99 isn't that far fetched.

I can tell you from what I heard at E3 from many developers (both Japanese and domestic) - that the price point of the PS3 has caused many of them to re-evaluate their publishing relations with Sony. Not only will Sony's next-gen console market shrink dramatically - but the costs of developing for the console with exclusivity contracts will be such a business model nightmare, that developers and publishers will have no choice but to branch out to remain profitable. With the Wii being a very marginal improvement over the Gamecube in terms of visuals etc. - even Japanese developers will have to consider all their options (even the 360) if the consumer demand for a comperable experience to the PS3 is high. Currently, only a very very small handful of PS3 titles look better than the recent generation of 360 titles.


The release of more ports, remakes and multiplatform titles was indeed a common expectation. However, if you look at what has been announced so far, there are not that many multi platform games coming out of Japan. Armored Core 4, Biohazard 5 and a few others being the exceptions. Japanese third party publishers are not comparable to EA or Activision. Hence they would have a lot of trouble to switch to a multiplatform strategy. And with the Xbox 360 selling less than 2,000 units per week in Japan, it is probably still more profitable to develop a more expensive PlayStation 3 game which sells reasonably, than a less expensive Xbox 360 game which does not sell at all. This is in particular true for all those companies who make their money by developing RPGs or adventures geared towards the Japanese market. After all, Stephen, for many major Japanese franchises Japan is the still the most important market.

Generally, this entire debate somehow reminds me of 1999 and 2000. Sure the situation back then was much better for Sony Computer Entertainment, but there were a lot of folks who predicted gloom and doom for PlayStation 2 back then as well. Back then people also said it was too expensive or too difficult to develop reasonably looking games for PlayStation 2, then Hideo Kojima showed off the infamous Metal Gear Solid 2 trailer and people stopped complaining. Regardless of all the bad press and the reasonable uncertainty over PlayStation 3's very high price tag, the system's third party support is still top-notch and there are a lot of high-profile exclusives in the work. Furthermore, a lot of smaller companies with lower development budgets than Square Enix, Konami or Bandai Namco are also working on PlayStation 3 games (Gust, Idea Factory, Nippon Ichi Software, Interchannel, D3 Publisher, etc.). I also don't really buy into this argument that it is so much cheaper to develop games for the 360 than for PlayStation 3, at least not in the medium or long run. I remember reading a good deal of developer interviews where people mentioned that sooner or later the initial difference in development costs will shrink. Also PlayStation 3 at least seems to be easier to work with than the Emotion Engine and its two VUs.
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Tenchi-no-Ryu
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2006, 10:49:53 AM »

I agree with you completely on that aspect Chris, except for one point. If i remember correctly (and please correct me if i'm mistaken) Konami released Snake Eater (arguably their biggest title in recent years) in the American market before the Japanese market. It was only by a few days, but the implications were significant.

I remember the 1999-2000 debate well, but we're looking at a doubling of the cost of the home console and probably a 20-25% increase in software cost for the user. Its not a matter of difficulty of the architecture, it has everything to do with creating and licensing game engines as well as the tremendous art and support staff needed to tap the machine to its fullest. If you look at Assasin's Creed. Developed by the same team at Ubi that did the Prince of Persia games - had to increase their staff to over 100 from 25 to meet the needs of developing a PS3 title, and they're still hiring.

With every console generation, despite the 'ease' or 'difficulty' of a particular platform - there is an expectation by the consumer for bigger and better experiences - and this in turn requires alot more money. The PS2 has done really well, but you'll notice that there's a very very large difference between software that taps the machine's potential, and those that merely scratch it. In any business model - you have to invest money in your product if you hope to sell it. With the PS3, the costs are going to go up, especially for devs and publishers who want to use it to its full potential. This is going to be paramount if they don't use the cushion of developing multi-platform. And if the PS3 doesn't establish a solid user-base due to cost, then publishers will move onto greener pastures. There's a clear financial line of demarcation that i'm afraid Sony has simply crossed with their announcement.

Sure, development tools will get simpler to work with, and licensing of already developed engines can save some bucks in programming - but when you have a machine that can push an incredible amount of artwork, sound etc. - you're going to need a hell of alot more people, and that costs money. No doubt,  the PS3 can follow the same legacy as the PS2 - but I think that they're going to have a rough go of it, especially in today's economy and rising energy costs. Sony is banking on Blu-Ray, and if they fail (like they've failed with every format they've tried to push on the consumer), they risk losing the entire PlayStation franchise in the process.

edit - as an aside, the fact that we haven't seen any inflation in the gaming market in over a decade might be one reason why the completely realistic cost of the PS3 is so shocking. I was thinking of how this mirrors the gasoline price issue in North America. We're now starting to pay what other countries have paid for gas for decades - but look at the outrage. The technology has advanced in gaming so very very far, but we still expect to pay $299.99 at the end of the day and call it done. Let's be realistic - Sony did set an appropriate price point, however, it remains to be seen if the consumer can swallow it. If they can't - they're in trouble. The price will come down eventually, but either through market acceptance, or denial. Hopefully it's acceptance.
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