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Platform: PlayStation 2
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: NIS America / Atlus
Genre: Strategy RPG
Format: DVD-ROM
Release: US 08/31/04
Japan 01/22/04



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"Red Riding Hood? Never heard of her."
 
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Columbus was WRONG.
 
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"Marone, I am your father..."
 
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"Okay, you can have the big guy but leave us alone!"
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Mark P. Tjan
Preview First Look
08/17/04
Mark P. Tjan

Following the success of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, developer Nippon Ichi has teamed up with Atlus once again to bring Western gamers a brand new entry in the SRPG genre: Phantom Brave. The game features Nippon Ichi's trademark anime look and high-end graphical dramatics, along with a new terrain-related system and over 400 spells to obtain - twice the amount found in Disgaea.

The game follows the life of a young girl named Marone who can see and control spiritual phenomena, particularly the spirits of those who have passed away. One such person is Ash, a fallen swordsman who has relations to Marone's family and is sworn to protect her. In addition to the two main characters, players may acquire a large host of additional military units, each with his or her own special abilities. The game will run a course of 20 episodes and a proposed 100 hours.

One of the game's more notable features is the "Confine" system. This enables characters to select an object on the battlefield and draw out its inherent abilities. If, for instance, a character selects a nearby rock, he or she may then trigger an avalanche effect on an opponent. Characters can also lift and throw other characters across the map, as well as at each other. Battlefields themselves are strikingly different from traditional SRPGs in that there aren't any tiles. Instead, characters will be surrounded by a red ring that outlines a radius in which they may move. Within this ring, characters can move about freely, save if other units or objects bar their way.

Like previous titles from Nippon Ichi, the graphics will be composed of sprites on isometric 3D backgrounds, although the Confine system ensures many more objects on the field than ever before. Like Disgaea, the game will make use of voice acting during cut-scenes. Players can choose between Japanese or English audio which should relieve fans who dislike dubbing.

The game will be released on the PlayStation 2 this August. Surprisingly, Atlus won't be publishing Phantom Brave - their task is to localize it. Instead, this duty will fall to Nippon Ichi's brand new North American office; NIS America.



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© 2004 Nippon Ichi Software.
All Rights Reserved.



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