Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Aug 302017

I’m looking forward to Lost Sphear, the next game from Square Enix’s Tokyo RPG Factory, and the new trailer made me even more excited.

When I played their previous game, I Am Setsuna, I was delighted to have a new turn-based JRPG in a traditional style (complete with a world map), but the story ultimately fell short of its potential.

Other players disliked the repetitive environments, lack of inns, and familiar story premise.

However, I wanted to see Tokyo RPG Factory’s next game, because I felt they could really make something fantastic if given another chance. So far, it looks like Lost Sphear might be that fantastic follow-up I hoped for.

Everything they’ve said about it shows that they’ve made improvements based on feedback about I Am Setsuna, and the trailer shows several of these changes and additions.

Changes from I Am Setsuna

  1. Inns – After a brief scene between two characters and a glimpse of the airship flying across the world map, we see the party running past a building clearly labeled “Inn.” Inns are definitely in Lost Sphear after their absence from I Am Setsuna.
  2. Varied Environments – The entire world of I Am Setsuna was covered in snow, which was pretty but also repetitive. This trailer alone shows several different environments.
  3. New Premise – Lost Sphear’s story revolves around restoring a disappearing world, and we see that in action in this trailer. It seems as though you can restore parts of the world both in towns and on the world map, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
  4. Combat Movement – Lost Sphear still features a turn-based/ATB combat system, but you can move on your turn. Since I Am Setsuna’s attacks were affected by your positioning, it was frustrating that you couldn’t choose your position. This should be a welcome change.
  5. Mechs – In this trailer, we can see the characters use mech-like “Vulcosuits” both in the field and in battle. Their full purpose is still unclear, but they look powerful.

Lost Sphear will be out on January 23 for the PC, PS4, and Switch, and I’m confident that it will be an improvement over I Am Setsuna while hopefully retaining its nostalgic charm. Are you interested in playing Lost Sphear?

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Aug 282017

Back in March, I was excited to learn that Tabata planned to give fans a better look at Ardyn Izunia’s past, because that was one of the areas where I found Final Fantasy XV’s story lacking.

While it wasn’t clear what he meant, I was hoping for Ardyn DLC.

Later, in May, Final Fantasy XV was updated to include a survey about what fans wanted to see from future content, including Ardyn’s backstory.

That option was a big favorite. At a recent fan event in Cologne, members of the Square Enix staff answered questions about Final Fantasy XV. When asked about the survey, they said:

It was Ardyn’s backstory that the majority voted for – so we clearly got the message he’s the person fans want to know more about. We’re not sure as of yet how we’ll do it though – it’s a lot of story, and telling a character’s story is always the most difficult and detailed part of a game. So, we don’t know yet whether we’ll make it another game, no DLC though, it would be a full game, or a movie, comic, etc. We really want to tell his story, though. Second in the survey was Luna’s story, by the way.”

I have mixed feelings about this.

On one hand, great! More Ardyn. Ardyn’s backstory. That’s what I wanted!

On the other hand, it won’t be future Final Fantasy XV content, but its own separate thing? It still feels like something that should have been stronger in the game itself. If it’s just something small like a comic, that’s not quite what I hoped for.

But who am I kidding? If they announce an Ardyn prequel game, I’d play it.

This is no guarantee, and Square Enix might decide that this isn’t in its best interests. However, this shows us what the Final Fantasy XV team is thinking about when it comes to Ardyn’s past.

How would you feel about a prequel game focused on Ardyn?

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Aug 252017

I was unsure about Xenoblade Chronicles 2 when it was first announced, but the gameplay shown during E3 won me over.

This morning, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was also shown at Gamescom, and it really looks fantastic.

As we saw at E3, the battle system is a little different from the previous Xenoblade games. It still has the blend of action and selecting special attacks, but instead of having Arts on a hotbar, they’re tied to your Blades and mapped to specific buttons.

This is a streamlined system, but it still looks complex. The Gamescom footage shows us a bit more of what to expect from the combat, including chain attacks, along with a look at some of its beautiful locations.

(Note: people have said that the quality is better live than it looks in the stream.)

Some people dislike the character designs (and ages) of the main protagonists, but I love what I’ve seen so far.

The gameplay seems fun, the environments are beautiful, and after the first two (especially since this is a return to the more story-driven nature of the first Xenoblade) I’m confident that the story will be exciting.

What do you think of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 so far?

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