By Eugene . September 17, 2013 . 1:30pm
Both the original storyline and unique Soul Gem battle system for Namco Bandai and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z developer Artdink’s upcoming title Puella Magi Madoka: The Battle Pentragram have been released.
Going into battle during the Night portion of the game, players choose one magical girl to control as she delves into a witch’s domain alongside an AI-controlled partner. The game then turns into a 3D action-adventure title. Players have health and mana bars to manage, with more powerful skills costing more mana to use.
Both are finite resources, but it’s possible to recharge them using the Soul Gem system. Each character has a Soul Gem that starts off at three charges. One charge will completely refill either health or mana, while three brings a girl back to life if she falls in battle. While it’s possible to level up Soul Gem charges by defeating bosses, players will have to carefully manage this limited resource.
The original story is supervised by Magica Quartet—the series’ creators—and is a “What if” take on the Madoka series. The Madoka series has girls exchanging their souls for Soul Gems to become magical girls who fight witches and monsters. Unfortunately, Soul Gems which absorb too much grief and despair turn their users into the very witches they fight against.
The Battle Pentagram starts from the first two Puella Magi Madoka movies, but spins off when main heroine Madoka Kaname makes a different wish: Wishing instead for “All five girls to have the faith and reliance on each other to defeat Walpurgis Night,” the game now sets players to building up the bonds of trust and friendship between the five magical girls: Madoka Kaname, Homura Akemi, Mami Tomoe, Sayaka Miki and Kyoko Sakura as they seek to destroy the witches plaguing the human world.
To do so, the Day half of the game will have players conversing characters with one another to build relationship hearts. How players perform with each other during the Night battle half will also affect these bonds. Each girl comes equipped with their own form of weaponry: Madoka uses a bow with light arrows, while her main partner Homura can control time and uses more conventional guns. Mami and Sayaka are polar opposite weapon users, the former using long-range ribbons and rifles and the latter a sword and fast speed to dash up to foes. Kyoko uses a chained staff that lets her either keep her distance or get in close.