Let’s Playing: Lord of Arcana (Demo)



Square’s Lord of Arcana demo went up for download on PSN and a bunch of Japanese websites yesterday. In case you haven’t already, you can grab it here.


I’ve only played about 45 minutes of the demo myself, but so far, the game already appears to suffer from the same troubles as Monster Hunter on the PSP — specifically the camera controls, which are mapped to the D-pad, meaning you can’t move the camera and your character (controlled using the analog nub) at the same time. You can double-tap the L button to centre the camera, but doing it while running will often disorient you.



Here’s a quick rundown of the basic controls for anyone that doesn’t read Japanese:


Analog nub: Movement

D-pad: Camera control / Scroll through menus

Select: Open item use menu

L button: Centre camera / hold down during battles for L-targeting

R button: Dash

X: Guard / Cancel choice / Roll (use Analog nub to roll while holding down X)

□: Attack

O: Confirm choice / Pick up item / Finishing blow (can only be done while an enemy is targeted)

△: Once the metre at the bottom of the screen fills up, press △ + O for your special move (in the demo, this summons Bahamut)



The opening chapter of the demo has you fighting goblins (and some other bigger creatures) through a dungeon until you reach the end, where you’re required to take on the usual giant, fire-breathing dragon. I missed the battle transition aspect of the game in our previous coverage, so I was very surprised to see that the game takes you to a separate battle screen during each monster encounter, which I found rather annoying, personally.


The other thing I’m not a huge fan of are the quicktime button press events in the middle of boss battles because of the way the camera pulls you out of the experience. I felt like God of War on the PSP did a better job of implementing QTEs while letting you feel in control of your character.


Has anyone else played the demo so far? What’s your experience been like so far?

Ishaan Sahdev
About The Author
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.