Square Enix’s Tokyo RPG Factory is having another crack at the classic JRPG with a modernized twist in Lost Sphear, and director Atsushi Hashimoto talked about improvements from its predecessor I Am Setsuna.
Here’s what was discussed about one key difference from Tokyo RPG Factory’s first title, I Am Setsuna:
One key difference from I Am Setsuna is that in Lost Sphear, your characters can move around the battlefield during combat, which makes it far easier to use area-of-effect skills in a smart, strategic way. “We got a lot of feedback from people who played I Am Setsuna, and they said they were feeling a little limited by the fact [that they couldn’t move around],” Hashimoto said. “We did a number of experiments, and then we decided to be able to move characters freely was the best approach.”
Some felt that I Am Setsuna resembled Final Fantasy X is more than one way. Hashimoto also discussed this in the interview:
“We didn’t set out with the idea that we’d take inspiration from Final Fantasy X and make a similar story,” Hashimoto said. “We set out to make a story we felt was interesting and what we wanted to do. In the end, after we made it, we said, ‘Hang on, yeah, we have made a similar tale in some ways.’ So this time we’re not setting out to make a game based on a particular preexisting Final Fantasy story, but there is very much that chance that when we’ve finished it, it’ll be a bit similar to something else.” In fact, one of the characters is named Locke, but Hashimoto says there’s no connection between him and his Final Fantasy VI cousin.
And here’s more about working on the same graphical engine while doing things differently:
“We did a lot of experimentation to find out what would work well for this game and make it different than Setsuna,” Hashimoto said. “For Setsuna, we pretty much concentrated on those depictions of snow scenes… This time we got to branch out a lot more, work out how to best depict other things, give the right feel and impact. We really had to think very hard about how to do those other things as well, that maybe Setsuna couldn’t so much.”
You can read more from the full interview over at Kotaku.
Lost Sphear is expected to release on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in early 2018. You can check out the latest on the RPG in our E3 2017 coverage here.