Brandon Sheffield, who runs InsertCredit, did a fantastic seven page interview with Ray Nakazato the president of FeelPlus in Gamasutra. Along with Mistwalker, Feel Plus is heavily involved with development of Lost Odyssey. In the interview there are some additional details about Lost Odyssey’s combat system where Nakazato-san explains, "Basically, it’s turn-based, but we put some real-time flavor to it. It’s more strategic than real-time action. The basic structure is turn-based – you walk around in the adventure portion, then you encounter monsters, and it comes to a battle scene. It’s not seamless – it’s adventure, then battle, then adventure, then battle. As you progress, there will be a lot of things you have to concentrate on in the battle scenes, and also you’ll need to focus on timing. It’s turn-based, strategic combat with some real-time features." Turn-based combat with real time features? That reminds me of action commands in Super Mario RPG and the trigger commands in Final Fantasy VIII. Something else to point out is the picture on Gamasutra’s page has your standard RPG command window with options like “Fight”, “Skill” and “Item”.
While Lost Odyssey is discussed there is a lot more in the interview, views on US games in Japan, the success of Grand Theft Auto and details on a cancelled Game Republic project. Nakazato-san explains, “It was a third-person shooter game with a Japanese samurai. Kind of half historical, half sci-fi.” Not to bash Game Republic too much, but EveryParty slipped out on the Xbox 360. If Microsoft felt that EveryParty was OK and Game Republic’s sci-fi samurai game wasn’t up to par something must have been really wrong with it.