Summon Night 5, the tactical RPG where your characters team up with summon partners, called Cross, was released recently for PSP in Japan. In commemoration of its launch, Play.Community (PlayStation Community) ran a short interview with producer Tomokazu Fukazawa.
Summon Night 5 will be the franchise’s first main numbered title in six years. As previously reported, it will feature a conversation system, known as Live 2D, which switches the game’s 3D models into 2D animated portraits.
“Namco Bandai have plenty of games that utilize Live 2D; however, this would be the first time we use it for a strategy RPG,” Fukazawa explained.
“During the development process, we’ve had people from within the company say ‘It’s not going to be the same as the older titles?!’ on quite a few occasions. It was all made possible thanks to the staff members who made an effort to retain the life of Iizuka’s design works.”
Fukazawa went on to share his thoughts on the recently released title.
“As a strategyRPG, I believe that people will be able to enjoy the Summon Night characters and story,” he said. “The PSP releases of Summon Night 3, 4, and also the latest installment features an Easy Mode, that allows players who might feel that it is a little too difficult, to enjoy it. I recommend those who are more of a core strategy RPG fans start out in Normal Mode. The game can be enjoyed in multiple playthroughs and I undoubtedly expect it to bring many hours of enjoyable game play time.”
Summon Night 5 is the first main numbered release since Banpresto were acquired by Namco Bandai. An unnamed staff member representing the developers, Felistella, talked a little about some behind-the-scenes happenings that went on at the development studio.
“During the first planning stage, it was decided that the story will revolve around a newly reborn world of Linbaum,” he told Play.Community. “I’ll be glad to see people enjoying Summon Night for the first time. Of course, there will also be plenty of elements that will have players who are familiar to the series say ‘This!’ and notice plenty of things here and there.”
He continued, “As far any story elements that didn’t make the final cut… if you look at the game’s built in illustration gallery, there’s a design for Ienfa (pictured to the right) in a waitress outfit. Due to several circumstances, the idea ended up being unused. We’d like you all to be able to imagine what other scenarios could have been, as we’ve included many similar works in the illustration gallery.”
Play.Community also asked about the process that resulted in the battles being played in 3DCG. The Felistella member replied: “First of all, we wanted to increase the power of expression for battles. However, we did our best to keep the 3D character models close to the ambient feelings of Takeshi Iizuka’s artwork, which you all have grown accustomed to. We actually had a tough time displaying all the allied characters in a beautiful manner—especially for a strategy RPG title on a PSP platform, where you have plenty of characters appearing at once.
In an earlier post, we talked about Summon Night 5’s Brave Battle System, featuring BP (Brave Points) that grant Party Abilities and Brave Medals, which can be used to purchase more abilities. That’s an example of one of the many features that will make Summon Night 5 easier to enjoy for novice and advanced players. Felistalla talked a little about how the game will be more enjoyable and easier to play.
“This time around, you’ll get to switch out party members in the midst of combat, which should change the mindset behind the play. In addition to the difficulty options, it should be something to help out those who are new to strategic RPG games and I’d be glad to see you guys who might not be the best at the genre, to challenge yourselves with this feature,” Felistella told Play.Community.
“We’ve also worked around many obstacles so those of you who’d like to enjoy more depth to strategy RPGs will also have more to think about. I also believe that the job change system, where you’ll get to change classes to any acquired jobs, as many times as you’d like, will also bring an enjoyable element to character customization.”
Felistella concluded with a short message to the old and new fans of the Summon Night series: “It brings me great pleasure to know that newer fans and those who’ve played our earlier titles will be able to enjoy the game! Thank you for the long wait!”
Summon Night 5 is currently available for PSP in Japan.