News by Britta S., Lindsay M., and Trent P.
Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s regular catch-up news feature. With each issue we will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!
I Am Setsuna developer reveals next game, Lost Sphear
By Lindsay M., News Editor
My spellcheck and autocorrect is going to hate me over the next year, as each will consistently flag/”fix” the word Sphear to Sphere. The inconvenience will be worth it, as I am beyond excited to share the news that Tokyo RPG Factory has announced its next game, Lost Sphear. Let’s not waste time. Grab a box of tissues because you’ll need it to deal with the inevitable weeping that occurs while viewing the announcement trailer:
Be still, my beating heart. You still have several months of beating yet to go, as Lost Sphear is set to be released in “early 2018.” I wouldn’t be surprised to see it delayed until later in the year, as is the emerging pattern in recent months/years, but I’d expect any wait to be worth it. Available platforms include those that also offer I Am Setsuna: PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo Switch.
Lost Sphear follows a young boy named Kanata — interestingly enough, I grew up in a town of the same name, which is clearly fate drawing me further into this moonlit world — who wakes to find his hometown disappearing. He sets out with several acquaintances (and/or friends) to rebuild the world using the power of Memory, which involves manifesting thoughts into matter. Square Enix, who owns Tokyo RPG Factory, has enhanced the gameplay from I Am Setsuna with seamless environments and a new battle system that utilizes strategization. The press release refers to the game as an “artisan title,” whatever that means. Anyone care to venture any guesses?
Sidebar Games reveals a unique experience in Golf Story
By Trent P., Contributor
Have you ever wondered if an RPG could be more than a slice of life with mundane chores or monsters from another dimension? Well, wonder no more: developer Sidebar Games has revealed its debut title — Golf Story. In what can only be described as a game which mimics such titles like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon, but with the farming mechanic replaced with a golf mechanic, this RPG title will head to the Nintendo Switch later this year.
Players will find themselves exploring the story of a golfer forced to give up everything with one final shot at accomplishing their dream. The world of Golf Story has eight unique environments filled with their own courses, towns, and hidden secrets. Golf isn’t the only activity in this game, with Golf Story featuring extra challenges like races, mowing, drone flights and geocaching.
This unique golfing experience is one to watch with its dramatic story and diverse set of characters launching later this quarter during the (Northern Hemisphere) summer season. At this stage the developer is focusing on a North American and European launch with other markets to follow.
Tactical Stealth in Edo period — Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun coming to consoles
By Britta S., Contributor
Nearly a year ago, our editor-in-chief Matt presciently put this game on his “To Watch” list and our patience has paid off, because this highly-rated PC game is now coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Munich-based developer Mimimi Productions and publisher Kalypso Media announced that Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun will launch, both physically and digitally, on July 28 in Europe and August 1 in North America.
Shadow Tactics is a hardcore tactical stealth game set in Japan around the Edo period. A new Shogun has seized power and enforces nationwide peace. The transition is not an easy one, however, and he recruits five infiltration specialists with extraordinary skills to subdue rebellion. You can play as any of these five characters: the powerful samurai Mugen, nimble shuriken-wielding ninja Hayato, the camouflage mistress Aiko in geisha disguise, street child Yuki with her traps, or sniper Takumi. The release trailer shows infiltration tactics, characters and weapons:
The eye (when you’ve got a moment!) can feast on beautiful Edo-era environments. The five assassins are not just combat machines: they all have to face their own personal demons, and relationships between the party members will develop over the course of the missions, thus deepening your options for tactical deployment. A demo version of the game will be released on the same dates, allowing access to the first map in its entirety, as well as a glimpse of the second.
The Lost Child, a new game by Takeyasu Sawaki
By Britta S., Contributor
Kadokawa Games have announced that their new game, The Lost Child, from El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (2011) director Takeyasu Sawaki, will launch for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in Japan on August 24. Takeyasu Sawaki is also known for his extensive art and graphics work on games such as Devil May Cry (also the HD Collection), Okami, Infinite Space, and Steel Battalion. The Lost Child is a turn-based dungeon-crawling RPG set in the universe of El Shaddai, with the main character from that game, Lucifel, making a return appearance. Other crossover characters from El Shaddai are also planned as DLC.
The story has magazine writer Hayato Ibuki pursuing the story of a suicide at Shinjuku Station. He himself also falls onto the tracks as if pushed by a black shadow; however, a mysterious woman named Barcia saves him and hands him a suitcase. He unleashes a demon that can enslave other demons and fallen angels. Just a normal day at Shinjuku Station! Hayato progresses the story by following leads (he is a news hound, after all) and uncovering demonic incidents.
You can capture ‘Astrals’ to aid you in battle, and this feature surely sounds similar to the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games. This is entirely a good thing in my opinion — we simply can’t have too many dungeon crawlers with demon-recruiting mechanics. I have high hopes that this game will be localised for the West (fingers and toes crossed!). You can watch the brand new trailer above. I must say I’m impressed — it looks really good, and there is some excellent cleavage too!