Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana, Dragon Quest, Phantasy Star – if all of these names send warn tingles of nostalgia shooting up your spine, then you’re in the right place. These games not only symbolised a time we fondly remember, but are also a testament to the fact that an excellent story that tugged at the heart strings does not require the best graphics. The early 90s was a time when the Japanese Role playing Game (JRPG) reigned supreme, and these were its champions. while several games today have made their own takes on the JPRG of old, Tokyo RPG Factory is one of those gaming studios wholeheartedly dedicated to bring that retro nostalgia to a present-day RPG, as evidenced by their thoughtful and beautiful I Am Setsuna. Now they’re set to recreate that magic with Lost Sphear.
What’s about it?
The type in Lost Sphear is intended, and it follows a young man named Kanata, who along with his friends have to restore a world that’s being swallowed up by a fog of memory. You see, Kanata has a gift that lets him dispel the fog by finding memories and restoring what was lost. The entire story revolves around the confusion and sadness of saving a fading world that has passed from memory. while the story is decent, with a lot of potential , it’s far from being as poignant as the games it was inspired.
Think of Lost Sphear as a patchwork quit of nostalgia, picked from all those 16-bit JRPGs that captured our hearts. From the opening sequence that was almost exactly like Final Fantasy VI’s to the small chime with which the hero awakens in his room the same way Chrono Trigger did. The game is riddled with so much nostalgia that there’s very little room for it to develop its own story or build its own legacy.
How does it Play?
Graphic wise, Lost Sphear has taken that same top-down isometric perspective of those 16-bit games and has brought it into the world of 3D. With a nice palette of colours and a dreamy art style. While most of the game has the usual walking from environment to environment, speaking to NPCs, solving quests and more. The best part of Lost Sphear is undoubtedly the battle system. Again cobbled together from its inspirations, the game has the familiar active battle system from the Final Fantasys, which lets you execute attacks and powers from a series of menus. Except instead of standing still , you can move around.
The equipment system is very much like Final Fantasy VII’s Materia system. Also much like Xenogears’ gears or Final Fantasy VI’s Magitek Armor, you get to summon ancient armour suits called Vulcosuits, which grant you special attacks and magic couple these mechanics with the freedom of movement on the battlefield, and the battle system in Lost Sphear does overcome most of its failings.
Tokyo RPG Factory’s heart is in the right place, and it has identified a calling for itself in recreating the magic of a golden era. In the same way the story of Lost Sphear is about never forgetting and holding on to memories, Tokyo RPG Factory in its way wants you to hold on to memories of games gone past. Lost Sphear is by no means a bad game, but let’s hope kyo RPG Factory does not give up hope and makes the next game even better.
Should you get it?
If you’re new to JRPGs and want a slice of what life was then, you should go in for Lost Sphear. A retro JRPG in a modern package with all the quality-of-life enhancements you would expect for a game today. It’s also great fro those who want a lion’s share of nostalgia, without having to play those older games again. Also, Lost Sphear is best played on the Switch if you own one, a good game to take along with you.
DEVELOPER : Tokyo RPG Factory
PUBLISHER: Square Enix
PRICE: Rs.1999 Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch. Rs.1699 on PC
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