Though Studio Ghibli has no official ties to this game, I’m sure a lot of people are still excited for it.  Level 5 is, thankfully, still teaming up with a lot of people from Ghibli that worked on the first one.  The two at the top that list would be former Ghibli character designer Yoshiyuki Momose, and then Joe Hisaishi on music.

I had a chance to play a short demo at TGS 2017 and it was pretty much all I was looking forward to.  The game was gorgeous with it’s cell shaded anime graphics.  The music is on par with the previous game due to Hisashi’s magnificent compositions.  The battle music never felt overly serious and really got me into the game, and the world map music had a very nice lighthearted tone to it.

The battle system is similar to the original, in that you can move around freely.  You can switch to characters on the fly, and all of them have slight variations in their strengths and skills.  Evan is a little more magic heavy, whereas Roland is more physically capable when it comes to attacking and defending.

One of the major differences is the addition of sprites called “piggledees” (my spelling is likely wrong).  As they group together you’re able to use specific abilities.  Some are offensive and others can activate buffs.  One I commonly used in my playthrough was a defense buff.

The demo had 3 choices.  One was to fight a boss in a battle arena that was widely seen at E3 2017.  I wanted to get a better idea of the main part of the game and chose to take a small quest on.  I was able to make it through some of the world map and finally a wyvern boss the “Wyvern Warlord”.  The boss battle was pretty straight forward and the demo started my out at a level that made it fairly easy.  Battles are certainly a bit crazy and sometimes you just feel like you’re button mashing.  I think Level 5 has taken some cues from adventure games, and maybe even fighting games, when it comes to how action plays out.  It basically seems like if you’re the right level you can just kind of smash through things, as is with any RPG.  However, it kind of makes me think there’s a possibility the game won’t offer up much of a challenge.  Either way, I’m definitely picking it up because of how much I loved the first one!

Author EJ Howson
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