Final Fantasy Tactics Spiritual Successor Takes To KS

By Nathan Grayson on January 15th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

And of course, all they've got is concept art. Yep, this is one of *those* Kickstarters.

So, The Banner Saga. It’s pretty neat, huh? Well, contrary to popular belief, it didn’t invent grids, tactics, or even the concept of turns. I know, right? But, in a rather timely turn of events, one of the genre’s most well-known progenitors resurfaced today. Yasumi Matsuno was instrumental in popularizing the Japanese side of the turn-based tactical equation with console hits like Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics, and now he’s looking to do it again after more traditional role-players like Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII. Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians doesn’t really have much meat on its bones yet, but it at least sounds like its headed in the right direction. Also, it’s had such a huge mountain of money already dropped on it that I fear for the lives (though certainly not the livelihood) of its developers.

Matsuno is teaming with Playdek, who I had never heard of in my entire life until today. However, it turns out that the developer is best-known for adapting tabletop hits like Lords of Waterdeep, Agricola, and Ascension to mobile platforms, so that’s something. Naturally, Unsung Heroes will be coming to iOS and Android in addition to PC, and that’s… something else.

The game itself does sound pretty nifty, though. Here’s a quick rundown:

“Unsung Story is an exciting turn-based, tactical war simulation RPG that plays across a great epoch, through individual story episodes. You, the player, research and explore the vast history of this conflict that nearly tore Rasfalia apart, by reliving past battles and political events.”

“Your viewpoint into this series of intertwined history varies from battle to battle. In one fight, you may command a group of knights protecting a great empire, while in another scenario you may lead a group of revolutionary soldiers, made up of commoners, who are fighting to topple the same empire!”

Given that Matsuno’s specialties are hyper-complex, eons-spanning political tales and class systems that branch and intertwine like some kind of overgrown skill jungle, this all sounds well within his wheelhouse. As ever with Matsuno’s work, classes will also be infinitely customizable, so expect class changes galore.

If you’re confused as to why this is even the least bit exciting, it’s mainly the Matsuno pedigree. He does details extremely well, so this otherwise paint-by-numbers description stands to blossom into something far more intriguing. Stretch goals will also get folks like famed composer and longtime collaborator Hitoshi Sakimoto on board, so this game could become quite lavish.

Really, the biggest question mark here is Playdek. Can they smoothly transition into a videogame production of Matsuno’s proposed scope and ambition? Right now, the Kickstarter page is just a bunch of excited bluster and concept art, so there’s basically nothing to go on. As ever in these cases, I urge you to think very hard before pledging. There will inevitably be some sort of slacker backer program, I’m sure. You might just want to wait and see instead of blinding casting your cash into some sweetly humming abyss .

Matsuno and Playdek are asking for $600,000, and they’ve already pulled in roughly a third of it. Stretch goals, however, wind all the way into the $3,000,000 region, so they’re clearly (and perhaps not incorrectly) expecting big things. I wish them the best, though I personally don’t think chipping in this early on is the best idea. Are you considering it?

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78 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

    Those castles seem rather close together. Plus I imagine that giant cross is a deathtrap when it’s under artillery fire.

    (Note: Kidding, of course)

  2. Premium User Badge amateurviking says:

    Recently played through the PSP remaster of FF: Tactics on Vita. It’s bloody spectacular. Great art, decent story and extremely well put together mechanically. Vagrant Story and FFXII are unmistakably Matsuno-san joints too and hold up very well. So I have high hopes for this.

    • RobinOttens says:

      Yep, pretty much all of Matsuno’s games are fantastic. Even the tiny 3DS downloadable adventure Crimson Shroud is well worth a look for the story and setting. I’m still holding off on throwing my money at this kickstarter though. For the reasons stated in the article, Playdek is a big unknown in this equation. Also, the lack of the other long-time collaborator, Akihido Yoshida, is bumming me out.

      Oh who am I kidding, I’ll probably throw some money their way eventually.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      You might want to give Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together a shot. I think the mechanics are less engaging than FFT (one of my favorite games of all time) but the story may actually be better. It also does the branching storyline thing years and years before the Witcher 2, and in some ways surpasses Geralt’s adventures.

      • Premium User Badge amateurviking says:

        I’m saving that for my next work placement!

        • Drinking with Skeletons says:

          Just be warned that the crafting system is a nightmare and you should be prepared to save scum to make any headway in it.

      • Emeraude says:

        I still prefer the original Tactics Ogre to the PSP remake to be honest – and it’s the version I would recommend.

  3. ocq says:

    The CEO had 3 different variations of facial hair. I wonder if it is a trick to convince people they have a bigger team. I was nearly fooled.

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      Beard-illusion warfare is a staple of dwarven battle culture, and it was only natural that humans adopt it at some point.

  4. AngoraFish says:

    So, if I am reading this correctly, the game is proposing to present a series of set battles to the player in which the class and resources of the protagonist are broadly determined in advace.

    Between every battle or so, a cut scene plays that describes how this particular battle influenced the pre-written fictional history of the game world.

    The protagonist changes every few set battles, and some of these gaps are decades apart, therefore resources/losses/experience from previous battles most likely won’t carry through between ‘episodes’.

    Presumably every battle needs to be won in order to progress the predetermined story. Therefore, if a battle is lost, one presumes it will need to be re-fought until victory is achieved.

    Given the above, the game seems to be proposing to eliminate one of the most significant selling points offered by a turn based RPG strategy game – the ability to invest in a personalised hero or nation, plan your development strategically, and ultimately feel some grander sense of personal achievement in the final outcome.

    Consequently, colour me disinterested.

    • Geebs says:

      Win in order to lose the protagonist in a cutscene? It’s the Call Of Duty of tactics games! You read it here first.

    • Teovald says:

      Oh god, I missed that part. With solutions such as Unity, isn’t 600 000 $ enormous just for a port ?

    • Koozer says:

      It may use the Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones method of switching between 2 (or more) different groups, each having their own XP, items and what have you. It could work.

    • Reapy says:

      It will use the FFT system. It pretty much describes a pound for pound overview of what final fantasy tactics was. You always had the same protagonist, and you grew you party over time with story specific characters + classes and a quantity of ‘generic’ characters that could be any of the standard classes, with customization of picking and choosing skill from the known jobs.

      The story stuck with the protagonist, but at times you found yourself moving forward or backwards in time via memories or a long amount of time progressing in the story. FFT was told from the pov of a scholar in the future uncovering the ‘unsung’ role of the protagonist during another X years war, rather than the person considered to be influenced. That sounds pretty much like the same set up here, which I have no problems with as it that can go a lot of ways.

      But yeah I imagine this to be a guided story, cut scene -> walk around a map and shop and/or level -> story fight that advances the plot and time line.

  5. AngoraFish says:

    So the primary purpose of this Kickstarter is to seek at least $600,000 in order to fund the PC port of an as yet unreleased mobile phone game?

    Colour me even more disinterested…

    QUOTE: Why is Playdek doing a Kickstarter?

    Playdek is looking to bring extra funds in to allow for development on additional platforms… We are planning to bring out Unsung Story on iOS and Android devices; however we need additional funding in order to deliver the game on requested platforms such as PC and MAC.

    Playdek and Yasumi Matsuno will continue to develop Unsung Story regardless of whether or not funding is met. The main focus on the crowd-sourcing isn’t to create the game but rather to bring the game to the platforms requested by our fans…

    • DarkFenix says:

      This is the part where I ran a mile.

    • Keyrock says:

      Contrary to popular belief, taking a mobile game and turning it into a PC game is more involved than pushing a button labeled “Make PC Port”, even with cross-platform engines.

      • Premium User Badge bills6693 says:

        The reason it raises my eyebrow personally – and makes me slide my wallet back into my pocket – is because I just don’t trust mobile games to deliver a good experience yet. A game developed to be played on your smartphone will not meet the criteria that I want out of a PC game. To me it seems that the key things you’ll find in a mobile game is:

        1) Short play sessions so a user can play for 2-5 minutes and easily find a good stopping point. This means short battles/phases. It also means it doesn’t care about keeping your attention after any reasonable amount of time.

        2) The need to generate revenue. A mobile game will have a hard cell for more than £2. Therefore if they’re going to be creating a high-budget game they need to add additional income. This is typically in the form of microtransactions, often at the expense of the game’s integrity. When it ports to PC they’d probably do a ‘£15 version, all microtransactions removed’ i.e. you get the stuff you can buy, for free. But generally that stuff is overpowered and imbalanced to encourage you to buy it… therefore you’re still getting a compromised, unbalanced version of the game

        3) Simple gameplay. On a mobile you have 1 button – your finger. A couple of games are clever and use rotating the screen and other functions too, but you can’t really do those so easily on a PC. So really this will be a game easily driven by one button, therefore it will not want you to have to go into too much depth or precision in your actions as thats just difficult or tedious on a phone. Gameplay therefore cannot be too complicated or engaging. Plus if its complex it extends the amount of time you take doing actions and thus could extend your battle over the limit as established by rule (1)

        Honestly, I don’t want to get something designed with mobile as one of the key target platforms. I know there’s been things like XCOM EU on mobile that are proper games – but it was developed PC/Console first (bad enough to have consoles as a core factor, some might say) and later ported to mobile. But this I don’t trust.

        Finally, Star Command has soured me to mobile/PC joint games. Its still months from release on PC, a far cry from their ‘it’ll be super quick’ claims. While it appears to be finally making progress, its been far, far too long and slow and the core game itself doesn’t look so great, mainly due to mobile decisions. Hopefully much of that will be resolved for the PC version but it remains to be seen how much.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          Very well put. I happen to like Playdek’s games a great deal, but this is also their first time making a conventional RPG. There’s too many unknowns.

          • Grayvern says:

            It could be lies but in the FAQ at the bottom of the kickstarter they do say the funding drive is not just for porting but so they can make a much more ambitious game in general.

            I probably have more qualms about the fact is war story FFT Matsuno rather than intrigue Vagrant Story Matsuno.

          • Premium User Badge jrodman says:

            To be fair, that “answer” doesn’t really address the question at all.

        • Danley says:

          There’s so much bullshit involved when it comes to fundraising, and kickstarter has its own particularly annoying formula. Even though I adore the other work Yasumi has done and will certainly be on board eventually, I need to stop watching intro videos on Kickstarter, because this was full of so much of it.

          They’re clearly at the concept stage even for the mobile versions, so I have to believe they’re just speaking to their strengths (e.g. what they’ve done before successfully) and would ultimately like to make a cross platform game.

        • playdek_briana says:

          You have some very valid points, and I’d like to put your worries to rest! One of the main reasons we are doing the Kickstarter at this point in development is so that we can plan the game with each platform in mind. This will not simply be a mobile-centric game that has been ported over to PC, Mac and (we hope) additional platforms; it is a game that will be planned to make the most of each of the individual platform features.
          We have been producing premium mobile games, with IAP that expand the gameplay. Joel Goodman, Playdek CEO, said it best when he talked to Pocket Tactics at the end of last year (http://www.pockettactics.com/features/man-wire-ceo-joel-goodman-talks-playdeks-balancing-act-top/): “We’re not going to be a freemium company, clearly. We make really good games and we wouldn’t change our position for anything. Making DLC is a good model. There’s so much cost involved with keeping your game at the top of the charts and keeping your game churning. We can’t do that. We’ll never do that. You see these studios with free-to-play games and they’re slaves to the data. They’re not making a game that feels good, they’re making this clinical product designed to keep you pushing buttons. That’s just not us.”

    • RobinOttens says:

      Wait, so why do their stretch goals mention bringing a composer on board? Does the phone version not have music? Confusion!

      I bet if they bring in enough money with this kickstarter, that money is going into improving the original game as well. There, answered my own question.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        It’s a specific composer, the one who worked with Matsuno on games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, and Final Fantasy XII. If you’ve played those games, you might realize why that’s a stretch goal worth pointing out.

        • RobinOttens says:

          Yeah, I know who he is, and I’m as hyped as anyone to have another soundtrack from the guy. That’s not the part I was questioning. Alexander O. Smith as a stretch goal is a similarly strange thing.

          • Grayvern says:

            It’s there way of trying to bleed more money from Matsuno fans, but at the same time I could see people holding off till the stretch goal was met.

            Whatever your opinion of Alexander O Smith and Joseph Reeder translation work, personally I love Vagrant Story, I couldn’t see anyone considering them actively bad and having their known quality as a baseline for a translated story should be really important for prospective backers and buyers.

            To an extent I’d rather they had just set their goal higher and included the people in question in that.

      • mukuste says:

        The “original game” as such doesn’t exist yet, this is not just a port. They would have developed the game for mobile devices only, but with this Kickstarter they aim to support more platforms as well as increase the scope of the game overall.

    • Reapy says:

      Ohhh, see, this is a very hidden thing. They are only doing this KS for a PC port? I thought they were primarily developing the game for PC…wallet, going, back…to, pocket.

  6. tiltaghe says:

    I am a fanatic of Matsuno’s previous crafts but there the Playdeck staff doesn’t strike me as particularly prone to enable such vision. Maybe they are, but their communication isn’t convincing in this video. The talking about the strong desire to go multi-platforms and the community management is at odds with what is at stake doing this game. This is all promises and the insistance on designing tactical rpg background and interests doesn’t prove anything. If anything, I am not saying I discredite them because they are an unknown company to me, but I felt they lacked materials and concrete ideas to express.
    I could have backed a KS for the first time, but no. The fact that Matsuno doesn’t talk in the video makes me question his role in the future production.

    • GamesInquirer says:

      Yeah, I think the presentation in the opening paragraphs is a bit misleading too. This appears to be Playdeck’s game and vision, they simply managed to establish a relationship and/or contract with Matsuno to have him work with them in a currently unknown capacity. It doesn’t appear to be Matsuno’s own next grand production backed by a behemoth like Square with a long list of veterans involved in designing and producing genre gems, or a spiritual successor to anything, just fans (according to themselves) of such works doing their own thing and paying homage to whatever.

      Well, I’m currently enjoying The Banner Saga and Expeditions: Conquistador, they show low budget indie productions in the genre can still be pretty good (the latter surprised me with its polished feel, even though it’s of different scope it felt more professionally put together than the Wasteland 2 alpha which while being an extremely early version worried me and made me think it will be the lesser of the upcoming retro CRPGs by the involved companies, so I was glad to learn it is getting a near complete overhaul based on feedback as it’s the one game I backed enough to get a boxed release of, before most of the others showed up, then I kept getting more and more worried as they got involved in way too many projects at once or involved other companies in the production and what not).

      Hopefully this will turn out good too but I’ll wait and see. Although the fact it aims primarily for mobile is rather worrying. The only games that aren’t shallow or otherwise compromised in hopes of going mainstream are either ports of older games that were made for other platforms or board or card game conversions and the like (which are already lightweight but at least some are great). Even the newer Spiderweb games have become lighter since they started being published on iOS. Plus, you’d think some of these goals could be funded by sales rather than via crowd funding every time all the time.

  7. Teovald says:

    At least their system seems to do not include the grinding that plagued FFT.
    However, All they have to show is a bunch of concept arts and a couple of well known names, it does not really give any insurance that they are able to pull this off.
    I am not going to back this without at least a working prototype.

  8. Neurotic says:

    Suikoden 1 and 2 on the original Playstation – my favourite examples of the genre. I filled notebooks galore playing them.

  9. Premium User Badge Wowbagger says:

    Am I the only one who thought FF XII was turd? Compared to FFX it was just a jumbled Star wars sort of thing. Tactics was pretty good mind.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Not at all! However you’re all wrong because XII was amazing. Tactics: War of the Lions and XII are the only good Final Fantasies, with Tactics Advance 2 following closely behind.

      Hugely excited for this one because Matsuno’s a genius responsible for some of the greatest videogames ever created – FF XII was a broken mess, but it still flattens just about every other RPG – but pretty pessimistic too because while Playdek are good at what they do they really don’t feel like the right developer for this one. I mean, I know Square Enix drove Matsuno to a nervous breakdown over FF XII but ironically they’re the ones with one of the best mobile departments in the business, even with horrible misfires like All the Bravest. I’ll be overjoyed if my pessimism proves unfounded – let me be blunt, I consider there is no PC RPG remotely the equal of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together – but I’m not exactly holding my breath.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        Final Fantasy IX, X, and X-2 are all very good as well! And War of the Lions surpasses Let Us Cling Together by virtue of not hobbling late additions to the party via the weird leveling system and by avoiding the truly, staggeringly tedious crafting system.

        I’m really hoping that Square does an HD re-release of FFXII that uses the international version of the game. It apparently fixed every one of my significant complaints of the game.

        • Eight Rooks says:

          Beat VIII, played most of VII, IX and XIII, played maybe half of X, played a bit of VI, X-2 and the remake of IV. All of them were above average with flashes of greatness at best, infuriatingly stupid and tedious at worst. They’re popular because of flashy CG and storytelling that appeals to angst-ridden teenagers and because Sephiroth has a big sword. I have spoken.

          (Seriously, though, I genuinely do believe XII and War of the Lions are the only two games I’ve played with the Final Fantasy brand that really stand the test of time and that people talk the other ones up largely because of nostalgia and sentimental attachment. Nothing I’ve played or read anyone writing has ever made me think any different.)

          (Oh, and I admit Let Us Cling Together ain’t perfect – what game ever is? But I just basically kept much the same party throughout and never really felt the need to grind to level up new people, and the crafting system didn’t bother me that much. Though I am someone who played forty hours of War of the Lions, got stuck at a point where I couldn’t progress and had nowhere to grind to level up, and willingly abandoned the game then started again to beat it in eighty more hours or so, so I wouldn’t blame anyone for questioning my judgement just a bit.)

          • Drinking with Skeletons says:

            VIII is a mess. XIII has some good ideas but they don’t pan out. VII has writing that has aged poorly but has a perfectly fine combat system (I’m not a huge fan, but that has to do with preference more than anything else). IV feels like a rough draft of IX.

            IX is great, unequivocally. VII was my gateway to JRPGs but I can’t really stand it these days, so I don’t think nostalgia is blinding me. I haven’t played X in years, but I’ll give the HD release a play and see how it holds up. X-2 was really great, though, with a lighthearted tone and engaging class system.

          • Reapy says:

            I do think the FF games tend to appeal to my younger self. I can’t really get into the plots. I thought 13 was well done, but the plot just didn’t suck me in, and I knew it was because I was too old to buy into the characters. FFT always stood out for me, well 1 because the artwork, the music, the tactical gameplay was new to me at the time and super fun (had missed tactics ogre), and the story and characters were much more complex than most games out there. Class warfare, political intrigue, betrayal, complex character relationships, and death on top of the typical crazy FF demon magic stuff. It really made the game a great one that I like to revisit from time to time.

            Strangely my nostalgia prefers the probably poorly translated PS1 version vs the PSP / iOS fix me up version though.

          • Synesthesia says:

            Regarding your War of the Lions problem, I bet you money it’s Velius. Saving on the previous area without proper level-equipment is a game ender, and a serious design flaw, but one of the very few i found with the game. Start it over and do it again,i promise it will be worth it.

            A well levelled lancer always got me through his second form.

            I will always love VII mostly because of its story arc. It’s an all-rounder save-the-world, but with a heart on ecology. What games do that? Specially on that day and age? I loved it, and i still do. Cloud can get on your nerves from time to time, but the surrounding cast always save the teen crap. Man, i want to listen to don corneo’s tune now.

          • Drinking with Skeletons says:

            @Synethsesia:

            Velius is so nasty that everyone who has beaten the game has a very rigid approach for taking him on. How any of us figured those strategies out is a testament to the ingenuity of young people.

            Mine focused solely on Ramza:

            1) Monk with Earth Punch (the one that fires out along the ground for a long distance) and Chakra, Restore HP Crit, Equip Armor, Move HP Up, and abilities from Squire with Shout (I think; the one that boosts Bravery)
            2) Keep using the Bravery-boosting ability until Earth Punch can kill Wiegraf in one shot.
            3) Move away from Wiegraf as much as possible while performing 2
            4) If HP is low and Restore HP Crit doesn’t fire, use Chakra
            5) Ramza should now be powerful enough to take out Velius in 2 turns or so without assistance

          • Laurentius says:

            People who think that games they don’t like and don’t value are only popular because of flashy CG and teen ridden-angst are incredbily stupid and straight down jerks. I have spoken.
            Seriously though, yes they are.

      • pkt-zer0 says:

        I’m also rather fond of the original FF, or more specifically the PS1 remake for the better soundtrack and graphics. Nice and simple, before they felt the need to include convoluted systems just to do something different, whether or not it actually added any depth.

    • Philomelle says:

      FF12′s only real flaw is that it could have been a masterpiece rather than a really amazing game. If only Square’s executive board hasn’t constantly meddled with the project to the point where constant stress caused by their mismanagement took a serious toll on Matsuno’s health, leading to his reduced involvement in the game’s development and eventually complete departure from Square.

      Come to think of it, Tetsuya Nomura and Kazushige Nojima are the only Final Fantasy veterans Square hasn’t bled out yet. It’s kind of sad to think about.

    • Moraven says:

      If you are willing, the FF XII International version with fan translation is great.

    • Keyrock says:

      I wouldn’t go so far as turd, I thought it was… okay.

      /shrugs

    • Premium User Badge jrodman says:

      I was bored when I bought XII, and didn’t expect much. I played maybe 8 hours then put it down thinking i didn’t need to try final fantasy games anymore.

      So far, this has proven true.

  10. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    I’m not much for Kickstarter, but I looooooooooooove Final Fantasy Tactics (why Square doesn’t port it to the PC is beyond me, seeing as it’s on most every other platform ever) so I pitched in $20. Matsuno has worked in the industry a long time and, despite his propensity for burning out, turned out a bunch of really intriguing games; I doubt he would collaborate with a fly-by-night operation. But we’ll see.

    Also, interesting perspectives on the PC port side of things. On the one hand, I like the fact that they are treating the Kickstarter as supplemental funding. They work in the industry and can manage the project, but this both ensures they can port it to the PC and have some extra funds to work with, which I find more comforting than “we absolutely need this money to make this game!” That’s the route that offers the most potential for crushing disappointment and wasted money via failed projects or sketchy behavior (a la Broken Age). On the other hand, it does feel a bit like ransoming the version of the game that I’d rather play.

  11. imagine says:

    The short answer is no. The slightly longer one is that they have a great designer on board and a nice concept, but that’s about it. In particular:

    1. Why the other members of the team are credited only in terms of years of experience and not in terms of (shipped) games that they actually contributed to create? Plus, Playdek is by their own definition a tabletop gaming company, not a video game one.

    2. I don’t like when team members are presented as stretch goal. For instance, what happens in the case where the game is funded but the translators aren’t? Are we going to get the game text in “All your base are belong to us” style?

    3. No guaranteed PC version (see also AngoraFish above). Most importantly – at least for me – (as of now) no DRM-FREE pledge for said potential PC version.

  12. Rally.Plane says:

    WHY?! Why do they have to do shit like having kickstarter/preorder-only classes?

    I would understand skins, unique looking models, maybe some light “cheat” like bonus to starting gold/xp, but why would you put a restriction on diversity of avaliable classes in a game that is all about micromanaging classes?

    • Baines says:

      Because it encourages people to give money long before they can find out if the game is actually worth buying.

      Kickstarter rewards can even be worse than pre-order bonuses, as pre-order bonuses are more likely to at least see a later paid DLC release.

      • Emeraude says:

        It also dissuades others to give money. I know for me and many people I know, it immediately puts a modicum of weight on the “not worth helping fund” plate of the balance.

        One thing I’d love to know is: do they have actual data that proves they attract more people than they repulse for doing that ?

    • Tuhalu says:

      Apparently, it’s a case of misleading text in the “cheat sheet” about rewards. If you check out the more elaborate explanations, the “special kickstarter characters” amount to a special kickstarter skin and weapon (or two) for one of three specific classes. Since they plan on making it a multiplayer game, these skins amount to show-off bling for kickstarter backers and maybe a tiny advantage in the solo-campaign (presumably the weapons would swiftly become obsolete).

      FWIW, I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I should back this myself. On the one hand, I have no idea how good Playdek are. On the other hand, I’m currently playing Fire Emblem: Awakening on the 3DS and it reminds me how much I do like a good tactical RPG type game.

  13. pkt-zer0 says:

    On one hand, PlayDek are relative unknowns, which is obviously a concern. On the other hand, Double Helix did nothing of consequence prior to the new Killer Instinct either, and that supposedly turned out pretty good. So hey, maybe we’ll get lucky.

    …personally, I’m going to throw some money their way because Matsuno / Sakimoto / Alex O. Smith, yay!

  14. Kefkas Laugh says:

    I haven’t even read the article yet, but: yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

  15. Keyrock says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Final Fantasy XII (I thought it was pretty meh), but Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics were spectacular. The mobile-first approach is understandable worrisome. I mean, this type of game is naturally perfect for tablets and, to a lesser degree, phones (smaller screen makes it not work as well), what worries me is whether they will make the PC port proper and not just slipshod, though I guess that’s what the money from Kickstarter is for. I’ll definitely keep my eye on this, though, since I freakin’ loved Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics.

    • Moraven says:

      Playdek is a iOS developer so they were already planning to release it anyway on mobile, but this KS for other ports.

      While Banner Saga had the art and fluid animations, it really is close to something you would see on the 3DS or Vita. 3D and sprite based Tactical RPGs have been around for awhile and most look great on handheld systems.

  16. Soolseem says:

    Playdek is the best in the business when it comes to board game ports. They do stellar work. I have no idea whether those skills translate well to developing a brand-new title.

  17. araczynski says:

    i do not see this ending well, just something about it all smells sushi to me.

  18. TechnicalBen says:

    Just one more step and we have a Front Mission Tactics game? :D

    • Moraven says:

      FM 1-3 are glorious. Is there really no good mech tactical RPG on PC? Well I suppose not recently.

  19. Moraven says:

    I would love to see an updated Ogre Battle.

    Funny enough the new Heroes of Dragon Age battle system is similar to Ogre Battle. You build the squad and battles are automated. Now we just need the Strategic side of things. Get on it EA and not this drivel grinding F2P game!

  20. anduin1 says:

    I dont know why Square Enix doesnt make another tactics game with next gen graphics, such a wasted opportunity to let others capitalize.

  21. Siannah says:

    “well-known progenitors”, “popularizing the Japanese side of the turn-based tactical equation”, “console hits like Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics”.

    And Shining Force not even mentioned once – my heart died a little today. Again.

    • postrook says:

      why would they mention it? Matsuno had nothing to do with that game.

    • TCM says:

      As well it shouldn’t be — Fire Emblem and Super Robot Taisen predate it by 1-2 years apiece, and that’s also not counting games like the early Ultimas which had grid based tactical combat, but couldn’t be called ‘SRPGs’ by modern standards. Shining Force is mainly responsible for getting the genre a cult following among American console players, and also creating a somewhat less hardcore alternative to Fire Emblem’s permadeath, and early SRW’s absurdly steep difficulty curve.

      Oh, I guess it was also much prettier than the early games in the series, but I’d argue its artstyle doesn’t age well.

  22. Doc Serious says:

    Two Words:

    Vandal Hearts.

  23. SillyWizard says:

    “…and now he’s looking to do it again after … Final Fantasy XII.”

    FFT is one of my favorite games of all time. However, this guy shat out FF12 much more recently than he did FFT. Safe money is on stay the fuck away!

    • Emeraude says:

      You’re being Silly, Wizard. FFXII was a good game that was so close to greatness it hurts.

      If anything, its main flaw as far as I’m concerned is that it’s far too generous in XP and resources, making a good half of the game uninteresting by making you over-leveled.

    • apocraphyn says:

      “This guy” was booted from the team of FF12 and his vision severely hampered around mid-way through development, at which point they added several pointless characters with very tenuous connections to the plot – namely, the captivating Vaan and Penelo. The world, the setting, the grand majority of the characters were left intact – but the plot was largely strung together with masking tape and the ‘main character’ focus was taken from the likes of Basch and Balthier and given to Vaan in order to appeal to younger fans.

      I will not allow you to blindly disparage Matsuno. MY SOUL FOR MATSUNO.

  24. IcarianAscent says:

    Speaking of Kickstarter…. whatever happened to the Kickstarter Katchup posts?

  25. ZephaniahGrey says:

    I got really excited about this what I heard the creators intone names like “Ultima 3″ and “Final Fantasy Tactics”, but when I read about the actual game they want to make, it sounded NOTHING like either of those games. More like Fire Emblem, which I didn’t like. Gonna have to pass.

    Oh well.

  26. wodin says:

    Sounds great..until.. multi platform usually means “not using the PC power to it’s fullest”..then the talk of multiplayer really dropped my interest to 5%..roughly.

  27. Eric292 says:

    First time poster, I just wanted to comment that I am a huge fan of Playdek now.

    I’ve been playing Agricola for quite a long time, and I picked up Lords of Waterdeep when it was released. These games ran and run great. I say ran as they launched without issues!

    I am real excited to see how Playdek does on this, and I want to say Nathan that I have full confidence in them. This will not be the slacker backer that we all know is coming (thanks for mentioning that btw!!)