Lost Sphear out now from I Am Setsuna studio

If you fancy JRPG action in a retro way, here’s Lost Sphear out today. It’s the second RPG from Square Enix’s Tokyo RPG Factory, the studio behind I Am Setsuna, and it too riffs on ye olde JRPGs. I won’t pretend to be well-acquainted with the genre but: yes, JRPG stuff. We do have a review coming from someone who actually knows a gad dang but we only just got our hands on Lost Sphear so, for now, here’s word that the game is out. It does have a demo so you can try a bit yourself.

The story certainly sounds like an RPG to me:

“A young man, who suffered a phenomenon that he had never seen, faces an ominous power that threatens the fabric of reality. Awaken the power of Memory to restore what was lost! Muster different Memory and craft the world around you in a journey to save the world.”

Though Squeenix do say its turn-based combat does have “a slight twist” on the classic format, “you’re able to move your characters around in between executing their moves! If you’re able to predict what the enemies will try next then you’ll be able to prepare for it well in advance by tactically shuffling your characters around.” When they say shuffling, I hope they really mean shuffling. Doddering. Pottering. Forgetting where they left their cup of tea. Being distracted by a headline in the paper. Stopping to water the plants.

Lost Sphear is out now for £35/€50/$50 on Steam. The free demo is that-a-way too. As I said, we do have a review coming; I am told that will happen.

10 Comments

  1. MrDowntempo says:

    I have a feeling this is going to suffer from the main issue I have with I am Setsuna. This, too, looks like a $30 game with a $50 price. Setsuna, I hear, didn’t have many varied environments beyond just ‘snow’. Personally I need more than that if I’m going to spend a lot of time with a game, and JRPGs tend to require a lot of time.

    However, I’ve not actually played either game yet, so I may just be talking out of my backside. I’m looking forward to the RPS review.

    • satsui says:

      Clearly you didn’t watch the trailer then. I agree with the poor choice of a $50 game.

      Anyways, the three major complaints about I Am Setsuna seem to have been resolved in this game: a soundtrack with more than a piano, varied environments, battle annoyances.

      Personally, I love classic JRPGs and the stuff that’s been coming out lately hasn’t scratched my itch. I Am Setsuna, for all its faults, reminds me of the same JRPGs from my childhood and I loved it. I’m glad Squeenix is experimenting with Tokyo RPG Factory and pushing out these games every couple of years instead of waiting for a new Final Fantasy once a decade.

  2. KDR_11k says:

    Impressions from people who imported the Japanese release were pretty negative, seems it’s just dull.

  3. Rince says:

    Sounds terribly generic. And the characters looks even more generic.
    And it’s not the kind of generic that I like, so I guess that I will pass on this one.

  4. JiminyJickers says:

    I tried the demo and found it to be below average. The scenery and fighting was extremely dull for my tastes. The price is completely putting me off too.

  5. Minglefingler says:

    I’ve played the first two hours and I’m really enjoying it so far. Some of the writing has made me smile and the characters show potential. The combat is decent and looks like it will develop some more complexity, also, it doesn’t seem that they’ve gone done the route of throwing a fight at you every thirty seconds. The world seems like fairly standard stuff for a jrpg but I don’t mind that in this case as I’m finding it all fairly charming.

  6. Raoul Duke says:

    Serious question – has RPS made an editorial decision to focus more on JRPGs at the expense of other games? It feels like in the last 6 months JRPG articles plus hardware reviews would be about half of the content. Which is a shame for those of us who come here for an independent perspective on PC games generally.

    • Zelos says:

      This is a PC game.

    • BooleanBob says:

      It could be that news of these titles is filling a void left by a slow-down in releases in other segments of the market.

      We’re hearing a lot about how the AAA industry is focusing on Games as a Service, which necessarily entails studios continuing work on already released games in favour of developing new ones (to maximise the return on investment each games provides and to prevent new products competing with still-supported old ones).

      I’d imagine – though I’m not sure – that marketing push for ongoing Games as a Service is less important than for new titles, because you have direct ways of communicating with your install base, be it through the game client, launcher, email addresses ties to log in accounts etc. So the ratio of press releases reaching RPS might have shifted away from companies (big devs and publishers) who are focusing more on that side of things, in favour of the studios still putting out new games.

      Who are the studios putting out new games? Well, there’s Western indies, of course, and RPS has always been open to providing them coverage. Beyond that, there’s Japanese studios, but on the PC side of things at least the Japanese indie scene caters to extremely niche genres (bullet hell shooters, dating sims) and those creators rarely have the resources or inclination to make a big push abroad.

      But there is one segment of the Japanese games industry which has the marketing heft to localise for Western release: JRPGs (and SRPGs). Which have traditionally been console fare, but Japanese publishers have been experimenting more and more with Western PC ports and have apparently been pleased with the results.

      Taken together you have a case for the increased prominence of JRPG releases in the Western PC market on this blog. If you subscribe to my long-winded and shaky analysis, at least.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      “has RPS made an editorial decision to focus more on JRPGs at the expense of other games?”

      At the expense of other games? Nope. More JRPGs are coming to PC these days–and bigger ones–and I’m not ignoring them. Dominic Tarason, who’s been writing our weekend news for a while, plays JRPGs so he’s happy posting about them too.

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