Square Enix has announced I am Setsuna developers Tokyo RPG Factory’s next game: Lost Sphear. The announcement comes from a tweet and a corresponding trailer. This follows a tease from the Tokyo RPG Factory website which showed some new artwork. Lost Sphear has been announced for the PlayStation 4, Steam and Nintendo Switch.
Lost Sphear appears to be another JRPG taking influence from games from the 16-bit and 32-bit era. The trailer shows off the battle gameplay and some of the world the heroes will be traversing. It strikes a similar look to I am Setsuna which was the first game by the small studio.
The trailer indicates that it will be within the same engine as I am Setsuna although the battle system has had a makeover. It still seems to be inspired by the Chrono Trigger style of combat although the menus seem to have been subdued. Instead of the clunky boxes, Lost Sphear is going for a sleeker modern look with prompts not covering most of the battle screen. Enemy and character positioning still appear to be key in strategy.
— SQUARE ENIX EUROPE (@SQUARE_ENIX_EU) May 30, 2017
The story is focused on a world slowly being eaten away. Memories will play a big part as the young hero Kanata must begin a journey to stop the inevitable. Chosen by destiny, Kanata must utilise the power of memory to restore the world evaporating before his eyes.
The game already takes a strong distinction for I am Setsuna visually by showing off the diversity of areas. Where I am Setsuna was a icy snow filled affair, Lost Sphear has more greenery with vibrant areas. The music in the trailer is gorgeous and continues the quality found in I am Setsuna.
I am Setsuna came out last year and seems to have been quite the loss for publisher Square Enix. In Japan, according to Siliconera, the game had a 244 million yen ($2.4 million ) loss. While numbers for western markets have not been given, the game did not set hearts ablaze for many JRPG fans. While trying to recapture the magic of older 16-bit and 32-bit JRPGs, something was lost in that goal. Reviews were on the positive side, but not overwhelmingly so.
I am Setsuna was a strong foundation but now it is up to Tokyo RPG Factory to prove they can deliver on their strong and charming pitch. Lost Sphear is currently set for release in early 2018 for PS4, Steam and the Nintendo Switch. Launch price is set at $50 (R650) digitally on all platforms and those wanting a physical version will have to go through the Square Enix store.