Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: RPG
Release Date: 09/17/07
As we reported earlier at the 2006 Tokyo Game show, Namco is bringing their next-generation Role Playing Game to the Xbox 360. Known as Trusty Bell in the Land of the Rising Sun, the title has been confirmed for a US release. In North America, Trusty Bell will be known as Eternal Sonata. At TGS, there was a short demo of the new RPG.
While it can be a bit difficult to understand what is going on in a Japanese RPG at TGS, here is what we know: Players control a party of three characters. It appears the main character is a young man named Chopin and he uses a sword. There is also another male that uses a gun-cane--but we are unsure of his name. The third member of the party, a female, wields an umbrella. In the world of Role Playing Games, nothing beats a pretty female kicking butt with an umbrella!
Traveling through the world appears fairly standard. The only options that appear to be available to you are opening chests and speaking to others. But in reality, what more do we want in a Role Playing Game? There are no random battles in Eternal Sonata, which will make some happy. Instead, players can see the enemies onscreen and attempt to avoid confrontation--if possible. It does appear that there are certain times when you will be unable to avoid an encounter though.
Once you do find yourself in a battle, players will discover an interesting combat system playable in real-time. Each character has about five seconds to move and you will be able to see who moves next. While this system may appear to be more involved than the traditional turn-based system, this caused the TGS 06 Demo to be very "button mashing happy."
The combat system appears to encourage players to button mash by rewarding you with the more attacks you get in during your particular turn. I am sure the system will be deeper than just mashing buttons. However, we will have to wait for a later build to be able to tell.
Visually, Eternal Sonata looks stunning. Using the most details I have ever seen in a cel-shaded game, this looks to be a very bright and colorful Xbox 360 RPG. The best part of the graphics are the player's faces. using the power of the 360, it appears that the visual representation of emotions will be a key component in next-generation gameplay.
Eternal Sonata concluded its Tokyo Game Show 06 demo with a very tough boss battle. It appears we will see many epic boss fights in the final product. However, don't look for this one anytime soon. Eternal Sonata is still very early in development. I can safely say that when ES is released, it will be another great Xbox 360 Role Playing Game to keep your eyes on.