On May 30th Square Enix announced Lost Sphear – a spiritual successor to 2016’s I Am Setsuna – for the PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
I Am Setsuna was released last year to mostly positive ratings. Many found the old-school graphics and beautiful piano soundtrack to be a refreshing change in the JRPG genre. Others praised the battle system, character customization options, and serious story which is sad, bordering on tragic. Critics cite long loading times and clunky battle mechanics as needing work, as well as some game elements needing more balancing.
From what we can tell from the trailer (below), Lost Sphear continues the series in the same direction. The graphics and musical score are very similar to I Am Setsuna, as is the serious, heartbreaking story.
You play the role of a boy named Kanata who’s on a journey to stop his village from disappearing. A news release from Square states, “Kanata and his comrades set out to rebuild the world around them with the power of Memory by manifesting thoughts into matter.” There’s been a growing number of deeply sentimental games coming out of Japan over the last decade that often touch on themes of hope, love, and peace. This one is no exception. What’s new, though, is the accompanying throwback artwork.
Lost Sphear is developed by Tokyo RPG Factory, which was created by Square Enix to revitalize the JRPG genre. JRPGs have been in steady decline for many years – a lack of creativity in the genre is often cited as the cause. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more JRPGs with old-school art and gameplay, as more Japanese developers look to relive their glory days (that being the mid-to-late 90’s).
Lost Sphear is tentatively set for release in early 2018 – plenty of time to grab I Am Setsuna and get up to speed with the series.
Check out the trailer for Lost Sphear below and let us know what you think in the comments.