Looking for a new RPG title to sink your teeth into? You might want to keep an eye on Fantasian. As the headline stated, this project is headed by none other than Final Fantasy‘s original director Hironobu Sakaguchi and his game studio Mistwalker, together with the famed JRPG composer Nobuo Uematsu who’s working on the soundtrack. If you’re eagerly waiting for a console or PC release, though, better don’t hold your breath. Fantasian is launching as an Apple Arcade title for iOS, Apple TV, and Mac devices. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be a cheaply made title to chase the gacha/microtransaction money — Mistwalker aims big with this baby.
Fantasian is made with over 150 hand-made dioramas for all the objects, props, backdrops, even house interiors you will see in-game. Speaking with Gamespot, Hironobu Sakaguchi admits that committing to physical props makes it hard for him and his team to add new ideas. They need to have a “clear vision” of all the details before developing the game. However, he also stated that using dioramas was key for the vision of this project.
“When you construct these dioramas, seeing the actual objects in person can almost inspire and inform new gameplay or new elements in that, you see how a house is constructed. Because the object is present, it gives you a different perspective on how the characters might be able to interact with the environment, which was kind of fresh.”
Distinct visual isn’t the only aspect of classic JRPG that Mistwalker is touching up. While still adopting the traditional turn-based battle system, this game also has something up its sleeves. First of all, there’s a “Dimengeon” system, where it lets you “save up” random encounters for later. You can freely explore the world and initiate the random encounters you’ve stacked before to fight them all at once in one long battle instead. To make battles feel more dynamic, some skills require you to aim spells in lines or curves. And lastly, Hironobu Sakaguchi added that boss battles would emphasize strategy. Even if you’re under-leveled, many cunning and strategic items and skills usage can still land you a victory.
Fantasian will tell a story about a young boy named Leo, who wakes up with amnesia after an explosion. In search of his father in a world governed by machines, he meets Kina, a girl in his one remaining memory. They then travel through a multi-dimensional universe, jumping between worlds of chaos and order and meeting up with several companions along the way. Mistwalker’s latest project was first revealed in the Apple Arcade launch event back in 2019.
Before Fantasian, the company worked on several interesting, albeit unsuccessful, JRPG titles, including Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, The Last Story, and the lesser-known mobile title Terra Battle. Currently, there’s no definitive release window for Fantasian. Will you be trying it once it’s released on Apple Arcade? Share your thoughts in the comments below.