Post by Nester the Lark on Jan 17, 2009 16:48:26 GMT -5
I guess I'll go ahead and make a thread for this game since I intend to keep my eye on it.
Here are some more Japanese scans showing off some screens and artwork.
I like the art. Apparently, it was drawn by Gen Kobayashi, who also worked on The World Ends With You. The human and mutant/esper characters look like a stylistic mix of Dragon Quest and the Tales series. The robot looks like a Kirby character, and the monsters look like Pokemon. Hmm...
Except for the Romancing SaGa trilogy on the Super Famicom, all of the other SaGa games have been released in North America. It'd be a shame if this remake didn't make it.
I've never touched the SaGa series, but the discussion of it in another thread has made me aware of it. I saw Unlimited SaGa for the PS2 today, but didn't pick it up due to low funds...maybe next time?
Post by Nester the Lark on Jan 18, 2009 0:27:46 GMT -5
Yeah, everything I've heard about Unlimited Saga suggests that it would be just about the worst possible introduction to the series. It's not even much like other games in the series. It's more of a bizarre, experimental strategy game that just about everyone hates.
I get the impression that you need to be somewhat open-minded to get into the series anyway, just because of its eccentric approaches to Japanese RPG's (that seem to change in every game). My personal experience with the series is limited to Final Fantasy Legend II, but aside from the unusual stat building system and the limited-use weapons, it's not that different from other RPG's of the time.
I can't speak for subsequent games, tho. I suppose you might look for the PS2 version of Romancing SaGa or the first SaGa Frontier for the PS1 if you want to try one out, but those are apparently a bit further removed from the traditional JRPG experience.
Post by Nester the Lark on Jan 18, 2009 14:04:39 GMT -5
For those of you who don't know much about the SaGa series, I'll post some resources here that will help you learn more about it.
SaGa: A Primer
First of all, it may surprise you to know that SaGa is Square's second longest running series after Final Fantasy, even tho it's never gained the same respect or popularity -- at least, not outside of Japan.
It was created by Akitoshi Kawazu who has produced all of the games in the series, and directed most of them. He also co-designed the oddball Final Fantasy II on the Famicom, directed Legend of Mana on PS1, and he oversees the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series. He was also the executive producer for Final Fantasy XII.
Hardcore Gaming 101's SaGa article. (I've already posted this in the announcements thread, but it really is worth reading.)
A brief history from RPG Land. (Good for those of you who don't have the time to read all of HG101's article.)
Lost SaGa - A fansite, altho there isn't much to it.
Part XI of GameTrailers' Final Fantasy retrospective spends the first couple of minutes mentioning SaGa.
Post by Nester the Lark on Jan 19, 2009 18:03:01 GMT -5
^ Yeah, Romancing SaGa 3 looks a lot like Final Fantasy VI. However, it's a clear example of how looks can be deceiving. It'd be like having an RPG that looks like Final Fantasy XII, but plays like The Elder Scrolls IV.
Not that Romancing SaGa is like The Elder Scrolls, but it would probably be about as shocking a difference.
The official Japanese site for the SaGa 2 remake is now online, but of course, there isn't much there. There's a movie showcasing all of the SaGa games, as well as a time line with lots of gameplay footage. It also plays an absolutely lovely remix of the SaGa 2 title screen music.
Post by Nester the Lark on Jan 21, 2009 18:37:50 GMT -5
The news keeps pouring out for this game.
1up reports on an interview in Famitsu with executive producers Akitoshi Kawazu and Hiromichi Tanaka.
It sounds like the game will stay pretty faithful to the original in terms of story and length (about 10+ hours), but they're adding something called a "chain" system and other undisclosed features that will encourage multiple playthroughs (which is typical of a SaGa game).
The character building system in the game is also being made more accessible than the randomness of the original, which I think should be good news for newcomers.
There's still no official release date, but the game is currently about 70% complete.
Post by Nester the Lark on Jan 26, 2009 16:49:22 GMT -5
4-hit Awesome Combo!
This isn't really news, but Siliconera has decided to show comparison screenshots between the original Game Boy game and the DS remake. I guess it's just for fun, or to show how far we've come, but I thought it was kind of cute.
Post by Nester the Lark on May 2, 2009 11:05:45 GMT -5
RUSH 5-hits! Massive, hardcore combo!!!
This article is about a month old, and not quite directly related to the SaGa 2 remake, but I figured you guys might find it interesting since it (strangely) involves Masahiro Sakurai.
Anyway, there's an orchestral concert series in Japan for game music called "Press Start Symphony of Games," and it's emceed by Sakurai. SaGa series composer, Kenji Ito, is a performer in the concert, and he also contributed arrangements for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The articles interviews both him and Sakurai.
Anyway, here are some snippets.
GSW: How did you become familiar with Kenji Ito's music?
Sakurai: Speaking now of Ito-san's music, you could say that the Romancing SaGa battle themes have left an impression on me. They have a vivid beauty to them. That being said, his feeling was that for the gentle echo meeting it would be more appropriate to feature songs that were less aggressive, with a subtler mood to them. I definitely have an appreciation for both these varieties of songs.
GSW: Were there any aspects of the discussion that you found surprising?
Sakurai: Yes, that Ito-san had applied to work at HAL Laboratory. He could easily have joined the company and ended up writing music for the Kirby games.
GSW: What personal experiences working with Sakurai-san did you bring to this collaboration on the gentle echo meeting?
Kenji Ito: Previously we have worked together, behind the scenes on game design, and first met at Press Start in 2006. There I appeared on stage and performed on the piano. Just an hour after the event, we were talking and I remember he casually mentioned, "You know, I'm just beginning a new project and it could really benefit from the participation of Ito-Ken. What do you think?" (laughs)
GSW: A blog post on the topic of the gentle echo meeting appeared on the developers' website of the SaGa 2 remake. Like this meeting, the title promises to bring together nostalgic melodies with contemporary arrangements. Has the experience of working on remakes previously given you a better idea of what audio techniques to employ on SaGa 2?
Kenji Ito: For this remake I will be arranging Nobuo Uematsu's compositions as well as my own. [Nester: The original score for SaGa 2 was composed by both Ito and Uematsu.] To tell you the truth, it reminds me of my time working on Chocobo Racing at Square. That title included remixes of themes from various Final Fantasy series installments. In that sense, the experience is similar to arranging the soundtrack to Chocobo Racing.
And here's my favorite battle theme from SaGa 2/Final Fantasy Legend II. (Not sure who composed it.)
Post by Nester the Lark on May 7, 2009 19:34:47 GMT -5
Phew! It's been a while since we've heard any real news about SaGa 2 DS, but it has appeared in the latest issue of Famitsu. You can see the scan here.
I can't really get much out of it, being that I can't read Japanese, but there are some new screenshots and some new artwork. I'm a little curious about that one in the middle which seems to show four characters surrounded by enemies. The graphics look sprite-based. Hmm...
Incidentally, I've been replaying the original Final Fantasy Legend II. I haven't played it in years, and in fact, it's been a long time since I've played any turn-based RPG.