SaGa 2 was, in effect, the third attempt at employing the character growth mechanics of FFII -- and by and large, it was a success. Building your party could feel unpredictable at times, with Mutants who randomly learned and lost spells and Monsters that transformed when they ate the flesh of conquered beasts. Yet there was an underlying logic to it all, tinged with just enough complexity to encourage players to tackle the adventure over and over again from multiple angles. The modern approach to RPGs is to give players a single huge, protracted quest that takes dozens of hours to complete, but SaGa 2 was different: a fairly brisk tale that was interesting through multiple replays.
Here are a couple more Famitsu (?) scans for SaGa 2, courtesy of GoNintendo.
It appears that the male and female humans and espers will each have four different designs to choose from, similar to the original Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. That's good, because if for some reason you decide to create a party of four male humans, then they can all look different.
They also say that the game has a "scenario synchro system" that "lets players view extra events tied by a thread of fate. Think of these like Final Fantasy IX’s active time events that can open additional story options."
I've never played FF9, so I have no idea what this means.
Basically, it means that every once in a while, you'll get a pop up on screen saying "View event?" or whatever. If you press whatever, you'll see a (usually) non important event with another character. Sometimes these are controllable, sometimes not. Usually not, actually. They add to the story, and flesh out other characters. It was quite cool in FFIX.
Still no word on if it will be released in North America.
EDIT: According to GoNintendo, Square Enix has opened a new teaser site featuring the number "4". While it's probably related to the recently trademarked "Hikari no 4 Senshi", there's a rumor that it may actually be referring to SaGa 4. Apparently, Tomomi Kobayashi, who worked as a designer for the SaGa series 10 years ago, announced via his blog that he is working with Square Enix on a new project.
I guess we'll find out when the timer on the teaser site runs out.
Well, the "Gaiden" in the title suggests a side-story. Or maybe a sequel. Since there's a Final Fantasy X-2, maybe this is Final Fantasy I-2. Maybe it's what Final Fantasy II would've been like if Akitoshi Kawazu hadn't designed it.
Final Fantasy is so screwed up!
Anyway, back on topic, Japan is getting a complete SaGa soundtrack box set for the 20th anniversary of the series. It's unlikely to see international release, but you can see the Japanese trailer for it here. It's pretty cool to hear the evolution of the music, from Game Boy, to Super Famicom, to CD format.