Twenty-five days and $722,213 after, Project Phoenix is shaping up to be one the most anticipated Kickstarter jRPGs. Critical Index initially reported of its origin, a collaborative mash-up of East vs. West video game developers highlighted by Final Fantasy vets Kiyoshi Arai and Nobou Uematsu. Since then, the developers have been giving regular updates regarding gameplay and story*
The world is changing…
The orcish clans, mankind’s ancient enemy, have begun migrating from the mountains and their raids upon human settlements become more brazen and audacious by the day. If this wasn’t enough, the denizens of the southern coastal regions hear rumor of the free men who, once vanquished, have emerged, more organized than before, all with the goal of toppling the Empire. Amidst the stirrings of war, the elves watch a fateful star and recognize it as a portent that will decide the fate of all those who live in Azuregard.
It is within these tumultumous times that the troubled paladin Marcus Stern encounters Ruffles, an angel stricken with amnesia. Together with the elven princess Sylrianah, reserved but curious to see the world beyond the forest, and Zarum the Lost, a battlemage with his own internal conflicts, they form an unlikely bond. These four heroes must discover their place in a world brought to war by misunderstanding and ignorance, and perhaps ultimately even save it from itself.
Concept Gameplay: Terrain Usage
Combat takes place in predefined areas, tailored to match the locale. There will be two main types of combat: Story battles and Random battles. Story battles will be carefully-tuned scenarios integral to the story’s progression. Random battles will be dynamic combat scenarios activated occasionally during the story, but generally when exploring areas without any new story content (such as when backtracking). They will be available whenever you want, without being a burden to play.
Combat uses a point and click system to control your party of heroes. Each hero has abilities they can use in battle, and the use of these abilities depletes either their mana (magic reserves) or their stamina. Tactical play and the combination of different heroes will be the main factors in your success, as well as taking advantage of the following conditions:
Terrain: Terrain comes in different heights, so you can use the lay of the land to your advantage. There are also destructible elements to damage or slow down your foes. Some units also get a movement advantage in different terrain to allow for more strategy.
Fog of War: Apart from special scenario objectives, the combat map will be hidden until explored. This helps keep things exciting and suspenseful and also gives you plenty of opportunity to use the scouting abilities of particular heroes.
Threat Management: Generally enemies will target those they consider the greatest threat, or a specific target when the story dictates. However there are character abilities to redirect their attention to another character. Not only does this lend itself to structured defensive play – knowing who the enemy will target will allow you to set up some cunning traps! Of course, no JRPG is complete without memorable, awe-inspiring bosses, and we have plenty of those as well. These challenging scenarios will have you focusing your entire party on an epic enemy, using your skill to win the day.
Concept Gameplay: Character Development
Each hero you control will be a distinct class, with their own look, abilities, and usable equipment. Of course there will be overlaps in equipment, but there won’t be too many dilemmas when it comes to selecting who gets a new item. As characters increase in experience, they automatically get improved stats, as well as new abilities. For further customisation we have a simple talent system in place, so that you can choose the path you want your characters to take. If you want to have more control over your team, we are also including customable heroes that can be recruited as you progress through the game. That way, if you love a character class but want to put your own spin on it, you can.
We’ve gone above and beyond our initial goal! Azuregard gets BIGGER, and the visuals & music have the opportunity to improve dramatically! So pack your bags and let’s journey together to create the most immersive experience ever!
*Updates were taken from Project Phoenix’s Kickstarter Page