Enchanted Arms Interview

August 14, 2006

The Xbox 360 is really starting to pick up speed now, nearly a year following its launch in November 2005. Recent releases such as Dead Rising, Chromehounds, and Table Tennis have helped showcase the platform’s diversity, while fantastic ports of titles such as Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II and Battlefield 2: Modern Combat demonstrated that the Xbox 360 is positioned to be a real contender for gamers’ hard-earned dollars this holiday season.

Of course, as was the case with the original Xbox, the console has thus far been lacking for a good, solid role-playing game, and genre enthusiasts have thus far been left with naught but an empty bag of holding, filled with promises of a brighter tomorrow. However, Ubisoft plans change all of that this month with the console’s first real RPG in the From Software-developed Enchanted Arms. From Software has long been considered a developer of niche titles, and again proved that with the release of Chromehounds, which was almost universally panned by critics (though not by us), yet proved to be a popular online experience for the player community.

Today we have word directly from Enchanted Arms producer Marc Fortier at Ubisoft regarding the game, and just what players can expect from the title once it ships on August 29, 2006.

Could you give us an overview of Enchanted Arm’s battle system?

Enchanted Arms features what we call the SpeedTactics Battle System, which is a fast yet flexible system allowing both in-depth tactics and fast-paced battles. The dev team’s approach was to bring the best RPG features together into one system that offered a wide variety of tactical options for hardcore RPG fans, but could also be used easily by mainstream users. The result is a hybrid system blending grid-based and turn-based elements.

Just what kinds of tactical options does SpeedTactics allow?

SpeedTactics promotes tactical thinking from the moment players choose their party. They’ll have to consider their character’s Attributes and Friendly Points to create the most balanced and effective fighting team.

Once a battle begins, players choose their own party action order, rather than relying on initiative ratings. Players align their characters on a Battle Grid to set movement and combat actions. Then, they can gather intelligence about the enemy position by switching through multiple viewpoints. And once the enemy attacks, players can discover more vital info such as Attributes and attack patterns. There are many other options in SpeedTactics, such as long-range and close-quarter tactics, the use of cover to protect against Direct Attacks, mastering Indirect Attacks to hit heavily protected targets, strategic use of items and upgradeable weapons, mighty Co-Op Attacks where all party members combine their strength against a single target, and last but not least – devastating super attacks known as EX Skills.

Speaking of attacks, can you tell us more about the spell system?

In Enchanted Arms, spells are actually referred to as A