Recently we were given the unique opportunity to speak with Nippon Ichi, developers behind some of the most critically acclaimed strategy games on the PlayStation 2 console. With Phantom Brave on the horizon for release this month, we jumped at the opportunity to see just what the creators had in store for us all with this title.
Snackbar Games: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us about Phantom Brave. All of us are very excited about this game, as we are still riding high on that which was La Pucelle and Disgaea. Could you give our readers a little background as far as who you are, what projects you have worked on in the past, and what your role has been on the Phantom Brave project?
Yoshitsuna Kobayashi: Hello, my name is Yoshitsuna Kobayashi. My previous works include La Pucelle and Disgaea. For Phantom Brave I worked as the Director and the Game Designer.
SBG: One of the first things on peoples’ minds, at least the minds of those who played both Disgaea and La Pucelle, is does Phantom Brave directly tie in with either of those games story-wise, or is it a wholly independent experience?
YK: Phantom Brave does not tie in with either Disgaea or La Pucelle. It is a wholly independent game from the two, but you might find some guest appearances in Phantom Brave from the previous titles.
SBG: The gameplay in both Disgaea and La Pucelle was different, but both games were at their core still quite similar. What is the gameplay like in Phantom Brave, and how is the same and/or different from what players may have experienced with the previous titles?
YK: Although Phantom Brave is a turned based RPG, we got rid of the ordinary phase-turn system used in Disgaea and La Pucelle. Instead we adopted a system where turns are determined by individual speed. Also gone are the chess like grids. Players are free to move their characters anywhere they want, as long as they are within their moving range.
SBG: Where on earth did the whole confinement of Phantoms concept come from?
YK: The confinement concept was my inspiration.
SBG: Can you explain a bit as to how confinement works, and its impact on Phantom Brave’s gameplay?
YK: Confinement is the most important element of this game. Without confinement Marona will have to battle enemies on her own.
In order to summon your characters to the battlefield you must confine your characters to objects on the map. By confining with objects you may increase or decrease your character status. Different objects provide different status change. Some objects might receive a protection status from other objects; these protected objects may possess special powers like invincibility.
SBG: What is your opinion on the evolution of gameplay in the series from those previously mentioned titles to Phantom Brave?
YK: Phantom Brave has exponentially more freedom in the game play then previous titles. The game is in fact A