First off, yes, the game’s name actually spells it “sphear.” Leave me alone, spell check.
Square Enix announced Lost Sphear today, a new role-playing game that is coming out in “early 2018” for the PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC.The Japan-based publisher’s Tokyo RPG Factory is developing the title, which has a similar retro look to its previous game, I Am Setsuna. While Square Enix sells many games, including western ones like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex from its Eidos Montreal studio, many fans will always first associate the company with RPGs like its Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series. This announcement gives those players something to look forward to next year.
We do not know how well I Am Setsuna sold. The RPG came out for PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC in 2016, but a Switch version just released this March as a launch title for Nintendo’s newest console. Square Enix noted in a press release that Lost Sphear will feature a similar-but-revamped ATB battle system that will allow players to “freely adjust their placement mid-fight.”
The ATB (active time battle) system was a mainstay in the Final Fantasy series from Final Fantasy IV through Final Fantasy IX, and it still shows up in modern games like World of Final Fantasy. It’s a twist on the traditional turn-based system that gives each character their own meter. When it fills up, that character can perform an action.
While I Am Setsuna costs $40, Square Enix is pricing Lost Sphear at $50. It will be available digitally, but the PlayStation 4 and Switch versions are getting physical releases.
“The adventure of Lost Sphear begins in a remote town where a young boy, Kanata, awakens from a devastating dream to find his hometown disappearing,” Square Enix details in its press release. “Chosen by destiny, Kanata must arise to face a phenomenon never seen before and awaken the power of Memory to restore what was lost in order to save the world.”
A young hero from a small town that experiences some kind of crisis that kick-starts an epic journey? Yup, that definitely sounds like a nostalgic Japanese RPG.