Gamertell recently had the opportunity to watch Hexyz Force in action with Atlus’ Project Lead Clayton Chan and see just how the forthcoming Sting PSP RPG is shaping up. It’s a fairly unique title because its really more like two RPGs in one.
Players step into the shoes of the knight Levant or the cleric Cecilia to experience two different stories set in two sides of Berge. Levant is from Dark Berge, which is constantly, you guessed it, dark. He is a knight of the Rosenbaum Empire, and is tasked with brokering peace with the nonhuman Halbmenschen. Cecilia lives in Lustrous Berge, constantly bathed in sunlight, and discovers she is a Hexyz and the Maiden of the Staff. She must protect the world from the resurrection of the God of Destruction. The two stories and missions are separate, but often overlap.
An interesting point that came up in Chan’s demonstration was that each character’s side and interpretation of such an overlap may be different, and may effect the other playthrough. A specific instance which actually occurred during the demo was when Levant and Cecilia’s groups met up outside the Tower of Judgement. Cecilia commented on (insulted) Levant’s partymember Irene’s hair. Chan pointed out that if you played Cecilia’s story first, the insult you chose in that storyline would appear in Levant’s story. Since there was no save data, it went with the default “middle age woman’s hair” comment.
Hexyz Force is a Sting game, which means it shares certain hallmarks with games like Riviera: The Promised Land (GBA, PSP), Yggdra Union (GBA, PSP) and Knights in the Nightmare (GBA, PSP). It isn’t part of the Dept. Heaven series – so don’t stress yourself out looking for hints or references, but the music, character art and animations are very similar. It also features strategic elements to battles, multiple game endings and the ability to affect said endings by choices made throughout the story and in battles.
Seeing how your playing is changing the story is pretty simple. At the end of each character’s chapter, there will be a scale. There are three “main” endings for each story, and you can see how close you are to each one by watching. Your actions – winning lots of battles, running from battles, taking sidequests – can cause the scale to tip towards creation, destruction and neutrality. One tip Chan had was to seek out battles, and not run from them, if we wanted a creation ending. Victory = salvation, I suppose.
Battles are pretty traditional RPG battles, as Hexyz Force is a fairly straightforward, turn-based, JRPG. Your characters will have a variety of attacks and skills they can unleash on enemies. What sets it apart is the Hexyz Charge. In the upper left corner of the battle screen there’ll be a gauge. Using the right kinds of skills – either of the same element or stronger elements – will build up the chain. If you build up the chain, you can use it to unleash a massive amount of damage on your opponents. However, enemies can access it, and break, the chain as well, sending the damage back at you.
When it comes to items, you’ll need to rely on the two mascot characters Ulu and Ralu. (Ulu is with Levant and Ralu is with Cecilia.) Chan put it best when he referred to both character as forges. You use them to alter, improve and break down items and equipment. If an item’s durability runs out, you can break it down into parts. If you want new skills or strength, you spend Force Points, which are earned from battles and used for forging or healing, to build them up. So Ulu and Ralu do more than look cute and contribute interesting remarks to conversations.
There are also a number of interesting extra features to make Hexyz Force more accessible and interesting. There is a general log and a conversation log, so you can check and see exactly what you’re supposed to be doing in each chapter and review past conversations. You can earn titles, achievements for reaching certain goals. There’s a gallery you can fill up with enemy and item information, character art and movies. There’s even a hard mode to unlock once you’ve played through the game.
Hexyz Force makes its North American debut May 25, 2010. It’ll be available in stores on a UMD or as a download through the PlayStation Store for $29.99. If you pick up the UMD version, then you can take advantage of an Install function to speed up performance and load times. The install is fairly small (83mb) and only takes five minutes.
Site [Hexyz Force]