Above: GrimGrimoire's a joy to see in motion. Check the trailer for more.
Up next is Dragoneer's Aria, another RPG from Hitmaker. Even though last year's Blade Dancer totally sucked hard, we're willing to give this PSP outing a shot, if for no other reason than the name sounds cool. This one's about a guy named Valen graduating from dragoneer's school just in time for a massive adventure. Combining items called Dragon Orbs (not balls, mind you, orbs) will change you weapons and affect the player's attributes. Much like Dancer, there'll be wireless modes for up to four players where you tackle a devious set of monsters that couldn't be toppled alone. Treasures gained in this mode will transfer over into the solo game. This collaboration between NIS, Hitmaker and Nippon Ichi hopes to become an "international phenomenon," so let's hope it can meet this lofty goal. (The Final Fantasy VIII visual style helps.)
Finally, there's GrimGrimoire, a real-time strategy RPG involving light resource management and a whole lot of magic. As Lillet, you summon elves and fairies to fight for you, while three other types of magic stand against you: sorcery, alchemy and necromancy. Grim's a side-viewed RTS, of all things, so imagine what Warcraft might look like if it were 2D instead of a bird's eye view.
The most stunning aspect of Grim, however, is the visual style. The art looks like a perfect cross between a Disney movie and Harry Potter, with richly animated figures flowing around the screen. Detailed cutscenes feature large, exhaustively prepared drawings that are brought to life through subtle movements and (genre typical) voice acting. If it plays as good as it looks, we might wonder why the "next generation" bothered to arrive at all.
For screens, just hit the links below:
Dragoneer's Aria (trailer)
March 30, 2007