The future of RPGs

Can you tell us a little about the item-making system? It seems really elaborate.

Hino: In the Japanese version of the game, the item synthesis was rather complex, where you could only grow a weapon to a certain stage before it stopped improving. ... We wanted to alleviate that, so that users are able to take a weapon and grow it as much as they want, and it just keeps growing. So in that way we actually kind of loosened the rules a little bit so users are able to take a weapon that they really like and take it all the way to the end if they want to.

We saw the trailer for Level-5's new PS3 game, White Knight Story, and it looks amazing. Can you give us any insight on what we can expect from the game?

Hino: So as you probably already saw, compared to Rogue Galaxy, which is more of a sci-fi (game), we kind of went with a more fantasy feel. Visually, we wanted to make a game that involved transformation of your character. And so we’re definitely heading in a different direction with the title.

Are you hoping to bring in new fans who might not otherwise play a serious, hardcore RPG?

Hino: With PS3, a lot of people are probably going for harder and harder in terms of the gameplay, because of the sheer number of games (out there). Rather than going in that direction, we actually wanted make it where it will be a lot more approachable. But in terms of the actual game itself, though, it’s going to be really deep, so it’s not going to isolate the hardcore gamers. It's not just for the light-core, but for everybody, basically - there will be features that everybody can enjoy.

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.