Posted By: wraggster
News from IGN
The latest issue of Famitsu is home to an announcement that's sure to please PSP owners who love Japanese games. The magazine has first details on Jeanne d' Arc, an original strategy RPG from Dragon Quest VIII and Rogue Galaxy developer Level 5. The game is set to be published in Japan by Sony Computer Entertainment.
Jeanne d' Arc takes place in a fictitious world inspired by the real life history of Jeanne d' Arc, known more commonly in English as Joan of Arc. The game's background story begins far in the past, during a long war that came to be known as the "War Against the Gods of Death." During this time, dark gods attempted to use their demon armies to enter the human world. Five heroes who were chosen to face up against the gods created five bracelets to seal the demons away.
The story jumps forward to the 15th century AD as France and England battle during the 100 Years' War. You play as Jeanne as a 17 year old girl. Just like the real life Jeanne, the in-game version was born in the village of Domremy in France's northern Lorraine region. Jeanne is taking part in a festival one day when she comes under attack by a demon, the likes of which she's never seen. She hears a voice from the heavens, ordering her to kill the demon. As Jeanne takes a sword in her hands and defeats the beast, a bracelet similar to the five created by the five ancient heroes appears on her right arm, and she finds herself unable to remove it.
Jeanne is instructed by the voice to summon her childhood friend Lian and Roger, a former soldier, and make a trip to Chinon Castle (Chateau de Chinon) in order to lead France towards victory against attacking demons and the English army.
Once you've gotten past all the story, Jeanne d' Arc looks like your typical turn-based strategy game. At a glance, the game resembles a Nippon Ichi title, except with full 3D visuals that appear to actually push the PSP hardware.
You start off battle by selecting the units you'd like to use. You then take turns with your enemy as part of player and enemy phases. When your turn comes around, you're free to move your units around and can make use of a variety of attacks in order to meet the stage's winning conditions.
Level 5 has added a few twists to the strategy formula. When you strike an enemy, it releases energy, which lands in a nearby square, turning it into what's called a "Burning Site." If a unit -- either an ally or enemy -- moves into that square, it receives a temporary shot of power.
On defense, you make use of a system called "Connection Guard." Units that are within a certain distance of one another have blue lights surrounding them. This indicates that their defensive stats have risen, as friends are in the vicinity to protect against incoming attack.
Jeanne d' Arc is being produced by Level 5 president himself Akihiro Hino and directed by Ken Honmura. The game is currently 70% complete and is being planned for Japanese release this winter. Stay tuned for more details to follow!