As more Japanese developers try their hand at self-publishing in the west, it’s interesting when one reminds us of an otherwise forgotten series. Developer Cyberconnect2, known for games like .hack, the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, and the more recent, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, announced they’ll be developing a new game based in the Tail Concerto series. If you don’t know what that is, well, it’s probably because the game sells for an arm and leg now, but it’s a cute furry action platformer.
I could go on and on about retro games, but I’m here today to look towards the future. The developer is continuing to expand the Tail Concerto universe with the release of Fuga: Melodies of Steel. The game has a blend of tactical RPG battles and sim elements that are bundled up with some of the most eye-catching illustrations that we have seen in a while. Luckily for us, we were able to sit down with it and capture some of its unique features.
Fuga: Melodies of Steel’s set in a world divided by war. During an uncertain time, the story focuses on a group of children who have come across a large tank. To reclaim what they have lost, the children decide to fight back. The game’s story elements are delivered between battles when the player can go inside the tank and talk to the other children. Over time, bonds strengthen, which can potentially unlock new abilities in battle. Additionally, these moments are used to upgrade the tank and fit it for the following campaigns.
In the demo that we played, we spent most of our time in battles but were told that these were not exactly what the fights will be like in the final build. During encounters, players can see the turn order at the top of the screen. Each action sends them to the back of the line, but some abilities can stagger enemies to make their turn come back quicker. Battles aren’t effortless in this game by design. Players will need to strategically approach each encounter and not just rush in guns blazing. The enemies each have weaknesses and can be taken down with some planning. The developer wants to make this game a challenge by giving it roguelike features, that we weren’t able to explore in the demo.
From what I played, there is a welcoming balance and flow in the battle system, but I would have liked it to be more difficult. However, I was told that this demo was made a lot easier, which I can understand. It’s also possible to group the children in different areas of the ship using the game’s support role. Combining the children based on their bonds will unlock special attacks and additional bonuses in a match.
Outside of this game looking beautiful, Fuga: Melodies of Steel has some rather deep tactical RPG mechanics that we’d like to explore more. The game borrows elements from others in this genre but adds unique systems and an emotional story of loss, tragedy, and revenge.
A huge part of me wants to see this war through until the end, no matter how difficult the battles are going to be. I’m eager to know more about these characters and their world. If this is a genre that speaks to use or if you were just drawn in by the game’s design, you might want to keep this game on your radar.
Fuga: Melodies of Steel is in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC-via Steam in 2020. Footage recorded during PAX West 2019.
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