Your Favorite Nippon Ichi Characters in 8bit
Classic Dungeon's character editor used to create some familiar pixel groupings. Plus, how does that darn formation system work?
Remember how Nippon Ichi's PlayStation 2 games looked when they were all blown up from 320x240 resolution? Classic Dungeon, with its retro sprite stylings, could serve as somewhat of a reminder.
Using the game's character make feature, you can create your own classic Nippon Ichi characters as a 2D Super NES style sprite. Nippon Ichi provided sample shots of what some of its characters look like Classic Dungeonified.
The Classic Dungeon character edit tool lets you create your own characters at the dot level and assign each one a job. You can make use of up to 10 original characters in the game.
Similar to the character create feature in Silicon Studio's 3D Dot Game Heroes, you have to create multiple poses for your character. Each character requires a set of four images: front, back, right and left.
In addition to the 10 original characters that you can use in the game, you're free to save an additional 64 characters. This allows you to easily exchange sprite data with friends.
The game also includes nine default characters: Pudding, Souma, Coco, Sandy, Battleblow, Despina, Shabetto, Dodohige, and Bob. Each character has a unique background story detailing why they've come to the land of Manoagus (which, as you'll recall, has a mysterious door that, depending on whom you ask, could lead to either treasure or a toilet).
Remember the cat that Nippon Ichi showed when first announcing Classic Dungeon? It's an NPC. In fact, it's the game's only NPC.
Outside of the cat, the pre-made characters can be assigned jobs and colors, changing their physical appearance. Here are some shots of Sandy in her maiden/priestess clothing and Bob in his... uhh... hooligan ??? clothing.
You only control one character when exploring the dungeons beneath Manoagus. As part of the game's unique formation system, the other characters appear in support roles.
Prior to heading out into a dungeon, you position your cast of characters on a special formation chart:
In the above chart, the main character you control is placed in the center. You then place support characters in slots surrounding the main character.
The support characters pop up when you incur damage from a trap or enemy. They act as a shield, greatly reducing your damage.
While moving about dungeons, you can see your support formation in the upper right corner of the screen:
The support character who ends up shielding you changes depending on the direction you face. Some traps will damage multiple support characters, or even your entire formation.
The formation system looks like it will offer lots of play time for those who like to sink their teeth into a deep growth system. Depending on how they're positioned on the grid, your characters will see different growth paths. The game offers multiple formation charts, some offering slots with special growth effects.
Planning for dungeons extends beyond just the formation grids. You'll also need to choose your player character wisely based off the job that matches the dungeon at hand. How you equip your character is important too, as equipping lots of equipment will slow you down. There are a variety of tradeoffs in the decisions that you make.
The retro visuals may allow us to relive classic low res Nippon Ichi, but the character growth and formation systems are all new. Classic Dungeon may prove to be only superficially retro when it hits on February 18.
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