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Lord of Arcana Cuts Out the Cut Scenes

Square Enix gives gameplay the focus in Monster Hunter homage.


If you're not big on cut scenes, you'll like this little bit about Square Enix's upcoming Monster Hunter homage Lord of Arcana. It looks like the Arcana development staff has decided to put the focus on gameplay rather than story, going so far as to cut out a good number of the cut scenes that had been made for the game.

Famitsu picked up on this during an interview with Arcana producer Takamasa Shiba that appeared in the magazine's most recent issue (released on August 5) and was posted today at Famitsu.com.

The magazine asked Shiba to describe the game's scenario and story components. Responded Shiba, "We developed the game with gamers who like action games as our target, so we worked to keep the scenario and story to a bare minimum. We made about one hour of movie scenes, but in the end we cut most of these. This is an action game, so our biggest goal was to have action. We've removed elements that impede this."

Shiba also revealed what might have happened if the staff hadn't taken such a hard line approach to the divide between gameplay and story. "During development, we were considering having a sweet love story. However, thinking that because it's an action game we don't need this type of story, we gradually cut this type of scenario."

With its apparent emphasis on gameplay over story, Lord of Arcana seems to be steering toward the Monster Hunter side of the Monster Hunter clone category. This is as opposed to Namco Bandai's God Eater, which puts a spotlight on story and character.

Despite the action emphasis, Shiba noted that the game can be played by beginners and action pros alike. Top action players can enjoy the game's combo system, which Shiba likened to a fighting game in how players can connect standard attacks with skills. However, enemies can also be defeated without tough combos, so beginner players will be able to enjoy themselves by repeatedly striking buttons until they've gotten the hang of things.

The game's level system could also make things easy on beginners. To earn rewards and items, you'll have to successfully clear quests. However, even if you fail at a quest, you'll get to keep the experience points that you earned, allowing your character to grow.

This latest interview with Shiba came ahead of the early release of the game's promised demo version. In advance of the demo's general August 19 release date, Square Enix made available 300 demo downloads at the Sofmap retailer in Akihabara on the 14th and 15th. The demo, Shiba said in the Famitsu interview, will offer a play time of 4 to 5 hours for experienced action players. It also allows players to sample the game's unique encounter-based combat system.

Impress Watch spoke with Shiba about the game during the demo distribution event. As previously announced, the demo itself will see download quests. These will appear starting on September 30, said Shiba. Those who clear the demo and quests will get an "extremely rare item" in the final retail version. Clearing all the add-on quests may not be a simple task, though, as Shiba assured that the final enemy is a tough foe.

Visit Impress Watch and 4gamer for pictures from the demo event.

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