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Square Enix's Takehiro Ando Discusses Chaos Rings

Sequel coming before the end of the year. Downloadable voices in two months.

 

Square Enix just released its Chaos Rings followup Chaos Rings Omega to the App Store today. The game is available on iPhone/Ipod touch and iPad for respectively ¥1,300 and ¥1,500.

Omega isn't a numbered sequel to Chaos Rings. In fact, Chaos Rings II is also on the way. 4Gamer managed to sit down with producer Takehiro Ando and ask why there are two new Chaos Rings games.

Ando refers to both Omega and Chaos Rings II as sequels to Chaos Rings. They were both being developed simultaneously. They also share staff members. Media Vision is the developer of both games. Yusuke Naora is the character designer, with Noriyasu Agematsu on sound.

Scenario writer Yukinori Kitajima did not have much to do with Omega. In his place is Media Vision's Shinya Tokunaga.

(Separate from Chaos Rings, Ando said that Kitajima is working with Media Vision on a different type of project. An announcement is coming soon.)

Omega may not have a number in the title, but Ando says it's more directly connected to the original, as it's set 10,000 years prior in the same world. Chaos Rings II is actually set in a separate world. Strangely, Ando says that it will have the same characters.

Omega has the same "tournament" concept in place as the original Chaos Rings. The big difference from the original, says Ando, is that Omega has become extremely story driven. Ando says that he cried twice while playing. He noted that in reviews of the original, many said that they wanted a deeper story akin to a consumer game ("consumer" refers to things like console and portable games -- not mobile or arcade titles).

Players can expect about 10 hours of play time for clearing Omega. It's a bit shorter than the original, admits Ando. However, there's a secret feature once you clear the game. Ando says playing this will make the game into a 20 plus hour experience. He wouldn't say what the feature is, but he said that it shows the flavor of Media Vision's Wild Arms past.

One feature mentioned in our report earlier today was plans for a downloadable voice patch. This will actually be released for both Chaos Rings and Chaos Rings Omega. The voice of Ayuta, who appears in both games, is being done by Nobuhiko Okamoto. Ando promised other major voice actors as well. He said to expect the download in a couple of months, although it could be delayed.

The addition of voices will make the download sizes a bit large. Omega and its predecessor both took up about 250 megabytes of space. The voices will double that size.

Of course, Ando is no stranger to large file sizes. He said the upcoming iPhone version of Final Fantasy Tactics is expected to take up about 800 megabytes of space.

For English language players, the voices will just be available in Japanese. After consultation with the game's localization staff, Square Enix decided to give English speakers Japanese voices with English subtitles. He didn't rule out the possibility of also offering English voices, though.

Getting back to future developments for the series, Ando revealed that Square Enix is seriously considering supporting Android.

Regarding the possibility of supporting portable game systems, Ando did not rule this out, but said that they plan on focusing on smartphones. They're interested in doing something big on smartphones, so they won't be doing something like switching the series over to 3DS or NGP for instance. However, it might be possible or them to do something separate on 3DS and NGP in order to build up excitement about the primary smartphone market.

Ando expects the Chaos Rings brand to continue for many years. The next step will be the voice patch and download quests for for Omega. Chaos Rings II will follow later in the year.

While Ando would not share details on the content of Chaos Rings II, a first trailer is scheduled to be released later tonight (details here).

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