Mistwalker and Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi are back to follow up their cheerful surfing game Party Wave with their second iOS game. Only this time, they seem to be channeling a much darker side of their creative minds with a creepy tower defense title called Blade Guardian.
Apparently, Sakaguchi is a fan of the casual strategy genre and starting working on this game three years ago with several former Square colleagues. A few big projects, like the Wii exclusive The Last Story, must have gotten in the way of Sakaguchi’s tight schedule, but once Party Wave hit iOS, Sakaguchi was able to use the revenue to wrap it up.
The tilt sensitive controls separate this from the rest out there because it lets gamers reposition their towers and chase after enemies who manage to get away.
Sakaguchi is not the only established name to be working on this project as well. Hitoshi Sakimoto lent his talents to create the musical score. His best known soundtracks include Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Valkyria Chronicles, all excellent award winning works. Co-developer Tomoki Anazawa also lent a hand in creating the Romancing Saga games for the Super Famicom, as well as Legend of Mana for the PlayStation.
I don’t know what to make of Sakaguchi‘s new found passion. There’s something strange about a group of well established and highly regarded Japanese developers creating a cheap little $1 tower defense game for the iOS. It’s not quite as low as Miyamoto doing Wii Music, but part of me wants Sakaguchi to jump back into big time RPGs.
On the other hand, both of these games are fun little time wasters. Maybe multimillion dollar projects are just not his thing anymore, and I can respect that after how Square Enix tossed him “into the corner office,” as the Japanese say, after Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within tanked at the box office and his exclusive deal with Microsoft went sour.
Blade Guardian is available now on iOS for the cheap price of $1.