Don't worry. I'm all over this game! SaGa 2015 marks the return of one of my favorite franchises, and I don't want to miss a beat. Today's revelations come from Director Akitoshi Kawazu as he spells out more about what he has in mind for the battle system.
Now, as a series that has always prided itself on bringing ridiculous new ideas to the table, you would think that playing with a formula would make me happy, but the elements he mentions that won't be in focus are exactly the defining elements I enjoyed so much about the series. His Twitter post, translated my Siliconera, reads:
"SaGa 2015 will have all kinds of battle elements. I believe that elements that were used in SaGa such as 'battle formation,' 'cooperation,' and 'flash' will not be a point of focus this time around." "As long as it's new and fun, I believe anything can be added to the game.. However, the 'new' part is what is difficult."
To those who have never played a SaGa game, "cooperation" attacks took off with SaGa Frontier when characters could combine attacks together and create devastating combinations. Unlike Chrono Trigger, which granted complete control over combination attacks, SaGa Frontier's occurred randomly when special attacks met incredibly obtuse and unexplained requirements.
Seriously, watch how ridiculous this battle system can truly be. I've never been able to pull something this complicated off. The combo itself starts at about the 5 minute mark, meaning it takes a long time just to set up!
As for "flash" and "battle formation," these were introduced in the Super Famicom Romancing SaGa games which never came to the states. Battle formations allowed you to manage where characters stood in battle, giving yourself an offensive or defensive advantage based on you party member's abilities."flash" allowed characters to randomly learn new abilities while within a battle.
"Battle formation" lost prevalence once Square brought SaGa Frontier to the states, and they were absent from that game. However the "flash" ability stil remained. Nothing is more satisfying in that than seeing that light bulb flash above your character's head and watching him add a new skill to his arsenal.
I'm hoping that Kawazu keeps these systems intact because the random element they bring feeds perfectly into the series' chaotic nature. He only mentions that these are not the focus. He never says they are being stripped totally, so maybe he will use them a pile more and more fun ideas on top. For most series I would declare this an awful idea, but not SaGa. Just keep piling Kawazu!
Keeping in line with some of the series' traditions though, he has confirmed that it will star multiple protagonists, each with their own plotline that branches out into the massive, free-roaming world.
SaGa 2015 will be released for the PS Vita in Japan, and we are hoping that Square Enix blesses this franchise with another chance to succeed in the states.