Project Phoenix: When a JRPG Meets an RTS Todd Black September 4, 2013 Games, Linux, Mac, PC, Previews, PS Vita, PS4 Project Phoenix is a fully stocked project headed up by a team of industry veterans who want nothing more than to make this game. Headed up by gaming veteran Hiroaki Yura, whose credits include Diablo 3 and Valkyria Chronicles, this team is setting out to make an epic JRPG experience, and mixing in squad-based RTS elements. They have the goal of “changing the direction of the Japanese game industry” and based on what they’ve shown so far they might just do it. So what is the game? According to the game’s Kickstarter page, the story goes as follows: “The world is changing… The orcish clans, mankind’s ancient enemy, have begun migrating from the mountains and their raids upon human settlements become more brazen and audacious by the day. If this wasn’t enough, the denizens of the southern coastal regions hear rumor of the free men who, once vanquished, have emerged, more organized than before, all with the goal of toppling the Empire. Amidst the stirrings of war, the elves watch a fateful star and recognize it as a portent that will decide the fate of all those who live in Azuregard. It is within these tumultuous times that the troubled paladin Marcus Stern encounters Ruffles, an angel stricken with amnesia. Together with the elven princess Sylrianah, reserved but curious to see the world beyond the forest, and Zarum the Lost, a battlemage with his own internal conflicts, they form an unlikely bond. These four heroes must discover their place in a world brought to war by misunderstanding and ignorance, and perhaps ultimately even save it from itself.” Gameplay wise it’s broken down into three elements: Exploration, Combat, and Character advancement. The world of Azuregard is said to be huge, which is great because it means there’s a lot to look forward to. There will be plenty of towns and places to visit, stores to buy equipment for your characters, and many people to talk to and learn about. Project Phoenix really seems to want to not just have you in the world, but have you be a part of it. Best part of it though? No grinding. Travel at your own pace and you’ll make it to wherever you are heading. The RTS element of the game really comes into play during combat; where you control your squad of characters and lead them into battle. Battles feature a point-and-click system with each character having abilities and attacks to use. But like Fire Emblem you’ll have to explore the terrain to find certain heroes, this game will have the Fog of War, so you’ll have to be careful going forward. But where’s the RPG you say? Character advancement is what you’re looking for. You will be able to guide your teams advancement in the game. Choose a class and run with it, or make them go a different way. It’s up to you. As a bonus there will be customizable characters you can recruit in the game so you can really have some fun with leveling up. So with an all-star team, an intriguing story, vast world to explore, characters to control and customize, and elements of both RPG’s and RTS’ this game will be something to behold when it is released in 2015. Currently, the game is going to be released through Steam or as a direct download for PC, Mac, and Linux with the possibility of adding iOS and Android support later. Project Phoenix has been fully funded and has far exceeded its goal, you can check out the Kickstarter here. We’ve reached out to Hiroaki Yura and his team to try to find out more about this epic game. UPDATE: In a recent press release, the Project Phoenix team has announced that they will be bringing the game to the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita. In addition, they announced that fans who wish to have a console version of the game need to change their pledges from Kickstarter to PayPal. They have given an extension of the crowdfunding drive through PayPal to give everyone who wants a console version time to make the switch. People who have not donated to the project, but are interested, are still able to do so and can take advantage of the PayPal extension. All extra funding will contribute towards Project Phoenix’s stretch goals.