Children of Mana chatter

Mana tree player action.

Hurrah for lying websites! According to reports, the Square Enix one for DS RPG Children of Mana - the first fruit of the World of Mana tree - was wrong when it claimed the game was due out in Japan next winter. It's out this winter.

Famitsu's told us some things about it too; that multiplayer is a big thing, for example, with several players able to work together to do things that can't be done alone, like boosting one another over a fence.

The combat and equipment stuff sounds a bit different to the usual mix of action RPG bits and pieces, too. You can equip multiple weapons to your character and use them depending on the foe, instead of having to continually switch, and you can radically alter the way your character's made up by changing his other equipment. Apparently Square's done this instead of having a job or race system because it wants players to be able to distinguish themselves from one another easily when they link up.

Sounds quite multiplayer-focused, really. But we'll probably get a clearer picture in the next few months - particularly when the game's released in Japan and we foolishly import it and sit around poking the screen in the hope of breaking through the language barrier long enough to figure things out. Which we won't. But that's fine, because it'll come out in the US at some point.

Speaking of poking the screen - another thing Famitsu's reported is that the main action is actually controlled by the d-pad and face buttons. There will be stylus input, but only in limited amounts. "Limited amounts" being a phrase that, for anybody wondering why this news item appears to have been written by somebody whose first language is actually Swahili, this writer did not keep in mind when sidling up to the bar last night. Oof. Set mode +Ginsters.

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