Arise, amnesiac hero, the time has come! For you are the Chosen One, and it's down to you to defeat the eight guardians of the power of Arcana so that you can rule the realm. I'm deeply disappointed that a story so distressingly normal could emerge from the studio behind Deadly Premonition.
Lord of Arcana very consciously casts itself in the Phantasy Star/Monster Hunter mould of multiplayer-friendly monster-slaying action games. You head out on quests, tooled up with weapons and armour crafted from slain enemies, and attempt to stick your sword through a range of ever-bigger and toothier boss monsters. There is nothing wrong with what it's trying to do; Monster Hunter hasn't had a real competitor in years, and Arcana initially looks like it might be a more accessible, action-orientated take on the formula rather than a rip-off. Initially.
The illusion is short-lived. Lord of Arcana pulls one of the dirtiest tricks in gaming by giving you a glimpse of power and then taking it all away. The opening level sends you, clad in shimmering steel and a blue cape, after a massive dragon, and the combat system seems really promising.
There's one thing you can definitely expect from forthcoming hack-and-slasher Lord of Arcana - monster murdering, and plenty of it. With this game, Square Enix is looking to break away from its traditional JRPG roots. LOA follows a pretty simple formula: wander around a typical brown dungeon (see also lava worlds, dusty deserts and murky forests), stab everything in your way and battle an oversized boss at the end.
PSP games Dissidia 012[duodecim] Final Fantasy, The 3rd Birthday, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together and Lord of Arcana will all be released in Europe between February and the end of spring 2011. Who says the PSP is dead?