CyberConnect2 president Hiroshi Matsuyama revealed that work is already underway on a new game set in the anthropomorphic Solatorobo universe.
At quiet times, we often like to award Game of the Week to the fruits of the PC indie scene - avant-garde experiments and one-man labours-of-love that really deserve the exposure. Few of 2011's weeks will be as quiet as this one was, and so it was with grateful relief that I opened up Kristan's download roundup this morning and discovered a 9/10 Proun review within.
The character Red the Hunter is an anthropomorphised dog in a hat, a kind of cross between The Fantastic Mr Fox and Biggles, who pilots a robot and chews a bone like it's a cheroot. Every ounce of his wiseass charm is needed: after all, he's in a game called Solatorobo. Come again? The spiritual sequel to Tail Concerto, a PlayStation title that sold so poorly it's taken 13 years to get this made, you wonder if the developers at CyberConnect2 are idealists, plain crazy, or just don't like selling games.
It's a crying shame, because Solatorobo deserves much better than obscurity. This is an original adventure-RPG that's clearly a labour of love as well as a fine piece of craftsmanship. It's built around a snappy real-time combat system and a quick-fire quest structure that pings Red around the world, breezily throwing new ideas to the fore before abandoning them just as quickly. And it has that magpie quality all great games have: the eye for something shiny that worked elsewhere, appropriated and slotted in without a second thought.
The main storyline unfolds over a series of chapters to be taken at your own pace, while around these, plenty of standalone quests are available to up Red's Hunter rank and fill the coffers. Solatorobo doesn't really do grinding, largely because of its frantic combat, favouring instead snack-sized challenges and levelling so laid-back it's horizontal.
Handheld action RPG Solatorobo: Red the Hunter arrives on the DS on 1st July, publisher Nintendo has announced.
Nintendo is teaming up with Namco Bandai to release DS RPG Solatorobo: Red the Hunter in Europe.
Due for release "later this year", it's developed by .hack studio CyberConnect 2 and a sequel of sorts to 1999 PSone adventure Tail Concerto.
The game sees you taking on the role of Red Savarin, an anthropomorphic dog with the ability to take on human form. You'll be scrapping it out with giant mechs on the mythical floating islands of the Shepherd Republic.