Update 11/03/2016: Unfortunately, due to some technical issues that Silicon Studio has encountered, FANTASICA: Bloodlines has been pulled from the App Store and Google Play for the time being. Silicon Studio is aiming to have FANTASICA: Bloodlines back up on the App Store and Google Play the week of November 14, 2016; TechRaptor will keep our readers informed on any new developments concerning this mobile app game.
The original story follows below.
Fans of the original free-to-play FANTASICA will have something to look forward to, as the 2012 mobile title is receiving a sequel titled FANTASICA: Bloodlines. The original title was produced by Silicon Studio, the team behind the popular Nintendo 3DS titles Bravely Default and Bravely Second: End Layer. This time around, FANTASICA: Bloodlines is a joint production between Silicon Studio and DeNA Games, with Silicon Studio handling game development and DeNA taking care of the marketing. DeNA's official game trailer can be viewed below. TechRaptor staff were offered the opportunity to take part in a demo of the game and discuss the development process with Silicon Studio and DeNA representatives.
Set four hundred years after the original FANTASICA, FANTASICA: Bloodlines follows the story of Theo, who sets off to retrieve his sister Nina after she is kidnapped. Silicon Studio wanted to focus on story elements for FANTASICA: Bloodlines, as fans were constantly wondering about the characters that were introduced in Events as well as in the main game. This, along with the desire to make gameplay as interesting as possible, led them to use classical role-playing game element in the sequel to FANTASTICA.
The original title was focused around tower defense gameplay but players quickly found it became stale; as a result, FANTASICA: Bloodlines utilizes two different styles of gameplay in order to have more variety available to players. The two styles of gameplay are "free run" and "side view." "Free run" places players in a top-down non-linear environment and has players construct a party of nine characters to battle enemies and clear the stage. Each character is controlled by selecting their character icon and clicking a spot in the environment for them to move to; characters auto-attack nearby enemies once they are within range.
Additionally, each character has a "deploy" cost, which prohibits players from filling their party with extremely strong characters when the player is at a low level. As the player levels up, their "cost cap" rises, allowing them to build stronger parties around stronger characters. For example, when I was at level ten in the demo, my cost cap was 107, which allowed me to make use of some characters I had picked up through chests.
As gameplay progresses, a character's icon slowly fills, and once full it allows for a special skill to be executed. Skills range from characters healing themselves or other nearby enemies, a series of strikes performed on a nearby enemy, or even widespread area attacks. The conditions for clearing a stage vary depending on the stage: Stage 1-7, the stage in which the protagonist's sister is kidnapped by mysterious forces, requires you to defend her for a total of one minute against a never-ending swarm of opponents. Other stages simply require you to clear all enemies from the stage.
The other style of gameplay is "side view," which focuses on side-scrolling battles and limits players to a party of only three characters. Enemies spawn at both ends of the side view stage section, and once that section is cleared, the stage automatically moves players to the next section. This style of gameplay was likened by Silicon Studio to two armies, charging at each other, and emphasis is placed on skills and traits over characters. At the end of the stage, players will typically be pitted against a strong boss-type enemy.
Clearing a stage rewards you with items and treasure chests, which can either be unlocked immediately using crystals or by letting the timer for them run down to zero; however, players can only have four chests at any one time. Chests can be made of either wood, silver, or gold—item rarity and strength scaling with each tier of chest—and can contain gold, items, weapons, or new party characters. Additionally, chests are the only way for players to receive new weapons for their player characters.
In addition to obtaining new party characters from chests, players can also obtain them from "Packs" by using Crystals; these party characters are stronger than the ones found in chests. Players can then enhance their party characters and weapons using gold obtained from battles, allowing their characters to be able to take on more challenging stages as they progress through the game. Both gold and Crystals can be purchase in the game's store; however, this function wasn't available in the demo version that TechRaptor staff were provided with.
Players are also scored on how well they played that specific stage. A "Perfect" score is obtained by meeting all of the objectives for that stage, which can include tasks such as clearing the stage without losing a party member, finishing the stage using a skill, or beating the stage well under the time given. Scoring "Perfect" on all the stages in a given area will unlock certain bonuses for players.
Like the original FANTASICA, FANTASICA: Bloodlines will feature Events. Events feature special rules or conditions for stages, such as placing a cost cap on the party you can build for the Event, or having characters run a race on a board using dice rolls to determine board movement. Unlike the original title, though, Silicon Studio has said that the Events of FANTASICA: Bloodlines will be specifically supplemental, used to add to the player experience, not to augment stale gameplay in the main game.
Game text has been localized into English; however, the original Japanese voice work has been left untouched.
FANTASICA: Bloodlines will be available on the App Store and Google Play Thursday, October 27 in all countries except Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao, and is free-to-play. Preregistration for the game is still open until the game launches on Thursday; players who preregister will receive exclusive bonuses, such as nine hundred crystals for opening chests and a character based on Konomi Suzuki, the Japanese singer who does the vocals for DeNA's introduction video for FANTASICA: Bloodlines.
Stay tuned to TechRaptor for further information on FANTASICA: Bloodlines, the FANTASICA franchise, and other mobile games.
Did you play the original FANTASICA? If so, what are your thoughts on this sequel? For players new to the franchise, would you be interested in playing FANTASICA: Bloodlines? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.