Patrick Gann
E3: Black Sigil, Now With No Delays!
And this time, we mean it!
06.04.09 - 1:59 PM

Graffiti Entertainment has been getting a lot of criticism for their multitude of delays for Black Sigil. But the first thing they promised us when we met with them on the show floor was that the June 9th release date will hold firm, and you can expect it on store shelves (or in your mailbox if you ordered it online) in the coming days.

Our impressions of the game, hands-on, are exactly what many people have been saying: it's a Chrono Trigger clone. An important thing to note here, however, is that we don't know of any other such clones on the market. So this might be a style of gameplay worth milking.

Developed in Montreal, Black Sigil makes full use of 16-bit, SNES-style graphics. The overworld map is in Mode 7, and the towns/dungeons look remarkably like a Super Nintendo title. It's a great, oldschool feeling. However, the battle system is different from anything we've played before (though we're not sure that's a good thing at this point). While the game does sport two- and three-person combo attacks (just like Chrono Trigger), the battle system is otherwise its own beast. The turn-based functionality is difficult to describe, especially because there are "active" and "wait" modes for the enemies. One thing we have to note is the extremely high encounter rate...we don't know how this is going to pan out among fans. Graffiti told us that it's "oldschool" and that the fans will want it, but personally, I don't want to fight a battle every five steps on the world map.

Fortunately, battles are generally fast-paced and end quickly. The big things to watch out for in battle are the game's many (annoying) status effects. If you aren't paying close attention to the screen, it's easy to miss the fact that you're planned combo attack has been canceled due to a status effect that paralyzed one of your teammates.

Graffiti claims that the game provides a minimum of 40 hours to play, and the game also has seven endings. We'll have a full review of the game sometime this month, and we're hoping for the best. The real question is, can you improve on a 16-bit classic by adding, removing, or changing things about it to make it your own game? We'll see, when Black Sigil hits the market next week.