Blazing Souls for PS2 Announced
10.30.05 - 1:47 PM

Idea Factory today revealed its newest strategy RPG titled Blazing Souls for PlayStation 2.

More than a decade has passed since the Seven-Years War had destroyed large parts of Neverland. While the world is slowly moving from chaos to more peaceful, stable times, the scars created by the war still run deep. In particular, the loss of magic power by Otherworldly Spirits has been immeasurable and continues to distort the world's balance. Monsters have become extremely vicious, causing a lot of trouble. In these dire times, the game's protagonist, a contractor named Zeros, finds a powerful magic crystal known as Core Element. As Zeros travels from place to place, he starts encountering so-called Elements and Human Genomes. Those Genomes are a new race created by the Gods to replace mankind. In addition to those creatures, Zeros also has to deal with an evil person trying to acquire the Core Element no matter what it takes. In the ensuing confrontation, Zeros, who has no recollection of his own past, will not only return to the place where he was born, but also find out the reason for his very existence.

The female lead Andel meets Zeros as she embarks on a journey to find out the reason for her parents' deaths. The second female character Alia has lost her memory just like Zeros. Zeros helped the young woman and since then, the two have been travelling together. The powerful warrior Duzer suddenly appears in front of Zeros and decides to join him. He is not interested in the Core Elemental, and his motivation to join Zeros is a complete a mystery. Brigitte is a treasure hunter looking for the Core Elemental. Etwald has inherited the Rune of Wind from his grandfather, who happened to be one of the Four Original Sages. He has inherited his knowledge and continues the research of the Human Genomes. Yunis and Etru are two Hito Genome twins.

System-wise, Blazing Souls is comparable to Idea Factory's other strategy RPGs. At a guild players will obtain information about new locations. Upon locating such a new area, a new map will appear. Players then can continue their exploration which eventually leads them to event scenes and battles. The field map will feature boxes, rocks, blocks and other movable or destroyable objects. While players usually can move, push or destroy these objects directly on the field map, some can only be destroyed in battle.

For Blazing Souls, the development team at Idea Factory has brought back an enhanced version of Spectral Souls II's battle system. Combination attacks and break arts will now play a major role. By attacking an enemy unit with a certain skill or weapon, it can be sent into a break condition. If a party member attacks the respective enemy unit in this particular state, the player will gain access to the extremely powerful break arts. From time to time, players will encounter foes that are immune to anything but break arts.

Those who pre-order Idea Factory's newest strategy RPG will be treated to a digital data disc containing color illustrations, artwork and bits of voice acting. Sticking to a recent tradition, Idea Factory will also reveal a currently still secret new project on the disc as well.

Blazing Souls will be released in Japan sometime in January 2006. The game's standard version will be available for 6,800 yen ($58.79 US), while the limited edition will retail for 8,800 yen ($76.08 US). The latter will ship with an artbook, a soundtrack CD as well as a set of nine trading cards.

Chris Winkler