Square-Enix is working on another action RPG, and it's on mobile. The game, due out in Japan this spring, is called Samurai Rising, though the trailer contains some classes and critters that are familiar to the Final Fantasy universe.
When you watch the trailer, keep an eye out for Malboros, Coeurls, Dragoons, and White Mages wearing those adorable cat-ear hoods that are woefully underused in Square-Enix's properties.
All the information available about Samurai Rising thus far has been garnered from its Japanese site, which contains artwork in the style of (or actually done by) Akihiko Yoshida of Bravely Default and Bravely Second. If you have a decent understanding of Japanese, you can even pre-register for the game.
You don't need to be fluent in Japanese to determine Samurai Rising is probably a free-to-play title, however. The website is offering bonus amounts of some kind of crystal-shaped currency to players who sign up early, which is a telltale sign the game's economy operates on some manner of purchasable hard currency that's likely a rare find in-game.
Even so, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper demonstrates Square-Enix can deliver solid free-to-play games -- though recent controversy surrounding that title might have irrevocably damaged players' trust towards Square-Enix and Record Keeper's publisher, DeNA.
I've enjoyed Square-Enix's mobile-based action RPGs in the past, including the remakes of Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy Adventure (re-released as Adventures of Mana). Those are paid titles, though, and I'm not sure how a free-to-play "extreme action RPG" is supposed to work outside of mobile MMOs that revolve around hub worlds.
I'd much rather pay once for Samurai Rising and play, since I didn't have any major issues with the touch screen-based controls in Secret of Mana and Adventures of Mana (others will understandably disagree with me, here). I suppose at this point in gaming's history, complaining about free-to-play games is as useful as complaining about death and devastation in the World of Ruin.
But we might be putting the chocobo before the Don's cart, anyway. There's no indication that Samurai Rising is coming West, and it's not uncommon for Square-Enix to keep its mobile games within Japan's borders (are we ever going to see Mobius Final Fantasy?).
Bravely Second has certainly put me in the mood for more of Yoshida's regally cute artwork, so I wouldn't object to seeing Samurai Rising hit our shores. Free-to-play or not, I'm more than willing to give it a go.
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