Sword Reverie is a brilliant start for JRPG virtual reality
JRPGs, Japanese role-playing games, hold a dear place in my heart. Games like Final Fantasy and Pokemon sucked me in from a young age and never let go. To date, JRPG series like Fire Emblem or Persona have a large player base devoting hundreds of hours to each new episode of the series.
However, a new genre or medium that is slowly taking more and more place in the market is virtual reality. Luckily for me, the Kickstarter-funded Sword Reverie is a marriage between VR and JRPG, giving us the best of both worlds.
Illustrating the demand for such a game, the project succeeded in auglying nearly 200% of their fundraising goal in 72 hours !
Naturally, I couldn't resist sending a message to the creators and to check for myself.
What is Sword Reverie?
Sword reverie is a virtual reality action JRPG, slated for release on PCVR and eventually Oculus Quest and PSVR.
The game uses hand-drawn graphics to create an artistic style of anime and bring to life the amazing world that Isekai Entertainment has created.
Frank Zhang, founder of Isekai Entertainment, describes Sword Reverie as "a one-player VR action game inspired by JRPG [where] players use the body movements to launch unique abilities and fight repel hordes of enemies by taking advantage of different elements. "
The game nIt's still in its early days, but the demo the company sent me shows some promise.
History and setting
The game takes place in a fantasy world filled with medieval combat, elemental magic, and enemy monsters / creatures known as elementals.
"In Sword Reverie, " Zhang said. "The player will take on the role of an anime-style protagonist to stop the impending elemental invasion and help Stella uncover the truth behind the tragic death of her parents.
While there wasn't much more of the story shown in the demo, the game got off to a really good start. Hope to see a deeper narrative develop, as one of my main issues with VR games is the lack of a story that really helps players immerse themselves in it.
Here is an excerpt from the Sword Reverie website to give you an idea of whatthey have so far in terms of history and setting:
After thousands of years of peace, tensions between humans and elementals continue to grow. 'intensify. A catastrophic war with the Elemental Lords is imminent. When the previous Guardian died at the hands of the Elementals, Magnus vowed to continue the role of Guardian and end the Elemental threat once and for all. Guardian Magnus summons you, a "Hero", from a distant land to save his people.
Stella, the daughter of the last Guardian, accompanies you on your adventure. His father, the last Guardian, was assassinated by one of the Elemental Lords under mysterious circumstances and his mother perishes alongside him. Adopted and raised by Magnus, Stella has spent her life training with bow and arrows to avenge her parents' deaths and ensure that no other child has to suffer her fate.
As the Hero, will you rise to the challenge and free the world from the tyranny of the Elementals?
Sword Reverie Gameplay: a VR action JRPG
The game features fully voiced characters and (compared to other VR games) large open maps to explore.
In the game, players wield two swords that they use to ward off enemy attacks and launch their own strikes.
The enemies of the game each belong to a certain element: fire, water, grass / earth and lightning. Players can change the elemental property of their swords at any time to match the weaknesses of the enemy .
In addition to traditional melee combat, the player learns special abilities such as ranged attacks and 360 bursts. These abilities allow the player to target the ennissued from a distance or facing several enemies surrounding the player from all sides.
Asked about the inspirations for the game mechanics, Zhang said: "We wanted build a combat system that takes advantage of virtual reality, but also has superior capabilities like in JRPG games.
"We have referenced a lot of Action VR such as Gorn, Blade and Sorcery, and Until You Fall for their melee combat. For the different items and abilities we have referenced games such as Final Fantasy 7 and Ni No Kuni 2. "
Comment Sword Reverie Combat Right
In my opinion, after playing dozens of games and spending countless hours in VR, too many games focus too much on realism and not enough on creating a fun experience.
Do I really care that uDoes the sword in real life be heavy and therefore cannot be swung as quickly as I swing an Oculus Quest Controller? Do I really care that in real life I would be tired if I ran 400 meters? Of course not. And when I have a heavy helmet on my face, I don't want to sit still and wait for my character to catch his breath.
What matters to me is this is to have a fun experience.
If we wanted pure reality in terms of sword fighting, we would join a Kendo class.
The game knows what it is and uses its strengths. It is an isekai story where the protagonist has magical powers.
For isekai anime fans like Sword Art Online , Sword Reverie gives you the fantasme of being the character transported to another world and the only one who can save it.
Sword Reverie Playtime
Sword Reverie have more than 2 hours of play in early access and about 10 hours after the game is over.
Inspirations behind the game
When asked why they decided to take the plunge and bring the JRPG genre to life in virtual reality, Zhang had a lot to say.
"At Isekai Entertainment, we are all huge weebs," says Zhang. "And we love JRPG games and other anime style games like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest.
" Most current anime style VR games lack gameplay elements or are in the genre of musical game. It 's only natural that we wanted to bring our favorite genre of games to virtual reality. "
" Virtual reality is the perfect wayto explore fantastic worlds, and I'm sure many anime fans can't wait for the day when they can be like Kirito from Sword Art Online and use virtual reality to live their fantasy. "
Current Challenges in Development
" One of the things we love about JRPGs are large, explorable maps. However, creating large, explorable maps is a lot of work, "says Zhang.
" To add to the challenge, VR games must perform well with frequency drops. 'minimum images. It is very difficult when you have a large map filled with lush greenery and complex buildings to render. We had to find ways to solve all these technical challenges and create a lot of map content with a very small independent team.
Will JRPGs become a common VR genre?
With early successgames like Arcaxer and the potential Sword Reverie has shown, I hope so.
Nothing would turn me on more than seeing a Final title Full-fledged fantasy in VR. With Half-Life Alyx, studio triple-A Valve has set the bar for revamping a triple-A franchise for virtual reality. I hope larger JRPG studios can come to terms with doing the same.
Zhang also had a similar opinion. "JRPGs are one of the most popular genres on Steam, and with the huge worldwide success of anime-style games such as Genshin Impact, it's only natural that other developers are looking for ways to bring this genre to VR, "says Zhang. .
"I think the virtual reality market is maturing and more and more anime fans are buying a casqee of virtual reality, this will attract more Chinese and Japanese developers to launch VR games in their franchises.
Sword Reverie release date is set for late 2021
The game will launch in Early Access for PC VR (SteamVR and Oculus Rift) later this year (late 2021) with full launch slated for 2022.
The team is still looking to bring the game to Quest and PSVR, and have not confirmed a release date for either platform.
In the meantime, you can check out Sword Reverie and keep up to date with the game's progress on the official website: https://swordreverie.com/
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