Namco is not a company that one may automatically associate with RPGs.
Fighting games, yes. RPGs, not so much. Action seems to be Namco's forté,
and while that will undoubtedly continue to be the main focus of Namco's
developing activities, the company continues to diversify its action-dominated
While not exactly a stranger to the world of RPGs, Namco has historically not
placed a huge emphasis on this genre. Developing games such as Tales of Phantasia,
Tales of Destiny, and most recently
Khamrai, Namco has taken
hesitant steps into the RPG realm. Its most recent step is a PlayStation2 RPG
loosely translated as Seven - Moralus's Cavalry Troop.
The storyline thus far is not particularly inspiring, but it gets the job done.
Set in medieval times, the gods select seven heroes and bestow upon them seven
sacred weapons. The inevitable goal: to defeat the demons and monsters and restore
peace. Fast-forward one thousand years and to the surprise of absolutely nobody,
the demons and monsters have returned. Of course, it is left to the player, a
rookie cavalry member, to battle against the demons and save the world. Granted,
not the most stirring of plots, but this is also the most basic of information.
Expect future plot and character details to develop shortly.
The gameplay is where Seven gets interesting. The player can take up to
seven characters into battle. A new battle system called "Rotation Battle System"
is being implemented. In this system, the players can divide their forces into
three rows. The first row will be the front line fighters, the second row will act
as support, and the third row will be occupied by characters who require healing
and resting. Lastly, the player can rotate the characters between the rows at will
to suit whatever need the player may have in any particular strategy.
Graphically speaking, Seven is a throwback to simpler times. The game will
utilize hand-drawn 2D images, reminiscent of Disney-style animation. Seven
is also the first Namco PS2 game to be released in DVD format.
All things considered, Seven looks like it has potential to shape up into
a real winner. Given its relatively quirky nature, it seems to stand out in the
PS2's RPG library even at this early stage in its development. More information
is bound to be forthcoming. Watch this space for more news as it develops. C'mon,
you know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it. Or uncool kids. Whichever
way your particular tastes go.