Source: Nintendo Power February 2005 IssueA couple of months ago, we met with representatives from Namco who promised us information about an all-new RPG for the Game Boy Advance. Well, we've been prodding and cajoling and pleading ever since, and they've finally given up the goods. The new game is called Sigma Star Saga, and it bills itself as an RPG-shooter. The story takes place during a long-running war between humanity and a race of aliens called the Krill. As one of the finest human pilots in the galaxy, you are asked to take a dangerous assignment and infiltrate the Krill, but events soon spiral out of control when you are poisoned and awake on a Krill battleship. (We're glad to see that you get poisoned--most good RPGs have at least one poisoning.)
The gameplay is divided into on-foot portions and side-scrolling space battles. At first, you can delve into only one planet, but as you progress further into the game you'll be able to visit up to six, flying between them and exploring as you see fit. The RPG aspects appear to be strong--you'll gain experience points each time you fight a battle, and then distribute them to stats such as Shield, Hit Points and Maneuverability. You'll also earn cash for blasting your foes, which can be used to fund weapon experimentation and creation. Weaponry is a big part of Sigma Star Saga, and you build better ones by finding Gun Data. You can combine the 50 different kinds of Gun Data by forming phrases, such as Spread Shot-Stop and Charge-Explode. We've never heard of such a thing before, but it should allow players to create a truly wacky arsenal.
The game is being developed by WayForward Studios, a California-based development house with a very interesting past. Its staff has worked on such diverse titles as The X Fools (a bizarre computer game that parodies the X-Files), a paint program for the Sega CD and Shantae, one of the best games ever made for the Game Boy Color. The boys of WayForward have been nice enough to provide us with exclusive screenshots and artwork from the game, and have promised much more to come.
We're very excited about the possibilities for Sigma Star Saga (which is only a working title), but there are a ton of questions left to answer. Epic Center will keep a very close eye on the game in the next few months and bring you more info, new screens and maybe even reports from a trip to California to meet the team and get some hands-on playtime.
Not a lot to go on, but it already sounds pretty cool. I will definitely be keeping an eye on that.