One of the biggest criticisms of the modern PlayStation among its biggest fans is that the platform holder isn’t as interested in Japanese games, especially JRPGs, as it used to be. While it’s still willing to pay a hefty sum to lock in the latest Final Fantasy as a timed exclusive, it’s been a while since the creator funded and published a JRPG of its own, for example.
And in an interview with GematsuWild weapons designer Akifumi Kaneko admitted that he presented a spiritual successor Armed Imagination: To the End of the Forest The platform holder was sometimes to no avail. The game has since been the subject of a successful Kickstarter double-header, raising $1.5 million in crowdfunding to date.
“When it comes to making a new JRPG, Japanese publishers won’t take risks,” Kaneko admitted. “In my case, I went to Sony again and again, but nothing came of it. It’s not so much that JRPGs aren’t popular, it’s that publishers won’t let us make them. He added that established series, e.g. Persona, and Final Fantasy, have had no problem getting funded – but it’s a new IP that faces a problem.
Armed Imagination: Wilderness to the End of the Forest may have veterans, but Kaneko is keen to underline that the cult is unrelated to the PS1 and PS2 JRPG series. “Armed fantasy is a completely different game than wild weapons,” he admitted. “As always there will be a compelling story, but the story and characters and such will be different from Wild Arms so that anyone who hasn’t played Wild Arms will be able to enjoy this game. On top of that, it will be an open-world-like experience where you explore the whole place.
Interestingly, wildfire weapons have enjoyed a small renaissance of late, since being incorporated as a All PS Plus games. In a recent review of the PS1 original, we awarded the game an 8/10, describing it as “a memorable journey into a unique desolate fantasy world”. Unfortunately, with spiritual successors like Armed Fantasia: By the Jungle’s End turning to Kickstarter to get funding, it looks like there’s little future for the franchise under current Sony leadership.
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