Square Enix are no strangers to releasing mobile iterations of some of their most famous franchises. From Final Fantasy to The World Ends With You, and now Star Ocean. We got the chance to sit down with Star Ocean series producer Takaaki Kai and Illustrator Akira “Akiman” Yasuda to discuss the recently released Star Ocean: Anamnesis. We discussed what sets the title apart from other mobile titles in Square Enix’s line-up, how it ties into the rest of the Star Ocean franchise, and what differences players can expect between this new global version and the previously released Japanese version.
RPG Site: Good Afternoon. I guess to start off with; what can you tell us about Star Ocean: Anamnesis for someone that, perhaps hasn’t played a Star Ocean title, or isn’t familiar with the title’s Japanese release?
Takaaki Kai: So, the Star Ocean series is a series from Square Enix that is celebrating its 20 year anniversary, and it’s known for its great battle scenes, as well as the fact that it’s an action-RPG that incorporates both Sci-Fi and Fantasy in one game. This mobile release really keeps true to the spirit of that console game, and it celebrates everything from the past as well.
RPG Site: Is Anamnesis a festival type game, celebrating the series’ history, then?
Takaaki Kai: Yes, exactly.
RPG Site: So, what about the gameplay stands out compared to other mobile titles that Square Enix has released in the past?
Takaaki Kai: I’m not exactly sure what mobile titles you’re thinking of, but Anamnesis is a free-to-play release – it sets itself apart by its beautiful 3D graphics, rivaling the graphics of the console Star Ocean titles. It keeps true to the console Star Ocean titles in the action system, as well, and has been designed to bring over those action elements to a touchscreen-enabled battle system.
RPG Site: Are there any specific differences between the Japanese and Global release for Anamnesis – quality of life, artistic changes, additions to gameplay – anything like that, that you can speak about today?
Takaaki Kai: There aren’t any major changes between the two, though title updates that were applied to the Japanese release post-launch – adding in QoL changes, for example – will be available at launch on the global release. Other updates will be brought over quicker for the global release compared to the Japanese release. Finally, the global release will include an available English dub as well as the original Japanese voice-over as options.
RPG Site: Thank you – I guess along that train of thought, I’m aware that there were certain cross-over events - or collaborations, you could say - for the Japanese release, including titles such as NieR and Valkyrie Profile among others. Are there any plans, or what are the plans, for bringing that content over to the global version once it launches?
Takaaki Kai: In general, we would like to bring over previous collaborations to the global release, so although there might not be a set schedule right now, we would like to incorporate those collaborations in the future. As a question to you, actually, are there any sorts of collaborations you might like to see in the global version?
RPG Site: I’m not too familiar with the Star Ocean series myself, but I believe that Square Enix has done collaborations with Phantasy Star Online 2 in the past? I feel like that might be a fitting collaboration, since these are both series that – at least for now - are action-RPGs with both Fantasy and Sci-Fi elements.
Takaaki Kai: Thank you!
RPG Site: I guess to wrap things up, is there anything you’d like to convey to Star Ocean fans with this mobile release?
Takaaki Kai: So, to the fans of the Star Ocean series – until now the Star Ocean series has remained on console, but now that it’s on a mobile platform, everyone will have much easier access to playing it. So we hope the number of players will increase even more! There are 3 additional points we’d like to point out about the game; so first of all, Star Ocean: Anamnesis really incorporates a lot of that action battle aspect we know and love about the series, the second point is that Anamnesis has these beautiful graphics that stand up to the standards set by the console games, and third the Star Ocean: Anamnesis fits into the Star Ocean timeline. Furthermore, players get access to co-op online play for the first time in a Star Ocean title. We want players to enjoy the game so much, that they have the game open and fall asleep while playing it!
RPG Site: Thanks again for your time!