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Summon Night X: Tears Crown : TGS 2009 Hands-on

By Janelle | September 27, 2009 at 4:17 am

Before the Tokyo Game Show, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect of Summon Night X: Tears Crown. After playing this demo, I’m honestly still not sure. The demo contained a lot of story, a single battle, and very little encounters with the interface at all, so the gameplay, aside from the traditional turn-based combat, remains a bit elusive.

At the opening of the game, the player is asked to select between two characters, Dylan or Phara (I selected Phara). A long scene followed. Two kingdoms, Celestia (the good guys, because everyone is blond, cute, and wears bright clothing) and Deltiana (the bad guys, because everyone is pale, stern-looking and wears dark clothing), are on the brink of making a shaky truce, so the two rulers meet on a bridge between their kingdoms. The deal is that, to cement this commitment to peace, the kings are going to trade their firstborn sons for ten years. Dylan, Deltiana’s prince, and Noin, Celestia’s prince, take the matter pretty well, but Noin’s little sister Phara creates a big scene. Noin assures her that everything will, of course, be totally all right, and in the aftermath, Phara is left to deal with the fact that she has a new big brother now.

Fast forward ten years, and Phara is reflecting on the matter with her summoned pet Moo-Moo, a purple dog unicorn thing that can only utter the words “Moo, moo!” Why is there always a character like this? It’s nice when the cute monster character can actually contribute some meaningful or amusing dialogue. Moo-moo showed up ten years ago, when Phara and Dylan were attacked by an out-of-place slime, and Phara, seemingly unconsciously, summoned Moo-Moo to protect herself.

Dylan, looking that much friendlier for spending ten formative years in the good guy kingdom, escorts Phara to the royal family’s cottage, where another out-of-place slime attacks. Combat ensues, and it’s pretty simple: attack, use magic or items, or defend, do what you need to until the attacking foe is dead. An attendant named Garritt shows up post-battle, some kind of angel, and the four return to the palace.

One promising feature showed up in the scene that followed. Phara was reflecting again, on the same balcony, at night, and she hears a noise of someone approaching. Here, I as the player actually got to pick who she saw when she turned around (Dylan, Garritt, or Moo-Moo). The dialogue and character development that shows up changes according to who is picked.

The demo play ended there, so I’m still left feeling a little lost. The story hook has potential, but the intricacies of the battle system, the menus, and plenty of other important things to the whole game experience were absent from the demo. Summon Night X: Tears Crown comes out in Japan on November 5.

Topics: Namco Bandai, Previews, Summon Night X: Tears Crown, Tokyo Game Show 2009