By Janelle | September 20, 2012 at 5:50 am
Today I saw a banner on the show floor declaring that Sol Trigger is “The last JRPG.” I was really confused until I realized that Sol Trigger was developed by Image Epoch, a company with a few games under the “JRPG” label, and the “last” refers to it being the last PSP game under that label.
Sol Trigger is like a neat aesthetic blend of a bunch of RPGs from the last five years or so. The menus have a distinct Persona 3 vibe, but in purple instead of blue, the character designs land somewhere between Tales of and Persona (not surprising, since the character designer worked on the Persona 4 comics), and the city the demo took place in could have been ripped right out of Final Fantasy Type-0. All the characters, part of some sort of , all have some kind of bright purple glove thing they can use to channel Sol energy and summon equally purple weapons. Purple is the theme color, but it works; again, just like Persona 3‘s blue.
After the long opening movie, I started playing as a trio of heroes/terrorists. Part of the group called Sol Trigger, they’re working together to oppose a “machine church,” that tries to harness the Sol energy of the citizens. They were all trying to find their friend named While. Wairu? Wayl? Wile? While they were trying to find While, a masked guy with a club jumped out threateningly, and a battle began.
Battles in Sol Trigger follow a classic first-person turn-based model. The turn order can be seen in the top-left of the screen, and certain actions might push a character ahead or back in the queue. Every party member had a unique set of skills, which gained experience as they were used, and which could therefore become more powerful over time. When the player uses a skill, he also has the opportunity to Sol Charge it: pumping Sol into the ability would increase its SP cost and effect for that use. Even though the bar that appears suggests that you can charge a skill part-way to enjoy partial benefits, that wasn’t the case in the demo: the Sol Charge is either full or empty.
After a few battles, my party ran into four more similarly outfitted characters, who were also looking for While. But a bad-looking dude in a cape showed up to mess up their plans. Fitting, since they messed up his villain show earlier in the demo. Unfortunately, in the middle of that battle, my time was up, so I didn’t get to see the outcome.
Sol Trigger‘s demo piqued my interest. It doesn’t seem to have too many original gameplay elements, but the ones it has are tried, tested and true. Being a PSP game, though, it’s probably not going to get localized, so anyone interested in checking out Sol Trigger will have to import it when it gets released on October 4.