Square Announces the Release of Five New Games

With all the current news and speculations concerning upcoming gaming systems, games themselves have recently taken a backseat concerning media attention. Earlier today, Square Electronic Arts set the focus back on the games by announcing their upcoming North American lineup through this September for the PlayStation. In today's press release, Square divulged information on their five games set to be released to eager RPGamers by the summer's end. This exciting PlayStation lineup consists of the following titles:

Vagrant Story: a "tactical espionage thriller" set in a medieval time period. The game's plot revolves around Ashley Riot, a "Riskbreaker" in the Valendia Knights of the Peace, who was framed by his rival Sydney Losstarot for the murder of Duke Bardorba. Forced into hiding, Riot must prove what really happened to the Duke in order to clear his name. Vagrant Story features an innovative weapon creation system, in which different weapon parts can be mixed and matched to create new weapons. Also featured is a "Status System" which allows players to target specific body parts and limbs during combat for a more exciting and realistic experience. Vagrant Story has been rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) and will be released on May 16, 2000.

Legend of Mana: a sequel to the popular SNES Action RPG, Secret of Mana. The game follows the story of one of two player-selected characters, both of whom embark on a quest to restore the now barren world of Fa'Diel. Players will reconstruct the world with the game's unique "Land Creation System," which turns artifacts collected through the course of the game into new locations to explore. Because of this innovative feature, Legend of Mana's brilliant two-dimensional-style watercolor world will be different each time you play. The game's "Action Edit System" gives battles a greater sense of urgency and interaction than those of traditional RPGs. Legend of Mana has been rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and will be released on June 13, 2000.

Threads of Fate: an intriguing RPG with fast-paced action and challenging puzzles. The game, formerly known as Dew Prism, features two different characters on a quest to acquire the mysterious Dewprism, which holds the ability to reshape reality. Gameplay is different depending on which character the player chooses. The male character has the capability to shape-shift into the form of defeated enemies and gain their powers, while the female character has a powerful spell-casting ability. The game features a real-time battle system, and it provides non-stop action that encourages players to rely on their reflexes and cunning. Threads of Fate has been rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB and will be released on July 18, 2000.

Chrono Cross: the sequel to the classic time-traveling RPG for the SNES, Chrono Trigger. The game focuses on two young heroes who join together to find an elusive artifact which can change the course of history. Chrono Cross lets players choose from multiple scenarios, which can result in a different ending each time you play. The game eliminates random enemy encounters, in turn giving players more strategic options before battle. Also featured are a combination battle system and real-time fighting sequences, which give players more options and control over the action. Chrono Cross has been rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and will be released sometime in August 2000.

Parasite Eve 2: the sequel to the hit PlayStation game Parasite Eve. The game features FBI agent Aya Brea in her attempt to stop a new breed of monster - mutant mitochondria - that threatens the human race. These creatures, known as Neo Mitochondrion Creatures (NMC), are a much greater threat than anything Aya encountered in the original game. Aya must race against the clock, fighting the mitochondria across the United States, as she tries to uncover the origins of the new species. The game will employ a real-time battle system, which will allow for more realistic and exciting enemy encounters. Parasite Eve has been rated "M" (Mature) by the ESRB and will be released sometime in September 2000.

Many of these games have been on gamers' wish lists for a long time, and it's now only a matter of time before they arrive. Stay tuned to RPGamer for more coverage on these exciting games as new information develops.

by Andrew P. Bilyk    
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