Eureka Seven Vol. 2: The New Vision is an action adventure game based on the near-futuristic Japanese anime Eureka Seven. Set roughly two years after the events of last year's Vol. 1: The New Wave, but still a prequel to the anime series, The New Vision will see you assuming the role of Sumner Sturgeon--a successful mech pilot who has abandoned the corrupt military to pursue a career as a professional athlete in the surfing-like sport of "lifting." Although The New Vision is clearly a story-driven game, Sumner's career choices mean that you'll be spending the majority of your time either at the controls of a mech or racing around on a hovering "reflection board." In the few hours that we've spent with the game thus far, there have also been a couple of occasions where we've engaged enemies in hand-to-hand combat.
Like the aforementioned reflection boards, the mechs in Eureka Seven's world use light particles to power their flight, which is why they're known as "light finding operations" or LFOs. They're extremely complex pieces of kit that incorporate alien skeletons in their designs, but there are really only three things you need to know about them where gameplay is concerned: They look and function a lot like any other mech that you've ever piloted, they can fly on their own reflection boards, and they can transform into land-based vehicles that look like tanks at the push of a button. You'll purportedly get to take the controls of 17 different customizable LFOs as you progress through The New Vision's story mode, though given how many characters are eager to take it from you, the "Flestnia" customized Azure model that you acquire near the start of the game is one of the most desirable around. You'll also get to play as Ruri and Eureka Seven regular Moondoggie at certain points in the story.
Regardless of whether you're doing battle on foot or from the cockpit of your LFO, the controls are uncomplicated, and for the most part, they're the same. By the same token, getting around on a ref board is no different whether or not you happen to be piloting an LFO at the time. The LFO missions invariably involved a lot of airborne combat, though, while the sport of lifting is all about circuit races and saying "dude" a lot. As you play through the game, these somewhat-varied action sequences are punctuated by lengthy noninteractive conversations and cutscenes and, just occasionally, by an opportunity for you to wander around a small area and talk to people. These breaks in the action are also an opportunity for you to purchase new weapons and equipment upgrades, both for your LFO and for use when fighting on foot.
In addition to the story mode, Eureka Seven Vol. 2: The New Vision features a number of other gameplay options that afford you the freedom to pit various characters and LFOs against each other in different situations. Dream matches let you pit your favorite character and LFO against enemies in five battle stages. Special missions task you with rescuing allies and taking down enemies against the clock. The unlockable conflict mode gives you an opportunity to practice your hand-to-hand skills as Sumner, Moondoggie, or Ruri, and when you unlock the free mission mode, you'll be able to go up against any enemies and allies that you choose in air battles, land battles, or races.
Eureka Seven Vol. 2: The New Vision has been available in Japan for almost a year, but it won't be released in North America until next month. We'll bring you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.