Tokitowa: The RPG That Harks Back to 2D/3D Days of Yore

Image Epoch's latest action RPG aims to blend the best of anime and games with a twist of monogamy.

As we have seen time and time again in PlayStation-era role-playing games, mixing 2D sprite animation with 3D graphics can have mixed results. Developer Image Epoch knew that such an experiment would be risky, but the company that made Arc Rise Fantasia and the Luminous Arc series decided to say "screw it" and go for gold with Tokitowa, a game that claims to be an anime in video game motion.

As was evident from the Image Epoch webcast hosted by CEO Ryoei Mikage and producer Kei Hirano, Tokitowa is an action RPG for the PlayStation 3 centered on a blue-haired protagonist (which we would control) and his pink-haired wife, Toki. The key themes of the game's narrative are time and the bonds of marriage.

From the tiny clips of gameplay shown during the teaser, we can assume that Toki is a ranged character who uses her flying dragon pet as a combat assist. We didn't see any sign of the main protagonist in action, so we can't gauge whether players will have a two-person party or just tag in the other during combat.

What was also apparent was that every character and enemy will be in motion via traditional hand-drawn animation. Animation studio Satelight (Macross Frontier) and illustrator Vofan (Bakemonogatari) are handling the entire game's 2D art and look, while Yuzo Koshiro is responsible for the game's music. Speaking of characters, the teaser also showed other female members of the cast, ranging from a bespectacled brunette who may be an outdoor alchemist, to a blonde doppelganger of Toki.

What was interesting was that Mikage joked that players can cheat on the main character's wife and instead find another person to marry and date. Whether the extra glimpse of the cast means they're potential party members or spouses is still open to interpretation, but the possibilities make for something akin to a faithfulness meta-test (like Catherine did last year).

While we aren't fully convinced that what we saw would translate into a smooth gameplay experience, Mikage did state that the game is only 20 percent done and will be ready for display in time for this year's Tokyo Game Show. That said, the brief clips demonstrated the high-quality animation blending in very well with its background.

If all goes to plan, gamers can check out what could be a pleasing marriage between traditional animation and gameplay when Tokitowa is out on Japan shelves this year.

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Discussion

44 comments
TwiliPrincess93
TwiliPrincess93

Looks pretty good, probably better off learning japanese and importing it than expecting them to send it over here though.

Menalque2
Menalque2

It's Namco Bandai (useless useless company) so I don't expect it to see the light of day over here.

Raxyman
Raxyman

Seems interesting, even though i'm tired of exclusives...

The_Blademaster
The_Blademaster

"a game that claims to be an anime in video game motion." That sounds awesome. But if that's the case, its going to have to be just as interesting as watching a cool anime would be ;)

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

Looks good, hope it comes out everywhere not just japan.

astro_viper
astro_viper

Hmmm, I'll check it out at TGS12. If it looks good, I'll pick it up. Definitely interested. Hopefully there is furigana (and an advance screen on button press option), cause I take forever to read kanji. But I'm pretty much sold, regardless.

sircyrus
sircyrus

Too bad it's coming out on the one system I don't own. It looks like it could be interesting. And while I generally don't go for anime, the style of this game intrigues me, how it will all be hand drawn.

RitterXplode
RitterXplode

Looks interesting. Will keep an eye on this one to see how it works out.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

Im pretty interested in is, hopefully it hits US Shores.

AznEvan
AznEvan

If North America is to get this game, it'll likely be in 2013 since this game is going to be released this year in Japan. All we can do is to keep on wishing!! Hopefully it'll sell well enough in Japan that would convince them to bring it here!

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

This actually looks promising and i'm not that big a fan of JRPG's... I'll be watching this one.....

l777l
l777l

Very interested in this one.

System4Ever
System4Ever

Bring it to the west! the more JRPGS the merrier :D

Shawn45
Shawn45

blah blah blah - illustrator Vofan (Bakemonogatari) SOLD!

cheese232323
cheese232323

somewhat interesting, would like to see some gameplay

BasilVZero
BasilVZero

Hope it comes out in the states.

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

The music made me think of Wild ARMs.

pretty_odddd
pretty_odddd

If there's english version then I'll get it for sure and play (with japanese voice). I really want to play jap ver. but I still can't read them though.

xXl_z3r0_lXx
xXl_z3r0_lXx

Wow, this looks like it could be really good if done right! I loved that animation style, even if I only saw it for a second and a half.

burgo81
burgo81

i hope that this game fills that jrpg whole in my heart, final fantasy 13 just did not do it for me and by the looks of things dragon quest x will be a flop so bad it will kill the series

hemoleech
hemoleech

I wish I had a PS3 to play imports. I like the idea of 2D sprites in a 3D environment. Ragnarok Online is one of the very few games that has done it right.

Rovelius
Rovelius

Ehh... good news for importers I guess.

SyedMoeed
SyedMoeed

my first every game was a JRPG!! lookin forward to this one.

gnus78
gnus78

can't... resist.. must ... play..

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

What!? Monogamy!? I can't accept that coming from Japan!

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Gonna pay attention to this one. Something good could come from this one.

Danu_06
Danu_06

"Animation studio Satelight (Macross Frontier) and illustrator Vofan (Bakemonogatari) handles the entire game's 2D art and look" Shut up and take my money! Japanese devs must understand that there is people like me, that want to play more JRPGs not just Final fantasy games.

sapool
sapool

keep em coming Namco Bandai, I already prepared a separate wallet with your name on it.

neal218
neal218

Omg This game looks awesome! why wont it make it stateside? is this just some pessimistic concerns from other gamers? or did they say it wont come to the u.s.??? I love japan! nihondaisukindayo!

winder207
winder207

just aint fair ... y doesn't it release in the EU & US

cephas90
cephas90

One of the few times I'm jealous of ps3 owners.

cephas90
cephas90

Monogamy, I love how that's not the norm.

nate1222
nate1222

Won't come stateside. Most U.S. gamers want CoD clones with hyper-masculinized characters and macho bulls___.

Xenogears_Rocks
Xenogears_Rocks

I would pre order this in a heart beat. If it was coming to the states, That is

nevershoutnevea
nevershoutnevea

it lookd great to me but it wont release in US like always only in japan which sux...i miss the old days when japanese were the best in RPG..i have to live in japan and learn japanese if i want to play games like that -sigh-

Viktormon
Viktormon

The tiny clips of in-game kinda blew my mind! HD 2D animation in a RPG game is something to look forward to, but stil... like soulless4now said, probably won't see it here.

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

What? I've never heard anyone complain about this style of graphics... looks good to me.