Ys DS to be RTS

First details arrive on first installment of long-running role-playing series for Nintendo's portable.

Ys Strategy for the Nintendo DS was first announced last month, but details on it were scarce. Thankfully, the latest issue of Famitsu sheds a little more light on Marvelous Interactive's new departure for the venerable series of role-playing games.

As the name suggests, Ys Strategy strays from the series' action role-playing game roots in favor of a focus on real-time strategy. The storyline also deviates from the series' past formula. This time around, players won't be taking on a diabolical enemy as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Instead they'll be thrown in the midst of a major war between the nations of Ys.

The series' main character Adol might sit this one out as well, as players will take control of Abel Lenford, a mercenary swordsman in the employ of one of the warring nations. However, Abel suffers from amnesia, and similarities in name, costume, and trademark red hair suggest there will be some connection between the two.

Ys Strategy uses the DS's top screen to display an overview map and a menu of the player's remaining resources. The bottom map is used for the main game screen, where the player issues commands to units on the field with the stylus. Some old-time Ys fans might not be used to RTS games, so the developer is including tutorials and advice functions to lower the learning curve for strategy game novices.

The touch screen and stylus aren't the only DS features that Ys Strategy makes use of. In addition to allowing local wireless multiplayer matches, the game also supports the Nintendo Wi-Fi service. Ys Strategy is slated for release in Japan during spring of 2006 by Marvelous Interactive.

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