Eiyuu Densetsu Gagharv Trilogy: Shiroki Majo Hands-On
Bandai's port of the Falcom RPG was ready to rock at TGS.
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TOKYO--Bandai's Eiyuu Densetsu Gagharv Trilogy: Shiroki Majo was one of two PSP role-playing games playable and on display at the Tokyo Game Show, though it's probably not as highly anticipated as Namco's Tales of Eternia. Nonetheless, we were eager to put it through the paces. We discovered that it seemed to be quite far along in development, and came away impressed.
Gagharv is a port from a fantasy-themed PC game of the same name by Falcom. What was rather amazing about this port was that we could actually play around with Gagharv as though it were already a complete product, which was rare for the PSP demos on the show floor. There didn't seem to be any features obviously missing from the game, such as disabled menus or closed-down roads.
In Gagharv, players will control a boy named Jurio and a red-haired girl named Chris, who start out together in a small village and embark on a pilgrimage through eight countries, following in the footsteps of a great witch. The game takes place in a continent called Tirasweel, and Gagharv is the name of an enormous chasm that separates the continent from the rest of the world.
The graphics in Gagharv seem to consist of prerendered 2D sprites displayed from a top-down perspective, much like in Falcom's other recent RPG title, Ys VI: Ark of Napishtim. In fact, the field and the character graphics in Gagharv are similar in design to those of Ys VI. However, graphical styles are as far as the similarities go, as Ys is more or less an action game, while Gagharv is a story-driven RPG. Also of note are the in-game illustrations in Gagharv, as they have been newly redrawn by ex-Falcom artist Minako Iwasaki, and they're looking pretty good, like the rest of the presentation.
Another interesting point about Gagharv is that your characters will fight automatically in real time once you enter a battle, although you can open up a window to make them cast spells or use items. The game doesn't have random encounters, as you can see the enemies on the field, so if you're the type who prefers to keep fighting to a minimum, you can try to do so.
Eiyuu Densetsu Gagharv Trilogy: Shiroki Majo looks like a promising role-playing game for the PSP, and hopefully it will see a US release.
For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of Tokyo Game Show 2004.