Lost Odyssey demo found

Hironobu Sakaguchi reveals that a demo for the eagerly awaited RPG is complete and will be available at the Tokyo Game Show.

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Mistwalker CEO Hironobu Sakaguchi is hoping that attendees at next week's Tokyo Game Show find something to like in the demo of his latest effort, Lost Odyssey.

The latest Weekly Famitsu features an interview with Sakaguchi, formerly of Square, in which he revealed that a demo for his anticipated role-playing game has been completed and is ready for TGS. It reportedly requires about an hour to clear and allows the player to work through the opening scenes of the game, which Famitsu called a "seamless" integration of movie and gameplay. The demo will also be distributed with an issue of Famitsu sometime in November.

While the demo is apparently pretty polished, Sakaguchi is still humble about the fruits of his labor.

"Development didn't go well initially," he admitted. "For instance, in the scenes with massed armies, not that many soldiers are present. However, we're performing optimization to raise the speed. The finished game will run at 30 frames per second, even when the screen is packed with armies as far as the eye can see."

He added that the demo's graphics are representative of about "80 percent of the finished game's quality," and that the game uses a single graphics engine for everything. "The modeling itself is basically the same for the cinematic and real-time sequences. There isn't a lot of difference in texture resolutions or level of detail."

However, the gameplay is only partially implemented in the demo. In fact, Sakaguchi claims it consists of the game system in its "most basic form." The finished game will contain a character development system that forces players to sort through moral dilemmas.

"Besides the hero Kaim, you will meet and befriend other immortal characters. Normal [mortal] humans will also join your party. The immortals will be able to draw abilities from the mortals. Put bluntly, they can leech other members' strength."

While Sakaguchi is sure that his studio's debut Xbox 360 title, Blue Dragon, will be out this year, there was more doubt about Lost Odyssey and other Mistwalker projects. "We are working on Archaic Sealed Heat--or Ash--with the goal of completing it during first semester next year... With regard to Lost Odyssey and Cry On, although we won't know for sure until they actually launch, they are progressing steadily. We also have several other plans underway, which I will talk about some other time."

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