TGS 2005: Code Age Commanders Hands-On

Square Enix's action RPG makes a playable appearance at TGS 2005.

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TOKYO--Square Enix's Code Age series is part of its new strategy of polymorphic content, which involves releasing several properties under the same name and dealing with the same overall universe across a number of systems and genres. Code Age Commanders is a PlayStation 2 action role-playing game set in the sci-fi world of Code Age, and we were able to spend some time with a Tokyo Game Show demo.

One of the first things that's striking about the game is the unique art style and overall design. The characters look like a cross between superdeformed Power Rangers and children's comic book characters, with bright uniforms and exaggerated features, in some cases. The monsters are equally bizarre, running the gamut from creatures that look like the usual fantasy beasts, to strange objects made of a number of small, shifting cubes, to humanoid figures with weapons and limbs articulated in strange places. The feel ends up being somewhat similar to the .hack series' brand of fantasy edged with high technology.

The story seems to unfold through a number of sections that are organized into missions that push the narrative forward. We were able to try out scenarios with two different characters--one was exploring an area, and another was fighting to defeat encroaching waves of enemies while defending a giant creature that was in the process of completing what seemed to be a ritual of some sort. The battle system combines both physical and magical attacks. You can use the R1 button to lock onto a particular target, or you can choose to fight without the targeting system. Once you move into range of your enemies, you can use melee attacks against them with the circle and X buttons. Pressing the attacks in succession will allow you to build up combos to do more damage. When an enemy has been sufficiently weakened, you can press the triangle button to shoot it with a burst of fire and administer the coup de grace.

There's no word yet on a domestic release for Code Age Commanders, which is currently due to be released on October 13 in Japan. We'll continue to watch the development of this game and of the series in general, and you can keep watching this gamespace for any news of possible localization.

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