Expected for the month of January 2018, Lost Sphear was offered to us through a short demo.
Available on PC, PS4 and Switch, this one offers us to embody a group of characters for a short half an hour, the time of a mission.
Completely localized in French, unlike I am Setsuna when it was released, from the same creators, the demo immerses us in the skin of Kanata, at the head of a team made up of characters with different characters.
Propelled on the world map at first, the player will have to choose between three capacities to activate, such as seeing enemy HP in combat or displaying the map on his screen. This will involve the reconstruction of monuments using crystals of memories.
Lost Sphear does not reinvent the genre and smacks of old-school JRPGs, whether through its gameplay mechanics or visually. We are not going to lie to ourselves, the software is clearly not worthy of current machines. The sets are empty and the overall realization dates from another age. The chara design remains classic and the characters seem to enter the most anchored clichés.
Obscure at this stage, the scenario does not seem to revolutionize the genre either by addressing themes already seen in other games, Final Fantasy in mind. Thus Kanata and his teammates are part of the army of the Empire (with a capital E) and the mission of the demo consists in invading the village of the selenian people, considered to be rebellious. The player will quickly understand that something is wrong and our little finger tells us that eventually, Kanata and his friends will turn against the Empire, after a realization.
If the plot is currently quite difficult to define, the combat system is transparent in its practice.
Thus, we are dealing with a simple and classic gameplay. Semi active, the game oscillates between turn by turn and dynamism. The player must place himself on the ground in order to inflict as much damage as possible without putting himself in danger (like an isolated character near a group of enemies for example), each character having specific attacks, linked to their class. Capable of donning an exoarmor, the protagonists will benefit from new abilities that are more efficient but also more costly in resources. We were not really convinced by this feature, especially since the design of the mechas is not transcendent.
In the end, what about Lost Sphear? It will be necessary to wait for the final version of the title to be able to really decide, but in the state the software of Square-Enix does not seduce enough to cause this spark that the nostalgic ones could seek. Verdict in 2018.3
Imbued with classicism and clichés, Lost Sphear did not particularly give us this desire to see more. Nevertheless, it is difficult to judge a JRPG on the basis of a few tens of minutes of play and it will therefore be necessary to wait for the final version to be able to give a firm and definitive opinion.