Mutants: Genetic Gladiators company Kobojo has released its Japanese role-playing game (JRPG), Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey, on iOS devices in the U.S. and Europe. Created with industry veterans including Kazushige Nojima (a writer for Final Fantasy VII) and Hitoshi Sakimoto (a composer for Final Fantasy Tactics), the game is the first in the series, and follows Cael, a soldier challenged with protecting the world from evil. The game sees players uncover a mystery surrounding Cael’s birth, which connects to ‘ancient mysteries and present-day conspiracies.’
As gamers progress through the story, they’ll recruit new members for their team, and will travel around the land of Orcanon, which contains separate areas like the Scorched Realm and Wind Country, each home to its own race. While exploring environments, players drag their finger on the screen to move Cael, and can enter battles by moving into distorted orbs on the screen.
During turn-based battles, players drag attacks or skills from their characters onto enemies, with some actions taking a few turns to recharge after they’re used. These skills or attacks may trigger status effects on the hero or the enemy, and users can view each character’s or enemy’s stats and details (including details related to status effects) by tapping on their picture on the bottom of the screen.
After each battle, characters earn experience points and will level up and become stronger over time. Gamers will also collect Job Points as they battle, which can be spent on Cael’s skill tree to upgrade his abilities or increase his stats, with some of these upgrades relating to specific jobs. That is, while Cael begins as a fighter, jobs like alchemist or sage (as examples) are unlocked over time, each with different abilities.
On top of upgrading their own character, the game allows players to recruit their friends’ characters as partners for their battles. These characters are equipped with the abilities they’ve earned and the upgrades friends have purchased in their own games.
Gamers will collect new equipment for their team over time, with the game offering over 200 different upgradeable weapons. A crafting system is also available.
As players explore environments, they’ll pass checkpoints which save their progress. If players fall in battle, they’ll respawn at the last activated checkpoint, and players can fast travel between the checkpoints they’ve unlocked.
In a statement, Mario Rizzo, CEO of Kobojo, commented:
Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey is an original JRPG that was created by people from around the world, brought together by their love for the exploration, quests, scenarios, deep turn-based combat and beautiful artwork found in these types of games. We crafted Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey to be as engaging as it is stylish, offering an experience with Zodiac that will appeal to all players that enjoy JRPGs—regardless of platform.
Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey is available to download for $8.99 on the iTunes App Store. The game will receive new content going forward, including new areas to explore, new characters to meet and new challenges to complete.
Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey will be released in Japan, and on Sony’s platforms, in 2016. A Steam Greenlight page was recently launched for the game.