The creator of Final Fantasy is back with a brand-new game for Apple Arcade.
Hironobu Sakaguchi’s studio Mistwalker unveiled its newest game, Fantasian, in March 2021. While it’s a mobile game for Apple Arcade, it still innovates on the classic isometric turn-based RPG formula with a novel new “Dimengeon” mechanic and using dioramas to craft the game’s beautiful environments. Apple Arcade isn’t exactly a must-buy service just yet, but Fantasian could be the tipping point.
Here’s everything we know about Fantasian.
When is the Fantasian release date?
The first part of Fantasian released on April 2, 2021. The second part of the game doesn’t currently have a release date.
Is there a Fantasian trailer?
Yes, there is! Two trailers were released for Fantasian when it was revealed on March 2. Below, you can check out the story trailer that sets up the game’s world and main characters.
What is Fantasian’s story?
The description of the story trailer above reveals our first details about Fantasian’s narrative: “The tale begins in a realm governed by machines,” the premise reads. “Within this multi-dimensional universe, the balance of “Chaos and Order” becomes a key factor in the struggle for these realms and the machinations of the gods who wish to control them.”
From there, the player’s journey begins as a man named Leo awakens with amnesia following a massive exposition. “As players set out on a journey to reclaim Leo’s memories, they will unravel the mysteries of the bizarre mechanical infection slowly engulfing all that is known to mankind,” the premise teases.
Mistwalker will deliver some of the game’s story unconventionally as players will have to find various memories scattered around the game’s world to get more detailed information. These will be presented like mini novels with unique art and music.
While much of the game’s story remains a mystery, Fantasian is certainly an intriguing mix of fantasy and sci-fi, and it’s delivering its story in a way much different than any of Sakaguchi’s recent projects.
How does Fantasian use dioramas?
You might not be able to tell from that reveal trailer, but every area in Fantasian is made up of an actual diorama. Mistwalker claims that over 150 miniature dioramas were made by people from Japan’s “Tokusatsu” special effects industry who worked on films like Godzilla and Attack on Titan. This gives every environment in the game a distinct and beautiful look, especially for a mobile game.
“It kind of jogs the imagination in a way we didn't think it would, and it expands how you might want to design the game or that particular map,” Sakaguchi told IGN in an interview posted alongside the game’s announcement in March 2020. Inverse reached out to Mistwalker to learn more about this process but has not heard back yet.
What is the Dimengeon in Fantasian?
Fantasian looks to be a fairly straightforward turn-based RPG with a couple of standout gimmicks when it comes to gameplay. Battles play out with a turn-based system that works through each character in battle. In Fantasian, players can actually aim their shots and get bonuses if they manage to hit certain objects in the battle.
The most innovative part of Fantasian’s gameplay is the Dimengeon system, which allows players to store enemy encounters. Random enemy encounters are a staple of JRPGs, but they can get annoying. This system lets players store those encounters before fighting up to 30 enemies at once.
This system is shown off in detail in the game’s features, which you can check out below:
Is Fantasian an Apple Arcade exclusive?
Yes. As of March 2020, Fantasian is currently only slated for Apple Arcade. That means it will be available across Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices. The experience is tailored for mobile, with Sakaguchi telling IGN Fantasian’s design was inspired by the fact that players have to use their hands to interact with the world on a phone’s screen.
For now, don’t expect the game on Nintendo Switch, PS5, Windows PCs, or Xbox Series X anytime soon. Hopefully, with how popular the game is and how many comments on the reveal trailers say they’d like to see it on more platforms, Mistwalker can port the game to more systems in the future.
Who is Hironobu Sakaguchi and what is Mistwalker?
Hironobu Sakaguchi is best known for creating the Final Fantasy at Square Enix before he left to form Mistwalker in 2004. While there, he helped create several modern JRPG classics like Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon. In the 2010s, his team was best known for their work on the Terra Wars mobile games.
Fantasian definitely seems to be more in line with his classic games, so RPG fans with Apple Arcade should definitely check it out. Mistwalker has also confirmed that the game will be composed by Nobuo Uematsu, the man behind almost every classic Final Fantasy soundtrack. So Fantasian is worth paying attention to if you’re a Final Fantasy fan, particularly when it comes to the classics.
Fantasian is out now for Apple Arcade.