Critical hit! Nothing but air!
My first meeting of the day was with Ignition Entertainment. I wasn't really sure what to expect — I knew of Nostalgia, but my information on it was limited besides some references and comparisons I didn't really understand. I was very pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
The story opens as a young boy who has inherited an airship from his father — not dead, but disappeared and no one knows where he is. Time to explore! We left London and were pounced by four eagles in a sky battle. During air encounters, enemies can surround you, so deciding which to defeat first is important. Turn order was visible, which also helped. After defeathering the birds, we were judged on how we did during combat. It appears to judge time, number of turns, and damage done/received to give you a letter grade. The higher the grade, the more added bonuses a player receives. It's a way to encourage the player to do well without being too generous.
Next we flew over to Cairo; I commented on another airship that flew by and our host mentioned that there is regular NPC traffic so that you never feel like you're flying alone. I like the little touches like that; it makes the game feel more immersive! Nostalgia is set in a modified early 1900s setting, so all locations are real world. After jumping into the desert city and oohing and aahing over the locals' suitably hot weather themed clothing and buildings, it was off to the first dungeon: the famous Pyramids.
Who invited the pilgrim girl to our costume party?
At this point, Mikel took over the controls and he headed in with four party members — our host noted this would be the party throughout most of the game. Immediately around the corner, he fell down a hole into a lower level of the dungeon! I giggled, but it turns out there's a number of these traps throughout the dungeons. Most are mapped once you trigger them for the first time, but not all (Mikel fell down the hole again later on...). Combat on the ground was nearly identical to the sky. The initial party was well balanced with two male physical fighters, and two female support casters. As we progressed further into the dungeon, we even managed to get an A grade on a fight to compare the bonuses between C, B, and A.
Sadly it was time to head over to another game, but I'm optimistic. Nostalgia was developed by the same team that did FFIII/IV DS, so there's definitely high expectations. Anyone looking for a very traditional RPG experience should check this out when it hits our shores in September.