Yes, I am a guy
Sitting down with NIS America, I had the chance to first see how Dragoneer's Aria played, and secondly to actually play through the game. Stepping into the world, I got a chance to see lots of floating eyeballs and plenty of barren terrain. The floating eyeballs turned out to be groups of enemies. Clicking left on the D-Pad brings up a list of the enemies I would be fighting, the color of their names determining the difficulty I would soon be having.
When stepping out on the battlefield, the first thing most people will notice is the unique art style that was chosen by Hitmaker. Many will notice that the characters have been created by the same artist that has worked on the Lineage series, Juno Jeong. The music for the game was quite upbeat, though the composer has not yet been announced. Speaking of the audio, the localization on voices isn't quite complete, so at this point it would be unfair for me to comment any further on it.
Big ugly baddie
Players will find many similarities from Blade Dancer, Hitmaker's last PSP RPG, though most of the game has been improved since that title's release. Crafting items, for example, no longer leaves you with the possibility of breaking an item and failing the synthesis. I didn't have a lot of time with the character customization, but apparently it is quite thorough and gives you plenty of options to mold your playable characters.
Hopping into battle, I had the chance to take on a number of different enemies that each had their own strengths and weaknesses in both offense and defense. Just choosing attack in battle isn't always the best idea as some enemies are quite strong in physical defense. To overcome this, I had the choice of using magic or dragon attacks that seemed to be just stronger magic attacks. Meeting a stiff offense can sometimes cause one to backpedal, and using the guard command might give you the chance to do so. The difference here, as compared to other RPGs with guard capabilities, is that there is a ring with five sections that must be clicked on to get 100 percent guard, each section giving you 20 percentage points. While it might sound easy, actually doing it is another story--as there is a timer counting down, the cursor is constantly going around the ring, and missing one of the five sections cancels the already clicked areas.
Overall, the experience so far is enjoyable, but having played Blade Dancer and knowing how hard it ended up being, I'll reserve my final opinion until completing the game. Expect more details over the next couple of months as I get further into playing the game. With August quickly approaching, it won't be long before you are all able to play the game for yourselves.