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RPGamer Feature - The Road to E3 - Little King's Story Interview
Little King's Story
Platform:
Developer: Cing and Town Factory
Publisher: XSEED/Marvelous
ESRB: T
Release Date: Summer 2009










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As the first game in our May Feature, RPGamer had a chance to talk with XSEED's Ken Berry about the upcoming Little King's Story. Here's what we were able to pry out of him.


What makes this game an RPG? It looks like a hybrid strategy, action, sim game. Is it more like Harvest Moon/Rune Factory, 4x strategy games, Overlord, or something totally different?
Ken Berry: Little King's Story is so unique with so many different gameplay elements that it's hard to define it as any single genre. Definitely heavy emphasis on exploration and strategy, with a fair bit of sim as well. The RPG elements would come from the evolving townspeople as they power-up, mature, and even get married and have children.

So this is out in Europe first, coming soon here and not even dated for Japanese release yet... what's up with that? When should we expect to see this here?
Ken: Guess Europe was lucky getting Little King's Story first, but keep in mind that they're still waiting for Rune Factory: Frontier which we released back in March, so there's a trade off there. Little King's Story will be released in the summer here, and we should be able to announce an exact date shortly.

In a prior interview, we learned about cooks, lumberjacks, wizards, and miners. Is the role these units play as simple and straightforward as it seems? Please tell us a little bit about how these characters are controlled.
Ken: The lumberjacks and miners are fairly straightforward as one specializes in cutting through wood and the other rock (I'll let you guess which one does what), but the cook is probably not what you would expect - he only specializes in chicken dishes so he can take out the tough fowl enemies easily, though he's useless for anything else. The wizard is a very advanced job class so don't want to get into the details here, but all job classes are controlled the same way in that you order them to charge forward. Depending on the target item and job class, they automatically do the appropriate action. For example, sending a carpenter while another one is already building a bridge would speed up the process, but sending a soldier to "help" would halt the building of the bridge as they only know destruction.

There was also talk of battle between Carefree Adults, Shishkababoo, and TV Dinnah. What in the world are those?
Ken: Carefree Adults are the default job class for everyone in your kingdom (except children, which is another job class entirely), and it's your duty to help them find their way by giving them jobs and putting them to work. Shishkababoo and TV Dinnah are a couple of the rival kings that you will face on your path to world domination.

The soundtrack sampling that was previously released for this game was awesome. Any chance of a full soundtrack release in North America, or maybe just a different sampler as a pre-order bonus?
Ken: A full soundtrack release could be a possibility if the game is a big enough hit, but no plans to have a sampler as a pre-order bonus as we've already got another better (I hope) pre-order bonus in store. (Editor's Note: Onii squishable soft figurine will be available at Gamestop, EB Games, Game Crazy and Amazon.com.)

Our staff wants to know if Little King's Story is awesome... is it? Give it a rating on the awesomeness meter. (Editor's Note: This is what I get for randomly asking our staff for questions.)
Ken: Little King's Story absolutely rocks! There's nothing else like it on Wii, or any other platform for that matter. On an awesomeness meter, with Tito Jackson being bad and Janet being good, Little King's Story would be Michael in all his Thriller and Beat It glory (yes, I'm dating myself here, but let's try to forget the Michael of the current years). But don't take my word for it, check out some of the reviews coming out of Europe right now as their editors are loving the game.

With no more Wild ARMs games around the corner and no other series to hang a banner over like Atlus does with SMT, Square Enix does with FF, and NISA with Disgaea. Regardless of the quality of work you do, do you feel like XSEED suffers from a lack of identity?
Ken: Yes, but I would say it's a mixed blessing. On the one hand we don't have a stable lineup of quality titles we can count on, but on the other hand we don't have headquarters forcing their lesser quality titles on us just so that they can meet certain financial numbers. You have to take the good with the bad when trying to cherry pick your entire lineup.

So it was sad news to hear about XSEED no longer publishing Muramasa: The Demon Blade. I understand that you likely can't go into too much detail, but how does one go from having a game announced for release to not? Is it really just about money?
Ken: As you can see in any industry during these tough times, difficult financial decisions have to be made by almost every company even to just stay afloat. Unfortunately, this title was the victim of one of those necessary decisions, but XSEED respects the decision and still has faith in the title doing well in the capable hands of a new publisher.

Speaking of money, how have your recent releases been doing? Are we likely to see XSEED try to get Game Center CX 2 (Retro Game Challenge 2)?
Ken: We're getting by, but not doing as well as we'd like. Retro Game Challenge started off well but still hasn't gotten to the point where we can justify bringing over the sequel. It's amazing how many people write to thank us for publishing that game, so perhaps as those enthusiast fans continue to spread the word we will get to where we need to be eventually.

Is Arc Rise Fantasia still on track for a solid release? How is it shaping up?
Ken: Arc Rise Fantasia is shaping up great and is on track for a release soon...in Japan. It is a huge game with a lot of text and a ridiculous amount of voice-overs, so that's going to take some time to localize into English. The title is still a little ways away from a US release, but rest assured that our localization team has started working on it.

Speaking of Arc Rise, is there a reason there is so much secrecy over how much of the soundtrack Yasunori Mitsuda is actually composing?
Ken: Really, does it seem like there's some secrecy there? I never noticed, though it wouldn't be that unusual if a company can't explain exactly how much of a soundtrack is attributed to a certain composer since video game soundtracks are so huge now that it's usually a collaborative effort between multiple composers.

I know that E3 is just around the corner, but could you give us some idea of what might be around the corner for XSEED or the XSEED/Marvelous alliance? Any other secrets you can share with your buddies at RPGamer?
Ken: We have tons of titles that we'll be announcing between now and E3 for various platforms. Though I can't quite spell out any titles yet, I will say that we listen to the requests we get from the gaming community and we've tried very hard to secure some of the games that have been requested. We also have an enhanced remake of a classic PSone RPG in North America that we'll be announcing soon which I think the RPGamer audience will be very interested in...


RPGamer would like to thank Ken Berry at XSEED Games and Scott Fry at One PR for taking the time to help put together this interview. Little King's Story will be released this summer and is rated "T" for Teen.



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