RPGamer Feature - Hexyz Force Interview
Hexyz Force
Developer: Sting
Publisher: Atlus
Release Date:

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Whether you say it "Hexy," "Hicks-e," or "Hex-ease," Atlus USA is bringing over another piece of the Sting Entertainment pie. Sting has become popular through its Department of Heaven series with Knights in the Nightmare, Riviera and Yggdra Union. While this title is not in the same vien as that series, Atlus promises that the game will be just as awesome.

What is Hexyz Force? Read RPGamer's interview with Clayton S. Chan and Scott Williams from Atlus to find out all the nitty gritty about Sting's latest PlayStation Portable offering. When you're finished reading this interview, why not mosey your way over to the game's official website for other additional goodies.

In recent years, Sting games have become known for their unconventional nature. Riviera, Yggdra Union, Baroque, and Knights in the Nightmare are all very unique titles. How does Hexyz Force continue that trend?
Clayton S. Chan, Project Lead: Hexyz Force is probably closer to a "normal" title than all of the titles you mentioned. If you just wanted to play it as a straight-up turn-based RPG, you'd be able to do so, you'd just be missing out on a lot of the wrinkles. The biggest distinguishing factor is fact that you're getting two stories for the price of one. So, rather than a lot of games you plunk down good money for and get maybe 6-8 hours of game and no replay, you’re getting an entire second playthrough that we’re not even going to try and make you pony up $8-$10 extra for.

What are Hexyz and how are they integral to the overall story? Also, how is Hexyz pronounced?
CC: Hexyz (Pronounced "Hex-ease") are the people in the modern day who inherited the Force of the Divinities of ancient times. "Force" in Hexyz Force is kind an amalgamation of a few religions define as life-force, or a soul. For instance, Force is in everything, not just living creatures. But when Force comes from a living thing, it retains some of the will of the original owner, like the concept of a soul.

In the game, the time has come for the world to be judged, and the Force of the Hexyz will be collected and "weighed" to determine the gods’ final Judgment.

Hexyz Force seems fairly plot-driven with two protagonists, so what about its story will suck RPGamers in and make them want to keep going?
CC: The fact that the two stories are so markedly different from each other will be a pretty good motivator, in my opinion. You're going to get two stories that do feel pretty different, even though they touch upon the same events.

Hexyz Force has to two different plotlines at work. What are some of the key differences between Cecelia and Levant's stories?
Scott Williams, QA Lead: Berge has two sides, the Lustrous and Dark halves. As each character starts on one side so are the tone of their stories is somewhat reflective of this. Cecilia begins in Lustrous Berge and tends to march to the beat of her own drum while she views the world in a unique way which sets the mood for the player. Levant begins in Dark Berge and is much more grounded and responsible. The seriousness of the things he is forced to deal with comes across in a darker way, balancing out Cecilia's tale.

In addition to this you get to see what the other character was up to for each step of the journey – the paths they both take are dramatically different with boss fights, quests, and a ton of story points unique to each one's adventure.

How integral is the dual-world setup of Hexyz Force to its story and its combat system?
CC: The dual world/dual perspective setup of Hexyz is pretty integrated throughout most of the game. For your readers who have been around the RPG world for a while, the best comparison is probably Suikoden III. In that game, you had three (technically five) distinct parties who had their own thing to do and each had their own friends who were only in one part of the story until they all merged together.

In Hexyz, you have two groups of separate player characters, but unlike Suikoden, you're not going to forced to play through each of the stories in order to get an ending. Each story is its own self-contained tale. The two groups will merge for the final battle, but you won't have to play through both sides to reach a satisfying conclusion.

What makes Hexyz Force's combat standout compared to other Sting RPGs?
CC: It's simpler. In most Sting RPGs there’s a pretty steep learning curve. If you're not using all the advantages you're provided in those games, you’re pretty much going to end up getting pummeled fairly quickly. In Hexyz Force, you're kind of eased into that. Sure, you can master the Hexyz Charge early and that'll save you from a few early deaths, but it's not like say, the wall you'll face in Knights in the Nightmare if you don't figure out that you should change from Law to Chaos.

Of course, because it's Sting, you’re still going to have the wrinkles in the system. Most weapons are destructible, your skills will change based on what you have equipped, and there aren't any "consumable" items. So, if you're trying to perform at optimal levels, you've got some thinking to do.

Although Hexyz Force is not related to Sting's Department of Heaven series, are there any similarities to any of their other titles?
SW: Hexyz Force is a completely stand alone story contained in unique gameplay. Beyond just the straight up quality level of production that went into the game, there really isn't anything that I would single out as a tie-in or a true similarity with the other titles. However, I find myself extremely disappointed that the Wabbits from Dokapon Kingdom were not included. Seriously, why no Wabbits?

What aspect of Hexyz Force do you feel is the most unique? What's going to make RPGamers want to pick this up?
SW: As Clayton mentioned, you are getting two stories that tie strongly together but both easily stand alone. The crafting system, or Fusion, is also great as almost every item you find in the game can be used for making something useful. Finding all of these items is almost a game within itself as the player uses the Force Scan ability to find them almost everywhere.

Is there a chance that you will be providing Spoils for Hexyz Force? If not, any reason why not?
CC: I can't say yes or no at this time. Although, I will say that the lower price point the game should give you a decent idea of which way that particular discussion is leaning. As for the question of why we might possibly not have spoils for a title, there are several factors. I'd also just like to reiterate a point I made once, which is that, when possible, we love showing our fans some love. But when the perception of the spoils shifts from extra to expectation, it definitely cuts down the enjoyment we feel when providing these little extras.

Atlus is now acting as a publishing partner for Sting in Japan. What impact has this relationship had on Atlus USA? You’ve been the primary Sting publisher here as well, but does it help you in any way? I know we’d love to see Yggdra Unison and Blaze Union, so maybe this will help, eh?
CC: I think the major benefit for us is that Sting games are now protected from other publishers swooping in and snapping up titles that we were interested in.

It really hasn't helped with their responsiveness or anything, because Sting's always been one of the most professional and responsive companies I've had the pleasure of dealing with. You can't really improve too much when you've already been consistently awesome.

In regards to those specific games, high sales numbers always have a way of shining a favorable light on related titles. In addition to that I can tell you that—WHAT?! Mauled by a tiger!? I gotta go!

RPGamer would like to thank Clayton S. Chan and Scott Williams from Atlus for taking the time to answer our questions. Check out Atlus USA's official website. We expect the game to hit shelves on May 25.

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