Final Fantasy: Brigade has been announced as a new social RPG for Japanese cellphones.
The game looks to be a traditional RPG, atypical of the earliest installments in the series, but with a unique, very cartoony art-style and the fact that your adventuring party will all be real human beings; Played online via the cellphone network.
The game will be a complete Final Fantasy experience, or so it seems. That includes forming a party, adventuring through towns and overworld, battling monsters and giant bosses, the turn-based ATB battle system, buying new equipment and items, leveling up and building your character. Elements like Jobs, Quests, Summons, and “Legendary” characters (such as Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, and presumably, other beloved FF characters) are on tap too.
All this will be done while socializing with your friends. The social aspect is the newest element and is sure to make this game unique from previous Final Fantasy games (although hardly new, other games like Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles have featured multiplayer gameplay, but never in the traditional turn-based Final Fantasy style).
Summons shown include favorites like: Ifreet, Shiva, Bahamut and Odin. Additionally, each player in the Bridade will have his own airship to pilot; airships being a classic element of the series. Crystals also play a role, as the story features two ancient Crystals that used to protect the game’s world. One of them gets broken however and is shattered following a monster invasion. When the remaining Crystal’s light begins to dim, it is up to the player to head out on search of Summons, who are the only creatures that can return the Crystal’s glow.
The closed beta has already begun for the game in Japan. No word on when, or if, this game will be released outside of Japan. However a Western version would probably make a better fit on something like Facebook; an avenue Square Enix is sure to explore. If not there, then an iOS/Android release would probably be a no-brainer.