E3 2016 – Summon Night 6: Lost Borders – Grid Relations (PS4)
Nestled away from all the hustle and bustle of E3, Gaijinworks invited us for a quiet session with their upcoming game, Summon Night 6: Lost Borders. We played through the demo, and have some impressions ready.
For those unfamiliar with the series, you are not alone. The franchise has remained largely in Japan. The first entry released on the original PlayStation in 2000. Localized versions of these games simply do not exist. Enter Gaijinworks. In 2015, they announced and released a localized version of Summon Night 5 for the PlayStation Portable, Vita, and TV. Fast-forward to today, and Summon Night 6 is currently in the localization process, and should release in 2017.
Summon Night 6 is a turn/grid-based tactical RPG. You have a large party to manage, and each member of the party has their own movesets, strengths, and weaknesses. Combat is not completely straightforward, either. It all focuses on avoiding being counterattacked. Attacking any enemy head-on will result in a counterattack. If you can manage to attack an enemy from two grid squares away, they will not be able to counterattack. The same goes for attacks from behind.
Chain Attacks Win
Chain attacks appeared to be among the most effective attacks. If you can get two characters within attack range of a single enemy, attacking like normal will result in those two characters to both attack the enemy, and the targeted enemy cannot counterattack.
In Summon Night 6, even cliffs are not a problem. At a certain point during our demo, a new ally was under our control, but found herself on the other side of the map. Instead of going the long way around to meet up with the group, we placed a stepping stone at the base of the edge of the hill upon which the new character found herself. Using this stepping stone, she was able to drop down and cut travel time fairly quickly. It introduced a new mechanic to the grid-based battlefield, because new routes were made possible by this stepping stone.
Every character can utilize special attacks, whereby their companions are summoned, and a large-area attack is performed. Friendly fire is on for Summon Night 6, which is definitely something to watch out for whenever using any sort of magic. Otherwise, you may end up healing an enemy or hurting an ally.
In between battles, there is a lot of dialogue. Most of this takes place between characters, during what are known as “night conversations.” Gaijinworks claims that there is enough text content in Summon Night 6 to fill up around five novels, so you can expect to do a lot of reading. The cutscenes are skippable, though given the target market for this game, “skip” is a feature which may not be utilized very often.
If you prefer to have your tactical RPG mixed with a visual novel and even some dating sim elements, then you’re probably looking forward to Summon Night 6. As the first entry on the PlayStation 4, this promises to be the best-looking and most engrossing version of the long-running Summon Night series yet when it releases in 2017.