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Legendary Japanese designer brings new tactical RPG Unsung Story to Kickstarter

Posted on January 14, 2014 AT 02:31pm

If you’re a fan of Japanese RPGs—especially those of the strategic or tactical flavor—then there’s a good chance you know the name Yasumi Matsuno. Beginning his career at now-defunct developer Quest, Matsuno helped birth two SRPG classics: Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen and Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. Later, Matsuno would move on to Square, and there he was one of the main creative forces behind titles such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Vandal Hearts, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and—personally favorite of mine—Final Fantasy XII.

After his last project—2012′s 3DS pen-and-paper-inspired RPG Crimson Shroud, Matsuno seems ready to get back to what kicked off his gaming career: the strategy RPG.

To do so, he’s teamed up with California-based indie developer Playdek to officially launch a Kickstarter for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, a “spiritual successor in a storied line of epic tactical RPGs” from Matsuno. According to the crowdfunding effort, Unsung Story will “re-imagine a classic game genre, as Yasumi Matsuno weaves together one of the complex and rich game worlds that he is known for, with inspiring class based tactics game play.”

“The Unsung Story timeline covers many chapters of the sprawling war-torn history of the fantasy world of Rasfalia. The central plot follows the struggles of heroes who fought in the Seventy-Seven Years War between great kingdoms and empires,” the page continues. “The story for each hero will constitute an episode, with each episode being comprised of many stages of game play. Each episode will depict a part of the Seventy Seven Years’ War from the vantage point of various protagonists. Some episodes will span a single year, while others may take place over a decade or more!”

In addition to Matsuno, several other well-known names may be part of the project—depending on how its funding efforts go. Japanese composer Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII) is ready to contribute his musical talents to the game, and two long-standing names known for their skills in script translation—Alexander O. Smith and Joseph Reeder—may also join the team.

That, of course, is always the catch: the funding. And with Unsung Story, I think this will especially be a perfect example of a project that will really need to hit a decent level to truly receive a proper release. Beyond the above names, there’s a wide variety of stretch goals, including PlayStation Vita and 3DS releases—which won’t come until the $1.8M and $2.8M marks respectively. (Initial platforms are iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Windows Tablets.)

And, just to be clear: Yasumi Matsuno will server as Unsung Saga‘s creative director. While he will certainly be a big part of the project—and his influence should be felt all throughout it—the actual direction and production roles will be filled by members of Playdek’s staff.

If you’d like to learn more about Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians—or you’d maybe like to toss them a bit of cash to help make sure this become a reality—head over to Kickstarter via the link below.

Source: Kickstarter: Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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