Next Legend of Heroes game aiming for June 2014
posted on 10.28.13 at 11:23 PM EDT by (@salromano)
Next title to celebrate Kiseki series' 10th anniversary.

The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki shipped for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita in Japan this September, but the next title in the series is already underway, Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo has told Play Community.

“The Kiseki series will celebrate its 10th anniversary next June,” Kondo said. “The development team has been working without break towards that target on a new project, so please wait for the next round of information about that.”

Kondo added that since the announcements surrounding PlayStation 4, the new PS Vita model, and PS Vita TV at the Tokyo Game Show, people have raised their expectations about the PlayStation brand. He wants to challenge the new hardware, and as the link between platforms deepen, hopes to come up with new projects.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter, first launched for PSP in Japan in 2007, is the latest game in the series to head overseas. It will launch in North America on PSP and PC next year.

  • Alkhan

    I clicked this link as fast I could because I thought it was related to western regions..

  • rekka_zan

    FALCOM STAHP

  • マッシュー

    Time of the year for Americans to cry all over and whine.

    • bloodiOS

      Just Americans? >__–

      • マッシュー

        I didn’t want to say “foreigners” because I’m one too, but I hear the whining mainly from Americans. I’m sure Europeans also do it, lol.

  • TheExile285

    Damn, the Falcom team NEVER stops lol

  • bloodiOS

    …man, we are so far behind…

    • マッシュー

      and we’ll never catch up in English. One of the reasons I started learning Japanese.

  • Kevadu

    Isn’t that way too little time? The previous chapter just came out. Can they really maintain the quality like that?

    • Alkhan

      Legend Of Heroes is a yearly release series now.

      • Kevadu

        June wouldn’t even be a year, you know…

        Also, considering how buggy and poor performing Sen no Kiseki was at release and the fact that they’re still patching it even now, maybe they should have spent more time on it in the first place…

        • kurosan9712

          Ehm, the really poor performance was on Vita. PS3 was pretty much fine since the start, but could be improved, which is why Falcom improves it now. Not really necessary, but I appreciate the effort.
          Good thing I bought PS3 version, instead of Vita one. Even after the first patch, Vita version is still said to have a lot of troubles.

          • Articuno76

            To be honest with you, I think that is a generously kind evaluation.

            The way I see it is this:

            Consider that it is 2013, consider the way the game looks…now consider that it runs/loads and looks worse than many games put out by even smaller developers with considerably less experience (indies).

            Contrary to popular belief, development team size and technical prowess are not related (though output volume and size are).

            Nihon Falcom are not a small developer (or nowhere near as small as they are made out to be) and people often forget that they have a very, very, long history in making games (longer than most developers working on games today).

            The game could have run perfectly well with no load times (except the front end boot) and streamed everything and the only reason I can see for it having those load issues was because the game was put out too early.

            The way I see it, Falcom knew the game wasn’t in a good state (though their PR refuses to openly acknowledge the problems in anything but the softest terms), there was no way they couldn’t have. They made a choice to pull the trigger on the release to meet a deadline at the expense of the people buying it. That to me, stinks.

            If Falcom had to meet their deadline it would have been nice for them to be honest with their fans and have said: ‘look guys we are putting the game out a little bit early so you guys who really want to see the story could get a taste. A kind of advance preview! We will have the game fully rolling in November for those who want to sit tight.’

            As far as I know though, Falcom only made a statement on this when it was too late to cancel a pre-order (I’d already been billed and my copy was on it’s way to me).

            It’s a combination of poor technical expertise, poor planning and poor PR that have culminated in many people feeling shafted.

            There are rationalisations that explain why Falcom what they did, but nothing I’ve heard comes close to a justification for it.

            • kurosan9712

              It’s Falcom FIRST PS3/Vita developed game, and the FIRST game in full 3D, in Eiyuu Densetsu series, I mean(since it uses a bit different engine from Ys games). It’s like Gust when they made original Atelier Rorona – it was a first experience with games using 3D models etc.
              For a newcomer to 3D graphics and engines using them, Falcom performed marvelously.

              I have nothing against it, first times are hard always.
              You’re too harsh on criticism. They could’ve delayed it, yeah, but I’d not like that, since PS3 version was and is pretty fine to me. I don’t care about Vita version, yes.

              • Articuno76

                I’ve already demonstrated why the first two paragraphs are not sound arguments. Plenty of other developers do it just fine with fewer resources, fewer developers and less experience.

                The presence of another developer that is equally problemed doesn’t change things. But as I said in my last post, technical issues are only one facet of the issue (and the smaller problem).

                Anyway I only brought up the technical aspect of the game because the fact that it is not technically impressive enough to explain way those load-times/frame drops adds insult to injury, but it is not the injury itself.

                No, the injury was caused by the way Nihon Falcom handled the issue (namely doing close to nothing, deflecting blame, not apologising sincerely, refusing to acknowledge the issue frankly, no explanation etc etc the list really does go on) in a way that was a massive finger to their fans.

                I fear that Nihon Falcom took the same dismissive attitude towards the Vita version that you did.
                Who cares about the Vita version? If the sales are any indication; the majority care as that is the platform where sales were best.

                The UI in the game was clearly designed for a TV rather than the Vita (when it should have been designed the other way around) which again points to the fact that Nihon Falcom were not taking that version of the game seriously.

                Even if you don’t have the Vita version that attitude should bother you and you shouldn’t support it (next time it could be the home console version that is treated that way).

                Nihon Falcom knew about the problems, they didn’t think it was a problem, and they are going right on acting like there is no problem with acting like there is no problem; THAT is the problem. Or at least, it is part of it.

                Please, no matter how big a fan you are, never support practices like this; it’s anti-consumerist for you to take Nihon Falcom’s side in this debate (so far as I can tell). Don’t defend them. That is the job of their (admittedly terrible) PR staff.

                Again, this could have all been avoided if Nihon Falcom were open and honest.

                What really bothers me is fan sentiment like yours that rushes to defend Nihon Falcom serves to further justify what Nihon Falcom is doing. An extreme example: do not be surprised if the next release is seven dozen times buggier, worse in performance and has a whole other myriad of issues…but whatever you do, don’t act like you weren’t part of the issue when it happens. Don’t act like you did’t consent to it.

                edit: Sorry if I came across as a bit aggressive. But it bothers me to no end to be seemingly the only person on the English speaking internet (though not the only importer) who takes issue with this. The Japanese audience has been quite vocal about this but for whatever reason the import community has taken a passive ‘not my problem’ approach the whole thing. Really baffling.

                • kurosan9712

                  For japanese it’s a different thing. Most of them(bigger amount) took the Vita version, which has a lot more problems than the PS3 one I took.

                  I usually don’t mind such little things as load times(gods, these are nowhere near original unpatched Majo to Hyakkihei ones, so I didn’t even notice load times were bad. Really, if you think it’s bad – try Majo to Hyakkihei without any patches. You’ll know what’s LONG loading times).
                  I’m also not a FPS man, so unless the FPS is REALLY bad(isn’t the case here) – I might not even notice there is a problem. Graphics isn’t what decides the world for me.
                  I care for story and gameplay much more than those, so as long as I’m either not having any difficulties due to all that, or as long as I’m not aware I’m having any difficulties – I won’t care.

                  It’s pretty personal, as some people are sensitive to FPS, or didn’t see really bad load times.

                • rurifan

                  I’m with Articuno76 on this. People rush to give Japanese developers slack they don’t deserve.

                  When they release low quality products, call them out for it. Unless you want them to keep releasing junk.

                  As far as Sen goes, I consider the PS3 version barely playable. It has unpleasant load times and constant little hiccups during gameplay the first time it loads any sound effect.

                  Then there’s the actual game presentation (mediocre 3d models) and gameplay… it’s all so unpolished, I cringe and immediately want to quit and go play one of their previous games instead.

                  I really wish JRPG developers would stick to game engines that they are capable of delivering competently.

                  • kurosan9712

                    I too would prefer they used older engines and all, but the industry doesn’t, sadly.
                    Well, what of it, Gust too had a hard time with their first 3D game in Atelier series(and Ar Tonelico series), but look at them now – they’ve made awesome games after those.
                    I just have hope that Falcom will do the same. Mind you, Atelier games are a yearly release, and another one is coming this June too, so Gust too has around a year each time to improve. And they do.

                    I don’t know what’s so unpleasant. You probably just didn’t play a game which had it worser, so you consider it the worst. I, on the other hand, have experience with worser cases, so I don’t mind it much.

                    • rurifan

                      I imported Choujigen Neptune 1.0, so I have solid credentials for experiencing terrible Japanese games with terrible load times. :-P

                      Anyway, from my perspective PS3 Sen no Kiseki is a game that would be mediocre, made bad by the poor load times and annoying hiccups. I hope Falcom soaks in the criticism and makes a lot of improvements.

                    • kurosan9712

                      Ehm…but original japanese Neptune wasn’t really terrible. Again, comparing it to Majo to Hyakkihei or PS3 Bayonetta is a bit strange, as those are the WORST examples in the industry. Both got patched appropriately, though. I do believe Bayonetta still had performance problems on PS3 even after patch, though.
                      Majo to Hyakkihei took 5-10 min to load main screen before patch, and 3-5 min to load the game, every load was >=3 min. Oh, and it could freeze during it, lol.
                      Patch reduces all that to 3-5 secs, maybe 10. Main screen still took a good 30 secs.

                    • Kevadu

                      Just please stop using this “it was their first 3D game” excuse. In addition to being a bad excuse (as Articuno pointed out), it’s not even remotely true.

                      Full 3D games developed by Falcom prior to Sen no Kiseki:
                      Gurumin
                      Zwei II
                      Brandish: Dark Revenant
                      Ys Seven
                      Ys Celceta

                      And it’s entirely possible I missed some…

                      This may be the first 3D Sen no Kiseki game, but Falcom has been making 3D games for a while.

                    • kurosan9712

                      Engines, man, engines. Ys engine and others you mentioned are different from Kiseki games engine, and I presume they used a different one for Sen too, so not being able to use it perfectly this time is pretty much exusable, at least to me it is.

                    • Kevadu

                      Now you’re just moving the goalposts. First you think they should get a pass because it was their ‘first’ 3D game, and when it’s pointed out that isn’t true you think they should get a pass because of a new engine? How many developers out there get a pass every time they switch engines?! That’s something that happens all the time. Let’s be reasonable here…

                      Besides which, you’re *still* wrong. Sen no Kiseki uses the PhyreEngine, a pretty standard complete package developed by Sony for use by 3rd party developers. Ys Celceta also uses PhyreEngine, so this isn’t even Falcom’s first time using it.

                    • kurosan9712

                      Well, where’s the info from? I never heard of it, so I ask.

                      It doesn’t really matter to me, because the game is STILL good to me, no matter what you all say. I’m playing it right now without having the slightest feeling of discomfort, so I’m really dumbfounded about what are you all talking about.

                    • Kevadu

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PhyreEngine

                      It’s fine if you like the Sen no Kiseki. Nobody says you’re not allowed to enjoy it. But you shouldn’t try to just brush the obvious technical issues under the rug. The game was rushed, and I (and others) are expressing concerns that the might be rushing the next game even more. I think that’s a pretty legitimate concern. I’d rather have a finished product than something rushed out the door to meet an arbitrary anniversary date. That’s all.

                    • kurosan9712

                      Let’s face it. I don’t disregard the problems, they exist. I just consider them doing no impact on overall enjoyment from a great game, which Sen no Kiseki is. Besides, the first patch made it a lot better, so I don’t even feel a problem with loading now(not that I really did anyways, but I know it got better).
                      Hiccups are a still a matter, but seriously, why would I mind it, if it happens like 2-3 hours in new location, or 1-2 after loading, and then it goes smoothly?
                      It is only because of it I don’t consider it anything worth worrying about, besides that – it will be fixed(strange they didn’t in patch 1.01. Maybe rushed a bit to fix more significant problems with Vita release), so it’s even less significant to me.

                      I understand some people can’t accept anything but perfect, but it’s not the case with me.

              • Kevadu

                That’s not even true, though. Ys Celceta was a full 3D Vita game (and it runs way better than Sen…).

            • Guest

              Wouldn’t that experience be more detrimental in this case? They had to adapt to an unfamiliar engine and hardware.

              Pardon the analogy, but wouldn’t it be like trying to learn a language. The experience in one language would create habits that likely interfere with your competency at another language. You would need to try to break these habits, so you don’t apply one languages rules to another.

              Wouldn’t that experience be more detrimental in this case? They had to adapt to an unfamiliar engine and hardware.

              Pardon the analogy, but wouldn’t it be like trying to learn a language. The experience in one language would create habits that likely interfere with your competency at another language. You would need to try to break these habits, so you don’t apply one languages rules to another.

              A smaller indie dev would start without preconceptions that interfere with their competency at using their engine or hardware.

              Plus it would be more apt to compare them to other niche developers. Such as Gust, Compile Heart, or even NIS.

            • Guest

              Wouldn’t that experience be more detrimental in this case? They had to adapt to an unfamiliar engine and hardware.

              Pardon the analogy, but wouldn’t it be like trying to learn a language. The experience in one language would create habits that likely interfere with your competency at another language. You would need to try to break these habits, so you don’t apply one languages rules to another.

              A smaller indie dev would start without preconceptions that interfere with their competency at using their engine or hardware.

              Plus it would be more apt to compare them to other niche developers. Such as Gust, Compile Heart, or even NIS.

    • http://www.santashi.com/ Santashi

      They’ve already got the system assets from Sen no Kiseki so if they end up reusing a lot of them that would presumably save them some time. They could have written most of the dialogue earlier, too.

      I was also surprised at how soon it is though!

      • Articuno76

        I’m guessing a great majority of the writing itself is also finished in advance as well. The sets and many of the other assets, as Santashi said, are likely just going to re-used because…well, why not?

  • kurosan9712

    Mmhm, at least I’ll be finished with Sen no Kiseki before June 2014, so…GO FOR IT FALCOM! Give me another awesome game. I love Sen no Kiseki a lot. 56 hours in-game, and around 50 still left just to finish it one time(at least with my pace and on Hard+doing EVERY sidequest etc).

    • Mar Mar

      NAAA don’t spoil me! I haven’t finished it yet ><

      Also don't forget Ao no Kiseki Evo which should come around next year.

      2014 sure is gonna be full of JPRGs.

      • kurosan9712

        I’ve just bought Zero no Kiseki Evo, which is gonna reach me in a week or two. I’ve finished both Zero and Ao on PSP, but on Vita both have/will have full voiced main storyline, which makes it worth buying.

    • rurifan

      But just 10 hours without the load screens. ;)

      (Sorry.)

      • kurosan9712

        Ehm, PS3 version doesn’t have those much. After patch 1, some of the load times disappeared completely for me. And others are no bigger than 5-10 sec. Isn’t a problem.
        Talking to all NPCs, doing all quests, just riding horse and bashing enemies in Nord Highlands took much more than load times.

        • rurifan

          Patch 1 did nothing to eliminate the load problems on PS3 here.

          • kurosan9712

            quite strange, because before it, I was pretty sure a few places in the Academy had load times, and after – they don’t have them.
            General load times shortened to half and that was pretty much hard to miss.
            Could it be related to my copy being a digital one? I don’t usually buy digital copies, but I heard they can perform better than disc copies(Ni no Kuni for example). Then again, I just took it because I wanted to play it ASAP, lol.

            • Articuno76

              I think your situation is what some of the lucky few (who happen to have a very particular hardware configuration) are experiencing.

              Most PS3 users post 1.01 didn’t notice a change at all. There was a video on Youtube that has gone down since that showed the difference was literally in the 10ths of a second range. In other words; the patch barely changed anything.

  • Gariya

    Falcom being really supportive to PlayStation brand recently and leaving PC mustard race behind is a really good news.

  • Budgiecat

    The next Legend of Heroes game should be for PS4 featuring a highly advanced form of cell chaded graphics and animation surpassing that of Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign…

    • kurosan9712

      Eiyuu Densetsu a.k.a Legend of Heroes was ALWAYS about gameplay and story, no one gives a single ***k about it’s graphics.

  • Articuno76

    That is a fast turn around (not sure if this normal or not though).

    So is it going to be Trails in the Flash SC (or whatever it will be called) or Trails of Blue Evolution?

    EIther way I hope they’ve learned from the negative fan reception they got from their last release and are prepared to make the tough choice to keep a game baking if they need to.

    • rurifan

      Sen left such a bad taste in my mouth, Falcom has a long way to climb before I get excited about them again. I’m afraid they’re comitted to this 3d thing they’re no good at.

      • Articuno76

        I’m not entirely sure it is entirely a case of talent. Their opening movie (which was done in house) has characters that actually look right and there are a few decent animations; it’s not like they can’t do it, feels more like they are cheaping out on what is becoming a flagship/cross-mainstream title.

        If they don’t have the staff numbers to pull off the game they want at the quality they want they should really consider outsourcing elements of their game to Chinese/Indian freelancers (textures, mo-cap). I can’t imagine they would be any less talented (and certainly not as expensive).

        People say graphics don’t matter (and they don’t from a sheer numbers/technical perspective) but overall presentation does (when people say the graphics aren’t good they are probably referring to this).

        Most people are willing to overlook a game that isn’t technically impressive because the point of technology is to serve the aesthetic vision the designers laid out. Sen does not look to me like the developers realised their vision (and not for lack of technology); the art work and in-game models clash horribly and don’t evoke the right response in the player.

        And what is worse is that Falcom insists on trying to push the character models as their primary form of expression (Persona 4 was at least smart enough to distract you with the pretty character art because the designers knew their models were lacking). In fact that might explain why P4 (despite being technically behind Sen) looks ‘better'; it just oozes style that has jumped off the designer’s page in a way that Sen sometimes does but more than often clumsily doesn’t (at least from what I’ve seen of the game).

        • rurifan

          This is so true. A good games has polished production within the bounds the medium & developer are capable of. That’s why prior Falcom games worked well despite being very basic engines.

          And again, I agree completely that Falcom’s attempt to go cinematic with polygons really hurt the overall presentation. I cringe and think “please, just stop” every time it zooms in on those bad polygons during dialog…

  • http://www.esterior.net/ Endless History

    Did we read the same article? Because the Kiseki series was brought up during a ‘while we’re talking about it’ aspect, whereas the majority of the article was about the Ys series, since Celceta won a Playstation Award in 2012, including stuff on the “next Ys title.” :o (Presumedly Ys 8 at this point.)

    Kondo’s already said in a Dengeki interview the week of Sen’s release that the next Kiseki title comes out in 2014. (Which is why most of the Kiseki fans didn’t explode /more/ than they already did at Sen’s ending.)