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First announced on 27 August, 2009 by the director of Contact Akira Ueda, this game is said to be created by an all-star team. What is meant by all-star team is that some of the most renowned game developer will form a team together to create a new Nintendo DS game.
The game is announced with the title Sakura Note. Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy series, Composer) and Hideo Minaba (Lost Odyssey, Art) are contributing for the music and character design respectively, while Kazushige Nojima (Kingdom Hearts series, Final Fantasy series, Scenario) will be the writer of this story. This game itself will be produced by the publisher of Half-Minute-Hero (PSP) Kenichiro Takagi. An announcement of the US release of Sakura Note is said to be “very likely” and it will be no much time until the imminent announcement.
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A brief synopsis explained what would be the possible storyline for this game. Our main character, a young boy (who looks quite similar to Terry of Contact DS), was living in a small town living his life between two towns. It was said that each town has a Sakura tree, where in one town it is slowly withering, the other one is currently advancing into a full bloom.
In Sakura Note, our main character is supposed to save the withering Sakura tree, and in the way, we will have to save a typical damsel in distress, who was named Nanami Yoshida and was new to the main character’s town. Along the way, our main character will have to fight against monsters and ghosts.
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Similar to Contact, the gameplay for this game is fairly simplistic without much depth in controlling the flow of the battle. The battle is simplified into two buttons, each presumably with the function to ‘attack’ and to ‘guard’. Again, like the game Contact, Sakura Note will have a fairly simplistic equipment system.
The main interest of Sakura Note’s gameplay is that one of the main quests in this game is to collect Tears. One main section in this game will show ‘episodes’, which is a part of the storyline—with each storyline being unlinked to each other, in the viewpoint of dogs and cats.
Those Tears are supposedly collected in different and some unique ways. But the main method of collecting Tears seems to be by interacting with people and forming relationships with them. The player will also have some control over the interaction, with the player given a choice to choose between a negative and positive response. Success in choosing a response may lead to a “flood of Tears”, and the player will obtain the Tears.
It will be a given that Sakura Note will use the unique capability of Nintendo DS, which is the touch screen.
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As far as the information goes, Sakura Note seems to have a great potential for the sequel to Contact. With its unique battle system and its unique combination of an all-star team for the creation for this game, it would seem to be a waste if this game did not come to the US shore market. But, knowing Marvelous Interactive’s relatively good relationships with other developers such as XSeed, Rising Star, and Atlus; it would be certain that this game might see an US release. As the developers say—even now, the game is import-friendly.
Sakura Note would be a good addition to the current Nintendo DS RPG lineup for 2010, which is currently lacking in amount and quality.