Who Is Tokyo RPG Factory?
At first glance, all you’ll see about Lost Sphear is that it’s a new JRPG developed by Square Enix. While this is true, the specific studio that developed the game is actually quite interesting, and it’s only their second title every released. The studio was founded in 2015 with a very specific purpose: create nostalgic RPGs that emulate the golden days of the genre from the 1990s and the PS1 era.
Tokyo RPG Factory released I Am Setsuna in July 2016 and the title was met with good, although not great, reception. It took some of the best elements from past RPGs like a combat system lifted right out of Chrono Trigger, and a story setup that felt very similar to Final Fantasy X. There were complaints about the title, however, like some lackluster character development, slow pacing, and moderately short length. Still, it was an admirable first try for a new developer, and one that managed to at least capture the spirit of those classic games.
Now with one game under their belt, Tokyo RPG Factory is taking another stab at things with Lost Sphear. Hopefully, the developer has learned a bit from their first outing and applied those lessons to their new game. At the very least, Lost Sphear has a much more original premise, while still looking to retain many of those classic RPG elements.
Tokyo RPG Factory’s mission is clear, and they’ve even laid out a bit of their design philosophy when the game’s director, Atsushi Hashimoto, had an interview with the PS Blog. “At Tokyo RPG Factory we want to make the kind of games that will not lose their lustre after ten years or more, and the types of games that remain in our own memories like those RPGs that we played in the 90’s. The fact that these games very much continue to influence us is a big reason,” said Hashimoto.