Level-5's CEO outlines his Tokyo Game Show plans

Akihiro Hino — president and CEO of Level-5, producer on most of their titles, and a man who eternally looks like he could use a nap — discussed his company's plans for the Tokyo Game Show with Famitsu magazine in this week's issue.

Akihiro Hino — president and CEO of Level-5, producer on most of its titles, and a man who eternally looks like he could use a nap — discussed his company's plans for the Tokyo Game Show with Famitsu magazine in this week's issue.

This year's TGS, which kicks off September 20, marks the first time the company behind the Professor Layton and White Knight Chronicles series has had a booth in two years. "We have a lot of games that we want to show off at TGS, with something like five or six coming out before year's end alone," Hino told Famitsu. "So our aim with TGS is to get these titles in front of gamers' eyes as much as we can. Fantasy Life, in particular, I want people to pay close attention to. We've also got Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney to show, too."

Japanese gamers have considered Fantasy Life to be vaporware for a while

Fantasy Life (promo art shown above) remains a bit of a mystery in a lot of ways. First announced at a Level-5 press event in 2009, the Animal Crossing-ish free-world RPG began life as a 2D title for the Nintendo DS before getting completely scrapped and remade as a 3DS game with polygonal graphics. Japanese gamers have considered Fantasy Life to be vaporware for a while, but it now has a tentative December 2012 release, although Level-5 still hasn't given out much in the way of gameplay details.

"I think some people may think this game is a straight-on online RPG," Hino said, "but we're really trying hard to make this a game you can enjoy by yourself. I like MMORPGs, but I like single-player ones just as much. Fantasy Life isn't an MMO, but like with MMOs, you're free to fight RPG-style battles and you're also free to go fishing or chop down trees or whatever as well. So we're making something that's fun to play alone, but even more fun when you go online or use StreetPass."


Hino also touched a bit on the sixth game in the main Professor Layton series, titled Professor Layton and the Legacy of Super Civilization A, announced at a Nintendo Direct broadcast in August and due out next year in Japan.

"Without a doubt, this is the biggest game of the series," he said. "There's tons of bonus material, too. Just in terms of the main game, there's lots of new puzzles, and we've got more puzzles to be distributed daily for the 365 days following launch. It's really a full entertainment package instead of just a puzzle game, because the story really takes a full world-based view this time and there's a much bigger dramatic element than before. The graphics are also really detailed, to the point where I think people will wonder why we went through all this trouble for the sake of a single puzzle."

Gamers expecting Hino to discuss the upcoming Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney crossover will have to wait — the Level-5 head promised to spill the beans more fully on that 3DS project in next week's issue of Famitsu.

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