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Dragon Fantasy Book 2 adds Secret of Mana-style online multiplayer

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Dragon Fantasy Book 2, the sequel to Muteki Corp's first classic role-playing adventure, will introduce online multiplayer mode to the series, creator Adam Rippon told Polygon.

During a demo played at E3 earlier today, Rippon said the game's multiplayer mode will be online-only and allow players to drop in and drop out similar to local multiplayer in 1993's role-playing game The Secret of Mana. Players will be able to jump into another player's game and replace the AI of one of protagonist Odgren's companions.

Unlike its 8-bit predecessor, Book 2 is a new 16-bit game that picks up where the first game left off. Rippon said he plans to evolve the graphics as he evolves the series, creating each game's visuals in the style of a different era of role-playing games. Book 3, he said, will look similar to the blocky style of Final Fantasy 7 on the PSOne.

This time around, battles are persistant. Instead of shifting out of the action to focus on the enemy, encounters will occur as players walk through the world and will be carried out without leaving the map. Players can approach enemies and attack first, or be attacked. The battle system is also now spatial-based in a style similar to Chrono Trigger's system.

Muteki Corp. has added sea transport and a Monster Hunter-esque monster capturing system to Book 2. Players can command their ship across a wide open sea, as well as engage in naval combat with other ships. Players will throw rock monsters — one of the game's quirky creatures — onto enemy vessels, where they will explode and deal damage. Monsters can be hunted down and captured with nets, after which they can be recruited into your party.

"A huge part of making Dragon Fantasy Book 1 was finding the scope to work in — 8-bit is a smaller scope, but it's also much more possible for a small team [like Muteki]," he said. "With Book 2 we're shooting a little higher and we're building up a higher fidelity experience that's still pretty simple.

"We've actually been working on the Dragon Fantasy serues for a while," he added. "A lot of the assets we use in Book 2 we made over a decade ago, in 1995." Muteki has since polished them and prepped them for launch on Sony's platforms.

Dragon Fantasy Book 2 will launch on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita later this year. Dragon Fantasy Book 1, which was originall released in 2011 for iOS, launched on PlayStation Network for PS3 and Vita in April.