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Lost Sphear adds tons of mechs to the classic JRPG formula

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Watch us become fighting robots

Lost Sphear looks a lot like Tokyo RPG Factory’s first game, last year’s I Am Setsuna. There’s a pretty major difference between the two, however, which we got to try out and capture at length during a recent Square Enix event.

While I Am Setsuna is a pretty by-the-book spiritual successor to classics like Chrono Trigger, Lost Sphear’s gameplay is a little more ambitious. Players must switch between their normal selves and using the hefty Vulcosuit in order to solve puzzles and gain battle advantages. Vulcosuits aren’t just more powerful; they have unique abilities that are inaccessible when in standard human mode. It’s a fun, if at first jarring tweak on classic fantasy fighting.

Also, they have pretty rad designs, which is always welcome when it comes to mech suits.

It’s an interesting system, but it really comes in handy during the level we played. Above, we took on a boss battle and explored a new dungeon, the Sacred Rahet, where victory was impossible without swift use of the Vulcosuit.

The mech-style system makes Lost Sphear a little more interesting than a JRPG retread, even if I Am Setsuna was a nice, retro throwback. We’ll find out how else Lost Sphear differs when it arrives for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC on Jan. 23, 2018.