Unicorn Overlord is Aiming to Bring Back Tactical RPGs to the ‘90s

Unicorn Overlord is aiming to bring back tactical RPGs to the ‘90s. The studio that is behind Odin Sphere and 13 Sentinels, Vanillaware, is reportedly trying its hand at a large-scale tactical RPG that is inspired by the classics.

Unicorn Overlord Tactical RPGs

Unicorn Overlord Tactical RPGs

More than just about any other type of game studio out there, Vanillaware is famous for its style. The developer at the same time is constantly shifting between genres. The firm originally made waves with Odin Sphere, the side-scrolling action RPG, and more just recently released the sci-fi epic 13 Sentinels, which is part visual novel, part turn-based mech-vs-kaiju combat. And holding all of these disparate ideas together is the incredible 2D art of Vanillaware, along with a very clear desire to experiment.

Given just how the studio loves to jump and poke around so much, it is just probably not too surprising that Unicorn Overlord, its next project, will be a grand-scale tactical RPG that is inspired by the classics. And just ahead of the launch of the game next March (it is coming to PlayStation, Xbox, as well as the Switch) a reporter from The Verge had the chance to ask producer Akiyasu Yamamoto a couple of questions regarding just how the game came about, and what it’s like building a new fantasy universe from nothing.

Content of the Interview with the Game’s Developer

That said, the interview has been edited and also condensed for clarity purposes. I will be sharing a part of the interview here as well as a link for you to get the whole thing. With that out of the way, here is a part of the interview with the game developer, consisting of questions from The Verge’s reporter as well as answers from the game’s developer;

What aspect came first: did you start with the idea of making a new tactical game, or did that genre stem from this new fantasy universe?

Yamamoto: The former. We’ve always been fascinated by tactical RPGs, RPGs, and tactical games from the ‘90s, the era of the 16-bit systems. Presently, tactical RPGs are dominated by well-established IPs, and there haven’t been many brand-new titles emerging in the consumer market. With our determination and love for tactical RPGs, we decided to create Unicorn Overlord by remixing elements that excited us in both digital and analog games transcending the boundaries that defined the games of the ‘90s.

There are a lot of existing fantasy universes, including a handful developed at Vanillaware. There is also a lot of competition when it comes to tactical RPGs. What in your mind makes Unicorn Overlord different?

Yamamoto: When we began proposing internally with the team to make a new tactical RPG for our next game, we formulated ideas on what this could become. We then came up with the hypothesis that the limitations of 2D graphics in the 16-bit era led to depicting the world from an Overworld perspective, creating a sense of grand scale with systems supporting this view. Especially given Vanillaware’s expertise in 2D graphics, we felt that we were the perfect team to develop a game reminiscent of that era yet fully modern in all respects. We approached that challenge with a sense of duty and built the game accordingly.

These are just about some parts of the interview. To get the whole thing, check here.



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