ASH will be the first 2Gbit (256MB) game made for the DS and will be an SRPG produced by Blue Dragon, Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. With the game named after the main character from a PC game during Sakaguchi's early days, the story starts of with 17 year old Aisha going through a ceremony to become the next queen of Milinia. However midway, the Flaming Serpent appears in the skies and burns everything down. Everything is left in ashes before Aisha. Why was the Flaming Serpent doing this? Why are these people being revived as Ash Warriors?
Battles will be turn based and instead of the usual way of fighting enemies in SRPGs, you'll be thrown into a menu driven scene like those in other RPGs such as Final Fantasy; Your team members on one screen and the enemy on the other.
Each team is displayed as one unit on the map. They consist of 2 members and a leader. You can have up to a maximum of 5 teams. Actions will be restricted by a single AP (Action Points) gauge for each team. This way, you could just freely command only one member of the team if you wanted to.
Only the main living characters of the story can be leaders while the other recruits can be Ash Warriors. These Ash Warriors are the ressurected people who were turned into ash by the Flaming Serpent. As these warriors level up and gain skills, the player can choose to let their main characters absorb them to inherit the skill. The downside is you will lose the warrior you absorb.
Ash Warriors include the Battler a melee swordsman, Itemer who specialises in using items, Black Magic (Black Mage), White Magic (White Mage) and Stealer another melee member who can steal items.
You can have dedicated teams that deal in buffs (support magic) so that your melee units are buffed up before taking on the enemy. Some boss battles will actually depend on having a support team to keep your front line team buffed.
The game will apparently not be 3D but make use of pre-rendered material due to the limitations of the DS. The 2Gbit capacity is required for the variety of detailed characters, high quality battle scenes and environments they're putting into the game.
Due sometime this year and sounding like fun! Think they'll release a DS Lite package with this too? I say probably.
- Official Site