Lord of Vermillion III on Loketest

This months Arcadia Magazine cover story is Square-Enix’s latest game in their Lord of Vermilion series, a massively popular arcade-only-card-based-arena-action-strategy-game-thingy (along the same sort of lines as Sega’s Sangokushi Taisen series). The game’s so minty fresh it’s currently on its loketest (that’s “location test”, for those who dislike Japanese abbreviation) rounds and gameplay/card balance is still subject to change, but I thought some people might be interested to see what the game’s about.

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Players are split into opposing forces made up of four players on each side (it appears that AI characters will fill in any empty slots) and to win the match team members must work together to destroy the other teams three Arcana Stones. The game features a text-based team chat function to help people cooperate easily – using the game’s touch screen (a new feature for Lord of Vermilion III) the player can choose a category and then a comment to give quick orders or requests for help to other players.

Each player has a small deck of eight cards (these are physical cards, dispensed in starter packs and from the arcade cabinet itself after a match is completed) containing summonable characters which are all categorised as one of three basic jobs – Attacker, Defender or Magician. Naturally these three form a triangle of strengths and weaknesses – Attackers work well against Magicians, Magicians work well against Defenders and Defenders work well against Attackers.

Mana is the primary resource in the game, and is needed to summon cards onto the field as well as cast Arts (spells). Mana will regenerate over time but additional boosts can be given from Mana Towers, defeating “Manamon”’s, or through certain card abilities.

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Below is an image of the arcade machine itself. A “basic” setup consists of eight of these plus a starter pack dispenser. The player places the cards they want to use this game on the lower play screen – through some mystical voodoo the machine can tell exactly what cards you’ve got and where they are. The play screen is split into to zones; offensive and defensive. Where the player moves the card effects the general abilities of the card – a Defender category card in the defensive zone gains a boost to its defense, for example.

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These are some of the cards from the preliminary card list, although their stats and abilities are currently subject to change.

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The official website shows a few videos (including the one below) and has downloadable PDFs of the card list and “How to Play” guide. Chances of a western release in absolutely any form? Zero, or thereabouts. Sorry!