If you're a fan of JRPGs, squad-based RTS combat, or awesome games in general, then you'll be happy to know Project Phoenix has arrived on Kickstarter. Project Phoenix combines JRPGs with squad-based RTS combat for a unique experience, with talent from some of the biggest names in the Eastern and Western hemispheres working on it. Director and producer Hiroaki Yura (Diablo III and Valkyria Chronicles), game designer Vaughn Smith (L.A. Noire), lead composer Nobuo Uematsu (basically every Final Fantasy), and dozens more are all working on this game, which should make for one fantastic journey.
Project Phoenix's story features clans of orcs that have come down from the mountains and begun raiding without regard. Free men from the south have supposedly returned with far greater organization than the past, and whose goal is to defeat the Empire. The elves believe a certain star signals a time of change, where the fate of everyone in the world of Azuregard will be decided. Amidst all this turmoil is paladin Marcus Stern, who meets an angel with amnesia, Ruffles, the elven princess Sylrianah, and Zarum the Lost. These four form "an unlikely bond" as they try to discover their place in the world and potentially even save it from itself.
Three modes are present in Project Phoenix: Exploration, Combat, and Character Advancement. The first means you travel across the realms of Azuregard, meet new races, characters, and obtain superior equipment. Each new location you discover allows you to equip local garb and experience the culture. The best part is there's no grinding required to get to new areas, so you can explore along at your own pace without worrying about getting that next level. The developers are making sure each new town or city you journey to has plenty of interesting characters and reason to stick around.Combat is composed of story battles and random battles. Story battles are, obviously, designed to help progress the story, while random battles are "dynamic combat scenarios" that can occur during the story but typically when exploring areas without any story content (like revisiting an older town). Random battles are available whenever you like, too, so there's no extra burden with them. Battles are fought with a point and click system, with abilities using either mana or stamina. Tactical play and different heroes play a role in the battles, so you'll need to take into account factors like terrain and threat management to prevail.
As for character advancement, each character has their own class, style, abilities, and equipment, with no major concerns over which character gets a new piece of armor. Leveling up automatically improves character stats and abilities, with a talent system in place so players can customize their role. Completely customizable heroes are also being considered, so when you recruit them on your journey you can modify them however you'd like.
The $100,000 goal was hit in about nine hours, but there are plenty of stretch goals to aim for. More character and monster models, more music, detailed cities, character customization, and maybe even mutliplayer and co-op could all be added in. A $20 pledge gets a copy of Project Phoenix and beta access, with higher tiers offering more rewards.
The Kickstarter runs until September 11, so there's plenty of time for more funding to come in.