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Earth Seeker (Wii) Preview

Review for Earth Seeker on Wii

In 2004, Monster Hunter producer Noritaka Funamizu left Capcom to form his own development company, Crafts and Meister. Some of Funamizu’s other works include producing such highly regarded games as Street Fighter II, Resident Evil 2, Breath of Fire IV, and even Nintendo’s magnificent Legend of Zelda Game Boy Color games, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. Since the forming of this new band, Craft and Meister have released just the one game on a Nintendo system; the Japan-only Mizuiro Blood on the DS, but they doubled this in June by introducing the Land of the Rising Sun to Earth Seeker, an original single player Wii RPG that has been co-developed with Kadokawa Shoten. What makes Earth Seeker so different to the plenty of other RPGs out on Wii at the moment, though?

The chronicle of Earth Seeker goes that mankind was on the brink of extinction and forced to flee Earth after a black hole threatened the planet. Humans created thousands of huge ships, some the size of entire cities, and loaded them with everything they deemed precious. Groups of ships set off for various star systems to find a new place to call home. Disastrously, one group of ships met with a terrible fate when a gamma ray burst killed everyone onboard. Despite this, the ships’ computers still operated and managed to find a habitable planet. Upon entering this new Earth’s atmosphere, though, the ships did not react too well to it and everyone was forced into emergency landings. The computers attempted to execute their Earth Regeneration Programme to create a suitable environment, but due to the damage sustained in the emergency landing, they ended up creating monsters instead of the Earth creatures they had originally planned. Earth Seeker begins a thousand years later.

Mankind was recreated by the computers as a new species called Earthnoid; it is one of these new types of humans that you control. You are not alone on this planet, however. A race of creatures called “guardians” inhabits the land and they have not been very fond of humans after what their ships’ computers did by producing monsters on their home planet. However, the guardians have a strong craving for the alcohol that humans make and by giving them some they will help you out during the adventure. The little guys have managed to advance beyond their primitive state by using the technology of the ships and use “Energy Balls” to fight. The overall goal in Earth Seeker is to find the cargo that has been scattered all over the world after the crash landings of the ships in the past.

Screenshot for Earth Seeker on Wii

Earth Seeker has been designed as an action game that can be played by anybody. Noritaka Funamizu stated that light users complained that his action games were too tough for them to play, so he decided to create one that appeals to everyone. The key feature in Earth Seeker is its Time Stop Battle system, which combines real-time and command elements. Upon spotting an enemy, players will engage it in conflict. By working together with six guardian support characters, enemies can be fought together using a unique battle mechanic. With a press of the ‘A’ button the action can be frozen so that time can be taken when picking what commands to issue to the guardians, having them fight in a Pikmin-style, performing elemental and group magical attacks. The main character also partakes in the action by whipping out a giant sword (it would not be a fantasy RPG without one, right?).

To give the guardians actions, Action Cartridges are needed. A meter at the bottom of the screen shows how many are currently in possession, and the amount can be expanded through the course of the game. As long as you have cartridges in stock, commands can be issued. There are also different power levels of these actions to choose from and stronger attacks will require more cartridges. In addition, the Earthnoid character’s weapons arsenal can also be augmented by obtaining materials to create new ones.

Screenshot for Earth Seeker on Wii

Of particular interest are the crazy enemy designs encountered during the journey over the “new Earth.” Due to bugs in the computers caused through the crash landings, they created some rather messed up creatures that come off as sort of biological and mechanical hybrids. For example, there is a panther-like animal with a power plug for a tail and a glass shell through which its internal organs can be clearly seen. Others include a crossover between a grasshopper and a rail gun, as well as a dragon and a light bulb. These bizarre creatures reside in specific environments and have their own special attacks. Some monsters prefer dark locations and move around underground. There is somewhat of a Monster Hunter feel to the fiend designs, but that comes as little surprise considering the ex-Capcom talent working on Earth Seeker.

The use of real-world objects and landmarks, spread over a world that has merged the city-like areas from the voluminous spaceships and the greens of what was already on the planet, make for a detailed and refreshing world to explore. Players will be seeing such famous manmade creations as the Eiffel Tower and a broken Statue of Liberty. The colourful and detailed graphics and character styles are very appealing and reminiscent of Phantasy Star Online, although it does not quite live up to the extremely high standards set by Xenoblade. There are a variety of destinations to explore on top of the traditional fields, including ruins in a lightning storm and buildings surrounded by lava.

Screenshot for Earth Seeker on Wii

The game’s soundtrack is handled by a duo called Unique Note, comprised of former Capcom audio director Tetsuya Shibata, who worked on the Devil May Cry and Resident Evil series, and vocalist Yoshino Aoki, who was involved in Breath of Fire III and IV. The latter sang a few tracks for Earth Seeker, and judging by the people involved, you can be sure the game’s score is impressive.

A DSiWare mini game called Odekake! Earth Seeker was also released at the same time as the console version, which allows you to create new items to take into your main game, as well as clean artefacts you find on your quest. This is a welcomed addition as progress of some kind can still be made whilst away from your console. The console game itself is apparently no pushover in the longevity stakes either, with it taking around 20-to-30 hours to clear and 60-to-70 to complete fully.

Screenshot for Earth Seeker on Wii

Worth waiting for?

Earth Seeker looks to be a great addition to the Wii’s quite expansive RPG library. It sets itself apart through its interesting background story, and the Time Stop Battle system really makes it appealing enough that light gamers can handle it and not be put off. Unfortunately, in its first week on sale in Japan, Earth Seeker sold just over 4,000 copies and it has not picked up any pace since then either. This is only going to further put a dent in any potential overseas release, which is extremely disappointing. XSEED Games are not actively pursuing Earth Seeker to bring to the North American market, unless Kadokawa ask them to first. Due to the poor sales of the game, as well as the quickly collapsing Wii market, it would be a big ask for Earth Seeker to see the light of day outside of Japan, which is a real shame because it deserves better.

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11.08.2011

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Developer

Crafts & Meister

Publisher

Kadokawa

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date None   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Preview

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

North Americans wishing to pester XSEED into bringing this over, go here. A comment by one of the guys though suggests if they don't pick it up, another publisher likely will. But personally, I think the very poor Japan sales would have put a lot of publishers off.

Official Japanese Earth Seeker site for those interested.

I simply have to share some of the awesome artwork of this game.

Look at that box art!

Image for

Official art:



( Edited 14.08.2011 02:20 by Azuardo )

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
...Upupu.
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It's a huge bummer that this game might not come to English speaking audiences. I'd definitely love to try it out!

I get some vibes of Dark Cloud 2, Rogue Galaxy, and Pikmin--3 great games! I hope I get a chance to play this. (As well as Xenoblade)

Like video game music?!
>
Do a Barrel Roll!<

That artwork IS awesome. Smilie Really hope this gets localized. Also reminds me of that studio Ghibli game I heard about a while back. Hope that makes it over into the European and North American markets too. We need games with art like this.

AdamC3 (guest) 12.08.2011 14:34#4

Low sales aren't the big problem, it's more about how much the Japanese publisher asks for in terms of licensing fee. Now, it could be low due to it not being a AAA release, or it could be high as they look to recoup more money because of the low Japanese sales...

Its amazing how strong the Wii's lineup is looking now for its final cycle...at least in Japan.

Incidently I LOVE LOVE LOVE the setting of this game.
Beats flying castles and cat people.

Please give our little random review show a try;
http://randomreviewshow.com/index.html
We have special effects and umm...stuff...
Staff Member

If only it sold better in Japan, looks like an awesome game and I love the artwork.

Stuart Lawrence
Follow Me on twitter :: @Stulaw90 || My Youtube || Backloggery
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Bah! I was really looking forward to this game. It was the only Wii game I was really looking forward to (not a big Zelda fan - don't hit me!). The world looks huge, which you don't get much of on the Wii. The story seems interesting as well. I hope they really expand upon it as the game goes on. Hopefully I'll be able to pick it up one day Smilie

Duggler657 said:
That artwork IS awesome. Smilie Really hope this gets localized. Also reminds me of that studio Ghibli game I heard about a while back. Hope that makes it over into the European and North American markets too. We need games with art like this.

It's called "Ni no Kuni" (ニの国). I see it translated as "Another World" (literally it is something like "Second Country"). I just got it couple of months ago! I was fortunate enough to visit Japan (and get college credit to boot) and while I was there I picked this up. I'm waiting for my Japanese to (hopefully) get better before I play. I did start the intro, though, just to look at the art. The cutscenes are Studio Ghibli quality. It rocks.

Also, when you buy the game it comes with this big book. You use magic and stuff in the game and this is your book of spells and lists of creatures and stuff. I love that! It's like a piece of this game world actually exists in my world!

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

I looked it up as soon as you gave me the name. Do you have the ps3 or DS version of the game? I'll take it anyway I can get it, so long as it gets localized. But, personally, after seeing screenshots of the ps3 version, I'd put it up there with the Last Guardian. Looks amazing. It will be a crying shame if these types of games continue to never make it outside their home country. Just like what happened with "Moon Remix" on the PSone.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The PS3 version isn't out yet Smilie DS version had an initial shipment of 600,000 units and sold through about 550,000 the last time Akihiro Hino mentioned it.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Duggler657 said:
I looked it up as soon as you gave me the name. Do you have the ps3 or DS version of the game? I'll take it anyway I can get it, so long as it gets localized. But, personally, after seeing screenshots of the ps3 version, I'd put it up there with the Last Guardian. Looks amazing. It will be a crying shame if these types of games continue to never make it outside their home country. Just like what happened with "Moon Remix" on the PSone.

I've got the DS version. I forgot there were two, but now that you mention I remember reading that each was each own story. I'd like to get both one day, but I have to get a PS3 first.

( Edited 13.08.2011 03:53 by TAG )

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18
Squidboy (guest) 13.08.2011 18:13#11

I'd like to see this reworked for WiiU in the West.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Nice, someone in the XSEED forum topic I linked to in the first post above linked to my preview here. Shows that people do care about the game. The more interest that's shown, the better chance it has of coming over.

Like Squidboy says, it would be nice if a Wii U version could be done. It might not have sold so well on Wii from the off, but it's by no means a bad game at all. Touching it up, enhancing the graphics and addressing any problems, then making it a Wii U launch game could be a great decision.

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
...Upupu.
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n0body (guest) 22.08.2011 20:19#13

Earth HeeHaa!

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

A thread made at Rising Star Games' forums to ask them to localise Earth Seeker in Europe can be read here.

My preview has also been linked to there again! Show your support guys!

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
...Upupu.
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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I also linked to your Ikenie no Yoru preview on the XSEED forum Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Ah yes, I've just taken a look myself! Good job. Looks like one of the guys has passed on your suggestions too, so fingers crossed.

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
...Upupu.
Follow me on: Twitter | YouTube | Backloggery

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