Summon Night 5
Playstation Portable (PSP)
PSVita (via built-in emulation)
May 16, 2013 (JP)
Dec 15, 2015 (NA)
Turn-Based Strategy RPG
Summon Night 5 is the newest game of the main series to be released for Playstation Portable by FELISTELLA. Ufotable will be in charge of the game's opening animation. The game's opening theme is "Hoshitachi no Rendezvous ~Ready to fly~" and the ending theme is "Aozora no Requiem", both will be performed by Emiko Bleu, with the theme being produced by Sing Like Talking member Chiaki Fujita. The game was released on the 16th of May, 2013. An English localization is scheduled for release by GAIJINWORKS on Dec 15th, 2015.
The world of Summon Night changed dramatically for this entry. Now the medieval setting changed completely to a more contemporary world mixed with many of the other cultures and tribes already present in other Summon Night games. The stage for this title is the city of Savorle, a model city in this new era where people from all the different world can coexist. However, its to be expected that with so many different mindsets and opinions, conflicts would happen. That is when the protagonist enter. The player can once more choose between a male - Folth - or a female - Arca. Being a summoner working for the Eucross organization, the protagonist has to solve many cases to protect the city and its citizens. The player also has 4 partners to choose from. Those characters are the lead’s adopted brother/sister and they fight together forming the new pact called Cross and using the new “Summon Resonance”.
- A type of summon beast that can bond only with one specific summoner. The main character chooses between 4 different beasts at the beginning, but other summoners have only one Cross.
- A new main mechanic called “Summon Resonance” is an ability where a character and his Cross can combine to release a super powerful attack. The protagonist & Cross duo only get a disadvantage while using this ability, since the cross gets turned into a "chibi" form that is very weak and has to run from enemies.
- Summon Cluster
- Other than the partner chosen at the beginning, players can also recruit some different summons, like in previous games. However, since the world scenario changed to that of a coexisting culture, this also affected the mechanics used to get new summon creatures.
- The player can defeat a specific enemy during event battles to recruit them as "Summon Clusters" after the event.
- It’s also possible to recruit summons by clearing certain missions offered by the Manager in the Eucross Headquarters.
- Brave Battle System
- The Brave Battle system is back and is closer to the version found in the PSP remakes.
- There are no co
- Just like Skill Points (SP) found in the PSP remakes, BP (Brave Points) can be earned in the same way (by defeating enemies), but are used only to activate Party Skills.
- There is a single value of BP for the whole party.
- BP value starts at 50. It goes up really easy, a mere "first attack" gives about 20 points.
- However, It goes down for every time a character attacks an enemy with lower level than him/herself. This is done to encourage players to use their EXP to buy special skills from each different class for every character.
- There are also many Party Skills that can easily raise BP, like "Cheering".
- This value drops for each time an ally unit is defeated.
- If the total BP reaches zero the player gets a Game Over.
- A few examples of Party Skills are: Prevent damage to the party for 5 turns; Cure All Party; and the most important one: "Change Party Members".
- By using the "Change" command (交代) it's possible to change members during battles. This makes possible to save an ally that is about to die or to change strategy against enemies by changing to a character that can attack their weak points more easily.
- Classes & Skills
- Now the player is able to change freely between the different classes of a character, making it possible to change considerably the gameplay of a character to best adjust to the needs of an specific battle and changing it back later.
- The changes in a character attributes are captured by a "Petersen graphic" seeing inside the character status and opening the segment for "class".
- Each class has its own set of unique skills. Those skills can be enabled and upgraded by spending EXP.
- Skill can be upgrade up to level 5, however, some skills can only be upgraded to a certain level.
- Retry & Missions
- Like in the remakes for the PSP, it's possible to retry event battles so the player can complete all Brave Orders and collect all Brave Medals.
- It's also possible to fight special battles called "Missions". Those battles are harder than the regular event battles and can only be fought talking with the Manager in the Eucross HQ. Those are the equivalent for the Endless Halls battles.
- Some Missions have special rules like: Party Skills Locked; MP Locked; All party members start with 50% HP; and many others.
- It's possible to customizing weapons using a system pretty similar to the one found in the swordcraft series.
- When customizing a weapon, you choose between upgrade an attribute (Attack, Magic, Technique or Critical Rate) or to add a special ability.
- Other than money, specific ores are necessary to upgrade a weapon's attribute.
- To add a special ability, you need to use an accessory in the process.
- Only one special ability at a time can be crafted in a weapon. Using a different accessory to craft a new ability into the weapon will erase the last ability the player crafted in the weapon before.
- Every character has their own unique weapons, and they can't equip each others weapons. This is done to encourage players to use the Craft System more.
- Some weapons have unique special attacks unlockables by using the craft system. Those skills are different from the ones added in the weapon by using accessories, thus, by unlocking those unique skills do not erase other skills in the weapon.
- Summon Assist
- The system is back with some slight changes to simplify its use.
- Now it doesn't matter what character is chosen to assist, the bonus given is always the same.
- Using one assist will reduce the amount of MP used; Two assists will make the attack stronger; Three assists will increase the range of the summon; Four assists will raise the summon rank of the summoner, even if it's not a rank used by the assist.
- To counterbalance the ability to change characters during the battle, the party has support for only 5 characters at a time.
- If a ally is defeated, it cannot be substituted by other character during the same battle.
- MP reaches the max value of 200 points, regardless of the level.
- The MP value starts at 50 points and goes up for every time the player attacks get damaged, blocks, avoid attacks, defeats or hit an enemy's weakness.
- All characters not active in battle gain 10 MP at the end of a full player turn. However, they can only reach the MAX of 100 MP while on stand by.
- Every single character can enter in a "resonance state", getting considerably stronger. To enter this state, it is needed to use a special command among the skill list of a character. This command uses about 10 MP, but doesn't spend the 100 MP, it only needs this amount to be activated, leaving the player free to use the 100 MP as fit.
Like the previous titles, Summon Night 5 has multiple endings. Currently it was confirmed through the Gallery Mode that the game has at least 14 endings. 4 endings for the Cross partners, 3 for the seniors summoners, 2 for the Silvaliers, while the remaining ones are for Torque, Ruelly, Atosh, Exela & Veloce (the duo get a single ending together) and finally, a Karma ending that, likes in the past games, uses the Karma points accumulated through the gameplay.
The graphics have changed drastically too. There wasn’t such a big of a change since Summon Night 3. Not only every battle graphics are 3D models, event graphics are also quit distinct by using a kind of flash animation called Live 2D to make the characters portraits move slightly (like mouth and eyes opening, closing and such). Also is worth note that characters art during events are no longer showed doing a lateral pose, they are now always facing the screen instead, much like the night talk in Summon Night 3 and the remake of Summon Night 4. During battles, the characters are not in SD format anymore, they are almost of the proportional human size (except by slightly short arms), the 3D model of the characters the player is using appears in the side of the screen while the player chooses its action. Attacks now use many camera angles to give a more dynamic and anime-like feeling.
Even before the game had been announced, it was already openly known that series character designer Kuroboshi Kouhaku was working for a new group called FELISTELLA, formed mostly by old members from Flight Plan that had worked on the main series of Summon Night. Kuroboshi created their mascots: Felis and Stella. A short animation was created on their official site by using the Live 2D technology. This made some fans speculate about a new summon night game or a spiritual successor being produced by them. Before that, they announced a game they were making a spin-off of the Agarest series for Compile Heart dubbed Agarest Senki - Mariage. Many fans noticed that both series had great emphasis in the "love simulation" aspects, raising the hope even more. The game was finally announced on July 18 in the pages of the V-Jump magazine, along with the announcement of Summon Night 1 & 2 for the "Game Archives" library from the PSN and also the announcement of the remakes of Summon Night 3 & 4 for the Playstation Portable, making it a ambitious campaign to revive the franchise. On July 19, Agarest Mariage was released. Using this opportunity, FELISTELLA could test many new techniques and mechanics they would use later in Summon Night 5, since the two games run in the same engine:
- The battle graphics use similar 3D models (even the arms are also a bit short in this one).
- There are also special attacks where 2 or more characters in the party interact together.
- There is a “change clothes” mechanic in this game as well.
- Camera angles during battles are very similar.
- There is a bit of their “live 2D” during events too, although most characters move just a bit from time to time.
- Map navigation is also pretty similar, with the map as a “carpet” and the main character stepping on his destination.
- Even the main character’s color scheme is the same (red hair, white clothes with some black details).
By seeing only the poster that was present in the pages of the first announcement, many fans were able to find Rexx & Aty among the crowd. The series creators were honestly impressed by the fans, not only by how sharp they were to notice such a small detail, but also by how there were still old time fans that could get this hyped to the point of investigating small details. By respect for the fans, they give up on making a secret about the appearance of the 3th game protagonists, showing them on the pages of V-Jump way before the game was released.
Many of the originally planned content for the game had to be cut from the final version for some reason. It could be because of the lack of time until the dead line, but the most likely reason is the short disk storage capacity in the UMD used by the PSP. The final game size on disk is about 1.7 Gb, very close to the maximum size in a UMD. FELISTELLA was already aware that they would have cut content, thus, they were being very careful with what they showed to the public. Even so, some content showed in the pages were still cut from the final product later on. Later on, Some extra material in the first press release of the game showed even more cut content. Some of them are:
- Two unnused locations:
- Some "fan-service" events involving restaurants, bar, waitresses and food:
- Characters that bear a resemblance with the Manager that would work as operators during mission events:
The game have done well in sales, it was the highest-selling game during it's first weak, selling over 100,000 copies and remaining in the Top 5 for many weeks later. The game had great reviews from professional sites and magazines, like Famitsu, who gave a score of 32/40 for the game, a considerably high score for the magazine. Reviewer praised how the game became more modern by practically changing everything about the story and setting, but even so, it kept the same "feeling" from the classic games, giving a nostalgic sensation for old time fans. Those reviewers also loved the Live 2D animations and the replayability value of the game, worth over 100 hours of gameplay.
However, fans opinions about this new game were not some good. The majority of the complains were related with time restraints or disk space like the number of units and summons or how the system . Some other complains were related with the PSP hardware spec limitations, like how the game doesn't support more than 5 playable character during the same battle. There were also some fans that didn't like some of the technical aspects of the system, like how the class system limited some very useful skills only to impractical classes. The Live 2D was not some loved by fans as it had some awkward animations (like some times when mouths don't get closed during long dialogs). There was also a protest for the absence of CG events that were present on the PSP remakes for 3 & 4, but not on this 5th title. There was even long discussions among fans that felt the game was being too much like Summon Night 3, against those who defended the originality of the title. On the other hand, the characters and story were very praised by both old time fans and new players. The multi-ending with some few differences for gender or affection points with specific characters were also loved by every player. The graphics impressed many as it was of very high quality for the hardware.
In the end. Fans agreed about this being a good new start for the series, making them hope for new titles to fix all the problems in this game, but keeping all the good parts.
- Originally, Rexx and Aty were not meant to appear in the anime opening since they would be surprise guests, however, fans have spotted them hidden in the background of a promotional art. The producer Fukazawa Tomokazu said: "If everyone has already found out, then so be it, let's show them just a little in the opening".
- The creators revealed during a interview that there are many scenes that were cut from the final product because of the lack of space in the PSP UMD disk. Some of those scenes concepts can be saw in the Illustrated book that came with the first print version and the Gallery Mode in the game.