Sigma Harmonics was first known as one of the new trademarks issued by Square Enix Japan. It was developed by Think Garage, the company behind Itadaki Street and Lord of Vermilion. The game itself was developed by key members of Square Enix themselves, such as Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroki Chiba, the co-director and co-event planner for the well-known RPG game Chrono Trigger. The game was published and released by Square Enix in Japan at August 21, 2008.
Being a Square Enix game, most likely it will reach the US market sometimes soon. Unfortunately, until the day this article was created, 22/6/2009; Square Enix hasn’t directly announced that Sigma Harmonics will get a US release.
Storylines (4 out of 5)
Sigma Harmonics follows the story of Sigma Kurogami, a high school student which is coincidentally a “sound user”, which allows him to have certain abilities. His family has been guarding a clock, which seals the demon Ōma inside it, and when the seal broke, calamity will strike. One day, he found out that his past has been rewritten, which cause chaos in his present time. Aided by his friend, a girl named Neon Tsukiyumi which have similar power to Sigma, Sigma Kurogami must solve a certain murder cases to return his life to normal.
The story in this game seems like a mixture of similar stories in the same genre. Sigma Harmonics feels like a story combining Time Hollow, Ace Attorney series, with the darker elements of Hotel Dusk: Room 215; meets Final Fantasy or other RPG series. The story, at first, is nothing unique or different, but as you play this game, you will find out that the story has several twists on it.
Gameplay (3 out of 5)
Sigma Harmonics is a combination between visual novel and RPG genres. The game itself is played in a book style, similar of how the game Brain Age and Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Swords was played. For most part of the game, this game is emphasized mostly on the visual novel genre, such as we have to control Sigma and solve the string of murder cases happening to restore his past back.
RPG elements are also present in the game, as Sigma, players will defeat monsters and enemies present throughout the game, while levelling up and getting stronger.
US Release - Unlikely?
There are few reasons why it is unlikely for Sigma Harmonics to reach the US shore:
- This game was first announced at the beginning of 2008 and released on August 21, 2008. While most Square Enix games doesn’t have a big gap between Japanese and US release, it has almost been a year now, and there are no informations present, except for a logo issued by Square Enix USA last January, concerning Sigma Harmonics.
- There are some conferences since last January that Square Enix might’ve used to announce Sigma Harmonics to the US market, such as GDC and E3 2009, but Sigma Harmonics wasn’t mentioned in both of the gaming conferences.
- Last January, a leak confirmed that Square Enix has submitted the name Sigma Harmonics as a US trademark, which might hint on the release of the game. But, Square Enix has been registering some trademarks of certain games in the same manner a few years ago, but until now, that certain game hasn’t reached the US market.
- The game was played in a book style, holding the DS sideways, like how Ninja Gaiden DS was played. The problem is that the dialog window is optimized for Japanese characters; in which the dialog box is just a small box on the right side of the screen, which displayed Japanese characters from up to down. This means that to event translate the game to english, Square Enix must optimize the game for english characters, by reprogramming and reinserting the scripts; or squeezing the characters in the small box, which seems unlikely. If Square Enix decided to reprogram the dialog boxes, it’s the same thing as creating a whole new game.