Falcom could have done the one-button one action cool GUI thing much earlier if not for a certain hardware detail.
Falcom’s Trails of Cold Steel III implements new battle systems in the series, including a brand new battle GUI, where each action is assigned to a button. I’ve personally always wondered about that change, and if it wasn’t done after the influence of Persona 5, which uses a similar GUI. After all, Persona 5 first released in September 2016 Japan, while Trails of Cold Steel III launched around a year later there, in September 2017.
During our interview with Toshihiro Kondo, I finally got to ask about this. It turned out I was completely wrong, and I got a pretty unexpected answer from Falcom’s President:
“As for the one-button corresponds to one action idea, we actually wanted to do that since the first Trails of Cold Steel game. But that series was released on both PS3 and Vita, and there weren’t enough buttons to do it on the Vita. We started doing it when the series moved to PS4 with Trails of Cold Steel III.”
Taking this into account, the new GUI could have made an appearance starting Trails of Cold Steel I in 2013, predating Persona 5.
With that said, while Persona 5 shook the world with its extremely cool UI and battle GUI, it wouldn’t be fair to say Persona 5 invented the one button one action system either. Much older games such as Valkyria Profile would already do similar battle GUIs, with one button each controlling a character’s attack.
Our full interview with Falcom’s President Toshihiro Kondo will be live tomorrow. We’ve released other tidbits from it so far.
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