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Natsume's Mystic Chronicles Hits PSN on July 16

Natsume's new 16-bit retro-style role-playing game will hit PSP and Vita later this month.

We've seen a lot of homages to the 8-bit era of gaming in recent releases, but not so much paying tribute to the subsequent 16-bit period.

While one game alone doesn't really constitute a "movement," Harvest Moon publisher Natsume's upcoming PSP and Vita RPG Mystic Chronicles, developed by Kemco and originally released on iOS, certainly captures the look of the era rather aptly. As such, it's sure to please anyone who grew up with a Genesis or Super NES controller clasped in their sweaty palms.

Mystic Chronicles follows the story of Lux, a young man seeking to become a member of the Holos Guild, an organization devoted to "ridding the world of troublemakers." This being an RPG, however, Lux encounters a young girl and thus sets in motion all manner of Bad Stuff happening to the world.

"Could Lux end up being the savior of the entire world?!" the press release asks, with a frankly unnecessary interrobang. The smart money is on "yes, almost certainly."

Yep, that looks like an old-school RPG to me.

Mystic Chronicles features 16-bit style artwork, turn-based combat, story-driven quests and a game mechanic the developer calls the "Guardian Beast" system. Using this system, you can pair up a "godlike beast" with each character and then set its AI to concentrate on offensive, defensive or healing capabilities, allowing you to customize your characters and the way they act in battle.

"Mystic Chronicles is a perfect fit for fans of retro 16-bit RPGs," says Hiro Maekawa, president and CEO of Natsume. "The game offers tons of customization to players, with the guild, workshop and unique Guardian Beast system, along with a cast full of intriguing and adorable character."

Will it be any good, though? Natsume certainly has some decent games under its belt, but can it pull off a successful homage to the 16-bit era in 2013? You'll be able to find out on July 16 for an eminently reasonable $14.99.

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