Last Friday, Playism announced that JRPG Helen's Mysterious Castle is in the quality assurance phase. Judging by the timeline of Unholy Heights, that means we probably have about three months to wait for this game to be available in English. To whet your appetite, let's have a look at the battles -- a one-on-one system where strategic equipment use is everything.

You play Helen as she goes through a mysterious castle. Along the way you pick up various equipment, each with its own effect (a.k.a. attack), defense, and "action delay" or "wait" stat, the latter of which determines how much time it takes for Helen to use the item. You can swap weapons every round if you want, which allows you to choose the best one for the incoming enemy attack. Watching the Let's Play below makes it look like you have as much time as you wish to select your next weapon, and you can see your enemy's effect, defense, and wait stats while you choose (they are labeled in gold).

Playism wrote an article about the game in May, which has a written description of how things work, but I think it makes more sense if you see it in action. The video below is set to start right before the first battle with two pieces of equipment, and if you watch for about two minutes you'll see another battle that the player doesn't win because he plays too aggressively.

It's an interesting system. At first I thought it was going to be something like the Tales series of RPGs, but when I said as much one of the Playism staff told me it's more like a cross between Fire Emblem and an ATB battle system.

Source: Helen's Mysterious Castle enters QA! (plus, first English screens!)