Thanks to Dengeki Playstation Magazine [via SG Cafe and Siliconera] the details behind Chronos Materia–the newest JRPG from Gust, the developers of the Atelier series–have been released, including the plot and mechanics.
Chronos Materia is said to be a leisurely and light-hearted JRPG, with the “gentle pick-up-and-play nature of a social game” combined with the replayability of a hardcore game. The game stars several time-displaced characters (so far), including Iris, Primula, Thyme, and Shion, and takes place in a world where humanity seems to be extinct.
Gameplay revolves around time-rewinding and synthesis, the latter of which may be similar to the mechanic found in the Atelier games. Time-rewinding seems to consist of revisiting an earlier point in your playthrough, while allowing players to retain their experience points and items. This isn’t only for the obvious grinding applications, but for “changing fate” and trying out different narrative branches of the story.
The game is set to release to the PS Vita, but when and whether the game will reach the West is unknown.