Japanese box art
Magical Vacation is a Game Boy Advance game released exclusively in Japan in 2001. The game would be followed by the Nintendo DS game Magical Starsign (the sequel would also make its way to North America and Europe). The game is a traditional role-playing game by Brownie Brown (which consisted of ex-Square vets). Nintendo published the game and its sequel.
The combat is turn based, and after each battle the player will accumulate a certain amount of experience points. Each attack is attributed to an element, of which there are sixteen. The elements and their key in the game include thunder (雷), ancient (古), fire (火), wind (風), poison (毒), beauty (美), blade (刃), sound (音), stone (石), insect (虫), tree (木), beast (獣), water (水), darkness (闇), light (光), and love (愛). Spirits of the different elements will join your party and enhance the attacks of their specific element.
The battles in the game are mostly random, meaning that they will be initiated without warning while the player is traveling the world. Some places in the game, such as cities, don't have random battles. There are other cases were the battles are not random, but rather planned out. These are mostly boss battles, and you will have the choice to fight or not. The battles are pure turn based without any experimental features other than the elements mentioned above. The active-time battle system made popular by Final Fantasy IV is not present, and unlike the team's previous Mana games, which they made while at Square, the battles are not action oriented.
Before the studio was created, ex-Square members decided to open up a new studio. They approached Nintendo, who in turn took care of finding a studio and making everything possible. While originally they wanted to be independent, they were pleased with what Nintendo offered them and thus became a second party studio. Right off the bat they decided to start work on the Game Boy Advance.
Designer Shin-ichi Kameoka stated that he enjoyed working with 2D graphics, which he has a soft sport in his heart for. He stated that everyone seemed to be working with 3D graphics because of new technologies, while forgetting about traditional mechanics. He said that when it came to choose a genre, their staff was most experienced with role-playing games, making Super Famicom (SNES in America and Europe) RPGs when that console was around.