We initially dismissed From the Abyss when Famitsu announced the title last October -- partly because it seemed like a drop in the ocean of generic RPGs coming out in Japan, and partly because we saw that the studio developing the game is "Sonic Powered." To be honest, we're not familiar with any of Sonic Powered's previous work, but we took its name as a signal to immediately bail out.
It turns out that Sonic Powered has nothing to do with the hedgehog of the same name, and From the Abyss actually has some interesting merits -- it's a 2D ARPG in the same vein as the Seiken Densetsu (Mana) series, styled to look very much like Children of Mana, though with less polish. After answering a set of questions to create your pseudo-personal character, you'll be able to fight enemies with a variety of weapons/magic and capture their souls to gain their skills. Apparently, some ancient seal has been broken, monsters are now roaming the land, and yadda yadda story.
There's even a two-player cooperative mode, but it's limited to local play, and it appears that you'll be playing in a special dungeon as opposed to the main campaign. Hella lame, we agree. From the Abyss hits Japan early next year on January 17th. You can see the game's boxart and some screenshots in the gallery below.