The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean serenades Sony's PSP

It's a familiar 'hero-saves-world' RPG tune for the franchise's third outing

The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean serenades Sony's PSP

Someone, somewhere once decided that any RPG hoping to be taken seriously must have a silly title or, at the very least, a ludicrous subtitle.

But it would be equally silly to dismiss a game based simply on the words used to identify it, in the same way you wouldn't pretend to know a person after hearing their name.

Having said that, one advantage of games is that they tend to closely share the characteristics of their predecessors. So, for instance, The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean naturally continues the series' focus on delivering on-the-go RPG adventuring.

In its third iteration and set within a vast fantastic world familiar to players of the first two games, Song of the Ocean is nevertheless a brand new, standalone affair accessible to all, even those new to the series.

The narrative centers on Forte, a promising young musician living in the dark Numeros Empire who – would you believe it – has to set out on an epic journey that – you've guessed it – could determine the fate of his world.

Under your control and along with a band of fellow musicians, Forte will therefore spend some 50 hours to discover a long-forgotten, mysteriously powerful song from a legendary composer.

One hundred beautifully illustrated and unique characters populate the graphically charming environments, we're assured, while traditional RPG play mechanics (combined with a novel pet system), the ability to save at any point, and the developer's track record should make this an enticing proposition to lovers of handheld role-playing when it launches in January 2007.