GameXplain did a 2 hour stream of the now released Japanese version of Echoes, which you can see here.
Derrick shows off the new prologue of the game, where Alm and friends are kids assisting Mycen fight off some invaders, before Celica goes on her own way to begin her training as a Priestess. Afterwards, the stream kicks into the video we saw from the original trailer announcement.
Fast forward to the present; the new village mechanics are shown. Similar to Shin Megami Tensei IV, there are static images of characters to talk to, which can include townspeople offering hints or even your own allies sharing their backstories.