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Posts with tag SquareEnix

Rumor: Square to announce FF Melody XIII at TGS


With Tokyo Game Show only a few days away, the rumors have been flying at us faster than people running from the theaters after watching Dragon Wars. The latest rumor making its rounds is the possibility of Square announcing Final Fantasy Melody XIII for the PS3 at TGS.

A forum member at Ruliweb posted the above image with little-to-no information other than Square would be unveiling the title at the event. While we'd love to blindly accept this rumor, we remain skeptical since this is the same site that made fooled people last month with the fake Sega TGS lineup.

With Final Fantasy XIII still in development, would Square be developing a spin-off title concurrently? If the image is legit, it could be for the FF XIII soundtrack.

[Via PS3 Informer]

Square Enix to Sony: get it together, man!

Yoichi Wada, the President of Square Enix, stated publicly that Sony has to find and stick with a more solid marketing strategy for the PS3. Remember those "Play B3yond" commercials? Don't worry -- not a lot of us do, since they were practically nonexistent after launch. Anyway, Wada told reporters "Sony first unveiled the PS3 as a mighty home electronics product. Then, after some badgering from game companies, it shifted the position of the console closer to a game machine."

It is odd, but Wada has a point: Sony does need to get it together when it comes to marketing their product. It's more expensive than other game machines (compared to the Elite, not by much), but it can do so much more. As a game machine, it's struggling to get its namesake: games. Until November, when at least a dozen great titles will be released or will have been released. Do you think Sony will unleash a bevy of PS3 marketing ploys for this holiday season, or will they try to keep those costs at a minimum and do something else? Either way, Square Enix seems anxious about the system, especially with something like FFXIII on its way.

[also via Joystiq]

A handful of The Last Remnant screenshots

A handful of new screens and a few pieces of artwork for upcoming Square Enix title The Last Remnant have been upped over at RPGamer, courtesy of Japanese site gpara. With the credits out of the way, let's talk about the screenshots. We've seen a couple of these before, but for the most part, they're fairly new to us. Many are screengrabs from the opening cinema and we're not complaining about that -- they look cool.

The one screenshot we slapped up here, to our knowledge, is fairly new. We thought the brunt of this game involved gigantic battles of one army versus another and that's still true, but the screen above shows the main character about to drive his blade into what looks like a creepy critter from another dimension. Definitely makes our imaginations start to wander -- what else is in store for us with this game? We see, too, that a giant creature gets summoned once your morale is high enough. Instead of speculating over these screens, we guess we'll just wait until more news surfaces over the next couple of months.

No FFXIII/Versus demos until 2008, new videos soon

If you were itching to get your fantasy/sci-fi RPG on this year, you may have to find a source other than Final Fantasy XIII. A long time ago, we had gotten wind that the main XIII game would have a playable demo for us sometime in the third quarter of this year. It's around that time and we've heard nothing ... until now. Famitsu magazine interviewed Square Enix's Shinji Hashimoto who said there would not be a demo for XIII or Versus XIII until 2008.

Whether or not Square Enix was being facetious when they announced their games were only 13% and 1.3% complete, it's true they've admitted the games are currently a mess, so we're fine without a demo. Whatever it takes to put the game together properly, you know? In any case, Square Enix have announced that new videos of both games will be shown in a matter of months (we assume Tokyo Game Show). You can count on us to bring them here as soon as they're made available.

[Thanks, Justin!]

Square Enix still thinks PS3 price is high

We don't think $500 is cheap, either. But if you look at it from the angle of "price reduced $100," then it seems marginally more significant. We were thrilled about the PS3 price cut, but some of Sony's biggest devs are speaking out against it. Not so much against it, but they think it's not enough to make a difference. First was Konami, now we're getting a wag of the finger from Square Enix's European and North American subsidiaries president, John Yamamoto.

Yamamoto said "I think USD 500 for PS3 is still a bit expensive for most gamers. Most of them think that price is still high." In addition to that, he demanded a price cut for Europe as well. While we'd be all about that, the PS3 has only been launched there recently. Oh well, it might happen. Does this mean Final Fantasy XIII will go multiplatform? We doubt it. Don't you?

The Last Remnant: swords, kidnappers, and wars, oh my!


In addition to the nifty trailer we've embedded for you, we've got some more information regarding the Square Enix title Romancing SaGa Tactics The Last Remnant. No, we're not going to blab about the characters or basic plot (other than the kidnapping of your younger sister Irena). What we've learned is that there is only one main playable character, Rush Sykes, not two as previously rumored.

Even so, expect large-scale battles with numerous personalities instead of faceless infantry. If you played any of the old Ogre Battle games (which had subtitles named after many Queen songs -- March of the Black Queen, for example), imagine that. What we mean is a "main" character surrounded by some faceless infantry. With that, you'll imagine a fairly turn-based battle system with some more cinematic "realistic" experiences, such as the morale bar and some actions to take in the middle of something else (during a fight sequence, you may get some button cues to unleash a flurry of extra moves, increasing said morale bar). That's all we're going to say for now. Enjoy the trailer and we'll keep you up to date!

Square Enix loves the PS3's ability to express their imagination

We'll be honest, a lot of the folks at Square Enix have different opinions about the PlayStation 3. Some guys love it, other guys aren't too fond of it, some are making exclusives and others are making multiplatform titles. The fact remains that the heavy hitters will never all agree, so as each cites their thoughts about each console, we'll talk about it. This time around, it's Tetsuya Nomura who gets the spotlight treatment.

In a recent interview in Dengeki magazine, Nomura shouted out to the sexy black box: "The PS3 is the machine that is closest to being able to express our imagination." He also mentions how pretty the graphics are and the unlimited amount of movement can be slapped in their games in one go. We're glad he thinks so, especially with the profound change Final Fantasy XIII will be for the franchise. He plans "to give people the taste of actually being part of that world. The assignment here is whether we can build an FF with the suspense and thrill of Third-Person-Shooting or not." What can we say? We want more Gunblade.

Don't expect any Square Enix games until April 2008

A lot of people have been keeping their fingers crossed for an announcement by Sony and/or Square Enix about Final Fantasy XIII releasing this holiday season. We've said it before, we'll say it again: not happening. It's not just that -- don't expect to see any Square Enix game get a release before April 2008. That means everything, no exceptions, the end.

Is this really that hard for people to swallow? Final Fantasy XII hasn't even been out a year and people expect the next one to be coming out already? How long did it take to make XII again? Exactly. Don't expect Versus any sooner and despite what you may have heard, The Last Remnant is not that far in production! Star Ocean IV was barely announced, Kingdom Hearts 3 isn't even past the drawing board, and Parasite Eve 3 (that's right, Nick's gonna say it) is still a secret ... and not the supposed phone game. Basically, it's official that nothing from Square Enix is coming until the next fiscal year, but we're not torn up. We're going to have a packed holiday season.

Square Enix CEO calls PS3 and Xbox 360 "over-engineered"

The CEO of Square Enix had some strong words about the state of console development recently. Speaking with the Financial Times about the company's recent decision to develop Dragon Quest IX only for Nintendo's DS system, Yoichi Wada believed certain consoles were "over-engineered for today's gaming environment," saying "there are too many specs." The CEO provided elaboration, stating "you also need a high definition TV, a broadband connection and a deep knowledge of gaming," and clarified that in "a year or two" the consoles would fare better when they are not as "mismatched."

We'd have to disagree, only because we're a part of the hardcore category of gamers that are always thirsting for faster and better hardware. Broadband has been a staple of our diet for the last ten years and most of us already have an HDTV in our living rooms, if not a second one for the bedroom. But Mr. Wada's statements were made about today's global gaming consumer, and we'd have to agree that in a year or two, the PS3 will likely come down in price and become more accessible to those that (still) haven't yet adopted to HDTV or broadband technologies. Again, Mr. Wada was elaborating on recent decisions for the company to focus on handheld development due to their widespread appeal and market share (units sold).

As always, we'd like to invite your thoughts and comments on Mr. Wada's recent statements as they pertain to our console of preference. Should the PS3 have been watered down, so as to cater more to a global audience immediately (aka, those without broadband or HDTV's right now)? One could assume that in doing so, the price point would be lower, making the entry a lot easier to swallow for non-hardcore types. Along that line of thought, a second and third assumption can be made in that PS3 sales might have been higher and third-party support might be increased due to the system's affordability and widespread appeal. What do you think?

[Via DS Fanboy]

Square confirms FFXIII isn't going to the 360 (nor is any other FF game)


Square Enix is just laying down the smack this week. After confirming yersterday that FFVII isn't being made, they've come out and stated that they are not working on a single Final Fantasy game for the Xbox 360. In an interview with the Japanese Business website Nikkei BP, Square Enix executive Hashimito dropped the bomb. When the site asked if the Wii or The Xbox 360 are going to get any Final Fantasy games, Hashimito responded, "For the Wii, we have FF Crystal Chronicles in production. As for FF on the Xbox 360, it's currently a completely blank page."

Ouch -- well that pretty much debunks the ongoing 'Final Fantasy XIII OMGZ Xbox 360' rumors right there. While it seems unlikely that the Xbox 360 will never get another FF game, it appears that for the foreseeable future the PlayStation 3 will be getting all the big name Final Fantasy love. This is fantastic news for Sony and the PlayStation 3, since not only is there a 'slight' dearth of big name third-party exclusives, but also both Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X both helped skyrocket the sales of the PlayStation systems that they were on. And it seems very likely that the same thing will happen with PlayStation 3 sales once FFXIII is released.

Mmm ... the idea that FFXIII is being built exclusively around the PS3 and Blu-ray is pretty exciting. That just makes the wait until next year that much harder though!

Square Enix teases us with upcoming Kingdom Hearts news

A short interview was conducted with some members of the Square Enix PR department by the folks over at RPGamer. While there isn't that much truly invigorating information, we thought it'd be nice to bring you up to speed on some of the anticipated titles that, we hope, make their way onto the PS3. Also of note are Square Enix's tentative plans for the PlayStation Store. Enticed? Summary below.

  • The PS Store is too young to decide if content is worth posting, says Square Enix. Would we really want another version of a Final Fantasy game anyway? We'd love to see something like Einhander make its way onto the store, though ...
  • The next Kingdom Hearts title (they didn't specify whether it would be the third main installment or another off-shoot title) will get announced at the Tokyo Game Show.
  • Also not-yet-officially-announced is a special party hosted by Square Enix on June 26. It will take place at the PlayStation Store in San Fransisco. More details on that later.

We're fairly sure that the Kingdom Hearts announcement will be for an offshoot title for a handheld. Not sure why; just a gut reaction. As for the PS Store, while it is young, it will never get older if developers don't give it worthwhile titles. In fact, in our latest podcast, we sort of touched on the topic -- Japan is getting a ton of PS One titles and we've gotten none for the past couple of months. Surely this will change soon, Sony?

Some news on Last Remnant -- SaGa Frontier 3, almost

Critics hate Square Enix's Romancing SaGa, SaGa Frontier, and Unlimited SaGa efforts. Many critics never even bothered to review the PS2 remake of the original Romancing SaGa which was, all things considered, an incredibly deep, nonlinear, difficult game. But, like many games that can either be graded very high or very low, being different doesn't always work. So what do a number of the SaGa developers do when they're tired of getting hammered by critics? Make a game that looks amazing, like Last Remnant. We make this reference because Famitsu Xbox 360 scored an interview with the four main designers behind the game and guess what? They're the four main people behind many of the SaGa games. We'll summarize the info they divulged below.

  • Production on Last Remnant began shortly after the completion of the PS2 remake of Romancing SaGa, dubbed Minstrel's Song.
  • Getting used to Unreal Engine 3 was a difficult task, they said. Early work started with getting tons of characters on screen at once.
  • The battle system may be too complicated, they've been warned. Well, if any of you experienced the hellish amounts of fun and confusion from SaGa Frontier 2, we're sure this won't be that tough. The four designers agree.
  • Like in games akin to Ogre Battle (the N64 version comes to mind), you can organize your units in groups of five, choosing who to put in which units. Their attacks won't be automatic, though. You issue commands yourself, like a standard RPG.
  • The trailer shown at the Square Enix party was all real-time, but the rendering and such were only at 30%. So expect a lot to appear different with the final product.
  • The game should be about 30 hours in length.
  • No release date, yet.

Our interest in this game went from "very interested" to "seriously, get my checkbook right this moment" after hearing the staff behind the game are being just as ambitious as with every SaGa title. But does this portend a poor reception for the game? Or will the casting aside of the SaGa name, a different direction, and other such artistic and gameplay choices turn people on?

Final Fantasy XIII interview makes us want it ASAP - as if we didn't before



Fed up of interviews? Then I have some bad news for you because a user over on the NeoGAF forums has put together a collection of quotes from interviews with Square Enix developers from the latest issue of LEVEL magazine. The excerpts include discussion by the interviewees, Motomu Toriyama, Tetsuya Nomura and Hajime Tabata, of Crisis Core, Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Whilst generally an exciting collection of quotes from some of the top names at Square Enix it is hard not to be disappointed by Toriyama's statement that the games in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series will be kept largely separate. We had harboured hopes of cross-game cameos. Imagine two Final Fantasies where the main characters from each game meet up and help each other get through a problem before going on their separate ways again. Sadly this doesn't look likely, though the games will link with each other through a "vague crystal theme," as Nomura puts it. Same as all the previous FF games then?

Nomura's thoughts on the tone and style of Final Fantasy Versus is a particularly interesting read. For those of you who suffer from fears that the series will be moving over to other consoles, then let me put them to rest. Both Nomura and Toriyama make it clear that they couldn't do the things they're doing without the power of the PlayStation 3. Make sure you check out all of the quotes over at the NeoGAF forums for more info.

The Last Remnant official site opens - The Conqueror revealed?

In an effort to mirror the simultaneous release in America and Japan (Europeans are fighting back the vitriol) that was announced with the game, a US and a JPN version of the site have been opened at the same time. The difference between the two is minimal, but only because both suffer from a lack of content. Much like the Dissidia site did when it launched. It is worth visiting both sites, just for the different background visuals. The Japanese version has that great concept image we saw come out of the Square Enix Party, while the US site has a new piece of art.

It's clear that the character on the left is Rush Sykes, the 'Japanese' character who we've seen before. Does that mean that the character on the right is the 'American' character, The Conqueror? Looks that way. Interesting look. Definitely nothing we've seen of a playable character in any of the Final Fantasy series. Chances are I'll still be playing as Rush, though.

As a final treat, each site has the same background music that will most likely be the theme music for the game. It's pretty good. Though it's getting less and less good each time I listen to the minute-or-so long loop, it has to be said. We'll keep checking the site for updates and let you know. Be sure to view the Japanese site as well as the American one. And why not? They're both in English.

Square Enix press conference: Last Remnant screens + Star Ocean 4



Square Enix have confirmed that The Last Remnant will be released for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 at a press conference in Japan yesterday. It will be the first Square Enix game to be released in America and Japan simultaneously. While we already expected this, it's always nice to hear it from the horse's mouth. On top of this confirmation Square Enix released some screen shots and art from the game. They look gorgeous, of course. The battle scene showing the Japanese character, Rush, fighting on a battlefield is perhaps the most interesting as it gives various hints towards the potential gameplay mechanics involved.

Gemaga took photos of all the slides during the press conference. One that really caught our eye was the third one down in this post. It simply says 'Star Ocean 4 (tentative title) under development' with the Square Enix and tri-Ace logos at the bottom. It seems the console the game will eventually arrive on has yet to be determined. Hopefully we will find more out at the Square Enix party. If not, then there's this ominous 'May 30th' date which is mentioned in all of Gemaga's posts.

As a final treat, one slide shows some information on Final Fantasy XII: International, which will be released on the 9th of August in Japan and will feature something known as the 'Zodiac Job System'. Sounds intriguing. What is it? We'll let you know when we find out.

PSP owners, make sure you check out this post on PSP Fanboy for some more Star Ocean news.

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