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Tokyo Game Show 2015, Part II - the Second Tier

Tokyo Game Show
Once again, five days later than expected, here's another load of news from Tokyo Game Show. I'l happily say it again, please feel free to put your name forward as a newswriter for CoN. Literacy optional. Anyway, as mentioned previously, TGS 2015 was the venue for which Square Enix loaded up their roster, and today we'll recap the "second tier" of game franchises under the company's banner for those fans.

Starting with the Dragon Quest Universe, we've got two games to cover. The big new sub-IP for Dragon Quest is Builders, which is a building game similar to Minecraft. For TGS, Squenix debuted a new trailer and also some more details about how the game differs from the elephant in the room. There's a strong emphasis on the quest portion of the game, as well as some explanation of the crafting system and how one collects materials in the Dragon Quest world. Builders is coming to Japan in early 2016. The second game is a bit more of a blip, but while in Tokyo Squenix announced that another Dragon Quest game is being released for smartphones - this time Dragon Quest VII. It won't be long until the entire mainline series is covered at this rate!

The SaGa series, which started in the West as Final Fantasy Legend, is making a comeback. This series turned 25 last year, and announced a new game in tribute, but just now are we starting to see a first trailer and more details. The new game is titled SaGa: Scarlet Grace, and it's the first full title in the series for over a decade. It's going to be released for PlayStation Vita and will be out sometime in 2016. The trailer has a really cute baby unicorn.

Star Ocean is another franchise that has been dormant for a while, but from the Enix side of the house. Integrity and Faithlessness is landing in Japan on February 25, 2016, though, and as such it was all over TGS. The game was playable on the show floor, so there are new gameplay videos available as well as - of course - a'>">a fancy new trailer. The game still looks a bit unfinished in its playable mode, and not quite current-gen, but there's still plenty of time for polish before going gold.

I would think that the largest franchise of these second-tier IPs would be Kingdom Hearts, and Kingdom Hearts also showed up pretty big at TGS 2015. The big news is Kingdom Hearts 2.8, the "Final Chapter Prologue." Gamespresso covers where that nutty name comes from, but in its simplest form, 2.8 is another collection for previous games in the series: Dream Drop Distance, Unchained 358/2 Days, and a new short story called 0.2 Birth By Sleep. This latter story will focus on a character named Aqua, and has been described as a lead-in to the events of the final chapter, the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III.

Source: Siliconera, Polygon, Gematsu

Square Enix Overload Tokyo Game Show 2015

Tokyo Game Show
After a thin showing at E3, it was well expected that the Tokyo Game Show would be a bigger outing for Square Enix, but it turned out that we needn't even wait that long. As is often done, Sony scheduled their TGS press conference for a couple days before the official start of the show, and it was chock full of Squenix Goodness. So full, in fact, that we're going to have to have a couple posts to cover it all. Let's start with some of the smaller or new IPs within the role-playing arm of Square Enix.

Final Fantasy Agito, a game in the Fabula Nova Crystallis sub-brand, came out for mobile devices last year. Japan were also intended to get a version for PlayStation Vita, but as of last week, that's no longer the case. The mobile version will also be shut down at the end of November; the pending PC version has not yet been officially canceled, but its outlook surely isn't good. However, a semi-replacement was announced in the form of Type-0 Online, a multiplayer action RPG in the Type-0 universe.

Meanwhile, upcoming PlayStation 4 and Vita game World of Final Fantasy got a new trailer featuring both the ultra-chibi and larger, Kingdom Hearts-esque versions of the main characters. It's still all kinds of cute, but I still have no idea quite what it's about. For more hot trailer action, we turn to this fall's Final Fantasy for smartphones, Brave Exvius, which also got a new trailer for TGS. This trailer packs in new story details, some battle scenes, and boatloads of new Amano art. It looks like a blend of turn-based Final Fantasy battles with a Chrono Trigger or Seiken Densetsu way of getting around, and has some pretty great music and visuals to boot.

Oh, hey, speaking of Seiken Densetsu! I think it's pretty well-known now that the game that many of us played as kids on our Game Boys known as Final Fantasy Adventure is in fact the first game in the Seiken Densetsu series. It also seems like maybe the Final Fantasy Adventure name caught on for it, because it's coming back, now for PlayStation Vita and smartphones. It's going to be a clean remake with new 3D visuals and upgraded sound, with no changes to the overall plot. The game's producer, Masaru Oyamada, explains that there may even be an opportunity for Seiken 2 (aka Secret of Mana) and Seiken 3 (aka the worst CoNcast) to be produced in the new engine. Oyamada also mentioned that a fifth main-line Seiken Densetsu game might still be a possibility, with the last game in the main series nearing its tenth anniversary next year.

Finally for the smallest properties, a new one: The Sorrow of Sacrifice and Snow. This is yet another game for PS4 and Vita (which should come as no surprise, given that most of these announcements came during Sony's presser) that looks even more like it could be a Chrono or Seiken game. There's not much in the first trailer, but it's aimed for "early 2016," so more information should be coming quite soon.

Source: Siliconera, Polygon

Final Fantasy V Joins Cohort on Windows

Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V was the first game to be released for mobile platforms in the most recent in-game art style, back in 2013. Said art style is a bit polarizing among the fanbase, but one thing that it has going for it is that it appears to be pretty easy to scale for various devices - in fact, after these two years, it just dawned on me that this is probably one of the main reasons that the art was changed in the first place.

And, that might be relevant now, because after the ports of Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV to Windows recently, the mobile version of Final Fantasy V is coming too. The game will be released on Steam on September 24 at a price point of $15.99 before a preorder discount of 10%. As a reminder, this game will have the same content as Final Fantasy V Advance (which of course means CoN can be your guide), but will have the updated look and feel of the iOS and Android ports. New to this version will be gamepad support, Steam achievements, and Steam trading cards.

No, they haven't announced the same for Final Fantasy VI yet. Yes, I expect they will, and probably quite soon.

Source: Siliconera

Tokyo Game Show 2015 Lineup from Square Enix

Tokyo Game Show
Square Enix: Japanese game company. Therefore, it stands to reason that the Tokyo Game Show is a fantastic place to see their biggest upcoming lineup. Siliconera has translated the official list of TGS appearances and categorized them for all of us; here are some highlights, but head over there if you're interested in the (quite extensive) full list.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
  • Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Dragon Quest X
  • Dragon Quest Builders
  • Imperial SaGa
There will be a number of streams put on as well, starting at 9:30pm Eastern time on September 18th and 19th (mid-morning the next day in Tokyo in both cases). No word regarding whether there will be subtitles for those of us clamoring for English news.

Source: Siliconera

Final Fantasy XV at PAX Prime

Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV was at PAX Prime in full form at the end of last week, so here's our summary of what went down!

First off, and perhaps the point of greatest interest, was Hajime Tabata's continued insistence on FFXV's 2016 release (as well as its worldwide simultaneous release, which was announced two weeks ago). It seems safe to assume that this means late 2016, particularly since Square Enix will be holding a major event of its own in March 2016, at which Tabata promised the game's official release date will finally be made known.

The presentation also showed more of what to expect from the game's driving system. The famous/infamous roadtrip-mobile, named Regalia, will facilitate both automatic and manual driving, giving the player the option of either transporting immediately to the desired destination or traversing the map manually, with the ability to stop at any point along the way. Multiple camera angles are available to take in the scenery. (I encourage you to check out the video linked below.) We were also told that players will actually need to pay attention to how much gasoline they have and obtain more as necessary -- much as players must attend to their characters' dietary needs at campsites, as we've already known for some time now.

A lot of (gorgeous) art was shown as well, both concept and rendered. Some of these were for locations we've already seen, but others, like the lonely coastal outpost of Caim, are new.

As anyone familiar with Episode Duscae will know, Eidolons are expected to play a prominent role both in the game's plot and its mythos. On that note, the panel showed a piece of concept art featuring a creation scene of sorts, in which a host of Eidolons are... participating? On-hand? Providing emotional support? This could be a rewritten bit of inheritance from FFXV's days as part of Fabula Nova Crystalis, but for now it's anyone's guess. The panel further assured that Eidolons will have more personality as well -- though I'm not quite sure what exactly that means -- and went on to introduce Leviathan, a series mainstay, as female. This raises all sorts of reproductive questions... brb, gotta go fanfic.

Finally, the group made a few promises regarding what to expect at Tokyo Game Show, their next scheduled event. First, cars. We'll hear more about cars and traveling. We'll also finally hear more about the character Lunafreya, the strong-willed female protagonist, and the role she'll actually play in the game. TGS begins on September 17th, so you won't have to wait long to get your next FFXV fix!

Source: Square Enix Youtube Channel
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy XIV's Triple Triad Released for iOS and Android

A Realm Reborn
Nearly a year ago, we covered Square's plan to release new mobile titles in 2015. Between then and now, I missed that Portal, what I previously described as the "helper app," was released. The main app is a news and information aggregator, but apparently within its framework is the capacity to serve games. A new version of Triple Triad is the first of those games.

This version has both single- and two-player modes, so one can play against the CPU or other folks online. The cards are similar to the Final Fantasy XIV version, pulling characters and such from the entire canon of Final Fantasy games. It's free-to-play, with microtransactions and time gates dictating how often you can play. The player starts with five "stamina crystals," and each game uses one of the five. Restoring a crystal requires either a microtransaction of a thirty-minute cooldown.

If you're a Final Fantasy XIV player, you will soon be able to link your Portal Triple Triad games to your XIV account, likely for in-game rewards or achievements in the latter. That functionality is not yet up and running.

Both Portal and Triple Triad are free to download and available for both iOS and Android.

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy VII Released! For iOS!

Final Fantasy VII
If Square Enix were Apple, they would have had the HD Remake done when they announced it, and it would have just shown up in the PlayStation Network store during the presentation. What's really happened, though, is that an unannounced port of the newest PC version of Final Fantasy VII has appeared for iOS devices, at least in New Zealand; regular readers of CoN news will recall that iOS releases tend to start there and appear in other locales going westward over the next day or two.

The release trailer doesn't seem to make anything clear regarding how the game works. There are no visible touch controls shown in any of the clips, which are mostly clips of FMV cutscenes. However, Engadget reports that instead of reconfiguring the game to be more touch-friendly, the game will have a virtual joypad on screen. I personally suspect that the game will remain in the standard 4:3 ratio, leaving room on the sides of the screen for controls, at least for phones. If you've already gotten the game on your iOS device, perhaps you can fill us in - the New Zealand price has come in at $19.99, so I can't say that I'm up for it just yet.

This version of the game will include a few cheats by default, such as the ability to max our all character stats with the push of a button, and the ability to turn off random encounters. This will essentially allow the player to treat the game as a Final Fantasy VII slideshow if desired, with most of the gaming elements replaced with short bursts between cutscenes.

The game is supported only by iOS 8, and the hardware required appears to be of the iPhone 5s generation, meaning phones and tablets roughly two years old and newer. There's no indication of an Android version at this time.

Source: Engadget

Catching Up on Final Fantasy XV, Summer 2015 Edition

Final Fantasy XV
News really dries up when Death Penalty and I go a-travelin', does it not? Fear not, as I'm back now and he will be soon as well; however, don't forget that all of you out there are free to write news that we're missing!

The annual Gamescom conference was in Cologne, Germany last week, and as loyal readers will know, Hajime Tabata explained back in June that there would be no new Final Fantasy XV news until then. Storing things up for a couple months led to a news blowout on this hotly-anticipated game, as follows.

The biggest thing, of course, is the new trailer. Square Enix love their trailers, and with trailers like this who can blame them?

This trailer is a flashback to fifteen years before the intended timeline of the game, with emotional scenes between young Noctis and his father, King Regis.

Gamescom was also the location and time of the most recent Active Time Report, and it and the discussions around it formed the core of new Final Fantasy XV information for the summer. Among the sights, sounds, and tidbits released:
A girl who had previously briefly appeared in media released by the Nova Crystallis team, Lunafreya, was also confirmed at Gamescom to be Noctis' betrothed, an arranged royal marriage to ensure peace with Tenebrae. At the start of Final Fantasy XV, she and the king are presumed dead, but come on - we all know that's not gonna happen.

And, to bury the lede as I so love to do, not only did the team confirm the game will not slip to 2017, they also confirmed simultaneous worldwide release. How about that?

Source: Siliconera

Did You Hear There's a Final Fantasy VII Remake? The CoNcast Episode 32

Yeah, of course you heard, duh. And you probably heard also that there will be changes coming to the new version, and we're not yet sure what most of them are. So, the CoNcast Team jumped at the chance to do some supposition while we wait for something more visual or playable, and we recorded an episode with our thoughts. Listen now, to be sure you can point out all the ways in which we were wrong later.

Also listen to more talk about Four Job Fiesta, as I played my FJF run and streamed it to Twitch as we recorded. It was a trainwreck.

Source: The CoNcast on iTunes, The CoNcast Subscription Feed, This Episode

Load up on Dragon Quest Spinoffs Here

Dragon Quest
The Dragon Quest series rivals the flagship Final Fantasy for remakes, sequels, and spinoffs - hey, just see the last news I posted - and this week Square Enix announced a new one and published the first screenshots of another.

First, for Android and iOS, a new free-to-play RPG called "Dragon Quest of the Stars." There's not much for it save a new site in Japanese, but Siliconera reports that the game will feature the classic Dragon Quest behind-the-party combat view with generic buildable characters around star-shaped maps out in the universe. The game will be released yet this year in Japan, but no word about other locales as yet.

Also coming soon is Square Enix' take on the up-and-coming genre of "open world building games with licensed characters." We might have expected that to show up in the Final Fantasy universe, but not this time! Dragon Quest Builders puts the player in the world of the original Dragon Quest, with a big mallet and a charter to rebuild the kingdom. If it sounds like Minecraft, it looks it as well, as shown in these first-ever screenshots. You're not just building a world, though, you're also building safety for all of the citizens around you and also directly protecting them by fighting off creatures from the Dragon Quest universe. This game is intended for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Vita, with no announced release date and no indication of release outside Japan.

Source: Siliconera, Polygon

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Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2015 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.