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Square-Enix Show New Project, and Silly Title

Square Enix
Normally, I'd be the first to make a joke at the name of this game. I mean, it's so asking for it. What kind of game company would name their new independent project for the 3DS: Bravely Default: Flying Fairy? It practically screams "Quick, make Navi jokes out of me!" Good work, Square-Enix. What, Theatrhythm and Dissidia Duodecim weren't odd enough? Had to go all out on the random train, with destination Tuesday, huh?

Anyway, we don't know a whole lot about the game so far. It's an RPG, using a similar engine that DS games Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of Light, and the III and IV remakes used. Instead of 3D backgrounds in areas, though, it seems to use pre-rendered backgrounds, in the same way that the Playstation Final Fantasys did, and a 3D world map. The effect looks pretty sweet, even if I was somewhat reminded of Myst by some of the screenshots. But that's not a bad thing. You can check out a short video of the game here, and another one mostly in Japanese, and mostly not actually gameplay. The other notable feature is the planned usage of AR cards and the 3DS' cameras as part of the gameplay. Just how exactly this works, we do not yet know, but hopefully they'll work well.

To be expected sometime in 2012.

Source: Nintendo, Kotaku

3DS Gets a Price Cut - With a Twist

Nintendo 3DS
Okay, so we're all aware that the Nintendo 3DS isn't doing as well as Nintendo would have liked. Even the die-hard fanboys have to reluctantly admit that the 3DS is not the badass system that anyone had hoped for. It's still definitely got potential, but that won't be enough. So, on August 12th, The 3DS will drop from $250 to $170. That's $80. Down to two-thirds of its orginial price-tag. That's pretty hefty, and what some might call "desparate". Your turn. But there's a PLOT TWIST.

For those who bought a Nintendo 3DS at original retail price at any time before the 12th, Nintendo are giving away some games on the virtual console. And by "some", I mean "twenty". For free. And I know what you're thinking, that all the games on the Virtual Console right now are for the Game Boy (and ONE Game Boy Colour game). And you'd be correct, at the current moment in time. But, the games being offered to the "Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors" are from the NES and GBA eras. 10 from each. The NES titles will be available starting from September 1st, before they are available to new 3DS owners. They will feature such titles as Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber and The Legend of Zelda.

As for the GBA titles, all we have for them are "before the end of 2011". However, the games offered here are Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. You may have noticed that I only listed five games for each. These are the only titles that have been announced so far - and as of yet it is unclear whether we will have a choice of what games we download, or if its a set 10 that Nintendo will release. Oh, but there's ANOTHER plot twist. It's like Final Fantasy VIII in here, jeez. Wait, better not. Anyway, for those who plan on buying a cheaper 3DS later and buying the individual Virtual Console games: consider this. Nintendo have no plans to bring the GBA titles to the new 3DS users - only the "Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors".

As someone who's owned a 3DS pretty much since launch, this is only good news to me. Mario, Zelda, Metroid... Although I sincerely doubt how soon some of the release dates will be. I'd be willing to bet that they'll release one title a week, or something along those lines. One thing that Nintendo DID say, however:
"Once the paid versions of the games are released in Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost."
It's pretty much a win-win for current 3DS owners.

Source: Nintendo

Square-Enix Tidbits - Chrono Zero

Square Enix
Well, what have we got today. Here's a hint: It's not a new Chrono series game. I misled you for funsies. What we DO have are several versions of Chrono Trigger being released on various platforms almost simultaneously. We've got the Playstation Network Version, which is a port of the Playstation version. This, however, will probably not be seen until next month. There's the WiiWare version, which is a port of the original SNES version. Finally, there's a shiny new version for iMode mobile phones, which is an upgraded version of the DS port. The mobile version will be split into two parts, which must be bought separately in order to get the whole game. It also features (apparently) updated visuals and a more relevant control scheme.

In Final Fantasy news, there's some interesting stuff on the Type-0 front. You know how we've had moogles since Final Fantasy V, and that's their name? Well, in Type 0, it would seem that "Moogle" is actually an acronym for a miltary position. Oh, and they're part of a group called "Cranberry Knights", too. For more details on the upcoming PSP game, check here for a summary of the story, batlle system and characters, and here for details on the missions and summons. Also more character details. Gotta love Famitsu.

And what else have Square-Enix been up to recently? Well, they've just released an app for the iPhone that teahces the English language to the user. Useful! (And sexy!) Add another notch the the iPhone tally, since their next app in production is a comic book/game hybrid, titled "Imaginary Range". This is set to be released on May 5th, for iDevices and Android. I guess the iPhone tally should be modified to include those too, huh. Finally, a little snippet of possible plagiarism. Japanese Wii RPG "Pandora's Tower" was given some box art recently, and one of the characters bears a resemblance to one of the known Final Fantasy Versus XIII characters. Comparison images within, with plenty of red pen pointing out the similarities. They do appear very similar in design, but as of yet, no comment from either developer has been made.

That's all for now, folks. You can return to playing Final Fantasy IV Complete.

Source: Andriasang, Siliconera

More Final Fantasy IV For You!

Final Fantasy IV
Okay, readers, let's be honest. The majority of us have played Final Fantasy IV. A decent number of us have played it on more than one system. What with the SNES version, PSX, GBA, DS and Wii, that's five different ways to play! I know what you're thinking right now. "Only five? That's pathetic! Final Fantasy I has been released on at least SIX different platforms!" And you would be correct. Square-Enix, apparently realising this, have decided to bring four up to six. By that I mean, bring Final Fantasy IV up to six platforms, and not.... you know what, never mind.

So, my friends, here's the deal. Final Fantasy IV is coming to a PSP near you. HUZZAH! It'll be coming with Super-Turbo-HD graphics, in the same vein as the Final Fantasy I and II remakes from a few years ago and NOT the 3D graphics from the DS remake. No specific release date as of yet, only "Next Spring". That's quite close.

But that's not all. Remember the sequel to Final Fantasy IV, titled "The After Years"? It was originally released on mobile phones, and then released in installments on the Wii Shop Channel. This sequel will come included in the game with the same graphical enhancements. Booya. It is not clear yet whether the sequel includes all of the episodes with it, but one assumes that that would be the only way to go.

Some people might sigh, seeing this game remade for the forty-fifth time (see linked article), but 4 is one of the games that I never really get bored of. Now I'm going to have to find one of my copies of Final Fantasy IV and play it again. Squee.

Source: Kotaku
Posted in: Final Fantasy IV

Square-Enix News Tidbits: Prepare for Grinding

Square Enix
Ah, Squeeeeenix.

Is there much to squee about this week? I believe there is. It does, however, depend on the user, but there's a lot of pretty cool stuff going on at the moment (though some of it may disappoint). First, the piece that is worth checking out in the near future. Square-Enix is looking for applicants to write for the Dragon Quest series. The catch being that the applicants would need to be near Shinjuku, Tokyo. There's an English summary of the application page here, which is pretty interesting. Prize* goes to whoever can create the weirdest storyline from four of those key points. But that's not the only news from Japan - after seeing the success of the Monster Hunter series for the PSP, Square-Enix started developing their own game in the same vein, entitled "Lord of Arcana", also for the PSP. If it doesn't perform as well as they hope, they'll have to rely on the next thing I have for you. And it won't disappoint.

Final Fantasy XIV, the second MMORPG in the main series, will be released this September, at one of two times, depending on your urge to play it. Your first option is to buy the Collector's Edition on September the 22nd, and get a bunch of free goodies that aren't technically free since you paid $25 extra for it. The second option is to wait another 8 days until the 30th, when the standard edition is released for $50. With either choice, you'll get one month of free play time before you have to pay the $12.99 monthly fee. I hate to use dollars to convey the prices, but that's all the information we've got on pricing so far. And hey, it's coming pretty soon. Just be thankful Square-Enix aren't trying to make it in 3D as we- oh wait a minute, there was a tech demo of that at E3. Not that that means anything, as the developers were keen to stress it was JUST a tech demo, but it shows that they, too, are heading down the road of three dimensions.

Finally, a speck of information on the elusive Final Fantasy Versus XIII. At long last, the game's story has been finished, as well as character designs. Now all they have to do, is, you know, make the game. So we're still a long way off of a release date. A loooooooooooooong way off.

*Prize not included.

Source: SiliconEra, Kotaku

Sony at E3: Deploying Surprise in 3...2...

E3 Expo
I don't even know where to start this. There were some interesting bits and pieces here and there, but in almost two hours, there were very few things that caught the attention of #narshe. A few of the things that did were general fails on Sony's part - for example, ranting about exclusives and then showing Medal of Honor and talking about Metal Gear Solid: Rising, also out on PC and Xbox 360 respectively. Anyway.

What seemed like most of the conference was demonstrations of the Playstation Move, and the Playstation 3 in 3D. The videos of the latter were a little lost on everyone who wasn't there. You know, because my monitor isn't 3D, and I don't have those super-cool sunglasses. Hopefully this will be rectified next year where a select few of the staffers here at CoN will be getting invites to E3... we wish. The Playstation Move was a bit more visible, and although it did have some good footage, I didn't see much in the way of brand-new innovations.

There was little in the way of Square-Enix news, unfortunately. Obviously, they had a trailer for Final Fantasy XIV, but pretty much no information was released other than "ooooh, pretty". A short shot of a Kingdom Hearts game was also shown, for the PSP I believe, but nothing was given on that, either. The surprise announcement was easily the most exciting part, and that was Portal 2 to be released on PS3, with a short trailer. I want this so much, though my want will have nothing to do with the PS3. PC all the way, baby.

Other things that stood out include LittleBigPlanet 2, a virtual Sony E3 Booth on Playstation Home for you to explore, an-OH GOD WHY ARE THERE CREEPY CLOWNS GET THEM AWAY FROM ME NO I HATE YOU AAAAAA-

Quote of the conference goes to Kevin Butler for:
"If you have an awesome girlfriend, and someone else gets an awesome girlfriend, who wins? EVERYBODY."

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Caves of Narshe Version 6
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