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At a press conference a few hours ago, Sony announced that both the WiFi and 3G versions of the PlayStation Vita will receive price drops down to 19,980 yen. This is a price reduction of 5,000 and 10,000 yen respectively, bringing the Vita's Japanese price down to approximately $214 US or 138 GBP. It is unknown if this change will be carried over to other territories as of yet.
At the same press conference, Sony and Square-Enix showed off the Vita version of Final Fantasy X, apologizing for the long delay between announcements. The last we heard of this HD re-release was in summer of 2012 in what amounted to yet another "please wait." Square-Enix was unprepared to provide a release date, but claimed that it would be coming shortly and to "wait for that."
So... Square-Enix told us nothing about this anticipated port, except that they're working on it and to wait some more. Gee, thanks.
Source: Kotaku, Kotaku again
Posted in: News from Japan
Square-Enix's Seiken Densetsu or "Mana" series has hit hard times recently, with the unsuccessful dungeon crawler Children of Mana, real-time strategy RPG Heroes of Mana, and Havok physics-running Dawn of Mana. Yesterday evening series creator Koichi Ishii announced two upcoming titles in the storied series: Song of Mana for mobile devices and Shepherd of Mana for the PS3.
Song of Mana is a multiplayer rhythm game in which characters from earlier Mana games must save the Mana tree by occupying Mana Fields surrounding the Mana Tree in a circle, always numbering one fewer than the number of players; the players stand in a circle just outside of that. Tunes from throughout the Mana series are played - while the music is playing, the players in the circle walk in unison around the fields. When the music suddenly stops, everyone must race to enter one of the Mana Fields. The player who is left without a Field is eliminated from the game, and one Field is also removed to ensure that there will always be one fewer Field than there are players. The music resumes and the cycle repeats until there is only one player left in the game, who is the winner. The winner saves the world - winning a game of Song of Mana sends in-game currency and experience points to the characters in Shepherd of Mana.
Shepherd of Mana looks to be a big-budget extravaganza. Players design their own hero or heroine ("the Savior") and choose from a selection of job classes (Fighter and Mage are the only two revealed thus far) to determine their available weapons, skills, and spells. The player-character encounters a colorful cast of potential teammates throughout the adventure, and the characters he or she recruits and the decisions the Savior makes shapes Shepherd of Mana's plot, including endgame villains and the ending. All we know of the plot thus far is that the Mana spirits are being captured by a mysterious force known as The Sleepers and indoctrinated into performing acts of evil. The Savior and his or her allies must track down the spirits running amok and purify them with a Cane of Mana fashioned from a branch of the Mana Tree in order to harness their power and defeat the Sleepers.
Song of Mana and Shepherd of Mana will be released for iOS devices and the PS3 respectively in autumn of 2013. For heaven's sake, let's hope these turn out better than Dawn of Mana, which we all know was awful, bordering on sacrilege.
Source: Press release
Posted in: Square-Enix News
Following multiple claims denying any release for Xenoblade Chronicles in the United States or Cananda, Nintendo backed off from that stance when a release date for the fan-favorite Wii RPG infiltrated the internet - April 3rd, 2012. This leak was followed by an acknowledgement from Nintendo in the form of several pieces of Xenoblade Chronicles concept art on Nintendo of America's Facebook page.
This is wonderful news to Wii-owning RPG fans. Xenoblade Chronicles is developed by Monolith Soft, makers of the Xenosaga and Baten Kaitos games for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube. The company was founded in 1999 by former Square staff that had previously worked on Xenogears and Chrono Cross, among other titles. Xenoblade Chronicles has received rave reviews from critics, with a MetaCritic score of 92/100 and a GameRankings index of 93.82%. RPG Fans in the Americas have been petitioning-slash-clamoring for an official English-language release in North America for over a year now, with no dice until yesterday's leak.
We still have six months before this comes out, but it's a very positive announcement that many gamers have been hoping for. [pretend that this space includes a conclusive, funny, thought-provoking statement and not laszlow drawing a blank from all the painkillers]
Source: GameSpot, concept art gallery from GiantBomb
Posted in: RPG News
OK, maybe it's not the remake fans were waiting for, but it's something, right? Square-Enix's 2001 megahit will receive a high-definition makeover and be available as a PS3 game and a PS Vita download. Final Fantasy X follows hot on the heels of several other PS2 games receiving HD remakes on the PS3, including God of War I and II, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, and the entire Sly Cooper Series.
This continues a trend of PS Vita games and PS3 games receiving near-identical ports. Multiplayer Vita games can play online against PS3 players and include many other connectivity features. Presumably, Final Fantasy X HD will have trophy support and scale up to 1080p, just like the other HD remakes mentioned above.
There is no release date yet for Final Fantasy X on the PS3 or PS Vita, but you can bet your memory card Caves of Narshe will report it as soon as it's made public.
Square-Enix held a press conference yesterday in Japan (very early this morning for Europe or North America) detailing the much-anticipated Dragon Quest X. Turns out it's been structured as an multiplayer online RPG, complete with selectable races and subscription fees.
Dragon Quest X: The Wake of the Five Tribes: Online will have Wii and WiiU versions made, very similar to the GameCube and Wii versions made of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess soon after the Wii's launch. Players will create their own character, choosing from one of five different races, and can choose to play either entirely offline (with other online players replaced by NPCs) or pay a subscription fee to play online with others. The game will retain the series' trademark turn-based combat and menus, but will take the limited online features of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies several steps further.
DQX still has no formal release date (neither does the Wii U, for that matter), but lead designer Yuuji Horii is hopeful that it will come out in 2012. There is no word on a release outside of Japan, but Square-Enix and Nintendo have been pushing the DQ brand somewhat recently, so an eventual English-language release is likely.
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, the 2007 PSP remake of Final Fantasy Tactics, will be released on iOS compatible devices in June or July of this year. First announced to be coming to those platforms at E3 2010, soon iPhone and iPad users will be able to enjoy the game with a new touch-friendly interface and slightly wider viewing window.
Square-Enix has not given an official, concrete release date for the game yet, but promises the iPhone version will land in June or July. The iPad version may take a little longer to hit Apple's app store due to the challenges presented by developing for a the larger screen, but one of the game's producers assured fans that the gap between formats will not be a long one.
Source: Square Enix's Facebook page
Posted in: Final Fantasy Tactics
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