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Square Enix Gear up for Final Fantasy's Thirtieth Anniversary

Final Fantasy I
2017 will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Final Fantasy franchise, with the original game having been released on 18 December, 1987. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing about the game turning 25, so it seems very strange indeed that I could already be writing about 30 - and in some ways, it is strange, because the actual anniversary is still more than a year away and it's easy to forget that North America waited almost two years after its initial Japanese launch before it came ashore here.

So, even though the real anniversary is more than a year away, Square Enix are ready to celebrate. Or, at least, they're ready to tell us that they're ready to celebrate via their old standby - a trailer video released at TGS. There's also a website, which is pretty neat as such things go even though it's fairly bereft of content at the moment, with just video clips from each game and an announcement of Final Fantasy XIV events at Zepp music halls in Japan starting in February.

There's no current indication as to what other events might mark the anniversary year, or whether any locales outside of Japan will be included.

Source: Gematsu, Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary

Tokyo Game Show: Square Enix Tease New Action Game

Tokyo Game Show
Tokyo Game Show is next week, and to build anticipation, Square Enix have announced an announcement: there will be a new "action game" revealed at the show on September 15. Yes, that's pretty much all the detail, though they did mention that the announcement will take place at 11pm Eastern time (on the 14th, here in the US). There's no news currently whether it's a new IP or a sequel or sideline to existing IP, but once the game has been announced, it will be shown live at TGS and on stream via YouTube and Niconico. Here are the other games you will see via the TGS streams, with various demos, panel discussions, and gaming events:
  • World of Final Fantasy
  • NieR: Automata
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • Dragon Quest X
  • Akashic Re:cords
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Brave Exvius
  • Fantasy Earth Zero
  • Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • SaGa: Scarlet Grace
  • Mobius Final Fantasy
  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia
Gematsu has the entire schedule. Watch this space for more information both before and during TGS as we can swing it.

Source: Gematsu

September 7: Live Final Fantasy XV Music with the London Philharmonic

Final Fantasy XV
Want to see some live Final Fantasy XV music performed? Easy, just be at a video-playing device tomorrow, and you can see the London Philharmonic play at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. The show will feature selected tracks from the upcoming game over the course of an hour, as well as an appearance by the game's composer, Yoko Shimomura.

The stream will begin at 2pm Eastern tomorrow, September 7, and will be streamed live over both the Final Fantasy XV YouTube channel and the official Squenix Twitch channel as well. Or, hey, embedded right here when it starts!

Dragon Quest XI Confirmed for Nintendo NX

Dragon Quest
We last talked about Dragon Quest XI in January, in the context of Square Enix aiming to release before the franchise turns 31 years old. Back when the game was first announced, series originator Yuji Horii suggested that the game would be released for PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo NX, but his parent company quickly backtracked on the latter.

Now, though, in an early-released interview from the October issue of Japanese magazine "Nintendo Dream," Horii is again quoted confirming the game for the new Nintendo system. Not only that, his team is doing both 2D and 3D versions of the game for the 3DS. Now, it's not clear yet whether this means that there will be two completely separate releases, whether the 2D version is specific for the 2DS, or even if the 2D version will be a top-down JRPG like the original Dragon Quest games, but this does mean that they're putting a great deal of effort into the game. Additionally, Horii commits to a simultaneous release on all platforms.

Nintendo are aiming the NX for March 2017, and the end of the Dragon Quest 30th Anniversary year is May 27, 2017. The margins are thin to make this happen!

Source: Gematsu

Final Fantasy XV Delayed Two Months

Final Fantasy XV
If you were on the internet over the weekend, you surely saw the rumors. I tend to not report on rumors no matter how credible they are (also, because I've been lazy and traveling for most of the last month), but this one's no longer a rumor: Final Fantasy XV has been delayed from its global release by two months, from September 30 to November 29.

The news was confirmed earlier today in a video direct from Hajime Tabata, and was chalked up to the desire to avoid a "substantial" day-one patch to the game (and to give more time for QA testing on what will represent the Gold phase of the game's production). Of course, having done this, it's not necessarily the case that the eventual release won't have a smaller day-one patch required, but perhaps this delay will make the release go a bit more smoothly.

At this moment, this delay will have no impact on the digital release of Kingsglaive, currently scheduled for August 30, though Polygon reports that it might impact the disc-based release, as well as the scheduling for future episodes of the Brotherhood anime.

What do you think about this delay? For me, I actually like the timing of it - it makes it more likely that I actually have a system on which to play it by the time it comes out, and the current schedule will still hit the holiday buying season, which should avoid hurting the game's numbers. Fingers crossed that this is the last delay, though, for everyone's sakes.

Source: Polygon

Final Symphony: Shows Scheduled for Symphonic Orchestras

Final Symphony
Apparently, there is a non-Distant Worlds Final Fantasy symphony tour that has been around a few years, but I don't recall having heard about it until just the other day. It's called Final Symphony and differs significantly from Distant Worlds; while the latter features arrangements that are largely orchestral takes on the original pieces, Final Symphony combines themes from a few select games into acts of a symphony, with each movement attempting to express a portion of a game's world through a new interpretation of its music.

Being a symphony, each show plays the same music, with no minor setlist deviations as one might find at a Distant Worlds show, and the bulk of the show comes in three acts, first from Final Fantasy VI, then Final Fantasy X, and closing with Final Fantasy VII. There are four shows currently scheduled:
  • San Diego, July 21
  • Baltimore, July 23
  • San Francisco, July 27
  • Auckland, October 21
There's also a variation on the theme, called Symphonic Fantasies, which has a more wide-ranging Square Enix bent. In four parts, this symphony arranges music from the Kingdom Hearts, Mana, Chrono, and Final Fantasy series. The only currently scheduled show for this series is in London, on October 6.

On top of this, there's a second iteration on Final Symphony, with music from Final Fantasy XIII, IX, VIII, and V - amazing as that sounds to me, though, there are no currently scheduled performances.

Final Symphony is available for digital download from Amazon.

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