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Distant Worlds Updates and New Chamber Performance


Distant Worlds
It's been a while since I did a Distant Worlds update - I suspect it's because I'm still a little bitter for not pulling the trigger and going myself last October! The concert series well known by Final Fantasy fans worldwide has some new information to share this month, though, and some of the news is sure to be particularly interesting to CoN readers.

There are three Distant Worlds concerts on the books for this year at the moment; for our South American readers, two dates in Chile are scheduled for May 31 and June 1 in Rancagua and Santiago respectively.

On August 24, a special performance will take place in Chicago, a favorite destination for the Distant Worlds crowd - not only will Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu be in attendance, they will also be performing solos during the set, and the setlist will focus on Final Fantasy VI in honor of its 20th anniversary. Dancing Mad, the Opera, and a never-heard arrangement of character themes are confirmed to be part of the new setlist.

The final date for 2014 at the moment returns to Toronto, with a performance at the Sony Centre. Roth and Uematsu will attend this show as well, though they won't perform and the setlist apparently will be more typical than the FF6-centric one in Chicago a few months earlier.

The new spinoff of Distant Worlds will debut this weekend, though, also in Chicagoland. It's called A New World, and it will be performed in smaller venues and conventions with a thirteen-member ensemble. In all the performances scheduled so far, both Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu will be in attendance and will perform as well, with Roth on violin and Uematsu on keyboard. The series starts this Friday at Anime Central in Rosemont, IL, with a 4pm show on the 16th and a 1pm matinee on the 17th. After that, the show moves to Omaha for two shows on this Sunday, the 18th of May, and a pair of Montreal shows in August. All arrangements will be new to suit the new ensemble, so even folks who have seen Distant Worlds will get to experience something new.

If you line up a visit to any of these shows, make sure to give us a report after!

Source: Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds, Final Fantasy: A New World

Final Fantasy III in 3D for PC


General Final Fantasy
As of now, there's a listing on Steam for Final Fantasy III. One might cock his or her eyebrow a bit at this news, but it's kind of a big deal. Kotaku reports that the game appears to be a port of the PSP version, and the screenshots look as if they've done some up-res work to polish the visuals. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the screenshots look absolutely lovely and that this bodes well for the care they plan to take with this port overall.

Being on Steam, the game will also get an achievement system laid into the gameplay, and will have Steam Cloud support for cloud storage of saved games and user settings for portability. The listing also advertises controller support, which seems like a no-brainer but will certainly improve the game's playability.

There's no release date and no price point yet, but it seems reasonable to think that a realm of $20.00 or so could be the target, with the less-advanced ports of Final Fantasy VII and VIII listing at $13.00 right now. This game's release could even be a precursor to a release of Final Fantasy IV 3D, given that the DS version was developed by the same team as III; additionally, both games have had similar iOS and Android releases that would likely make a port to Windows easier. Like I said, this could be pretty big news for fans of classic and less-exposed Final Fantasy games!

Source: Kotaku, Steam

Just Barely New News: Square Enix News Tidbits


Square Enix
Leading off, Final Fantasy XIV beta phase 2 is now live for PlayStation 4 gamers. Folks who participate in the beta can carry over their characters when the official release happens this week - I would have given you more notice but I just now realized that I never actually posted this news I drafted five days ago!

If you preorder the game via the Square Enix store, and despite my delay in posting, there's still time, you'll get a screenprinted fabric poster, early access to the post-beta launch, and two items: a Cait Sith Doll minion, and a Moogle cap for your character (complete with head-pom!).

Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD Remasters were released last week in the West. Check out this huge wall-o-art that the company displayed in Gallery Nucleus and put up for auction for charity for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan; all told, the auction raised well over fifteen thousand dollars.

Here are some pre-packaged tidbits to wrap up this midweek edition, too, courtesy of Famitsu via siliconera. Fairly interesting stuff, as well; for one, Squenix took pains to deny that there was a third game in the Final Fantasy X universe in the works. This is the first I'd even heard of that rumor - anyone else? It seems odd that such a rumor could remain under the radar that well but still solicit a denial from the company. A third Dissidia game is on the wishlist of that series' director, Mitsunori Takahashi, and producer Shinji Hashimoto explained that the upcoming releases of Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix were moving along as desired. Apparently there are more nuggets coming that Famitsu are not making public until the new issue hits the newsstands, so there could be more updates and details soon.

Source: Twitter, siliconera

The Canon of Characters: The CoNcast Episode 23


Podcast
Well, in reality, the show this episode is about the main characters of Final Fantasy, not all the characters. However, the alliteration of the title above was just too good to pass up.

A series like Final Fantasy - 25 years old, with twenty-plus games bearing the name - is sure to have an extremely diverse set of characters. Or, is it sure after all? Perhaps the series uses the same archetypes over and over again with slightly different twists. The CoNcast team spends 45 minutes dissecting the lead characters of the series and distilling them to work out the similarities and differences, as well as just the good from the bad.

This one's a little shorter than most, but we packed a lot into it. If you haven't heard a CoNcast before but have been thinking about trying one out, check this episode for a quick hit!

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes, This Episode
Posted in: CoNcasts

Final Fantasy VI Turns Twenty


Final Fantasy VI
That's right, friends. The game that inspired our site, Final Fantasy VI, turned twenty today, with its original Japanese Super Famicom release on April 2, 1994. Since that time, the game's been released in Japan, North America, and Europe repeatedly for systems like the SNES, PlayStation, and mobile phones.

I know that I've got fond memories of playing this game after school every day until the first time I beat it, and then replaying it again immediately after getting the Nintendo Power Player's Guide for Christmas that year. I've got a lot more fond memories since starting up CoN - hey, I've even talked about how awesome the game is on the CoNcast! To celebrate this great anniversary, what fond memories do you have?

Source: Kotaku
Posted in: Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy IV is Awesome: The CoNcast Ep. 22


Podcast
For CoNniversary last year, we not only released a new Final Fantasy VI walkthrough section, we also recorded a CoNcast about how awesome Final Fantasy VI is. Because it is easy to say how awesome the games we cover are (it's circular reasoning - they're awesome because we cover them and we cover them because they're awesome), we decided to pick up that mantle for this episode and start to turn it into a miniseries. At least for the time being, we're following the order in which the games were added to CoN, and that means that today's episode is all about Final Fantasy IV.

Lasz and Stiltz joined me to record some words describing this phenomenon. We talk about the ATB system, the deliciously melodramatic plot, the fantastic soundtrack, and the fact that it's been released for approximately seven thousand gaming platforms. Hopefully, spending some time listening to us will remind you that FF4 is fantastic and you'll seek out a new playthrough (and/or buy a new copy through AmaCoN!).

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes
Posted in: CoNcasts

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