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First Star Ocean 5 Live Event Aired

Star Ocean
Following the pattern of the Active Time Event series for Final Fantasy XV, the producers of the Star Ocean series aired on Thursday. For those of us spoiled by the subtitled XV events, it's worth noting that Star Ocean did not follow suit and was fully in Japanese. That said, there might not be a lot of information that we can pull out for you directly, but here are some highlights:
  • While the fifth game in the series, Integrity and Faithlessness is the fourth game in the Star Ocean universe timeline, falling about halfway between "The Second Story" and "Till the End of Time."
  • The entire party, up to seven, travels together during exploration.
  • Each piece of equipment has custom illustrations representing it in menus. It appears that some of these items may be purchasable via Japanese storefronts in the real world.
  • With so many party members, the battles are frenetic to say the least. The player controls just one at a time in an action-RPG system, while the others work on autopilot.
  • A special edition has already been announced for Japan with at least some of the standard pack-ins, like an art book with content from the entire series and figurines.
  • The music comes from the same source as Valkyrie Profile, and the Ultimate Box includes also a five-disc set of music from the Star Ocean and Valkyrie games.
  • The game still doesn't look nearly as visually impressive as I would expect a PS4 RPG to at this point in the console's lifecycle. It's possible that the company is showing mostly the PS3 version so that the upgraded version dazzles at launch.
The game releases on February 25 in Japan, and in the west later in 2016. Gematsu has the full broadcast.

Source: Gematsu

Nintendo Direct Confirms Cloud for Smash Bros, Dragon Quest Localization

Final Fantasy VII
Get turnt, CoN, because the impossible is coming true: Cloud Strife, of Final Fantasy VII fame, will be a playable fighter in the next Super Smash Bros., available on both Wii U and 3DS. The announcement came at the end of yesterday's Nintendo Direct, along with the promise of a "Super Smash Bros. Special Broadcast." The fact that Cloud was announced as an appetizer for this later event seems sufficient reason to get excited about what else -- perhaps even more of the Square Enix persuasion? -- might be in store.

We also learned from the same Squenix Nintendo Direct that two Dragon Quest games, VII and VIII, will finally be getting Western localizations on the 3DS in the second half of 2016. This confirms the rumors we heard last summer; the titles have not previously been released in the West due to concern at Square Enix as to whether they would be able to sell enough copies.

Source: Siliconera, Siliconera

Prayers Answered, Moogles Added to Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV
We had news just the other day about how - O! If only we mortals could try! - we could be seeing Moogles in Final Fantasy XV. And, now, just a few days later, it seems that the cries of humanity have seen response, and the darling little mascots will indeed appear in the final game. Apparently, as per Tabata, there won't be much of a role for them due to the late stage of the process, but in the game they shall be.

Why, one might think that this was their plan all along, and perhaps the call to action was merely an attempt to get a brief bump in social media virality for the upcoming flagship game. One might think that, indeed, or instead, one might simply decide that there is a higher power out there looking out for the enjoyment of all Final Fantasy gamers. Blessed deity, hear the pleas of we sinners who all too often overlooked thy blessings of Final Fantasy XIII, and deliver unto us our furry, antennae'd batcats.

Man. That was one strange newspost.

Source: Siliconera

Uematsu Not Involved in Remake

Final Fantasy VII
In an interview with the French videogame website Jeuxvideo, Nobuo Uematsu said that he would not be working on the remake of Final Fantasy 7 "at all."

It's hard to know exactly how to feel about this. FF7 boasts, after all, one of the best-liked of Uematsu's soundtracks; it seems odd to not have the legendary composer involved, even in a supervising or purely symbolic/honorary role. On the other hand, the remake may well not actually require any new composition, in which case Square Enix have already proved themselves perfectly capable of remastering and re-recording soundtracks without the oversight of original composers.

Uematsu's last major composition project for Square Enix was the soundtrack for Final Fantasy XIV back in 2010 (though he has also been involved in music for its expansions); since then he has headed up several soundtracks for Sakaguchi's Mistwalker studio, and he is currently listed as lead composer for the Kickstarter-funded Project Phoenix.

Source: Siliconera

Click Button, Receive (Maybe) Moogle

Final Fantasy XV
Do you like moogles? As you may have heard, they aren't currently set to be included in Final Fantasy XV. But they potentially maybe could be -- if Square Enix gets enough fan demand, that is (maybe). This, at least, is what director Hajime Tabata hinted at a couple months ago. Flash forward to early this morning, when, sure enough, the official development Twitter page released a poll-by-tweet. While they reminded everyone via another tweet (I can't believe tweets are news) that the poll may not actually have any impact on the game, it couldn't hurt, right? If you too are a tweeter, zip on over and make your feelings known -- but hurry, I think it appears to be a limited (24 hours? 36?) window!

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: Square-Enix News

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

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