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Final Fantasy IV
As we mentioned last month, Square Enix announced a remake of the episodic Final Fantasy IV sequel, The After Years, for mobile. Last weekend, it arrived in 3D, for both iOS and Android, and it's available for $15.99 American. This 3D version marks the first time that the game has been released its entirety using the 3D engine developed for the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV.
The reviews on both the iOS and Android app stores are pretty positive, nudging just past four of five stars on each, but Kotaku savaged it. New engine and all, seems like maybe sixteen bucks could be a bit much for this. Anyone out there pick it up?
Source: Square Enix Members Blog, Kotaku
Another few weeks, another tidbits. This seems like another good time to remind folks that we would love to have someone willing to write news for us, since all of us are clearly way too busy. Or just bad at this. This time around, we've got a ton of news that came out of the Tokyo Game Show this year. Unsurprisingly, there was quite a bit going on for Square Enix at what is still considered their "home" trade show. Further introductions provide no value with this much news.
Let's start off with 3D remakes, because many people have been aching for 3D versions of their favorite Final Fantasy games since III and IV got them a few years back. Good news on that front - as long as your favorite game is the Final Fantasy IV sequel "The After Years." The initially-episodic sequel that was released also in the Complete Collection of Final Fantasy IV on PSP is now getting a redux for iOS and Android in the vein of its big brother. It's already been confirmed that the West will get the game as well, as is almost always the case for Squenix' iOS and Android games. While I'm sure this will cause some gnashing of teeth among fans, it seems like a pretty easy call for the company to make, given that the engine and art assets that already exist should make this port pretty easy.
Next up comes the Bravely Default franchise, made a franchise by the announcement of a sequel. The confusingly-named upgrade of the original, subtitled "For the Sequel," is true to its word by adding in some enhancements that will also be part of the simultaneously-in-development sequel. According to the most recent news, these enhancements will also form the basis for the version of Bravely Default that Europe and North America will get. It's starting to look like the sequel will be less Default than the original, also, given that Squenix have also trademarked in Japan the names "Bravely Second" and "Bravely Third." Of course, it's way too early to predict anything about those games, but this news does give a gentle nudge to a theory that Squenix are preparing a pretty big new franchise for handheld domination.
Speaking of big new franchises, let's not forget that the Final Fantasy XIII series is soon to come to an end with Lightning Returns. Because it's just what they do with this game, Squenix had yet another new trailer at TGS. It makes one wonder if their endgame is simply to have the entire game released as a series of trailers that fans would then need to recut into the correct order to understand the plot. Speaking of things that they've done with Lightning Returns, here are three separate notes all about more costumes in the game (in these cases, a Final Fantasy XIV Miqo'te catgirl, Yuna, and Aeris respectively). Lightning Returns is still scheduled to be released in Japan next month and in the West in February 2014 - plenty of time to shove more costumes in.
And on the subject of Final Fantasy XIV, it seems like A Realm Reborn is really starting to make up for the bad taste the original created. Say what you will about their launch-window server issues (for what it's worth, I can forgive them), but it really seems like the new version has been pretty well received as both a quality MMO and a solid Final Fantasy game, which certainly differentiates it from the bulk of its competitors. Enhancements are already being discussed for future updates, such as customizable housing, PvP arenas, and even the plan to allow gamers to transition from their Playstation 3 games to Playstation 4.
Briefly, on the subject of MMOs, did you remember that Enix has one for Dragon Quest? Nah, of course you didn't. It's still not out in the West anyway. However, if and when it does come this direction, you might be able to play it on the go - a version for iOS and Android will be out this winter in Japan. Apparently, this version of the game will have the same content as the full game, simply optimized for mobile hardware. That should allow players to take their game off their console and then continue it on the train; wonder if XIV could pull that off?
Last thing: the Final Fantasy X/X-2 remaster is still coming. On the official Playstation blog, that is confirmed directly, in case you'd forgotten. There's also, yes, another trailer, and a bit of talk about the art book that preorder customers will get.
That's a lot of tidbits, and I didn't quite cover everything I wanted to. Sorry about that, but I'll see if I can't get a more specific post up to cover the rest soon. Hint: it's Type-0 related!
Source: siliconera, Final Fantasy Network, Kotaku
Slated for July 3, Square Enix are releasing in Japan a "remastered" version of the Final Fantasy IV Soundtrack. Later in the year, similar albums will be released for Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI. There's not much detail beyond that so far, which naturally leaves some questions. The first question might well be the tracklist - will these albums be a full OST, which would require a few CDs, or is it a single-CD "best of" compilation as some other albums have been in the past? Second, though, and possibly more important, is "what on earth does a remaster of a SNES soundtrack entail?"
Given that these albums are explicitly called remasters, and not anything like the piano collections or orchestral arrangements that have been done in the past, it would seem that these new albums will still be chiptunes as they were originally, but perhaps that the chips used to make the tunes will be of a more modern variety than twenty years ago, creating the opportunity for more realistic synthesized sounds.
If you want to find out, you'll need to import, most likely - Squenix are not currently speaking of any Western release for any of these albums.
Starting today, the North American PSN store has a series of Final Fantasy games half off. Which games, you might ask? Well, a bucket of them. You can get a version of every numbered Final Fantasy game up through IX (not including III, which never has had a Sony release). Most of the games are the PS One versions, including Origins, Anthology, and the three released originally for the first PlayStation. Final Fantasy IV's PSP version is included, as is Tactics: War of the Lions. Rounding out the set are three games from the Dissidia series.
This sale is 50% off the top and will be running for two weeks. The game selection is a little different than the European-region sale that we, uh, forgot to post about until right now. That sale's over, though. Sorry about that.
Source: US PlayStation Blog
Square Enix deployed their now-pretty-typical "hey, we released a new game" video yesterday to announce the worldwide release of Final Fantasy IV for iOS (yours for the low price of $16.99 US!).
The video is pretty standard fare, nothing particularly exciting if you've see the Nintendo DS version before; however, what has people talking is the last few seconds. If you watch to the end, you'll see a bit of crowing about a "Final Fantasy mobile revolution" and the Final Fantasy V logo. This appears to confirm that at least Final Fantasy V is coming to iOS sometime in the future, and the text below saying "and more..." would seem to imply that V is not the end. Final Fantasy VI would be the obvious "more" there, but could there be others?
Not only that, what might we see out of these? Will these be ports of SNES? Game Boy Advance? Could it even be a 3D treatment of each game, which has long been rumored but never executed? And, if it's the 3D option, will we see them also on the Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita? That would certainly be fairly revolutionary; oh, if only we knew. As of right now, we need to consider this tentative news, but it seems pretty clear that iOS users will at least be seeing Final Fantasy V sooner rather than later.
Source: Operation Rainfall
As part of the celebration for the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary, Square Enix brought in a wide array of artists to create an album celebrating the music of the series up to now. This is not exactly new news, though I believe we missed it in tidbits around the time that it was announced in October. The album was released last week, though, and to promote it a bit more, Square Enix Music posted this medley video to YouTube earlier this week, with samples of a large number of the tracks.
There's a lot of variety on show in this video, and it really makes for some fresh takes on some of the Final Fantasy music that we've heard for many, many years. It's piqued my interest, so I took some time to try to find some English-language shops that sell the double disc; while AmaCoN looked a bit pricey, I found that another of our shop affiliates, Play Asia, has the set for $35.00 including free shipping. If the video makes you want this for Christmas or... New Year's (?), hit that link right away.
Source: Square Enix YouTube, Destructoid
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