News from Europe
Active readers of CoN news (and of course, Distant Worlds fans) will already know that there's one more show coming in North America in 2014: Toronto, December 6. That show will be conducted by Arnie Roth, and will feature regular contributor Susan Calloway as a vocalist. Uematsu will be in attendance as well.
With the upcoming list getting thin, it's about time for some new shows to get announced for 2015, and that list is here! On January 31, the team will do two shows in New Jersey, at the Performing Arts Center in Newark. There will be a matinee and an evening show on the same day, and VIP tickets are available that include meet and greet packages. Not only will these shows include Roth, Uematsu and Calloway, they will also feature the first North American performances by Rikki, the original vocalist for Suteki Da Ne from Final Fantasy X. Tickets are on sale now.
In May of 2015, the series returns to St. Louis, Missouri for shows on the 15th and 16th. Uematsu won't be there, but Roth and Calloway will be performing and the composer for Final Fantasy XI, Naoshi Mizuta will be in attendance for the first time. The program will be changed up somewhat, bringing back the Final Fantasy VI character medley first performed for the 20th Anniversary show and two new arrangements from Lightning Returns and Final Fantasy VII. In addition, each show will have two other new additions to the program; the first will add in new Final Fantasy X and XIV music, and the second will add in Eyes on Me and Melodies of Life. These tickets are also on sale now.
The spinoff series from Distant Worlds, covered in our last post, has wrapped up its live performances in America for now, and has just two more upcoming - one in London on Halloween, and one in Paris on November 30th (tickets available now). However, a recording from a previous London performance is coming soon for purchase. It's described as "over sixty minutes of music and a virtually all-new repertoire" performed by a much smaller chamber orchestra. It seems like a digital performance is already available to buy from Bandcamp for a minimum $9.99 purchase, but there's no indication as to what will be different about the new release or whether it will be available only digitally or also on physical media.
Source: Distant Worlds, A New World
I posted earlier today about Type-0 being localized, and how Square Enix sneaked that news into the end of their announcement trailer for Final Fantasy Agito. None of us were aware, though, that the Type-0 news there was actually not the big one of the day: the company just announced that this game, AWOL for so long, will actually appear on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
The new version will be in HD, of course, but absolutely no other details have been released, including whether the original handheld version will be localized now, or not. Naturally, this is causing some distress among some who clamored for the original game to be released, as they seem to feel betrayed by the fact that the game they asked for will not be on a console they currently own.
This has been a whirlwind first day of E3, so don't be surprised if more details are yet to emerge!
Edited to add: OK, so I probably should have figured this out from the first post. I guess I was really too quick on the trigger, eh?
Source: Square Enix
Quick E3 update for you all: the headline says most everything. Final Fantasy Agito has been confirmed for iOS and Android outside of Japan; both versions will be free-to-play with IAP - big surprise.
The real big surprise, though, is that Square have finally heard enough of petitions and tweets: Final Fantasy Type-0 is now confirmed to have a future Western release, with localization underway. As yet, there is no further information.
Just a quick one to move you on down the road today. Maybe we'll get more soon!
Source: Square Enix
With surprisingly little pomp and circumstance today, Square Enix announced the release dates for the Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD remasters. In a blog post earlier today, the company announced the standard Tuesday/Friday launch window of March 18 and 21, 2014, for the game in the US and Europe respectively. Also, "participating retailers" are willing to, for a limited time, upgrade all pre-orders of the Playstation 3 version of the game to the Limited Edition, which includes an artbook built into the packaging.
Some users are questioning why there will be no Playstation 4 release, since the original plan was to release these games in 2013. The company has not spoken to this question, though one would think that the PS4's version of Playstation Network would make a digital distribution possible sometime in the future.
Source: Square Enix Members Blog
The Square Enix news tidbits have been on hi-ya-toos for way, way too long. It's hard to get back on that wagon, so it's a fine time to remind the readers that we'll gladly solicit news from any of you out there. We generally ask that you be marginally literate, but we're flexible.
So, what have we missed recently? Well, plenty of Squenix news, of course, but really, not that much. As we all know, the times between E3 and Tokyo Game Show can be a bit quiet for the company, and the biggest releases coming up in the near future for the Japanese giant aren't quite yet here. That said, let's spend some time on those releases now, starting with A Realm Reborn. The Final Fantasy XIV reboot will be released for PC and PlayStation 3 in just a couple days, now; in fact, those with early access to the release should be getting it in a matter of hours.
To keep the appetite up for the game, Squenix have been showing quite a bit of video. A couple days back, a video premiered showing off more than a half-dozen high-level dungeons in different environments, complete with some requisite big evil like dragons, Marlboros, and Tonberries. Everyone's favorite, Magitek Armor, even makes an appearance towards the end. More recently (today, in fact!), another video came out, this time giving the glamour treatment to Primals, the name given to high-level bosses in the game. These, too, look pretty brutal - an enormous behemoth at the beginning might be the least impressive beast shown.
The next big (brand-new) release for the company once XIV is out the door is, of course, Lightning Returns. This game has had what seems like dozens of small parcels of data revealed over the time since its announcement; this week, another trailer came out, featuring a lot of combat, a fair chunk of Sazh, and a pretty blunt question: who will you save, and who will you sacrifice? Much further back in history, the company also made public that Vanille would appear in the game, under the protection of a religious faction in control of one of the game's four unique continents. The same article revealing Vanille also mentions a bit about shopping in the game, and how one will be able to buy real battle equipment but also fashion accessories for Lightning in the game's stores.
In news that will be potentially extra-interesting to those who enjoyed our Seiken Densetsu 3 podcast, Squenix have registered for trademarks on "Rise of Mana" in both Europe and Japan. The Mana series has obviously been one of the most extensive for Square in the last twenty years, behind only Final Fantasy, so it's no big surprise that something else would be showing up in that series; however, given that there's no other information, and the company's recent track record with their use of legacy IPs, this could well be a social game.
So, we can't really cover everything, of course, not when we sit on news for a month before posting it. So, let's wrap up with some fun merch news! Since everyone loved All the Bravest, of course, they'd probably want some keychains, right? Maybe a set of twenty-nine? No joke, some of those would be pretty great to have, but you can only buy the whole set at once, and the retail price comes out to about a hundred and ten dollars American. So... let me know how they turn out when you get yours. And, since I can't let Slime-related merchandise slip past me, despite not having played a Dragon Quest game in, like, twenty-five years, let's wrap with that. Here's a USB-based controller that looks like a fat DualShock 2 with a bunch of Slimes on it. It's currently only for Japan, and is listing at $40 equivalent, which is a bit steep. But, it's USB, so there are no importing issues if you simply must have it; however, if you want a wired controller for your PC, you really can't do any better than the one you can already get for an Xbox 360.
Let's call that a day for these tidbits. I know you all, you stopped reading paragraphs ago, right? If not, we'll try to keep up on the news a little better going forward!
Source: Siliconera, CVG, Nintendo Enthusiast
The original Final Fantasy XIV crashed and burned, and was shut down a couple months back. Even before that, though, the reboot of the Final Fantasy XIV universe, subtitled "A Realm Reborn," was announced and put into alpha. The buzz around the new version is pretty positive so far, with the proposed changes and media released to the public all being met with reactions that I would categorize as "generally pleased."
That uptick in user opinion hit its first peak yesterday, as the XIV team at Squenix released an extended Realm Reborn trailer. This trailer is not completely new, but it must be said, it is one of the most visually impressive CG scenes I've seen Squenix ever do. I spent a lot of time watching it and wishing that it was actually a scene from a Final Fantasy Tactics sequel, given the varied job classes and armored chocobos on display throughout. Having that sort of FFT feel even makes me want to try it out a bit, and I've never had any interest in an MMO at all.
Perhaps I could try it out a bit, in fact - as part of this information release yesterday, applications for the Western beta phase were also opened. As mentioned before, there will be four beta phases in all, with the first phase starting in Japan only sometime around the middle of February. The current deployment schedule allows for between seven and eighteen weeks across all four phases; the short end of that window seems really aggressive and pretty unrealistic to me, while eighteen weeks seems more managable and would result in an early-summer release. Only the final two phases will include gamers outside of Japan, and only the final phase will include PlayStation 3 gamers. The final phase will also allow characters created to be imported into the released game.
If you're interested in having a go at this, there are signup pages for both North America and Europe. Good luck to all those who apply!