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
Been a while since we did the tidbits (sigh, again), but we at least had a Square Enix news post this week already! Since it was about a Western release for Bravely Default, let's start with some more Bravely Default news: with the sequel on the way, producer Tomoya Asano showed Famitsu some DLC crossover bosses from Final Fantasy: Four Heroes of Light. All three of them look pretty cool, and if nothing else they make me want to finally track down 4HoL and play it. They won't be superbosses, but instead optional monsters that can "infect" your game via online connectivity or StreetPass, which sounds like a neat idea.
Staying with handhelds for a bit, the previously-announced 3D release of The After Years for mobile devices looks now to be locked in for the end of this month. The price point and the exact date are not yet known, and are not guaranteed to be the same for iOS and Android both, but all those questions will be resolved in a couple weeks' time or even less.
There's good news for Final Fantasy XIV players in these tidbits, as well. A special event, for instance, is happening as we speak in which players can interact with Lightning in the MMO during a four-chapter FATE event. The quests will unlock over the next few days, and they will all remain open until December 9th. Rewards for participants will include Lightning and Snow-themed armor, and a selection of weapons for various classes themed after Final Fantasy XIII equipment.
What might be even better for players, or even prospective players, is that the game has been a fantastic windfall so far for Squenix. Not only has the company shipped almost a million and a half units, the peak paying-player number has been over 600,000, which is even better than Final Fantasy XI was at its own peak. Even in a world dominated by other MMOs, Final Fantasy XI was always considered to be a great success, so it's clear that the company will be thrilled by the progress in XIV (even though it took them two tries to get there, right?).
For those wanting some news on the Enix tip, it looks like the first Ogre Battle/Tactics Ogre game, The March of the Black Queen, is due for a DLC release in Japan on November 20. The last re-release in the series, a remake of Let Us Cling Together for PSP, was released in the West, but no clue yet as to whether this one will be. Either way, I've buried the lede; this is only coming out in Japan for the Wii U Virtual Console, so it's not like most gamers in the West will be able to play it even if it does come out.
Let's close out with the business news. Now that there have been some changes at the top this year, the company is going to try to shift focus in a few ways to move forward. The studios owned by Square Enix in the West will begin focusing more on online titles; Japan will focus on phone and tablet games. On top of that, they plan to use Final Fantasy XIV and title licensing to get a hold in mainland Asia, especially China.
That probably sounds terrifying. It did to me. And apparently it did for a lot of gamers, actually, because only a few days later, the CEO of Square Enix America and Europe was talking to gamesindustry.biz about how AAA games like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and, one would have to assume, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, are not going anywhere. One simply has to hope that "focus" doesn't mean "sole focus."
Source: siliconera, GamesIndustry, Crunchyroll
According to the Nintendo Direct streamed conference a few hours ago, Square-Enix's 3DS RPG Bravely Default is hitting North American shores on February 7th, 2014. Both a standard and a special edition of the game will be released. Europe and Australia were confirmed to received Bravely Default a few weeks ago, and that version is landing in early December.
The European, Australian, and North American releases will simply be called Bravely Default, without a subtitle. Bravely Default: Flying Fairy was first released in Japan in October 2012, and it's receiving an expanded re-released titled Bravely Default: For the Sequel in December 2013. All of the English-language versions of Bravely Default are localized editions of For the Sequel.
So that's good news. Other than Final Fantasy Type-0, Bravely Default probably had the loudest calls for English localization of any recent Square-Enix game. Now we know when we can try out the vaguely Final Fantasy-esque turn-based combat and job system of Bravely Default. Either December or February.
Posted in: Square-Enix News
Today's CoNcast addresses one of the questions about Square Enix that has been burning for the better part of a decade. That question has probably already leapt to some of your minds: when will there be a Final Fantasy VII remake added to the sea of other Squenix reduxes? We talk about the history of false starts towards this game, the opinions expressed by Squenix employees over time, what it would take to make the fanbase happy, the impact of the 2013 re-release to PC on future work, and even whether we actually care ourselves. But, really, who doesn't care? Is it you? Let's talk about this a little bit - the CoNcast is not meant to be a one-way street.
Don't forget that you can also talk to us about the CoNcast in all the usual means, whether that's at the forums, via email, Facebook, Twitter, et cetera. We could be looking for people to suggest topics, tell us how wrong we are, or even possibly participate in a recording (especially for episodes where we'd be looking for a more female point of view). We need to hear from folks to know that we're on the right track!
Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes
For all of gaming history, as technology has evolved, so has the capability to do things graphically in video games. The notion of virtually every game being a set of screens with sprites pasted on is long past, and is now mainly the domain of indie games. In the mainstream, we've reached the point where games can be nearly photorealistic, or they can go a very different route. Shall the twain ever meet? Is one objectively better than another? What games benefit from what kind of art direction?
This week's CoNcast features Death Penalty, Tiddles, Neal, and laszlow talking about these issues and more, and also why Pokemon should be more like Tamagotchi. And you don't have to listen to me for the whole thing, so, wins all around.
Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes
Posted in: CoNcasts
Huge news came yesterday afternoon for anyone who spends any time on this website - Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy VI will be released on iOS and Android devices. You may have seen CoN user His Shadow's post in the forums yesterday, but alas, with old age comes slow movement. Or something like that!
What we've got here isn't a strict port, but it should be added that what we've got is no remake either. FFVI will be tweaked in several ways: its graphics, for instance, will be improved - though still 2D. The battle system will be altered a bit for the mobile platform in the spirit of previous FF mobile releases, like the recent FFV. Battle-experience will also be altered in order to require less grinding for the sake of being able to "enjoy the game for what it is." It is possible that this may be accompanied with a dialing back of the random encounter frequency, something everyone has been wanting forever, but there is no indication of this.
These changes, however small, are still generating some discussion. For instance, in the most recent CoNcast, SE took a bit of a hit for releasing games that aren't really sensitive to the nature of mobile gaming; do you think this difficulty altercation will broaden the game's mobile-friendliness or restrain it? I've also seen a few complaints regarding the sprites from earlier FF mobile releases - anyone familiar have anything to say about that?
The announcement concluded rather open-ended-ly, with the statement that "if this Legacy project works out well, we would like to one day be able to work with VII." Let's just take a concluding moment to appreciate how many qualifiers are packed into that statement.
Posted in: Final Fantasy VI