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News from Japan

Nomura + Steampunk + Mobile = Rampage Land Rankers


Square Enix Japan recently announced a new IP called Rampage Land Rankers, a dungeon crawler/RPG for smartphones coming out next month. It's an amalgamation of a variety of artistic and gameplay styles, thrown into a big blender; for instance, the character design is being done by Tetsuya Nomura in a very steampunk-y style, but the in-game models look as if they're rendered in the style of Final Fantasy III and IV 3D. The battles, meanwhile, look like a blend between turn-based JRPG fighting and card battling, and the dungeons claim to be procedurally generated for a randomized experience for each run.

It also seems as if you will use different characters in each dungeon, up to ten through the course of any particular dungeon. Other characters will be summoned via the use of items, but it's not clear as if these characters can also participate in normal play.

The game will also have a co-op multiplayer of some stripe, as well as item trading with friends on other devices. Again, the game will be out in May 2015 for Android and iOS in Japan, with no other releases announced at this time.

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: News from Japan

Jobs, Get Your Bravely Second Jobs Here!


Bravely Default
Bravely Second releases in Japan in just over a week, and Square Enix are still rolling out tidbits about new content. The sequel to the well-regarded Bravely Default will contain thirty jobs, some returning from the original but a large number brand-new. We last talked about some new jobs a few months back, but in the meantime a lot has happened - you can do what we did and watch this video to catch up on all of them, old and new.

Of course, with so many jobs, it's no surprise that Squenix outran their headlights; since this video was released, two more new jobs came down the pipe: Fencer and Bishop. Fencers appear to pick up some aspects of a Tactics-style Squire, with sword skills and the ability to increase stats. The Bishop is a new healing class with additional support skills.

Still nothing about a Western release, though. I assume we all assume that it's all but a foregone conclusion, though, yes?




Source: Siliconera
Posted in: News from Japan

Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade New Trailer and Info


Dissida: Final Fantasy
In February, we covered the announcement of a new Dissidia game for arcade cabinets. In it, I mentioned that the next infodump for the new game would be on April 10; well, hey, now it's the 11th and that information is out.

The information event started with a new trailer featuring the game's first summon, namely Ifrit as summoned by Lightning; Midgar and Cocoon were also revealed as new battlegrounds. Final Fantasy Network also reports that two new gods will appear in the arcade game beyond the series regulars of Cosmos and Chaos, and that Ramza Beoulve will be one of the more than fifty characters in the game either at launch or, in Ramza's case, as a post-launch network update.



For the first time, it was additionally announced that Square Enix aren't taking on this game by themselves; Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Team Ninja are also working on the title, which will be developed on modified Playstation 4 hardware. And, yes, it looks like after an initial rollout to Japanese arcades for a year, a PS4 version for home players is looking increasingly likely. The arcade version is targeted for the fall, but there is nothing concrete at all about release windows in the US, for PS4, or both.

Finally, if those sorts of things interest you, check out a mockup of the cabinet over at 4Gamer along with some other photos. It's not yet clear that this is the final design of the cabinet, though I assume not; it's not really like Square Enix to be so restrained, I wouldn't think.

Source: Polygon, 4Gamer, Final Fantasy Network
Posted in: News from Japan

Final Fantasy XI Ages, Dies, Continues, is Reborn


Final Fantasy XI
Did you know Final Fantasy XI was still a thing? I don't think I'd thought about it since the last time I posted news about it, back in 2012. That's unfair, though, because the game is well over a decade old but still has a core of diehard players; it's just that none of us are included in that list!

Anyway, Square Enix had a Final Fantasy XI event today, in which the very definition of what Final Fantasy XI is changed somewhat. Most importantly, the final additional scenario to the game was announced; called "Rhapsodies of Vana'diel," the scenario will come in three parts and are intended to incorporate aspects of the game's history into new battles and loot in an effort to create a feeling of closure to the adventure. These three pieces will be free to all players.

The three pieces of "Rhapsodies" will be released in May, August, and November 2015. In March 2016, the game will be shut down for Playstation 2 and Xbox 360 players, which seems like it might be well due. This will leave only the PC version as an active platform. Sometime before the March shutoff, as well, the game managers are planning a final gameplay event called "The Goddess' Gala," which promises fun content for both active and lapsed players.

While the ancient platforms are being eliminated, though, a new platform is being announced; Final Fantasy XI mobile is in the works now for smartphones and tablets worldwide. The game will carry the XI name, and has optimizations intended to make the game more playable via touch; however, it is not yet clear if it will interact with the existing platform or will exist solely on its own servers and will be multiplayer only with other mobile players.

Also announced today, for release in Japan later this year, is a mobile game set in the universe and leveraging the characters of Final Fantasy XI. The game is called Final Fantasy Grandmasters, and while it will have ad hoc multiplayer, it's not to MMO scale and the gameplay based on screenshots looks like a hybrid between MMO combat and more standard Final Fantasy line-up-and-sword-them fighting. It's aiming for beta sometime in April, but again, there's no release planned outside of Japan.

Source: Gematsu
Posted in: News from Japan

Some Final Fantasy Released Today: Type-0 Review Roundup


Type-0
Hope you're wearing green, because it's Type-0 day. At least in North America, Type-0 HD released for current-gen consoles today, and, along with it, Episode Duscae. For the former, the reviews are starting to come in; by and large, reviews from some of the big outlets seem to be on the positive side of mixed.

Polygon gives the game an 8/10 based on the strength and variety of combat and the darker and more militaristic storyline and the gameplay changes those things require. Given that review starts off with a few shots at how little the reviewer cared for the Final Fantasy XIII series, and a sidebar about how the port and upscaling was not done very well, that seems like a solid number.

Over at Siliconera, the review is also generally positive, though it's not "scored." The same high and low points are mostly covered, with special emphasis on the changes that Final Fantasy players will notice in terms of combat style and party management. The general theme is that the story is sub-par, but I must say that everything described in the review seems like a pretty interesting concept to me personally - it does come off a bit as though you might need to appreciate how Final Fantasy XIII told its story to really get into Type-0, though, so that won't be for everyone if true.

IGN also nails the game to an 8/10 and has the overall most positive review of any of the three, I think. Here, the darkness of the story is highlighted often, and you definitely need to know that Type-0 is the first game to carry the Final Fantasy name to receive the M rating (and international equivalents). A few sticking points still crop up, though, such as the not-fully-HD quality of some of the graphics and the poor quality of English voice acting.

A friend at work asked me earlier today, "Do you think I should pick up Type-0?" After first reminding him that I probably carry some bias, I said from everything I knew, it looked like it was worth a shot, especially if you're tired of the core Final Fantasy line. I think these reviews back me up just fine on that optimism. Has anyone out there grabbed it yet?

Of course, there's that whole thing of Episode Duscae, too. With all the push around Final Fantasy XV recently, you might have thought you knew just about everything that the demo was going to do - but until today, you didn't know about a summon showing up. And man, did a summon show up. The video contained therein shows an Eidolon well beyond the scale of anything we've seen in a Final Fantasy game, and note that it's Ramuh - typically one of the base-tier summons you get in any FF game. That actually worries me a little bit, because that is a pretty high bar to set, and to me it runs the risk of becoming something over-the-top and annoying over time. To me, this points to the idea that summoning will be a special, less-used thing in Final Fantasy XV, or the summoning itself will have some sort of shortening mechanism to keep the gameplay running.

Oh, and if that's not enough for you for this day, check this out. President Yosuke Mitsuda mentioned in an interview this week that "there is a surprise in store" this year in terms of information about a new JRPG reveal. Siliconera's reporting implies heavily that said reveal will take place at one of the big shows this year, either E3 or Tokyo Game Show. Speculation, naturally, is already underway. Final Fantasy Type-1? Final Fantasy XII HD Remaster? Final Fantasy VI HD Remaster?!?

Yeah, yeah. Don't get too carried away.
Posted in: News from Japan

Square Enix News Tidbits: Recordkeeping and Heroes


Square Enix
Time to do a proper weekly Square Enix News Tidbits! Mostly for the same reason that we always do - because we run out of time to keep up during the week.

This week, we've got two new announcements for game releases coming West from Japan. First up is a mobile app called Final Fantasy Record Keeper that you might have noticed in the Final Fantasy magazine. Record Keeper appears to be a retelling of critical events from the Final Fantasy canon as evoked by a boy tasked with keeping the memories of those adventures alive, presumably in some sort of alternate universe. Characters from the series are rendered in SNES-era sprites and the player will control them in battle. The battles look similar to All the Bravest... so all we can do is hope that this app isn't quite so much a joke! Pre-registration for the app is available now from the official site.

The second announcement is from the Dragon Quest series. Dragon Quest Heroes for PlayStation 3 and 4 has just come out in Japan, and Squenix commemorated the release in a way by announcing it also for release in the West. DQ Heroes is a "Warriors" style game - think Hyrule or Dynasty - and is the first entry of the series on a Sony console in quite a while. Simultaneously, a load of free DLC was announced for the Japanese release, and one can safely assume that it will also make it over here. One of the DLC packs looks to include Zoma, from Dragon Quest III; I note that specifically because I always thought his giant eye-helmet was pretty creepy. At the moment, it appears that there will be no PS3 version of the game outside of Japan, merely PS4.

Finally, let's turn back to last week's biggest news, Final Fantasy XV. With the demo livestream done, the XV team has turned back to handing out small bits of news for the full game. In an interview this week, Hajime Tabata noted that the demo coming out next month will be roughly 5GB in total disk size; of course, that doesn't do much for explaining how much real content there will be, but it's worth noting that is only about a tenth of a double-layer Bluray's capacity. In the same interview, Tabata implied that there would be some shocking moments in the plot and some brutal scenes, and it's worth noting that Tabata also worked on Crisis Core, so he's probably not bluffing.

In another, separate interview, Tabata discussed some of the other differences between the demo and the full game. The equipment selections, for weapons, armor and accessories alike, will be a small subset of the full game's functionality in terms of equipping and customization. While the (famous) cars and the (heretofore unknown) trains will not be in the demo, both methods of transport will be available in the full game in different contexts. Chocobos will also appear, of course. Additionally, the new content came with a video with some new scenes, notably exploration and battle inside a claustrophobic cave. A second new video emulates the feel of a nature documentary and shows more landscapes and creatures. Tabata also noted that the team is still refining the demo and will be continuing to do so.

More random news is cropping up today, though, so we might be able to throw some more good stuff at you in the near future. Or we might get lazy. It's Friday.

Source: Final Fantasy Record Keeper, Square Enix Europe, Siliconera
Posted in: News from Japan

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