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News from Japan

Mobile Announcements, Mobile Releases


We last had a big update of Square Enix mobile games last month, and true to form, there's more information coming out now - in one case a new game and in the other a new release.

First with the new game, there's new info in Famitsu this week detailing the new mobile title "Mevius Final Fantasy." It's billed as being related to Final Fantasy games, but not a remake. This game has a bit more firepower behind it than many mobile games, though, with Yoshinori Kitase at the helm and several staff members who have worked on older games in the series. It'll be out in Spring for iOS and Android, at least in Japan.

Already out as of last week is a remake, but it's not from the Final Fantasy series. It's a release of Dragon Quest III, with a polished-up graphics and interface similar to that of the first two Dragon Quest mobile remakes. This leaves only Dragon Quest IV of the Famicom originals not to show up on iOS and Android, so one might think we'll see that crop up in the next year.


Source: Siliconera, Official Dragon Quest III
Posted in: News from Japan

Final Fantasy Series gets Japanese Magazine


General Final Fantasy
Well, that's pretty much the gist of it, I guess. It's not an unknown phenomenon for game franchises to have periodicals in their names, produced by their publishers; apparently Persona has already gotten the same treatment.

The first all-Final Fantasy, all-the-time magazine will be out sometime in December in Japan and will be dated as "Winter 2014," implying that it will be a quarterly magazine if published on a schedule; it's possible that it will instead be a "whenever we feel like it" sort of thing from Squenix as well.

The real question is, will these magazines have any news that isn't covered by Famitsu or its brethren well in advance? The first issue purports to have info on Type-0 HD, G-Bike, and the new mobile games, so we shall see.

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: News from Japan

More Final Fantasy Mobile Apps for 2015


Square Enix

There's been a surprising amount of console and PC news from Square Enix as of late, from PC re-releases of games to new platforms and release windows for newer games. You might have even thought that the previous deluge of mobile games was going to slow down a bit, but if so, today's news proves you naive!

At a minimum for next calendar year, there will be two Final Fantasy-branded games, as well as what looks to be a helper app, available for iOS and Android. All three titles will be free to play with a microtransaction layer, though it remains to be seen what portions will be behind a paywall.

Crystal of Time looks to be the more traditional-style Final Fantasy game at the moment, with what appears to be a modified ATB battle setup that looks like it has a gesture-based wheel to select commands, which could be quite cool. As you might surmise from the name, time travel plays a major role. The art style is different from what we've seen recently for Square Enix' mobile games, but looks good to me so far.

Brave Exvius is a different take, a combination between Squenix and a Japanese mobile game developer called Alim. There appears to be less information about this game, but based on the early screenshots, my concern is that it might be a bit like a gussied-up All the Bravest, given the large number of party members, the presence of classic Final Fantasy protagonists fighting at once, and the vertical orientation of the gameplay. Hopefully future information will allay those fears.

The helper app looks to be a portal from which people can keep tabs on Squenix' new products and marketing events, as well as a storefront with digital content available for download. One special feature already announced is a Triple Triad game, though there's no indication if this is an in-app purchase, has online components, or anything beyond the name.

While the titles only appear in Japanese at the moment, the mobile strategy for Squenix clearly defines worldwide releases in multiple languages on similar timelines whenever possible. We can assume that Western releases will also be in 2015.

Source: Kotaku
Posted in: News from Japan

Final Fantasy XV in 1080p


Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV is obviously going to be a high-res game. We're fully in the current generation now and there's no possible excuse otherwise. However, we hadn't seen it as such, and that's a shame.

Not now, though - last week, Square Enix released a 1080p version of what we'd previously seen, and if you liked the direction it was going before you should really love it now. Of course, this video's on the web, and therefore the resolution you really get is going to be a function of your internet and viewing device capabilities, but it does look pretty impressive maxed out and fullscreened on my machine.

It looks to me like the framerate could still use a bit of work, and while the main features such as characters, backgrounds, vehicles, and monsters look phenomenal, some of the smaller assets like grasses still have some refinement to go. Even unfinished, this is probably worth checking out to see what all those years have been doing!

Source: GameSpot
Posted in: News from Japan

Sony sells all of its shares in Square Enix


Square Enix
We're making a slight change from our usual game-focussed news postings today to give you a brief nugget about Sony and Square Enix finances. Wall Street Journal, eat your heart out:

Sony has announced that it has sold all of its 9.52 million shares in Square Enix to SMBC Nikko Securities, in a deal reportedly worth ¥15.3 billion. That's approximately $150 million, or £89 million. Sony has not given a reason for the sale; but it's reasonable to assume that this has been done as part of Sony's current financially-motivated reforms, which also include plans to sell off the VAIO computing arm and restructure its TV division. Sony hasn't been faring well recently, financially speaking, and the boost this deal will give to its fiscal report will probably please its shareholders.

There's no indication as yet that this will have any impact on Square Enix's output or the release platforms of its games. Sony's previous 8.25% stake didn't prevent games such as Final Fantasy XIII being released on rival platforms, so it's unlikely that PlayStation platforms will be losing out now either.


Source: Eurogamer, Forbes
Posted in: News from Japan

Just Barely New News: Square Enix News Tidbits


Square Enix
Leading off, Final Fantasy XIV beta phase 2 is now live for PlayStation 4 gamers. Folks who participate in the beta can carry over their characters when the official release happens this week - I would have given you more notice but I just now realized that I never actually posted this news I drafted five days ago!

If you preorder the game via the Square Enix store, and despite my delay in posting, there's still time, you'll get a screenprinted fabric poster, early access to the post-beta launch, and two items: a Cait Sith Doll minion, and a Moogle cap for your character (complete with head-pom!).

Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD Remasters were released last week in the West. Check out this huge wall-o-art that the company displayed in Gallery Nucleus and put up for auction for charity for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan; all told, the auction raised well over fifteen thousand dollars.

Here are some pre-packaged tidbits to wrap up this midweek edition, too, courtesy of Famitsu via siliconera. Fairly interesting stuff, as well; for one, Squenix took pains to deny that there was a third game in the Final Fantasy X universe in the works. This is the first I'd even heard of that rumor - anyone else? It seems odd that such a rumor could remain under the radar that well but still solicit a denial from the company. A third Dissidia game is on the wishlist of that series' director, Mitsunori Takahashi, and producer Shinji Hashimoto explained that the upcoming releases of Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix were moving along as desired. Apparently there are more nuggets coming that Famitsu are not making public until the new issue hits the newsstands, so there could be more updates and details soon.

Source: Twitter, siliconera
Posted in: News from Japan

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