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News from Japan

Dragon Quest XI Confirmed for Nintendo NX


Dragon Quest
We last talked about Dragon Quest XI in January, in the context of Square Enix aiming to release before the franchise turns 31 years old. Back when the game was first announced, series originator Yuji Horii suggested that the game would be released for PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo NX, but his parent company quickly backtracked on the latter.

Now, though, in an early-released interview from the October issue of Japanese magazine "Nintendo Dream," Horii is again quoted confirming the game for the new Nintendo system. Not only that, his team is doing both 2D and 3D versions of the game for the 3DS. Now, it's not clear yet whether this means that there will be two completely separate releases, whether the 2D version is specific for the 2DS, or even if the 2D version will be a top-down JRPG like the original Dragon Quest games, but this does mean that they're putting a great deal of effort into the game. Additionally, Horii commits to a simultaneous release on all platforms.

Nintendo are aiming the NX for March 2017, and the end of the Dragon Quest 30th Anniversary year is May 27, 2017. The margins are thin to make this happen!

Source: Gematsu
Posted in: News from Japan

Final Fantasy XV Delayed Two Months


Final Fantasy XV
If you were on the internet over the weekend, you surely saw the rumors. I tend to not report on rumors no matter how credible they are (also, because I've been lazy and traveling for most of the last month), but this one's no longer a rumor: Final Fantasy XV has been delayed from its global release by two months, from September 30 to November 29.

The news was confirmed earlier today in a video direct from Hajime Tabata, and was chalked up to the desire to avoid a "substantial" day-one patch to the game (and to give more time for QA testing on what will represent the Gold phase of the game's production). Of course, having done this, it's not necessarily the case that the eventual release won't have a smaller day-one patch required, but perhaps this delay will make the release go a bit more smoothly.

At this moment, this delay will have no impact on the digital release of Kingsglaive, currently scheduled for August 30, though Polygon reports that it might impact the disc-based release, as well as the scheduling for future episodes of the Brotherhood anime.

What do you think about this delay? For me, I actually like the timing of it - it makes it more likely that I actually have a system on which to play it by the time it comes out, and the current schedule will still hit the holiday buying season, which should avoid hurting the game's numbers. Fingers crossed that this is the last delay, though, for everyone's sakes.

Source: Polygon
Posted in: News from Japan

Final Fantasy XII Remaster Coming to E3


E3 Expo
In this week's news out of left field, Square Enix announced over the weekend that Final Fantasy XII is getting a full remaster for Playstation 4, to be released next year. In the vein of Final Fantasy X, this new remaster, subtitled "The Zodiac Age," will be based on the previous Japan re-release "International Zodiac Job System," which changed the original License Board system into one divided by the signs of the zodiac. As befitting a remaster, the game contains a large number of improvements, including:
  • High-resolution upgrades for the world, characters, and UI
  • High-resolution upgrades for movie cutscenes
  • 7.1 channel surround sound
  • Voiceovers in English and Japanese
  • Remastered soundtrack
  • Decreased load times
  • Autosave settings
Despite having been just announced, the game will be playable at E3 next week. Click through to Gematsu to see a gallery of screenshots, which look very, very good, especially in battle. So far, the game has been announced just for PS4, but I would be rather surprised if a Windows release did not follow fairly close behind.

Source: Gematsu
Posted in: News from Japan

Brave Exvius Goes Global


General Final Fantasy
In somewhat unsurprising news, the smartphone Square Enix RPG Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius was announced yesterday for a global release. The game has been downloaded six million times already in Japan since its release last October. Brave Exvius is a story-driven, turn-based title that follows two knights, Rain and Lasswell, and their young companion Fina on a very-Final-Fantasy quest to bring light back to the crystals of their world. The game supports parties of up to six, with slots available to guest characters pulled from other Final Fantasy games, such as Vivi and Terra.

The game is sprite-based for battle and exploration, while cutscenes and summon animations appear to be pre-rendered. The battles appear to be fast-paced, but not to the chaotic and frankly pointless level of All the Bravest, which alleviates some of my previous concern for the title.

There's no release date set for the worldwide release, but a playable version of the game in English will be at E3 next month. Six languages will be available at launch. Players can pre-register now to get bonuses and in-game items, with registration available at the game's official worldwide site.


Source: GameSpot
Posted in: News from Japan

Nippon Ichi Extends Steam Presence with Phantom Brave


Steam
Here's some non-Square Enix news that you folks are likely to appreciate: Nippon Ichi Software, sires of the well-regarded Disgaea series of tactical isometric RPGs (among other games), announced today that Phantom Brave about to be ported to Steam for Windows. Phantom Brave is a more under-the-radar title from NIS, though it's generally very well-regarded, with reviews of 8.6/10 and 9/10 from IGN and Eurogamer respectively. It's been released in the West before, first for PlayStation 2, then later for the original Wii, and finally for the PSP, with enhanced and expanded content each time. The Windows version will roll up all of the content into a new package to be released in July, specifically on the 25th.

It's worth noting while this post is going, by the way, that Phantom Brave will be the second PC port released here by NIS. It looks as if the first Disgaea (Afternoon of Darkness) is already here, which is something I completely missed. The version of Disgaea released to PC included upgraded graphics and Steamworks integration and is currently selling for $19.99, so one can expect the same from Phantom Brave this summer.

Source: Gematsu, Steam
Posted in: News from Japan

Kingdom Hearts Follows Distant Worlds


Kingdom Hearts
After the many years of success enjoyed by the Distant Worlds concert tour, playing orchestral arrangements of Final Fantasy music worldwide, Square Enix has paired with concert promoter La Fee Sauvage to offer a similar show with the music of Kingdom Hearts.

The general setup is that of Distant Worlds, featuring a 70-plus piece orchestra that is local to the venue performing songs from the game series. One might assume that there won't be as much variety available as for Distant Worlds, but the Kingdom Hearts series does itself span eight distinct games now, not including remixes, remakes, and re-imaginings. I've never played a KH game myself, but I did do some sampling of the soundtracks for this post and I think it's safe to say that fans will no doubt find some very lovely music performed on stage. As a note, the Kingdom Hearts series features music composed by Yoko Shimomura, one of gaming's most prolific composers and the composer for the upcoming Final Fantasy XV.

The World Tour won't begin until next year, and is currently scheduled to appear in seven cities worldwide: Tokyo, Paris, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Los Angeles, and New York. The European shows all take place in March of 2017; the American shows are in June.
Posted in: News from Japan

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