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Ah yes, it's that time of year again: where the CoN news page gets filled with the E3 icon!
If you've been keeping up with general gaming news, however, you'll already know that the doom-forecasters are predicting our annual icon-overload may come to an end soon - even that this year might be the beginning of the end. I don't particularly like these people.
While Square Enix won't be following the trend Nintendo is making with their absence from the Expo, they appear to have taken a cue from the idea of expanding beyond the conference center. Instead of taking the action to your local Best Buy, however, Square Enix is apparently bringing it online to a specially-created youtube.com account, linked below. The account, called Square Enix Presents, will live-stream the Square Enix booth at E3 for all three days. As such, it's being pitched not as a replacement but as an augmentation to the E3 experience.
The introductory video promises interviews, demos, and announcements of new titles.
"It's going to be more fun than flying a Chocobo. Okay, maybe not that fun... But really, really close!"
Source: Square Enix Presents
Posted in: Square-Enix News
It was confirmed today that Mike Fischer, president and CEO of the American arm of Square Enix, left the company earlier in May to join Amazon Japan as Vice President of Music and Video. Fischer was previously at a few other gaming giants before his role at Squenix, but now is leaving the gaming space "on good terms."
Just as Yoichi Wada left the flagship earlier this year, it's presumed that not meeting sales expectations for the major releases over the last year doomed Fischer's tenure, though I'm hearing that the expectations being quoted were a bit ludicrous to begin with. There are also rumors that there may be big shakeups coming in North America relative to the mobile release strategy or even that entire division of the company; this could be the sign of an executive getting his golden parachute as the plane goes down.
The most recent "big" game from the North American division was last year's Quantum Conundrum.
Source: Polygon (via Kotaku)
The CoNcast gang digresses immediately in this episode, becoming waylaid by the simple fact that one person is playing Skyrim and two more are playing Bioshock Infinite. Recovering a bit, I then elect to thoroughly entertain everyone by talking about the progress being made in the new Final Fantasy VI content. Finally, we each take a stab at the myriad circumstances that brought us to the Final Fantasy series and also to CoN, inspired by this recent forum topic.
This one was a tricky one to edit, let me tell you! We had to shave out almost 40% of the entire recording to get to a runtime that wouldn't induce tears in our listeners. However, it does give us a lot of fodder if we ever want to have an outtakes show, so there's that.
Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes
First off, the official FFXIV: A Realm Reborn website has gotten a fair bit of updating lately as we continue to approach its resurrection. New sections on the city states as well as a bestiary and info on foes of a more malicious intent have gone up. There's quite a lot of info there for anyone who's interested.
Like Final Fantasy music and elaborate orchestrations but live under a rock (e.g., author)? Well luckily for you/us, Square Enix will be releasing a Blu-ray version of the 25th Anniversary Distant Worlds concert held in Tokyo last year. The 19-song concert includes a favorite from each main title (well, FFII and FFIII get to participate in a medley, while FFIV and FFVI get seconds) and the magical Blu-ray ability to switch cameras AS YOU WATCH IT.
In other musical news, an album of remixes from The World Ends With You is due out in Japan in a little over a month for the equivalent of $21. Check the second source link below to hear a couple sample tracks.
Square Enix is busy doing odd things on the 3DS again, and this time they involve made-up super-high-tech Japanese cities, cars that transform into robots, and a name involving a colon and a word I can't pronounce. Well, ok, the last part has become pretty standard fare. But the first two are still odd! The game is called Gyrozetter: Wings of the Albatross. It's due out in Japan this June; nothing yet on if/when it'll reach Western shores.
Last up: Kingdom Hearts 1.5, a 'remix' (aka package - hey, it's their word for it) including an HD remake of the original game along with KH Re: Chain of Memories as well as some scenes from KH 358/2 Days and additional content from KH Final Mix, has been confirmed for a September 10th release date. That'll be a little late for releasing something on the PS3, but we all know none of us will be buying a PS4 anytime soon anyways. Other than the release date, the new news here is that anyone who pre-orders will get a limited edition artbook.
Source: Siliconera, Siliconera
Posted in: Square-Enix News
For all the folks still hoping for a 3D remake of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI, in the vein of Final Fantasy IV DS, there's another bit of bad news now. Apparently, last week, a Square Enix Japan member asked Squenix' Shinji Hashimoto directly when we could expect to see those games announced, and the answer wasn't good.
To quote Siliconera's translation, Hashimoto responded: "As for FF5 and 6, there are technical problems; presently these are also undecided."
Now, of course, that doesn't mean never. In fact, as Siliconera reports, it probably means something more uplifting: in order for Squenix to know that there are technical problems, the odds are that they must have at least looked into the opportunity, and they might have even gotten so far as to try a few things in the FF4DS engine. Or, of course, it could mean that Hashimoto is blowing smoke and that answer is just a way of brushing off the question and the company has no interest in making the games. You can let your own gaming-related paranoia level be the judge.
Slated for July 3, Square Enix are releasing in Japan a "remastered" version of the Final Fantasy IV Soundtrack. Later in the year, similar albums will be released for Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI. There's not much detail beyond that so far, which naturally leaves some questions. The first question might well be the tracklist - will these albums be a full OST, which would require a few CDs, or is it a single-CD "best of" compilation as some other albums have been in the past? Second, though, and possibly more important, is "what on earth does a remaster of a SNES soundtrack entail?"
Given that these albums are explicitly called remasters, and not anything like the piano collections or orchestral arrangements that have been done in the past, it would seem that these new albums will still be chiptunes as they were originally, but perhaps that the chips used to make the tunes will be of a more modern variety than twenty years ago, creating the opportunity for more realistic synthesized sounds.
If you want to find out, you'll need to import, most likely - Squenix are not currently speaking of any Western release for any of these albums.
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