Theatrhythm: Curtain Call is making a splash with its large tracklist and new game modes, so it's no surprise that this week's announcements are also building interest. The Western release date is now confirmed to be September 16th of this year, a shade over four months away. Possibly even bigger news for you guys waiting for it is the fact that apparently the Collector's Edition, including special packaging, a 3DS case, a lot of music and some collectible cards, will have a limited edition of only 5000. This edition is only available through Square Enix' online store, but it's not clear if that number is only for the United States or all of North America. If you want it, you better get your preorder in immediately.
We've mentioned a couple times already that E3 is on the way; Square is giving a mixed bag before it starts, though. Starting with the bright side, there's a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix. Sure, it's just a trailer, albeit with the official release date (December 2, 2014), but Kingdom Hearts fans will be most intrigued by the end: it's the most specific confirmation yet that Kingdom Hearts 3 is in development, and it talks a bit about what might be included. A couple comments at Kotaku imply that there are a couple frames of what appear to be HD versions of Dream Drop Distance, too.
OK, time for the downside of the E3 news, sorry. The next Famitsu has an interview with Shinji Hashimoto that explicitly states that there will be nothing for either Kingdom Hearts III or Final Fantasy XV at the show this year. In development, sure. Anything worth showing to fans? Apparently not!
Source: Square Enix, Kotaku
Without even an announcement of a release date, Final Fantasy III was released on Steam for PC yesterday. The game came in at $15.99, which seems like a pretty decent price (though I'll probably wait for it to drop below ten dollars, personally).
For more information on the details of the game, check out our newspost from earlier this month.
Source: Official Final Fantasy Facebook
It's been a while since I did a Distant Worlds update - I suspect it's because I'm still a little bitter for not pulling the trigger and going myself last October! The concert series well known by Final Fantasy fans worldwide has some new information to share this month, though, and some of the news is sure to be particularly interesting to CoN readers.
There are three Distant Worlds concerts on the books for this year at the moment; for our South American readers, two dates in Chile are scheduled for May 31 and June 1 in Rancagua and Santiago respectively.
On August 24, a special performance will take place in Chicago, a favorite destination for the Distant Worlds crowd - not only will Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu be in attendance, they will also be performing solos during the set, and the setlist will focus on Final Fantasy VI in honor of its 20th anniversary. Dancing Mad, the Opera, and a never-heard arrangement of character themes are confirmed to be part of the new setlist.
The final date for 2014 at the moment returns to Toronto, with a performance at the Sony Centre. Roth and Uematsu will attend this show as well, though they won't perform and the setlist apparently will be more typical than the FF6-centric one in Chicago a few months earlier.
The new spinoff of Distant Worlds will debut this weekend, though, also in Chicagoland. It's called A New World, and it will be performed in smaller venues and conventions with a thirteen-member ensemble. In all the performances scheduled so far, both Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu will be in attendance and will perform as well, with Roth on violin and Uematsu on keyboard. The series starts this Friday at Anime Central in Rosemont, IL, with a 4pm show on the 16th and a 1pm matinee on the 17th. After that, the show moves to Omaha for two shows on this Sunday, the 18th of May, and a pair of Montreal shows in August. All arrangements will be new to suit the new ensemble, so even folks who have seen Distant Worlds will get to experience something new.
If you line up a visit to any of these shows, make sure to give us a report after!
Source: Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds, Final Fantasy: A New World
As of now, there's a listing on Steam for Final Fantasy III. One might cock his or her eyebrow a bit at this news, but it's kind of a big deal. Kotaku reports that the game appears to be a port of the PSP version, and the screenshots look as if they've done some up-res work to polish the visuals. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the screenshots look absolutely lovely and that this bodes well for the care they plan to take with this port overall.
Being on Steam, the game will also get an achievement system laid into the gameplay, and will have Steam Cloud support for cloud storage of saved games and user settings for portability. The listing also advertises controller support, which seems like a no-brainer but will certainly improve the game's playability.
There's no release date and no price point yet, but it seems reasonable to think that a realm of $20.00 or so could be the target, with the less-advanced ports of Final Fantasy VII and VIII listing at $13.00 right now. This game's release could even be a precursor to a release of Final Fantasy IV 3D, given that the DS version was developed by the same team as III; additionally, both games have had similar iOS and Android releases that would likely make a port to Windows easier. Like I said, this could be pretty big news for fans of classic and less-exposed Final Fantasy games!
Source: Kotaku, Steam
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
Square Enix must have really wanted me to post some Tidbits this week. Some of the emails that went out to their mailing lists came to me five times! So, to oblige their largesse, most of our news will be coming straight outta the mouths of the company this week.
The next big Final Fantasy release is Lightning Returns, coming to the West in just about two weeks (or less!). With that, the demo became available this week for both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360; remember that a version of the game has not been announced for any new-gen platform as yet. The demo has a boss monster which, if defeated and shared to social media, will get the user a new costume, namely Siegfried.
My favorite Final Fantasy and Lightning Returns news of the week, though, is the proof that Square Enix can still put out an awesome-looking 16-bit experience. To get folks up to speed who may not have finished (or even experienced!) Fabula Nova Crystallis, they marketing brains at Squenix put out a fantastic video recapping the first two games of the trilogy. It's clever and it's adorable and if you have any love for Lightning's saga it's worth the time.
Additionally, if you're willing to make a trip to southern California in March, you've got a chance to visit Alhambra and see a Final Fantasy X and X-2 exhibit in an art gallery from the 15th to the 26th. If you can get there for the opening, you might even get an early copy of the games and get it signed by members of the original production team!
Finally, in non-Final Fantasy news, there're updates on the Tomb Raider and Bravely Default fronts. For Lara Croft, the "Definitive" version of the game came out for new Sony and Microsoft consoles. For Bravely Default, though, check out this nice long piece from Kotaku about the origins and the future of this new IP. There are two really interesting takeaways, in my opinion. First, the parallels between Bravely and the old-school Final Fantasies that so many gamers love, and how Bravely could become what Final Fantasy once was, but for handhelds. The other is producer Tomoya Asano's now-stated goal of making Bravely a yearly series. Obviously that won't ever happen, but how many of you would either pick up or dust off a 3DS for something like that?
Source: Square Enix, Kotaku