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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
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)
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
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.
Due to an unfortunate miss-fire newspost, we've been a bit delayed with the news. As such, we figured we'd lessen our embarrassment by starting off with an even bigger delay: FFVII for PCs in Japan! That's right, it never got around to happening. Until "soon," Square Enix promises.
Square Enix released some Job and Class information for the still-in-testing FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. No, it's not like having a job while at university. Instead, Classes appear to be the entry-level for a Job: start as a gladiator, grow up to be a paladin, with a paycheck and a sense of missed opportunities in youth. Between the two categories, most of the 'key' jobs from previous FF job systems are represented.
There's exciting news in the Final Fantasy Tactics universe, with a new title being introduced just a few days ago. Called Tactics S, the release will be a social game. We don't know much yet as to how it will work, but the idea is certainly an interesting one - and one that has been explored by fans of the series. Tactics S is being co-developed with the group that put out Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, meaning the character designs will look kinda cute.
People complain about Square Enix's main console offerings, mobile attention, and constant porting. But one area where the company's efforts have been met with substantial approval is handheld gaming. That, combined with its popularity in Japan and South Korea, is why Million Arthur may be worth paying attention to. The game, based on the Arthurian legend, will be free-to-play for the PS Vita and will likely be a port of the present smartphone incarnation of the game, which is also free-to-play but involves other purchases, like cards. This type of thing isn't nearly as popular in the west, but with its move to a new system and a new nation, you never know.
Finally, a bit of news regarding Final Fantasy Versus XIII. And the news is.... that news is upcoming. Bet that was anti-climactic, eh? Tetsuya Nomura, in a radio interview, apologized fully for the lack of news, saying that the company treats Versus with a lot of secrecy, but that an announcement is being presently planned - during which the cause of the delay will be made known. What could the reason be? Will Versus be bumped to the PS4 instead? Will it be re-branded as distinct from the Fabula Nova Crystalis? As distinct from the Final Fantasy brand? Or perhaps even as the next main series installment, FFXV? Discussion!
*No Tiddles were interested in the above news.
Source: Siliconera, Siliconera, Siliconera
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