News from February 2010
So apparently Final Fantasy XIII is coming out soon. This is what we refer to as "interesting". As we know, in the Collector's Edition is a sample of the game's soundtrack, but not the full thing. How would one obtain this full soundtrack? Well, you could go the route of some fans and import it from Japan for a fair bit extra money. But these people are fools for one simple reason.
Because it's on pre-order in the US for $30.
Normally I'd be bound by law to plug AmaCoN, but I think in this case I'm forgiven, since it's double the price there. And as the title may indicate, there is no such offer for EU residents...yet. But is this deal worth it? Is the soundtrack any good without Nobuo Uematsu? I can barely remember any Final Fantasy XII tracks, despite having played that all the way through, and yet I can recall so many tracks from 1-10. Despite this, there have been a few good reviews, stating that it's different, but good nonetheless.
Maybe our few members who have played the game can impart their much needed wisdom on the matter? I'm certainly interested.
Posted in: Square-Enix News
It's happening Again.
OK guys, it's time for a long run. Partly because, as you may have noticed, Final Fantasy XIII is being released in but a few weeks. 18 days, in fact. Are you ready with your pre-order from AmaCoN? Let's start with the non-XIII related stuff first. Starting from the start.
As we know, Final Fantasy I and II are being released for the XIIIth time, the platform in this case being the iPhone. There's still no release date, other than a "available soon", however, there is a "Gameplay Video" of the two. They do indeed seem to be based on the PSP version, at least graphically, but we don't know whether it will include all of the bonus dungeons present. My guess? Probably.
Nothing on III-VI, but despite the wishes of a certain someone, it seems that fans of Final Fantasy VII are still confused about the response to a possible remake on the PS3. Well, let me spell things out clearly for everyone. Some day, it may happen. Some day, there may be work done on a remake. It will, however, be from the ground up, a project that will take a long time, especially with the capabilities of the PS3.
In the meantime, there's a remake on the DS. Totally. Confirmed.*
Skipping three more games to XI, there were rumours floating about the intersphere that their MOMGRP would be coming to a close this year. This, not unlike some baked goods, is a lie. Why is this a lie? I shall tell you why. Number one: FFXI is still the most popular PROMMG in Japan, and Square-Enix like this because they have an ego. Number two: That's terror. Number three: Hmm, what's that reason that many fans of Final Fantasy never played XI?... Oh, that's right, the monthly subscription fee. Yep, the prime reason they won't, or can't shut down FFXI (for now, anyway), is because they literally can't afford to. Well, I'm sure the avid players have no problem with that.
Passing over x/0 games now, to the Last Story. Hironobu Sakaguchi's new game has sparked interested in at least one Final Fantasy community, but what of his fellow Final Fantasy developers? Their paraphrased response was: "Why contain it?.........................It's cool!" Apparently seeing a release in Japan this year, Western players can probably expect it in 2011, provided there are no delays, that is. It's still early days.
*footbigmike closes last tab on non-FFXIII news, and opens up his folder of XIII links.
Late last week, Square-Enix released some comparison screenshots for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions of Final Fantasy XIII. The observant few of us in the audience may have noticed some peculiarities with the screenshots. You COULD say that they're exactly the same. Indeed, you could, and a few days later, so could Square-Enix. Turns out that they were, in fact, not real. Well, they ARE screenshots, but not the ones you were looking for. They were located a couple of days further on, and released to everyone. Now, I'm no expert at comparing between PS3 and Eggbox, but what we have here is pretty....pretty.
In more and yet just as uncertain Final Fantasy XIII news, one of the next games in the Fabula Nova Crystalis Project (In English: Final Fantasy XIII Compilation), Versus XIII, is still a long way from release. Originally planned for an unveiling at this year's E3... well, yeah, it's not happening. And don't even ask about Agito. Meanwhile, Tetsuya Nomura is sticking to his goal of getting out one Kingdom Hearts game per year. Are they all good titles? You tell me. (Seriously.)
Last week, I pointed out the use of the DLC icon on the back of the Xbox 360 version's game case. It's lying. Not only is there not and DLC planned, but despite all the content cuts that were announced pre-release, which many people presumed would become, Square-Enix see Final Fantasy XIII as a full game, and no cut content will make it into DLC. Now, this doesn't mean that there will be no DLC in the future, some day it may happen. Some- wait, déjà vu. Square-Enix also responded to some.... unfavourable Western reviews of Final Fantasy XIII - a somewhat bitter response, some would say. It definitely sparked a response in one forum of certain interest. Are they right? Well, once more of us play the game, we can retort with more strength.
Other than Final Fantasy XIII itself, how else can Square-Enix make money out of the game? Why, figurines and bundles, of course. Sets of Squenix characters from Final Fantasy XIII, Kingdom Hearts, and even Chrono Trigger, have been figurine-ized. Are they awesome? Hell yeah. Are they for sale? Not a clue. They were found at the Square-Enix booth at the Toy Fair, so it's possible. As for the bundles, Europe are getting two! One, pretty much the same as the US version mentioned last week, and two, an Elite with FFXIII. No engravings, no insignias. Just a plain old eggbox elite. Not my pick, but hey, if it's cheaper, maybe. Not that we know if it is, yet.
Finally, a few publicity related items. Del_S's favourite singer, Leona Lewis, has been featured in an advertisement for Final Fantasy XIII. According to her, the game is good. She's in two separate ads for the game. In one, she's playing the Eggbox version, and in the other, the PS3 version. Again, no huge discernable difference, but then againk, it is filmed from the TV screen, and not a direct feed. (Leona Lewis Let's Play Final Fantasy XIII?) And as for the NBA Allstars sponsor, Square-Enix ran an ad for Final Fantasy XIII, though there did not seem to be any allusion to a PS3 copy. Interesting.
And that's it. It's time for this writer to wait for a few hours until Beta 4 of Goldeneye: Source comes out. Wanna play with us? Come to chat.
Source: Square Enix News, Kotaku
Remember when Square Enix assimilated Eidos into the collective last year and announced that they'd be publishing and making the cutscenes for the new Deus Ex game? Well, now we have some more information. Deus Ex: Human Revolution has been trademarked in the EU and US, and Deus Ex Human Revolution has been trademarked in US only. We know that this is a prequel to the series, so maybe we'll discover what Aquinas meant when he spoke of the mythical city on the hills. Soon, there will be old men, running the world.
Alas, in recent times, several gaming companies have gone bankrupt. Although, most of these weren't spending decades on one game that they kept recreating on the next newest engine. Eidos, as mentioned already, became part of Square Enix, a company which, despite everything, is kicking serious financial ass. Between the two, releasing Batman: Arkham Asylum, Final Fantasy XIII and Dragon Quest IX, we can say with some certainty that they'll still be kicking for a while yet. And by the way, would a failing company get an opportunity at sponsoring the NBA All-Star event, though? No? Well, there you go. And that's exactly what Square-Enix are getting, with Final Fantasy XIII. A strange choice of sponsor, but it actually makes me want to watch it. I think that's the point.
Speaking of Final Fantasy XIII, Square-Enix said last August that their plans for DLC in the game were "unclear", but the box case for the US Xbox 360 version claims to include such content. Is this confirmation of such content? As of yet, like the image, it's still unclear. And, to crush my hopes and dreams, the Final Fantasy XIII PS3 is not being released on the western shores. The only console bundle to be released with Final Fantasy XIII is a branded (not just the faceplate!) Xbox 360, with a 250GB hard drive, 2 controllers, and special magical avatar items. I think Josh knows what that means.
Finally, the third dimension. Square-Enix are getting into it. They've made a 3D trailer for Final Fantasy XIII, which is showing in Japanese theaters along with Avatar. But this doesn't mean they'll be making games in 3D....yet. They will, but they don't know how. Who does? Nobody. Don't get your hopes up for a while.
Source: Kotaku, Siliconera
Posted in: Square-Enix News
Gaming mega-giant Activision Blizzard had a major news conference less than an hour ago. While most of it was a pissing contest (look at all the money Call of Duty and World of Warcraft are making!), there was one relevant blip for consumers: the highly anticipated Starcraft II will begin its worldwide closed beta "before the end of this month."
So you know what that means. Blizzard will be looking over thousands of gamers' shoulders as they try to find ways to nerf the new Zerg rush and find the right energy cost for an EMP and what have you. What's most important is that we'll finally have a way to play Starcraft II without going to Blizzcon.
Posted in: Gaming Industry News
This just in: there is still no Final Fantasy VII remake on the books. Let's please move on. Of course, it remains Square Enix' own fault that these rumors persist and that fanfolk continue to press the issue, but, please. Let's start a Facebook group or something to tell them it's okay to not remake this game.
Proselytizing aside for the time being, we'll move on to the week's Final Fantasy XIII news. For one, you may have forgotten that at one time, it was going to be a PlayStation 2 release. I'm guessing that were that the case, it probably wouldn't have been on the original Xbox, but one could theorize! Anyway, the point of this now is that Yoshinori Kitase explains that the gear switching from PS2 to PlayStation 3 cost the team a year and a half of the game's epic development window. As an aside to that, he also explained why they decided to rile up half the fanbase by including Leona Lewis. Finally, this week we got confirmation that the Xbox 360 version would in fact be coming on three discs, which might not be fantastic, but it's still better than it could have been.
Quiet on the non Final Fantasy XIII front this week, with just a couple small things to note. First, Final Fantasy VIII is out on the PlayStation Network in the United Kingdom and European Union now. While I don't really share Kotaku writer Plunkett's fervor for it, if you haven't played it yet, it's probably worth doing at least once. And, finally for this week, if you remember footbigmike's tidbits last week, you'll know about the release of the Nintendo DS remake of Dragon Quest VI. That game sold like a wildfire burns - out of the first million or so copies shipped, ninety percent are already in the hands of gamers. And people wonder why they keep doing remakes?
Source: 1up, VG247, Kotaku