News from September 2011
Earlier this week, the Playstation version of Chrono Trigger arrived on the Japanese Playstation Network, "on schedule," according to andriasang. While that's good news in and of itself for Chrono Trigger fans, the official North American Playstation blog announced the very next day that the English-language version would be available on PSN next Tuesday, as well.
Of course, since this is a PSN release, you are in fact getting the Playstation version of the game - while this adds the quality animated cutscenes from that version, there's also a chance that it will come with the gameplay lag common to Square's PSX port from the original SNES version. It also will lack any of the bonus content added to the Nintendo DS version.
In related news, the author of the Playstation blog post also hints very heavily down in the comments at Chrono Cross joining Trigger on the PSN in the very near future.
Source: Playstation Blog, andriasang
I feel like the Square Enix fanbase has probably been waiting a while for TGS this year, after the performance at E3 which this author was underwhelmed. The Tokyo Game Show, though, is right in Squenix' wheelhouse - it's the best chance the company has to get its core properties out in front of a group of gamers who remain enamored of everything the company does.
They did not disappoint.
We'll start first with Final Fantasy XIII-2, which naturally was the largest individual game on display this year. It's being released on 15 December in Japan, with a near-obligatory-in-Japan PS3 bundle. It will have post-launch DLC. It will have not one, but two theme songs in Japan, sharing a melody but with different arrangements and lyrics. One of the performers is Charice, who might be known to some American readers from her three-episode arc on "Glee" last year; the gist of the news seems to imply that Charice's track will be present on virtually all non-Japan copies of the game for both consoles. There were also two trailers at TGS, one for each console, which debuted a couple of new characters named Yaru and Kaias. The trailers also appear to reinforce the notion of time travel as a gameplay and plot mechanic. One trailer was also Kotaku did one better by actually grabbing some gameplay footage from the Xbox demo kiosk. The second video even shows off the giant Megatron hand from earlier screenshots - in battle!
Squenix are also supporting the new Playstation Vita with a few games; announced at TGS this year were both Lord of Apocalypse and the fantastically-named Army Corps of Hell. Both appear to be action RPGs from first blush.
On the MMO front, the company showed off a long-form video for Dragon Quest X, the recently-announced foray into online multiplayer for the DQ franchise. Reaction is decidedly mixed, possibly even more so than when Final Fantasy XI was first announced; however, some people are likening the game more to Phantasy Star Online than FFXI or WoW, and that might be enough to find the game a niche when it's released.
Oh, and do you like Kingdom Hearts? Have you been wanting more information about Dream Drop Distance for the 3DS? Well, there isn't that much. However, it is slated for a "Spring" 2012 release in Japan, which means we might yet get it over here next year. Not only that, it even gets a crossover character from The World Ends With You, which I'm told is one of the best reasons to ever pick up a Nintendo DS.
The "business days" of TGS have wrapped up already, thanks to the time difference between most of us and Japan, so that will probably do it for the big news for Squenix fans from the conference. It's open to the public for the weekend, though, so perhaps some more leaked video or other media will emerge - just don't bet on any further groundbreaking news.
Note: Seems like andriasang is having some issues today - the links work, I promise, just keep trying.
Source: andriasang, Kotaku
OK, maybe it's not the remake fans were waiting for, but it's something, right? Square-Enix's 2001 megahit will receive a high-definition makeover and be available as a PS3 game and a PS Vita download. Final Fantasy X follows hot on the heels of several other PS2 games receiving HD remakes on the PS3, including God of War I and II, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, and the entire Sly Cooper Series.
This continues a trend of PS Vita games and PS3 games receiving near-identical ports. Multiplayer Vita games can play online against PS3 players and include many other connectivity features. Presumably, Final Fantasy X HD will have trophy support and scale up to 1080p, just like the other HD remakes mentioned above.
There is no release date yet for Final Fantasy X on the PS3 or PS Vita, but you can bet your memory card Caves of Narshe will report it as soon as it's made public.
Normally, I'd be the first to make a joke at the name of this game. I mean, it's so asking for it. What kind of game company would name their new independent project for the 3DS: Bravely Default: Flying Fairy? It practically screams "Quick, make Navi jokes out of me!" Good work, Square-Enix. What, Theatrhythm and Dissidia Duodecim weren't odd enough? Had to go all out on the random train, with destination Tuesday, huh?
Anyway, we don't know a whole lot about the game so far. It's an RPG, using a similar engine that DS games Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of Light, and the III and IV remakes used. Instead of 3D backgrounds in areas, though, it seems to use pre-rendered backgrounds, in the same way that the Playstation Final Fantasys did, and a 3D world map. The effect looks pretty sweet, even if I was somewhat reminded of Myst by some of the screenshots. But that's not a bad thing. You can check out a short video of the game here, and another one mostly in Japanese, and mostly not actually gameplay. The other notable feature is the planned usage of AR cards and the 3DS' cameras as part of the gameplay. Just how exactly this works, we do not yet know, but hopefully they'll work well.
To be expected sometime in 2012.
Source: Nintendo, Kotaku
The Tokyo Game Show for 2011 is coming in a little over a week, and as such the big Japanese publishers are starting to give details about what they will (and by omission, won't) be showing this year. Of course, given our focus, we're not going to give much time to the Konamis and Capcoms of the world - but, hey, here's the brief rundown of Square Enix!
The big Final Fantasy games to make an appearance this year are Type-0, XIII-2, and Theatrythym, with playable demos available for all three. Naturally, Versus is not listed in any form whatsoever, though it's possible that Squenix are keeping its presence secret for a nice surprise at showtime.
Dragon Quest will be represented by the new 3DS sequel to Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, and also by the Dragon Quest compilation for Wii. Other RPG franchises include a sequel to Chaos Rings for the iOS, and (what I believe to be) the first real look at a playable Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance for the 3DS.
Finally, given that Square Enix is the publisher of note for many other series in Japan, there will be some other games in their booth, like Modern Warfare 3, that wouldn't be represented in a similar show in the West. Hit the link below to see more of those games, and look for more news coming from TGS next week.
Square-Enix held a press conference yesterday in Japan (very early this morning for Europe or North America) detailing the much-anticipated Dragon Quest X. Turns out it's been structured as an multiplayer online RPG, complete with selectable races and subscription fees.
Dragon Quest X: The Wake of the Five Tribes: Online will have Wii and WiiU versions made, very similar to the GameCube and Wii versions made of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess soon after the Wii's launch. Players will create their own character, choosing from one of five different races, and can choose to play either entirely offline (with other online players replaced by NPCs) or pay a subscription fee to play online with others. The game will retain the series' trademark turn-based combat and menus, but will take the limited online features of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies several steps further.
DQX still has no formal release date (neither does the Wii U, for that matter), but lead designer Yuuji Horii is hopeful that it will come out in 2012. There is no word on a release outside of Japan, but Square-Enix and Nintendo have been pushing the DQ brand somewhat recently, so an eventual English-language release is likely.