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Square-Enix News

The Game Awards: A Few Wins, More Good News


Square Enix
Geoff Keighley's "The Game Awards" took place again last evening, and ran probably an hour too long. I know I was certainly tired of it by the end. Square Enix, should they put much stock in these awards, would have likely left disappointed; the company won only for "Most Anticipated Game" and "Best Score and Music," leaving several other awards on the table. This is not necessarily a surprise, given that in most categories, Squenix games were up against some juggernauts of the year.

On the bright side for Squenix fans, though, there were some big announcements. We'll go in chronological order from last night's event: first, the announcement of the first all-new Mana game in a decade and a half, Visions of Mana. It's immediately gorgeous despite clearly being early in development, with a rich color palette and wide scope. The Mana Tree looks amazing as well. There aren't many details yet, but some of the battles show combat with a single character, the lead named Val, and other battles show classic Mana action with a multi-character party. The release date was not pegged beyond "2024," and the game will release for Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox Series X and S, and Steam.



The second reveal for the night was a new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, with the debut of the game's theme song. There's a lot to unpack here, and I mean a lot. And if you're looking to avoid spoilers entirely, well, you're probably best served not being on the internet right now, but I'll try not to go into too much detail. Right away, though, we get a clip with Zack and Biggs that reinforces the timeline schisms that have been predicted since the ending sequences of both Remake and Intermission. Rapid-fire after that, we get to hear Bugenhagen, Vincent, and Cid all speak, as well as some Cait Sith brogue. There are new summons, and even our first ever look at Dyne. Marlene crops up in Zack's timeline, with ComaCloud in the background, making predictions about Aerith's fate! And then, we cut to Aerith on stage, in a dress reminiscent of Celes' opera dress, singing the new theme song, with a lot more clips that show just about the entire cast as well as some pretty surprising implications.

The song is called "No Promises to Keep," and it was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and is performed in-game by Loren Allred. It's a lovely tune and feels more upbeat than the theme from Remake; it kind of gives me the feel of the classic theme songs from the PSX era.



The trailer above only shows a bit of the song; live at the show, they performed more with the live orchestra and Loren Allred. The official Game Awards channel published the performance, so you can now watch it here too:

The final reveal for the evening in terms of Square Enix games was pretty widely predicted; the company announced two DLC packages for Final Fantasy XVI. The first, "Echoes of the Fallen," is a side story that appears to take place canonically just before the events of the endgame. It looks to be set mostly in a giant Fallen ruin and will add quite a bit to the lore of Valisthea from before the fall. The second one appears to be completely separate and might not take place in Valisthea at all, so it's interesting to think how that might get set up. Called "The Rising Tide," It will include at the very least two classic Final Fantasy elements not in the original game - Tonberries and Leviathan. "Echoes" was released just after the awards completed last night at a standalone cost of $9.99 US, and "Rising Tide" will be released next Spring. Both can be purchased now for $24.99 US, and I will probably be doing exactly that later today. Since these DLCs are for an M-rated game, there's no point in me embedding it here, so you can watch that one on YouTube.

Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square Enix Release Piano Collections to Streaming Platforms


Square Enix
I've missed a lot of news recently, I get that, but it's far too late to catch up now. So instead, let's have a nice easy one to get back into things: today, Square Enix Music announced that they've released a baker's dozen of their Piano Collections albums from the Final Fantasy series to streaming platforms. It's not just a few services, either; while many of the big expected ones are there, like Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and YouTube, there are five other streaming services included as well as three storefronts where the albums can be purchased and downloaded instead.

The Piano Collections albums started with Final Fantasy IV, and so too does the list of released albums. It then moves to each mainline game in the series all the way up to Final Fantasy XV; the final album included is from the original Crystal Chronicles from the GameCube.



Source: Square Enix Music
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy Concerts Remaining in 2023


Distant Worlds
I've been remiss for quite a while at keeping everyone up on Distant Worlds (and A New World) dates. However, for the former, the Final Fantasy 35th Anniversary Program has continued apace, and there are eleven future dates coming up across the US, Canada, and Brazil:
  • Los Angeles, August 13, 2023
  • Cleveland, Ohio, September 9
  • So Paulo, September 28
  • Rio de Janeiro, October 1

  • Austin, Texas, November 10
  • Montreal, December 3
  • Seattle, January 20, 2024
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, February 3
  • Washington, DC, March 2
  • Hartford, Connecticut, March 23
  • San Francisco, May 31 and June 1
The smaller chamber orchestra for A New World currently has only three shows through the rest of 2023:
  • Boston, September 29
  • Cincinnati, October 1
  • San Diego, December 8
All shows for both series are available for ticket purchase or preorder right now.

Source: Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds, A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square-Enix Announces Next Expansion for Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail


A Realm Reborn
The North American Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest began today, and as expected, producer and director Naoki Yoshida's keynote featured the announcement of the next expansion planned for the game:Dawntrail.

The theme of the expansion is "Summer Vacation", as the Warrior of Light and friends travel to what's been known previously as "The New World":Tural, an area located in the Far West. The premise for the Warrior of Light traveling there is an invitation to a contest that will help decide the next ruler of its hub city, Tuliyollal. The Scions will be pitted against each other during the contest--just who will be on the Warrior of Light's side?

Other revelations included:
  • Urqopacha, a mountainous region home to "peoples both exceedingly large and unusually small in nature."
  • Yak Tel, a forest region accessible by dirigible.
  • The Pelupelu, an allied tribe.
  • A level cap increase to 100.
  • Two new jobs, both DPS: one melee and one magical ranged caster.
  • A "whiteboard" feature which will let players plan raid strategies.
  • More details on the previously announced graphical update.
  • A cross-over event withFall Guys, including new content to the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy XIV.
  • The expansion of the free trial to now include the entirety ofStormblood.

There was one other huge announcement: the game is making its way to the Xbox Series X|S. Open beta will be in spring of 2024, before Dawntrail is released.

Here's the teaser trailer for your enjoyment:

Source:Final Fantasy XIV Official YouTube Channel,USA Today,Game Informer
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Super Mario RPG Remake Announced for Switch


Nintendo
Rumors had been bouncing around for the last couple days that a remaster or remake of the classic Squaresoft/Nintendo collaboration for SNES would appear at today's Direct, and so it was.
The original game released in 1996 and the original was packaged up for Virtual Console on Wii and Wii U, but never for Switch, and perhaps now we know why. The game's been redone with a very nice new engine, even with the slightly-squished look of the original isometric visuals intact.

The new version of the game will release on November 17, 2023. Digital preorders are available now; I assume there will be a physical release of the game as well, but those details are not yet available.

Source: Nintendo of America YouTube
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Not Much Rebirthed in the Playstation Showcase


Square Enix
Sony's Playstation Showcase ended a little bit ago, and while there were a lot of very grabby games involved (go do some Googling for Sword of the Sea, Neva, and the Metal Gear Solid and Spider-Man news if you've got a Playstation 5), the only thing that got rebirthed was the Marathon IP from Bungie.

If you were looking for Square Enix in the hour-long presentation, your options were a bit limited; we can start with the announcement of a new team-based 4v4 shooter called "Foamstars," which appears to be made up primarily of OG Fortnite and Splatoon vibes. It's a third-person shooter where the core mechanic is shooting foam everywhere, whether to build, transport, or hunt. The world and characters look fun and shiny, but my gut call is that this might struggle to find an audience.
The only other presence for Squenix in this event was for Final Fantasy XVI. It was an interesting change of pace from other recent info from the game (that I've failed to cover here), as it seemed to have a lot of focus on the world around the main characters and the motivations for the plot, versus the very combat-heavy videos we've seen over the last few months. In my opinion, it gives some much-needed texture to the world that they've shown us so far and is pretty helpful with the game coming in a month.
But yes, not a thing about the Final Fantasy VII world. I guess nothing more to see for that game until later - hopefully not all the way until Tokyo Games Show, which is at the end of September?

Source: Square Enix NA YouTube
Posted in: Square-Enix News

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©1997–2024 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.