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News from August 2010

Square Enix News Tidbits: A Time Sink Approaches!

Square Enix
Final Fantasy XIV is coming. The closed beta is now winding down, and European and North American gamers will all be able to jump into the open beta sometime overnight between August 31 and September 1. That is, in fact, only five days and counting, so if you were bitter about folks that got into the closed beta but couldn't do much due to the limited hours and crashing, you need no longer be jealous. Also new is this brand new trailer, which is of course made of unfiltered pretty, but as befitting its upcoming open beta shows more gameplay than previous trailers (and breaks out lots of epic tunes to boot).

For those who have not been following, it appears that Final Fantasy XIV won't let you grind as if you're getting paid to do so rather than paying for the privilege. While, just like in Final Fantasy XI, you can change jobs fairly easily, you are going to be allotted only eight hours per week of full experience earning in each job, and only another seven hours per week of steadily-decreasing EXP. After fifteen hours in a job in a week, you will get no experience at all in that job. Naturally, this has caused an uproar among the hardcore MMO players, as their desire to play their game with every free waking minute might not be met by the new Final Fantasy. For me, though? It actually kind of makes me want to try the beta, and I've never said that about any MMO. The fewer hardcore players there are, the more I think I'd like it.

The launch date for PC is still tagged for the end of September worldwide, and for PlayStation 3 in March of 2011. No break yet on the impasse of bringing it to 360.

The Tokyo Game Show is now on the horizon since Gamescom is over, and it's time to start looking at what might crop up there for Square Enix. Mindjack will almost certainly be part of it, but it's hard to tell where the game is at, because some retailers are moving the North American release date out to January 2011. There could be a soccer title in the works, as Square Enix Europe has filed new trademarks for titles including "Manager," including "Championship Manager Legends." Dedicated soccer fans know that Championship Manager was once the premier soccer sim in the world, and that Eidos still holds that brand even though the original developers left to create the Football Manager games instead. Might only show at TGS if you can manage a J-League team, though. SaGa might appear, as Squenix have launched yet another of their famous teaser sites, this time with "SaGa" in the URL. I bet The 3rd Birthday will show up, too, as it's nearing release and getting lots of play over in Japan. And for Parasite Eve fans out there, andriasang reports that the success of The 3rd Birthday will dictate the future of the Parasite Eve franchise.

What probably won't be at TGS, though? Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Despite having seen more of it recently, Square Enix won't commit to launching the game anywhere in 2011. There might be some level of visibility at the show, but it probably won't be anything much more than we've seen previously. What could be taking so long, one must wonder - it's a single-platform game, after all. Perhaps Squenix are just spreading their employees too thin.

Final note for the day, and it's not Square but CoN. Over the years, I've prattled plenty about Alexa rankings, and how they mean nothing but are still fun when they show CoN climbing the ranks. Now, the folks at Nmap have created a side project around Alexa and site favicons (those little icons that show up next to the URL in your browser, or next to the bookmark you no doubt created for CoN long ago). The software they wrote grabbed the first 288,945 favicons starting at site number one, and then scaled them in size based on the site's popularity and inserted into a giant mosaic. Of course you have figured out by now that CoN is in that mosaic - search for it and you'll see! I will warn you, though, since naked ladies are a big part of how the internet works, you might find some icons in searching around that aren't safe for work. Search at your own risk!

Square Enix Tidbits: Well it Kinda Looks Like That

Tetsuya Nomura has been busy on Twitter lately, and some of his comments shed (or attempt to shed) a bit of light on Final Fantasy Versus XIII. First of all, it won't be at Gamescom. The folks over at IGN seem to suspect that it will be showed at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show (September), however. Nomura did reveal that voice casting is currently taking place for the game, as well as its sister project, Final Fantasy XIII Agito.

He also made a comment on the game's world map:

"There have been many questions regarding fields. It's not a completely open world. It's like the 2D FF games in HD. Although, in terms of looks, it's not a top-down view, it's like the screenshots that have been released. You'll move through the world from that view."

While I really have no idea what that means, it certainly does sound interesting.

Nomura also said that there was a lot more to announce in regards to Versus XIII, but that he was currently not allowed to say anything more. Does all this mean that Versus will finally be approaching some playable form? We can only hope so, as I'd like to get my hands on it, you know, sometime while I'm still alive.

Speaking of Gamescom, the European video game show is coming up (August 18 through 22), and even though it isn't as big as E3 or the Tokyo Game Show, there's still a fair amount going on. Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be treated to its first-ever public showing, which looks to be rather exciting. In addition, there will be scheduled presentations of Final Fantasy XIV, which is set to see release for the PC on September 30.

Square Enix will be showing several other titles at the show, including Front Mission Evolved, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep and The 4 Heroes of Light.

To close, why not a bit of Aeris speculation? Yes, there is more less-than-news surrounding Final Fantasy's favorite death, and yes, it doesn't really reveal anything. Pop Fiction, a video game myth-busting series on, recently produced an episode devoted to whether or not Aeris could be revived. Well, believe it or not, she can't. The show closes with the speculation that a PS3 remake of FFVII may keep Aeris alive instead. This. Better. Not. Happen.

Source: IGN, Kotaku, More Kotaku
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Concert Featuring Music From Final Fantasy Games

Square Enix
Final Fantasy is a great set of games; what would CoN be without them? Nothing, that's what. They all seem to take place in a mystical sort of world; and contributing to that is the mystical music. From "Town Theme" to "Matoya's Cave" to "One-Winged Angel," the music of Final Fantasy is an integral part of the experience (besides, that victory theme is so dang catchy). Naturally, people are attracted to it and want to hear it, and not just in their games. Concerts are set up playing this music (you've surely heard of The Black Mages) with huge orchestras and stories with plots that no one pays attention to anyway, because I came here to listen to the cool music, dagnabbit.

Anyway, there's a big ol' concert happening in the San Francisco Bay area on October 16, 2010. It's called "Hideo" and it has a standard-for-the-genre "boy out for revenge, won't rest 'till he gets it" story. More interesting though, is, of course, the music. They'll be playing selections from Final Fantasies 4, 6, and 8, as well as Chrono Cross. They'll also be playing music from Mega Man, as well as Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop, and some other games/anime.

Their site is, and their promo video can be found at If you live in the SF Bay area and you can get to UC Berkeley, should be an interesting show. Tickets are on sale, and if you watch the promo video you'll know they're very excited about you buying some tickets. Very excited. And hey, if nothing else, there's fun music playing in the background of the video. Check it out!

Source: HIDEO, Promo Video
(1 Comments – Last by Neal)
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PBS to Air Videogame Music Concert

Square Enix
Between CoNnews and Square Enix email notifications, I've been hearing a lot about the upcoming cycle of Distant Worlds concerts, and it's fairly likely you have too. For those of us that don't live in Los Angeles (is it just me or does Distant Worlds really like LA?) or any other included city, however, there will still be a chance for you to enjoy a fully-orchestrated version of your favorite videogame soundtracks, complete with flashy lights.

Later this week/month, PBS will be hosting a concert called Video Games Live, which will feature music from several different videogames. The concert is performed by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, a chorus and a rock band, as well as some other soloists I've never heard of. A video preview can be found on the IGN link below. The part with the head banging cello player is enough to get me to tune in, even if it is a little discomforting.

Some of the games included in the concert are:
Final Fantasy
Chrono Cross
Legend of Zelda
Super Mario Bros.
World of Warcraft
And a "Classic Arcade Medley." That can be nothing if not a good time, right?

In order to see when the concert will be aired in your area, you'll need to go to the PBS site linked below and type in your zip code and then search for "video games live." If you really enjoy the concert, it appears that there will be a DVD/Blu-ray release of the entire program complete with the ever-tempting lure of bonus materials.

Source: IGN, PBS

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