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News from April 2011

Square-Enix Tidbits - Chrono Zero

Square Enix
Well, what have we got today. Here's a hint: It's not a new Chrono series game. I misled you for funsies. What we DO have are several versions of Chrono Trigger being released on various platforms almost simultaneously. We've got the Playstation Network Version, which is a port of the Playstation version. This, however, will probably not be seen until next month. There's the WiiWare version, which is a port of the original SNES version. Finally, there's a shiny new version for iMode mobile phones, which is an upgraded version of the DS port. The mobile version will be split into two parts, which must be bought separately in order to get the whole game. It also features (apparently) updated visuals and a more relevant control scheme.

In Final Fantasy news, there's some interesting stuff on the Type-0 front. You know how we've had moogles since Final Fantasy V, and that's their name? Well, in Type 0, it would seem that "Moogle" is actually an acronym for a miltary position. Oh, and they're part of a group called "Cranberry Knights", too. For more details on the upcoming PSP game, check here for a summary of the story, batlle system and characters, and here for details on the missions and summons. Also more character details. Gotta love Famitsu.

And what else have Square-Enix been up to recently? Well, they've just released an app for the iPhone that teahces the English language to the user. Useful! (And sexy!) Add another notch the the iPhone tally, since their next app in production is a comic book/game hybrid, titled "Imaginary Range". This is set to be released on May 5th, for iDevices and Android. I guess the iPhone tally should be modified to include those too, huh. Finally, a little snippet of possible plagiarism. Japanese Wii RPG "Pandora's Tower" was given some box art recently, and one of the characters bears a resemblance to one of the known Final Fantasy Versus XIII characters. Comparison images within, with plenty of red pen pointing out the similarities. They do appear very similar in design, but as of yet, no comment from either developer has been made.

That's all for now, folks. You can return to playing Final Fantasy IV Complete.

Source: Andriasang, Siliconera

More News on Nintendo's New Console

Since our last post on the Wii 2, there has been a considerable amount of new information to hit the interwebs. So let's break it down!

First of all, Nintendo pretty quickly confirmed the rumors that were going about: yes, there is in fact a new console well in the works, codenamed "Project Cafe." Because, you know, you gotta have a codename. As initially supposed, the console will receive its first public unveiling at E3 2011.

We also have a few notable details about the system's capabilities. Its processing power will be greater than what is currently boasted by the PS3 and Xbox 360. Apparently, Project Cafe will be able to achieve resolutions of 1080p. I don't really know what that means, but another source says that it will be capable of HD resolutions, so I'll just assume the terms are synonymous. In addition, it has been stated that the new system will be fully backwards compatible with the Wii.

Perhaps the most interesting info currently available concerns the new control. Nintendo appears to be returning to a more classic style with this control, which will feature analog sticks and a pretty standard layout. Oh, plus a 6-inch touch screen right in the middle. Think Dreamcast appearance. This touch screen controller will allow for additional interaction with the game, but it will also be able to stream content from the console to be played on the control exclusively. Sources have said that the touch screen will also be HD resolution, leading to some serious cost speculations. In addition to the already-existing usefulness speculations. (Check the first link below for more information and an image.)

Most recently, information has come out suggesting a system price in the range of $350 to $400. The console will apparently be ready to ship as early as this October, though Nintendo may very well hold off on that date. "Stream" is rumored to be one potential name for the new system; and we'd only just gotten used to Project Cafe.

Nintendo also intends to make a pre-announcement (it's kinda like LeBron, just go with it) in the relatively near future.

Source: IGN, IGN, IGN

Final Fantasy VI & Chrono Trigger as American DLC

Square Enix
Related to laszlow's recent newspost, Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger have been confirmed for released in North America. FFVI will be released both on the Playstation Network and the Wii Virtual Console, whereas CT will be solely on the PSN. This information was leaked by the ESRB recently. No date has been specified for their release, nor any information about European releases.

FFVI and CT? Two of the board at large's favorite games. Squenix knows what they're doing here, and all you old fogeys who remember when these games came out first are gonna get the chance to relive all that without resorting to emulation (or handhelds). I can't wait either!

Source: RPGamer

Wii 2: Holiday 2012?

It really does seem like yesterday that the first trickles of news about the Revolution started showing up, even though in reality it's been very nearly seven years. Today, though, while Nintendo won't cop to it, gaming news outlets have begun to report that the Wii's successor will be out late next year.

It appears that Nintendo is willing to admit that they will no longer be able to survive on first-party console games, and that the new box will be better equipped to deal with, at the very least, the current competition. Of course, there's no way to know how Nintendo's next outing might cope against the next Xbox or Playstation, as there are just way too many variables way too off in the future. However, it does seem that the specs or even prototypes might already be in the hands of some third-party developers, which provides a nice bit of lead time into day-one titles for next Christmas.

Lending further credence to this still-not-official news is the fact that the current Wii is looking to get a price cut in May. This will be only the second price drop for the system, and the new price will settle in at $150.

For more information, it's probably going to be E3, which is in early June. However, it's all but certain that someone will break more concrete information sometime in the next eight weeks.

Source: Game Informer

Final Fantasy VI Arrives on Japan's PS Network

Playstation 3
Final Fantasy VI, one of the most beloved SNES games and the namesake for this very website, will hit the Japanese PlayStation Network on April 20th. This will be (perhaps obviously) the Playstation version of FF VI, which was released in the United States as part of Final Fantasy Anthology along with Final Fantasy V. There is no concrete information about a North American or European release on PSN available at this time.

When will this come to North America's PSN? Probably sometime after Final Fantasy V makes it; FFV was announced to be in the North American PSN pipeline one week ago. Before too long PS3 and PSP owners worldwide will be able to enjoy these two classics disc-free.

Source: Kotaku
Kotaku again (FF V news)

Details Emerge for Wii RPG Pandora's Tower

It may come as some surprise that there's a Wii RPG in the works; it might come as further surprise that now that the details have begun to emerge and a bit of gameplay video has surfaced, that it looks a bit promising.

The game is called "Pandora's Tower," and it's an action RPG. Despite having little experience with games like Devil May Cry, I have to say that my very first impression of the snippets of game play remind me of that sort of game. There are some large beasts, some rapid-fire combat, and fairly expansive environments in which to fight.

The storyline begins at the harvest festival of the nation of Elysium, where a young girl performing for the crowd falls stricken as monsters attack the festival. This girl, named Ceres, is rescued by her (considerably older) friend Ende and a merchant named Graiai. However, Ceres has been cursed by the monsters, and Ende must immediately begin some dungeon crawls in an effort to break the curse forever before Ceres is consumed.

The game's out in a little over a month in Japan, but no American or European release has been announced. With the dearth of RPGs for the Wii, though, it would seem like there's a decent chance it will make it over. To see more, check out the writeup and the video from andriasang.

Source: andriasang

CoN Quiz Update

Caves of Narshe Site News
While I usually put up a new set of quizzes each month, this month we decided to take a brief break to focus on bringing in new quiztakers. We're going to be working on a minor makeover to make sure that all of you reading this want to get in on the quizzes every month to compete against your fellow CoN members!

With that said, you all can look for the next new set of quizzes at the start of May!
Posted in: CoN Site News

Square Enix and Sony Pair for Special Edition Controller

Playstation 3
The April 2011 edition of Dengeki Playstation is out in Japan, and a sidebar article in it breaks the news of a new Sony Playstation 3 controller that seems to have remained under the radar until recently. The new controller, says the sidebar, is a joint effort between the two Japanese gaming giants, the first time a developer has worked with Sony directly on a custom controller.

The controller is called the DualShock3 SE (for "Square Enix", not "Special Edition"), and it is expected to list at about 5,500 Yen (currently about $67 US), about the same as a standard DualShock3, shares a lot of physical characteristics with the original PS3 pad. It will, at least for now, be offered only in black, just as the original DualShock3, with the standard general layout and handgrips. After that, though, the pad is departs wildly from the standard controller - the article quotes a Squenix source as saying "we determined that the best way to play games from the modern Final Fantasy series was to streamline the controller so that the most necessary buttons are always front and center." The development team for the new controller realized that most of the action in Final Fantasy games in the last decade results from either pressing the up arrow or tapping X, to either progress through the linear maps or dismiss repetitive dialogue or cutscenes, and as such they made those buttons the focus of the pad.

The team realizes that the new style of the pad is not for everyone, and suggests that gamers choose the pad that works best for them individually. "We know that this isn't what you'll want to use for Gran Turismo [or other games], but we think that our pad will make sense for those who love Final Fantasy games." The controller will be released in Japan concurrently with Final Fantasy Versus XIII; there's no indication yet whether it will come to the West, or if Square Enix are working with Microsoft or even Nintendo on a similar device.

Below is a scan from the issue of Dengeki, as well as a higher-resolution render also released by the magazine.
Dengeki ScanPlaystation 3 Pad

Source: Dengeki Playstation

Square-Enix Tidbits: Box of Scrapped and Other Fun

Square Enix
This week's tidbits bring with them a wide array of fun stuff. We have a cancelled game, some unlockables confusion, a chart topper, a first look at a game and some Dissidia 012 costume DLCs, and some other Dissidia fun.

First up, we have a Shooter, dubbed Project Dropship that has been canned. Gameplay footage had been leaked, as had some concept art. The game had been scheduled as a top-down PlayStation Network and XBox Live shooter, but it was recently scrapped after development since possibly 2008.

However, as you may see from the links, the art and videos have been taken down by request from Square-Enix. This means unfortunately we will know even less about this game, but on the plus side, perhaps the request may indicate the game may not be as dead as it seems. It does seem unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

Second, we have some news that was bad, but turned good, about The 3rd Birthday. Unlocking Lightning's Costume was at first thought to be harder for North American players. However, it now appears that the balance has shifted and it is in fact easier to unlock it for those of you living in lands of stars and stripes, maple leaves, a flag I keep getting mixed up with Italy's when I don't pay attention to the coat of arms and the shade of green, and a lot of other countries I didn't know were parts of North America until I looked it up on Wikipedia.

[Alternative Mexico reference: being victimised by British car show pundits.]

This costume is a reciprocal Easter Egg for Lightning stealing Aya's threads in Duodecim. Quite why the pair swapped clothes is open to speculation that I sincerely hope does not show up in Fanfic Submissions.

Moving onwards, let's have a quick look at some other Duodecim fun. Some more DLC is on the way: A Kingdom Hearts version of Sephiroth is one of the new costumes, while Laguna gets to relive the horrors of being a movie star with his Knight of the Witch costume. Some new music packs on theme will be released too, an FF VII pack containing three FF VII favourites, including Elec de Chocobo, while the FF VIII pack has three more, adding Liberi Fatali which to be frightfully honest, I'm surprised wasn't already in the Dissidia music library.

Moving onwards into yet more Dissidia fanservice, a Character Model viewer using some sort of heathen iPhone magic I don't understand and fear. This witchcraft allows you to have tiny versions of Lightning and Cloud appear on a card, likely a demonic card, as well as view other characters and composite them into other images. This arcane engine of fear costs ¥600 on the Appstore, or about $7 US/£1200 by next Monday the way the Con-Dem government is running things.

Related to Lightning though, a development I find a little worrying. My Second Sphere co-worker, Kane, just posted this thread less than an hour before these tidbits of an accidental leak from Games Workshop, of all places, that has been quickly suppressed. The meat of the leak that concerned us Warhammer nerds was the new miniatures licensed, but the pressing worry for us here is that a singer called Rebecca Black has been signed by Square-Enix for FF XIII-2's theme song. We can hope that perhaps it's not this Rebecca Black but the odds of there being two singers by the same name are disturbingly slim.

The other revelation, that of a Games Workshop licensed set of miniatures based on FF characters, does sound more fun though. Games Workshop produce a stunning range of 28mm wargaming figures, and these ones would promise to be just as impressive. It's just a shame the actual mini previews were in SE's hands, and not the butterfingers of Games Workshop.

Staying with Final Fantasy though, it would seem the recent Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection has repeated the success of FFIV's various remakes and re-releases and has once again proved every bit as popular as before. The updated PSP release swept up to first place in Media Create's weekly sales chart.

A large part of that success is likely based on two factors: It would seem that the fanbase can't have enough versions of FFIV, and the added bonus of a more portable version of The After Years must have drawn in the punters. It remains to be seen though, if Western games will be as receptive when the game launches April 19th in North America, and April 22nd in Europe.

And lastly, swinging over to another RPG series, we've got a first look at Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime 3DS. This world-journeying, pirate-blasting adventure is out Winter, and Square-Enix are teaming up with the magazine V Jump to promote the game, it seems, so more goodies on the game should be forthcoming.

Source: Silicon Era, Andriasang, Second Sphere
Posted in: Square-Enix News

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