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News from October 2011

Square Enix News Tidbits Done in a Rush

Square Enix
Seriously. It's Halloween weekend, I've been working my butt off all day, and I have a pumpkin to carve. Let's just get through this as fast as we can.

At Nintendo Direct last weekend, a new video of Kingdom Hearts 3D debuted. I understand absolutely none of it, since it's in Japanese and I've never played a Kingdom Hearts game. Sora (and Neku from The World Ends With You) is there, though, and there's some gameplay and a large bouncing hamster-looking thing. And there will be 3D involved. Let your imaginations run wild!

Final Fantasy Type-0 released in Japan yesterday, too, ending months of infotrickle. andriasang gave a helpful final rollup of the most recent information, including details on the growing cast of characters, information about the Chocobo Breeding functionality, airships, and a lot more. They also detailed the odd way in which you'll have to swap UMDs. Essentially, you'll get to play the prologue and the last chapter on the first disc, and everything else on the second disc. The reason appears to be tied somehow to the multiplayer component. If you want to see a chunk of that opening sequence from the first disc, they posted that too.

Finally this week came the announcement that Squenix are teaming with Japanese mobile platform Mobage again. We've talked about their partnerships before, but this one is conceivably a bigger deal, because it involves the company's signature franchise, Final Fantasy. There's not much known about it yet, other than it will be an RPG that connects with your friends, or "where you fight for your friends," which could be construed a number of ways. Square Enix also says that it will connect to Type-0 in some way, and will be available this winter.

There, done. Candy time!

Source: andriasang
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square Enix News Tidbits: Starting Over

Square Enix
Long Roman numerals carry the week this week for Squenix tidbits, with a bit of Arabic thrown in for good measure.

The biggest news coming today is that Final Fantasy XIV is getting a full-on reboot. Such a thing was going to be necessary at some point, as the reaction to the initial version was almost uniformly negative. Yoichi Wada took the original team all off of the project, installed some new folks, and as of today, the game is relaunching in a Version 2.0 mode. The new version completely redoes the way maps are generated to avoid the loudly-decried repetitiveness of art assets. It will have a new graphics engine to support this goal. The UI layer is being redesigned, and the community aspect of the game is being re-engineered to include PvP, revised markets, and in-game mail messaging. Of course, it won't be a free game any more in the next few months, but those are the breaks when you're dealing with most MMOs.

You'll have to wait a while if you want this new and improved game, though; their current development roadmap calls for all these fixes to be complete by the end of February of next year, with "worldless party matching" and porting of current user data to the new servers to be complete by March. That's just for PC - the changes for PS3 won't be available until the end of 2012. Of course, with the bad taste the first version left in everyone's mouths, how many people actually will want this new and improved game anyway?

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is also trudging along. I present to you another long trailer for that upcoming release without comment, since yet again I've failed to finish XIII myself and don't want spoilers. Along with that new trailer comes word that there's going to be a ton of downloadable content for the game - enough that there will be one to two DLC releases every month, though for how long is unknown. Looks like part of it will be in costumes; while it's pretty awesome that downloaded alternate costumes will work even in cutscenes, I think that's going to be a hard sell for most gamers unless the content is dirt cheap.

(By the way, if you love long trailers, check out this new one for Type-0. It's twelve minutes long, for crying out loud. It feels very Crisis Core-y to me, which makes me fairly interested.)

Last this week, check out the gallery of screenshots debuting Square Enix' new game engine, called "Luminous Engine." It is early and it's clearly under the dual clouds of "marketing spin" and "controlled demo," but the company says it can do real-time photorealistic rendering of scenes, supports DirectX 11, and can cut development costs by thirty percent through enhanced development efficiency. Could this mean a new era of promptly-released, enjoyable games? Or just faster-to-market mediocrity? Oh, future, tell us now!

Source: Kotaku, andriasang, Final Fantasy Union
Posted in: Square-Enix News

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