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News from February 2012

Final Fantasy XIII-2 DLC Dropping

Final Fantasy XIII-2
Though there have already been a few minor DLCs for Square-Enix's recently-released Final Fantasy XIII-2, like extra costumes for the main characters and some fights in the Colosseum, a larger pack is dropping within the next week. The first major piece of DLC, titled "Sazh: Heads or Tails?" is being released on XBox Live on Tuesday, 28 February, and on PlayStation Network on Wednesday, 29 February. Additionally, this will unlock the card games that were awkwardly left out of the casino in the original game. On the same days, another DLC will be available giving access to even more costumes for the main characters.

The costume piece isn't really all that exciting, in my opinion, but it will be very nice to have some DLC in the game, especially since it appears to feature Sazh, a really fun character from the original game. It's also nice that it will unlock the card games promised in the original, as it was really amateurish to have the "card game" option available to be selected, only to display a message saying it would be available in upcoming DLC. I'll definitely be grabbing this on Wednesday.

Source: RPGamer
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square Enix News Tidbits: Re-returning

Square Enix
It's been a while since the last Squenix tidbits, largely due to the number of hours put into the Final Fantasy V section revamp. Because of that, I'm going to assume that a lot of the news that came out in the meantime we all already know from sources that are less generally interesting than CoN, and I'll try to just get us caught up from the last couple weeks.

Just yesterday, the closed beta for Dragon Quest X began, for instance. Odds are you're not part of it, right? You can still see the beta testers' site for some minor details, though. Interestingly, it seems like you need to have a 16GB or larger flash drive to install the beta; having no Wii, I can't say if that's truly odd or not, but it seems that way to me. andriasang has a number of beta screenshots, so check them out; I'm sure video and more screenshots from testers will be emerging soon enough.

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy also released in Japan a little over a week ago. Famitsu rated it pretty well, though people do seem to think that a good score from Famitsu isn't what it used to be. If you don't trust Famitsu, though, perhaps you might trust, say, Nobuo Uematsu? The composer of so many of the songs included in Theatrhythm posted to Twitter that the game made him so nostalgic that he wept. That seems like a pretty good endorsement if you've been playing Final Fantasy games since the eighties, like this author. At launch, the songs available for DLC were discounted from 150 yen (currently $1.86) to 100 yen ($1.24). Originally, that discount was meant to run for just about three weeks, but it's recently been extended for an extra month, into mid-April. The initial batch of DLC has songs from Final Fantasy II, IV, V. VII, VIII, IX, X, and XIII. There's also a promotional game where you can pseudo-play a bit of the game via Flash with some of your social media friends. Yeah, that's kind of hokey, since you don't get to actually play. However, I'm totally stumbling through the Japanese-only site right this second to try to figure it out - so far, I've discovered that it has the Final Fantasy VI ending theme in it somewhere!

You may have forgotten that Kingdom Hearts 3D is still a thing. It is, though, and it's coming out in Japan on 29 March, under five weeks from now. Even sooner, though, is 3 March, the day when Square Enix is planning a pre-launch event somewhere in Tokyo for the game. No other details as yet, but I would be surprised if they didn't show the 10th Anniversary Special Edition package for the game, which contains the new game, copies of both Nintendo DS Kingdom Hearts games, a 3DS shell cover, a dozen artwork postcards, and a truly cool looking box to hold it all. I can't believe it's been ten years since the original Kingdom Hearts already - the new one will release exactly ten years and one day from the original. That was on the PlayStation 2, kids.

To wrap it up for this week, on 30 March there will be another batch of cards for the Final Fantasy CCG in Japan. I don't really remember looking at too many of these in the past, but this batch has a focus on Final Fantasy VI, and has some really cute artwork. andriasang has a selection from the 320-card set; check page two for a hilarious Ultros (which is how he looks in Theatrhythm!).

Source: andriasang, Siliconera, Kotaku

Plans Detailed for Tokyo Game Show 2012

Tokyo Game Show
The Tokyo Game Show will be back yet again this year, with the dates recently set to be 20-23 September, 2012 in the Chiba prefecture. This year, the show will be adding two new "corners," sections of the show set off for specific platforms - in this case, for PC and Smartphone/Tablet gaming.

Additionally this year, the show's organizers, CESA, will be producing video of the show for online viewing. No other details are available at this time, but it's likely that these will include booth tours and possibly game demo video. It's also likely that these will be produced only in Japanese, so brush up now.

The show expects nearly two hundred thousand visitors over the four days, split between industry professionals and the general public.

Source: andriasang

The Hironobu Sakaguchi Digest: Winter 2012

Sakaguchi, busy as always, made the news twice recently with regards to his work with Mistwalker. The biggest news is that, now that it's been out for over a year in Japan and is coming out in Europe this week, is that The Last Story is getting a North American release this summer. The localization for North America is being done by XSeed, known for localization of other RPGs; no other details are known at this time. Now that both Xenoblade and The Last Story will be available worldwide, perhaps the Wii can - too late - become a go-to destination for RPG players?

Of course, to partner with that interesting news, Sakaguchi is also working on three non-RPG games for iOS. These will be his, and Mistwalker's, first foray into Apple's world, and it's clear that none of the games are necessarily meant to appeal to his core audience. The first game will be somehow surfing related, and he gave no details on the other two games at all other than to say that they were small and "palate cleansers" for him after the development of The Last Story. All that said, it seems like there's not much there to keep our attention, but if he surprises us with something interesting for iOS, we'll make sure to keep you updated.

Source: Kotaku, TUAW

Square Enix at Toy Fair 2012

Square Enix
Some of you out there may not have seen much from Square Enix' toy division, or even known that Squenix has a toy division. Most accurately, it's called Square Enix Products, and they produce figures and toys for a wide array of game franchises, not just for Squenix properties.

With the New York Toy Fair last week, the company took the time to set up some displays of their new action figures for 2012, and Square Enix events manager Wilbur Lin and a cameraman walked through the big ones to share with the fans. All eight videos are now available on the Squenix Members Blog, and if you're a gaming, toy-collecting nerd like I am (or would be if I had more money), I would bet that there's at least one franchise shown there that you play. Square Enix is producing figures this year from the universes of Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid, Street Fighter, God of War, Halo, Mass Effect, and Arkham Asylum.

For those who just care about the Final Fantasy toys, the final video shows large, articulating figures of Lightning and Serah in their Final Fantasy XIII-2 costumes, and some smaller chibi figures of Cloud, Squall, and Yuna. The chibis come in packs of two of the same character, with different costumes and/or props, and have changeable expression faces (three pre-made, and one blank that you can draw yourself). I know what you're thinking - why would you ever need a face for Squall other than the totally blank one, right? Ha! Anyway, the two packs of the chibi characters appear to be set to retail at $19.99, and Lightning and Serah will be set for $54.99 apiece - a bit staggering, since I paid $14 for Final Fantasy XIII new, but the figures really do look pretty neat if you're a big fan.

Source: Square Enix Members, Square Enix Shop

Final Fantasy V is our (Butz) Valentine

Final Fantasy V
After a painfully long process, CoN is giving to you today, only five years after its release, our coverage for Final Fantasy V Advance (to accompany, of course, improved coverage of the PlayStation release). While it is one of the less-popular games that CoN covers, it remains a quality release even as it approaches its twentieth anniversary, and long ago we realized that our coverage of the game was the weakest of any game covered on the site.

While it did take us far too long to get this content out to you all, we're very proud of the work that we've done, particularly in the massive, Djibriel-penned walkthrough. The walkthrough was fantastic to begin with, with an immense depth, and having it CoN-nified will make it all the better for you too. We've added to that some more of our great CoN features, with all the equipment and monster data you've come to expect, along with our quality miniguides that make the trickiest parts of the game easy to access and easy to understand.

Final Fantasy V is the only game we cover that I have not personally played from start to finish in any of its incarnations. This section is good enough that I now want to. (I probably still won't, but at least I want to!) While I played my usual role of slavedriver, though, this section really came to be based mostly on the hard work of others. They're all listed on the new Final Fantasy V landing page, and will all get their site awards quite soon, but I wanted to take the time to mention a few specifically: Djibriel, for offering us his fine work and being willing to work with us as we adjusted the tone a bit to best represent CoN; Death Penalty, who continued to push me and put way too much work into the section for someone who doesn't even particularly like the game; and EvilEye, who isn't even on the bloody site staff and never has been, but poured dozens of hours into testing simply because he loves CoN.

I hope that you all take a look at this section today and in the days going forward, and that it helps push you toward wanting to play this game, on PSX or GBA (or even SNES), for the first time or for another time. Thanks to you all for visiting CoN and keeping work like this going through your very presence.

Oh, and if the title of this news article confuses you, you need only look several years in the past.

FFXIII-2: It Came Out

Final Fantasy XIII-2
After somewhat of a let-down in Japanese sales as compared to its predecessor (selling in its first two weeks about half of what FFXIII sold in its first), despite perfect reviews from both Famitsu and Dengeki, FFXIII-2 has finally made its appearance stateside and, er, Europe-side.

IGN gave the game an 8 out of 10, praising it for stepping away from the linearity of its predecessor, its leveling up system, additional content, appearance and battle engine. They criticize the game, however, for what seems to be overshadowing flaws: battles that are less than challenging and a story that leaves the player asking "what story?"

Other sites provided more generous scores while echoing the same complaints, saying that the issues of the FFXIII had been corrected successfully at the cost of storytelling.

Does anyone here have the game? Anyone intending to purchase it? Somebody just say something before Del does :P

Source: IGN
Posted in: Square-Enix News

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