News from January 2015
We've covered it in CoN news for quite some time, but Square Enix has been making inroads for quite a while in the Windows space both as a developer and as a massive company who own lots of smaller fish also publishing for PC gamers.
For a long time, the company treated the PC as a bit of a wasteland, at least in terms of the flagship Final Fantasy franchise, with no games released for Windows for many years; now, though, the company is experiencing a renaissance on the platform with the two rereleases of Final Fantasy VII followed closely on by iOS 3D ports and the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy.
So, in this installment, the CoNcast team hits the highs and the lows of Square Enix gaming on the Windows platform as well as what might be coming in the near future. Get your Steam wishlists ready for the Final Fantasy games we'll talk about today!
Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes, This Episode
Posted in: CoNcasts
It seems like only the day before the day before yesterday we remarked at Hajime Tabata making the media rounds to promote Final Fantasy Type-0 (and, ever-so-slightly, Final Fantasy XV), and already there's more to report.
Square Enix has released a video comparing the graphics of the original Type-0, released in Japan in 2011, with the HD version we all will see in just a couple months. You can watch the video here: it's quite an impressive upgrade across the board, from character models to environments and from menus to battle movement.
You'll notice in the video that the audio playing is the famous Final Fantasy theme. This observation leads to the next news of the hour, an interview with Siliconera in which Tabata discussed the difference between a Final Fantasy game and a Final Fantasy Type game. As we've already reported, Type-0 is currently set to be the first game in a new series of Final Fantasy Type games, owing to the huge popularity of Type-0 in Japan and the company's increasing confidence in the game's director. In speaking of Type-0, Tabata emphasized the different atmosphere and implications of teenage protagonists, as opposed to Final Fantasy XV's adult cast.
Tabata says it is hard to pin down exactly what makes a Final Fantasy game, but that despite the vagueness of the concept fans and developers who have spent a lot of time with the series are able to sense whether someone has the "Final Fantasy DNA" to lead a project. Tabata has certainly proved himself to the latter group; we will see if he can convince the former as well.
Tabata also stressed the need to do new things in both series while still maintaining a continuity of spirit between titles. He understands the Type series as being to some degree defined by its ability to try out more new things and push boundries than the main series. With FFXV, Tabata says, the balance between old and new hovers around 50-50; he continues to say that "a Type series game is 80-20. Final Fantasy Type-0 is actually 70-30." The confidence of these comments indicates that long-run plans for the Type series not only exist but are being carried out. It has yet to be determined how Tabata himself will be allocated in the future, given his present investment in both series.
Type-0 HD is set for mid-March release dates world-wide.
Source: Square Enix Youtube, Siliconera
A new Theatrhythm DLC tracklist has dropped today in North America. It includes:
-- Liberi Fatali, Final Fantasy VIII (BMS)
-- Final Confrontation, Romancing SaGa 3 (BMS)
-- World Revolution, Chrono Trigger (BMS)
-- Wind Scene, Chrono Trigger (FMS)
-- Twister, The World Ends With You (BMS)
-- Calling, The World Ends With You (FMS)
Those who were upset at the lack of Chrono Trigger tracks should take heart at these additional offerings; the popularity of which would no doubt lead to more. As usual, each track will cost $.99. The next DLC is expected about a month from now, on February 19.
Kotaku spoke with Tai Yasue about Kingdom Hearts 3, which he is co-directing. Yasue said that much of the team that worked on Kingdom Hearts 2.5 - the HD remaster/"remix" released to western audiences this past December - have been also working on Kingdom Hearts 3, and that the former served as a "learning experience" for making the third installment in the series. Yasue also touched on the constraints of working with well-known and well-regulated Disney properties, saying that these posed difficulties but that nonetheless forced the team to think in creative new ways. These comments constitute some of the few hints on KH3's development since its initial announcement (our most recent news on the title can be found here and here), so hopefully they will turn out to be the prologue to more substantial information.
Source: Siliconera, Kotaku
The new king (aka director) of the core Final Fantasy franchise, Hajime Tabata, is showing up everywhere right now. As the face of the series going forward, including being the director of the next two big releases, Tabata is now the man as far as such things are concerned, and as such he's making some media rounds.
Last week, Tabata spoke to Kotaku's Jason Schreier about Type-0 HD; among the tidbits of information uncovered is the implication that the game is progressing well towards release, with the bulk of the current work being dedicated towards refining parts of the original game to be more playable and in refining the content seen previously. Even more interesting, it appears that with the help of automatic and human translators, Tabata might actually be reading what the English-language gamers are saying about is games on the internet. Does that mean he's found us? No. Probably not. Just in case, though: hi!
Schreier also pushed to get a little bit of Final Fantasy XV information on the table; while cagey, Tabata was willing to speak to trying to maintain the March date of the XV demo, and also the timeline of the switch from the Versus to the XV name. There's even a little more detail that is new - the demo for XV, when it lands, is not likely to be part of the actual game's storyline, or might be a remix of a couple disconnected sections of the final game.
That's a lot of information, of course, and it's only a snippet of the full interview. But, if it's still not enough, and you're a Redditor, you're in luck; Tabata also has planned for Friday an "Ask Me Anything" about Type-0 HD on the IamA subreddit. It kicks off at 1pm Eastern time on Friday, but Tabata's people have warned that there will be no questions about Final Fantasy XV involved.
Let us know if you're going to participate in the AMA so we can keep an eye out, otherwise watch this space for future Type-0 and XV news coming up very soon in what is certain to be a busy few months for those two properties!
Source: GameInformer, Kotaku
Nintendo announced yesterday that it will no longer distribute games or consoles in Brazil. The company cited the massive tariffs that other companies, including Sony, have previously complained of. The cost of a Wii U in Brazil is the equivalent of some 700 US dollars. This made it the least expensive of the three home consoles, but it has been vastly out-sold by the Xbox One.
CoN is posting this as news, of course, because of its relation to the company near (if not dear) to our hearts. A number of Square Enix titles are available exclusively on Nintendo, particularly for the DS - including some of the company's most well received titles of late, like Bravely Default. These, along with the Marios and Links of the world, will be unavailable to Brazilian fans at least for the immediate future.
Source: Polygon, Kotaku
Posted in: Gaming Industry News
Japanese videogame website 4Gamer got its hands on a series of press images for Bravely Archive: D's Report. D's Report is mobile game announced at the end of December, while your humble newsposters were making rather merry. The game puts you in charge of a Librarian of the Anastasis Library, whose task is to hunt down knowledge in the form of memories stored in crystals, which are naturally guarded in dungeons and other scary places with monsters. You can see the images here, which include the main characters, some locations, and some combat. The game is supposed to release already this month in Japan for iOS and Android; no word yet on western release.
There are also a few new details on Bravely Second out this morning via a livestream event run by Dengeki. It was confirmed that Edea, one of the primary characters from the original, will show up in Bravely Second. We're not yet sure how, but this means that three of the four primary characters from Bravely Default will be making appearances.
A new job class was also announced, the Exorcist, who will have the ability to turn back the clock in battle. We haven't heard yet what else it'll be able to do (there is definitely more), but the Exorcist certainly continues the trend of Bravely games introducing unorthodox new jobs, like this here Cat Master.
There still isn't any confirmation of a western release for Bravely Second, but Tomoya Asano - the game's producer and one of its writers - joked about the game's use of accents being a future test for localization translators. If there was much doubt about whether the game would see western shores, this should help allay them. Also, it appears some characters in the game will speak fluent English. Don't worry it makes perfect sense, because they're from the moon, and everyone on the moon speaks English. Duh.
Source: Siliconera, Siliconera
Late yesterday, the voice actor for Goofy tweeted that Kingdom Hearts 3 would be released later this year. This spawned happy squeals across the globe, but Square Enix has since responded with a tweet of their own, denying any set release date and saying "There was a Goof!"
It's hard to tell which tweet to trust. The game was announced at E3 2013, but is believed by many (as also suggested in the Goofy tweet) to have been in development for quite some time before then. This isn't a huge time window for a game like KH3, but it's certainly a possible one. Additionally, with Tetsuya Nomura relieved of his other main project (then-named Final Fantasy Versus XIII) in order to concentrate fully on KH3, it is reasonable to suggest that development has stepped up over the last year (this has certainly been the case for the now-named Final Fantasy XV). But on the other hand, we've heard just about nothing from the game's development team in last year, which would make a release within the next year seem rather unlikely.
The man who created Dragon Quest, Yuji Horii, has said that Square Enix is working on a number of projects leading into the series' 30th anniversary next year. This is, he says, on top of the two titles we already know plenty about: Theatrhythm Dragon Quest, akin to its Final Fantasy counterparts, and Dragon Quest Heroes, a game in the vein of Hyrule Warriors.
These comments could be a gesture towards Dragon Quest XI; while we don't know much about the next main entry in the series, it was announced this past summer (for home consoles), and Horii has mentioned on previous occasions that it is being developed simultaneously with Dragon Quest Heroes. All this makes it fairly reasonable to assume that we'll be getting news on DQXI in the near future, with a possible release in 2016. Because we all know how much Square Enix loves a good anniversary!
Another possible reference is to another Dragon Quest Monsters game, which was mentioned as being in development last summer but about which we still know nothing. In any case, this should be an active year for the Dragon Quest folks.