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News from April 2015

The After Years Come to Steam

Final Fantasy IV
Well, I guess enough people bought it on mobile phones, then. The Final Fantasy IV sequel, "The After Years," which has bounced from platform to platform since 2008, will have yet another release in May, this time for the Steam platform. This release will be based on the iOS and Android version released in 2013, following the same path as Final Fantasy III and IV took to Windows.

It's worth noting that this sequel has been full of mixed reviews over its lifespan, with the iOS version carrying a Metacritic score of just 62, compared to the iOS version of Final Fantasy IV sitting at 89. The news that this game is getting a Windows port might not sit well with fans hoping for remakes of other games in the series, but this release still makes a great deal of financial sense for Square Enix at this point given that it was likely a relatively easy and low-cost port.

The game's listed at $16 with a 10% preorder discount in the American Steam store, with a release date of May 12.

Source: Steam

Nomura + Steampunk + Mobile = Rampage Land Rankers

Square Enix Japan recently announced a new IP called Rampage Land Rankers, a dungeon crawler/RPG for smartphones coming out next month. It's an amalgamation of a variety of artistic and gameplay styles, thrown into a big blender; for instance, the character design is being done by Tetsuya Nomura in a very steampunk-y style, but the in-game models look as if they're rendered in the style of Final Fantasy III and IV 3D. The battles, meanwhile, look like a blend between turn-based JRPG fighting and card battling, and the dungeons claim to be procedurally generated for a randomized experience for each run.

It also seems as if you will use different characters in each dungeon, up to ten through the course of any particular dungeon. Other characters will be summoned via the use of items, but it's not clear as if these characters can also participate in normal play.

The game will also have a co-op multiplayer of some stripe, as well as item trading with friends on other devices. Again, the game will be out in May 2015 for Android and iOS in Japan, with no other releases announced at this time.

Source: Siliconera

Star Ocean 5 Announced

Star Ocean
Square Enix recently unveiled a teaser site as the launchpad for the newest entry in the Star Ocean series -- Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness. In the last 48 hours, we've gotten to know a fair bit about the title's development and a just a shade about its story. We have not, as of yet, learned why its subtitle sounds like a Victorian novel.

The above-linked teaser site has since been edited to include a brief trailer. Star Ocean 5, like its series predecessors, will be developed by Tri-Ace and published by Square Enix. We don't have any hint of a release window, but we do know it will be released for both PS3 and PS4.

Fans of the series (prior to the divisive SO4, that is) have much reason for excitement. Shuichi Kobayashi, the Square Enix publisher working with the new Star Ocean, told Famitsu that he wants to channel the "essence of Star Ocean 3" into this next entry in the series. Kobayashi has been campaigning for a Star Ocean 5 for several years now, pursuing series creator Yoshiharu Gotanda and series veteran Hiroshi Ogawa; he makes it clear that this is both a labor of love and intended to garner support for additional future Star Ocean titles. To this end, Gotanda also spoke with Famitsu, promising a "grand story" with plenty of material for future expansion.

SO5 will take place after Star Ocean 3 chronologically, making it the furthest advanced in time (SO4 having taken the series back to a time before the original SO). It will take place, at least to begin with, on a planet named Feycreed, some 6,000 (only!) lightyears from Earth. Famitsu has provided us with the basics of three primary characters: Fidel, a swordsman do-good, Miki, Fidel's (female) childhood friend, and Lilia, a young girl who has lost both memory and feelings. Well, that sounds nothing like a Tales Of Star Ocean game!

Star Ocean 5's combat system will be familiar to those who have had prior experience in previous titles, featuring combo attacks based assigned to button combinations that vary depending on the distance to the target. Event scenes, another series staple, will persist in Star Ocean 5. This time around, plot events and dialogue can be interrupted by enemy encounters; the results of these battles can change the path of the story and even its ending.

But alas, there is bad news as well: once again, my greatest hope for Star Ocean -- that its games will be named like SO2, i.e. Star Ocean 5: The Fifth Star Ocean -- has been dashed.

Source: Siliconera, Kotaku
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Jobs, Get Your Bravely Second Jobs Here!

Bravely Default
Bravely Second releases in Japan in just over a week, and Square Enix are still rolling out tidbits about new content. The sequel to the well-regarded Bravely Default will contain thirty jobs, some returning from the original but a large number brand-new. We last talked about some new jobs a few months back, but in the meantime a lot has happened - you can do what we did and watch this video to catch up on all of them, old and new.

Of course, with so many jobs, it's no surprise that Squenix outran their headlights; since this video was released, two more new jobs came down the pipe: Fencer and Bishop. Fencers appear to pick up some aspects of a Tactics-style Squire, with sword skills and the ability to increase stats. The Bishop is a new healing class with additional support skills.

Still nothing about a Western release, though. I assume we all assume that it's all but a foregone conclusion, though, yes?

Source: Siliconera

Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade New Trailer and Info

Dissida: Final Fantasy
In February, we covered the announcement of a new Dissidia game for arcade cabinets. In it, I mentioned that the next infodump for the new game would be on April 10; well, hey, now it's the 11th and that information is out.

The information event started with a new trailer featuring the game's first summon, namely Ifrit as summoned by Lightning; Midgar and Cocoon were also revealed as new battlegrounds. Final Fantasy Network also reports that two new gods will appear in the arcade game beyond the series regulars of Cosmos and Chaos, and that Ramza Beoulve will be one of the more than fifty characters in the game either at launch or, in Ramza's case, as a post-launch network update.

For the first time, it was additionally announced that Square Enix aren't taking on this game by themselves; Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Team Ninja are also working on the title, which will be developed on modified Playstation 4 hardware. And, yes, it looks like after an initial rollout to Japanese arcades for a year, a PS4 version for home players is looking increasingly likely. The arcade version is targeted for the fall, but there is nothing concrete at all about release windows in the US, for PS4, or both.

Finally, if those sorts of things interest you, check out a mockup of the cabinet over at 4Gamer along with some other photos. It's not yet clear that this is the final design of the cabinet, though I assume not; it's not really like Square Enix to be so restrained, I wouldn't think.

Source: Polygon, 4Gamer, Final Fantasy Network

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