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Analyst Eiji Maeda of the Daiwa Institute of Research created a list of companies for the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper which should be good choices for longterm investors. Square Enix, Capcom and Nintendo were the top three on that list - especially Squenix due to the fusion and the resulting increased output. As for Capcom, it seems odd since the company has not been selling well recently, and Nintendo's reduced popularity is certainly nothing to shout about - though this obviously is not damaging them particularly.1

Notes
  1. Gamefront

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time: Original Soundtrack Volume 2 summary

Sakuraba fans are in for a treat with this second volume of the Star Ocean soundtrack - while the first one addressed their orchestral wet dreams, you'll find nothing of that kind on Volume 2, which is a 2-disc electronic rock, metal and jazz festival of sorts. Gone is the clunky sampling Sakuraba was so renowned for during the first Playstation generation, and what replaces it is something that makes Uematsu's Otherworld pale in comparison. The entire soundtrack - that is, every single track - is done with live instruments (though the occasional use of programmed drumming or synths isn't out of the question) - from the powerful battle riffs of Divine Spirit of Language (which sounds more like a Joe Satriani song than Star Ocean: the Second Story's Dynamite), to the ten-minute feast of Highbrow on disc two. You won't find anything soft or emotional like We Form in Crystals with the possible exception of the complicated, fast jazz sound in Moody Goddess. All in all, if you wanted a soundtrack that resets the standard in RPG music, you've found it here and it's hard to imagine a future Uematsu album that completely ignores it.

Sega's E3 line-up is out, and with a giant list of games from new Sonic titles to an elaborate Pokemonization of Phantasy Star Online, this Gamingredients report is something you don't want to miss - and something I don't want to type out all over again.1

Notes
  1. Gamingredients

"Proving that the Square Enix partnership isn't just about exploiting powerful franchises, the newly-formed company today announced the world's first massively-multiplayer online biker gang RPG for the PC, as reported by Impress Game Watch. Entitled Bakusou! Yankee Tamashii, something about burning wheels and "Yankee Souls," it lets players design their own biker-thug alter ego and roam the streets of Tokyo."1

Notes
  1. Gamers.com

BLACK MAGES live thanking/performing meat festival leads to 2nd album announcement

As Famitsu reports, the live concert of Final Fantasy: the Black Mages, an arranged album of battle themes, was held on 26/27 April in the Shibuya AX. The concert was a giant success and Nobuo Uematsu and co felt that doing another album like this one would be beneficial to the fan community. The concert will be aired on Uematsu's internet radio in June.1

Notes
  1. Famitsu.com

Final Fantasy XI: Vision of Girade/Jiraat/Gerblah more successful than the game's initial launch

With the launch of the Final Fantasy XI add-on pack, Vision of Girade (?) last week in Japan, which shipped at 80k copies and sold 80% of that on the first day, Square Enix should be reasonably happy compared to the fairly poor initial sales of the title last year. Selling 80k of the expansion means that approximately 40% of the game's player purchased the add-on, making it anything but a failure.

The Getaway and Tomb Raider 2 movies develop

Sony is finalizing its sales of the rights to the Getaway movie, which should be ready for a release simultaneously with the Getaway 2 at the end of 2004. Tomb Raider 2 is also under progress, as it will apparently be more closely related to the games this time round, with Angelina Jolie featured in a variety of funky locales under direction of Twister-dude Jan de Bont.1

Notes
  1. Gamefront

IBM's proposed Cell chip won't be ready in time for Sony's planned 2005/6 launch of the PS3, and as a result, Sony has instead announced that they will be using a different chip set to power the PS3. Which ship they will be using, however, has yet to be decided. IBM's Cell chip architecture is reportedly 100 times more powerful than that of Intel's Pentium 4 and 7 klopogillion times the power of the Turbografix 16.1

Notes
  1. Games Are Fun

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time: Original Soundtrack Volume 1 summary

Star Ocean 3 brings with its epic endeavour an equally epic soundtrack: composed by the same Sakuraba responsible for its previous incarnations' soundtracks, as well as the excellent strategy RPG Valkyrie Profile's music, Star Ocean 3: Till the End of Time comes in two volumes, this being the first. In an obvious attempt to equal the hype surrounding Xenosaga: Episode 1's use of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in its soundtrack, Star Ocean dedicates this entire first set of discs to the classical, orchestrated tracks used in the game, and the difference in quality over the murky themes from Star Ocean: The Second Story, along with the questionable sampling, makes for a refreshing chance that can only be encouraged for a composer so renowned for his electronica styled music. Give it a listen.

Mario Kart GCN apparently not online, but Nintendo has another God-damned, mother fucking peripheral for you to buy anyway

According to Special Reserve, obscure, unreliable UK retailer, Nintendo has completed Mario Kart for Gamecube and is reading eight-player support for the title. Players can reportedly link up two gamecubes for two-tv split-screen karting action, which would obvioulsy require you to purchase an additional peripheral.1

Notes
  1. Gamers.com

"The Washington state Senate approved a bill Thursday to make selling M-rated videogames a crime. If the bill is passed into law... it will be the first time that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board ratings have been backed by the force of law."1

Notes
  1. Gamers.com

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