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Paramount execs, and indeed all denziens of Hollywood included, placed a collective blame on Eidos and the apparent shittiness of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. "The only thing we can attribute [poor ticket sales] to is that the gamers were not happy with the latest version of the 'Tomb Raider' video game, which is our core audience," Paramount distribution president Wayne Lewellen said. "Now I can't fucking get that new yacht."1

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Out of nowhere, some random Japanese company "Meikyosha" announced the Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu Deluxe Pack, which will be released alongside Sword of Mana and contain a battery-powered figure of Li'l Cactus which can, get this, rock back and forth. It also comes with a sock puppet Rabite and a calendar. For those of you insane enough to waste money on importing this, it'll come at ?7800 (?57/US$66).1

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  1. Gamefront

Nintendo announced the release dates for several of its upcoming games today, and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles was listed with February 9th, indicating that it had been pushed back from its previous November 11 due date. As it turns out, Europe will now be getting the game before North America, as its December release date over there (here) still holds true. Squenix's return to Nintendo will be out on August 29th in Japan, so you'll just have to wait, or invite your 3 Japanese chums over to play your leet imported copy.1

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  1. Nintendo

Recent release of Final Fantasy X-2 Vocal Collection, a single containing tracks spoken by Yuna, Rikku and Paine's voice actresses (Mayuko Aoki, Marika Matsumoto und Megumi Toyoguchi respectively) has garnered enough attention to be accompanied by an actual launch party at Akihabara involving the three maidens. The single comes with a DVD containing an interview, trailer, and song.1

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  1. Gamefront

If you've been paying attention to the industry this last week, you'll have noticed the announcements regarding Xenosaga Episode II and Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean from Namco. Now it would seem that Masato Kato, the scenario designer and story planner for Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger respectively, and therefore the actual mastermind behind the story, is doing the scenario for Baten Kaitos, indicating that he presumably wouldn't be involved too closely with any major projects at Square Enix. So much for that one, then?1

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  1. Gamefront

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles received 7 / 8 / 9 / 9 (33/40) from japanese Gamecube specialist mag Dengeki GC, indicating that it should be pretty good as we expected, but not exactly perfect (as expected). At least it's better than Joshua Yadron thought it would be, that blasted naysayer. Nintendo mentioned that the first shipment of the title in Japan would consist of 100.000 units, which seems on the low side - so perhaps they don't expect the game to do really that well, or is the Gamecube market really that tiny?1

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The not-yet-released weekend edition of Japanese gaming magazine V-Jump will have a new page of information on Squenix's Dragon Quest VIII which, if not particularly interesting to your average Final Fantasy fanatic, is at the very least different in its attempt to bring the archaic series into 3d finally. The screens portray some basic activity in the game, such as battling, which looks a lot like Chrono Cross for some reason. The celshaded, cartoony look appears to bring Toriyama designs to life quite nicely, too. UPDATE: more here and here (07/17)1

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  1. Gamefront

With the utter lack of interesting information pertaining to anything currently flowing from Japan, it would seem Nintendo of Europe had to clean the bottleneck, confirming Crystal Chronicles for a December release, and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for October in PAL territories. Additionally, acompanying the upcoming launch of Crystal Chronicles in Japan, a preview of the gameplay and the maxi single by Yae have been released at PonyCanyon (what a name).1

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Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Kaze no ne summary

The combination of Yae's notoriety within Japan and Kumi Takioka's previous experience with eloquent, medieval music should perform well on this Gamecube outing for Square Enix. Ingame examples heard so far are impressive and suggest a comfortable musical style that should help to reinforce the persistent atmosphere present in the game's art design - but whether or not the single (and Yae's songwriting skills) will be able to live up to that or merely take this niche title and assist its plummet into bland mainstream mediocrity is something we won't know until the single is released.

An exclusive interview held by Gamebunker with two members of the Drakengard development team, Takamasa Shiba and Yasuhito Watanabe, added a little depth to the fairly meagre impressions seen so far of the game that tells of the pact between a Knight and a Dragon. The official website also includes a look at some of the game's battle scenes with some interesting classical music and a promotional movie.

Business conference sees Square Enix among biggest publishers within 3 years; this year's games confirmed; other details

"My penis is very large," Yoichi Wada proudly brought up during the conference, "Very much larger than Mr. Miyamoto's; in fact, I believe I may have the longest, most durable penis in the gamesindustry." Read on

Squenix confirmed for TGS 2003; "beating" Nintendo at sales

The CESA recently released a list of developers that will be at the TGS in September; among those is Square Enix (obviously). Sales numbers for the first half year in Japan have also been released, putting Square Enix at 4.28 million sales in software (mostly due to the 2 million they clocked up from Final Fantasy X-2) vs runner-up Nintendo, who sold 3.15 million units (but that doesn't include 1.44M of Pokemon sales).1

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In an insidious marketing ploy you'd almost expect to be authored by Activision, Eidos will be hanging up life-size Lara Crofts in swimsuits throughout showers in fitness halls and gyms. So now you can shower while a CG chick made up of 18 polygons stares at you with her breasts. Naturally, most gaming nerds frequent gyms, so this must be the most elaborate and effective campaign ever!1

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  1. Gamefront

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