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Yasunori Mitsuda's on track for 2005

According to a special feature released on the Dengeki Online website, everyone's favorite Chrono composer is set to release a Chrono Cross Arranged album sometime in July. Along with the new Chrono Cross album will come a colaberation piece between Mitsuda and Masato Katou (the writer behind the Chrono series) entitled Kirite. The new album will not only contain music, however, as the disc will also be filled with pictures and stories. While this is not it for Yasunori, the games he is involved with have yet to be announced.1

Notes
  1. RPGFan

The EA Wars have begun

As reported earlier, the aggressive domination by game publisher Electronic Arts has begun to take more malignant forms. Now, on EA's acquisition of 18.4% of Ubisoft's voting rights, the latter company has formed a bitter resistance in opposition to the takeover, and declare they "consider [the EA] operation hostile". The battle continues to rage as brave men and women lose their "lives" to the two-lettered menace, with hopes resting on the super weapon that is counter-litigation.

Square Enix has announced that action RPG Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel will finally see a North American release on January 18, 2005 for a sultry $39.99 USD. The title, which had previously been released in Japan on Christmas Day of 2003, follows the anim? adventures of alchemist Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse, or Al for short. On the occasion of the prospective release, the game's official website has also been launched, featuring story and gameplay information in addition to a few wallpapers.1

Notes
  1. SquareNet

Over the course of the past few months, the official Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special website has been updated with new playing boards, characters, gameplay information, and box art. New playable characters include Auron, Tidus, Yuna, Tarutaru, Aerith, Vivi, and Sephiroth himself. Some new gameplay elements are a mini game (featuring Onionkids fighting a Behemoth) and a magic system, including a new Odin summon. In related news, a thousand fanboys just wet their pants.

As previously reported, Japanese pop artist Nami Tamaki has been signed to perform the Radita Stories theme song. Says her publisher Sony, "many heard about her rumors and were attracted to her instantly. She is the up-and-coming star, not only as a singer, but in various other genres too. Nami always wanted to be a singer, so she eagerly went to dance schools. She can dance, she can sing, and she looks great, so it wasn't long before people took notice of her at various different auditions."

Although still not made official by Square Enix, a sequel to the abysmal Drakengard is apparently in the works for a spring Japanese release. Why Square Enix would allow such an atrocity to be manifest probably lies in the original's relatively successful Japanese release rather than its defilement in North America and European territories.1

Notes
  1. 1UP.com

Dear Friends concert series to begin in February

Saturday, February 19 in Chicago marks the first in a series of concerts showcasing orchestrated music from the Final Fantasy series. Dear Friends - Music from Final Fantasy will be performed by the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra and the CPO Festival Choir and is produced by Nobuo Uematsu. "After the fantastic support received at the first concert in Los Angeles, I am thrilled and honored to extend the experience to Chicago," said Uematsu. "I'm looking forward to sharing the moments with those who love the music and games of FINAL FANTASY."

Advent Children coming sometime next year probably

Although those with a more pragmatic concept of time would have assumed such long ago, Square Enix has finally confirmed that Final Fantasy VII Advent Children will not be coming out this year. Exactly when in 2005 the movie might see release remains an open question. However, Square Enix's commitment to publish Advent Children on Sony's UMD format (for playback using its upcoming PSP handheld) suggests that it might come sooner rather than later, to back up the PSP's spring release in North America and Europe.1

Notes
  1. 1UP.com

BlogA competition on the Club Nintendo Kingdom Hearts website running since November 11 and ending on January 7 will see 8000 random lucky contestants receiving either of two Kingdom Hearts towels. Of the two designs, which include a baby-blue cloth with an outline of Sora and a gray one with the crown logo on it, surely the one which allows you to rub yourself dry on the silhouette of a teenage boy is more appealing...1

Notes
  1. GameScience

The Black Mages II: The Skies Above summary

The Black Mages II incorporates less variety than its predecessor, but also does a better job of selecting the "favourites". Let's face it, no one was looking forward to a remix of Seymour's Theme, whereas Otherworld, Zeromus, Man with a Machine Gun, and Maybe I'm a Lion are far more appropriately angled considering the fandom existing for those tracks. And with one new track at the end of the album, perhaps this indicates a future variety from the Black Mages that releases it from the grip of Final Fantasy - especially now that Uematsu has left to form his own company.

February 3 will see Square Enix release Playstation titles Valkyrie Profile and Dragon Quest VII under the PS One Books label for 2,625 yen ($25 USD) and 3,675 ($35 USD); respectively. The excuse...err..reason for the resurrection is said to be that both titles were released prior to the April 2003 Square Enix merger. The company also plans on releasing other best-sellers in Japan, but no kind of North American re-release has been announced.

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