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Seiken Densetsu 4 details revealed

The newest issue of Japanese Shonen JUMP confirms that Kouichi Ishii's Seiken Densetsu 4 will indeed release as an action adventure on the Playstation 2 and that Nao Ikeda (of Legend of Mana and soon-to-be Children of Mana fame) is in charge of character designs. Thus far characters revealed include "Eldi", the sixteen year-old protagonist and village infant find; "Lichia", a priestess in tune with nature and Eldi's childhood friend; and her pet "Puck", who has joined on separation from his family. Their adventure begins with an invasion from a foreign army that will doubtless spiral into an epic tale when Seiken Densetsu 4 releases sometime next year.

Valkyrie Profile Silmeria: PS2, 2006

This news article is pretty useless as anything but a link, but I believe Tri-Ace appealing to its most hardcore of hardcore fanbases by ejaculating all over them with a sea of completely desired smut is about as important as the possible and better-fucking-be-on-the-way announcement of a new Chrono game. There you go. Oh yeah, See here for the scan. UPDATE: Gamefront has a new scan that shows the rest of the page, confirming the title as Valkyrie Profile Silmeria and taking place "several hundred years" before the original Valkyrie Profile.1

Notes
  1. Gaming Age Forums

Drakengard 2 coming to the lands of the "oh crap i can't think of a good metaphor" West

"We are very excited to be working with Square Enix to publish this highly anticipated RPG in North America and Europe," said Jay Cohen, vice president of publishing at Ubisoft. "DRAKENGARD 2 is a hit in the Japanese market, and we are sure that North American and European gamers will also be thrilled by this fantastic adventure title." -- I think that about sums it up.1

Notes
  1. Square Enix

Square commits seppuku; re-delays Final Fantasy XII? UPDATE: apparently not

So, remember "finally", it was coming out on March 16, 2005? News in the new issue of Famitsu suggests that Square's "already oft-delayed title" is looking at a "new delay", with its new release squarely placed in the realm of "TBA". Your anger is my anger. I guess the shitty demo that came with Dragon Quest VIII is proof enough that this game doesn't really exist and they're just using it to sell the Enix side of the company. Update: so they clarified that Famitsu is full of shit and the game is shipping as planned. Woowoo!1

Notes
  1. Gaming Age Forums

Tanaka discusses Final Fantasy III

In a recent issue, Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu interviewed the executive producer of the Nintendo DS remake of Final Fantasy III, Hiromichi Tanaka. Tanaka, who had been on staff for the original title, said that he wished for the upcoming remake to have the novelty of the original NES classic. To achieve this end, FFIII will receive an overhaul, which will include a graphical move into the third dimension, attribution of actual personalities to the previously faceless main characters, as well as tweaking of the gameplay to allow for better usability of certain classes. In addition, Tanaka will make use of the DS itself by allowing the entire title to be played with the touch screen and include the DS's wireless connectivity for certain side bonuses. Final Fantasy III does not yet have a Japanese or North American release date, but by all indications Square Enix intends to put the title through to launch.

Kingdom Hearts: Colors summary

Containing both her single 'Colors' and her English version of Hikari (light), this single was launched in Japan and with good reception. Featured in both the U.S and European publications of the OST, Utada has began to invade the west.

In October last year Hikaru released her first album directly into the United States, Exodus. Crazed fans began spamming websites in an effort to sell her here, and she's ranked #8,051 on Amazon's music lists. So while not being grouped with the most popular artists such as Neil Young, Madonna or Dolly Parton, (in the top 25 at the time of writing) she has made herself an image over here.

Kingdom Hearts II: Passion summary

Utada Hikaru, Japan's better and more intelligent alternative to the West's Brittany Spears and co. Aside from actually being liked by people, she has the ability to actually do a lot more than merely sing. For her song "Simple and Clean" from Kingdom Hearts, she not only sang but did the basic programming as well as writing the song. She also assisted producing and arranging the piece, which says a lot for her talent.

Titled "Passion", the single will no doubt sell well over in Japan. It will be interesting to see if she then translates her song into English, just as she did for "Hikari" (light).

Either way, it's good to see she's back for KHII, and this song adds to an ever growing list of things that makes this game look very sharp indeed.

Kingdom Hearts: Hikari summary

Utada Hikaru wrote and performed yet another Japanese hit, but this time was able to wow the audience of a very successful video game. As Rahul mentioned in the OST, the theme song is designed to flow with the Destati theme. Having musically brought Kingdom Hearts to life together with Yoko Shimomura, Utada is certainly a force to be looked upon with appreciation.

Her single comes complete with a karaoke version, so for those of you that way inclined, you can sing away. Look out for her, she's very talented.

The western release of the OST does not include the Japanese versions of the theme song, so it is in fact another addition to the original release.

Advent Children sits atop a throne of 700,000

After the widely-known flop that was the first fully-animated film known as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Square Enix proved that such a fate wasn't destined for their second movie endevour, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Though both share the Final Fantasy tag, Advent Children has reached that heralded mark of 700,000 sales in Japan. This figure includes sales of the DVD, UMD, and expensive limited edition. Unfortunately, even with the obvious success of the movie, there has still been no official word on an American or European release after Square Enix broke their original set date.1

Notes
  1. GameSpot

Minaba, Sakimoto and Sakaguchi in Mistwalker DS RPG Archaic Sealed Heat (ASH)

At Nintendo's press conference, Square Enix spin-off Mistwalker took the opportunity to announce a new game. Which isn't interesting in and of itself (it's a strategy RPG). The interesting part is that Hideo Minaba and Hitoshi Sakimoto are involved. Ding! They were on staff for Final Fantasy XII at some point, right? So does that mean FFXII is done? Or that they quit and the FF12 DOOMED scenario was true to some extent? Or did Sakaguchi just whip it out and taunt them over? And will a game with a title as ludicrous as "Archaic Sealed Heat" really be any good, despite the fact that it's the first game to be developed by Sakaguchi since... a really long time?1

Notes
  1. Gpara

Mario Basket 3 on 3 as first Square Enix Mario game since Super Mario RPG

So yeah, the really funky announcement is Mario Basket 3 on 3, a fully WiFi online 3d DS sports game akin to Super Mario Strikers or the numerous Tennis/Baseball/etc variations we've seen on Gamecube and previous platforms. Except this one is developed by Square Enix and published by Nintendo, guaranteeing any of the following: 1) it looks fucking sexy; 2) it's the first Square Enix usage of the Mario mascot since Super Mario RPG, which is a pretty good thing if you ask me; 3) it's wonderfully insane, and we at Square Haven approve of insanity.1

Notes
  1. Gpara

Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI heading for GBA; Final Fantasy III DS lives

Nintendo's WiFi press conference in Japan today revealed some interesting developments for the DS online service, but the funkiest of them all (and this news article isn't even THE funkiest, see below) included announcements that, yes, indeed, Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI are in fact going to appear on Game Boy Advance at some point in the TBA future. Rejoice! Also, gaming news website Gpara reports that Final Fantasy III DS is alive and well and fully polygonal.1

Notes
  1. Gpara

First screenshot of Final Fantasy IV on GBA; FFV and FFVI to follow?

ffivgba.jpg

Gamefront has a preliminary screenshot of the recently announced Final Fantasy IV for GBA, which showcases a marginal improvement in graphics (including character portraits in dialogue windows) as was present in FFI&II: Dawn of Souls earlier this year. The scan is from the same issue which had the pictures of Children of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 4, and Gamefront mentions that FFIV will be appearing as part of a "Final Fantasy Projects" on Game Boy, presumably indicating that more such ports are on the way in the future.1

Notes
  1. Gamefront

Advent Children US package details and release date?

According to a forum poster with access to the relevant details, Final Fantasy VII Advent Children should be appearing on DVD in the US on November 28th -- with a special 2 disc edition containing a feature disc (feature film, "reminiscence of FFVII") and bonus disc (The Distance: Making Of Featurette, FFVII AC: Venice Film Festival Footage, Sneak Peak of upcoming FFVII games, FFVII:AC trailers). Legitimacy is up in the air but I guess the photo is pretty substantial (?).1

Notes
  1. Gaming Age Forums

Square Enix reveals Seiken Densetsu DS: Children of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 4

seiken6gx.jpg

So there we go, polymorphism? swerves back into full swing with the arrival of what's presumably the World of Mana brand: a new issue of Weekly Jump reveals that Seiken Densetsu DS is known as "Children of Mana", and that there's also a true sequel on the way to some unannounced main console (presumably this-gen, so PS2 or GC). While Children of Mana is to be a 2d action-RPG in a similar vein to previous entries into the series, the sole screenshot of SD4 depicts a fully 3d world more reminiscent of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, which was pretty Mana-esque to begin with. Children of Mana will hit the DS winter 2006 in Japan (a year to go, yes), and SD4 has no release date. Yet.1

Notes
  1. Gamefront

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