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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

  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

  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

  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

  1. Gpara

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