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First Front Mission 5 details surface

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The most recent issue of Japanese Shonen Jump has released the first tidbits of information regarding Squeenix's latest foray into Strategy-RPGs: Front Mission 5: The Scars of the War. The title's purportedly more humanistic story will focus around USN soldier Fen Walter and his relationship with Lin Wainright, a fellow female officer, in addition to viewing soldiers' everyday lives and, of course, the war. With luck, Wanzer combat will not be replaced by large sweaty men slapping one another on the ass as they shout sexist obscenities. Oh, the gritty realism!

Taito joins Sqorg collective

With its 62.8 billion Yen purchase of a stake in Taito Corp, Square Enix now officially owns 93.7% of the company, according to today's press release. So it went through, then, and I suppose we can start expecting a wealth of new cutesey titles published through the Square Enix strongarm publishing branch. And possibly insane crossovers, like Dragon Quest Slime MoriMori BubbleBobble or Super Bust-a-Moogle? Post a comment and join in with the ludicrous suggestions!1

Notes
  1. Bloomberg

Wild ARMs 4 and Shadow Hearts 3 to be published in US by ex-Square CEO

Square Enix's CEO prior to Youchi Wada's promotion, Jun Iwasaki, and six of his Square Enix buddies, have founded a new company specifically for the spreading of RPG wonder in the Western lands called XSeed Games. I'll let you speculate about the possible relationship of that title to Final Fantasy VIII yourself, however. XSeed will be bringing Shadow Hearts 3 and Wild ARMs 4 to the States in 2006, with plans for more after the aforementioned two prove successful. Which they will, apparently. Iwasaki can look into the future.1

Notes
  1. Gamesindustry.biz

Given the modifications made to the US version of top Square Enix pillar Dragon Quest VIII to cement its probable success on that side of the Atlantic, us Europeans have to wait and see whether the good old European office considers it worth the effort. As such, they've concocted a nefarious online survey about the title, imposing upon your supposed ignorance such vapidity as "have you heard of Dragonball Z" and "do you like the name Dragon Quest", presumably under the precursor of renaming it to something more related to spikey-haired, monkey-tailed flying kids to alleviate the pressures involved with actually marketing the title on its own merits. Funky hey, people! Oh, and if you don't want to fill that thing out, just email them with the subject "SQUARE ENIX SURVEY" to get a chance at "free Square Enix loot" (which I'll avail myself of further speculating on).1

Notes
  1. Square Enix

Dragon Quest VIII US to come with Final Fantasy XII demo

Final Fantasy XII will see its first glimpse of public North American soil this November when Dragon Quest VIII arrives on its shores, complete with a demo of the game whose presence will probably draw people more than it will those who don't mind sitting through the super saiyan'ed up uberversion of the Japanese megalith. So you can be glad about that. Besides the DBZ unique selling point and the likeliness of Akira Toriyama's name being plastered on the box, DQ8's US appearence will also introduce a fully orchestrated score akin to that of the Dragon Quest V remake's, as well as numerous improvements to the gameplay system and menu interface design. Suffice it to say that Japanese gamers will probably not have to wait long until they, too, can play this superior American version. For 12000 yen.1

Notes
  1. Square Enix

Gamefront reports that Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, which went on sale in Japan last week, sold around 220.000 copies on DVD in the first week. UMD sales haven't been accounted for, and given the popularity of UMD so far, it's safe to say it probably accounts for a fair chunk of the total as well. So I guess we can go ahead and say Advent Children is a success, right? Aside from the 2.5 million people around the world who already downloaded the rip for free and watched it. That means you! cough1

Notes
  1. Gamefront

Code Age Commanders: Original Soundtrack summary

As fresh blood creates new polymorphic? content for us from Square Enix, Tanioka has been busy composing and arranging the soundtrack for Code Age Commanders. She interests me greatly, as I have heard tracks from both Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and Final Fantasy XI that she wrote. I enjoyed them, and find within her something that I think Square Enix should be proud of. Some of the newer composers just don't quite cut it, she is not one of them.

I embrace her venture into something totally new, and hope the music is good, even if the game isn't.

Front Mission 5 and new FFXI expansion announced

Remember those two trademarks, Scars of the War and Treasures of Aht Uhrgan? Well, they were pretty easy to guess to begin with, but now they've been confirmed as Front Mission 5: Scars of the War, and a new expansion pack for Final Fantasy XI. But who cares about FFXI and Front Mission in the face of the Revolution and Metal Gear Solid 4, anyway?1

Notes
  1. Square Enix

Final Fantasy IV heads to GBA

Final Fantasy IV heads to GBA

"Fans can rejoice", says Square Enix, because a port Final Fantasy IV for GBA will arrive in the US on December 12th. On top of that, "additional game elements have been added", including "new towns, caves and mountains". Even though I can't remember exactly how many the original had, the GBA version will sport 12 playable characters with "new abilities, spells and items" and who "join and leave the party at different parts of the quest to keep the game fresh." No word yet as to whether the graphics have been polished up to match those of FFI-II.1

Notes
  1. Nintendo

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: Original Soundtrack summary

Uematsu joins the two men that arranged some of his classic battle music into The Black Mages, Sekito & Fukui. Kawamori, whose past roles involve synthesizer programming for Final Fantasy VIII, through to Final Fantasy X-2, and Final Fantasy XII, also joins this production. He was, interestingly enough, also the bassist in The Black Mages. Coming from the synthesizer to assisting in the composing and arranging of Square Enix' massive film title is quite a jump.

One must wonder about the nature of the music involved in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, for The Black Mages certainly suprised a lot of people with their rock arrangements. However on seeing the film I conceed that it is fanservice. The film itself is a big piece of meaty fanservice, so why not throw in a bunch of Black Mages type music to go along with it?

Expect a music trip back through the style that Uematsu so wonderfully gave us in Final Fantasy VII, with some fresh blood from The Black Mages to spice it up.

Kitase: Final Fantasy VII remake will take 5 years

Speaking in an interview with American magazine EGM, Final Fantasy director Yoshinori Kitase spoke out about a potential Final Fantasy VII remake, saying that if Square Enix were to seriously pursue such a project, it would require a staff of 300 and take 5 years. Nomura commented as well, stating that even if the team were to come together to produce a new version of the game, the various members are currently too caught up in their own projects to be able to reserve any time for it. EGM speculated that the possibility of a FF7 remake lies out of reach as long as the next PS3 game to be created is Final Fantasy XIII.1

Notes
  1. 1UP.com

Chrono Trigger Revolution-bound?

Rumours are circulating that Nintendo Power has confirmed Chrono Trigger as a possible element of the Nintendo Revolution's backwards compatible retro "Virtual Console" feature, which would confirm that Square Enix is involved in the online download plan laid out by Nintendo at E3 earlier this year. This would presumably mean good things, like other old Squaresoft games from back in the day when jaded old fogeys like ourselves still endeavoured to play games without bitter, cynical controversy. Ahh.1

Notes
  1. Gamefront

The latest issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly hints at further delay for the North American release of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. The solid September 13 release date previously cited officially by Square Enix has now been annulled for a "holiday" release according to an article in the magazine about Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Square Enix, however, has yet to officially delay the release.1

Notes
  1. 1UP.com

Square Enix intends to purchase a 67% stake in Taito, notable for Puzzle Bobble, Space Invaders and Bust-a-Move titles. Taito has expressed favor to the acquisition, and will become a Square Enix subsidy if and when the 67% stake is purchased. With this latest acquisition, Square Enix is well on the way to becoming Japan's leading gaming conglomerate, just as well as beloved Final Fantasy characters are surely well on their way to being whored out to Taito franchised games.1

Notes
  1. 1UP.com

Square Enix will now be selling Final Fantasy XI in a combo packaged called Final Fantasy XI: The Vana'Diel Collection for the PC. This new package will include not only the original game but both expansions, Rise of Zilart and Chains of Promathia. This new release will ship at the price of $29.991

Notes
  1. RPGFan

As recently announced by Square Enix, the two-disc original soundtrack for upcoming DVD/UMD movie Advent Children will find a Japanese release for sale and import on September 28. Following several days after Advent Children's September 13/14 release date, the album will be priced 3000 yen ($27.39 USD). Samples are available as background music on the movie's official websites.

Yeah, so, okay. Per Insertcredit, who can read Japanese, the following: "[...] for the opening theme, Japanese schlock rock group Sex Machineguns will be playing with Michael Shenker, of Scorpions and MSG fame (he's inexplicably popular in Japan, and referenced in pop culture as easily as Jimmy Hendrix would be). Also featured, Marty Friedman from Megadeth and Hawaii." and "[...] the game is command-based robot fighting, called 'robo-ress' (a play on puroresu, short for 'pro wrestling')". The main character is now named, as "denki akihabara": "Akihabara is of course the big electronics district in Tokyo, also referred to as 'electric town'. Denki indicated electricity, so there's a dual pun there." I certainly approve of this news.1

Notes
  1. Insert Credit

Showing that they have gone completely off the deep end, Square Enix introduced their online magazine, a periodical equipped with columns and developer interviews, as well as information on upcoming games, publications, movies and goods. For free, Japanese readers can subscribe and await their first August 5th edition. With this, the final cogs are in place, and the monolithic Square Enix machine begins to churn out polymorphic madness.1

Notes
  1. Square Enix

Next-gen Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest may see publication on multiple platforms

Japanese newspaper Mainichi received some more exclusive information snippets in the form of Wada commenting that the next-gen FF and DQ games may be released on two or more platforms. He didn't mention which two, however, although at this point it doesn't mean anything considering Nintendo is tightlipped about any announcements. Nevertheless, Wada argues that releasing its two primary franchises across platforms would allow the company to appeal to a wider audience, which is just common sense, really. Look to Final Fantasy XI for an example of how Square Enix may approach the problem (and consider the platform independent PlayOnline model while you do).1

Notes
  1. Mainichi Interactive

According to a report by Wedbush Morgan Securities, Sony could dely the PS3's launch into the early part of 2007. The basis for the projection rests on the production cost of the current PS2 and the soon to be released Xbox 360. If events go as predicted, Sony will drop the PS2's price to $99 around the launch of the Xbox 360. Because the PS2 costs less than $99 to produce, it would serve as a distraction to the higher priced 360 and help counteract a likely $99 Xbox, which would still sell at a loss. If the launch proves to be lackluster due to the cheapened PS2, it's successor console could easily be delayed into 2007, giving Sony plenty of time to produce units to meet demands. Ultimately, however, the release date rests on the success of the 360 and its launch.1

Notes
  1. GameSpot

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