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Ziyad

A minute passage of time numbering in the hours has flown by us since the unveiling of the Front Mission 1st DS official website, which comes accompanying various details concerning the upcoming DS port of the SNES classic, Front Mission. Among these include the addition of new events dealing with Front Mission 5 character Glen, a high-speed battle mode, new wanzers, new parts, and for the Front Mission masochist in all of us, unlockable difficulty settings. Oh, and you'll get to use a stylus--you lucky gamer, you.1

Notes
  1. Square Enix

Dragon Quest IX announced for DS

Today, a Tokyo press conference played host to the announcement of the next installment in Square Enix's flagship Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest IX: Defender of the Stars, for the Nintendo DS. The title will be developed by Level 5, which was responsible for the highly acclaimed Dragon Quest VIII. With a Wi-Fi component, players will be able to join with others in a similar style to Crystal Chronicles in what series creator Yuji Horii calls more action-oriented battles. Composer Kouichi Sugiyama also made an appearance and declared that he would compose for Dragon Quest until the day of his untimely demise. A grave decision.

Final Fantasy XII sets new shipping record; indignant fans demand greater cult status

A Square Enix press release has announced that the recently-unleashed and well reviewed Final Fantasy XII has set a new shipping record for the series, coming at 1.5 million U.S. copies, just over 60% of total Japanese sales to date. The number is promising, but if sales drop out the dust-collection record still stands.1

Notes
  1. 1UP

Final Fantasy V Advance bolstered: new jobs, new dungeon

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Despite popular demand, the upcoming Game Boy Advance iteration of Final Fantasy V will not be including a Salesclerk job. Thankfully, Square Enix has seen fit to include no less than four new jobs to help us through our disappointment, including the Gladiator, the Cannoneer, the Prophet, and the Necromancer. Additionally, a new thirty-floor dungeon, the Sealed Ruins, will be available for the title's port, alongside reorganized menus, updated dialogue, and improved sound quality. Final Fantasy V Advance releases in Japan on October 12 and in the U.S. on November 6.

Quarter financial results: Squeenix in the green

The results are in for the first quarter of the current fiscal year and Square Enix has turned a profit of 888 million yen ($7.60 million USD) from 37.20 billion yen ($318.21 million USD) of sales. This constitutes a tripling of sales and no less than sixteen times the same quarter's profits last year. More specifically, titles such as Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria and Dragon Quest VIII selling in Japan and Europe contributed to the 363 million yen ($3.11 million USD) profit of the Square Enix game division, while the official Final Fantasy XII strategy guide also did its part by increasing the profits of the publishing division more than one hundred percent. A new Final Fantasy XI expansion (along with original title's XBox release) helped boost online sales sixty percent. The only loser was Square Enix's subsidiary Taito, whose acquisition you may recall to have been just under a year ago; it has since suffered an operating loss of 663 million yen ($5.67 million USD). No, there is nothing clever to say. Merely weep at the loss of money.1

Notes
  1. RPGFan

Evil overlord and Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi presided over the tenth annual Playstation Awards yesterday, where Final Fantasy XII received the Double Platinum Award for breaking the two million sales mark since its release in March. Meanwhile, Kingdom Hearts II was graced with the Platinum Award and Dirge of Cerberus came away with a Gold Award alongside Namco's Tales of the Abyss and Banpresto's wonderfully named Daiji Super Robot Taisen Alpha: Shuuen no Ginga he. It looks like Squeenix is on a roll.1

Notes
  1. Dengeki Online

After a long hiatus, Square Enix and AOL Radio have announced the return of Final Fantasy to the ears of AOL mongers everywhere. Daishiro Okada, Chief Operating Officer of Square Enix, was very excited: "We feel so fortunate to have such a loyal following and want to give a huge 'thank you' for their efforts to bring back FINAL FANTASY radio," he said on Monday. Apparently, someone had to be listening.1

Notes
  1. RPGFan

IGN not weeping for Dirge of Cerberus

Gaming website IGN.com recently received a domesticated preview copy of Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and found that Square Enix has decided to make improvements to the title for its August U.S. launch. Will these be enough to drag the game out of its insessant poor reviews? Are we all out another coaster? The results may (slightly) shock you! Read on

There have been some very interesting reports posted on several popular gaming websites recently that appear to detail what has been called a "Final Fantasy XI successor": a new MMORPG to inspire ridiculous Red Mage cosplay. Japanse Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) credited production to Hiromichi Tanaka, whose was responsible for the original FFXI, and declared it would release on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and upcoming Windows Vista platforms. But Nikkei, it seems, is not the ultimate source for all things Final Fantasy. Square Enix issued a press release today stating, "the Company did not make such an announcement and has not made any decisions resembling those detailed in the media report." Instead, it is, "developing an online title for next-generation platforms [...] as a completely new MMORPG". Sorry, kids. Time to put the virtual gil away.

Ultimate Hits a hit

Ultimate Hits a hit

Five hundred thousand. That is the number of copies that Square Enix's Ultimate Hits budget series has sold since its inception in September 2005. Since then, it has been a remarkable tool for the company to curb the high prices associated with the sales of used titles and personally pocket the popularity of their classics. To accompany this tremendous success, Square Enix will be releasing no fewer than sixteen more titles into the Ultimate Hits line on July 20, including Valkyrie Profile and Final Fantasy Tactics. Are you listening, Konami? I want my Suikoden II. Read on

Final Fantasy III special edition DS on the way

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Clearly not content with one demonic pact, Square Enix has joined forces with Nintendo to create a "Final Fantasy III Crystal Edition" bundle featuring a very special Nintendo DS Lite decorated with Final Fantasy III character artwork. However, this special edition DS is releasing in limited units, and only in Japan, so order yours today for a mere 22,780 yen ($198 USD). Or you will die. Final Fantasy III releases in Japan August 24th.

Square Enix registers new trademarks; Front Mission lives

Square Enix has registered the name Monster Battle Road with the United States patent office; a clear reference to a Dragon Quest VIII minigame of the same name. It is likely that this title will be a US port of the Japanese Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker. More interestingly, the subtitle "Scars of the War" has been published for opposition, which means as long as no one else sues for property of a common phrase, Front Mission 5 may actually get a stateside release.1

Notes
  1. RPGamer

Final Fantasy XII receives NA release date, special edition

Square Enix has finally confirmed that the North American release date for their considerably anticipated and highly vaunted Final Fantasy XII will fall on October 31, 2006. The standard retail price is to be $49.99 USD, but where opportunity for more profit lies, there will be a special edition. FFXII's special edition, which will release only in EB and Gamestop stores, will include not only a steel collector's case, but also Japanese and American trailers, in-depth developer interviews, an art gallery, and featurettes of the history of Final Fantasy--all for $59.99 USD. Rumors that Yoichi Wada will be including a self-addressed envelope for stuffing cash to send directly to his office have been greatly exaggerated.

With the approaching release of Valkyrie Profile Silmeria, Square Enix's Tokyo "Valkyrie Festa 2006" was an exciting event for many Valkyrie fans. In addition to taking the title for a spin and mindlessly throwing away their yen on merchandise, attendees also received the opportunity to glance firsthand at the costumes used in Silmeria's commercials and listen to the game's producer and voice cast hint at Lenneth's appearance in this Valkyrie Profile sequel. Finally, Motoi Sakuraba descended from his mountaintop enclave to perform fourteen songs of his very own composition live. Bet you wish you were there. Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria releases June 22 in Japan.

Famitsu extrapolates FFXIII details

In a recent issue of Famitsu (scans here), the Japanese gaming magazine took a look at Final Fantasy XIII's battle system. Viewing the latest battle screens, a bar that reads "ATB Cost" and drains /with each command floats next to character HP. In the upper right-hand corner, a gauge fills to allow for an "Overclock" status, where enemies are slowed to allow for turn-based bullet time. Finally, one can make out "Lightning" to the left of ATB Cost. Could this be our beauty's name? It seems like the natural progression after years of Clouds and Squalls. Har!

Suffice to say that these Pokémon have been around anyway, but now Nintendo's Pokémon Company has struck an agreement with Square Enix to develop Pokémon, a chat and mail application doused with Pokémon media and soon to be made available on Foma 900i series phones in Japan. A wise decision, especially considering Square Enix's success in mobile exploits such as Before Crisis. Though releasing this summer for a paltry 200 yen ($1.74 USD) per month, Pokémate will likely not see a stateside release, seeing as how the franchise's popularity in the US has taken a swift kick to the groin in recent times.

In a recent press release, Square Enix announced their settlement in a piracy case involving Final Fantasy VII:Advent Children and declared their intentions toward increased anti-piracy efforts. On April 17, the company reached a "confidential settlement" with a copyright infringer who uploaded Advent Children in its entirety to Google Video, only to be swiftly discovered and forced into an admission of guilt by Square Enix's persistent legal department. Though it is arguable this poor soul was only attempting to provide a service to parts of the world plagued by the company's long localization times, Square Enix sees things differently. "In connection with [...] Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children," said Yasuhiko Hasegawa, Square Enix's General Manager of Legal Affairs, "we are actively pursuing those who commit intellectual property infringement against our company." Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children releases legally in Europe and North America on April 24 and 25, respectively.

In a recent interview, Final Fantasy XI producer Hiromichi Tanaka let slip his possibility of his working on a new MMORPG for the approaching Playstation 3 and Windows Vista. Though he offered no more pieces of information, Tanaka did mention that a PS3 version of Final Fantasy XI would take two or three years to construct, thereby making any such endeavor an inefficient use of resources and his team's time better spent developing a new title.

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