Square Enix fans could be forgiven if they had given up hope in recent months. A complete information black-out, permeated by the odd patent application, had caused some to doubt the existence/continuation of several key franchises, with FFXII believed by some to have been canned for PlayStation 2.
Well, it’s not the case, you’ll no doubt be glad to hear. The RPG behemoth has revealed a partial E3 list, announcing what are undoubtedly some of the biggest games on the planet, including Final Fantasy XII and the long-awaited confirmation of a Final Fantasy VII update carrying the subtitle Dirge of Cerberus.
The full, massive press release is reproduced below for your forum-using pleasure:
LOS ANGELES, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Square Enix, Inc. (Square Enix) the publisher of Square Enix(TM) interactive entertainment products in North America, today announced its Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) line-up which encompasses content developed for a broad spectrum of platforms including consoles, handheld devices and visual entertainment. Square Enix will be featuring these titles at the Los Angeles Convention Center in the South Hall, booth #746. A preview event will also be held for media on Monday, May 16.
"This year's line-up will showcase huge titles from all of our major franchises, making this a particularly unique E3 for us," said Ichiro Otobe, president and COO. "In addition to titles from our familiar franchises such as DRAGON QUEST VIII and KINGDOM HEARTS II, we will have playable demos of many other exciting, new games that will soon be as recognizable on consoles, mobile phones, online and DVD. COMPILATION of FINAL FANTASY VII* will be a great example of the actual delivery of polymorphic content, our new content deployment model based on the creation of original concepts with interactivity on multiple platforms in mind from the start."
* The COMPILATION OF FINAL FANTASY VII includes the titles: FINAL FANTASY® VII ADVENT CHILDREN, Before Crisis(TM) -FINAL FANTASY® VII- and DIRGE OF CERBERUS(TM) -FINAL FANTASY® VII-.
Square Enix will have the following entertainment products on display:
PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system:
DIRGE OF CERBERUS(TM) -FINAL FANTASY® VII
DIRGE of CERBERUS for the PlayStation®2 is the third installment in the COMPILATION OF FINAL FANTASY®VII. Taking place three years after the original PS one(TM) game console title, gamers follow Vincent Valentine's journey as he uncovers shocking truths never revealed in Midgar. Vincent is connected to recent attacks, and he may be the only one who can save this shattered world. When the world is engulfed in darkness, his gun will toll a dreadful dirge... The release date for DIRGE of CERBERUS will be announced at a later time. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB. This title is not officially concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.
DRAGON QUEST(TM) VIII: Journey of the Cursed King(TM)
DRAGON QUEST VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is the latest installment of the immensely popular DRAGON QUEST series that has sold over 35 million units worldwide and is the first to be released for the PlayStation®2. Characters designed by Akira Toriyama are brought to life by "cel-shading," bringing gamers of all ages into a world straight out of Japanese anime. In DRAGON QUEST VIII, old meets new, as classic gameplay is married to sumptuous graphics, delivering the kind of sweeping adventure that only DRAGON QUEST games can offer. The release date for DRAGON QUEST VIII will be announced at a later time. This title has been rated T (Teen) by the ESRB.
FINAL FANTASY® XII
FINAL FANTASY XII for the PlayStation®2 is the story of a world called Ivalice. Our tale begins in the Royal City of Rabanastre, against a backdrop of impending war. Rabanastre is the heart and capital of Dalmasca, a kingdom recently conquered by the neighboring Archadian Empire. The appointment of a new imperial consul gives the main character Vaan the chance he's been waiting for, but an unexpected turn of events puts Vaan and his friend Penelo alongside the sky pirate Balthier and his partner, Fran. Meanwhile, Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne, struggles to restore freedom to her people. Return to an age when magic was commonplace and airships plied the skies, crowding out the heavens. Return to Ivalice. The release date for FINAL FANTASY XII will be announced at a later time. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.
FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST(TM) 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir
FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir is the fast-paced action RPG prequel to FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST(TM) and the Broken Angel. The second installment in the FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST series brings an enhanced battle system, cel-shaded graphics, thirty minutes of original animation and an enthralling storyline to the PlayStation®2. Based on the wildly popular Japanese animation and comic of the same name, FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST 2 follows the continuing journey of two brothers on their life-changing quest. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST 2 is slated for release in July 2005 and has been rated T (Teen) by the ESRB.
KINGDOM HEARTS® II
KINGDOM HEARTS II for the PlayStation®2 follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy on their continuing quest to find their friends and King Mickey. Haley Joel Osment (Secondhand Lions, The Sixth Sense) reprises his role as the main character Sora and is joined by Ming-Na (ER, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) who voices Mulan and James Woods (Be Cool) who returns as the villain Hades, along with a slew of soon to be announced celebrity voices. It has been a year since the events of KINGDOM HEARTS CHAIN OF MEMORIES. The story begins in Twilight Town, a quiet burg nestled between night and day. Sora and friends are joined by a vibrant new cast of characters, including the king himself! In the effort to help Mulan and stop the villain Hades' devious plots, they will encounter countless dangers both familiar and brand-new. The release date for KINGDOM HEARTS II will be announced at a later date. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.
RADIATA STORIES is the latest PlayStation®2 fantasy RPG by tri-Ace, developer of Valkyrie Profile(TM) and the Star Ocean(TM) series for the PlayStation®2. An emotional story about the conflict between humans and fairy creatures is complemented by a new gameplay system that draws the player deep into the game. Enter a never-before-seen living, breathing world where all of the characters live their own lives and the passage of time brings about remarkable changes. Your choices determine which of over 150 individuals will lend you a hand in your journey. Precise, easy-to-use controls allow you to add strategies to real-time battles through various changes in your party's formation. Radiata Stories is slated for release in Fall 2005. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB. This title is not officially concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Romancing SaGa for the PlayStation®2 is the latest in the legendary SaGa series, blending technology and creative vision together to produce a world of wonder. A thousand years ago, Saruin was imprisoned. But the barriers that contain him are weakening, and his foreboding shadow threatens to swallow the world of Mardias once again. Who will rid the world of Saruin's scourge? A mysterious minstrel sometimes guides your party to adventure and at other times protects it from shadow. Occasionally he forces upon you grave choices that will change the world in which you travel and twist the plots you encounter. The free-roaming scenario system gives you a choice of eight intriguing playable main characters, each with their own adventures and goals. The release date for Romancing SaGa will be announced at a later time. This title has been rated E10+ (Everyone 10+) by the ESRB. This title is not officially concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Online: PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Windows®
FINAL FANTASY® XI
The top-selling MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XI is evolving yet again. With an ever-expanding online world and new and improved features, Vana'diel is now bigger and better than ever! Gamers can look forward to the continuing story in the Chains of Promathia expansion pack, explore new areas such as Al'Taieu and the Grand Palace of Hu'Xzoi, and engage in battles using new spells and abilities. In addition, never-before-seen items and equipment, new quests and new systems like guild points and Ballista rankings await players. FINAL FANTASY XI is the world's first and only cross-platform MMORPG (allowing PlayStation®2 and Windows® players to play together in the same world). Although technology has advanced, FINAL FANTASY XI has kept pace and continues to grow, developing brand-new gameplay features while delivering frequent updates to meet players' needs. FINAL FANTASY XI: Chains of Promathia is available now, with an ESRB rating of T (Teen).
FRONT MISSION® Online
Since 1995, gamers have been captivated by the strategic combat, giant humanoid vehicles ("wanzers"), deep storylines, and real-world settings of the FRONT MISSION series. Now, the series goes online for the first time in its history with FRONT MISSION Online for the PlayStation®2 and Windows® (Japan only, North America platforms TBD). Join the O.C.U. or the U.C.S. and battle for control of Huffman Island. Fight alone with NPC backup or create a battle group with other players and experience the ultimate in teamplay combat. Actions in battle directly influence the chosen nation's domination of Huffman -- and with a high enough rank, you can issue missions to other players and dramatically shape the outcome of the war! The release date for FRONT MISSION Online will be announced at a later date. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB. This title is not officially concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Mobile Entertainment Content
Before Crisis(TM) -FINAL FANTASY® VII- Before Crisis takes place six years before the events of FINAL FANTASY VII. Shinra, Inc. has increased its power and profitability, its influence extending even to the government. Hidden from the public, the Turks, an elite squad of Shinra operatives, take care of Shinra's dirty work. Civil unrest grows as people become concerned about Shinra drawing mako energy directly from the planet. The rebel group AVALANCHE is formed to stop the corporation. This real-time action game allows gamers to enter the world of FINAL FANTASY VII through a mobile phone. Play with multiple players over the network, recruit new team members to SOLDIER, and carry out classified operations to stop the AVALANCHE menace. North American compatible phones and launch date TBA.
FINAL FANTASY® II
Now you can experience the excitement of the acclaimed FINAL FANTASY® II on your mobile phone! A long-lived peace is at an end. The emperor of Palamecia has called forth monsters from the underworld and begun his campaign for world conquest. A rebel army arose in the Kingdom of Fynn to thwart the emperor's plans, but the rebels' castle fell to an all-out assault by the empire. Four youths from Fynn also found themselves fleeing the imperial forces. They had lost their parents at the hands of the empire. But their escape wasn't over... North American compatible phones and launch date TBA.
FINAL FANTASY® VII Snowboarding
Experience the non-stop 3D action and speed of the popular FINAL FANTASY VII mini-game, FINAL FANTASY VII Snowboarding, on the go! Rack up points in "Score Attack" mode by dodging obstacles and catching balloons. Unlock intermediate and advanced downhill courses to put your skills to the test. Unlock the "Time Attack" mode to challenge your own speed records. Responsive controls and a new spin jump move are optimized for mobile play. This title is available in the U.S. only. Compatible Phones: Verizon Wireless / LG VX8000. Available now.
FRONT MISSION® 2089
The year is 2089, and the war is brewing between the O.C.U. and U.C.S. Use your mobile phone to climb aboard giant humanoid armored vehicles called "wanzers" and fight for the nation of your choice. Experience an original storyline created exclusively for this mobile version in FRONT MISSION 2089. North American compatible phones and launch date TBA.
As the minutes turn into hours, you'll realize that Hexcite Fusion's gameplay has you in its grasp! Shift your shapes and form your geometric strategy. Try playing with a friend in two-player mode or match wits against three different AI levels. 800,000 copies of the board game have shipped in both the U.S. and Japan! Consider yourself warned -- don't pick up HEXCITE unless you've got the time to be furiously addicted! North American compatible phones and launch date TBA.
Musashi® Mobile Samurai
In Musashi: Mobile Samurai, slice through hoardes of foes with your dual swords and fight your way to the top of the Tower of Five Rings. Square Enix's first 3D action title for mobile platforms is an original fast-paced adventure set in the world of the PlayStation®2 game, Musashi®: Samurai Legend(TM). Simple controls allow you to unleash a variety of deadly techniques, and dynamic camera angles and spectacular visual effects intensify the thrill of battle! You've never seen 3D action like this! Compatible Phones: Verizon Wireless / LG VX8000. Available now.
FINAL FANTASY® VII ADVENT CHILDREN
This stunning CG sequel to the seminal 1997 PS one(TM) game console hit, FINAL FANTASY VII revisits the rich universe and memorable characters that gamers have never forgotten. The latest advancements in CG bring a visually stunning new look to the city of Midgar and its residents. Two years after the dramatic conclusion of FINAL FANTASY VII, the ruins of Midgar stand as a testament to the sacrifices that helped bring peace. However, the world will soon face a new menace. A mysterious illness is spreading fast. Old enemies are astir. And Cloud, who walked away from the life of a hero to live in solitude, must step forward yet again... FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN is scheduled to ship in 2005.