Final Fantasy series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto posted an update to the Official US PlayStation Blog today to announce that select Final Fantasy titles on the PlayStation Network will be 50% off when the store updates tomorrow.
Similar sales have taken place in Europe to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series. So for those of you who have yet to round out your PSone classics collection or need to get Dissidia, now’s your chance to save some green in the process! The following titles on discount are:
Dissidia 012[duodecim]: Final Fantasy
Dissidia 012 Prologus: FINAL FANTASY
Dissidia: Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Final Fantasy I
Final Fantasy II
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy IX
Happy New Year from Final Fantasy Network! I hope you’re not too hungover this fine Tuesday morning, because we’re recappin’! 2012 was a pretty exciting year of Final Fantasy announcements, news, and releases, and so we’ve compiled some of the biggest news-makers that made our eyes widen, our heads shake, or bodies seize uncontrollably with one emotion and then another. …Ok, that last one was just me.
Just to be frank, I was going to write you all a nice long poem, but I couldn’t find a decent word to rhyme with Theatrhythm amidst my “New Years reverie”. You’re going to have to settle with a few sub-par limericks interspersed in the article. If you think you can do better (you can’t), leave a merry Final Fantasy limerick of your own in the comments section.
For those less inclined to poetic expression, let’s hear your thoughts on this year’s events and the year that’s to come. What are you most excited to see this year? What were some of your biggest disappointments of 2012? Feel free to check out the video playlist below featuring some of the video highlights of the year, too.
FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 RELEASES
On January 31st, Final Fantasy XIII-2 released in North America for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A sequel to the original Final Fantasy XIII, XIII-2 featured Lightning’s younger sister Serah Farron and time-travelling behemoth hunter Noel Kreiss. The game itself was built on feedback and concerns from players not entirely smitten with the first outing, resulting in a game that had less corridor-esque level design and encouraged more exploration.
Despite this, Final Fantasy XIII-2 wasn’t without controversy, as when players finally reached the end credits, they were greeted with a “To Be Continued…” message. At first, fans speculated that post-release scenario DLC would be the ending to this tale, but over the year as more DLC released, a full-on threequel became plausible. Lo and behold, at the end of a long summer, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII was announced as the finale in the Lighting Saga trilogy.
A duo named Serah and Noel,
throughout time and space on a stroll,
met a bad guy named Caius
and a Yeul very pious.
They messed up the world as a toll.
THEATRHYTHM: FINAL FANTASY RELEASES
On July 3rd, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy landed on 3DS handhelds in North America, toting with it the vast repertoire of Final Fantasy music preserved as it originally appeared. The rhythm-based RPG let you select four heroes from the Final Fantasy franchse, designed by Monster Octopus, and level them up by completing various stages that put players back in classic Final Fantasy locales and cutscenes. Later this year, a mobile version of Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy released on iOS, with additional paid content.
10 YEARS OF FINAL FANTASY XI & SEEKERS OF ADOULIN ANNOUNCED
At the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event in August, the 5th expansion for Final Fantasy XI was announced: Seekers of Adoulin. Launching in 2013, the expansion will send adventurers to the continent of Ulbuka where the great city of Adoulin awaits. In addition to brand new Player-vs-Environment content, two new jobs will join the roster — Geomancer and Rune Fencer. The expansion will be available for PC and Xbox 360 users, but if you are a PS2 subscriber, note that support will be limited to Japan. Final Fantasy XI director Akihiko Matsui unveiled some ambitious new projects for the MMO, including revisions to major gameplay systems based on player feedback as well as a hefty update to the game’s user interface.
Tetsuya Nomura’s rendition of Prishe, Shantotto, Kam’lanaut, and Eald’narche from Final Fantasy XI. (@bKvEBVAvUq)
15 YEARS OF FINAL FANTASY VII & PC VERSION RE-RELEASE
Previously published under Eidos back in the 90s, Final Fantasy VII is no stranger to the PC — well, if you’re not old and decrepit like most of us that remember it’s release. We first got a hint of the project back when Steam registry files uncovered a port of Final Fantasy VII and VIII’s original PC version, but things remained silent for upwards of a year. Square Enix updated the PC version with achievement support as well as cloud saving this year for release on it’s official e-Store.
Ten years have gone by for Eleven,
fifteen if you count our dear Seven.
Keep HD remakes at bay,
remember them this way.
Surely this is true F.F. heaven.
FINAL FANTASY XIV: THE END OF AN ERA & A REALM REBORN
It’s been a long, tough road for Final Fantasy XIV, and with Version 1.0 coming to an indefinite close, Square Enix decided to treat its remaining subscribers to an end-of-the-world party. While the final in-game event was mired with lag and disconnected players, it ultimately paid a fitting farewell to a game that had stumbled out of the gate and fell flat on its face. When all was said and done, Square Enix released the End of an Era trailer the night servers shut down, portraying the aftermath of the clash between the Eorzean Alliance and the forces of Garlemald as expertly as Square Enix Visual Works could muster.
Over the next several months, we learned more about Final Fantasy XIV’s encroaching rebirth under director Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida. With each system that brought Version 1.0 its failures being scrapped and built from the ground up, a new vision of the game has begun to emerge. Recently the alpha testing phase concluded, with beta scheduled to commence mid-February. According to the new road map, Final Fantasy XIV should release closer to summer — behind schedule, but director Yoshida assures fans that this time they want to take the time to deliver. They insist that this time they will provide an experience worthy of the franchise caliber.
Kazuya Takahashi illustrates the Wandering Minstrel (Yoshi-P) with his Final Fantasy XIV baby-monster friends.
Eorzea returns in Version Two,
where I’ll get back my slimy goobbue.
I miss my idlin’
In splendid Hydaelyn
But my desk chair will just have to do.
LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII ANNOUNCED
After Final Fantasy XIII-2′s cliffhanger ending and “To Be Continued…” message, many fans saw the writing on the wall — a third Final Fantasy XIII game was incoming. Officially announced as part of the Lightning Saga New Developments panel at the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will serve as the epilogue to the XIII trilogy with heroine Lightning at its forefront.
A markedly different approach than XIII-2, players will control only Lightning as she traverses the world of Novus Partus, a broken realm distorted by the flood of Chaos five hundred years prior. However, time is working against Lightning, as she has thirteen days before the end of the world to complete Bhunivelze’s mission: to guide the souls of humanity to a new world. Lightning’s journey will be a highly malleable one; with each play-through potentially yielding experience based on Lightning’s actions. Lightning herself is highly customizable through her equipment and abilities, and combat has been changed significantly — where timing abilities to break apart enemy weak spots will be your advantage.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is expected to release for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the latter half of 2013.
A woman returned named Lightning,
whose outfit was rather frightening.
Not a belt or a zipper,
now towels are hipper,
surely this game will be enlightening.
THE YEAR OF FINAL FANTASY MOBILE
This year saw a multitude of releases for iPhone and Android-powered smartphones, including Final Fantasy Dimensions (Final Fantasy Legends: Warriors of Light and Darkness). The game itself is a throwback to the SNES-era Final Fantasy games, but told in an episodic fashion, and a cast of two bands of warriors. Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade (Final Fantasy Brigade) also made the localization cut, a gachapon-style Final Fantasy game aimed at those who play games on their smartphone sparingly. Titles like these weren’t expected to make the jump, what with titles like Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII never making the cut, but many fans were surprised when these titles were announced for localization.
Final Fantasy IV recently made the jump to iOS, with more on the way. Accompanying the official iOS trailer for the game, Square Enix revealed Final Fantasy V (and more, presumably Final Fantasy VI) will make their way to smartphones in some form.
TO BE DETERMINED…
Of course, there are three titles that have yet to reach North American shores (one of which is still six years in limbo and still going). Final Fantasy Type-0 for PlayStation Portable has yet to release overseas, despite involved personnel citing the game’s localization as near complete. The reasoning behind Type-0′s stalled fate may be due to weakness in the portable handheld market (minus smartphones and tablets) with regard to PSP and its successor the PlayStation Vita. This may also be the reason behind Bravely Default: Flying Fairy’s lack of a localization after shallow sales of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light on the DS and with 3DS on shaky ground outside Japan.
A small shoutout must be paid to Final Fantasy X HD, announced over a year ago at Tokyo Game Show 2011. In the time that has elapsed, not a single screenshot nor trailer has made it online, spurring many to believe the game had entered development hell or had been dealt a quiet death. Speculation over problems with the game’s pre-rendered backgrounds being an uphill battle to convert to HD often dominate the discussion amongst anxious fans, though no official announcement nor update regarding the PS3 and Vita-bound title has enlightened us with its development status.
Alas, we’re still without Type-0.
We’re in need of some sort of hero.
Those kids clad in red,
we hope they aren’t dead,
but waiting for our hard-earned DeNiro.
Luminous is something you’ll probably be seeing a lot of with regard to Square Enix games in the future, starting with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and next in Final Fantasy Versus XIII. When the engine itself was unveiled at this year’s E3 in the form of the Agni’s Philosophy tech demo, a lot of rumors swirled that this was the emerging face of a next-generation Final Fantasy XV. Square Enix themselves asked for fan feedback on the main character and world displayed in this tech demo, leading some to believe they were weighing their options — that Agni’s Philosophy could in fact become the next mainline Final Fantasy installment.
One other title we heard bits and pieces about this year was the never-ending saga of Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The current buzz has Versus delayed so that Square Enix can focus the bulk of its developer manpower on finishing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn — which is quite possible. Aside from all this, many cryptic hints were dropped by Square Enix staff, including Final Fantasy series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto and director Tetsuya Nomura himself. While the amalgamation of teasing and vague hints have yet to produce any scrapings of Versus’s ongoing development (other than CEO Yoichi Wada’s confirmation that the project is not dead) 2013 may be the year where we see Versus again.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII is still hidden in the sleep, after overdosing on a bottle of Ambien.
There once was a game called Versus
that now causes fans to spit curses.
How long must we will wait,
for the new release date?
‘Fore the dev team are laid in their hearses?
On December 20th, 2012, Final Fantasy IV will release for iOS — Square Enix made available the launch trailer on their YouTube channel. But here lies the twist: at the end of the trailer it appears that Final Fantasy V (and more) will be heading to smartphones in the coming future. Final Fantasy V and VI seem likely as candidates, but perhaps other Final Fantasy titles from that era will get the port treatment.
Recently announced for smartphones, Final Fantasy IV (the DS version specifically), will be coming to iOS on December 20th and for Android in 2013. This version of the game features a special touch-screen interface and a Normal/Hard mode for those who a more leisurely jaunt through the game. The game will also feature Japanese, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Chinese languages. The Japanese version will retail for 1800JPY (roughly $22USD).
Final Fantasy IV joins the smartphone Final Fantasy collection on December 20th (worldwide) starting with iOS powered devices including iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad. This version will include a special interface to navigate the world and select commands in combat, as well as an easy mode for players that want to casually enjoy the title. Japanese, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Chinese languages are supported. The game will run you 1800 yen or, roughly converted, $22USD. We’re expecting a $19.99 price tag, though.
An Android version is planned for 2013, though a formal release date has yet to be announced.
For those unfamiliar with Hiroyuki Itou’s body of work when it comes to the Final Fantasy series, all you have to do is recall the Active Time Battle system that became a staple of the series for years. Evolving and spawning unique iterations of itself, we’ve come to associate it fondly with the Final Fantasy brand itself. Itou has been a longtime employee of Square, predating the series itself. The appropriately-named “Father of ATB” was involved in Final Fantasy IV, V, VI, Tactics, IX, and XII — treating each battle system as an evolution of his original idea.
In a new interview with 1up, he looks back on his creation:
1UP [Jeremy Parish]: The ATB changed a lot in Final Fantasy V. In Final Fantasy IV, there was a clock on every action, and the more complicated the action, the longer it took to execute, even after you selected the command.
Hiroyuki Itou: It was just a natural progression of the system. The system wasn’t yet complete, in my mind, during Final Fantasy IV. So after talking to the new team members and stuff, I felt that the system evolved the way it should.
1UP [Jeremy Parish]: Was there a point where you think ATB reached its optimal form? Where you said, “This is what it needs to be”?
Hiroyuki Itou: First of all, I feel like the “optimal” ATB has yet to come. I think it’s the advance of hardware, and stuff like memory within that… I always had to be concerned about things like that initially, when I started doing this kind of thing. It’s getting closer and closer to the optimum level where I can do exactly what I want to. It’s getting there, but we’re not actually there yet. Did you want to ask about the Gambit system?
1up’s full interview with Hiroyuki Itou can be read by clicking here.
At the closing of this year’s VanaFest, on the 10th anniversary of Final Fantasy XI, Hiromichi Tanaka announced to fans across the globe that he will be leaving Square Enix due to health concerns. Tanaka has been with Square, before it became Squaresoft and then Square Enix, as a founding member alongside Hironobu Sakaguchi.
Working on the first four numbered Final Fantasy games, Tanaka-san eventually became the lead of Production Department 3 and Square Enix’s first MMORPG: Final Fantasy XI. Heading the project for many years, he then shifted his focus to Project Rapture, which became Final Fantasy XIV. After release, he passed the torch to Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida to return to work on Final Fantasy XI. Akihiko Matsui will continue in Tanaka’s place as producer.
A legendary figure in the Final Fantasy series, we here at Final Fantasy Network wish him a swift recovery and endless thanks for the many years he has invested in our favorite franchise. All the best!
Continuing the Piano Opera series for the 25th Anniversary of the Final Fantasy series, Square Enix presents the newest iteration which revolves for the Super Nintendo era of Final Fantasy games. Piano Collections: Final Fantasy IV/V/VI will be available May 16th in Japan, featuring the compositions of Nobuo Uematsu arranged and performed by Hiroyuki Nakayama. A new trailer is available today, be sure to check it out below!
To sample more of the songs from this album, click here.
01Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV [FINAL FANTASY IV] 02The Sorrow of Parting [FINAL FANTASY V] 03Save Them [FINAL FANTASY VI] 04Red Wings ~ Kingdom Baron [FINAL FANTASY IV] 05Searching for Friends [FINAL FANTASY VI] 06My Home, Sweet Home [FINAL FANTASY V] 07Kefka [FINAL FANTASY VI] 08Theme of Love [FINAL FANTASY IV] 09Final Fantasy V Main Theme [FINAL FANTASY V] 10Clash on the Big Bridge [FINAL FANTASY V] 11Dancing Mad [FINAL FANTASY VI] 12Troian Beauty [FINAL FANTASY IV]
We had a little tease of this album at the end of I/II/III’s trailer, but Square Enix has opened an official website for the album — due out on May 16th, 2012 for Y2800. Nobuo Uematsu returns as composer and arranger with the songs being performed by pianist Hiroyuki Nakayama. Click here to visit the site!
By now, I’m sure you and your mother have heard of Minecraft, so I won’t dilly-dally over introductions. YouTube user GDKT0486 has reconstructed Final Fantasy IV‘s Baron Castle in the game, meticulously planning and setting in the blocks of every corner to keep true to the original version. It also seems that the blocks have been edited to resemble the original chipset graphics. Take a look: