Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be joining the companies top-seller list entitled Ultimate Hits, and with it will come a special edition. A Digital Content Selection is also being prepared and will comprise a large batch of DLC, a list of which you can read below. Japanese players will be able to download this from either PlayStation Network or Xbox Live.
Both the Ultimate Hits and Digital Content Selection will be available on July 18th for 5040yen and 2940yen respectively. A domestic announcement for North America and Europe has not been made yet.
If you’re a fan of the music in Final Fantasy X, SaGa Frontier 2 or any Final Fantasy XIII title, you’re more than likely familiar with composer Masashi Hamauzu‘s impressionist style. A departure from Nobuo Uematsu’s melodic (almost songwriting) approach to composing for Final Fantasy, Hamauzu employs the piano and strings to great efficacy — evoking ambient joy, tension, or adventure in the games’ locales. Mina, seen performing in the video above, has a voice that permeates Final Fantasy XIII’s soundtrack in songs such as “Will to Fight“.
Their collaborative, IMERUAT, brings other Square Enix talent into the fold such as composer/arranger Mitsuto Suzuki — also known for his work on the Final Fantasy XIII series and The 3rd Birthday. The music video we feature today called “Giant” is from their first music video DVD out on April 24th. No doubt fans of Final Fantasy XIII will be able to see the musical similarities.
For more information on IMERUAT, you can click here. If you want to sample more of IMERAUT’s “Black Ocean” (which includes “Giant”), it’s available here at Wayô Records. You can also purchase the album here.
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?
The official US PlayStation Blog updated today to inform readers that all Final Fantasy XIII-2 DLC will be 50% off for (we presume) a limited time only — echoing the price cuts that went into effect in Japan this week. For the full list of discounted DLC, consult the chart below:
All the DLC items together normally cost $53.84, but you’ll be able to snag them for $26.84 while the promotion is active. No word yet on promotional discounts through Xbox Live.
LIGHTNING: REQUIEM OF THE GODDESS (now: $2.49 original price: $4.99) MOG’S OUTFITS: A WONDROUS WARDROBE (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) NOEL’S OUTFIT: BLACK MAGE (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) NOEL’S OUTFIT: EZIO AUDITORE (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) NOEL’S OUTFIT: N7 ARMOR (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) NOEL’S OUTFIT: SPACETIME GUARDIAN (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) OPPONENT: GILGAMESH (now: $1.99 original price: $3.99) OPPONENT: LIGHTNING & AMODAR (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) OPPONENT: NABAAT (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) OPPONENT: PUPU (now: $0.99 original price: $1.99) OPPONENT: ULTROS & TYPHON (now: $1.99 original price: $3.99) SAZH: HEADS OR TAILS? (now: $2.49 original price: $4.99) SERAH’S OUTFIT: BEACHWEAR (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) SERAH’S OUTFIT: N7 ARMOR (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) SERAH’S OUTFIT: WHITE MAGE (now: $1.49 original price: $2.99) SNOW: PERPETUAL BATTLEFIELD (now: $1.99 original price: $3.99)
The Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event has come and gone, and we have a smörgåsbord of new topics to discuss. For those of you who missed the event or want an easy way to catch up, type “25th” in the search box to the right to look up all pertaining articles. So — let’s take a look at some of the major news to come out of the event!
Feel free to comment on what was shown, what wasn’t shown, and what you expect for the future of Final Fantasy!
FINAL FANTASY 25TH ANNIVERSARY ULTIMATE BOX + MEMORIAL ULTIMANIA
To open the event, a fantastic new Final Fantasy boxset was announced for Japan. (No plans for overseas release according to Square Enix North America.) The Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box includes every numbered Final Fantasy game that has released except Final Fantasy XIV which relaunches in January. A combination of PS1, PS2, and PSP games in one collection, each disc has new and unique art from Final Fantasy series artist Yoshitaka Amano.
For more on everything included in this boxset, you can read on here.
Additionally, a Memorial Ultimania series was set for the numbered series — the Ultimania guides being lengthy full-featured encyclopedia of everything that went into making the games and will likely include new interviews and retrospectives from the staff.
LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII
Of course, the elephant in the room was the New Developments presentation which announced the third and final game in the Final Fantasy XIII series.
As the title dictates, Lightning returns as the main character of this title in the distant future where the end of the world looms in merely thirteen days. A major emphasis will be put on players exploring the world of Navus Partus and forging their own end to the series through Lightning’s actions. The doomsday countdown speeds up and slows down accordingly, and the world will change via a multitude of factors — including real life interactions through Facebook. Combat will be quite different as well, as Lightning will be able to manually move, block, and evade in real-time. ATB will return, but substantially different than it’s two predecessors.
You can read more about the developments by clicking here.
What are you anticipating with this third Final Fantasy XIII game? Do you think this departure from what we’ve come to expect in Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 is refreshing or disappointing? Leave us a comment below!
FINAL FANTASY XIV: A REALM REBORN
Final Fantasy XIV was in attendance at the event, with director/producer Naoki Yoshida showing off the game in motion. Much of the footage at the event was similar to the presentation at this year’s Gamescom, but there were a few surprises — such as the reveal of two new jobs: Arcanist and Summoner.
Also, a new feature present in FFXI called Level Sync will allow you to match your friends’ levels to quest with them without impeding your own progress to Level 50. In addition to that, a brand new trailer “Limit Break” was shown, showcasing the evolution of the Battle Regimen that was previously scrapped. An official soundtrack of all the music in Final Fantasy XIV has now been official released through iTunes called Eorzean Frontiers.
For more on what was presented, you can read our play-by-play here.
The alpha testing phase of Final Fantasy XIV is starting shortly, and you can sign up by clicking here.
FINAL FANTASY VERSUS XIII
Final Fantasy Versus XIII did not show up at the 25th Anniversary, and strangely we’ve had a bit of a back and forth on the next time we’ll be seeing it. Final Fantasy series producer Shinji Hashimoto chatted with fans at the event, and when they asked him about the game — he replied (and I paraphrase): “sorry, but there wouldn’t be anything this year in regards to Versus”.
On the second day of the event during the Future of Final Fantasy presentation, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy Type-0 director Hajime Tabata informed fans that he had a message from Versus director Tetsuya Nomura:
“Tetsuya Nomura wanted to give the message that he’ll soon show the future of Final Fantasy.”
It may be worth noting that Tokyo Game Show 2012 is only a few weeks away.
FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0
While Tabata-san pranked the audience of a otome Final Fantasy Type-0 game developed by Luminous Studio, Final Fantasy Type-0 was absent on the North American and European coverage of the event. Approaching a year since the game debuted in Japan, things have been deathly quiet in regards to the game’s localization status.
If you would like to see this game localized, we implore you to use social media to tell Square Enix North America why you want this game. Tell @SQEX_MEMBERS_NA and @PlayStation and use the Twitter hashtag #FFTYPE0. Together we can send a message that the world is still deserving of an excellent addition to the Final Fantasy series.
So that wraps up the major bits and pieces that emerged over the course of the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event! But while we look forward to news on upcoming titles, we must reconcile that this is a celebration of the last twenty-five years of Final Fantasy. So please, share with us your fondest memories of Final Fantasy by leaving us a comment below — and thank you for visiting Final Fantasy Network for coverage of the event!
Tonight’s first presentation feautres the team behind Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2: producer Yoshinori Kitase, director Motomu Toriyama, and art director Isamu Kamikokuryou. The topic: new developments in Lightning’s Saga and the Final Fantasy XIII series.
We’ll be covering the event in this post, so be sure to refresh for details we wean out of the stream. For those of you who have a NicoNico account, you can view the stream here. If you don’t, fear not — we’ll have a downloadable version available shortly after the presentation concludes. So sit back, relax, and feel free to comment below on what you’re anticipating from this new project!
+ Leaking out ahead of the presentation, a Final Fantasy XIII Dual Pack will be released in Asian territories including the Ultimate Hits version of XIII and the recently released XIII-2. The game will feature Chinese, English, and Japanese voice acting and include six postcards. (Via: Gematsu)
+ The stream willl begin in 20 minutes. Make that :30-ish. (And here we go!)
+ Final Fantasy XIII producer Yoshinori Kitase takes the stage to greet everyone. Kitase says there has been a lot of of guessing by fans as to what the new project is, and he’s read positive and negative comments from fans.
+ Final Fantasy XIII’s new project will be for a home console.
+ Director Motomu Toriyama takes the stage. The keyword to the game is “Lightning Returns”. The new game is connected to flowers, roses often seen with Lightning. Toriyama wants to portray Lightning more as she was in Final Fantasy XIII than XIII-2, more human.
+ “World Driven” is a new keyword to describe this new game and direction. “The Last 13 Days” is another keyword to describe the game. Concept art is shown with Lightning in her original outfit from Final Fantasy XIII.
+ The official title: LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII.
+ The game has an element that connects with the real world, one of of the ways is through Facebook.
+ Isamu Kamikokuryou, the game’s art director takes the stage. Lightning will be highly customizable with many different outfits and gear. The game will be attuned to button presses, so you might be correct in assuming it’s an action-RPG — though they say it’s not an action game.
+ The world itself is new, in an area called Navus Partus in a city called Lexerion.
+ The world is connected by a monorail between four different islands.
+ Kamikokuryou reveals an oil painting of Lightning, showing off the new world — his first in a decade.
+ Maaya Sakamoto’s message is played — she’s the VA of Lightning.
+ The game will be on PS3 and 360.
+ And that about wraps things up. The game will have a Facebook launch soon, but stay tuned to this post as I’ll be posting more media here about this game as it surfaces tonight!
Today beings the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event in Japan and across the world. Over the next two days we’ll be seeing presentations celebrating the history and future of the series — with a few surprises along the way! Opening ceremonies are kicking off in Japan, and we’ll be updating this post with pictures from the event floor. Check it all out below!
Later this evening the streams will begin — and we’ve posted the schedule (and where to view them below). We’ll be covering all the information that comes out of the event for all upcoming titles and merchandise too! So stay tuned and feel free to comment with your thoughts on Final Fantasy’s 25 years.
Coverage of the Opening Ceremony:
+ President and CEO Yoichi Wada is on stage. “Versus is coming along just fine.”
+ Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo reps talk briefly about Final Fantasy.
+ Final Fantasy exec. producer Shinji Hashimoto takes the stage — he has a surprise!
+ The surprise is a Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box including content from FFI through FFXIII.
+ It contains new art from Yoshitaka Amano.
+ It has every Final Fantasy game in the form of a PS1 disc, PS2 disc, or UMD. Each disc has new art from Amano-san.
+ It will costs 35000 yen ($446 USD).
+ A Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Memorial Ultimania has been announced. (Link.)
+ The Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box will be exclusive to the Square Enix eStore.
+ Some of the contents of the 25th Ultimate Box include a special anniversary video disc, “Crystal ArtWorks” anniversary visual art collection, two-disc anniversary music selection CD, Final Fantasy XIV Mogu Mogu Earring item code, mini-replica of Yoshitaka Amano’s 25th Anniversary artwork and stand.
+ The release date of the Ultimate Box is December 18th, 2012 — the 25th Anniversary.
Game contents of the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box:
+ Final Fantasy (PS1 ver.)
+ Final Fantasy II (PS1 ver.)
+ Final Fantasy III (PSP ver.)
+ Final Fantasy IV (PS1 ver.)
+ Final Fantasy V (PS1 ver.)
+ Final Fantasy VI (PS1 ver.)
+ Final Fantasy VII -International- (PS1 ver., 4 discs)
+ Final Fantasy VIII (PS1 ver., 4 discs)
+ Final Fantasy IX (PS1 ver., 4 discs)
+ Final Fantasy X (PS2 ver.)
+ Final Fantasy XI Vana’diel Collection 2 (PS2 ver.)
+ Final Fantasy XII (PS2 ver.)
+ Final Fantasy XIII (PS3 ver.)
Contents of the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Memorial Ultimania:
+ Book 1 includes Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, V, and VI.
+ Book 2 includes Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX.
+ Book 3 includes Final Fantasy X, XI, XII, XIII, and XIV.
Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase took to Twitter tonight to chat to followers about the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Saga: New Developments Presentation at the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event. He described the presentation as “unusual yet authentic”, indicating that we may get something other than a few words and a clip of a teaser. Each streamed presentation at the event will last one hour.
Kitase went on to say that he will work hard on the presentation, and joked that it will not be on the same level as a “Steve Jobs presentation”.
The Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event, in regards to the Final Fantasy XIII presentation, will be streamed live on Nico Nico at 11:30 JST on September 1st. (Time and date is Japan Standard Time.) A video from the staff will be shown at this year’s PAX Prime in Seattle at the same time — so if you’re headed out to the event, be sure to stick around the Square Enix booth until 7:30 PM.
There will be a bevy of streamed content from Square Enix Japan on the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event on August 31st as revealed through an update from the offical Final Fantasy Japanese portal site. For those of you who have a NicoNico account, you can view the events by clicking the links below. Fear not, we’ll be recording the events as they’re streamed for your viewing pleasure. (Times and dates are Japanese Standard Time)
A new website has gone live pertaining to the forthcoming announcement on the future of the Final Fantasy XIII series, featuring a looming thunderhead with the caption: “A Storm Gathers“. We’re expecting an announcement not only at the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event in Japan, but a message from the staff will be broadcast abroad at this year’s PAX Prime in Seattle.