Square Enix Conference


Jul 19, 2002
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Attendees mingle.LOS ANGELES--Kicking off a week of potentially explosive gaming announcements is Square Enix's annual pre-E3 press conference, being held this morning at LA's Palladium event venue. With new consoles due out this fall from Sony and Nintendo (and the Xbox 360 already plowing ahead at full steam), excitement here is understandably high about new products the titanic Japanese publisher may announce for next-generation platforms.

A throng of eager journalists assembled outside the Palladium prior to the event. Surprisingly, Metal Gear Solid designer Hideo Kojima made an appearance, eschewing the spotlight and sitting among the regular audience.

The Square Enix press conference.
Following a brief delay, the audience was herded into a fashionably decorated auditorium where the company's most closely held secrets will be revealed. Banners displaying existing properties--from Final Fantasy XII to Dirge of Cerberus--draped the walls, display cases full of statuettes bearing familiar likenesses greeted attendees at the entrance, and a rousing score from many of the company's most popular games.

But even minutes before the show began, no hint of Square Enix's new, next-generation games was yet in evidence.

1:02 pm The conference is starting with a cavalcade of announced products on video--Dawn of Mana, Final Fantasy V and VI for GBA, Rocket Slime (!), some mobile stuff. President Yoichi Wada's now taking the stage, wasting no time talking about the promise of next-gen and telling us they've got some hot secrets for us today. So let's have 'em already!

1:06 COO Daishiro Okada is now on stage discussing the upcoming lineup. Final Fantasy XII will be out October of this year. Finally. Also some mobile stuff. Space Invaders? Elevator Action? Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episodes also on mobile this summer.

1:10 Now we're getting into the meat with a long trailer for Final Fantasy XII, all in English. Sounds like they're sparing no expense on the voice acting for this one--it's all appropriately haughty, in line with the tone of the story.

1:18 More trailers for announced, current-gen stuff like Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth and the latest FFXI expansion. Now it's Final Fantasy on mobile--I knew my nerd sense was tingling for a reason.

1:24 Looks like their mobile strategy rages unabated--Dirge is the standout since it's all in 3D. Now we've got Final Fantasy III for DS, billed as "the only Final Fantasy never to reach Western shores." They're urging us to "complete the fantasy" with this 3D remake--fine by me since it looks like the best DS RPG yet.

1:28 Final Fantasies V and VI for GBA--not the biggest news, but near and dear to many hearts for sure. Promised to have new surprises. Now it's Mana time, starting off with the sorta middling Children of. But what's this? Ten years before Children of Mana, a 3D game: Dawn of Mana, of course. More CG than gameplay, but it looks pretty good.

1:32 Once upon a slime! It's Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, which is the most bafflingly adorable name I've ever heard. Apparently, "it's payback slime." So cute, I'm sold. Now Shinji Hashimoto is taking the stage to talk about the utterly unsurprising massive success of the many Final Fantasy VII projects, from Advent Children to Dirge and the mobile games. Hey, and a US date for Dirge: August 22, with new features included.

1:43 Still showing off the Compilation of FFVII stuff, all of which is out here or in Japan. Bring on the next-gen games!

1:49 I spoke too soon: Here's our first real footage of FFVII Crisis Core for the PSP. Stars Zack of Soldier fame, apparently, and there's a ton of Sephiroth in here (down, boys 'n girls). No gameplay footage, only real-time cutscenes, but it looks amazing for a PSP game.

1:51 Here we go--Dragon Quest is coming to the Wii. Some dude is fighting a stone golem in a forest. Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors. Launch title for the Wii! No real footage of the game, but still, big news.

1:54 The hits keep on coming--now we have Akitoshi Kawazu, exec. producer of Crystal Chronicles. Two new games from that series: one DS, one Wii. DS game is Ring of Fates, and will have wi-fi multiplayer (duh). Looks a bit more whimsical than the Cube version, same basic sense of style though. They're showing four players at once, like you'd expect. Yay DS!

1:58 And here comes the Wii title. That Final Fantasy theme still makes me all misty-eyed. Wow, these visuals are nice--random shots of CC-style little dudes fighting bombs and other monsters. If any of that was real-time footage of the game, the Wii graphics ought to do us just fine. Hard to say if it was just CG, though. Code name: Chrystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers. No major details on the game available yet though.

2:02 Final announcement! For PS3! E3 is so damn exciting sometimes. What is it?!

FINAL FANTASY XIII. FINAL FANTASY XIII. They pulled a serious bait-and-switch on us. Sword-and-gun-wielding heroine who looks like Yuna, flipping her way around a high-tech, futuristic world. No idea what it was until the end when that NAME popped up. Yoshinori Kitase directing! This is the guy behind all the best ones--VI, VIII, VIII, X. Be still my heart.

2:08 Sorry, I jumped the gun--Mr. Kitase was merely presenting. Motomu Toriyama will direct the game. And apparently FFXIII isn't the only game coming out of this universe--there's a, uh, mobile game too. Oh. It's Final Fantasy Agito XIII.

Now it's Fabula Nova Crystallis--"the new tale of the crystal" in Latin. They're big on the Latin today. Whoa, wait, another new game? Stay tuned.


Good lord this is some good news, Dragon Quest on Wii!!!
Yes trailers!!! *turns into a zombie and begins walking to E3*
Can't wait for FFXIII on PS3 :up:
I still need FFXII to come stateside....Never played XI......Hurry up Square Enix!!! (Crystal Chronicles had better be more exciting than the first one.)
I never played FFIX (which I own) or FFXI. Are they any good?

& the trailer for FFXIII looks amazing. Was some of that in-game or am I seeing things?
I think some of it actually was, I could have swore I saw some menus here and there.
FFVIII - Realistic graphics
FFX - PS2 Voice acting
FFXII - Realtime battles
FFXIII - PS3 HD Bluray - In game graphics resemble FMV

I need diapers every time I think about the new one

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