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Square Enix Gets New Label for “Extreme” Western Games

by Kyle Lehtinen Apr 27, 2010 10:29 AM CST
filed under industry, news

According to Square Enix, western developed games tend to be a bit, erm, violent. Since the publisher is often behind the localization of western developed titles over seas, SE apparently felt the need to develop an all new label under which they would publish the more "extreme" games brought to the publisher's homeland. Thusly, the Square Enix Extreme Edges publishing label has been created to do just that

The label will be used to publish games that get a CERO rating of D or Z, the Japanese equivalent of the ESRB's M and AO rating. The thought process behind this new label is to further help consumers distinct between the more extreme and mildly rated games. The best thing I can compare this to would be  Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. One is intended for a more mature audience and provides distinction to show it.

Since SE owns Eidos there's sure to be a number of new games to be published under the new label. It's good to see new avenues open up for more games to reach out farther into different locales of the industry.

[via siliconera]

Square Enix Reveals Final Fantasy XV: Revolutionary “No Actual Gameplay” Feature, 60+ Hours of Cinematics

feature

by Staff Apr 10, 2010 7:00 PM CST
filed under F.I.B, features

Square Enix has just announced in an exclusive interview with Brave New Gamer's recently organized Factorial Investigation's Bureau or "FIB", that Final Fantasy XV, the next title in the long running role-playing series, is nearly sixty percent finished in it's development and would feature "...true next generation uninteractivity..." and "...over sixty hours of exhaustively irrelevant, meandering cinematics." This breaking news comes just one month after the developer's blockbuster release of Final Fantasy XIII, and before the official completion of Final Fantasy XIV, an MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game) entry to the series.

(more...)

SE CEO Weighs in on Final Fantasy VII Remake

by Kyle Lehtinen Mar 23, 2010 10:19 AM CST
filed under news, rumors

There's been no shortage of whisperings regarding plans to remake Final Fantasy VII and while its one thing to hear game director Yoshinori Kitasi or planner Motmu Toriyama share their thoughts on the matter of a remake of the popular PSX title, it's a whole other matter to hear the big man at Square Enix himself say that the possibilities of a remake are being explored. When asked in an interview by Spencer over at Siliconera, SE prez Yoichi Wada had this to say:

Right now we don’t have a clear direction, but many fans have requested we remake Final Fantasy VII,” said Yoichi Wada, President and CEO of Square Enix, said to Siliconera during an interview at the Final Fantasy XIII launch party. “We’re going to explore the possibility – whether or not we’re going to do it, if we’re going to do it, and the platform.

This may end up being more of the same maybe/maybe not back and forth SE has been torturing FF VII fans with for the last decade, but you have to admit, hearing the guy who calls all the shots at SE say that the idea is being considered does add a fresh pair of legs to the possibilities.

Siliconera will have a more in-depth interview with Mr. Wada at a later date.

[via siliconera]

FFXIII Visuals on 360 Fall Short of PS3 Standards

by Kyle Lehtinen Mar 5, 2010 1:31 PM CST
filed under news, ps3, xbox 360

Square Enix's long awaited Final Fantasy XIII will be released next week but if you are planning to choose the 360 version over the PS3 you may want to reconsider. According to an in-depth analysis at eurogamer.com, between the two versions the quality of the Xbox 360 port doesn't quite reach the visual fidelity of it's PS3 counter part.

"Adequate but a touch disappointing" best sums up the Xbox 360 version. Fine edges lose precision, and while the effect is mitigated thanks to the MSAA along with the multitude of post processing effects the engine has at its disposal, the fact is that the lack of resolution can make the 360 build look sub-par. The clean CG look of the PS3 game in motion is unduly compromised, and while it's still a handsome enough title on Xbox 360, it lacks the pristine presentation of its sibling.

If you're an owner of both the 360 and PS3, and need some help making a choice between the two, this article is a good read. Along with a detailed break down of the visual differences between the two SKU's, the reasons why the downgrade of quality may not have even been necessary is discussed.

Click the link below to see the whole four page report.

Face-Off: Final Fantasy XIII

Kitase Says FFVII Remake Will Only Happen if it Can Be Done in A Year

by Kyle Lehtinen Feb 21, 2010 7:35 PM CST
filed under news

The Final Fantasy VII remake string-a-long continues as Kitase now says that a remake of the popular PSX classic would only happen it could be done in a year.

If it were possible that we had all the right facilities and the right environment to be able to make and prepare a Final Fantasy VII remake within a year, we'd very much like a go at it! But even Final Fantasy XIII has taken over three and a half years to create. If we were to recreate Final Fantasy VII with the same level of graphical detail as you see in Final Fantasy XIII, we'd imagine that that would take as much as three or four times longer than the three and a half years it has taken to put this Final Fantasy together! So it's looking pretty unrealistic! But if any such situation came about by any remote chance, then yes, we'd do it!

This sounds like their saying no to a remake without actually saying no. Its a bit of a stretch to say that a game which already has characters, story, and gameplay done would take three times longer to create than a game that was moved from the PS2 midway through development and needed original gameplay, characters, and story to be developed.

[via Kotaku]

Final Fantasy XI Safe From Closure, Despite Rumors

by Robert Hastings Feb 19, 2010 10:52 PM CST
filed under news, pc, ps2, rumors, xbox 360

Final Fantasy XI is by no means the highest profile online role-playing game on the market, but despite its arduous difficulty when compared to newer games in the genre, as well is its near eight full years of operation, it still boasts a considerable (and profitable) subscriber base just shy of 500,000.  It’s knowing those numbers that made the recent rumors that the game would be shut down upon the release of Final Fantasy XIV -- XI’s multiplayer successor -- just a little startling, but it seems that Square Enix President Yoichi Wada has taken it upon himself to put a stop to the spread of this particular fabrication.

“There seems to be some rumor that FFXI is ending,” Wada broadcasted over his personal Twitter feed.  “But, if that was done, we’d be in trouble.”  The actual quote in Japanese can be found at the bottom of this post.

This obviously stands as welcome news for the hundreds of thousands of players dedicated to Square’s debut MMORPG title.  As showcased in earlier examples such as EverQuest and its 2004 sequel, it’s likely that quite a large number of these subscribers will opt out of making the jump from one game to the next, or that many of them will be willing to continue paying for their Final Fantasy XI account even while playing XIV as a method of avoiding the loss of so much work.

Final Fantasy XIV Online is scheduled to release this year for the PlayStation 3 and PC.

「FF11」が今年で終了!? 和田社長「そんなことされたら困りますっ ><」
[via Kotaku]

SE Heads Attempts to Downplay Less-than-spectacular FFXIII Review Scores

by Kyle Lehtinen Feb 16, 2010 11:36 AM CST
filed under news, ps3, xbox 360

Square Enix's long coming Final Fantasy XIII is less than a month away from hitting U.S. shores but that hasn't stopped the game from garnering somewhat lower than expected review scores from reviewers who have already gotten their dirty mits on the game. In an effort to downplay these review scores, FF XIII director Motomu Toriyama stated in an interview with Xbox World 360 that the review scores are a result of the game being seen from a "western point of view":

"We think many reviewers are looking at Final Fantasy XIII from a western point of view. When you look at most Western RPGs, they just dump you in a big open world, and let you do whatever you like...[It] becomes very difficult to tell a compelling story when you're given that much freedom."

The games producer, Yoshinori Kitase, also commented:

"We try not to listen to the critics too much. Most of the criticisms have come because the first half of the game is very linear.

"But we've got a story to tell, and it's important the player can engage with the characters and the world they inhabit before letting them loose..."

The games linearity was indeed mentioned as a weaker element of the game by Japanese video game magazine Famitsu, but the game still managed to recieve a respectable 39/40 review score from them regardless.

[via CVG]

Square’s Yoshinori Kitase Continues to Entertain FFVII Remake Possibilities

by Kyle Lehtinen Feb 16, 2010 10:43 AM CST
filed under news, ps3

Talk about hot again, cold again. In an interview with Gametrailers, Yoshinori Kitase, the man who originally helmed the hugely popular Final Fantasy VII, said that he would be 'really interested' to see a remake of the game come to fruition. When asked the fan favorite question of the possibility of an FFVII remake, Kitasi had this to say:

"For Final Fantasy VII of course it was released for the PSOne," he said. "The animation was a lot more simple and there was no voice acting involved at all.

"So as the hardware develops there's so much more that can be done for the game. Visual capabilities are up. The quality is so high right now. So in a sense I’m really interested to see this more complete form of a Final Fantasy VII portrayed more realistically with the voice and animation and all the subtle expressions there."

He said: “I would be interested to see that and to make that would be a great experience. I don’t get tired of people asking that question, so I will continue to answer my thoughts at that time as long as people keep asking.”

In sum, it might happen, might not. Either way there are still no official plans. FFVII character designer Tetsuya Nomura affirmed his belief that an FFVII remake wasn't yet in the cards so I wouldn't bank on hearing anything official anytime soon.

[via videogamer.com]

Square Enix Poo Poos any Rumors Regarding Final Fantasy XIII DLC, at the Moment…

by Kyle Lehtinen Feb 15, 2010 10:39 AM CST
filed under dlc, news, xbox 360

Remember all those rumors regarding Final Fantasy XIII DLC? Yeah, Square Enix would now like to tell you that DLC isn't in the cards at the moment. Mr. Motomu Toriyama and Yoshinori Kitase feel the game is "...the complete package." and that any ideas that were cut out at the chopping block were just that, ideas that didn't make the final cut.

"Regarding the DLC content, we feel that the final product is 100% enjoyable…it’s the complete package. So we’re not planning any DLC at this time. In regard to the rumored cut content, we feel it was taken out of context. There are a lot of ideas that are brought to the table, and then the team takes the best ideas out of those, and the final product is polished that way. There was content that were “ideas” that didn’t make the final content, but the team isn’t looking to release that as downloadable content."

Does this mean there won't be any content at all? Well, they did say that nothing was planned "...at this time" so I'd wager its about as likely as a Final Fantasy VII remake.

[via blog.eu.playstation]

DLC Confirmed for Xbox 360 Final Fantasy XIII

by Tyler Treat Feb 6, 2010 2:23 PM CST
filed under dlc, news, xbox 360

GameStop has revealed the back of the Final Fantasy XIII case for the Xbox 360. It features the usual stuff games have on their packaging, but it also notes one interesting piece of information: "game-content download." Ladies and gentleman, I think this might confirm DLC for the Xbox 360 version of FFXIII.

Square Enix has hinted in the past that a lot of content was left out of the game, so much, in fact, that a second game could have been made from it. This could be their way of adding some of the stuff left on the chopping block back in.

Final Fantasy XIII is out March 9.

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