Thoughts on last night’s Square Enix 1st Production Department Premiere

Formerly known as the Fabula Nova Crystallis Conference. Or in Final Fantasy lingo — “The Nomura Final Fantasy Show where we are finally letting you hear Noctis from Versus XIII speak for the first time, oh and plus a couple of announcements”.

It’s essentially a Square Enix event showcasing new and upcoming projects from the 1st Production Department team, a.k.a. the Nomura/Kitase/Toriyama alliance.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to nab a stream NicoVideo pass because I came in pretty late from signing up. I heard it was actually a bitch too to get one according to some, but hey I could be wrong. Luckily, though, a couple of dudes (y’know, forum monkeys) were able to live blog the whole event and I caught up with the whole “excitement” pretty well.

Anyway, I’m gonna start with the ridiculous titled Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.

What kind of a lame title is that?  It’s worse than Duodecim if you ask me. Screw the excuse that it has to be three letter “Ds” just because it’s a 3DS title. Ugh!

That aside, I thought KH3D looked “OK” in terms of the visuals and how it plays. We all know it’s another “filler” game or a spin-off from the main KH titles. Its major selling point, obviously, is the fact that it will bridge the events of KH2 to “OMG it hasn’t been officially announced but we know it’s coming” Kingdom Hearts 3.

Now, I have bitched about Kingdom Hearts’ story in my Top 10 Games entry yesterday. But I haven’t clarified one important thing — I want the main storyline to seriously end already. I want answers and I know Kingdom Hearts 3 carries them. I think. I hope. So with that regard: Yes, I’m still going to play this crazily titled handheld entry as soon as it comes out (it looks like a 2011 release from what I’ve been hearing).

Trailer:

Next up is Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy.

They haven’t announced any new characters (except maybe Gilgamesh from FFV, though it hasn’t been officially confirmed) which was kind of a drag. But get this — they announced that a demo of the game will be available soon and will cost 300 Yen (roughly around $4-5). Wow… fucking-a Square. A paid demo, really? Really!? Jesus Christ.

“But the demo has a prologue story of some sort which will unlock Aerith as an assist character in the full game”.

Yea, so what!? Who gives a shit? That’s like buying the douchiest guy in your circle of friends a beer and letting him fuck your girlfriend for screwing up your life. Or something pretty similar. Anyway…

Then the big one:

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is real. The sequel nobody asked. Oh. My. God…

Am I excited? Will I still be playing it? More importantly — do I care? You’d be surprised to know that… yes, I’ll still be getting this on day one out of curiosity. Let me tell you why, and no, this isn’t because of my affinity with the franchise…

I heard the developers (Toriyama again is on directing duties) are addressing the complaints of the first game. So hi-def towns maybe this time and a non-linear exploration? Could be. Maybe we’ll finally get to control a proper airship also. Plus I heard they are tinkering the battle system, one of XIII’s strongest features in my opinion. So basically, this could be the “apology letter” we’ve been hoping since.

But what about the plot though? XIII ended… I’m not gonna say “well” but the ending’s fine on its own. So where are we going this time? Who are the new villains and who’s that rival dude/chick with Lightning. Speaking of Lightning, I do like that she’s wearing a fantasy-like armor this time. Maybe the game will feature less, super crazy science fiction gizmo? Who knows.

Square Enix wasting their time was my initial reaction when I heard of XIII-2’s rumors last week. I guess it’s not so much when you consider that it will be coming out this year (Winter) in Japan, and probably a year after in US/EU. That means that XV is still in development elsewhere… I hope.

Trailer:

Moving on– Final Fantasy Type-0

It’s not technically a new game, but it is in fact Final Fantasy Agito XIII renamed. What’s up with the name-change then? Well, for starters, Square is aiming this as a NEW Final Fantasy title. Kind of similar to the Tactics or Crystal Chronicles games; it’s theoretically a new — and I quote — “starting point”. Also, according to director Hajime Tabata (Crisis Core, 3rd Birthday), the game doesn’t really have anything to do with Final Fantasy XIII. Meaning this will be the better game. Suuureee…. *sarcasm*.

Trailer:

And finally — Final Fantasy Versus XIII

Yes, you can hear Noctis and a couple others speak up in the new trailer, and yes they also showed a couple of new in-game action footage.

I was greatly impressed with this one. It looks better than the actual Final Fantasy XIII in terms of visuals and the art design. Imagine some of the background and locales of Yakuza 3 but way, waaaaaaaaay better. That’s also another thing why I’m digging this — it feels unique and different. Sure, the modern setting doesn’t exactly have “Final Fantasy” written all over it. In fact, I don’t mind if Nomura ditches the Final Fantasy title. What matters is this: It’s a freaking gorgeous-looking Japanese RPG that’s has a contemporary setting. Tell me if that doesn’t sound fucking awesome.

Combat wise, from what I gathered, it seems very Kingdom Heart-ish. Hardly a surprise because the original core KH developers are the ones handling Versus XIII. There are even some portions where it feels like DMC/Bayonetta, and that’s also a very good thing. This could be Square Enix’s first “megaton” action/adventure/rpg hybrid title, and you gotta admit that’s pretty exciting. I just hope the story isn’t too depressing because… fuck, have you seen Noctis lately? Jesusfuckingchrist.

Trailer:

OK, that’s it. I’m off now to play 2 major titles that just came out today. Later…

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