Author Topic: News from Square Enix Party 2005!  (Read 3833 times)

Qhimm

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News from Square Enix Party 2005!
« on: 2005-07-30 12:40:53 »
Spent the day today visiting the Square Enix Party 2005, sort of like a mini-Tokyo Game Show arranged solely by SE. Needless to say, they showcased most of the upcoming games and movies. I haven't really landed from it yet, but I'll try to make a few comments. I'm not sure how much of this is actually news, but SPOILERS AHEAD!


Kingdom Hearts II (trailer and playable demo)
Well I haven't really kept up with the previously released story bits, but Sora is back, the people in black capes are plentiful, the girl from Chain of Memories plays a part, and a lot of the characters from KH make reapperances. New ones include the cast of Pirates of the Caribbean (sp?) and Auron from FFX. A prominent villain(?) is a guy wrapped in red straps/bandages, who seems to make appearances by projecting himself with technology. When Sora attempts to attack him, his keyblade passes through him, merely distorting his image in a code-like pattern. Cloud and Squall is at one point seen fighting back to back, with Cloud in his new Advent Children-look (the clothing, that is). The gameplay hasn't changed that much from KH, your main task through the battles still seem to be whacking against enemies, but some new bits include special actions in specific situations by pressing triangle, and the ability to assume various modes ("Drives"?) as well as merging/comboing with your battle partner (in the case of the playable demo, Beast).

Final Fantasy VII technical demonstration for PS3 (trailer)
Nothing new to report, I assume you've all seen it. Let me just inform you that it's amazing to behold in high resolution projected on a big screen. So was all of the trailers. :P

Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (trailer)
Nothing new here, they showed the same trailer that's available on the new (albeit with no English translation, the bastards)...

Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus (trailer and playable demo)
Didn't really find out much about the story, mostly due to my weak Japanese, but all the more about gameplay. Vincent has limit breaks where he morphs into beasts (like in FF7), various different guns (handgun, rifle, machinegun) and can cast magic if the gun is equipped with materia. The controls were a bit icky, and I couldn't play long enough to see if you actually got used to them. Left analog stick controls Vincent's movement, right stick the view angle. Press R1 to enter aiming mode, after which you control the aim with the right stick and fire with R1 (or L1 for magic), until you cancel aiming with X. The game is just screaming for a mouse for aiming, but it does help you with some degree of autolocking to target the correct enemy. The game is filled with friendly characters, and it's your job you make sure they don't get killed by Deep Ground forces. Later on, you also have friendlies fighting alongside with you, and of course you shouldn't shoot them. With only a small stick to aim it sounds complicated, but the game does help you tell people apart and only shoot the bad guys. The demo played reasonably smoothly within areas, with small load times whenever you moves between them. The areas do feel rather small though, but this could actually be a sign that Midgar itself is rather small (during the small demo opening mission, you rather quickly move what appeared to be between the outer areas of the inner ring to what appeared to be the center (presumably the Shinra HQ ruins). I never had time to actually get to the end though. Vincent is watched at the beginning by the girl you've seen in trailers (who says "found you"), she's actually sitting in a computer room, connected with cables to her helmet. I theorize she's in communication with all the Deep Ground forces, who appear to be either computer-enhanced or computer-controlled (or both). Also, I noticed pretty much everyone of the FF7 cast making cameos, either ingame or in CG sequences; Yuffie is seen talking to Vincent, Barret and Tifa is driving a truck under attack by the big guy with blue hair, Cid shows up too etc. Cloud himself seemed to be missing, at least I didn't see him anywhere. Remember that this takes place after AC and we don't know what actually happens to him (see below). The trailer also revealed quite clearly that Dirge of Cerberus will feature online play, with demonstrations of what looked like some form of co-op mode. Oh, and I saw Reeve get shot through the chest. Wonder how they fix that bit of a story hole, eh? Eh? Hole? Get it? Hah hah hah...

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (NEW trailers)
The one you were all waiting for? Well I did too, I stood in line for two hours to get in, and I was probably one of the luckier ones. I'll try to recall some of the points:
  • GOD it's beatiful to behold on a big screen.
  • They make a really big deal of the white-caped man (Rufus?) revealing his face, cutting several times to Kadaj's surprised face. Either there is still some lingering secret about the white-caped man, or Square is trying to misdirect our attention. Kadaj is moments later seen at an explosion (same scene? did Rufus blow them up?) where he screams "Mother!" and jumps off the building. Presumably he's trying to catch the small box containing Jenova that's plummeting towards the ground.
  • New poster image of Cloud carrying an unconscious (dead?) Kadaj in his arms. Don't know what relevance it has to the story, but with Sephiroth around Kadaj might turn out not to be such a bad guy in reality. A second poster (which I want but it wasn't for sale yet) showed Cloud looking up from his bike, with a nice faded half-side-image of Sephiroth in the background. EDIT: It's the same as the reported limited edition DVD cover.
  • Loz fights with some special power that lets him move extremely fast, in a blue flash of light. This is how he gains the upper hand on Tifa during their fight, after taking a bit of a beating at first.
  • Yazoo and Loz fight with amazing teamwork, more so than is revealed in the official trailer. First at the bike chase, Yazoo actually shoots (and hits!) Cloud in the head, upon which his bike goggles are smashed and we see some blood. Later in the crystal forest, Cloud also seems to be fighting a valiant but losing battle against the duo. They release powerful attacks and complement each other, at one point Loz throws Yazoo at Cloud which can't fully dodge the speed of the attack...
  • The airship you see is not the original Highwind (remembering that it was damaged badly in FF7), or at the very least it's been extensively rebuilt. Cid refers to it as a "new model", and I may have heard the name "Ciel"-something for it (not at all sure though).
  • Sephiroth definitely doesn't appear to be a flashback or vision, despite the rather out-of-context scenes he's appeared in so far, namely the destroyed building and the dark sky. New shots show him as quite real, talking with Cloud (sorry I couldn't get most of the dialogue! T_T), in warm sunlight (like some of the battles with Kadaj). Sephiroth looks at Cloud in a dark, taunting manner, raises his arm behind him and summons a vortex of dark clouds, which rise up and create the dark setting we've seen flashes of Sephiroth in before. They get ready to fight, Cloud makes some assumably noble comments including the word "death", and Sephiroth coldly replies "That's right... your death." (guessing Cloud could've said something like "I'll fight you until death"; or maybe it's actually something deeper). They then launch at each other at lightning speed, in a furious sword fight. It's a veritable über-duel, all you percieve are brief flashes and clashing swords. Sephiroth is presumably bringing down the building at Cloud, and at one point they're seen fighting; Cloud at the side of the falling building, Sephiroth standing at a 90-degree angle against a falling chunk of concrete, still furiously exchanging sword blows.
  • Kadaj still makes references to "wanting to bring back the old you" when speaking to Cloud. Unsure how important this is.
  • I hope this trailer becomes available in high-res, because it was bloody wonderful. I was set to buy AC anyway, but seeing this and the other FF7 trailers in person has reinforced my firm position as Square's buttercup. Each of these projects look promising enough to be a good game on its own, throw in the nostalgic payload of FF7 and you'll be damned I'll buy it.
  • Finally some of what sounds like the final soundtrack. Plenty of metal, for presumably plenty of fights, and a completely remade One Winged Angel (NOT the music heard during the public trailer, which was just OWA with extra guitar tracks). This is a fresh one entirely, and it even sounded like some of the lyrics where updated, all recorded in superb quality with instruments really matching the setting. Since I can't describe the music better than that, I'll just mention that I will be picking up the OST as soon as it becomes available.
  • The limited box will be priced just under 30,000 yen, which is ferning expensive, but it does contain at least some cool stuff. Apart from the movie, there are interviews, "making of", a special version (Venice?), the Last Order OVA, Cloud&Fenrir figurine, some more goods, reprinted FF7 International (with nice renders of Cloud, Aerith and Sephiroth as CD covers) with an additional 4th CD called "Perfect guide" (IIRC) which I think I overheard contains special stuff like images, character renderings etc. (edit: this is presumably the same fourth disc as included with the original FF7 International, possibly with the new character renderings). The whole thing is packaged up in a black skin-clad box with an embossed wolf logo.[/list:u]
    Final Fantasy XII (trailer and playable demo)
    I haven't followed the trailers much actually since I don't want to spoil the story this early, but the demo was rather cool. There is no longer any distinction between field and battle, the same menu, controls and screen is available through-out the game. You can run around freely even in battle, though in order to actually fill up your ATB bar you have to stand still I think. You typically only control the main character, and he/she will continue doing attacking until you tell him/her otherwise. The other party characters will attack/defend/whatever according to some speficied strategy, unless you specifically take control of them to issue direct commands. The gameplay feels much more like, say, Star Ocean in that way. While your ATB is filling up, it also seemed like you could switch the set command to something else. Items seemed to be useable instantly (though they reset the ATB bar). There were also summon-like creatures, which were, well, massive. Clearly this game is pushing the PS2 hardware to its limits. Finally there's something called the "Gambit" system, but from the extensively Japanese description I couldn't figure out how it worked. As a side note, March 16th was given as a (Japanese) release date.

    Oh, and I saw Final Fantasy XI running on an Xbox360, at the breakneck speed of 4-5 fps. Progress is amazing. ;)



    That was pretty much a summary of my day. I looked at some other games too (Grandia III, Full Metal Alchemist 3, Blade Master Musashi, etc.), but didn't feel they were needed in this "short" post. If you want details, you can always ask :)

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News from Square Enix Party 2005!
« Reply #1 on: 2005-07-30 14:45:43 »
Wow, that's the first place I actually read such a report at. Big thanks for that, Qhimm! AC sounds really interesting... Probably nothing with Last Order, right? And the Crisis Core trailer was the same as the one released a few days ago, with clouds in the very beggining?

Qhimm

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« Reply #2 on: 2005-07-30 15:08:28 »
No further details on Last Order, no. At least nothing prominent, or that I could read. The Crisis Core trailer was the one with clouds in the beginning, yes. But Crisis Core and Last Order should overlap, and I wouldn't be surprised if the CC trailer and the Last Order OVA share material as well.

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« Reply #3 on: 2005-07-30 15:36:04 »
Well, I'm not sure yet. Last Order will probably be a kind of an intro to Crisis Core.

Anyway, thanks for all the info. I'm really waiting to see Cloud and Sephiroth battling in AC - that should be a blast!

Roxas

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« Reply #4 on: 2005-07-30 23:11:02 »
Whoa! Fantastic summary Qhimm!

I would have sooo loved to be there!

I hope you don't mind, but I posted this up at www.adventchildren.net

http://forums.adventchildren.net/showpost.php?p=1617903&postcount=12


Credited to you of course. ;)

Btw, the new airship is the Sierra, and is named after his "wife", who's name was incorrectly translated as "Shera".

Winter

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News from Square Enix Party 2005!
« Reply #5 on: 2005-07-30 23:29:13 »
Nice info.

I hope they will organise similar parties in the other countries.
Anyway, no infomation about the European and US releases?

Qhimm

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« Reply #6 on: 2005-07-31 07:51:55 »
No mention on specific release dates for US and Europe, no. Being a Japanese show they sort of hammered the Japanese info only (I got hold of a complete list of Japanese release dates for every game Square/Enix has ever released, on that note). Most of the time was spent queuing to get into the "nice" trailers and playable demos, I estimate I spent at least five hours (out of a six-hour visit) just standing in line :P

Caddberry

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« Reply #7 on: 2005-08-01 00:07:03 »
Wow.. Very Nice info indeed thanks a lot Qhimm.. And whats up with the name change?

ShinRa Inc

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« Reply #8 on: 2005-08-17 21:11:49 »
I believe the new Airship is known as the "Sierra", currently, btw

Sukaeto

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« Reply #9 on: 2005-08-18 18:52:04 »
*sigh* . . . it figures they'd bring Sephiroth back to life in AC, effectively ruining the story of FFVII.

Otherwise, that's some pretty neat stuff.  FFXII actually sounds promising in the area of gameplay (kind of like a mixture between a 'Sword of Mana' type game and the traditional FF style?)