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t h u r s d a y .:.
Hearts Final Mix ...
Square will release the American version of
Kingdom Hearts in Japan this December as Kingdom Hearts Final
Mix, the company announced today.
Similar to the International versions of recent
Final Fantasy games, Final Mix will include English voices (and
the English version of the Hikaru Utada theme song) over Japanese
text. Unlike Final Fantasy X International, however, there is
no indication that Final Mix will include any game content not
found in the American version of the game.
Hearts Gets Jpop Talent ...
This morning, Square EA announced that top-selling
Japanese pop star, Utada Hikaru, will be voicing the Kingdom Hearts
theme song (in English) entitled "Simple And Clean".
The Japanese version of the theme song was originally known as
"Hikari", was released as a single in March 2002 in
Japan, and has sold over 860,000 copies as of August 14, 2002.
"Utada is the only artist I envisioned
singing the theme song for KINGDOM HEARTS," said KINGDOM
HEARTS director Nomura. "Her music has moved millions
of fans, and I was absolutely thrilled when she agreed to contribute
to this project. I see her as an icon for young artists and she
also proves that music transcends national and language barriers."
Final Fantasy XI Update Plans ...
Square announced a future updates outline for
its online RPG, Final Fantasy XI. Starting next month, the company
aims to upgrade the game once a month and additionally hold special
events at the same time. Among the upcoming updates is a change
in the level cap. Until now the highest level a character was
allowed to reach was 50. In a first step, the level cap will be
set at 55 before players will be allowed to reach level 60 in
November. Following this update, the bans on four users who dared
to exceed the level 50 mark prior to the update will be lifted.
Players who manage to defeat high-level monsters like Behemoths
will be rewarded with super items. Difficult monsters and special
items will be added to dungeons. Players whose level exceeds 30
will be able to enjoy new race-specific equipment. In the Bastok
region, new mines will be available for discovery, while in Santoria
and Windust the farming industry will be introduced. Further updates
involve character stats, effects of levelling up and spells.
Available in Japan since May 16th, Final Fantasy
XI has sold about 120,000 copies to date. A US version has yet
to be officially announced by Square EA LLC.