.:. f e b r u a r y . 2 8 . f r i d a y .:.

   FFX-2: Mini-games and Familiar Faces ... news | joshua

From The Magic Box:
   Square has released additional info on their PS2 RPG Final Fantasy X-2, there will be an all-new mini game called Sphere Break, a coin game invented by the Al Bhed travel agent Rin. The second mini game is Save the Item Shop, in which you have to help the traveling merchant O'aka from the pursuit of the Al Bhed. In addition, the new Result Plate System allows you to learn abilities from other job classes and use in your current job, through the use of Dress Up Spheres. There is also a new job class called Songstress, that's where you see Yuna singing in the stage.

   Maybe she sings the bad guys to death?

   source | The Magic Box

.:. f e b r u a r y . 2 7 . t h u r s d a y .:.

   Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu Website Goes Live ... news | joshua

   Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu, the GBA remake/original hybrid Mana game, has had its official website go live.
From RPGFan:
   Square has opened up the website for its second GameBoy Advance title, the Brownie Brown-developed Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu. While the game's story will be based on the original Seiken Densetsu, the GBA title will feature a new system, visuals and direction. New weapons, magic and deathblows will also be added. To make battles easier, the ring command will be improved. The game's hero is a 17-year old fencer, whose parents were killed by Shadow Night five years ago. His female counterpart is of the same age and a member of the Mana tribe. Only two supporting characters have been revealed so far: The 23-year old beast man Nikita and Li'l Cactus (known as Saboten-kun in Japanese).
   While the game has yet to receive a definite release date, Square is already offering Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu-related merchandise: A 2003 calendar for 1,000 yen (8.53USD) and a Saboten-kun strap for 1,300 yen (11.09USD) can be ordered via the official PlayOnline store.
   Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu is still set for a summer 2003 release.

   As a side note: Brownie Brown is the team which worked on the development of the original Seiken Densetsu. This is definitely shaping up to be one of the titles I am anticipating the most in 2003; hopefully it will see American shores.

   source | RPGFan, Square's Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu Website

.:. f e b r u a r y . 2 5 . t u e s d a y .:.

   Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Details ... news | joshua

   Square has released some new info on their GameCube action RPG Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle. In this game the Moggles will once again become the postmen (since FF9), they will deliver your mails and items to other characters around the world. The game will have a lot of puzzle solving elements in different areas, and some will require 4 players to cooperate.
   There are also different kinds of magic stones and magic spells in the game. There is a Magic Link System, which allows you to link multiple magic stones together, to enhance or produce different effects for the magic spells. For example, linking Homing Stone and Ice Magic will create a homing ice spell; linking Target-All Stone with Fire will create powerful fire spell which hits all enemies on screen.

   source | The Magic Box

   Unlimited SaGa To See U.S. Release ... news | joshua

From GameSpot:
    SquareSoft has revealed that Unlimited Saga, the next installment in the Saga Frontier series, will be released in the US this summer. The game, first shown at last year's Tokyo Game Show, was released in December 2002 for the PlayStation 2 in Japan. Unlimited Saga marks a new direction for the series, as it incorporates a new visual style and a unique gameplay system that blends elements from the original games with entirely new combat and exploration systems.

   source | GameSpot

.:. f e b r u a r y . 2 4 . m o n d a y .:.

   Final Fantasy X-2: Result Plate System ... news | joshua

   New details have surfaced on Final Fantasy X-2's battle system, particularly what is called the Result Plate System.
From The Magic Box:
   There is a new Result Plate System in the game. Which allows you to access skills from other jobs during the battles. You must first learned the job skills, and place these skills inside the Result Plate before going to battles. During the battles, you can access skills from the Result Plate, regardless of your current job. However, there are certain skills which can only accessed by specific character.
   Final Fantasy X-2. which will be released in Japan on March 13th, is the first directly-related sequel to any Final Fantasy game.
   source | The Magic Box

.:. f e b r u a r y . 2 3 . s u n d a y .:.

   Gamingredients: Issue 8 ... news | joshua

   Ever seen a website shaped like a cereal box? Let me take a moment to post about SquareAMP-affiliate Gamingredients. Taking the concept that games themselves are a consumable, Gamingredients posts many well-written reviews, as well as very entertaining game histories on a monthly-issue basis. It just so happens that this post coincides with the launch of their biggest issue yet, number 8. So please try them out and give them a click!
   source | Gamingredients

.:. f e b r u a r y . 2 2 . s a t u r d a y .:.

   Hear The Black Mages, FFTA, Unlimited:SaGa OST's on SquareAMP Radio ... news | joshua

   Just updated the SquareAMP Radio 56kbps stream with three of Square's hottest new sounds:
      The Black Mages
      Final Fantasy Tactics Advance OST
      Unlimited:SaGa OST
   So as usual, click on over to the Radio page to see how to tune in.
   source | SquareAMP Radio

.:. f e b r u a r y . 2 0 . t h u r s d a y .:.

   Square, EA To End 5-Year Alliance ... news | joshua

From Reuters:
   Japanese videogame software maker Square Co Ltd said on Wednesday it agreed with Electronic Arts Inc (EA) ERTS.O to terminate their joint ventures at the end of March, ending an alliance that helped each penetrate the other's market.
    The Japanese maker of the popular Final Fantasy series and the largest game software publisher in the U.S. teamed up five years ago with joint ventures to market and distribute their products in North America and Japan....

    Full Story...
   source | Reuters

   Square Music News: Black Mages, FF Crystal Chronicles ... news | joshua

From RPGFan:
   Nobuo Uematsu's hard rock arranged compilation, The Black Mages, which was released by DigiCube in Japan today, will be performed live in Tokyo in late April. Titled The Black Mages Live, featuring battle music of Final Fantasy, the event will take place on April 26th and 27th in the Shibuya AX. Tickets will be available at a price of 4,200 yen (35.30USD) apiece.


   Square has announced that Japanese pop star Yae will perform the theme song for its GameCube RPG Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, titled Kazenone.

   source | RPGFan

.:. f e b r u a r y . 1 7 . m o n d a y .:.

   Two New Final Fantasy X-2 Characters Revealed ... news | joshua

   Square has revealed two additional characters in Final Fantasy X-2 for PlayStation 2. The first is Gippl, a cheerful member of the New Yevon organization, who is 20 years old. The second is Balalai, an 18 years old Al Bhed who belongs to a Machina Faction. Both of them are friends of the Young People's Alliance leader Nooj.
   In addition, three new jobs are revealed, include Yuna's Dark Gunner, Rikku's Black Mage and Paine's Samurai. Dark Gunner has a special skill called Dark Missile; Black Mage has a special skill called MP Absorb, and Samurai has a special skill called Shin-Metal Slasher.
   source | The Magic Box

   New Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Details ... news | joshua

   New details regarding Square's first GameCube title, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, have surfaced in the recent issue of V-Jump magazine. In the game, moogles will take the role of mailmen. For instance, they deliver letters from a person the player has met in a town.
   By making contact with so-called Magic Stones which can be located on the field map, it is possible to enhance your characters' magic spells. Furthermore, in order to get past certain obstacles, like a closed gate or a raised bridge blocking your way, you can cooperate with your party members in the field.
   Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles will be released in Japan sometime in spring 2003.

   source | RPGFan

.:. f e b r u a r y . 1 6 . s u n d a y .:.

   Final Fantasy Tactics Advance = The New Hotness!! ... news | joshua

From The Magicbox:
   Reports from Japan stating that a large number of game shops have sold out the first shipment of Nintendo's GameBoy Advance SP at launch on February 14, there were long lines of people in front of game shops, waiting to purchase the system first hand. In addition, Square's Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has sold pretty well, at a 1:1 ratio with the GBASP, both regular version and Pearl White Special Edition + GBASP Bundle Pack were sold out to customers.
   source | The Magic Box

.:. f e b r u a r y . 0 7 . f r i d a y .:.

   Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Famitsu Score ... news | joshua

   Famitsu, Japan's premier weekly gaming magazine, recently rated Square's newest FF iteration, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. The game received a 34/40, scoring 8, 9, 8, 9 from the magazine's four reviewers. The original Final Fantasy Tactics received a 33/40.
   source | Gamers.com, Square Haven

.:. f e b r u a r y . 0 6 . t h u r s d a y .:.

   Final Fantasy XII Tidbit ... news | joshua

From RPGFan:
   In interviews published in the recent issue of Weekly Famitsu, Square's Yasumi Matsuno said that about 120 people are working on his current project, Final Fantasy XII, which will be released later this year in Japan. From a development standpoint, he wants the game to be a truly unique title this year. Furthermore, he mentioned the possibility of doing something with the card e-reader.
   That last sentence is a strong hint that this game could be coming out for the GameCube.
   source | RPGFan

   And The First Square Enix Title Will Be.... ... news | joshua

   Final Fantasy X-2 and Star Ocean: Till The End of Time for PlayStation 2 will be the last titles published by Square and Enix respectively, prior to the companies' merger on April 1st. The first title which will be published by Square Enix will be the Final Fantasy XI add-on disc, Jirat no Genei.
   Star Ocean: Till The End of Time is set for a February 27th release, while Final Fantasy X-2 will ship on March 13th. Final Fantasy XI: Jirat no Genei will be available on April 17th.

   source | RPGFan

   First The Animatrix Episode Released On Web ... news | joshua

   The Animatrix, a project featuring 9 stories each done by top anime artists around the world, will be released on DVD and VHS to accompany the upcoming The Matrix sequels being released in May and November.
   You can see the first of 4 free episodes that will be released on the web by going to the website here.
   As some may remember, Square Honolulu(or what used to be) is involved with creating one of the 9 episodes - which you can see brief peeks at by viewing the trailer.

   source | The Animatrix

.:. f e b r u a r y . 0 3 . m o n d a y .:.

   Enix America To Shut Down, Squaresoft To Remain Open ... news | joshua

   Following the upcoming merger between Square and Enix, the latter company's US branch, Seattle-based Enix America, apparently has been closed only three and a half years after being re-established in late 1999. Los Angeles-based Square Electronic Arts LLC will most likely handle the US releases of upcoming Enix titles, among them tri-Ace's highly anticipated PlayStation 2 RPG Star Ocean: Till The End of Time.
   The OK of shareholders from both companies at a meeting in Tokyo on February 13th provided, Square and Enix will become Square Enix on April 1st of this year.

   source | RPGFan, Gamers.com

   Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Arranged Album In The Works ... news | joshua

   SME will publish a Final Fantasy Tactics Advance arranged album called 'white - melodies of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance' in Japan next month. The album will contain 11 easy listening tracks featuring piano and acoustic guitars.
   white - melodies of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance will be released on February 26th for 2,900 yen (24.36USD).

   source | RPGFan

   Square To Ship One Million Units Of FFX-2 At Release ... news | joshua

   Square has announced that it will initially ship one million units of its highly-anticipated sequel to Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, upon the game's March release.
   Final Fantasy X-2 will be available in Japan on March 13th 2003 for 7,800 yen (65.73USD).

   source | RPGFan