- Traversing "Distant Worlds"
North River Road is a path I regard with fondness, for is was inside the Rosemont Theater, located on this bustling boulevard, that I first met with what had up until recently been the definitive experience in my video-game-themed concert outings: the world premiere of "PLAY! A Video Game Symphony" on May 27, 2006. For me, it was a true spectacle unlike any before it, featuring an assortment of wonderful musical pieces from blockbuster video game titles performed by a full orchestra and choir, led by Grammy-Award-winning music director Arnie Roth. Memories of Akira Yamaoka's electric guitar screeching the sounds of Silent Hill, Koji Kondo's New Super Mario Bros. piano solo, and Angela Aki performing "Kiss Me Good-Bye" and "Eyes On Me" still, to this day, glisten freshly in my mind with deep affection. Indeed, it was a show to reckon with. Nearly two years later, on March 1, 2008, I was fortunate enough to return to this street and adjacent performance hall for the North American debut of "Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY." Full Article
- Wada talks global markets
In a recent interview, Yoichi Wada shared his insights on the current health and future of his company within the various regional markets in which it operates. The president of Square Enix also assessed the successes of Final Fantasy XI, the acquisition of Taito, and the present status of the Japanese games market as a whole. Read more
- Three new titles to North American portables next spring
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates will be published March 11 with local-only multiplayer play (official site); More than three years after its original announcement, Crisis Core - Final Fantasy VII will finally be released in North America on March 25 with voice talent to be announced soon (official site); And finally, The World Ends With You (formerly It's a Wonderful World) has a more ambiguous and less solidified date of Spring.
- Star Ocean 4 becomes trilogy, drags PS3 and XBox 360 into nonsense
A recent tri-Ace announcement has unveiled that Star Ocean 4, which we've seen very little of lately, will be partitioned into three titles - Star Ocean 4: First Departure, Star Ocean 4: Second Evolution and Star Ocean 4: Till the End of Time. While the naming might seem familiar, let us also reflect on the first departure of such an idea: the sales disaster that was Monolith Soft's Xenosaga series. If the second evolution of this style of gaming venture fails to echo Xenosaga director Tetsuya Takahashi's ambitious sentiments, then everything might turn out alright. An additional announcement stated that the titles will be available for both the Playstation 3 and the XBox 360. Thusly does exclusivity fall away, 'till the end of time.
EDIT: Well, it turns out this entire mess was one big hoax, and you can call it an early April Fools' joke if you like. The intermediary which translated this source to bring us this news shall remain nameless, suffice to say that they are bad, bad people.
- Blue Dragon gets more content
Microsoft bore the second of two recent content upgrades for Blue Dragon yesterday in the form of a downloadable pack on Xbox Live. The "Shuffle Dungeon" mod, available now for 400 Microsoft Points, features a mysterious dungeon that changes every time the player enters. In addition to more than 30 new items, powerful monsters, and 10 new "hard-to-beat" bosses, the package supports both "Ultra Hard" difficulty settings. Full Article
- A completist's frustration: the reckoning
EDITORIAL - Folks, I have an issue, and it's become a serious problem. No, it's not an addiction to teenage pornography, as some of you might suspect; farbeit for me to incriminate myself. Nor do I stalk the dark alleys of Compton, nails digging deep into my skin, in search of that effervescent crack cocaine--my rehabilitation has placed me far above such petty desires. The truth is, I like to finish things. Itís true, I derive a special enjoyment from completing assignments, tubes of toothpaste, and one-ply rolls of toilet paper dangling precariously in public restroom stalls. Yet, when it comes to my favorite gaming hobby, my completist inclinations take a turn for the worse. Very recently, this combination led to unmitigated disaster and my clutching a shuddering body in the fetal position in the dead of night. What could have possibly gone wrong? Full Article
- Blue Dragon downloadable content promises "impossible" odds
Content seeking to challenge fans of Mistwalker's premier RPG, Blue Dragon, is now available for download on Xbox Live. Those dissatisfied with the game's pre-packaged difficulty can acquire the "Ultra Hard Mod" free of charge. Upgrades include Hard mode, which grants the player access to a difficulty setting twice as challenging as Normal, and Impossible: an arrangement intended for characters level 50 and above. In addition, players can now begin a new file using data from near the end of the game, courtesy of the Game Plus feature.
- PSP sales not abysmal this week!
Thanks in part (or solely) to the large popularity of the PSP title Crisis Core - Final Fantasy VII (which sold approximately 480,000 units its first week), PSP system sales for the week ending on September 16 has increased more than six times that of the previous week. With 95,487 units sold, PSP has outsold DS (79,974) to take the number one spot on the Japanese Hardware Sales list for the week. Now that everyone who will ever want a PSP now owns one, expect the sales to bottom back out at just this side of nothing in a week or two. Rounding out the bottom of the list was the Gamecube with an impressive 97 units sold. Gamesindustry.biz
- Collectible Cloud never looked cuter
Have you saved up a lot of money? Are you planning to blow it all on upcoming Black Friday sales? Do think twice, dear reader! eBay seller dauntedx has gracefully facelifted a My Little Pony figurine as a tribute to everyone's favorite Final Fantasy VII hero (as seen in Advent Children). With a little over 4 days remaining as of this post, those fangirls interested in adding a little adorable something to their Cloud Strife shrines should check out the auction. It's just a click away!
If you like what you see, don't hesitate to stop on by the seller's deviantART gallery for more custom pony goodness. Bid your heart out
- Super Monkey Ball "saves lives"
"Surgeons who warmed up by playing video games like "Super Monkey Ball" for 20 minutes immediately prior to performing surgical drills were faster and made fewer errors than those who did not, said Dr. James "Butch" Rosser, lead investigator on the study slated for release Wednesday." CNN
- Nintendo's Animal Crossing to hit the big screen.
The popular Nintendo franchise Animal Crossing (Oide yo! Doubutsu no Mori) is slated for a move to the big screen in Japan. No plot details have been released yet, but it has been said that many familiar characters from the game series will be returning for the big screen adaption.
This full-length animated feature film does not have a firm release date, but it is planned to be released some time in December. Via Akadot
- Square Haven RSS feed reaches historic 5-person mark
Today, the Venerable Square Enix Resource achieved an important milestone, delivering instantaneous notices via RSS of the latest and most vital gaming information to a record 5 people.This development is a clear indication of what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin called the transition of the earth's evolutionary development into the Noosphere phase, brought about by the ever-increasing access of conscious volitional actors within a planet of finite sphericity to ever greater volumes of Square Enix-related news and information. If you do not have an RSS reader already, they are free at bloglines and google reader.
- Square Haven launches new homepage to surprise and elation
Today is a special day. Do not attempt to adjust your monitors: Square Haven has officially launched its new homepage. Besides being considerably widened to reduce scrolling frustration and accommodate larger resolutions, its launch also features the brand-new "Stream of Consciousness", courtesy of Rahul, who has been busy cranking out its glorious goodness for all to enjoy. Positioned firmly inside the right column, it details up-to-date information regarding user profiles, collections, comments, ratings and, of course, staff updates tabbed and highlighted for your convenience. With this new feature, we here at Square Haven hope to keep everyone better updated about what's going on and get everyone as fanatic as we are communicating just a little bit better. Enjoy!