日曜日, 5月 21, 2006

Final Fantasy versus XIII

LOS ANGELES--Following on the heels of Square Enix's Compilation of Final Fantasy VIII, the company has released its new Final Fantasy vision for next-generation consoles: Fabula Nova Crystallis - Final Fantasy XIII. Of the three announced titles under the "New Tale of the Crystal" concept, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is the second being developed for the PlayStation 3. While we only got to see a short trailer at the Square Enix press conference, that was still enough to thoroughly whet our appetite for more Final Fantasy goodness.

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The trailer started off by panning a dark cityscape, before cutting to a view of what appeared to be the interior of some sort of palace. The room shown seemed small, accented with stark detail; shadows were thick on the domed ceiling and in the far corners, and columns were ringed about a circular dais in the center. In the middle of the dais was a black throne, occupied by a young man (black hair, dressed all in black... we're sensing a theme, here), who's got his legs crossed and is resting his chin on one fist, looking enormously bored. Suddenly, he raised his face and glanced up at some unknown sound, then stood and walked out of the chamber. He emerged onto a staircase that was riddled with the corpses of what seemed to be uniformed guards. The camera then shifted to behind the mysterious man, showing the square in front of the building, and it was filled entirely with black-clad troops--who interestingly enough seemed to be dressed the same as the corpses. Perhaps some kind of power struggle is being hinted at.
There was a quiet moment as the man stared at the assembled forces. The soldiers appeared hesitant and even timid, glancing at each other and weaving their weapons around uncertainly. Finally, one of the army took the initiative, and began to fire in a crazy arc toward the young man. The surrounding stairs and masonry became pockmarked with bullet holes, but an invisible shield around the target harmlessly reflected the hail of gunfire as the force of soldiers started their assault.

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Then the young man made a gesture and was surrounded by a halo of gleaming swords that materialized from the air around him. He grasped one of these weapons and then took up a battle stance, his crimson eyes focusing on his enemies.

Then the trailer ended. Tease!

We don't have much information on the game at this point, but what we do know is that the trailer was created by the team that worked on Final Fantasy Advent Children. They'll be joining the Kingdom Hearts team, who will be primarily responsible for gameplay, under the direction of Tetsuya Nomura. Mr. Nomura is also the concept designer and character designer for all of the titles in the Fabula Nova Crystallis project. The games will all have separate characters and storylines, but will be united under a single mythos. The storyline for Versus has "bonding" as its central theme.
We can't wait for more information on these games, and we'll be bringing you more news the instant we get it. Until then, keep your eyes on this gamespace for the most up-to-date information on Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Final Fantasy XIII for PS3

Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII is the first installment in the best-selling series of role-playing games from Square Enix to appear on the PlayStation 3.
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Square Enix Genre: Role-Playing
Release Date: TBA (

LOS ANGELES--One of the most exciting announcements of E3 2006 just couldn't wait until Wednesday. Instead, Square Enix today revealed at its press conference not one, but three Final Fantasy XIII games. Two of those games are exclusive PlayStation 3 releases, while the other is scheduled to be released on "next-gen" mobile phones. The premier game in the series is Final Fantasy XII, which was shown off in a lengthy trailer at the Square Enix press conference. According to the press release, the entire trailer was rendered in-game, and it revealed quite a bit about the game but left many questions unanswered as well. Read on for the full details.
The Final Fantasy XIII trailer opened with a sweeping shot of a lush canyon filled with dense vegetation stretching beyond the horizon. The camera then slowly descended into the canyon to follow a speeding futuristic train that seemed to be propelled forward by passing through successive portals of some sort. Just as the train entered a dark cave it struck a barrier on the track and exploded.

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It's a girl!
The trailer then cut to the interior of the train, where a lithe woman with long grayish-reddish hair and two pistols was engaged in a battle with yellow-clad, futuristic soldiers. The stylish, fast-paced battle sequence showed the woman performing all sorts of acrobatic stunts while deftly dispatching of wave after wave of soldiers. Every so often, a faint blue light would come from her body, which appeared to be some magic discharge or perhaps a shield of some sort.
The scene cut to another train that sped along a winding track suspended high off the ground in a dark, possibly underground area. At this point a massive monster that looked somewhat like a weapon or summon from the previous Final Fantasy games appeared next to the track and began to attack the train.
The video then cut to a shot of hovering cars driving through a tunnel toward the camera before they were destroyed by an explosion. The next shot showed some massive airships flying around a floating cluster of tall, dark spires that appeared to be a city.

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The battle system in XIII looks very action-oriented, with a single character battling a dozen enemies or more.
At this point we got a glimpse of the combat in the game, which appears to be very action-oriented. The dual-pistol woman once again was fighting wave after wave of soldiers, without breaking a sweat. The camera was pulled out slightly to show about 15 or more enemies surrounding the woman as she performed an inhumanly fast spin move and shot all of the enemies on the screen. As she did, icons popped up above each enemy denoting the number of hits and the word "chain," so it appears that the game will utilize some sort of combo system. In fact, if not for the pulled-back camera angle and numbers and words on screen, it would have been difficult to tell the difference between the cutscenes and the gameplay footage.
After the fight, the camera zoomed in close on the woman as she flicked her wrist and transformed her pistol into a large dagger or small sword, similar to a gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII. The next scene showed her walking through a very dense, green forest with crystalline structures throughout. She walked into the forest as if looking for something, then paused and looked around.
Then it was back to the floating cities as another train sped between buildings. A large flying manta ray type of creature flew down from above, landed on the train, and hijacked it. The creature looked mechanical but moved very fluidly and naturally. The trailer then ended with a line of text that simply stated, "PlayStation 3 Exclusive."

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Could this be a distant relative of Yuna, or did she just raid Yuna's closet?
After the trailer Yoshinori Kitase, Final Fantasy XIII producer, took the stage to explain a bit of the history of the development of the game. A year ago, the Final Fantasy X team was working on a version of Final Fantasy XIII for the PlayStation 2. That team was pulled off of the project to create the PlayStation 3 Final Fantasy VII tech demo that was shown at E3 2005. Instead of going back to the unfinished XIII project, the team scrapped the game and began work on XIII for the PlayStation 3.
The XIII team was assembled with specialized developers who focused on building a brand-new game engine, called the White Engine. This engine was developed to integrate graphics rendering, physics, cinematics, sound, and special effects. Square Enix promises that the White Engine will allow Final Fantasy XIII to take full advantage of the PlayStation 3 hardware.
Based on what we saw, the game looks to stick to the stylish blend of fantasy and sci-fi themes, although the overall feel is a bit darker than Final Fantasy XII. Several of the environments were especially dark and had the hard, cold feel of technology. By contrast, there were several areas that looked almost tropical and ethereal, somewhat like the land of Macalania from Final Fantasy X.
Although the trailer we saw was of course a very early representation of the game, there were some notable absences. There were no chocobos, no girls with rabbit ears, no moogles, and no massively oversized swords. We also didn't get to see many characters, people, or enemies. The trailer seemed to focus a lot on trains, guns, and that mysterious lady.
Final Fantasy XIII is the premier product in the newly announced Final Fantasy XIII: Fabula Nova Crystallis universe, which includes XIII, Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PlayStation 3, and Final Fantasy Agito XIII for mobile phones. The tagline for XIII is "A tale of souls from a futuristic civilization illuminated by the Light of the Cystal." We'll bring you more details about the game as soon as possible, but until then be sure to take a look at the first images from the game on our gamespace.
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