We already knew The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was getting its real first-look in the February Issue of GameInformer and today we get our first look at the cover together with several details as to what to expect.
GameInformer will hit subscribers anytime now and contains an in-depth look at the world Skyrim that spans across 14 pages. We’ll get to read about the story, lore, gameplay and brand-new engine as well as drool over about 20 screenshots.
The printed magazine seems to be a collector’s item for Elder Scrolls fans too, as the cover has an ultraviolet coating, giving it a 3D effect. Furthermore the back cover gives you a hint of Skyrim’s story, that is, if you can read it. The GameInformer website will help you solving the puzzle later today.
What’s that on the back cover? The strange language seen there offers the first hints of Skyrim’s story, along with a unique tie to the singing in the recent teaser trailer. What does it say? The answer lies in translating the stanzas into English. Check back later today to solve the puzzle.
Furthermore we’re pleased to announce that Elder Scrolls will be one of the many RPGs we’ll cover in 2011, alongside with Mass Effect 3, The Last Story, Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII!
VGMdb reports that the The Last Story soundtrack will be releasing on February 23 next year in Japan, one month after the release of the game. It will be a 3-disc set with all music composed by Nobuo Uematsu. We await further official announcement by Mistwalke or Nobuo’s production company, although VGMdb is known as a reliable source. Earlier they also revealed the Final Fantasy XIII Piano Collections album several days before official announcement.
The press conference is over. As we expected, Sakaguchi showed many different aspects of The Last Story. Ranging from a detailed (Japanse) explanation of the battle system, a look at clothes and character customization to the free camera during fast-forwardable cutscenes. Sakaguchi was joined by several important staff members, and even Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata made a surprise announcement to congratulate Sakaguchi and his team. The event ended with the reveal of the game’s themesong, sung by Japanese singer Kanon.
Missed this event? No problem, as you can rewatch it on Ustream in decent quality. Furthermore the Japanese website got a big update giving a look at Ruri city, the battle system in motion and other gameplay elements. So far no further information about an European/North American release has been mentioned, although Mistwalker promised (rather, tweeted) they would reveal more about this closer to the Japanese launch date. The site also contains several new (hidden) tracks composed by Uematsu.
Other than 2 trailers we haven’t seen a lot of The Last Story in action. Nintendo has decided to stream an online event for The Last Story fans. Broadcasted live over Ustream, Director Hironobu Sakaguchi will introduce his Wii RPG and its battle system. We also expect to see a huge amount of online play, and the recently announced weapon upgrade system. Nintendo has high hopes on The Last Story seeing how the game is one month away from release and already starting to get a big promotional campaign, including a commercial to promote this upcoming event.
This presentation is called “Seeking A New RPG” and will be streamed live on the Nintendo homepage and Ustream on the 27th of December, at 2pm Japanese time. Oh, and Sakaguchi revealed on Twitter that the development of LS has been completed. Now the development staff has time enough to read the happy tweets!
In the latest issue of Dengeki, Nomura unveiled some new details on the “Square Enix 1st Production Department Premier”, an event focussing on all Square Enix titles in their 1st production department group.
Nomura says that this event is kind of like a premium video event for their fans. We’ll be hearing Noctis voice for the first time ever and we’ll see a lot of new footage of Versus. The footage won’t be completely up-to-date, as the footage dates from before the game got a significant graphical boost.
This event was known as the Fabula Nova Crystallis but shifted name and date recently. It was delayed to the 18th of January, one week later than the original event was planned. It seems Square got word on their numerous leaks in Jump and Famitsu/Dengeki because the delay is due to the magazine publishing schedules, according to Nomura.
Besides Versus XIII, the PDP event will also feature new video content of Final Fantasy Agito XIII,Kingdom Hearts 3DS, Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep: Final Mix, Final Fantasy Dissidia Duodecim and others. Square Enix has also hinted at several new titles to be revealed at this event.
Finally, the official website for this PDP event got an update revealing that Square Enix will stream contents of this conference on niconico, a popular Japanese video website similar to YouTube.
It’s the new year, but unfortunately we’re still experiencing pretty dry weather in terms of FNC news. Square Enix’s upcoming January press conference should fix that, but in the mean time we figure we may as well broaden our range of covered titles! There are some series besides Final Fantasy that we’re quite taken with. We hope you are as well.
- Mass Effect 2
- Mass Effect 3
- Dragon Age 2
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Its going to be a great year!
We’ve seen Kanan, Last Story’s heroine for a long time now without really knowing much about her background. This changed earlier this week when Jump revealed the first details about her. She is, as expected from a look at her clothing, from noble origin. Kanan is, like Elza, an orphan. She’s a daughter in the Arganon family, the family who rules Ruri island, living in Ruri castle and dreaming of leaving and exploring the world outside this castle. As she is under close supervision of her uncle, Count Arganon, this dream will remain a dream forever… isn’t it? We’re pretty sure Elza will come into play there. Remember the romantic tête-à-tête with Elza at the Star Gazing Tower? Just to recap, count Arganon gives employment to the young mercenaries Elza, Quark, Seiren, Yuris, Jackal and Manamia. Perhaps this will lead to their “fated meeting”, Jump hints.
You can view artwork and hear voice samples of all announced characters in The Last Story on its official website (Japanese)
Besides the reveal of Kanan, Jump also revealed a fairly straightforward weapon upgrading system. You can bring your weapons to a weapon upgrade shop were you can upgrade your weapons with new skills, properties and even completely new looks. You will also find identify shops in town, allowing you to identify an unknown weapon you’ve found during your adventures. The currency (gil?) or loot (vibrant ooze?) for weapon upgrades/identifying are unknown at the moment, although we suspect screenshots and more information on this system will be revealed soon.
As we highly suspect that with the background info on Kanan, we have information on all major characters of The Last Story, we think this is a good place to recap all of the information we know, courtesy of Andriasang/Wikipedia:
The main character. He lost all his family as a youth and became a Mercenary, wandering the land and fighting. He dreams of becoming a Knight. Upon visiting Ruli Island, some strange occurrence happens to him while on his first mission (this is where he gets his "Gathering" ability).
Jackal is a mage who has the ability to control ice. While he behaves in a flirtatious and easy-going manner, he’s actually a thinker and cares for his allies. In battle, he’s an all rounder who can use both magic and swords.
Manamia is capable of using recovery magic. She has a philosophical way of speaking and gentle, motherly atmosphere, traits whose origins appear to lie in the secrets surrounding her birth and upbringing. She’s a big eater.
Leader of Elza’s mercenary group. He and Elza met in their youth and are like brothers. He has great trust from his fellow mercenaries.
The "mood maker" of Elza’s mercenary group, Seiren makes use of dual swords. She’s a heavy drinker and has a foul mouth, but she’s kind and considerate of her friends.
He’s the youngest of the mercenaries, but has great capabilities in battle where he makes use of flame magic. He doesn’t talk much and is unsociable. He lost his father in his youth, and then his mother too.
The current head of the Arganon family which rules over Ruli Island. He’s the most powerful person on the island and is both resourceful and ambitious. He gives employment to Elza and his mercenary crew
Trista was once the highest ranking officer in the imperial army and was the embodiment of the ideals of chivalry. Through his first hand experience with the tragedy of war, he quickly came to understand the relation between war and the devastation of the land.
The Last Story will be releasing on January 27 in Japan and with only co-op, weapon upgrades, real-time combat and a formidable cast in an intriguing story, things are looking good for The Last Story. Be sure to stay with us for the latest information about this upcoming RPG developed by Mistwalker/AQ Interactive and directed by Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi.
This week sure was busy in both the RPG lounge and over at my place, so I’ll wrap up everything, simple and clean, and as I’m having several exams over the course of this month, you might see these kind of posts again, and again, although I’m sure to keep you updated 48/7 on Twitter, so be prepared. Lift-off!
1: Final Fantasy Agito XIII explained in 140 characters.
Well, not exactly 140, as Tabata shared more than one tweet with interesting information on this upcoming, and to his belief revolutionary, RPG. He promises players to have patience, as new information will be revealed next year, most-likely starting at the Fabula Nova Crystallis conference:
Because pretty much nothing has been revealed about Agito, players are probably unable to get a grasp on the game and are thus unable to look forward to it. However, we’ll be releasing information next year, and all members of the team are putting their all into development, thinking that it will end up being widely anticipated. We’re making it into a game that will exceed everyone’s expectations.
He furthermore reveals several concepts that will play a big role in the story. These concepts include the following:
Collision of Four Fantasies (4 main regions: Rubrum, Anaze, Kogai and Milites)
Killing Match between Magic And Weapons
The Ordinary and Unordinary
He also encourages people to play his other PSP project, The Third Birthday, as the game shows what his team is able to do on PlayStation Portable.
Make sure to check our good friends over at ff-xiii.net, as they have a very up-to-date content pages for both Versus XIII and Agito XIII, and scratching your head over Mons Kakotu, Isuka, On Tigris and Tenebrae will sure give you a head start when Square starts to release new FNC footage next year.
2: GameLoft announced iPad/iPhone JRPG
GameLoft, known for its many, usually high quality mobile games announced an exciting new RPG for the iPhone and iPad. Eternal Legacy is said to be a tribute to the JRPG genre and seems like a worthy rival for Square Enix’s Chaos Rings. No word on a release date or further details, although the one minute preview looks interesting enough to keep us waiting
3: Buy One, Get Four Times Hearts
She’s probably busy working on FF Versus XIII at the moments but Yoko Shimomura still makes some time to treat her fans. Square Enix yesterday announced that they will be combining the soundtracks of both Kingdom Hearts BbS (+ Final Mix), Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded in one big, spicy soundtrack. Almost all of the music is composed by Yoko Shimomura (some tracks have been composed by Tsuyoshi Sekito/Takeharu Ishimoto) so fans (that’s, me included) certainly have something to look forward to.
This three disc soundtrack will be available in Japanese stores on February 2 for ¥3,800, roughly $45/€35. With a little bit of luck, this soundtrack also hits iTunes for fans overseas, similar to many of Square Enix’s other recent soundtracks.
4: Square Enix shares Jump Festa line-up, no Versus hidden in the dark
Square Enix opened their annual Jump Festa site earlier this week, revealing a line-up that’s disappointing, yet expected, for Fabula Nova Crystallis fans. Jump Festa is an annual Japanese event specifically targeted at Anime/Manga, although at past events, Square Enix showed off several times who’s boss with some exciting new footage of their games. Jump Festa will be held on the 18th/19th of this month. We’ll shorten it to “Jump” for convenience if we have to use the name in future posts.
Last year (seems like yesterday to me) there was no mention of other Fabula Nova Crystallis titles except FFXIII, but surprisingly enough Square showed some footage of both Versus and Agito behind closed doors. With a special conference specifically targeted at Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII some weeks after the Jump, it seems highly unlikely that the same will happen this year.
Nevertheless Square Enix will show the following games at Jump: The 3rd Birthday, SaGa 3, Kingdom Hearts BbS Final Mix, Dissidia Duodecim 012, DQM Joker 2 and DQM Wanted, as well as their Square Enix Music and Store booths showcasing the latest products, play-arts and soundtracks.
5: Final Fantasy Becomes a Trading Card Game
Yes, I’m sure Final Fantasy VIII fans shuffled their decks several times when they first heard this news, and although it doesn’t exactly look like Tetra Master or Triple Triad, it’s nevertheless an exciting move of Square Enix. Square Enix promises a strong gameplay component using characters and summons/enemies(?) from the Final Fantasy games. So far, Sephiroth, Cloud and Zidane have been confirmed, although you might notice some other characters in the silhouette artwork found on the official site of the trading card game.
Will this become the new rage in Japan, after Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards? If Square Enix carves out some great gameplay, some stunning artwork an regularly adds new cards to the deck, I’m sure it will.
6: Final Fantasy XIII Nominated for Best RPG of 2010
The Spike VideoGame Awards have nominated Final Fantasy XIII, alongside with Fable III, Mass Effect 2 and Fallout: New Vegas as Best RPG of 2010. Spike TV airs the awards live on December 11th, alongside with some big video game announcements. Spike TV certainly knows a lot about their nominees, they know, for one, that Final Fantasy XIII features a female lead character, great, although Lightning looks a lot like Ashe in that picture. Make sure to go to Spike TV.com and take a look at the nominees yourself.
7: We can’t get enough of Final Fantasy
Square Enix already made numerous remakes of the (S)NES Final Fantasy games, and apparently fans (again, including me) want more. In a recent survey of Goo Ranking, about 1075 people where surveyed on what PlayStation title they would love to see remade, on PlayStation 3. Not surprisingly, Square Enix dominates this list with 6 of their games at the top. You can view the full list below:
Which games do you want to see a remake of? I’d personally love to walk through Phantom Forest using my Nunchuk and WiiMote ^_^
- 1. Final Fantasy VIII (Square)
- 2. Final Fantasy VII (Square)
- 3. Final Fantasy IX (Square)
- 4. Xenogears (Square)
- 5. Valkyrie Profile (Enix)
- 6. Paraiste Eve (Square)
- 7. Ghost in the Shell (Sony)
- 8. Bakusou Dekotora Densetsu (Human)
- 9. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (Namco)
- 10. Dino Crisis (Capcom)
- 11. King’s Field (From Software)
- 12. Segare Ijiri (Square)
- 13. Legend of Dragoon (Sony)
- 14. Front Mission Alternative (Square)
- 15. Vagrant Story (Square)
- 16. Tobal No.1 (Square)
- 16. Kowloon’s Gate (Artdink)
- 16. Bushido Blade (Square)
- 16. Ehrgeiz (Square)
- 16. Pepsiman (Kid)
That’s it for this week, thanks for reading, hopefully I teached you something new. Keep yourself warm, have some fun Snowfights (^ ^;) and follow us on Twitter for the latest RPG news!