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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
 Written by John Scalzo  on May 04, 2004

News: The house that Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior built has their E3 list all ready.



Square Enix, the undisputed champion of the console RPG, has released their E3 lineup to the public. Not surprisingly it's chock full of RPGs. Square Enix has given us this list of titles and details for all of their E3 offerings. The list brings up several interesting questions. One, where is Dragon Warrior VIII, which has been in development for at least two years at this point and has a rumored release date for early 2005. And two, is the Final Fantasy XI expansion coming for PC, PS2 or both? Questions only E3 can answer, but here's the list:

FRONT MISSION 4

FRONT MISSION 4 marks the debut of the popular mech-based strategy game series on the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Utilizing the technological capabilities of the system, FRONT MISSION 4 brings you the newest chapter in the best-selling series. While boasting an enhanced battle system, outstanding new graphics and dramatic voiceovers, FRONT MISSION 4 maintains the strategic gameplay that has won acclaim from both gamers and press worldwide. As in the previous games, players can fully customize their wanzers, or mech units, with a variety of powerful weaponry and parts. In addition, new tactical features such as the "Link System" bring a new dimension of strategy to the game.

Set in 2096, FRONT MISSION 4 opens as an unidentified group of wanzers assaults and destroys an E.C. German base. The player's point of view switches between two main characters that find themselves trapped within a dangerous global conspiracy. Elsa, a new recruit in the E.C.'s Durandal corps, is sent to Germany with her team to investigate the attack. The story then shifts to Darril, a U.C.S. Army sergeant in South America. He and his company are sent to Venezuela after its governor declares independence from the U.C.S. Though Darril's squad seems far more interested in slacking off than fighting a war, their plans for early retirement are put on hold after they witness a fateful plane crash in the jungle.

FRONT MISSION 4 will be released June 15, 2004. This title is rated "T" for Teen.

STAR OCEAN Till the End of Time

The first PlayStation 2 installment in the acclaimed science fiction RPG series, the Director's Cut version is considered to be the culmination of the developer's true vision. STAR OCEAN was originally released with two versions in Japan. The development time was extended for the North American release in order to incorporate the extra features of the Director's Cut, the only stateside release of the title. STAR OCEAN builds on the first-rate concepts of earlier games in the series and leverages the technological capabilities of the PlayStation 2 to surpass them. In addition, the larger data capacity of the Director's Cut allows for multiple added extras providing the most complete game package possible. Incorporating the new features with gorgeous, extended cinematic sequences and an unparalleled real-time battle system, including a new VS. mode, STAR OCEAN is sure to attract a new group of admirers and thrill the longtime fans of the series.

STAR OCEAN's protagonist, Fayt Leingod brings his family and childhood friend, Sophia Esteed to the Federation-managed resort planet Hyda for a long-deserved vacation. Their dreamy holiday turns into a nightmare when Hyda is attacked by an unknown space military. In the heat of the attack, Fayt is separated from Sophia and his family and begins an emotional quest into the unknown to find his loved ones.

STAR OCEAN will be released August 2004. This title is rated "T" for Teen.

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and the Broken Angel

Square Enix U.S.A. is proud to bring the action-adventure RPG Fullmetal Alchemist to the PlayStation 2 in Spring 2005. Developed by Racjin, Fullmetal Alchemist is the story of two brothers, trained in the ways of alchemy, who find themselves on the adventure of their lives as they seek the mysterious Philosopher's Stone.

The story begins as Edward and Alphonse Elric hop a train to the capital city of Central. But an impromptu hijacking forces them into an all-out brawl against a rebel military faction. Fortunately, Edward has more than a few tricks up his sleeve with a variety of alchemy skills; he can transmute everyday objects into powerful weapons. After the hijackers are defeated, a shocking new twist is revealed, sending the brothers' path askew and leading them to their wildest quest yet?

Fullmetal Alchemist is scheduled for release in Spring 2005 and will carry an ESRB rating of "T" for Teen.

FINAL FANTASY XII

Our story takes place in a world called "Ivalice," in an age when magic was commonplace and airships plied the skies - the Archadian Empire, seeking to strengthen its base of power, had been invading and subjugating its neighboring lands one by one?a fate which befell the small Kingdom of Dalmasca. Archadia's invasion and the subsequent death of the Dalmascan king prompted the Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne, to take up arms against the invaders.

In her struggle to oust the occupying Archadian forces and restore freedom to her people, Ashe must watch as many of her allies pay the blood price for that freedom. Though tempted to abandon all hope in the face of the Empire's might, her determination keeps her from succumbing before what would seem to be inevitable defeat. Then she meets Vaan, an urchin from the Dalmascan capital of Rabanastre. Vaan dreams of one day becoming a sky pirate, escaping the Empire on his airship.

Vaan, Ashe, Vaan's friend Penelo, the sky pirate Balthier, his partner Fran and many more are on an adventure through Ivalice that traces the mysteries behind the Archadian Empire's invasion.

Bringing with it a wide array of new gameplay elements, FINAL FANTASY XII will change the way players think about the FINAL FANTASY series. Numerous possibilities abound within each scenario, allowing for a less linear, more unique experience for each player. The game also supports Dolby Pro Logic II both in-game and during movie sequences, immersing the player in the middle of the action.

True to the series' tradition of progress and change, FINAL FANTASY XII will move the role-playing genre forward and establish itself as another landmark title for SQUARE ENIX.

FINAL FANTASY XII is scheduled for release in North America in 2005. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

KINGDOM HEARTS II

It has been a year since the events of KINGDOM HEARTS. Sora and friends are joined by a vibrant new cast of characters, including the king himself. Together, they will face countless dangers in worlds both familiar and brand-new. It seems the Heartless still exist. A new villain also awaits - but is it an old foe behind the mask, or a new menace? This mystery and others will be solved as the story unfolds in a grand adventure. KINGDOM HEARTS has sold over 4 million units worldwide and continues to gain popularity with fans of both DISNEY and SQUARE ENIX across the planet.

KINGDOM HEARTS captured the imagination of gamers young and old by combining classic DISNEY properties and implementing new characters and worlds with SQUARE ENIX's renowned style. The tale is brought to life by an all-star voice cast. Fans will revisit this beloved story and come to care for a new troupe of characters in KINGDOM HEARTS II.

The release date for KINGDOM HEARTS II will be announced at a later date. This title has yet to be rated by the ESRB.

KINGDOM HEARTS CHAIN OF MEMORIES

KINGDOM HEARTS CHAIN OF MEMORIES for the Game Boy Advance bridges the gap between KINGDOM HEARTS and KINGDOM HEARTS II, continuing Sora's tale where the original left off. One night, after traversing endless grassy fields, Sora comes to a crossroads. His mind swims as he recalls his lost friends. They were supposed to return home at journey's end?but this was not to be. A man emerges from the shadows and speaks to Sora: "Ahead lies what you seek?but to claim it you must lose something dear." When the man vanishes, only a single path remains. At the end of that path lies a castle, and inside that castle stretches a vast nothingness. Sora's memories lay fragmented before him, swirling and spiraling upwards to a great adventure. What will Sora gain, and what will he lose?

By implementing elements never before seen on the Game Boy Advance, KINGDOM HEARTS CHAIN OF MEMORIES promises to deliver an unsurpassed gaming experience to players. New features include high-quality movie event sequences and a card-based battle system. As the latest collaboration between DISNEY and SQUARE ENIX, KINGDOM HEARTS CHAIN OF MEMORIES for the Game Boy Advance will continue to expand the series' fan base and appeal to gamers of all types.

KINGDOM HEARTS CHAIN OF MEMORIES is scheduled for release Fall 2004. This title has yet to be rated by the ESRB.

FINAL FANTASY XI Chains of Promathia

New areas such as Movalpolos and the Tavnazian Archipelago will be available through the expansion titled "Chains of Promathia." This expansion pack continues the adventure in award-winning FINAL FANTASY XI, the first cross-platform, cross-continent MMORPG. The first online title in the world-renowned series has quickly become one of most popular MMORPG to date, boasting a community of 500,000 players and 1.2 million active characters from Japan and North America combined.

The subterranean city of Movalpolos was dug and built by a tribe of Goblins referred to as the Moblins. Due to the nomadic nature of most Goblins, it is extremely rare for any of these beastmen to reside together in one place, making this community extremely unique.

The Tavnazian Archipelago is made up of tiny islands off the west coast of Quon, once home to the proud nation of Tavnazia. The remnants of the beastmen army remain in control of the archipelago, and until now, it was thought that none of the former inhabitants had survived.

FINAL FANTASY XI Chains of Promathia is scheduled for release Fall 2004. This expansion has yet to be rated by the ESRB.

Square Enix has also revealed in this E3 lineup sheet their plans for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the movie sequel to Final Fantasy VII that will be released on DVD sometime in the future. And on top of all that comes news of Square Enix's entry into Mobile Phone gaming, and with a Final Fantasy game to boot! Square Enix had this to say about these offerings:

FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN

Two years after the events of FINAL FANTASY VII, the ruins of Midgar stand as testament to the sacrifices that were made in order to bring peace. However, the world will soon face a new menace. A mysterious illness is spreading fast. Old enemies are astir. And Cloud, who walked away from the life of a hero to live in solitude, must step forward yet again?

FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN is a fully developed, CG-work sequel to FINAL FANTASY VII, the seminal 1997 PlayStation hit. Through approximately 60 minutes of beautifully crafted DVD content, FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN revisits the rich universe and memorable characters of FINAL FANTASY VII two years after its dramatic conclusion. Technological advancements bring a visually stunning new look to the city of Midgar and its residents.

FINAL FANTASY VII, originally released in Japan for the PlayStation console on January 31, 1997 (September 7, 1997 in North America), redefined the standard for role-playing games (RPGs) and has since achieved record-shattering sales of over 9 million units worldwide. Fans have long requested a true sequel, and with FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN, their wishes are granted.

The release date for FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN will be announced at a later date.

You can be sure Square Enix will be on our radar at the big show.



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