Tag Archives: Square Enix

Nier (Gestalt and Replicant)

Nier Gestalt - Title Screen
Hardware: PlayStation 3, XBox 360
04/22/2010 (Japan), 04/27/2010 (US), 04/23/2010 (PAL)
ニーア ゲシュタルト/ニーア レプリカント
Back in 2003, Drag-On Dragoon/Drakengard was a divisive release: It had a very layered and intriguing story, but badly implemented Dynasty Warriors-esque gameplay that just couldn't support it. It had many different endings that that were unlocked by fulfilling various requirements, the last one (ending E) being particularly odd. But it was the events of that odd ending that would lead into 2010's Nier. Though it doesn't take place in what you might think of as the Drakengard universe, the situation in the world of Nier is a direct result of Drakengard's E ending. In-game story details to support this wouldn't really come about until the DLC, but the pieces are there from the start. The Japanese slogan was "一人のために、全てを滅ぼせ" or "Destroy everything, all for the sake of a single person". Continue Reading

Drag-On Dragoon

Hardware: PlayStation 2
09/11/2003 (Japan), 03/02/2004 (US), 04/21/2004 (PAL)
A few months into the merger between Square and Enix, Square had not yet begun to fall out of the good graces of many of its loyal fans. While they weren't the highly experimental Square of the 1990s, their catalog hardly consisted only of releases from flagship series Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Traditional JRPGs still reigned, but Square Enix had some notable action RPGs in their back catalog: Parasite Eve, Vagrant Story, and the Seiken Densetsu/Mana series (of which a remake of the first entry in the franchise had just released on the Game Boy Advance). 2003 would also see a new series added to that list: Drag-On Dragoon/Drakengard. Drag-On Dragoon was developed by the Tokyo-based (and now disbanded) Cavia. They were a very young studio, and while this was not Cavia's first RPG (that honor belonged to a One Piece licensed game on the Game Boy Advance, "nanatsu shima no daihihou"), it was their first action game of any kind. So why would Square Enix publish a new action RPG property when they had plenty of other franchises they could pull from? This was meant from the start to be a dark RPG, unlike most of Square Enix's other properties. The story was written by Yoko Taro (who was also the game's director) and Natori Sawako, and is easily the highlight here despite being presented in a fairly bland manner for large chunks of time. The game's Japanese slogan was "抗え、最後まで" or "Resist until the very end". Continue Reading

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

Hardware: Playstation 4/XBox One
03/19/2015 (Japan), 03/17/2015 (US), 03/20/2015 (PAL)
ファイナルファンタジー零式 HD
For years after the original release of Final Fantasy Type-0 on the PSP, Final Fantasy fans outside of Japan held out hope for an official English language release of the game. Various things happened over the years that kept fans holding onto hope, but a release announcement never even came. Many theorized that a full-blown Vita version would be announced, but I don't know if anyone suspected that an HD version for current generation consoles would be the version that was finally given to the world. Continue Reading

Final Fantasy Type-0

Hardware: PSP
10/27/2011 (Japan)
Final Fantasy Type-0 is the first portable entry in the Fabula Nova Crystallis sub-series of Final Fantasy games, which begun with the controversial Final Fantasy XIII on the Playstation 3 in late 2009 (Japan release date). It was only the second entry in what would eventually be five titles (if you count Final Fantasy Agito, a mobile game that only exists on iOS and Android at the time of this writing), and was originally announced under the title Final Fantasy Agito 13. The game was directed by Tabata Hajime, who up until this point was known for his work on a couple of different portable/mobile titles in the Final Fantasy universe: Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- (for mobile phones), and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- (for PSP). He also directed The 3rd Birthday on PSP, the kind-of sort-of third game in the Parasite Eve series. The point is that Tabata had some experience working on what you might consider to be the "side" Final Fantasy games, one of which garnered a good amount of praise (Crisis Core) for its extremely tight action battle system. Type-0 was said to use a version of that same battle system, so things were off to a promising start from the very beginning. Continue Reading

Final Fantasy Explorers

Hardware: 3DS
12/18/2014 (Japan)
ファイナルファンタジー エクスプローラーズ
In 2010 Square Enix released its first "Monster Hunter clone", Lord of Arcana. This was a very popular time for Monster Hunter clones, and theirs was considered by most to be the worst in quality, and was certainly the worst selling of the bunch. In other words, it was a failure. It wouldn't be until mid 2014 that Square Enix would appear to try their hand at copying Monster Hunter again with Final Fantasy Explorers. It was a natural thing to assume that's what they were doing, since it was announced as an online 4-player game for the 3DS. What else are games that fit that description other than Monster Hunter clones? Well as it turns out, that isn't really what Final Fantasy Explorers was at all. Continue Reading