Square Enix held a massive press conference while we were sleeping last night, gracing us with a slew of announcements about their upcoming games.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Lightning strikes... a bird?
First is the announcement of a sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, called Final Fantasy XIII-2. Lightning appears to be the uncontested main character of this game, which will be appearing on the PS3 and Xbox 360 later this year. The developers stated that this sequel is coming out due to requests from fans and staff, but also acknowledged that valid criticisms were levelled against XIII. They hope to address those criticisms in the sequel.
Final Fantasy Type-0
More news coming from the Square Enix conference is the renaming of Final Fantasy Agito XIII to Final Fantasy Type-0. This is a move away from the XIII moniker, if not the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, to allow Square Enix to allow this to be able to branch out into a new series. Type-0 will feature over thirty voice actors and will be released on two UMDs in Summer 2011 in Japan.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII
One of the major attractions of the conference was a trailer of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which doesn't appear to have received a name change. This trailer shows a fair amount of actual gameplay, and will be released in high definition on the game's official website on January 27.
The trailer reveals that the main character's name is Prince Noctis, while the apparent female lead is Stella. Noctis' father, the current king, states that he will not give his crown to anybody, intending to be the final king. We don't know how Noctis feels about that statement, though, as the trailer moves on to the gameplay footage. At the end of the trailer is a statement that the game is for the PlayStation 3, hinting at exclusivity. There is still no release date.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
There was also news on the upcoming 3DS release Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Along with giving this game an official title, Square Enix also confirmed that Sora and Riku will star as the main characters and players will be swapping between the two. The development staff is focusing on speedy, action gameplay and 3D elements such as large drops from high places and flying long distances.
Dissidia Duodecim: Final Fantasy
Dissidia Duodecim: Final Fantasy was not left out, as Square Enix had some new characters to reveal for the mash-up fighter. The company first confirmed Mayuko Aoki would return as Yuna's Japanese voice actress. Furthermore, Prishe from the Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia expansion has been added, though no details were given about her. Gilgamesh was also shown in a trailer, but was also not mentioned. Finally, Square Enix revealed a 300yen demo titled Dissidia Duodecim Prologus Final Fantasy was being released right away in Japan. This paid demo allows players to try out the story mode and arcade mode. Though not featured in the demo, those who purchase this will unlock Aerith as a support character in the full version. No details were given about a North American release of the demo.