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News on Parasite Eve, Zelda 64, and more
The Missing Link
How many remember the first Zelda commercial back in the 80's? You know, the one with the guy who ran around going "Zelda?! Zelda?! Zelda?!" while knocking on the walls? Well, all Nintendo 64 owners are now following in that guy's footsteps. Yes, the big N has once again delayed its upcoming smash hit, Zelda 64. Sources at Nintendo say it'll be this May in Japan, and I normally give 6 months to translate an RPG...I'm betting we won't see Zelda on this side of the Pacific until Christmas.
Square still a Sony "Parasite"
Days after Square's big announcement that they will publish their own titles in the US from now, on, Sony Computer Entertainment of America picked up the rights to 3 top notch Square titles. The 3-D Shooter, Einhinder, which has gotten nothing but praise from everyone who has played it, (Including me, its awsome!), will be released early May. I don't see why Sony is waiting so long to release it here, since its 95% in English to begin with, but that's their baby. Sony also picked up the rights to the RPG titles Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon, and the made in the USA sure fire hit, Parasite Eve. While I don't know much about Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon, I can tell you that it appears to be a Final Fantasy spinoff of sorts, with the main character being a chocobo roaming around the dungeons fighting characters from previous Final Fantasy titles, such as the ever popular Black Wizard. This has been a pretty big hit in Japan, and I expect big things from it. Parasite Eve, on the other hand, will be a mega seller, one of the best titles of the year, and from what I've seen it could end up following Final Fantasy VII as game of the year (Square with back to back games of the year?!). It looks and moves a lot like Resident Evil, but uses the Final Fantasy style battle system. I'm going to guess that this will remind many of us of Chrono Trigger. I will get my copy of this very soon and will keep you all posted on it. There is no release date posted for Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon or Parasite Eve.
In a related manner, I believe that Square is awaiting for the "right game" to publish themselves. They have attempted to publish in the States before, and have not been very successful. Its obvious to me that they are waiting for just the right time to drop the bomb. If they are awaiting for just the right title, I am going to predict one of two games. Either they will release Xenogears over here, or they will wait a year or however long it takes, and release Final Fantasy VIII. I would predict the latter for sure. Final Fantasy is now a big time name, even more so than it already was. While they might, or might not, release Xenogears here, it's a sure bet that Square will publish Final Fantasy VIII themselves. Count on it!
Sega Pulls Saturn Out of Its Orbit
Well, as many of you already knew, Sega has once again decided to brush their current console under the rug and start anew. As of June 31st, the Sega Saturn will be nothing but a memory. Sega of Japan originally set a date of March 31st, however their North American counterparts had already announced the releases of five more titles for the console. So you Saturn owners can look forward to some new RPGs. Shining Force III and Panzer Dragoon Saga will be out soon, via Sega themselves. You can also look forward to the long awaited Magic Knight Ray Earth from Working Designs. President of WD, Victor Ireland, has declared that this is their last Sega title, and the only reasons that they are still releasing it is because they had a long legal battle over the names of the three female main characters. WD wanted to keep their original Japanese names, while Sega wanted to use the Americanized names. WD won the battle, and they would hate for 2 years of long hard work to go to waste. Plus, they announced the game a *long* time ago. I have a feeling that WD wants to live up their word.
Mr. Ireland also confirmed some changes in the game play itself, including making the game more difficult, for the Japanese game was rather simplistic, and could be completed in one sitting (talking from experience here). The Saturn version of Lunar has also been canned, in favor of the Playstation port (something I predicted last year ;) ). Seeing that new Sega Saturns are not being made anymore, this is not a bad business move.
Getting Out of SaGa Frontier
SaGa Frontier was released a few weeks ago for the Sony Playstation. This is the first SaGa game that anyone outside of Japan has had the chance to play a title of this series. The sales, needless to say, were excellent. One of the top 10 games sold its first week. However the after bite of the game might leave sour taste in the mouths of second hand game dealers, such as Electronic's Boutique. Many have complained that the game is not very good at all, and a waste of money. Honestly, I think the game has potential, but the storyline, nor the characterization gives of the idea that this is a title worth of Square's company name. I expect all those SaGa's that sold the first week to be brough back around mid-April and traded in for Capcom's long awaited RPG, Breath of Fire 3. That's just a prediction, of course.
Granstream Saga and Legacy of Kain 2
Jumping on the RPG bandwagon, THQ has rebounded from their loss of the WCW name (for those who don't know, EA Sports will make the next WCW Title), by releasing a new action RPG state-side known as Grandstream Saga (not SaGa). This title looks very solid. From the shots I've seen, it looks like it'll resemble Sega's Legend of Oasis. Early reports of the game make it out to be a very solid title as well. This is definitely one to watch.
Early shots of Legacy of Kain 2 are also making their appearance known. As many of you have seen from the new issue of PSM, it also looks extremely solid. Early reports also make it out to be a Zelda killer, however I find this to be a tad bit premature. I certainly hope that Crystal Dynamics keeps up the good work though. The first Legacy of Kain was a pretty good game, but overall it was still a Zelda clone. The sequel looks as if it'll break out of that mold and adds something new. Storyline wise, its supposed to take place after Kain becomes ruler and commands all the vampires. The main character looks pretty slick, some of his body has been melted away from water. Keep your eyes on this one, it could be a sleeper :).
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