Earlier this week, Square Enix revealed its lineup for the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo with the launch of its official E3 site. Many of the games being featured have been announced for quite some time now, but there are a few titles that will be making their debut at E3. Here's a listing of what to expect at this year's show:
Children of Mana ( 2006 )
The first entry in the series for the DS, Children of Mana will allow up to four players to play cooperatively or competitively as they advance the story and complete quests. Players' interactions with one another will also affect the gameplay experience as they progress.
Dawn of Mana ( TBA )
The first true sequel for the series in over a decade, Dawn of Mana, known as Seiken Densetsu 4 in Japan, will be breaking the series' 2D streak with its release on the PlayStation 2. This title will feature a "Touch" theme, where you'll be able to virtually feel realistically rendered, lifelike objects. Details on this, however, have yet to be announced.
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime ( 2006 )
A new spin-off of the popular Dragon Quest series for the Nintendo DS, this title, known in Japan as Dragon Quest: Slime Mori Mori 2, will feature the series' well-known slime monster as its protagonist. Rocket, the game's main character, will bounce and stretch his way through each adventure stage in an effort to rescue his captive slimey compatriots.
Final Fantasy ( 2006 )
Following the success of Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis, Square Enix has decided to re-release the original Final Fantasy for the mobile game market. No new features have been announced for it so far though.
Final Fantasy III ( 2006 )
Final Fantasy III, the only title of the series that was never localized, will finally be making its way to North America. This installment will maintain most of its original feel, but with a complete 3D overhaul thanks to the Nintendo DS.
Final Fantasy V Advance ( 2006 )
Right on the heels of Final Fantasy IV's re-release on the GBA, Final Fantasy V will be getting its own port to the handheld system. This title is complete with new dungeons, new job classes, and a few other surprise features that will set it apart from its previous re-release on the PlayStation.
Final Fantasy VI Advance ( 2006 )
Just as its two predecessors, Final Fantasy VI will also be seeing a port to the GBA with a number of new features. The specifics of these new additions to the game, however, are fairly vague at this point but will likely be extrapolated on at the show.
Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis ( 2006 )
A part of the Final Fantasy VII compilation, Before Crisis tells the story of Shinra's elite Turks unit before the events of the original game. This entry into the series was available in Japan as a mobile phone game, though Square Enix also lists its platform as TBD for its North American release.
Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus ( Summer 2006 )
Yet another spin-off of Final Fantasy VII, this sequel is set three years after the end of the original title. Featuring Vincent Valentine as its main character, the story will follow his efforts to unravel the mysteries of his past and learn about their connection to the recent attacks staged by a group known as the Deepground soldiers.
Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan ( Released )
The latest expansion for Final Fantasy XI features a new chapter in the epic story of the world of Vana'diel. The once sleepy port town of Mhaura has become the center of unprecedented commotion, caused by the arrival of mercenary recruiters from the Aht Urhgan Empire, a land far to the east of Windurst.
Final Fantasy XII ( Fall 2006 )
The next sequential installment in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XII will be sporting a few features new to the series. Its Active Dimension Battle will enable players to seamlessly move through the world as random encounters will now occur on the same screen the players travel on. This title will also feature a new combat system that relies on a new 'gambit' system of actions and reactions that the player determines. As characters fight various battles, they can build up license points that can be used to purchase new magic, weapons, and armor.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth ( 2006 )
An update of the original Valkyrie Profile, this port will feature brand new CG cut scenes that add further depth to its plot. The new scenes will also have tie-ins to the series' upcoming prequel Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria
Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria ( 2006 )
This sequel to the original Valkyrie Profile takes place long before its predecessor, this time telling the tale of a Valkyrie named Silmeria. This installment introduces the new Photon Action System wherein the projection of photons allows the player more freedom to explore the world around them. Sealstones are another addition that will affect the laws of nature governing the area surrounding them. Also, the battle system will be getting a bit of an update as well, becoming the new Advanced Tactical Combination battle system.
Despite its length, this is only a partial list of what Square Enix has in store for E3. Square Enix has proven in past years to keep some of its lineup under wraps until the start of the show. Be sure to check back here at RPGamer for extensive coverage of expo when it kicks off this May.