With just over a week to go, Square-Enix has joined the growing ranks of publishers to announce a tentative line-up for the E3 trade show, and in addition to the likes of Final Fantasy XII (now due in 2005), Kingdom Hearts II and Front Mission 4, the Japanese developer/publisher is expected to make a couple of big announcements. So, we might as well start rumour-mongering before some of our competition gets in there - let's have Final Fantasy VII on the PSP for a start, a new Chrono title, and then how about a full-blown next-generation Mana game?
(Somewhat) In the realms of reality, however, we can actually expect to see a good number of titles Square Enix has set for release within the next year or so - including the much anticipated Final Fantasy XII, the first full single-player RPG since Tidus' endeavours a couple of years ago (or since FFX-2 this spring, if you went in for that). Interestingly, the publisher is now openly talking about releasing it in the States in 2005, although any disappointment there is bound to slip away at the first sight of the presumably gorgeous world of Ivalice and the airships plying the skies of the Archadian Empire within.
Also on the stand, we'll be able to check out the likes of Kingdom Hearts II and its handheld sibling Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the GBA, the latter of which is set for release this autumn. Although Square Enix hasn't announced a date for KH2 (which is actually set following the events of Chain of Memories), late 2004/early 2005 seems like an obvious bet. The Japanese chart-topping Full Metal Alchemist and The Broken Angel (spring 2005) will also be on the stand, rubbing shoulders with Westernisations of Star Ocean: Till The End of Time and Front Mission 4, while fans of massively multiplayer Chocobos will be able to see the Chains of Promathia expansion in the flesh for the first time.
Oh, and, as if we'd forget, Square Enix's 60-minute-long CG-based movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children will appear in some form, ahead of its DVD release at an undisclosed later date. For anybody who saw the recent trailer, it's bound to be high up on the list of things to see.
Square-Enix (Booth #624, South Hall)'s E3 line-up in full:
- Front Mission 4 (PS2)
- Star Ocean: Till The End of Time (PS2)
- Full Metal Alchemist and The Broken Angel (PS2)
- Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
- Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)
- Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (GBA)
- Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia (PC)
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (movie)
- Various mobile projects (Beyond Crisis, Brave Shot, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy)