Every E3 booth is unique, and each year Square-Enix always has one of the best. I covered the abundance of Final Fantasy games shown in my Ten Final Fantasies story, but those were only the tip of the iceberg for Square-Enix this year. So without further ado, here is the remainder of their 2006 E3 offerings, the 2006 Square-Enix Square-Up.
The Mana series (known as Seiken Densetsu in Japan) has always had a very loyal following. Without a Mana game in quite a bit of time, fans will be pleased to hear that three new games are in the works.
First up, we have Dawn of Mana, the first true 3D game in the legendary series. Following the tradition of the series, this latest installment will take place before all the previous iterations and “reveals the origins of the legend behind the Mana Tree and Sword of Mana”. While it was not playable, the game looks absolutely gorgeous. The art style promises an experience that looks every bit like a Mana game.
Next we have Children of Mana, a Nintendo DS title that promises “Cooperative or Competitive Gameplay for Up to Four Players”. The story revolves around an ancient island called Illusia, where the Tree of Mana once stood. Our final Mana game is a mobile phone re-release of the original Seiken Dentsetsu game (called Final Fantasy Adventure in America). The game is, appropriately enough, titled Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Adventure. Unlike the GBA title Sword of Mana, this remake looks to be more faithful to the original. The game has only been announced for Japanese release so far.
Fans of the original PlayStation game Valkyrie Profile may finally rejoice with the announcement of Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria for the PlayStation 2. This new story takes place several hundred years before the original. A valkyrie named Silmeria has crossed the mighty god Odin. As punishment, her soul is to be sealed inside a newborn baby girl named Alicia, Princess of Dipan. There her soul shall remain until Odin has need of her. Unfortunately something has gone wrong, and her spirit has awakened. Now two souls inhabit the body of Alicia. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria takes the gameplay of the original and moves it into full 3D.
If you never played the original, and aren’t sure you're forgiving enough to deal with PlayStation graphics, you have nothing to fear, as long as you own a PSP. Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is a re-release of the original game. It utilizes updated graphics and incorporates new CG cut scenes, some of which will link to the story of Silmeria.
In addition to the 10 brand new Final Fantasy games showed, three more North American remakes are slated for a return. Final Fantasy V: Advance and Final Fantasy VI: Advance will be making their way to the Game Boy Advance system. The games look like straight ports, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few new surprises were added to the game’s darker corners. The original Final Fantasy will also be making its way to mobile phones, with the newer updated graphics seen in the PlayStation remake.
Final Fantasy is not the only mobile phone game coming. We will also see other titles from Square-Enix such as Megatouch: Mobile Arcade, Brave Shot 2, 3D Space Invaders, Chase H.Q. 3D, and Elevator Action 3D.
Nintendo fans will be getting some Square-Enix love as well with two new Dragon Quest games, Dragon Quests Heroes: Rocket Slime for the Nintendo DS, and Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors for the Wii.
Rocket Slime is a very unusual looking game. The large township of Boingburg, inhabited by various forms of slimes, is attacked by an evil group called the Plob. The only slime that manages to escape is our hero named Rocket. I was able to play this game briefly and though odd, it seems extremely fun. Players will hop, float, stretch, and zoom their way around a classic Dragon Quest world in an attempt to save their friends.
All that we know so far about Dragon Quest Swords is that the basic premise of the game involves using the Wii-mote like a sword, slashing through enemies in some sort of first-person view style gameplay. What’s truly noteworthy about this game is that it is slated to be a launch title for the Wii. A Dragon Quest game at launch, it will be interesting to see how that plays out in Japan where most Dragon Quest releases are almost national events.