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New FF Agito XIII scan show off in-game screens, battle system

Pictures say a thousand words. They really do. So having just one look at this new Final Fantasy Agito XIII scan should give you a better sense of what we saw back at Square Enix's TGS Closed Mega Theater [Click for trailer impressions].

That's right, the new scan shows off the in-game battle HUD. While still-images can't show off the game in motion, you can still get a Crisis Core vibe from the screens, can't you? Anyway, if you're having trouble seeing everything in the image posted above, check out the full size version here.

PSP Fanboy review: Star Ocean: First Departure

RPG fanatics have probably heard this tale before, but there's a bit of history behind the very first Star Ocean game. Back in 1995, a majority of the team that created Tales of Phantasia (which was released stateside on the Game Boy Advance back in 2006) left Namco due to creative differences. The team moved onto Tri-Ace, whose debut title was Star Ocean. One of the last games for the aging Super Famicom, the RPG pushed the console to its limits in terms of the cartridge size and graphics. The game even had limited voice-acting, which was unheard of (no pun intended) in those days. The question is, does this remake of the first game in the classic franchise have what it takes to stand out in the portable gaming market?

Gallery: Star Ocean: The First Departure

Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: Star Ocean: First Departure

New Dissidia vid shows off some summons

There are summoned creatures in the 'dramatic progressive action' title Dissidia: Final Fantasy, but they may not be exactly what you'd expect them to be. They pop up as static 2D images during gameplay -- no fancy FMVs here, folks. You can check out two of the summons (Ifrit and Carbuncle) in the trailer posted above.

Summon creatures appear upon pressing the R trigger together with the circle button. In the case of Ifrit, summons appear as equipable items (as represented on the HUD). Judging by the way they're used in the trailer, the summons primarily affect the Brave gauge -- Carbuncle adjusts the enemy's Brave to match the player's, while boosts a player's Brave by 1.5.

Dissidia may be a downloadable title too

Back at TGS, we reported that all of the Sony's upcoming first-party titles in Japan were being made available as a download -- even high-profile ones like Resistance Retribution. The price point for at least some of the downloadable versions will also be lower. No plans were announced regarding third-party titles.

However, a reader over at Siliconera noticed a listing on Sony's official website that might suggest otherwise: Dissidia: Final Fantasy is categorized as both as a UMD and downloadable release on the site. If this is proven to be true, it could be great news for Final Fantasy fans with access to the Japanese PS Store -- you can just download the title directly.

[Via Siliconera]

Shonen Jump reveals Final Fantasy Agito XIII battle screen

We've known for some time that Final Fantasy Agito XIII will be using a modified version of the ATB system used in Crisis Core, but now we finally have the first screenshot of how that battle system will look like, thanks to the latest issue of Shonen Jump. The headline of this short article confirms that multiplayer will be a big focus for the game -- earlier reports indicate both Infrastructure and Ad-Hoc multiplayer will be included -- this will sit well with Japanese PSP owners who seem to love the Ad-Hoc mode in games like Phantasy Star Portable. Check out the full scans over at PSPHyper.

TGS trailer for Final Fantasy Agito XIII leaked

A brand new poster has been revealed for Final Fantasy Agito XIII. The cropped version is above but you can view the full version here. It appears to be a cloaked CG version of the students from this older illustration.

Fresh out of TGS, a trailer has also been leaked. According to the poster, this is a truncated version of a trailer shown last year, so this was created before the PSP version was announced. It still looks pretty cool, so we've got it for you right after the break.

[Via FFXIII.net]

Continue reading TGS trailer for Final Fantasy Agito XIII leaked

TGS 08: Full Square Enix Closed Theater impressions

Ah, the Square Enix Mega Theater. It's always something to look forward to at every TGS. We took the time to check out the theater and see what's cooking behind those big, black walls. Square Enix showed off trailers for nine games and a film in the Mega Theater, including two PS3 titles, the Advent Children Complete movie, and four PSP titles. Grab the full scoop on each title in our Square Enix Closed Theater impressions.

PSP Fanboy hands-on: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

The Kingdom Hearts series was first born on the PlayStation 2; however, it has gone and spread its wings into other realms since then and now it carries a new bundle of joy in the form of portable PSP title Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. While the title radically takes the story aspect of the game farther away from the original setting with Sora and friends, this new game will focus on the three (slightly) new faces pictured above (from left: Aqua, Ventus and Tera).

Birth by Sleep was indeed playable on the show floor at TGS and we sunk in some time with the title. The playable build that was available let us try out both Ventus and Tera in battle. We decided to just go with trying out Tera's abilities and then go straight into the action. Tera's level starts off in a forest area which gets you into a fight right away. Kingdom Hearts vets will notice that the controls are incredibly familiar; they're nearly identical to the original console games from the past, though with slight differences due to the change in input interface (ie, shoulder buttons once again control the camera since there are no dual analog nubs).

Gallery: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Continue reading PSP Fanboy hands-on: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Two new Dissidia vids teach us how to fight

Two new vids teach us a thing or two on how Dissidia: Final Fantasy's dramatic progressive battle system works, so pay close attention children. In the first one, keep watch over the big numbers that hover over the character HUD. This is the "Brave" stat. These numbers determine your attack power. If you attack while this number is at zero, then you do no damage. Also, did you notice that some attacks didn't damage HP, but instead started screwing around with the Brave numbers? Yeah, you'll want to watch the second vid (after the break) to fully understand that.

What's going on there is that some attacks drain an opponent's Brave and adds onto yours. This adds a bit of strategy as you can take an enemy down to zero and he'll go into a "Break" status. It's some sort of temporarily vulnerable state. It's a new take on the usual beat em' genre. We can't wait to see more of this game at TGS.

Continue reading Two new Dissidia vids teach us how to fight

Star Ocean for Europe out October 24

Star Ocean: First Departure was first announced for Europe in late August, though a specific date was yet to be determined. However now, we now know that the tri-Ace space voyager will be releasing in Europe on October 24 -- three days behind the North American date.

That's good to know for all you RPG fanatics that live over yonder. In celebration of this news, we've got ten new screenshots in our gallery for you to enjoy.

[Via press release]

Gallery: Star Ocean: The First Departure

PSP Fanboy hands-on: Star Ocean: First Departure

Having played all the Star Ocean titles officially available in North America, I was more than eager to try out Square-Enix's remake of the game that started it all. As most Star Ocean fans know, the original title was released on the Super Famicom in 1996 but never saw the light of day in the US, so this PSP-exclusive remake is the first time many of us will be playing the game. Read on to find out my thoughts after spending a couple of hours with the game.

Gallery: Star Ocean: The First Departure

Continue reading PSP Fanboy hands-on: Star Ocean: First Departure

Star Ocean box art splits the world in two

The US box art for the upcoming PSP Star Ocean remakes are surprisingly void of anime characters. Instead, Square Enix USA has opted to go for something a bit more subtle: cracking the world in half. Like those friendship rings of yesteryear, buying both First Departure and Second Evolution and putting them together creates a whole image. As the Square Enix blog says, "How can you own one and not the other?"

[Thanks. T.J. F.!]

Final Fantasy IV characters join Dissidia ranks

The character countdown is almost over now, people. With the confirmation of Cecil and Golbez as Final Fantasy IV's respective light and darkness ambassadors, we now know the identities of most Dissidia alumni. Final Fantasies I through IV and VIII through X are now complete, while villains for VI and VII have also been revealed.

All that's really left is to figure out who the heroes of VII (no-brainer really ... unless a Caith Sith surprise is in store) and VI (more difficult to gauge considering characters shared the spotlight equally) are. That, and what's the fate of V -- in or not? Lots of conflicting reports on that one so we'll wait and see. Maybe TGS is the time to get those last inkling details before the big release this December.

[Via PSPHyper]

What's playable, and what's not, at Square Enix's TGS booth

2008 looks to be yet another excellent year for Tokyo Game Show. There's a lot of excitement over the potential surprises at the show. Square Enix has posted its lineup for this year's show, and we're a little saddened to see Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) still not playable. At the very least, we'll be getting some one-on-one time with Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP). Check out the full PlayStation list here:

We're expecting many of these trailers will be shown behind closed doors. Fear not, though. We'll provide detailed impressions of the trailers live from Tokyo next month.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy trailer shows off Kefka & more

Download to PSP

With Dissidia, Square Enix's upcoming PSP-exclusive brawler, coming by year's end in Japan, the company has been quick to release tons of new videos for Final Fantasy fans everywhere. This new trailer shows a lot more CG, a lot more action, and even highlights Final Fantasy VI's Kefka -- a favorite character for many fans of the franchise.

[Thanks, Morty!]

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