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Answer: Final Fantasy

From a blog comment by "Blepcots":

How about some thoughts on Final Fantasy 12 (when is the actual U.S. release?) and also 13, since I've actually seen a few screenshots this week?

John Breeden II replies:

Most of the Square Enix booth is devoted in one way or another to Final Fantasy. There is a lot of new stuff in the FF world.

The quick answer to the question is: Final Fantasy XII will be released in the United States in in October (there is no solid release date, just some time that month).

They're not saying anything about Final Fantasy XIII.

I was actually playing the demo of FFXII for a while before I realized I was playing on a PS2 -- the graphics are incredible. Developers have really learned to make use of what they have. The shadow effects, lighting, character animation are top-notch.

As far as the difference from earlier FF titles, the biggest thing people will notice -- aside from smooth animation -- is a smother transition from running around to going into battle mode. The game is still turn-based during combat, but the monsters run right up on you -- it's almost completely seamless, like a game that doesn't have turn based battles.

Another thing they're showing is a new FF title called Dirge of Cerberus. This is a shooter interface -- other FF games use a top-down look. This keeps it in the third-person perspective, but the camera is pretty much over the shoulder, as close to fiirst person as you can get with out acually being FPS.

Square Enix has also updated an older game with new online extension. Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan is hosting online tournaments using the PS2 network. Apparently the Treasures extension adds a lot of multiplayer functionality, so even though the game is a couple of years old, multiplayer puts it on the level of Call of Duty 2. You can set up teams -- I watched eight players vs eight players, it was like a big battle royal.

By Bob Greiner  |  May 12, 2006; 4:39 PM ET  | Category:  E3: Answering Your Questions
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