Square previews 'Final Fantasy X-2,' new titles

Japan's Square Co. Ltd. unveiled Tuesday its forthcoming games for the Japan market for the next six months and offered a first look at its "Final Fantasy X-2" title. At an event in Tokyo, the company announced launch dates for seven games and also detailed two others that could be available before April 2003.

Top of the list is "Final Fantasy X-2," a new game based on the same character featured in Square's "Final Fantasy X" title that has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide since it was first launched in October last year in Japan. While the main character, Yuna, remains the same, Square stressed that much of the rest of the game is changed and it is not a continuation of the previous title but rather a new game.

"Final Fantasy X-2" (pronounced ten-two) will go on sale in Japan in March next year for the PlayStation 2 console at a price yet to be determined.

Square also plans to launch several other Final Fantasy games. A Windows version of the latest installment in the series, "Final Fantasy XI," will go on sale in Japan on Nov. 7 at around ¥8,000 (US$64). Players in the Windows version will be able to connect to the same online gaming server as the PlayStation 2 version of the game and battle each other across the network.

A re-issue of "Final Fantasy I" and II is planned for Oct. 31 for the PlayStation platform. The first two games of the series were originally released for Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s Famicon games console, which was the system of choice at the time, and the upcoming reissue is the first time they will be available for the PlayStation. They will go on sale as a set for ¥3,800 or in a more fancy collector's box for ¥8,000.

Lastly, "Final Fantasy Tactics Advance" will go on sale for the GameBoy Advance platform on Feb. 14 at ¥5,800 and Square also showed "Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle" for the GameCube. No launch date or price was provided for the latter title.

The company is also releasing the "Unlimited Saga" role-playing game for the PlayStation 2. That should hit Japanese retail shelves on Dec. 19 at ¥6,800 and "Kingdom Hearts Final Mix," which is the English version of "Final Hearts" dubbed into Japanese, will go on sale on Dec. 26 also at ¥6,800. For the PlayStation 2, Square showed "Hanjyuku Hero 3D" although offered no launch details. It also said its "Chocobo Land" game for the GameBoy Advance will go on sale on Dec. 13 for ¥4,800.

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Martyn Williams

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