E3 2008: Square Enix's Playables
07.15.08 - 10:53 PM

While Square Enix had trailers for quite a few upcoming titles at their E3 booth, their playable demos were limited to Chrono Trigger DS, Final Fantasy IV, Dragon Quest IV, and tri-Ace's Infinite Undiscovery. We had a chance to check out each of these titles; here's a brief rundown.

First and foremost is Infinite Undiscovery, the only playable title that's not a port or a remake. Developed by tri-Ace, the studio behind the Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean franchises, this Xbox 360 title is completely seamless, meaning there are no fades to battle screens. Players have complete control over the main character at all times and reserve the ability to issue orders to all other party members. As with other titles crafted by tri-Ace, Infinite Undiscovery features a fully real-time battle system where attacks can be combined with special moves that can then be chained into other specials. Square Enix is looking at a near-simultaneous launch in all three major regions in early September.

Square Enix continues their massive support of Nintendo's DS console with Final Fantasy IV. While the title is done and will be shipping to retailers next week, Square still took the time to go over a couple of details about the game. A full remake similar to Final Fantasy III, this edition of FF4 will include the FMV cutscenes from the PSOne version of the game - and these cutscenes will be fully voiced. In addition, players gain access to a new summon that can be powered up as mini-games are completed, both single player and wirelessly with another DS owner. American gamers can get their hands on Final Fantasy IV next week.

The other remake with a four in its name at Square Enix's booth was Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen. While it doesn't look quite like the fully-3d FF4, DQ4 features new 3D environments that still keep the classic Dragon Quest charm. The first title in the Zenethia Trilogy of Dragon Quest titles, the fourth iteration of the series is a much lighter game than the Level 5 developed Dragon Quest VIII, and weighs in at about twenty-five hours of gameplay. Keeping with the classic Dragon Quest gameplay and charm, this DS title may be the game for new players to jump into the series with.

Last, but far from least, is the DS port of Chrono Trigger. As with Final Fantasy IV, players will recieve the bonus content from the PSone version of the game, the bonus dungeon and FMV sequences. However, the majority of the game remains unchanged. While there is an additional bonus dungeon that is related to the story somehow, as well as some new multiplayer content, Square Enix was unable to go into details yet as to what this new content would entail. One thing Square Enix was forthcoming about was the fact that purist fans of the series would be able to play Chrono Trigger DS in single screen mode, with the game appearing as GBA titles do on the DS.

Check back to RPGFan later in the week for an interview with some of the minds behind Song Summoner, as well as the possibility of hands-on with one of Square Enix's other titles that's not on the show floor!


John McCarroll