Square Enix Talks DS Games
10.25.06 - 7:18 PM

Last month, Square Enix announced two new titles for Nintendo's extremely popular handheld platform DS, Subarashiki no Sekai: It's a Beautiful World and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wing. The former is produced by Tetsuya Nomura, who has also created the designs of the main characters. In addition to Nomura, co-directors Tatsuya Kandou (Final Fantasy VII-IX, Parasite Eve) and Tomohiro Hasegawa, as well as planning director Ken Arakawa, have all been confirmed to work on Subarashiki no Sekai.

Director Kandou explained that from the very beginning he wanted to use the DS' two screens to display different battles. This was impossible with any other hardware. Kandou came up with the idea together with the other key members of the development team about two years ago. While he would not go into details, Kandou confirmed that Subarashiki no Sekai will make use of the DS' network features and microphone. In response to the interviewer's suggestion that controlling the action on both screens simultaneously would be difficult and hence the game was aimed at a hardcore audience, Kandou explained he was in fact aiming at a more casual audience. Those who have trouble adjusting to the game's dual battle engine will be able to switch battles on the upper screen to auto-mode. As for enemy encounters, players will be free to avoid or seek battles with the game's enemies, known as Noise. Noise enemies will also exist inside NPC's thoughts. The development team selected Shibuya as the game's setting, because it is a symbol for modern young people. Originally the team wanted to re-create the entire city of Tokyo, but eventually decided to focus on Shibuya. Nomura explained the title is based on Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong's famous 1968 song "What A Wonderful World." Subarashiki no Sekai's theme will be "Among men, everybody is looking for a refuge." While the game's protagonist is generally a positive guy, the team aims to take a more realistic approach by portraying a young man struggling with the problems of life. Finally, Nomura mentioned that the game was currently 50% complete.

Subarashiki no Sekai will be available in Japan sometime next year.

Following Yasumi Matsuno's departure, Final Fantasy X and X-2 director Motomu Toriyama has taken his role as director and scenario writer for the upcoming Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wing. While the game's story will begin shortly after the events of Final Fantasy XII, the development team refuses to call it "Final Fantasy XII-2." Furthermore, the game's logo was not created by Yoshitaka Amano, but rather by Final Fantasy XII art director Isamu Kamikoryou. Toriyama confirmed that players will be able to control their own airship from the very beginning. While Vaan only got involved in Ashe's story during Final Fantasy XII, in this new game he will be the one and only protagonist. That being said, the team apparently also aimed to shed some more light on characters that only made brief appearances in Final Fantasy XII. Vaan's relationship with his girlfriend Penelo has further developed in Revenant Wing, but this time Square Enix aims to emphasize her feminine side, as opposed to the sporty image displayed in Final Fantasy XII.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings has yet to receive an official release date in Japan.

Chris Winkler