In the latest issue of V-Jump in Japan we get some clear, crisp, vibrant images of Final Fantasy XIII love interest extraordinaire Serrah Farron. The images in V-Jump showcase Serrah and Snow enjoying a date during a festival of some sort in Cocoon, however things seem turn sour, in the second magazine scan, when Serrah begins solidifying into a crystal-like form.
So far we haven’t really gotten a taste for Valkyria Chronicle’s gameplay in the form of videos. That seems to have changed over the course of the past few days as 6 trailers have been released, 2 on gametrailers, and 4 on youtube which display some of the in-game gameplay as well as some of the character interactions. (more…)
Who needs to wait for a trailer of one of the biggest games of the year when you have good old fashioned News programs revealing some titillating scenes! Mezamashi TV, a Japanese news magazine show, had a news report covering the Final Fantasy XIII Premiere Party event. In their broadcast they discussed Sayuri Sugawara’s involvement as the vocalist of the game’s main theme. Which brings up a question, when will there be a main theme sung by a male vocalist for the main series of Final Fantasy titles? Ever since Final Fantasy VIII’s Eyes on Me all the main themes have been sung by women, not that there’s anything wrong with that especially in light of their beautiful singing voices and prowess. (more…)
Final Fantasy XIII is coming, and it’s coming with a vengeance on December 17th, but only in Japan for now. Since the event had been announced fans all over were speculating as to whether an official release date would be announced, and although the event did not disappoint, fans had managed to discover 2 advertisements on the official Final Fantasy XIII website that had not yet been published. Despite the leak the event did manage to produce some interesting news items. (more…)
After finally getting that Valkyria Chronicles review done and published (I’ll be reviewing the animated series shortly) I decided to pick up the game earlier to play around for a bit. While playing it dawned on me, that I never discussed the inferences to racism in the game with regards to the Darcsens. I feel a little stupid for pointing out now, but it’s pretty clear that the Darcsens are obviously meant to portray Jews and Gypsies, both ethnic groups which were targeted by Nazi Germany (in this case it’s the East European Imperial Alliance) for extermination and slave work and faced a lot of discrimination from the majority elasticities. It was pretty neat that despite the intolerance for the Darcsens, displayed by all sides, that in the immediate group of characters the intolerance and racism was fairly non-existent and where it did occur it eventually disappeared as the characters got to know Isara Gunther.
I realize that this sort of thing is nothing new, as many forms of entertainment have used both past and current events in their works, such as in the Mobile Suit Gundam and Metal Gear franchises, to either give their work a flair of realism or to prove a point. It amazed me though that even in a game like this there is a moral story to be told, namely about racism.
Fans of Japanese-made RPGs have seldom experienced the lack of new titles being released on the current home video game consoles. Previously with the PS2 there was a large quantity of quality JRPGs for that system. The previous generation of consoles were able to enjoy Final Fantasies X and XII, Tales of Symphonia, Skies of Arcadia, Tales of the Abyss, Rogue Galaxy, Grandia 3, Radiata Stories and many more. With this generation it seems that most developers have focused their energies in providing new shooting games, platform games (like Little Big Planet) and action games, which in some cases includes some form of multiplayer capability. You would be hard pressed to find JRPGs on the Wii, PS3, or even X-Box 360 these days, at least in North America. The only ones available here include games like Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, Tales of Vesperia, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Infinite Undiscovery, Last Remnant, Disgaea 3, Cross Edge and one game that particularly stands out, Valkyria Chronicles, not only for its unique gameplay and story but for its use of the beautiful Canvas graphics engine which gives the game its a unique waterpainting-in-motion look. (more…)