Sakurai Praises Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakurai has praised Square Enix’s Lightning Returns in his semi-weekly column in Weekly Famitsu. The Final Fantasy XIII saga has received some flack from traditional Final Fantasy fans, but Sakurai was noticeably impressed by the game and praised the evolution of the ATB system. Sakurai concluded by saying that it’s nice to pick up a game and throughly enjoy it.

I was amazed at how, even under the limitations of there being only one party member [in Lightning Returns], [the ATB system] has evolved.”

“It’s easy to pick up an already released game and simply enjoy it, but in order to generate entertainment, you need to keep your eyes peeled.”I was reminded that if you take what seems natural for granted, nothing will evolve or change for the better.”

Thanks, Quartz

Michael Pachter: ‘I Don’t Get Japanese Developers’

wii-u-blueRenowned Wedbush research analyst Michael Pachter has admitted he doesn’t understand Japanese companies or their motivation for releasing games. The latest Pach-Attack comes after he defended Nintendo’s software strategy, but in a question submitted about a Final Fantasy VII remake from Square Enix, he appears to have slipped back into his age-old ways. Pachter said: “I don’t think Nintendo is unique in being inscrutable. I don’t get any Japanese developer, I don’t know what motivates them, especially in how they release games into the West. Final Fantasy is just one of those franchises I just don’t get.”

Moving on from Final Fantasy, Pachter answers a question deliberating whether it is a riskier option to become an ‘everyone’ console, or a specific ‘hardcore’ software. Turning a comparison from the Wii’s everyone and non-traditional market to the Wii U’s ‘traditional games market’, Pachter said it was a mistake made by Nintendo.

He continued: “Nintendo had a huge success in expanding into the non-traditional market – that’s 25-year-old women who play Guitar Hero, 45-year-old women who play Wii Fit, 65-year-old women who play bowling – that worked and they sold a lot of consoles, but those people didn’t really embrace other software titles […] so I think that you can make money if it resonates with everyone but ultimately it causes you to make mistakes like the Wii U.

“Nintendo thought all these same people would line up and play the Wii U […] and those non-traditional people didn’t embrace it. I think Nintendo is going to be lucky to sell 30-40 million Wii U’s, they might sell 20-25 miliion which makes it more like a GameCube, but we’ll see.”

Square Enix Reveals Final Fantasy: All The Bravest For iOS Platforms

final_fantasy_all_the_bravestfinal_fantasy_all_the_bravest_charactersToward the end of last year, Square Enix registered a couple domain names – and – that left gamers hoping Bravely Default: Flying Fairy was on its way to the West. It turns out the domain names have nothing to do with the publisher’s Nintendo 3DS role-playing game. Instead, Square Enix revealed Final Fantasy: All The Bravest, an action role-playing game that pays tribute to the entire Final Fantasy series, for iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The iOS game releases tomorrow, January 17th, in the App Store and will cost $3.99.

First Unlimited Trials Demo Hits Nintendo eShop

The demo of Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy can be downloaded to a Nintendo 3DS from the Nintendo eShop. Thanks to the game’s developer, Indies zero, it is the first downloadable demo that doesn’t have a limited number of uses to hit the eShop; North American consumers can play and exit the demo for however many times they’d like.

Theatrhythm Kingdom Hearts & Theatrhythm Dragon Quest Inevitable

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy released today in North America. So far, the game has received overall positive reviews and the game’s producer, Ichiro Hazama, is pleased with its reception. Hazama hopes that Theatrhythm becomes a series that includes Square Enix’s other franchises, such as Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts. According to Hazama, “Dragon Quest has a lot of music and Kingdom Hearts would be wonderful to do if it’s possible.” Theatrythm Final Fantasy will be released in Europe on July 6th.

TheAtRhythm Final Fantasy DLC And Castlevania On Nintendo 3DS eShop

Scare yourself silly as the classic Castlevania The Adventure arrives on Nintendo 3DS in Europe. This retro game – the first in the series to appear on Game Boy – follows Christopher Belmont, an ancestor of the original NES games’ hero Simon, as he battles with the evil Count Dracula who has risen again to threaten the uneasy peace in Transylvania. Guide Christopher through the levels as he wields his mystic whip.

While Christopher whips Dracula into shape, why not use the power of music to overcome your zombie enemy in Zombie Slayer Diox, also out on the Nintendo eShop. As Diox you’ll have to lure the zombies with your rocking rhythm and hypnotic guitar solos and cut them down with your mighty katana as soon as they get close.

The struggle for life continues in Escape the Virus: Swarm Survival, and in the unique dimensionally woven 12-bit action platformer Mutant Mudds, of which a demo is also out on Thursday.

This week also marks a special occasion for Nintendo, as for the first time Add-on Content will be offered for a Nintendo 3DS game when, TheAtRhythm Final Fantasy launches across Europe on July 6th. Complementing the already extensive list of songs shipping with this game, players can choose to add even more fan-favourites from games across the series via download. Starting with eight songs from launch, including Nobuo Uematsu compositions like Cosmo Canyon Final Fantasy VII) and The Final Battle theme of Final Fantasy IV, over 50 playable titles will become available for purchase in-game at only €1 / £0,90 a piece, with new content being released every week.