Renowned 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.”
Toward the end of last year, Square Enix registered a couple domain names – AllTheBravest.com and AllTheBravest.net – 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.
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 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.
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.
The Last Story lead designer Takuya Matsumoto was recently interviewed by GameZone. During the interview, Matsumoto revealed that Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi is looking forward to making more action-RPGs, “especially for the Wii U.”
Matsumoto praised the Wii U GamePad because he believes it “will add another level of strategic elements into the action-RPG” genre. Sakaguchi and the rest of The Last Story developement team haven’t announced any plans for a Wii U game but are anticipating Nintendo’s upcoming console.
GameZone: Could The Last Story possibly lead to more action-RPGs — not necessarily in this franchise — but maybe some action-RPGs for the Wii U with a similar style from the same development team?
Takuya Matsumoto: The development team and Sakaguchi-san are looking forward to making more, especially for the Wii U because it has another [screen] right in front of you that will add another level of strategic elements into the action-RPG. So we are really looking forward to it, but we haven’t really planned anything.
Final Fantasy’s creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, was recently interviewed by IGN. He shared his thoughts and experience about making The Last Story, which is his latest video game for the Wii. Sakaguchi shared many interesting details including information about the game’s unique battle system, and what his greatest challenges were while creating the game.
When talking about the technical capabilities of the Wii Sakaguchi says, “It’s unfortunate, but the final issue that always seemed to deny certain ideas was the SD resolution limitation.” Despite the graphical restrictions of the console, Sakaguchi believes that people will enjoy the game’s refined world. The Last Story is scheduled to release in North America on July 10th.
Square Enix has issued a press release detailing the goodies you can get your hands on if you pre-order Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. North American gamers who pre-order the game will receive one special edition gripped stylus while supplies last. Players can customize the game-themed accessory with 17 stickers that feature the Final Fantasy franchise’s most popular characters including: Cloud, Moogle, Lightning, Chocobo, Tidus, Cecil, Terra and Squall. The game is set for release on July 3rd exclusively for Nintendo 3DS.
Square Enix has announced via a press release that Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance will be coming to North America on July 31st. The company also announced that Theatrhythm Final Fantasy will be arriving in North America on July 3rd.
Square Enix has released a teaser site for a new unannounced game that’s apparently due to be released in Japan during the Summer. The teaser trailer lists a number of keywords including crystal and summons (along with Odin, Titan and Diablos). We shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out what the game actually is, and what formats it is being developed for.