E3 2006: Final Fantasy XIII games announced
Square Enix announces not one, but three different Final Fantasy XIII games.

- Today, during its E3 2006 press conference, Square Enix announced Final Fantasy XIII - Fabula Nova Crystallis (in English: Crystal's New Tale) project, a series of games developed - as expected - by the same team behind Final Fantasy X.

The project continues a trend started by Square Enix with the Final Fantasy X "series" (Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2) and with the Final Fantasy VII project, which included the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and the games Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus for PlayStation 2, to be released in United States this Summer, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for PSP, to be released in December 2006, and Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, a game released for mobile phones in Japan.

Anyhow, unlike games of these series, each Final Fantasy XIII game will feature different characters and will take place in a different world, sharing with other titles in the series a "common mythos", according to Square Enix press release.

So far, three Final Fantasy XIII games have been announced: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and Final Fantasy Agito XIII for mobile phones.

Final Fantasy XIII
The first seems a more traditional Final Fantasy RPG title. In the brief trailer shown at the conference, a young girl resembling Yuna (like all recent Final Fantasy female main characters) is flying in the sky of a city - she wields a gun and a sword. The game will feature, according to Square Enix, seamless integration of gameplay with cinematics rendered in real time. Final Fantasy XIII will be directed by Motomu Toriyama (director of Final Fantasy X-2, event director of Final Fantasy X). Here is a list of the main staff members; between parenthesis, a list of games they have worked on in the past, not necessarily in the same role they have in the development of Final Fantasy XIII:

Director: Motomu Toriyama
Character designer: Tetsuya Nomura (Final Fantasy V-VIII, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, Kingdom Hearts)
Art director: Isamu Kamikokuryo (Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII)
Main programmer: Kazumi Kobayashi (Chrono Trigger, Xenogears, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy XI)
Movie director: Eiji Fujii (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Final Fantasy XII)
Main theme: Nobuo Uematsu, SMILE PLEASE Co., LTD. (Final Fantasy series)
Composer: Masashi Hamauzu (Final Fantasy X, Dirge Of Cerberus)
Producer: Yoshinori Kitase (producer of the Final Fantasy series)

Final Fantasy Versus XIII
A wholly independent story, taking place in a different world with different characters. The game will be Tetsuya Nomura's main project. Nomura will direct the game and take care, as usual, of the character design.

Director & Character designer: Tetsuya Nomura
Movie director: Takeshi Nozue (Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, Kingdom Hearts)
Composer: Yoko Shimomura (Legend Of Mana, Parasite Eve, Kingdom Hearts)
Producer: Shinji Hashimoto

Final Fantasy Agito XIII
The game is being designed for mobile phones; it will feature unique gameplay mechanics designed for mobile gaming and will narrate a unique story in the Final Fantasy XIII universe.

Stay tuned for more info about Final Fantasy XIII: Fabula Nova Crystallis on the soon to come PsFantasy.com network.

:: Final Fantasy XIII Screenshots
:: Final Fantasy XIII Versus Screenshots

(Posted: Monday, May 8, 2006, 6:00PM GMT)

- Harry

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