Of all the companies (potentially) hosting events this summer for Not-E3 (check out our schedule here), there are perhaps none with bigger questions surrounding it than Square Enix. Having recently announced the sale of its Western studios including Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, the majority of its development efforts appear to be Japan-focused. So, just what does that mean for game reveals this June?
The GameSpot staff chose what we’d most like to see from Square Enix this year, ranking from the plausible to the very optimistic dreams. Please, Square Enix–at least make a few of these happen.
Final Fantasy XIV on Xbox
It feels like it’s been years of hearing that Final Fantasy XIV might come to Xbox consoles, but it’s time to finally make that happen. The MMO’s popularity has never been greater, and what better way to leverage that than by bringing it to another set of platforms? While I tend to spend a lot of time playing solo in MMOs, I’m never more motivated to invest time in them than when I have other friends who are also playing, even if we’re not always logged in at the same time. For me, most of those friends tend to play games on Xbox, so it would be the ideal place for me to finally sink my teeth into XIV in the way I’ve always meant to. I hear it even has a free trial. — Chris Pereira
Come on, Yoko Taro. It has been more than five years since Nier: Automata was released. There was a five-year gap between the launch of the original Nier and the announcement Automata–a surprise given the first game’s poor sales. However, that isn’t the case anymore, with Automata’s critical praise leading to huge sales, a remake of the first game, a mobile spin-off, and countless merchandising opportunities. What I want, however, is a full-fledged third game. Not a sequel to Automata, mind you, but something as different to that game as it was to the original Nier. What I want is what I don’t know I want yet.
Could it be set in an underwater world where the fish speak Portuguese and can type 200 words per minute? Maybe! The beauty of Yoko Taro is he finds a reason for all the weirdness rather than just including it for the sake of it, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out in the next Nier game. — Gabe Gurwin
Final Fantasy Tactics Remake confirmed
A giant Nvidia leak has already bore fruit with announcements like Kingdom Hearts 4, which makes us think that the inclusion of a Final Fantasy Tactics remake could be legit, too. It would also simply make sense, as Square Enix has been exploring other tactics games like the recent (and visually similar) Triangle Strategy or the upcoming DioField Chronicles. Final Fantasy Tactics holds a special place in fans’ hearts, thanks to its deep job-based mechanics and a riveting story of political intrigue, betrayal, and faith. The game has already gotten a remake of sorts as Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for PSP and mobile, but a proper HD remake would be fantastic. — Steve Watts
Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster collection for Switch
Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Trailer | Square Enix Presents E3 2021
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Square Enix has been playing coy about the near certainty that its Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters would eventually come to platforms other than PC and mobile. The Nintendo Switch seems like a natural fit for our classic RPG nostalgia, especially since a portable system just feels right for grinding out levels. And sure, Square Enix could release them piecemeal, but it could make the package extra appealing by bundling them all together as one unified release. — Steve Watts
Surprise, it’s a new Vagrant Story
My formative years were spent playing 1990s Squaresoft JRPGs, back in the days before Square Enix had added the “Enix” through a merger with the Japanese publisher. Those days were pretty amazing, with Square kicking out a range of games that would be classics, often taking weird turns. Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Parasite Eve–it was an excellent time for RPG fans. But perhaps the best of them all was Vagrant Story, a fantasy action-RPG directed by Final Fantasy Tactics director Yasumi Matsuno. Vagrant Story was about fantasy secret agents in a feudal world, with the politicking of the aristocracy, the crown, and the church driving the story. Into all this came strange, evil magic that could bring people back from the dead, and everyone wanted it.
Vagrant Story would ultimately be a one-off, although it has some Easter egg-ish ties to Tactics and Final Fantasy XII, which Matsuno also directed for a period. But it was an excellent game, with spooky villains, a ton of intrigue, and a dark tinge that made it feel different, and altogether creepier, than similar fantasy games, especially those in the Squaresoft catalog. The trailers we’ve seen for Final Fantasy XVI have suggested to some fans, like me, that there might be ties to Vagrant Story, as well as other games taking place in that same disjointed world. What I want, however, is more Vagrant Story. The original game ended like an origin story for magical secret agent Ashley Riot, and there’s plenty more that could be done there. Vagrant Story is an absolute classic from the best period in Squaresoft’s history, and it would be incredible to see the long-dead property suddenly resurrected with links to Final Fantasy XVI to make good on the promise of the original, two decades later. — Phil Hornshaw
FFVII Remake Part 2 update
Remaking a game–especially one as beloved as Final Fantasy VII–is a difficult and ambitious feat. That being said, Square kinda nailed it with Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Existing not as a replacement for the original, but rather a separate and adjacent entity, Remake adds a whole lot of new emotion and life to the story we once knew while also honoring what was there before by setting up the new series to walk down an entirely new path. All that being said… I am beyond ready to finally explore that new path. I am ready for the next part of the story, and I am ready for part two.
Sure, I do hope the next entry in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake series hits the same general story beats as the original game–something I feel confident Square can do after playing Remake. I hope we get the chance to explore Cosmo Canyon, soak up some sun in Costa Del Sol, gamble away our hard-earned gil at the Golden Saucer, and uncover the secrets of Shinra Manor. I wait with bated breath for our first look at Cid and my guy Vincent Valentine. But above all else, I just want to see what other surprises lie in store for all of us. I really hope we get a closer look at the next part of the journey–and maybe even a 2023 release date. — Jessica Howard