May 12, 2007 - If you heard the rumors, or caught the Japanese magazine scans, this might sound familiar. You may have doubted what you saw, but I assure you, the stories are real. There is a Final Fantasy All-Stars game on its way, and it's headed to PSP.
Today at the Final Fantasy Anniversary party in Makuhari Japan, Square screened a brief but satisfying trailer in its Closed Mega Theatre. The video streamed in a small psp-scale-box on the screen, similar to how the Crisis Core trailer was done. The first scene opens with a pre-rendered CG shot of a brown and barren rocky terrain. The screen flashes white, and dissolves to a close-up of Cecil Harvey's face, the hero from Final Fantasy IV. A few moments later we see him fight in what looks to be gameplay footage. The battle itself feels very Kingdom Hearts. In fact, if I would have walked into the theatre at this exact moment and saw the footage at a glance, I would have assumed I was looking at a PSP version of Kingdom Hearts.
After several exciting exchanges between Cecil and his infamous enemy Kain Highwind, Zidane of Final Fantasy IX fame pops-up on screen. He's got a new PSP look, illustrated in Nomura-esque stylings, fighting for his life in a fast and vicious battle. His combos remind me of the maneuvers Sora pulls off mid-air in Kingdom Hearts II. When the action clears, we get a glance at Kuja, Zidane's nemesis from FF IX. The arenas they're fighting in are pretty non-descript between the flurry of the action, but according the press release, "the game takes players to unforgettable Final Fantasy locations."
When the CG returns to the trailer, we see a spring of fire gush out of the ground, only to reveal Sephiroth, the silver-haired baddie from Final Fantasy VII. First his silhouette appears, then that famous close-up of his face. Cecil appears to witness all of this from another vantage point. He unleashes a frosty magic spell and points his sword out in front of him, preparing for the battle at hand. But of course we don't get to see what happens next. The logo appears to punctuate everything we just saw, and then that's it. The anticipation begins.
There's no word on a release date in Japan, or word of any plans to release this game in the U.S. But don't worry too much. There's a good chance this will make it's way out here. There's a rabid Final Fantasy fan base all over the world that's way too big to ignore. As soon as we hear anything about the U.S. plans we'll let you know. Till then, you can start working your way through the Final Fantasy library and re-introduce yourself to all the main characters. That should keep you busy until this game makes its way to the west. Have fun.