Sticking with our theme from Bethesda’s first E3 press conference ever, Square Enix is also returning to the big stage this year, reclaiming its stake as one of the most influential, if not the most influential, Japanese developers out there. Things have been looking up for the company after an executive shake-up, a lot of soul searching, and the PlayStation 4 kind of catching on in Japan, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a Square Enix fan once again! I mean, what’s E3 going to look like with Final Fantasy XV on the way!?
Wait a minute. That’s not coming to E3 this year …
Anyway, with that huge gaping hole in its presentation, here are eight other major games or surprise announcements we want to see from Square Enix on the big stage this year.
Kingdom Hearts III
It goes without saying that in the West, Kingdom Hearts is Square Enix’s second most popular Japanese franchise after Final Fantasy. Fans have been looking forward to Kingdom Hearts III ever since 2005, and Square Enix would be better served not letting another ten years go by without a hint of information. Thankfully, Director Tetsuya Nomura isn’t working on Final Fantasy XV anymore … and my guess is he’s been able to put a lot more time into making Kingdom Hearts III a little more presentable at E3.
Or not. Apparently, Nomura is promising more information at the Japan D23 Expo in November 2015. Seriously Square Enix, you denied us Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III at E3 last year. Are we doing his tango again? It’s been two years since you first led us on about this one, so it would be polite to at least drop a gallery or something on us. I am tired of using the same screenshots over and over for this game. That Christmas light boat thing is getting so annoying!
Nomura can take his time pushing the game out though because I still need to find a place to squeeze in Kingdom Hearts II beforehand. Maybe I’ll get around to it in about three years or so. Maybe we’ll have a new trailer by then.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
I’m not so sure if we are going to be seeing this one at E3 this year since its announcement is still fresh in our minds. Looking on the bright side though, my guess though is that Square Enix does want to release this in the States at some point or another, just as another example to point to when it comes time to remind its fan base that it, indeed, has started making quality JRPGs again.
Scrap any hope you have for a release date this early in the hype train. I would just be happy with acknowledgment of its existence in the West and confirmation that it will happen eventually. An English trailer or even just the Japanese reveal trailer officially subbed in English by Square Enix would satisfy me this year as a sign of good faith that Square Enix will get around to it.
I also wouldn’t mind knowing the platforms either. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is only PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 bound in Japan, but some companies have released both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions in the States despite the exclusivity in Japan. That doesn’t come through under-the-table deals or anything like that. That’s just a side effect of wanting to actually sell software.
Bravely Second: End Layer
I don’t know why, but that subtitle always makes me feel like eating a cake.
I’m pretty sure this one is going to be happening on the big stage. The development team has already hinted at a localization, and the first one was an unexpected million seller for Square Enix who thought it had no place in the world beyond Japanese borders. Let’s not forget to mention that Bravely Default was a massive critical success as well, and many shower it with love for capturing the original spirit of Final Fantasy in this modern age when even Final Fantasy struggles in doing so.
But anyway, Bravely Second: End Layer! This Nintendo 3DS gem should show up at E3 this year, and we will certainly have a release date before the end of the show. I’m thinking early 2016 at the very latest.
Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac HD
I’m blindly reaching into my hat for a risky prediction and pulling out this one, but I have a pretty good feeling that this will be a reality by the end of the show. I’ve read a few credible rumors around saying that Square Enix wants to get Final Fantasy XII HD on the market before Final Fantasy XV launches, and the company needs to act quickly if that is the case.
Square Enix also insisted that Final Fantasy XII HD could happen if Final Fantasy X|X2 HD Remaster was a success, and boy oh boy was it ever! Between those two HD ports, Final Fantasy XIII’s venture onto Steam, and Square Enix’s new initiatives with Final Fantasy XI, this is the only “modern” Final Fantasy that does not have an up-to-date contingency plan. Even the NES classics have more presence on the marketplace than Final Fantasy XII! Come on Square Enix, it needs to happen.
PlayStation 3, 4, and Vita! March 2016! Let’s do it!
Just a fun little note, I originally had Dragon Quest VIII HD in here as well, but the recently announced Nintendo 3DS remake convinced me that it’s not going to happen. Plus, if it were real, there is no way Square Enix would announce it at any convention outside of Japan.
Square Enix only loves its Japanese Dragon Quest fans … Speaking of which.
Dragon Quest Heroes
We know Dragon Quest Heroes is coming to the States, we just don’t know when. I’ll guess that Square Enix will announce a summer release date on this one, early fall at the latest. You never know with Square Enix’s inscrutable Dragon Quest branch though?
You know, I wasn’t a big fan of Hyrule Warriors, but thank goodness it was such a hit. I really doubt Square Enix would have given this Dragon Quest title a second glance for a Western release if it didn’t see all the delicious money that cheap game was making for Nintendo.
Don’t expect it to be as big of a hit as Hyrule Warriors. Expect Square Enix’s number-crunchers to put that in the financial reports. Expect the executives to determine it’s because Americans don’t love Dragon Quest. Expect them to use it as another reason to continue denying us further Dragon Quest games … and the cycle will consider to spin.
Dragon Quest VII 3DS
Oh, come on. You knew I was going to go here. Hear me out because we might have a chance this year though!
I have a strong feeling that Dragon Quest fans have made their voices loud and clear about their disappointment in Square Enix’s treatment of the franchise in the West. I think it knows it has to throw us a little something more than a cheap Musou game and sub-mediocre iOS/Android ports to make up for it.
This is the game we want. I understand Dragon Quest X can’t come to the States because it’s an MMORPG and there is no consistent audience for it. I get it. I understand why Dragon Quest Monsters can’t come to the States because it will be slaughtered by Yokai Watch and Pokemon on the spot. I get it. I can even maybe understand why Rocket Slime 3 can’t come to the States because it has social systems Square Enix might not want to accommodate for.
Square Enix has zero excuses for Dragon Quest VII. The excellent JRPG pool from the last two years on the Nintendo 3DS has dried up, and the handheld needs another string of hits before its generation expires. Dragon Quest VII can more probably than not do very well on the Nintendo 3DS market if it is free from piracy, free from excessive competition, and free from elementary marketing blunders.
It has a long script? Boohoo. So does every JRPG that leaves the country, and Dragon Quest VII is already in English! It doesn’t even have to be translated, just touched up to modern standards! The excuses are running thin, Square Enix. Make this year the year I don’t have to complain about this nonsense anymore. Please.
Just Cause 3
Oh yeah, somewhere in the middle off all these exciting Japanese games, I forgot that Square Enix still makes Western games these days as well. Of all of its ventures into Eidos’ backlog, far and away, Just Cause 3 excites me the most. Just Cause 2 was one of my favorite games of the previous generation, and a trailer released not too long ago was more than enough to convince me that Avalanche Studio hasn’t lost one step of its stride.
This game is going to be fantastic, and I can’t wait for it to come along and spit in the face of AAA “we’re trying to be smart entertainment for adults” pretension. Buzz off! It’s just a big, dumb action game with excellent mechanics and world design, and it’s going to be so much fun because of it. No rules, no boundaries, no nagging developer perched on your shoulder and steering you by the nose hairs. Just go have fun!
Square Enix already has the hype out on this one, and all we are waiting for is a release date! One more trailer to set the sky on fire before this action bonanza takes the world by storm. Grand Theft Whato?
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
I’m not as big of a Deus Ex: Human Revolution fan as some out there, but I think there is potential for a quality sequel in the series. Strangely enough, this is the first game I’ve listed in which we have almost zero footage or next to zero information on, making it the only major “announcement” on this list! Let’s give it up for all those Japanese games which already exist overseas! It’s what Square Enix does best, isn’t it?
This Western stuff is just like french fries or caviar to go down with its main course. Depends on which game you are playing. If Just Cause 3 is the greasy, dirty, and ultimately satisfying french fries, Deus Ex is the caviar, one for people who want to appear refined in their choice of gaming and yet struggle against the gag reflex as they swallow down that “push this button for this ending” final bite.
I think this game will come out next year, and I think it will be solid.
Oh yeah, Rise of the Tomb Raider might also show up at E3, but Microsoft is going to have to foot the bill and show it off on its dollar, not on Square Enix’s. At least, we think that might be the case as its an Xbox One exclusive for a while.
That’s fine! More stage time for Dragon Quest VII! Seriously, Square Enix. Dragon Quest VII. Let’s see it happen.