I’m hijacking this E3 2017 list initiative and taking control of Square Enix because, hey, that’s what I do! No company stands higher at the center of my gaming life than Square Enix does, and with the company seeing a resurgence in the last few years, I’m once again looking forward to the presentations that it gives on gaming’s biggest stage.
So how could Square Enix make me truly happy as a lifelong fan in 2017? Well, here are five ways, and it’s best to keep in mind that I am a JRPG nerd at heart. Sorry, but the likes of Mana and SaGa take precedent over Tomb Raider and Hitman.
Localization for the Seiken Densetsu Collection
Every gamer in the world now suspects that the dream of a perfect Virtual Console through Nintendo is no more than a fantasy that will never come true. Licensing issues, legal hurdles, the whole nine yards. It’s a genuine mess for third-party companies.
In Square Enix’s case, it would love to put those old games on modern systems, but it wants to do so without the restraint of a $5 to $10 price tag. Nope, you’re paying top dollar for Square Enix’s old games, and what a better way to drive a stake into the heart of its Virtual Console obligations than to triumphantly release this legendary bundle in the States?
Seiken Densetsu Collection contains three beloved classics from Square’s olden days, one of which has never properly been released in North America. The Switch’s unique multiplayer capabilities make it the ideal platform for these multiplayer focused games, and yes, being able to play Seiken Densetsu for the first time without hunting down a fan-translation would be a pretty satisfying feeling.
And if it succeeds, it could be possible that Square Enix brings other definitive versions of classics to the Switch as well. *coughcough*
Localizations for every single SaGa game we don’t have in the West
The return of Square Enix’s forgotten step-sibling to Final Fantasy would be the ultimate triumph, and frankly, the timing has never been better. Retro gaming is still popular through digital channels, and yes, series director Akitoshi Kawazu has stated that he is working on a localization for at least two of them. Whether Square Enix will confirm this or even knows about his secret workings has yet to be seen.
However, the PlayStation Vita is on the way out, and there’s not a whole lot more support that Square Enix could possibly give to it. These four games would put a fine little punctuation on its time with the platform, and their localization would solidify the trust that Square Enix has been putting into its old school fans over the last few years. Please, sink the same level of confidence you did with Dragon Quest VII and NieR: Automata in the Western world, and let the series have a fighting chance once again.
Romancing SaGa 2, Romancing SaGa 3, and SaGa Scarlet Grace are all exclusive to Japan, and I fear they will forever be so if we let this neglect go on any further.
What’s that? The fourth game I mentioned… well, SaGa Frontier of course! Vita or bust! Just a straight PSOne Classic, for old time’s sake! Do it for me, Square Enix.
Project: Octopath Traveler, PLEASE!
This trailer blew me away when Nintendo revealed it during the Nintendo Switch debut presentation, but Square Enix has been mum on it since. We know that one of Square Enix’s best retro guys is working on it, and we know that he is using old school Super Nintendo JRPGs an an inspiration for its graphics.
Beyond that, we don’t know anything. Not even a concept, a gimmick, or a genuine title. And in all honesty, Octopath Traveler is already a perfect title, I think. No need to change it.
We might need to wait for Nintendo to reveal more on this one, but Square Enix should at least give it a mention this year.
Announce a new Tomb Raider… or better yet…
Fine! Fine! FINE! Square Enix isn’t just in the business of JRPGs anymore, and I suppose I can dedicate a paragraph or two, not to mention my precious time, to give mention towards its Western enterprises.
The timing is indeed right to start thinking about a new Tomb Raider game. It’s been two years since the last original game in the series launched, and if we get the hype started now, it will be three years come next holiday season. That seems like a proper window to me!
Or, how about instead of Tomb Raider, Square Enix turns around and gives Soul Reaver the same quality, high profile reboot. Soul Reaver is also a product of the PSOne years, similar to Tomb Raider, and it has been well over a decade since we’ve hung out with Raziel and his eternal nemesis, Kain.
I’m not talking free-to-play multiplayer games either, I’m talking the real deal. A full on “metroidvania” Soul Reaver adventure, one Square Enix could easily pitch as a way to fill in that Dark Souls-shaped void in all of our lives.
Soul Reaver as the new Dark Souls? I’m digging it already!
Ensure the future of Hitman
Hitman fans are no doubt concerned about the future of their series. Square Enix recently and unceremoniously pulled out of developer IO Interactive’s business, leaving it up for sale for another company to pull under its umbrella. The move came as a shock given the critical and financial success of the most recent Hitman game. Everyone who has played it, enjoys it, and it has become the new standard for which we judge episodic games that last an entire year.
Which is why Square Enix at least needs to address its future, even just a comment that everything is going to be okay. A small trailer showing off new and upcoming content, a promise that it wants to see the series flourish, anything just to put the fanbase’s mind to rest.
Okay, maybe a sixth thing I’d like to see…
Five is too short, so I’m pulling for one more big announcement. Lost Sphear looks cool, but I feel like I’ve already seen everything I need to see. Hideo Baba’s new game sounds great, but it will most likely be revealed in Japan, where the designer has many more fans. Square Enix’s partnership with People Can Fly is too early in development, and it has already been confirmed to be a scratch.
With all these not likely to happen, the biggest one is the localization of Dragon Quest XI. My heart tells me Square Enix wants the game to be released in Japan before it starts considering and announcing localizations, so I don’t expect to see it this year. Still, we can dream!
Final Fantasy XVI? Too early. Final Fantasy VII Remake? Don’t care, my interest for this is on the backburner for the time being. Another Final Fantasy XIV expansion? Too soon…
Surprise me, Square Enix! What else do you have? I’m having a hard time guessing, and not one of these is likely to happen at the show. A new franchise? Another classic reboot? I can’t wait for next week!