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[Pre-E3 2006] Squenix Unveils Showcase

Building upon some of its best known franchises, Square Enix has a little bit of everything in store this year!
Author: Kyle Sutton
Published: April 24, 2006
Can you feel it? We swear, the pre-E3 rush is so strong, it's even in the air, man. It's during these last few precious weeks when the floodgates are blown wide open and the ungodly amount of game details come streaming in. We're swimming in game announcements, we tell you!

Right in there with the brunt of the current is Square Enix, who today, dropped the bomb on its platform-spanning line-up for this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, set to rock the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 10-12.

"E3 attendees will be immersed in Square Enix's most diverse line-up ever," promises Daishiro Okada, President and COO, Square Enix, Inc. "We're evolving and growing, extending the Square Enix brand beyond video games to a variety of entertainment vehicles and a broader consumer base bridging the generation and gender gap. Our goal is to provide consumers with the most engaging and immersive entertainment experiences possible and we hope to give attendees at E3 a taste of what's to come."

"Immersed," you hear him?! Listed below is just a "partial" list of what to except, and not only because we've only included the Sony-related goodies, but Squenix also has some "special product announcements" in store for its press briefing on May 8. And to give those hard-working PR peeps some due credit, the following descriptions come courtesy of them. We swear, it has nothing to do with our laziness.

Dawn of Mana (PS2)
Release Date: TBA
ESRB Rating: TBA

Dawn of Mana, the first true Mana sequel in a decade, reveals the origins of the legend behind the Mana Tree and the Sword of Mana. Breaking the series' 2D mold, Dawn of Mana brings the world of Mana to three-dimensional life while preserving the atmosphere that fans have come to know and love. Players can see for themselves how vividly characters and monsters move about these new yet familiar surroundings. This installment of the Mana is a true action-adventure, with sweeping plains and mountains stretching as far as the eye can see. It's a world ripe for adventure!

A World of Sensation
"Touch" is the theme of Dawn of Mana's world. You can virtually feel realistically rendered, lifelike objects.

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PS2)
Release Date: Summer 2006
ESRB Rating: "T" for "Teen"

Three years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, an unknown group of seemingly unstoppable soldiers appears, bringing a swift and bitter end to the peace enjoyed by the people of the world. The members of this enigmatic group are the ones who were trapped under the ruins of Midgar for three long years—the Deepground soldiers. Vincent Valentine finds himself pursued by several elite members of the mysterious Deepground organization. An unrelenting chain of events leads Vincent to the truth behind his past—and forces him once again to be the key player in a battle for the planet itself and all those living on it.

Just what is the connection between Vincent's past and the recent attacks? When the world is engulfed in darkness, his gun will toll a dreadful dirge...

Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Release Date: Fall 2006
ESRB Rating: TBA

As war looms on the horizon, the mighty Archadian Empire begins a campaign to subjugate its neighbors. The small kingdom of Dalmasca shares their fate, and it is here that our tale begins.

Two years after the fall of Dalmasca, the citizens are without guidance and direction. In the capital city of Rabanastre, the denizens gather and await the introduction of Archadia's new consul. To Vaan, a young man living on the streets of Rabanastre, the Empire is a hated enemy who took the life of his brother, the only family he had left. In an effort to exact revenge, Vaan hatches a plot to break into the palace and steal from the occupying imperials. There, he gets more than he bargained for as he runs into Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne. Together, the two will embark on an incredible journey through Ivalice, tracing the mysteries behind the Archadian Empire's invasion. The choices they make will determine the very fate of the world.

Active Dimension Battle
The Active Dimension Battle (ADB) system enables players to move seamlessly between exploration and combat. Jarring random battles and their load times are a thing of the past, keeping you in the world from start to finish.

An All-New Combat System
Characters act according to an intricate "gambit" system of actions and reactions that you determine. As they fight, characters earn license points that can be spent to broaden their knowledge of magic, arms and armor.

Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria (PS2)
Release Date: 2006
ESRB Rating: TBA

Hundreds of years before Lenneth's tale, another saga lies concealed by the gods. The valkyrie Silmeria once served Odin loyally, but after an incident ignited a conflict between them, Odin forcefully reincarnated her as a human. The human soul that would carry her spirit was that of Alicia, Princess of Dipan. Ordinarily, Silmeria's consciousness would have been sealed, her spirit dormant until she was next summoned... However, the forced transmigration causes Silmeria's spirit to awaken within Alicia, leaving two souls to inhabit a single body. The spirit that should have been sealed has awakened—a situation Odin will not ignore for long.

Photon Action System
This installment introduces the new Photon Action System to the classic side-scrolling action format found in the original. Projecting photons grants players more freedom to explore and expands the action, resulting in challenging puzzles with clever solutions. Add to that "sealstones" that affect the laws of nature in dungeons, launching strategy to new heights.

Advanced Tactical Combination
The unique, highly acclaimed battle system of the previous game has evolved into the Advanced Tactical Combination Battle System. Feel the exhilaration of accelerated battles raging across 3D environments for more spectacular and more strategic combat than ever before!

Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan (PS2)
Release Date: Now Available
ESRB Rating: "T" for "Teen"

The once sleepy port town of Mhaura has become the center of unprecedented commotion. The cause of this disturbance can be attributed to the arrival of mercenary recruiters from the Aht Urhgan Empire, a land far to the east of Windurst. Starting in the city of the Tarutaru, they have been touting the benefits of their Empire-sanctioned business throughout Vana'diel in an effort to garner the interest of prospective candidates, and also seek to organize a ferry route from Mhaura to the Imperial capital of Al Zahbi. The majority of the conservative townspeople frowns upon the insistence of their foreign visitors. However, the large number of action-starved Mithran mercenaries is putting pressure on the governor, who is gradually losing her resolve to refuse entry to the Empire's ships.

Why is the Empress so desperate to recruit mercenaries? What trouble is brewing in the Near Eastern land of Aht Urhgan? The road to epic new adventures will soon be revealed...

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PSP)
Release Date: 2006
ESRB Rating: "T" for "Teen"

Asgard, the realm of the gods, remains locked in an eternal struggle between the benevolent Aesir and the demonic Vanir. With the end of the world approaching, Odin, Lord of Asgard, summons Lenneth Valkyrie to his side. Possessing the ability to hear the thoughts and feelings of men and women in their dying moments, he charges Valkyrie to search Midgard, the world of mortals, to recruit and train the souls of worthy warriors to join the ranks of the Aesir in the Sacred War. Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth brings the classic PlayStation game console title, originally released in 2000, to the PSP system with completely new CG cut scenes. tri-Ace, the developers behind the acclaimed Star Ocean series and Radiata Stories, introduce new fans to the spectacular combo attacks, unique side-scrolling environment, and gripping storyline that first captivated players six years ago.

Additional CG Cutscenes
To give players a deeper understanding of the plot and to complement the game's dramatic storyline, additional CG cutscenes have been incorporated. Some of these new scenes contain links to the story of Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria.

For a glimpse at the games to come and if they'll be in playable or video form (or *gasp* both), in a layout arguably more easy on the eyes for this kind of thing, be sure to hit up Square Enix's E3 site. The big show is just weeks away folks, so expect a whole lot more announcements where this came from!