Like tadpoles from the sky, the newest issue of Famitsu dropped across Japan today. Despite the lack of Final Fantasy XIV news, there was something that caught my eye: Final Fantasy XIV made its debut on the Top 30 Most Anticipated New Titles list!
Weighing in at a mighty rank of 28 out of 30 with 347 stalwart lil' voters behind it, Final Fantasy XIV burst onto the scene after quietly biding its time for a little over a month. It will be interesting to see where Square Enix's newest MMO will go from here, but even more interesting to get some new tidbits on the title itself.
However, Square Enix also has several other entries on the charts of which to boast. It's twin RPG franchises, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest are certainly making their mark on the gaming industry this year. The data that follows was collected via survey of Famitsu readers between July 3rd and July 9th and presented in Famitsu's July 31st issue.
Read on to see what title made it and discuss this in the ZAM forums!
Topping the charts this week is Final Fantasy XIII original flavor. It received 2,523 votes, completely blowing away Monster Hunter 3 (Try) at 2nd place with 1,932 votes. Final Fantasy XIII will be released on the Playstation 3 sometime in the winter of 2009.
Now, I would like to give Final Fantasy XIV some credit and say that its performance on the chart is due to lack of information. How excited can fans really get if they just have a trailer to go on? Well, Dragon Quest X answers that question with its mighty 1,560 votes and 3rd place ranking. Besides it being announced for the Nintendo Wii, there is absolutely no information available and no release date (or year, even). It has been in the Top 10 for weeks and they do not even have a picture available or a definite title - (仮題) ka-dai, means "tentative title."
Dragon Quest VI, originally developed for the Super Nintendo, ranks in at 6th with 1,511 votes for its upcoming remake for the Nintendo DS. Japan really seems to love its Dragon Quest, but I could never get into the series. These fans just received a brand new title on the Nintendo DS, and they still maintain this ravenous appetite for more, MORE! I wonder why Square Enix has not made a Dragon Quest MMO yet...
Coming in at 8th with 701 votes, we have Final Fantasy Versus XIII. While the main title is set to drop in the winter, this spin-off does not seem to have a planned date as of yet.
Another XIII spin-off, Final Fantasy Agito XIII, garnered 485 votes and 15th place. It is being developed for the Playstation Portable.
Some classic, unforgettable RPG titles that Square Enix made their mark this week as well. The top 3 selling titles in the Playstation Store for the month of June were all from the Final Fantasy series. #1 was Final Fantasy VII International, #2 was Final Fantasy Tactics, and #3 was the original that started it all: Final Fantasy.
It appears as if many faithful fans have come down from the "E3 high," and hungry for information, have turned back their focus to Final Fantasy XI (which is probably what Square Enix wants, for now). Ironically, it seems like people anticipate Final Fantasy XIV so much, that when faced with no news, they start to un-anticipate it out of spite. Still, just looking at the performance Square Enix is showing makes me hopeful for the future. It shows that despite the common complaints, in the end, Square Enix is able to make craft a satisfying experience that keeps consumers returning for more. In fact, to keep as close to Final Fantasy XIV as possible, I passed over Last Remnant(PS3) at #13, Blood of Bahamut at #14, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep at #19 and SaGa 2: Goddess of Destiny at #26. Overall, Square Enix took up a third of the chart - not too shabby.
Final Fanatsy XIV is expected to make a showing a Tokyo Game Show, and you can bet I will be shoving my iPhone in every nook and cranny trying to get pictures and video back to the ZAM readers. To do my part, I splurged on some Supporter Tickets for the show, which act like "fast passes" and allow me to get in a little before the doors open. With Square Enix pushing two new numbered Final Fantasy entries, I will need any extra edge I can get!
For the time being, I will be on line at the magazine rack, so keep checking back for more news and articles from Japan!