This Week in Famitsu

Weekly Famitsu #1180


Cover Story
This week Famitsu returns to its retrospective series with a look back at the history of RPG giant (and creator of two of Japan’s best selling franchises of all time, Final Fantasy & Dragon Quest) Square-Enix. However, hopefully most of you remember that before the company was known by its current name, it was actually two separate companies: Square Co. Ltd & Enix Corporation.

Enix (whose name is a play on the words of “phoenix” and “ENIAC”, the world’s first digital computer) can trace its roots back to 1975, but it didn’t get into gaming until 1982 when it held a PC game programming contest. The winners of this contest would eventually go on to create ‘Dragon Quest’ on the NES, which was released in 1986 and sold almost 1.5 million copies. In addition to its video game business, Enix is also very well known in Japan for its anime and manga publishing divisions.

Square was founded in 1983 and was originally the computer software division of a Japanese power-line company. They released their first game, ‘The Death Trap’, in 1984 for the PC. The game was a text-based adventure game which somehow managed to sell over 500,000 copies, if you can believe it. However, after Square’s initial success, they had nothing but failure after failure. In 1987 Square was on the verge of bankruptcy when they released a game for the NES called, appropriately at that time, ‘Final Fantasy’. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast-forward almost twenty years to 2003. Faced with ever-increasing development costs and huge financial setbacks (caused by the financial failure of Final Fantasy: Spirits Within for Square and the long drawn-out development of Dragon Quest VII for Enix) the two companies merged and formed Square-Enix. Thanks to their combined catalog of games, the newly formed company was stronger then ever, and in 2009 they purchased the well-known ‘Western’ game company Eidos.

Thanks to their recent addition, beyond the tried and true franchises Square-Enix creates themselves, they also publish a great deal of western games in Japan. They will be responsible for publishing some of the most anticipated new titles this year, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Hitman Absolution, Tomb Raider, & Deus Ex. Square-Enix also operates a store based out of their headquarters in Shibuya, which sells merchandise based on their popular franchises. (Look for a separate post on the blog soon that will give you a first hand look!) Here’s wishing this RPG giant many more years ahead of it to add to its already impressive history.
Finally, this wouldn’t be a Famitsu article if it didn’t have an extensive poll of its readers. Check the results below and see how they compare with yours!
     Game Most Desired to be Remade
  1. Final Fantasy VII
  2. Xenogears
  3. The World Ends With You
     Favorite Dragon Quest Game
  1. Dragon Quest III
  2. Dragon Quest V
  3. Dragon Quest VIII
     Favorite Final Fantasy Game
  1. Final Fantasy VII
  2. Final Fantasy X
  3. Final Fantasy V
    Favorite Non-Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest Game
  1. Chrono Trigger
  2. Xenogears
  3. Romancing Saga 2
Weird Games Found Only In Japan

Senran Kagura (3DS): When you first heard about the 3DS’ ability to project hands-free 3D, what was the first thing you thought could most effectively utilize this new technology? An awesome 3D HUD system on a first-person shooter? Innovative puzzle mechanisms? 3D movies in the palm of your hand? Apparently the mind of the creator of this week’s ‘Weird Games’ pick went straight to… shall we say the fairer sex? Senran Kagura is a new 3DS game coming out this September in Japan. It’s a brawler (think old school River City Ransom or Streets of Rage), which is pretty awesome; the genre is a bit rare nowadays. It boasts nice graphics, some RPG elements, and incredibly …eh-hem, well-endowed school girls in 3D. With over 180 different outfits you can change the various female characters into (counting color variations), including picking out what they wear underneath them, it’s pretty obvious who this game is pandering to. Picking out what they wear underneath is important, by the way, because the amount of damage you receive is reflected by the amount of clothing, or lack there-of, left on the girls as the battle progresses. It might be worth it to check it out just for how incredibly rare straight-up brawlers are nowadays, but there’s a reason this game was crowned to be this week’s ‘Weird Games Found Only In Japan’; expect this game to come out in the States when every single person who still believes that games are just for children and wants to ban them moves to Canada.

Hardware Sales: Week of 6/27-7/3
  • Nintendo 3DS – 31,545 units
  • PSP – 26,587 units
  • Playstation 3 – 19,290 units
  • Wii – 11,915 units
  • Nintendo DS – 6,890 units
  • Xbox 360 – 1,874 units
  • PlayStation 2 – 1,051 units
Top 5 Selling Games: Week of 6/27-7/3
  • Tales of the Abyss (3DS) – 68, 218 units sold
  • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (PS3) – 45,347 units sold
  • To Heart 2: Dungeon Travelers (PSP) – 43,979 units sold
  • Goldeneye 007 (Wii) – 37,457 units sold
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (3DS) – 26,019 units sold
Top 5 Most Anticipated Games: Based on survey results from 6/30-7/6
  • Tales of Xillia (PS3)
  • Dragon Quest X (Wii)
  • Final Fantasy: Type-O (PSP)
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3)
  • Photo Kano (PSP)
We hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘This Week In Famitsu’. See you next time, and keep an eye out for that first-hand account of the Square-Enix store, coming soon!
Submitted By: Aaron McKeever & Sherrie Blackwell

One Comment:

  1. Nice post. Thank you and good luck. 🙂

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