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Inside the Square Enix Party

Report: Here's to 20 years of Final Fantasy

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Revenant Wings is doing very well on DS, of course, and Dragon Quest IX (not on show, sadly) will cause a meltdown in Japan, but there still seems to be a strong affinity for Sony formats among the Square Enix faithful.

Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii was at the party to host the Dragon Quest Monsters Joker GrandMasters' GP Champion Convention (phew) on a large open theatre stage. We couldn't quite figure out what that was all about, but Horii's very presence (along with notable Final Fantasy bods such as Nomura and Toriyama) suggested that Square Enix's big guns were keen to help the company's public image.

With the Japanese game market in transition, and Square Enix even thinking outside of Japan with projects such as Last Remnant, this is a crucial time in the life of the world's most famous RPG house. It's not all birthday cake and anniversary cards.

Zoom

In the middle of a sea of FF- and DQ-related booths, there was a little island where people were trying out the new Square Enix DS Style range of non-game DS software. Gardening and Classical Music, both of which are designed to increase users' knowledge of those fields, were particularly popular. The other titles here were DS-based guides to holidaying in foreign climes: potential Lonely Planet-beaters for backpackers in locations such as Italy and Thailand.

This year and next, Square Enix is consolidating its history - with great results for Final Fantasy and Star Ocean fans - while delivering all the sequels we could ever need, and still managing to explore new demographics, DS Style. Yep, the people at Square Enix are quite busy.

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