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Square Enix in your pocket: PSP edition

Ross Miller

This week marks the release of the Final Fantasy remake on Sony PSP, the first Square Enix title to make it to the US. The RPG powerhouse showed a multitude of appetizing titles coming to the portable earlier this summer at their massive party at Tokyo's Makuhari Messe.

Long-time Square Enix fans will find yourselves either dismayed or curiously nostalgic (probably a bit of both) by the sheer number of enhanced remakes -- five of the seven PSP titles are ghosts from the company's past with upgraded visuals and new content. What's left is a brawler with an assortment of fighters from the Final Fantasy universe and a long-in-development (though visually impressive) extension of the Final Fantasy VII lore.

Take a gander at the upcoming games after the break.

Star Ocean: First Departure and Second Evolution

Revealed by producer Yoshinori Yamagishi at the Square Enix press conference preceding this year's party, First Departure and Second Evolution are remakes of the first and second Star Ocean titles, respectively.

Yamagishi said that the improvements include new characters and content, new graphics with both two- and three-dimensional elements and new cinematics that include anomation from Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell).

No release dates have been given for either title.

Gallery: Star Ocean: First and Second Departure | 2 Photos

Final Fantasy Dissidia

When we first saw scans of Dissidia that gave the impression of a brawler, our first thought was Ehrgeiz, Square's previous attempt (alongside Namco) at the fighting genre with FF characters. Sure, it had Cloud Strife and Sephiroth back before the FFVII series expanded into three million spinoff titles. Though interesting, the game ultimately left us disappointed.

The latest from Famitsu reports that the game revolves around two gods, Cosmos (representing order) and Chaos (representing ... well, you know). An imbalance in the world lead to Chaos having an upper hand in an eternal war, and both sides bring forth their best fighters to do battle. Confirmed characters include Warrior of Light and Garland (FFI), Zidane and Kuja (FFIX) and Sephiroth. The trailer for the game is now available online.

The combatants will have special skills for use in the match, and causing damage to both your opponent and the environment will grant you access to more special abilities. Each of the at least 10 protagonists will have a storyline mode to play through.

No release date has been announced.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

As the latest title in a string of FFVII extension, Crisis Core has been in development since at least October 2004. The game centers around Zack Fair, the SOLDIER who Cloud took somewhat of a liking to in the original game, as he tracks down ex-SOLDIER Genesis. On his journey, he encounters familiar faces such as Sephiroth, Aeris, and Cloud.

The latest trailer for the action-RPG shows some gorgeous visuals for a PSP game, including some ridiculous hair. There are two playable demos reportedly at the Square Enix party: one battle against series veteran Bahamut, and one against Genesis.

Crisis Core has been dated for September 13 in Japan and is reportedly coming to US this year.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lion War

An update to the original PlayStation One Final Fantasy Tactics, The Lion War was announced alongside another Ivalice Alliance title, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 for the Nintendo DS.

Enhancements include anime-styled cinematics, two character classes (Onion Knight and Dark Knight), the inclusion of FFXII's Balthier, and wireless multiplayer modes, both cooperative and versus.

Initially revealed in December 2006, the game was released May 10 in Japan. A North American version is coming in October; importers can purchase the game from Play Asia.

Final Fantasy I and II

The first two Final Fantasy games are also being remade for the PSP. Unlike Final Fantasy I-II: Dawn of Souls for Game boy Advance, each title will be released separately. According to Square Enix's press release, each version will "contain the best treatment of the classic RPGs" (and there are many treatments to choose from) and reportedly will include updated graphics, new character art and dungeons, an "updated camera view" and will be featured in PSP's native 16:9 widescreen.

Final Fantasy I and II will be released June 26 (today!) and July 24, respectively, in North America for $30 apiece.

Gallery: Final Fantasy I (PSP) | 11 Photos

Gallery: Final Fantasy II (PSP) | 13 Photos

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