Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings to fly on DS
We're in a flap over this PS2 crossover with a DS twist
When it comes to classic Japanese role playing series Final Fantasy, us European fans have always had a bit of a rough deal - it seems to take gamemaker Square Enix around a year to translate all the text and get games released over here.
That's the reason we're waiting for the first DS release Final Fantasy III. It came out in Japan in August, but still doesn't have a firm release date over here. (Actually things are even more complicated as Final Fantasy III was the only one of the series never to be available outside Japan when first released in 1990, so in that sense we will have been waiting 17 years!)
Hence it may seem a little premature to start talking about the next DS game - Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings - but as even Japanese fans don't know when it's going to be out, at least for the time being we're all in same boat.
As the title suggests, the game recycles the characters from the PlayStation 2 game Final Fantasy XII; notably naughty street urchin Vaan, and his chum Penelo. The timeline places the DS game a couple of year after the end of that game however, so Vaan and Penelo have grown up and now wander around the magical, floating world of Puruvama in their very own airship, collecting treasure and battling bizarre monsters as they go.
Another change is that the game will be made more simple to play than its PlayStation 2 cousin, which despite getting great reviews, was one of the most in-depth role playing games on the console.
One element of this customisation is that group battles, which make up a large part of any Final Fantasy game, will be fully controlled with just your touchscreen and stylus. The game will still use a version of the Gambit system though, which enables you to set up automatic battle commands such as healing, when a character's health reaches a certain level, or attacking an enemy group's leader. Each character can have two gambits, and you can collect or buy more complicated ones as you progress.
The gamemakers also promise they will boost the range of creatures, or Espers, you'll be able to summon during battles in the DS version. However to gain access to such firepower, you'll have previously had to defeat each Esper in battle before you can assign it to one of your group's characters.
Only recently announced, don't expect Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings to be available in an English translation before the end of 2007.