Square Enix E3 2019 Press Event Recap

Square Enix had some big shoes to fill this year. Not only did that have to justify taking Sony’s normal time – last year’s show wasn’t all that great – they also needed to deliver some solid info if they hoped to win gamers over. Like say, the release date of a certain JRPG remake…

If you missed the event, no worries; we made sure to add it to the site for your viewing pleasure. That said, we have highlighted the juicer tidbits below.

Square went for a strong start. As the broadcast started and the camera panned toward the stage, we were greeted with the Final Fantasy VII Remake start screen (complete with some classic sound effects from the original game). After a brief video and a moment with the devs, we were shown an exciting trailer for the upcoming title.

Square made sure to give as much information about Remake as possible. They showed gameplay while explaining some interesting game mechanics – like the ability to go into a tactical mode that pauses the action to allow players to cast spells/special attacks and more – revealed previously unseen characters like Tifa and Aeris, and even showcased the iconic first boss fight from FFVII, the Guard Scorpion.
They also took the time to mention the different versions of that will be available on release before giving fans a release date; the game will launch first for the PS4 on March 3rd, 2020. From there, the excitement trailed off a bit. Square still had a lot of announcements, of course. It’s just that FFVII took up 20% of their whole conference.

A lot of what was shown was for re-releases and currently available games. They gave some show time to Life is Strange 2’s upcoming episode, Octopath Traveler’s PC port, Battalion 1944, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, The last Remnant, and in a surprise announcement for Final Fantasy VIII Remastered. All good stuff. What really stood out though was the re-releases of Romancing Sage 3 and Saga Scarlet Grace: Ambitions – two games that’ll finally be released outside of Japan.

Speaking of games that never made it over here, Square also revealed multiple Mana titles. The first was the Trials of Mana remake. Rebuilt into an action-RPG with enhanced 3D graphics and revamped leveling and skill systems, this new version will mark the title’s first time in the West. Square then took things a step further by announcing that the Collection of Mana – a digital download that bundles the first three Mana games, included the original version of Trials of Mana – would be made available on the Switch that day. Basically, there was a lot of Mana to go around.

After that came new content for FFXIV and Kingdom Hearts 3. FFXIV got some show time with the upcoming Shadow Bringers expansion. All we got for KH3 was a brief teaser for some upcoming DLC. What was shown wasn’t bad or anything. I just expected more considering how popular KH is.

Square started to gain some traction with their upcoming releases. New sequels in Dragon Quest Builders 2 and Dying Light 2 were well received. There was the new addition to the Square Enix Collective library of games in Circuit Superstars – a simulation style racing game from a top down perspective. They also got some cheers from their two new IPs. Outriders, a shooter developed by People Can Fly (Bulletstorm, Gears of War: Judgement), seemed cool. That said, we didn’t get to see or learn much about the game besides a premise summary and that it was being releases in Summer 2020. With only a year left in development, I would’ve loved to see something other than the short teaser trailer and dev commentary. The same could be said of their second new IP, Marvel’s Avengers.

This was one of the more anticipated games of the night. Square share what seemed to be a mostly cinematic trailer showcasing Crystal Dynamic’s interpretation of the Avengers. We’re talking Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Iron Man, and The Hulk in taking on an unrecognizable enemy faction in San Francisco. It was an exciting trailer, to say the least.

Square then talked about how Marvel’s Avengers would have an original story, explained how new characters would be joining the game post-launch, revealed its release date (May 15th, 2020) and made mention of the absence of loot boxes and such. Apparently, Sony fans are getting first crack at an upcoming beta. Oh, and the game will feature a cooperative multiplayer option, where up to four players can join up to complete the game’s campaign.

Again, I would’ve liked to have seen more. From what was said, Marvel’s Avengers will be played from a third person perspective, limiting play to one person per console. We didn’t get to see anyone actually playing though. Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait too much longer to see and learn more about this exciting game.

Outside of gaming, Square also announced that Square Enix Music was now on popular streaming platforms (Apple Music, Spotify, etc.). It was a solid reveal given how much people enjoy the various video game soundtracks. The conference as whole was decent; with FFVII remake and Marvel’s Avengers taking up a roughly 30 minutes of the 1hr and 19-minute event, it felt like Square didn’t have much to show. Then again, I’m not sure if we needed to see demos for every JRPG or in-depth looks at each remake. There just didn’t seem like a lot of new stuff being announced. Just new-ish stuff. Square did do a better job this time around though. Here’s hoping that next year’s show won’t be dedicated to remakes and DLC!

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