It looks as if 2008 is set to be the year of the role-playing game. Earlier this year Mistwalker's Lost Odyssey was released on the Xbox 360, and Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors was recently released on the Wii. Portables also picked up some action, with titles including The World Ends With You and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings coming to the Nintendo DS.
As far as the rest of the year goes, it's looking pretty good too. Two long-awaited epics are on the way--Peter Molyneux's Fable 2 and Denis Dyack's Too Human. On top of that, Baroque is coming in July for the Wii and PlayStation 2, and Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (PSP) due for release in Europe, with both already out stateside.
And if all those games weren't enough, Square Enix has added another two RPGs to the roster this year, with a third to follow in 2009.
The first will be Tri-Ace's Infinite Undiscovery for the Xbox 360, the first in a new series about a young lad fighting against the evil Dreadknight. The game is set for worldwide release in September. North Americans will be getting the game first on September 2, Europeans next on September 5, and the Japanese on September 11.
Infinite Undiscovery will be followed by The Last Remnant, another RPG powered by the Unreal Engine 3 (the first was Lost Odyssey). The game has been given a confirmed global release window of this winter for the Xbox 360, although a time frame for the PlayStation 3 version wasn't given. The plot focuses on battles to control powerful ancient relics called remnants.
Finally, a new chapter in the Star Ocean series was also unveiled. Previously announced merely for next-generation platforms, Star Ocean: The Last Hope is set for release in 2009 exclusively on the 360. The game marks the futuristic space opera RPG series' debut on a Microsoft platform. As for the past several years, the series has been only found on the PlayStation 2.
[UPDATE] But while The Last Hope is currently 360-only, Square Enix producer Yoshinori Yamagish told reporters in Tokyo that a PlayStation 3 version might be possible further down the line. "We can't really say anything yet," he said during a post-announcement press conference. "The answer to that is that, there's really nothing set at the moment. We can't say right now that it will or won't come out. It could go either way. The only thing that we can confirm right now is that it's coming out first on the Xbox 360."
The global release dates mark a departure for Square Enix, whose previous titles, including those in the Final Fantasy series, have typically been released several months later in the West. Square Enix president John Yamamoto has said that the company now plans to make upcoming releases global events.