Square Enix Party 2007: Day 2
The party rolls on and winds down as the role-playing game publisher's latest fan festival draws to a close.
MAKUHARI--The second day of Square Enix's 2007 party moved right along with an even greater throng of people hitting the Makuhari Messe convention center on the fan fest's second day. Fans who attended the first day of the show returned to take in more stage shows, work on their stamp rally booklet, and queue up for the closed mega theater screening of trailers, to name just a few of the day's popular activities. The fact that it was Mother's Day didn't seem to slow down the crowds; in fact, it looked like many a mom wound up coming along to partake in the party.
The goods area was hit pretty hard today, with the massive line to get in and shop stretching into a serpentine collection of people that translated into a two-hour wait. We finally braved the throngs and had a look around the goods area, which displayed the 111 items that attendees could buy. Besides appearing in picture form on a wall in the area, the items were also housed in glass cases. The purchasable items shared space in the cases with prototype figures in varying states of completion.
Among the prototypes on display, a few items had their own mini-throngs as fans crowded to take pictures of massive figures of Cloud and Sephiroth from Advent Children. Among the figures' attention-getting details were hand-stitched leather clothing and an armored Ivalice judge. Other points of interest for fans included a slick Valkyrie Profile statue, new Final Fantasy VII figures, and miniature figures based on the character designs in Itadaki Street and the Final Fantasy III remake for the DS.
One interesting bit of news we heard from Square reps on hand is that Square Enix US intends to open an online store that will sell a number of the goods seen at the event and on sale in Japan now. The store, which is intended to open sometime in June, will also feature some exclusive items that fans will only be able to buy online.
As far as the stage presentations of the day went, the Final Fantasy XI show held a few competitions for fans while the open mega theater featured presentations on Dragon Quest Swords, Draqon Quest Monsters: Joker, and a session with anime and manga voice actors. In between proper stage events, a looping collection of trailers kept the fans informed of titles on the horizon, including the sure-to-be-epic Dragon Quest IX.
Much like the day before, the masses trickled out slowly when the show's 5 p.m. closing time came around. As the strains of "Auld Lang Syne" not so subtly blared from the convention center's PA system offering a hint that folks needed to clear out, some of the more enthusiastic attendees sped off to wrap up their time. Some rushed to get that last picture of the slick stained-glass window in the Crystal Chronicles booth, others made a beeline for the Cloud and Sephiroth figures in the goods area, while a hefty chunk congregated on the life-size judge character out in front of the FFXII International booth.
From the looks of things, this year's Square Enix Party seemed to be on par with the one held in 2004. In fact, from a polish standpoint, the event ran much more smoothly than the first, offering fans plenty to do and see. The publisher may be ready to bump the party up to an annual event, but it made no announcements Sunday as to when the next Square Enix Party would be.
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