TGS '07: Square Enix's Chocobo hullabaloo

Attendees flock to see the latest from popular RPG maker behind Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

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TOKYO--The Square Enix booth was packed at Tokyo Game Show 2007 with people who came to see Final Fantasy XIII in the enclosed theater. Or perhaps to play Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Star Ocean: The First Departure, Chocobo's Dungeon, Dragon Quest IV, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, or Final Fantasy IV. If they were there--and it seemed like half the population of Japan was--they came for all of the above.

But rather than just jumping into the fray, most probably checked out the large, open theater that ran trailers for every game on display, and some that weren't. You might think this would be a good way to figure out what you wanted to head for first, but the lineup was likely to paralyze attendees with indecision. Final Fantasy Tactics A2? Or Dragon Quest?

Either way, the trailers were worth watching if just for the games you could only see there, like the impressive-looking action role-playing game Last Remnant, the enigmatic Infinite Undiscovery, and Star Ocean 4. Or, if you were up for a line (and you had no reason to be at TGS if you weren't), you could make your way into the closed theater for glimpses of both Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

With those viewed, possibly twice or thrice, you could make the rounds of playable kiosks. Our first stop was Final Fantasy Tactics A2, where we fought a battle against killer tomatoes and got ripped off by a purple-haired, female thief. From there we headed to Chocobo's Dungeon, which happened to be the coolest-looking play area in the booth. The area was enclosed and blacklit, with glowing purple puzzle pieces dangling from the ceiling, while gamers explored the game demo along two walls below. The Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates booth was also excellent, featuring guided four-player cooperative battles.

Over it all, a giant inflatable chocobo hovered like a hen over an egg, guiding people to Square's booth with the promise of the RPG play they've come to know and love. There were people of every kind there, but none who seemed disappointed.

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