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Submitted by Jon Wilcox on April 24 2006 - 17:43

Final Fantasy dominates the line up on a number of formats...

Square-Enix has today announced its line up of titles set to feature at this year's E3, which takes place between May 10th and 12th. Dominating proceedings for the company, the iconic RPG series Final Fantasy is set to feature across a number of platforms in a number of forms.

Set three years after the events of Final Fantasy VII and a year after Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus - Final Fantasy VII continues the story of Vincent Valentine as he tries to uncover the link between his past and a group of unstoppable Deepground soldiers. Currently set for a North American release this summer, it's unknown when the game will reach European shores.

Featuring two additions to gameplay in the form of an 'Active Dimension Battle' system, which switches between battle and exploration modes seamlessly without loading times, and a new combat system that sees player earn license points for gamers to spend during the game, Final Fantasy XII will also be appearing at the show next month ahead of its release towards the end of the year on PlayStation2.

Square-Enix will also be bringing the previous instalments of the Final Fantasy franchise to E3 in the form of Final Fantasy V Advance and Final Fantasy VI Advance for GameBoy Advance, and Final Fantasy III for Nintendo DS. Recreated with 3D graphics, Final Fantasy III will be the first time that the series has reached Nintendo DS (and Western shores). Like the GBA versions of Final Fantasy V and VI, the only release period announced for Final Fantasy III so far is '2006'.

In addition to the Final Fantasy titles, Square-Enix also confirmed that the first true instalment in the '...of Mana' series for ten years, Dawn of Mana, will be on show at E3, along with the Nintendo DS' 'Children of Mana'. Set for release on PlayStation2, Dawn of Mana will be the first time that the series has been produced in 3D, with Square-Enix describing 'Touch' as the main theme for the game thanks to it's realism. Currently in development at Nex Entertainment, Children of Mana is set to feature up to four player co-operation modes with a player's actions affecting the other three.

Both Valkyrie Profile titles will also be on show with the PlayStation2 title Valkyrie Profile: Sylmeria introducing the new Photon Action System, which expands upon the established feature and will allow for greater freedom. The battle system of the original title has also seen improvements and has now evolved into the Advanced Tactical Combination Battle System. Speaking of the original title, Valkyrie Proile: Lenneth on PSP will feature additional cutscenes that link the story with its PlayStation2 sequel. Both Valkyrie Profile titles are set for release before the end of the year.

Finally, Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime will be displayed at the Expo. In development for Nintendo DS, the game sees players follow the adventures of what is traditionally a key enemy in the Dragon Quest universe - a slime, in particular, a slime called Rocket. Following the invasion of Slimenia by a shadowy organisation called The Plob, Rocket sets out to free his kidnapped friends. Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime will be a departure for the Dragon Quest universe since it's actually an action-adventure title rather than the more traditional role-playing game.

Announcing the line up Daishiro Okada, President and COO, Square Enix, Inc. said, "E3 attendees will be immersed in Square Enix's most diverse line-up ever...We're evolving and growing, extending the Square Enix brand beyond video games to a variety of entertainment vehicles and a broader consumer base bridging the generation and gender gap. Our goal is to provide consumers with the most engaging and immersive entertainment experiences possible and we hope to give attendees at E3 a taste of what's to come."

We'll have more news shortly...

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