Following an article in last week's issue of Japanese game magazine V Jump, Square Enix have officially announced Final Fantasy Legends, a new mobile phone game by the Final Fantasy IV: The After Years team.
Normally, a Japanese mobile phone game would only be interesting to Final Fantasy's most hardcore fans, but remember that The After Years eventually made its way, fully localized, to North American and European WiiWare.
The new game's full title, Final Fantasy Legends: Hikari to Yami no Senshi ("Warriors of Light and Darkness"), is enough to evoke the kind of game we're talking about here: four (probably nameless) characters, some crystals, some light, some darkness, and a Firaga spell. The one wrinkle in the formula is the game's job system. (Although, hell, Square's been rocking that mechanic since Final Fantasy III twenty years ago, so even new jobs aren't exactly game changers. Pardon the pun.)
Seems to me, though, that Square Enix might be cannibalizing its own market in ultra-traditional Final Fantasy games: the premise of Legends is remarkably similar to last year's Final Fantasy Gaiden, which came with its own set of crystals and changeable character classes. The two games diverge when it comes to art, though -- Gaiden sported beautiful impressionistic graphics, while Legends is going with a decidedly retro look.
Final Fantasy Legends goes on sale for Japanese iMode users in September. The prologue will be free, but subsequent chapters will cost between 315¥ and 525¥.
Final Fantasy Legends Formally Announced [Andriasang]