Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XII remixed to DS

When it comes to the handheld console war, Square Enix has very obviously thrown its weight in one corner. With the all-new remake of Final Fantasy III coming to the US this fall, it should be obvious which horse the world-renown RPG maker is backing.

But if you needed more evidence, here it is: today, via the Japanese edition of Shonen Jump magazine, Square Enix has announced two new games for the Nintendo DS.

It's a Wonderful World (or, in Japanese, Subarashiki Kono Sekai) is a brand new game - a "touch action RPG" - from the creators of the Kingdom Hearts series. The game revolves around music-loving street kids in Japan; the game takes place in trendy Tokyo district Shibuya, and features rhythm-based battles and tons of 2D characters on screen. The artwork is handled by Tetsuya Nomura, the creator of Kingdom Hearts, and the main character looks like he could be Sora's cousin. The game will have you battle against beast-like creatures known as Noise on the Tokyo streets.

Above: Vaan and Penelo, here arguing in FFXII for PS2, are set for a star turn on the Nintendo DS.

The second game announced is Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. This game features the further adventures of Vaan and Penelo, the young lead and his main squeeze from the upcoming Final Fantasy XII on PlayStation 2. Details here are way scarcer, and no screenshots have been released - just a little bit of 2D artwork depicting the two heroes.

In the same breath, Square Enix announced that it's re-releasing Kingdom Hearts II to the Japanese market with the addition of the card battling from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories from GBA. If the writing isn't on the wall for you yet, scope this: Final Fantasy III DS just sold half a million copies in two weeks in Japan. Dragon Quest Monsters and Chocobo's Magic Picture Book are already on deck for the DS, for Japan, this year.

Square Enix has picked a winner in the handheld battle. It isn't Sony.

September 13, 2006