Square Enix releases Song Summoner... Final Fantasy Tactics for your clickwheel iPod

Square Enix has largely spent the decade and a half since Chrono Trigger as a specialty game design house tasked with outputting nothing but pretentious, truly irritating RPGs I would never, ever play. But this year's surprise release of The World Ends With You — a surreal, brilliant and truly unique RPG that stars a gaggle of conflicted, androgynous twinks fighting their way through modern Shibuya — really threw my world view out of whack. Had Square Enix lost their cliched, incompetent touch? Or was TWEWY just some bizarre alignment of accidental genius, an example of random inspirational chance in Square Enix's godless, talentless universe?

Enter this preview video for Square Enix's new game, Song Summoner. First of all, it's for the iPod... not the iPhone, not the Touch... no, the terrible clickwheel iPod which no one in their right mind would ever, ever want to play a game on. And it looks utterly fucking brilliant.

The mechanism's just genius, a revelational amalgamation of the gameplay of Monster Rancher and Final Fantasy Tactics. In Song Summoner, you can convert each and every one of your songs into a warrior to battle it out in a Tactics-like battlefield grid. Each time you listen to a song? Your warrior levels up. Your warriors' abilities are uniquely determined by the song from which you choose to create him. And it's available today for only $4.99, both in America and Europe.

I'm slurping it up from iTunes server's now. I'll try to toss up some impressions later today.

Song Summoner [Press Release]

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10 Responses to Square Enix releases Song Summoner... Final Fantasy Tactics for your clickwheel iPod

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s worth noting that while Square’s Final Fantasy series went off the cliff right around the time that they transitioned from cartridges to discs, their amalgamation series “Kingdom Hearts” has a genuinely good spirit, and they use both Disney’s characters and their own to good, archetypal effect.

  2. zuzu says:

    Enter this preview video for Square Enix’s new game, Song Summoner. First of all, it’s for the iPod… not the iPhone, not the Touch… no, the terrible clickwheel iPod which no one in their right mind would ever, ever want to play a game on. And it looks utterly fucking brilliant.

    Because with 160GB of storage space, that’s the most likely place to keep a music collection rather than just a music selection. Makes sense to me.

    Can anyone confirm whether or not it works on the iPod 5.5G, or only the newer “Classic” iPod (with the sloooow user interface)?

  3. John Brownlee says:

    Zuzu, that seems like a bit of a niggling point: it also comes on the Nanos, which only have 8G of space max. You’re right, of course: the game was designed around the platform. But this could certainly have been pushed out for the iPhone or iPod Touch… it’s not like I’m about to make heroes out of even 1/100th of my iPod 160GB’s 40,000 songs.

    Also, should work just fine on the 5G, according to the product page.

  4. Davin says:

    I wish I had a system that could play this, even though the dialog looks like ass.

    And you are correct, The World Ends With You is their best work in ages.

  5. zuzu says:

    it also comes on the Nanos, which only have 8G of space max. You’re right, of course: the game was designed around the platform. But this could certainly have been pushed out for the iPhone or iPod Touch… it’s not like I’m about to make heroes out of even 1/100th of my iPod 160GB’s 40,000 songs.

    Hmm… word. Probably a developer toolkit / SDK issue then. You could hold out reasonable hope that the Touch / iPhone port will be released “later”. Afterall, the official iPhone software launch date isn’t even until tomorrow.

  6. Downpressor says:

    RPG that stars a gaggle of conflicted, androgynous twinks fighting their way through …

    That pretty much sums up all of their output since their earlier Famicom output except for Chrono Trigger. As weird as this ipod game sounds, it might be the first innovation in the genre’s gameplay in decades.

  7. mdhatter says:

    Final Fantasy Tactics – wow. I still play that occasionally. It’s why I kept my PS1. Sweet.

  8. John Brownlee says:

    “As weird as this ipod game sounds, it might be the first innovation in the genre’s gameplay in decades.”

    It isn’t. At all. The game you’re thinking of The World Ends With You.

  9. AirPillo says:

    Minor grammar nazi comment:
    “…from iTunes server’s now”

    “[word]’s” is a contraction of “[word] is”

  10. Daemon says:

    Hmm. Finally, there’s a reason for people to get an ipod instead of it’s technologically superior and less expensive relatives made by companies not named after fruit.

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