Four games in Microsoft's flagship series revealed, two dated.
Possibly one of the worst held secrets of the year, Microsoft Game Studios officially revealed Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary at this afternoon's E3 press conference. Few details were revealed during the conference itself, being announced simply as a fully remastered version of 2001's Xbox launch title of the same name complete with online cooperative play. Members at NeoGAF have since identified the studios behind the title as Saber Interactive and Certain Affinity. The game seems to be running on the same engine as 2010's Halo title, Halo: Reach, but using the gameplay and physics systems found in the original Halo: Combat Evolved. Some posters have also claimed that Halo Anniversary won't have its own multiplayer component, instead following in the footsteps of Halo 3: ODST and being an extension of Halo: Reach's multiplayer, complete with new (old) maps. Whether the maps can be exported for a nominal fee or not isn't clear at present. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is scheduled for release on November 15th, 2011, exactly ten years after the original release. MSRP, according to Siliconera, is $39.99.
Microsoft also announced today the start of a new Halo trilogy. The first game from this trilogy, presumably under development at 343 Industries, is simply titled Halo 4. A brief clip shown at the end of the conference was all Microsoft was willing to share, however the game has a tenative release window of Fall 2012.
The Australian classification board gives away Square Enix's next digital port.
Back in the early 90's, as part of then-Squaresoft's efforts to expand the console-style RPG market, an "entry-level" RPG was created specifically for English-speaking gamers. Titled Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, the hope that was by forgoing the difficulty of Dragon Quest and the main Final Fantasy series, while also streamlining and simplifying the game's core mechanics, people traditionally not interested in RPGs would give the game a chance.
Now, nearly twenty years later, Mystic Quest is set to return via the Wii's Virtual Console. While the port hasn't been officially confirmed at the time of this posting, the Australian ratings board has approved the game for release with Nintendo marked as its publisher. As Super Nintendo games are typically 800 Wii Points ($8), perhaps another new generation of non- and casual-gamers can soon be introduced to the RPG genre with a simple impulse purchase?