I thought it was already determined that Sayuri Sugawara was going to be responsible for the vocal themes for Final Fantasy XIII, but Square Enix apparently had something else in mind… at least for the West. They’ve recently announced that the Western release will feature a main theme titled “My Hands” by multi-platinum selling singer and songwriter Leona Lewis.
Funny enough, I had no idea who Leona Lewis was by name. I read in Square Enix’s press release that she was responsible for “Bleeding Love,” but I had no idea what that was until I checked it out on YouTube and recognized it immediately. Shows how much I keep up with pop music in the States!
Anyway, it’s unprecedented that Square Enix is replacing their Japanese theme song entirely in this way, and even more so that they’re not having a song created specifically for Final Fantasy XIII, and are rather going the route of anime and plugging already-existing material into the game. I have to say that this is a huge disappointment.
Oh, I guess they also announced the game’s release date for March 9, 2010 if you care about that sort of thing. Are you surprised by this announcement? Will you be taking a peek into Leona Lewis’s new album, ECHO, which features “My Hands” that’s out this week?
Read the official press release from Square Enix after the jump.
FACE YOUR DESTINY ON MARCH 9, 2010 – FINAL FANTASY XIII LAUNCHES IN NORTH AMERICA
Multi-Platinum Singer Songwriter Leona Lewis
Offers Brand New Song “My Hands” As Game’s Theme Song
LOS ANGELES (November 13, 2009) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix® interactive entertainment products in North America announced today the highly anticipated street date for FINAL FANTASY® XIII. This latest project in the multi-platinum FINAL FANTASY series promises to be intensely compelling and will be available for both the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft on March 9, 2010.
FINAL FANTASY XIII marks the dawning of a new era for the celebrated franchise, bringing the series to multiple hi-definition consoles simultaneously for the first time in its history. Expanding upon the rich tradition of the series, Producer Kitase Yoshinori (FINAL FANTASY VII, X, X-2), Director Motomu Toriyama (FINAL FANTASY VII, X, X-2), character designer Tetsuya Nomura (FINAL FANTASY V, VI, VII, VIII, X) and art director Isamu Kamikokuryo (FINAL FANASY X, XII) combine their creative vision to deliver the latest masterpiece in the FINAL FANTASY universe. Additionally, Masashi Hamauzu (FINAL FANTASY X, DIRGE of CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII-) presents a sweeping soundtrack while movie director Takeshi Nozue (FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN) and his team of artists adorn the game with seamless cinematic sequences of unparalleled caliber.
“We know that our fans have been eagerly awaiting the next installation of the franchise – FINAL FANTASY XIII will exceed all expectations,” said John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix, Inc. “Coming simultaneously to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for the first time, FINAL FANTASY XIII will be available to all players who are looking for the most immersive gaming experience of 2010.”
Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Leona Lewis has come on board with Square Enix to provide the theme song for FINAL FANTASY XIII. The song is entitled “My Hands,” and is featured on her highly-anticipated second album ECHO (J Records/Syco Music) set for release on November 17th. Leona Lewis took the music world by storm with her 2008 6x platinum debut album Spirit which features her chart topping, biggest selling single of 2008 “Bleeding Love,” and mega-hit “Better In Time.”
“When Square Enix approached Leona about including her song, “My Hands,” in FINAL FANTASY XIII, she was honored to be partnered with such an iconic and groundbreaking video game series,” said Tom Corson, EVP/GM, RCA Music Group. “Leona is a natural fit with the game’s powerful themes and strong female protagonist. We’re delighted to be part of this effort, bringing great musical artistry to FINAL FANTASY XIII which is a riveting and dynamic gaming experience.”
Introducing new worlds, memorable characters and extraordinary stories with each new installment, the FINAL FANTASY series has continued to reinvent itself over the last two decades and has shipped over 85 million copies worldwide. The series is defined by a constant evolution, offering nothing less than the finest creative vision, graphical quality and gameplay system of its generation with every installment, and FINAL FANTASY XIII will be no exception to its legacy.
Cocoon — a utopia in the sky.
Its inhabitants believed their world a paradise.
Under the Sanctum’s rule, Cocoon had long known peace and prosperity.
Mankind was blessed by its protectors, the benevolent fal’Cie, and believed that tranquil days would continue forever.
Their tranquility was shattered with the discovery of one hostile fal’Cie.
The moment that fal’Cie from Pulse — the feared and detested lowerworld — awoke from its slumber, peace on Cocoon came to an end.
Fal’Cie curse humans, turning them into magic-wielding servants.
They become l’Cie — chosen of the fal’Cie.
Those branded with the mark of a l’Cie carry the burden of either fulfilling their Focus or facing a fate harsher than death itself.
A prayer for redemption.
A wish to protect the world.
A promise to challenge destiny.
After thirteen days of fates intertwined, the battle begins.
· Take Part in a Gaming Experience that Sets New Standards – The first in the series developed for a simultaneous release on multiple high-definition consoles, FINAL FANTASY XIII pushes new boundaries in cinematic presentation, sound and gameplay.
· Experience the Unity of Speed and Strategy with the Ultimate Active Time Battle system – The familiar system has evolved, granting players the freedom of executing numerous commands in a single turn with the multi-slot ATB gauge. Whether inputting singular commands in each slot for consecutive attacks, or expending multiple slots at once to activate a devastating blow, it’s up to the players to respond effectively to the battle conditions at hand.
· Adapt to the Ever-Changing Tide of Battle with Paradigms – A brand-new game mechanic enabling players to assign roles to their party members at any time during battle, shifting between combat paradigms. Consisting of various combinations of the game’s six roles, ranging from Commando, the offensive specialist, to Medic, the quintessential healer, paradigms allow players to respond and adapt instantly to any given situation to turn the tide and seize victory.
· Witness the Battle Scene Transform with an All-New Summon System – Introducing Gestalt Mode, a powerful dimension of the summon system that elevates the action to a whole new level. In Gestalt Mode, characters and their transformed Eidolons fight as one, dealing massive damage to enemies through simple button commands.
· Delve into an Emotional Experience – An immersive storyline connects players to an intriguing cast of characters. Will they have the strength to confront their cursed fates, or will destiny prevail over all that they believe in?
About Square Enix Co., Ltd. and Square Enix, Inc.
Square Enix Co., Ltd. (Square Enix), with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, develops, publishes and distributes entertainment content including interactive entertainment software and publications in Asia, North America, and Europe. Square Enix brings two of Japan’s best-selling franchises — FINAL FANTASY, which has sold over 85 million units worldwide, and DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 50 million units worldwide — under one roof. Square Enix is one of the most influential providers of digital entertainment content in the world and continues to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation.
Square Enix, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. with offices in Los Angeles, California. It handles operations in North America, including development, localization, marketing and publishing of Square Enix titles. More information on Square Enix can be found on the Internet at http://www.square-enix.com.
©2009 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved. CHARACTER DESIGN: TETSUYA NOMURA.
DRAGON QUEST, FINAL FANTASY, SQUARE ENIX and the SQUARE ENIX logo are registered trademarks of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. in the United States and/or other countries. “PlayStation” and the “PS” Family logo are registered trademarks and “PS3” is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Games for Windows, Windows, Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from the owner.