People are pretty excited about Square Enix’s (provisionally titled) Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Square Enix announced today that Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call will be making its way to the west this year, bringing Final Fantasy: Type-0 characters to North American shores for the first time.
Like its predecessor, the title will be a Nintendo 3DS exclusive, except this time more recent releases will make an appearance in the spin-off.
Over 200 songs will make an appearance this time including ones from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Type-0 and others. In addition, new characters will also make an appearance like Yuna from Final Fantasy X and Barret from Final Fantasy VII.
Curtain Call contains the same rhythm game-play as the original release and includes a new Quest Medley mode that allows players to choose their own routes through different quests.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call makes its way to Japan next week and North America sometime later this year. If you’re looking for a JRPG fix, Final Fantasy X HD is now available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.
Square Enix’s Montreal division are working on a new Hitman game. The catch: it’s being made specifically for smartphones and tablets.
Titled Hitman GO, the game has users controlling a chess piece of Agent 47 on a grid. The title is turn-based, relying on you to make the right moves by avoiding enemies and making it your location.
In an interview with Siliconera, Square Enix Montreal said “you really have to think about each move and all the Hitman tools of the trade you would expect are included; disguises, distractions, sniper rifles and even 47’s iconic Silverballers.”
Square Enix also confirmed that Hitman GO will be released in the next few weeks, so be sure to look for it strategy fans! You can check out a screenshot of the game here.
Square Enix announced today that Drakengard 3 will be making its way to Western shores May 21.
The game centres on dragon combat and action, thrusting you into the boots of some excitable adventurers. Square has also confirmed that 3 is a prequel to the first title, adding more backstory to the franchise. And don’t worry fans, there’s a collector’s edition. Listed at $79.99, the collector’s edition items are as follows:
- Official Soundtrack CD
- In-game DLC
- Collectible Poster
- Oh and of course, the game
The release is coming exclusively to PS3, and will only be available in Europe as a downloadable title. You can check out more about Drakengard 3 (as well as check out its opening movie) here.
While Final Fantasy VI will be released to smartphones this winter, fans may have to wait awhile for the next game in the series to come out.
In a recent interview with Shacknews, Final Fantasy producer Takashi Tokita said that “Unfortunately, it’s not that it’s not impossible for us to develop Final Fantasy VII for mobile, it’s that currently, space will be an issue. Phones won’t be able to contain the space it takes. It’s over a gigabyte. People are probably going to have to wait a few years.”
While the first six games were all from the 2D-era, VII changed the formula by making a full 3D-world, resulting in one of PlayStation’s most popular titles.
You can read more about the upcoming Final Fantasy VI port here.
This morning Square Enix released a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3, showing all new gameplay.
The trailer shows Sora, Donald and Goofy fighting their way through enemies (known as Heartless in the series), ending with a boss fight against what seems to be one of the titans from Hercules.
Though this game was shown at the D23 Expo, The footage wasn’t seen by the public till now.
The trailer also suggests the mountain from the titan scene in Hercules may be one of the new worlds players will visit. Kingdom Hearts 3 also has a wide variety of choice for what worlds it can potentially use, as Disney owns the rights to Marvel and Star Wars.
Kingdom Hearts 3 has been confirmed for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. No release date has been announced.
You can view the new footage here.
Square Enix has announced that the JRPG classic, Final Fantasy VI, will be coming to smartphones this winter.
In a recent interview with Kotaku, the company said that “”It is basically like a remake of the original VI...there have been some enhancements.”
Square director Takashi Tokita went on to say “the battle systems have been altered for the other mobile remakes for Final Fantasy and VI will be the same. For instance grinding was an issue and people had to spend a lot of time leveling up. Now on the mobile devices the battle systems have been adjusted so you don’t have to fight as much and can enjoy the game for what it is.”
Tokita also mentioned the possibility of Final Fantasy VII coming to mobile phones. It would be awesome to see Final Fantasy VII re-made with slicker graphics, but I think many gamers would agree they would rather see it on a more graphically powerful console.
No release date has been announced for Final Fantasy VI yet. The original game was released on SNES and has seen numerous ports since.
Square Enix has announced a new online free-to-play, multiplayer title set in the Legacy of Kain world.
The game is called Nosgoth, and is being developed by Psyonix. Gameplay involves team-based combat between humans and vampires.
Humans specialize in ranged weapons, everywhere from cross-bows to hand cannons. On the other hand, vampires use a much more up-close-and-personal approach. They can climb buildings and swoop down on humans, ripping them to shreds.
Unfortunately, the trailer may say it’s set in the Legacy of Kain universe, but there are no soul reavers in sight. So far it seems like a very loose-adaptation that doesn’t have much to do with past Legacy of Kain games. While Square Enix says that the game is set in a previously unknown era, the company has not stated how it fully ties in to the series.
There is a sign-up for the closed beta here.
Though the recent Kingdom Hearts 3 reveal trailer showed off some gameplay, the game may not be released for quite some time.
According to IGN, Kingdom Hearts producer Shinji Hashimoto says that having Tetsuya Nomura as the main director for both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3 “would have an impact.”
Hashimoto went on to add that “it’s a difficult job, as we want each game to be perfect in quality…we can’t create these two big games at the same time.”
While Kingdom Hearts 3 was just revealed at E3, Final Fantasy XV (previously titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII) has been in development for some time. This would imply that Nomura will be focused on finishing FFXV before Kingdom Hearts 3.
Fortunately, Square Enix released Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX today. You can read CGMagazine’s review here. Hopefully this can tide fans over until the next chunk of Kingdom Hearts 3 news is unveiled.
Sqaure Enix’s Coreonline will be adding another game to their high definition list, as Tomb Raider Underworld will now be free to play, joining the lists with popular games such as, Hitman: Blood Money, Mini Ninjas and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
Die-hard role playing gamers in their twenties and thirties have lived through years of the Final Fantasy franchise, arguably one of the richest and most satisfying series in the RPG world. In March 2010, we were treated to the release of Final Fantasy 13, the latest in the epic series. To truly understand the impact that Final Fantasy 13 has on its fans, one has to look back to the games that came before and shaped the legend that is the Final Fantasy franchise.
Final Fantasy games usually centre around a hero, a young protagonist who is out to save the world in some spectacular fashion. Spiky blonde hair tends to be an indicator that you are looking at the hero in Final Fantasy games, but it is not mandatory. Graphics are usually stunning, with epic cut scenes and game production budgets that rival major Hollywood pictures.
I started playing the series, as most gamers did, with Final Fantasy 7. Since then, the series has taught me important life lessons, such as don’t get too emotionally invested in a character build, demonic hockey players really do belong in a fantasy game, and if you try really, really, hard, you can get Cloud and Barrett to go on a date on the Ferris Wheel in Final Fantasy 7.
Final Fantasy 1-6
The games that came before the epic #7 instalment were remarkable in their own right and introduced many of the basic concepts of the role-playing game (RPG) genre. The first three were launched for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The first was released in Japan in 1987, and in North America in 1990.
Attack, Summon, and Magic are the three seminal gameplay choices that run through the entire Final Fantasy series. While the concepts were not introduced in the Final Fantasy games, they were certainly made popular. Players could use infinite combinations of the three basic systems to win battles. Arguably the most interesting aspect of Final Fantasy gameplay is how to combine the three systems for the best results, and each instalment of the game introduces a new and interesting battle system.
Final Fantasy 2 was the first instalment to feature the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, which allowed players a happy medium between real-time and turn-based battle. Sony understood that players wanted action, but also needed time to use their complex battle system. The ATB allows for that, and it has been used in multiple installments of the series.
Final Fantasy 7
The Final Fantasy series is also widely known for its open-ended gameplay, although different instalments in the series have more of this than others. The most popular Final Fantasy releases were 7, 10, and 12, and each of those had open-ended gameplay at some point in the storyline.
Final Fantasy 7 was the first Final Fantasy game to make use of the advanced graphics of the Playstation, and many people purchased a Playstation just to play it. The story centred around Cloud Strife and the “big bad”, Sephiroth. It was the first FF game to employ 3D game graphics.
The storyline and open-ended gameplay combined to make it the most popular game in the franchise history up until that point. The world was so open-ended, and the gameplay so complex, that you could go back and try different character builds and it would play through as an entirely different game. Like many gamers, I got it wrong on the first try and went back through a few times before I could finally defeat the really huge bosses in the game.
Final Fantasy 10
Final Fantasy 8 and 9 were fun romps, but unremarkable to most FF fans. By the time 10 came out, Sony was in danger of losing the huge fan base that it had built up with Final Fantasy 7. They knew that they had to pull out all of the stops to replicate their FF7 success. They did it with Final Fantasy 10, with a story and gameplay that was arguably even more open-ended and complex than FF7. They took the excellent graphics developed in 8 and 9 and married them with a game that once again, you could go back and play multiple times without getting bored. Once again, you became emotionally invested in the development of Tidus and his quest to save the world from his father, Sin, who became a giant evil whale. Life in Final Fantasy land is never boring.
The gameplay was markedly improved through replacement of the ATB battle system with a Conditional Turn-Based Battle System (CTB) and a Sphere Grid for development of abilities. The Sphere Grid trumped the materia system introduced in Final Fantasy 7 as a highly tweakable character development system that allowed the player multiple choices for a flexible character build.
Final Fantasy 12
Final Fantasy 12 carried the Final Fantasy 10 torch after a brief interlude with FF 11, an unremarkable RPG version that was released for Playstation 2. While the Final Fantasy MMORPG’s have their fans, the franchise has always been more successful with the single-player entries.
The character development system was now a license board, a system that was a bit more linear than the Sphere Grid, but still fun to use and customizable to about the same extent later on in the game. The battle system eliminated random encounters, which was nice in terms of knowing what to expect but was less challenging for the die-hard gamer.
Final Fantasy 13
Final Fantasy 13 takes all of the basic elements that Final Fantasy fans love and serves them up in an HDTV-ready experience that people with older, CRT televisions just will not be able to appreciate. While gameplay is much more linear in 13, the game is really designed to be as pretty as possible. Also remarkable in FF13 is how you seem to be playing in what would previously be considered a cut scene.
FF13 also shows promise in expandability. While the folks at Square haven’t hinted at any downloadable content for the game, it is easily expandable if they choose to go that route.
FF13 also tips its hat to its predecessors with various cues on character design and sound. Music at the beginning is very similar to Final Fantasy 12 temple sequences. One of the main characters, Hope, looks remarkably like a younger version of Tidus of FF10. The battle system feels a bit like the combat in X-2, the childish sequel to FF10, only this is a grown-up version that allows you to micromanage character interactions and drop them into different roles (tank, healer, warrior) depending on the battle. While the voice acting is remarkably sub-par in some places for such a highly budgeted game, it is a minor quibble. The electro-ambient soundtrack is a joy to listen to throughout the gameplay.
When racked up against its predecessors, Final Fantasy 13 comes out on top as a standalone game that may not be quite as open-ended as the rest, but is still an absolute joy to play due to the visuals and combat system. Hardcore open-ended gameplay fans may be disappointed, but they should still get the game for the ultimate HDTV Final Fantasy experience.
Recently I was talking to a producer working at one of the big, AAA publishers and naturally the topic wandered over to the territory of games. He was discussing his feelings on inFamous versus Prototype and that he in some ways he preferred Prototype because it made you feel more “bad ass.”