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Square Enix

At the start of the PlayStation 5 Showcase earlier this evening Square Enix has announced a new title in the Final Fantasy series: Final Fantasy XVI!

Final Fantasy XVI will be a standalone single player action RPG developed by Creative Business Unit III, which is led by Naoki Yoshida, and will be a PlayStation 5 console exclusive.

Final Fantasy XVI logo

Comment from Producer Naoki Yoshida
Final Fantasy XVI producer (that’s right, just producer) Naoki Yoshida here. How did you enjoy the trailer? The exclusive footage, comprised of both battles and cutscenes running in real-time, represents but a fraction of what our team has accomplished since the start of development on this, an all-new Final Fantasy game. In that span, the team’s size has grown from a handful of core members to a full-fledged unit that continues to polish and build upon what they have created so far, all to provide players an experience unmatched in terms of story and gameplay.

Our next big information reveal is scheduled for 2021, so in the meantime, I expect everyone to have fun speculating, as we have a lot in store—not only for Final Fantasy XVI, but for Final Fantasy XIV, too. Needless to say, I’ll be working hard on both!

Comment from Director Hiroshi Takai
When Final Fantasy I was released, I was just another player─a young student with big dreams. By the time Final Fantasy V was in the works, I had earned myself a seat at the developers’ table... albeit at the very end. From there, I moved “online” leaving my mark on both Final Fantasy XI and XIV.

And now...XVI.

From the establishment of an all new development environment, to learning the ins-and-outs of the PS5, the team and I have taken on countless challenges during our journey to bring you the sixteenth chapter in the storied Final Fantasy franchise. And though we’re pouring our hearts and souls into this project each and every day, it may still be some time before we can get it into your hands. However, I promise it will be worth the wait!

You can watch the awakening trailer below.

Update 17-09-2020: After the announcement Square Enix has reached out to several gaming websites (like Kotaku) that Final Fantasy XVI has only been announced for PlayStation 5 and they have no further information if the game will be released on an other platform.

Square Enix

Recently Square Enix has announced their line-up for the Tokyo Game Show 2020 Online, which will take place from 23 September 2020 to 27 September 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be online only.

Here's the list:

On Square Enix's website you can find the full schedule. Everything will streamed on YouTube, Twitch and Niconico. Also on 24 September at 22:00 JST (15:00 CEST / 09:00 EDT / 06:00 PDT) Square Enix will do their show on the Tokyo Game Show 2020 Online channel.

Square Enix Tokyo Game Show 2020 Online line-up

Square Enix

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the SaGa series, Square Enix has announced Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legend for the Nintendo Switch. This is a collection of the first three games in the SaGa series, The Final Fantasy Legend, Final Fantasy Legend II and Final Fantasy Legend III.

The first game in the SaGa series, Makai Toushi SaGa, was released in Japan on 15 December 1989 on the Nintendo Game Boy. In 1990 the game was released in North America as The Final Fantasy Legend. Square had rebranded the game to include the name Final Fantasy for populairity. SaGa 2 was released in 1990 and SaGa 3 in 1991.


Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legend key art

Here's a part of Square Enix's press release:

Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legend is a great introduction to this quintessential series RPG fans won’t want to miss as they journey through fantasy worlds, fight monsters, explore towns, battle dungeons, and more while enjoying brand new features that improve the experience including:

  • Character speed boost
  • Adjustable screen magnification
  • Retro display mode to replicate that glorious Game Boy experience
  • New commemorative music and illustrations

Additional features include: a special anniversary song, 8 different in-game wallpapers and the choice to play with either Japanese or English text.

Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legend will be available for Nintendo Switch on 15 December 2020. You can watch the announcement trailer below.

Square Enix

Square Enix has released Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition today on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and iOS and Android devices. For the physical media collectors (like me), sadly outside of Japan this game is digital only.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles was originally released on the Nintendo GameCube back in 2003 and follows a young group, known as the Crystal Caravans, as they embark on an epic journey to search for myrrh, a precious and rare liquid needed to cleanse and maintain a crystal protecting their world from the deadly gas, miasma.

In the original game up to 4 players could join a local gameplay session which required connecting a Game Boy Advance with the GameCube. In the Remastered Edition online multiplayer is available with cross platform support. Please note that on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch you need a paid subscription to their online services.

It is possibly to play a trail version of the game called Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition Lite. In this free version you can play the first three dungeons, take part in online cross-play in these dungeons or join a player who has purchased the full game to play up to 13 dungeons.

You can watch the release trailer below.

Final Fantasy XIV

Square Enix has released Patch 5.3, the final update for Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, titled Reflections in Crystal. This patch also adds an abundance of new content, including the second instalment of YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse.

Further details on Patch 5.3 content are outlined below:

  • New Main Scenario Quests – The Scions endeavour to shed light upon the Ascian Elidibus’ dark plot in the final act of the Shadowbringers storyline.
  • Main Scenario Questline Update: A Realm RebornThe main scenario is now streamlined in terms of overall length, with adjustments to experience point gain and gear rewards for quest completion. Additionally, players will also be able to use flying mounts in A Realm Reborn areas upon completion of The Ultimate Weapon quest.
  • Expanded Free Trial – The free trial now offers unlimited playtime and a level cap of 60, along with access to Heavensward content, an additional playable race (Au Ra), and an additional three playable jobs (Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist).
  • New YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse Alliance Raid – The white-robed android 2P awakens at last, but so too does an unforeseen danger to Komra in the next chapter of this NieR-inspired alliance raid, The Puppets’ Bunker.
  • New “Chronicles of a New Era” Quest: The Sorrow of Werlyt – Part of the ‘Weapon Series’ questline, players can enjoy a story-focused experience culminating in a special event battle.
  • New Dungeon: The Heroes’ Gauntlet – The whole of Norvrandt has become a battlefield across which the Warriors of Darkness must fight their way. Players can tackle this new challenge alongside fellow adventurers, or a party of non-player characters, using the Trust system.
  • New Trial: A fearsome new foe possessed of immeasurable might has arisen to test Warriors of Darkness in both normal and extreme difficulties.
  • New Tribe Quests – A new crafter-focused questline featuring the dwarves.
  • New Game+ Updates – The class quests from A Realm Reborn are now be available for players to revisit while retaining their current character and level. Patch 5.35 will see the addition of the revamped A Realm Reborn main scenario quests as well.
  • New Battle Content: Unreal Trials – Players can challenge a powered-up version of Shiva, who will now prove a fierce challenge for level 80 heroes. Unreal Trials will feature one primal fight which rotates with each patch.
  • Crafter and Gatherer Updates – New custom deliveries, updates to Rowena's House of Splendors, and an update to the Skysteel Tools questline headline several crafter and gatherer updates. Additionally, recipe search functionality will be improved for ease of use.
  • YO-KAI WATCH Collaboration Returns – The YO-KAI WATCH collaboration event, Gather One, Gather All returns to FINAL FANTASY XIV Online beginning August 19th and includes new YO-KAI WATCH-themed rewards for players to earn.
  • Ishgard Restoration Update (Patch 5.31) – The third phase of restoration begins following the efforts of the Skybuilders. Skybuilder Rankings return, with new items for players to craft and new achievements for top contributors to the restoration efforts.
  • Save the Queen Questline Updates (Patch 5.35) – Players can enhance weapons obtained in the first chapter of this quest series as they explore The Bozjan Southern Front, a new area where the Bozjan Resistance has begun Operation Eagle's Nest in a bid to regain Alermuc Fortress from the Empire.
  • Job Adjustments for PvE and PvP, System Updates, and more.

Additional details about this patch can be found on The Lodestone. You can watch the trailer, which was released 2 weeks ago, below.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is the third expansion of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, after Heavensward and Stormblood. Recently this MMORPG has surpassed 20 million registered users, marking it very successful.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Square Enix has revealed that Final Fantasy VII Remake has sold over 5 million units worldwide. This includes both physical and digital versions. Square Enix also confirmed that Final Fantasy VII Remake is the highest-selling digital release from Square Enix on the PlayStation platform.

Final Fantasy VII Remake was released on 10 April 2020 after being in development for several years and tells the story of the first part of Final Fantasy VII in the city of Midgar. The game was received very good. The second part is currently in development, but no further information has been revealed.

If you haven't got the chance to play the game, it''s on sale in the PlayStation Store until 19 August 2020. You can also play the demo which let you play the first chapter of the game.

Final Fantasy VII Remake sold over 5 million units worldwide

Final Fantasy VII Remake

On the Final Fantasy Portal Site Square Enix has published the first of their two part special interview Digging Deep into the World of Final Fantasy VII Remake with co-director and scenario designer Mr. Motomu Toriyama.

Digging Deep into the World of Final Fantasy VII Remake part 1

You can read part one below. Please note that this interview may contain spoilers if you haven't finished the game.

We were surprised to hear “Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII” playing in the Sector 7 slums! Was there a reason for that song choice?

Toriyama: In Final Fantasy VII Remake you return to the Sector 7 undercity many times and we intended for it to serve as your central hub over the course of the story, so we wanted it to feel like home—a cozy place you could come back to. To that end, we chose to use “Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII”—which played on the world map in the original game—there. Final Fantasy VII Remake takes place solely in Midgar, but we didn’t limit its soundtrack to songs originally only heard within the city. Instead, we utilized tracks from throughout the original that fit certain scenes or areas in Final Fantasy VII Remake.

What were the drinks that Tifa made at Seventh Heaven?

Toriyama: First was the popular Seventh Heaven, a drink that packs a serious punch and gives you the courage to keep going. Her second creation was a Cosmo Canyon, a burgundy-colored cocktail inspired by the location of the same name. There are also other drinks on the menu at Seventh Heaven, such as a Lifestream, which possesses a green hue.
Tifa’s showmanship with the shaker comes from her natural dexterity and her keen observation that the regulars are more generous tippers when she puts some flair into her bartending.

There are several new characters in Final Fantasy VII Remake who did not appear in the original, including the mysterious young man Chadley. Could you tell us a little about his past?

Toriyama: You can learn about Chadley’s origins by clearing his battle reports. While some of the quests pose a serious challenge, you’ll need to complete them to discover his past.

There are so many cats in the Sector 7 slums. Is there a cat lover on the development team?

Toriyama: Sector 7’s excessive number of cats can be attributed to Wedge. He loves the furry critters so much, he can’t help but bring any stray he finds back home with him. As for cat lovers on the dev team, co-director Naoki Hamaguchi (game design / programming) is one, so he had his cat rendered in-game. Personally, I wanted to make sure dog people weren’t left out, so we decided to even things out by increasing Midgar's canine population. That’s why Marle—the landlord of Stargazer Heights—can be seen with her own loyal companion.

Wedge’s cats seem a little on the large side. Could that be a case of pets resembling their owners?

Toriyama: Wedge’s cats eat just as much—and as often—as he does, so any animal in his care is going to grow very quickly.

Cloud’s mother and Tifa’s father weren’t given names in the original Final Fantasy VII, but how about in Final Fantasy VII Remake?

Toriyama: They both had names in the original Final Fantasy VII character design documents, so we decided to use them in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Now Cloud’s mother is officially named Claudia and Tifa’s father is Brian. Tifa’s dad, however, has no dialogue in Final Fantasy VII Remake, so during development we referred to him as “dead body.”

There’s not much plant life under the plates of Midgar, but so many flowers bloom around Aerith’s house. Is there a reason for that?

Toriyama: The large river running through the outskirts of Sector 5's undercity brings fresh water, rich with nutrients from the planet's lifestream, to both Aerith's house and the dilapidated church. This is the same water Aerith uses to lovingly tend to her flowers. Also, the fact that Aerith is an Ancient could be another reason for the vibrant vegetation there.

When trying to sneak out of Aerith’s house at night, did the number of obstacles decrease with each failed attempt, or was it just our imagination?

Toriyama: Despite being mad at Cloud, Aerith cleans up the mess bit by bit to make it easier for him to sneak out. To give you some behind-the-scenes info, we wanted to spook the player a bit when Aerith scolds Cloud, which is why she sounds so scary when scolding him. Aerith is waiting for Cloud after he leaves anyway, so maybe she was just playing with him. Kind of terrifying when you think of it like that.

Despite being a child, the items Moggie sells are impressive. Where does he get them from?

Toriyama: There are plenty of passionate moogle medal collectors out there, even among adults, and it’s through them that Moggie's able to trade for the rare items he offers Cloud. Moggie is one example of how even kids living in the Sector 5 undercity are tough and resourceful.

Isn’t Rude unusually nice to women? He kept putting them to sleep in battle.

Toriyama: In the original Final Fantasy VII Rude wouldn’t attack Tifa, so we decided that he wouldn’t actively attack women in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Of course, battles wouldn’t really work if he didn’t attacked female characters at all, so we made him less aggressive, just putting them to sleep.

How was the Guardian Angel of the Slums character created?

Toriyama: The character Mireille originally appeared in a novel portraying events following Final Fantasy VII’s Meteorfall, called “Final Fantasy VII: The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story”, and we decided to include her in Final Fantasy VII Remake. After some deliberation over how she would have spent her time in Midgar, we came up with the idea of her being a Robin Hood-style thief for the people of the slums.

Kyrie and Leslie are also from that novel. What reasons were there for including them in Final Fantasy VII Remake as well? Did you provide them with more backstory?

Toriyama: Because Kyrie and Leslie were both part of that story, we decided to include them in the game as undercity residents. From the very beginning of development, we wanted Final Fantasy VII Remake to feature characters from the larger Final Fantasy VII universe—characters who weren’t a part of the original. So, we came up with pasts for these characters that would fit with their stories in the novel. Leslie in particular got a lot of screen time since he was one of Don Corneo’s lackeys, involving him in the main story.

Even the background characters out and about in the city have a lot of personality. Do you have a favorite?

Toriyama: A great deal of NPC characters and dialogue from the original game—a lot of which I worked on—were repurposed for Final Fantasy VII Remake. That’s always fun to see. Of the NPCs, the lovey-dovey couple at the Sector 7 slums train station is my favorite.

Part two will be published on 12 August 2020.

Square Enix

Square Enix has recently announced that the Nintendo Switch version of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, called Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition, will make its way to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on 4 December 2020. This will be the first game from the Dragon Quest series that will be available on Xbox. The game will be available on Xbox Game Pass at launch.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age follows the perilous journey of a hunted Hero who must uncover the mystery of his fate with the aid of a charismatic cast of supporting characters. They embark on a quest taking them across continents and over vast oceans as they learn of an ominous threat facing the world.

This version includes the following upgrades and enhancements:

  • New character side stories – Get to know your fascinating cast of companions more than ever with individual side stories and adventures
  • Retro 2D mode - In addition to stunning 3D, you can also choose to play in 2D with retro inspired graphics of classic 16-bit RPGs
  • 16-bit World of Tickington – Journey to past Dragon Quest worlds full of additional side-quests reimagined in the retro style
  • Japanese audio – Choice to play the entire game with all-new Japanese voice-over or the original English
  • Fully Orchestrated Soundtrack – Ability to switch between the symphonic soundtrack or the original synthesized soundtrack as you travel the world of Erdrea
  • Photo mode - Immortalize your adventure with the perfect image. Rearrange characters, set different poses, change angles etc. are just some of the features available in Photo Mode

You can watch the Xbox announcement trailer with Yuji Horii, creator of the Dragon Quest series, below.

Final Fantasy IX

On this day 20 years ago, on 7 July 2000, Final Fantasy IX was released on the original PlayStation in Japan. The game returned to the roots of the Final Fantasy series with it's medieval fantasy setting (unlike Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII) and references to past Final Fantasy games.

Square Enix celebrates this with an interview with creators involved in the original development of the game: Kazuhiko Aoki (Event Design), Toshiyuki Itahana (Character Design) and Hiroyuki Ito (Director). They have split the interview into three parts and part 1 is an interview with Kazuhiko Aoki. You can read it on the official website.

In 2019 Square Enix released the Inside Final Fantasy series on YouTube . In these series a dive-in into the making of several Final Fantasy games will be shown together with interviews with the developers of the game. If you haven't watched the one about Final Fantasy IX, you can see it below.

Kingdom Hearts

Square Enix has announced a new game in the Kingdom Hearts franchise: Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory. It will be released worldwide this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a rhythm game featuring 140 songs, 4 gameplay modes including online battles.

There's also an official website (in Japanese).

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