PlayStation 4

Final Fantasy VII

Yoshinori Kitase, producer of Final Fantasy VII Remake has posted an article on the official website with an overview of the Final Fantasy VII Remake project:

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a reimagining of the iconic original game that goes much deeper into the world and characters of Final Fantasy VII than ever before.

Our goal with this project is to rebuild Final Fantasy VII for a new era. We’re not making a straight 1:1 copy or a simple remaster of the original game.

It’s a huge volume of work and data to re-imagine this world. Each game in the project will have a volume of content comparable to a standalone Final Fantasy. The disc version of the first game is actually a 2 Blu-Ray Disc set. This approach allows us to Remake the original without having to scale back on everything players loved.

While the development team finish the first game in the project, we are continuing to plan and outline the overall volume of content for the second.

Due to the work already done on the first game we anticipate development of the second game to be more efficient. We have our own internal schedule and plan, but for now we’d like to focus our information on the first game in the project.

The key creative values of the core Final Fantasy series are innovation, pushing boundaries and surprising players, this project shares these same values and the development team view it as the next mainline Final Fantasy release.

For the original core members of the development team, simply recreating the original game with improved graphics wasn’t enough to get us invested and excited about remaking VII. To return, we want to go beyond the original, telling a deeper story and providing a modern gaming experience. We really want to go above and beyond what is expected of a Remake.

As well as some of the core members of the original development team, we also have a dedicated in-house team of international gaming talent. Many of our new team members were young fans who played the original VII when it was first released. It’s very exciting and exhilarating to work with this talented team on such an ambitious project.

The first game in the project takes place in the eclectic city of Midgar, we chose to focus on Midgar as it best represents the world of VII as a location more than any other. Midgar is full of imagination with myriad influences and surprises around every corner.

While many people may think that Midgar is very dark at first glance, we have a design aesthetic where the city has strong elements of colour and variety. The lighting and colouring we are using throughout Midgar accentuate what is unique about Final Fantasy VII’s world. We decided not to use a photo-realistic approach with the design, but instead something more stylised, honouring the artistic designs and choices of the original.

A lot has changed since the release of the original Final Fantasy VII. Back then we didn’t have access to things like voice acting, performance and motion capture, or close-up cameras outside of cut-scenes. For Final Fantasy VII Remake there’s a greater emphasis on character storytelling through the use of these techniques as well as some other new tech. This allows us to make these characters more expressive than ever, enhancing the levels of immersion and enjoyment through performance.

In Remake we are giving voice to the original Final Fantasy VII for the first time. By bringing in a new generation of actors, we hope to provide the best experience for original fans and new players.

For the gameplay, we are aiming to create a new take on classic concepts with an accessible evolution of the ATB system giving you greater action with tactical control.

The system we’ve created retains the strategic decisions of controlling multiple party members, allowing you to select from a wide range of abilities and spells. You can control your favourite character while issuing orders to others, or leave them to AI. And choose when to switch to a different party member to make best use of their unique abilities in battle. This allows all players to choose and enjoy your favourite way of playing.

Finally, yes we still have Materia. You can use it to tailor your play style and abilities.

We’ll go into greater detail on lots more gameplay elements as we get closer to the release next year. For now, I hope you are all excited by what we revealed at E3 and we look forward to sharing more news and updates with you across the year ahead.

Yoshinori Kitase

Square Enix

Square Enix has announced on the E3 2019 that a remake of Trials of Mana (Seiken Densetsu 3 in Japan) in currently in development and will be released early 2020 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Steam.

Trials of Mana, in Japan known as Seiken Densetsu 3, was released in Japan in 1995 for the Super Famicom and tells the story of six heroes as they battle against the monsters of destruction that threaten a world where Mana has been weakened. Players can customize their own party of three, selected from six unique characters, to experience different stories.

Square Enix also announced that the Seiken Densetsu Collection, that was released in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch in Japan, is now available as Collection of Mana in the West via digital download and will get a limited physical version on 27 August. Collection of Mana features the first three games of the Mana series: Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana and for the first-time available in the West Trials of Mana. The three game compilation now includes a convenient quick save feature, and allows players to adventure with friends through a local multiplayer mode in both Secret of Mana (up to 3 players) and Trials of Mana (up to 2 players).

The Collection of Mana will cost $39.99 / £34.99 / €39.99 (both download and physical edition).

Final Fantasy VIII

During the Square Enix Live E3 2019 press conference Final Fantasy VIII Remastered has finally been announced and will be released in 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam marking its 20th Anniversary.

The only information that was revealed is that Final Fantasy VIII Remastered will contain newly rendered visuals. Final Fantasy VIII was originally released on PlayStation back in 1999 and on PC in 2000.

Final Fantasy VII

Last night Square Enix held their E3 2019 presentation where they promised to reveal more information about Final Fantasy VII Remake. Well, we got information, gameplay footage and an extended trailer.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a re-imagining of the original game from 1997 and is the first game in the project taking place in the eclectic city of Midgar covered over two blu-ray disks. In the press release Square Enix also revealed the voice cast of the game.

  • Cloud, voiced by Cody Christian (All American, Teen Wolf)
  • Barret, voiced by John Eric Bentley (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Independence Day: Resurgence)
  • Aerith, voiced by Briana White (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Occupants)
  • Tifa, voiced by Britt Baron (GLOW)
  • Jessie, voiced by Erica Lindbeck (Spider-Man, Persona 5, ThunderCats Roar)
  • Biggs, voiced by Gideon Emery (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Teen Wolf)
  • Wedge, voiced by Matt Jones (Breaking Bad)
  • Sephiroth, voiced by Tyler Hoechlin

After the information the battle system was explained. Final Fantasy VII Remake features a real-time battle system combined with strategic command-based combat. With the Square button the player can hack-a-slash their way through enemies. But there's a ATB gauge, which fills up when standard attacks are executed correctly. When the ATB bar is full the player enters Tactical Mode where they can perform abilities, cast spells or use items. Players can switch between characters and bound abilities and spells to shortcuts. When enemies are hit a Focus gauge fills up. When the gauge is full, the enemy is staggered and you'll deal bonus damage (like in Final Fantasy XIII).

After the introduction to the battle system footage was shown of Cloud and Barret fighting against Scorpion Sentinel (Guard Scorpion in the original).

At the Square Enix's E3 booth the demo of Final Fantasy VII Remake can be played. They didn't say which part of the game can be played.

At the end of the Final Fantasy VII Remake presentation the extended trailer was revealed to the public, which you can watch below. Various scenes are shown, like the motorbike chase and the detailed city of Midgar. Tifa's character design has finally been revealed in this trailer showing her with Marlene. At the end we also got a glimpse of Sephiroth in a flashback of Cloud.

Final Fantasy VII Remake will be available in three versions; Standard, Deluxe and 1st Class Edition.

The Deluxe Edition contains a hardback art book featuring stunning concept art, a Mini-Soundtrack CD, Summon Materia DLC allowing players to summon Cactuar in game, and a Sephiroth SteelBook Case. The Digital Deluxe Edition contains a digital art book, a digital Mini-Soundtrack, and Summon Materia DLC allowing players to summon Carbuncle and Cactuar in game.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Deluxe Edition Final Fantasy VII Remake Digital Deluxe Edition

The 1st Class Edition includes all Deluxe Edition content, the Carbuncle Summon Materia DLC, as well as a Play Arts Kai Cloud Strife and Hardy Daytona box set (bundled separately). This edition can only be ordered at the Square Enix Store for $329.99 / € 299.99 ! (yeah, that's a lot of money).

Final Fantasy VII Remake 1st Class Edition

Click here to watch Square Enix Live E3 2019 presentation. Also check out the official website at ffvii-remake.com.

Square Enix

Square Enix has announced on Twitter that Star Ocean: First Departure R, the first entry in the Star Ocean series, will be released on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

Star Ocean is an action RPG developed by tri-Ace and released in 1996 for the Super Nintendo only in Japan. In 2007 and 2008 Star Ocean: First Departure, an enhanced remake of the original version with additional features, was released on PlayStation Portable.

A release date and price has not been announced.

Star Ocean: First Departure R announcement

Final Fantasy VII

On Friday Square Enix has announced on Twitter that they have released patch 1.01 for the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One version of Final Fantasy VII which fixes a very old audio bug.

The audio bug caused the background music to restart after each battle. This bug was introduced in the iOS version that was developed by D4 Enterprise and released on 19 August 2015. The PlayStation 4 version, that was developed by DotEmu and released on 5 December 2015, also contained this bug. Both versions have never been patched, which makes this decision strange. Square Enix should patch these versions too to reduce the differences between versions.

All ports of Final Fantasy IX also containes the same bug.

Another bug that was patched is the black screen before and after a FMV cutscene.

Final Fantasy VII can be played on PlayStation, PC, iOS devices, Android devices, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.

Final Fantasy VII logo

Kingdom Hearts III

Earlier this week Tetsuya Nomura, director of Kingdom Hearts III, has announced that the long-awaited Critical Mode will be arriving soon in a free update.

As of yesterday Critical Mode is available in update 1.04 along side several other updates to the game. Also update 1.05 was released bringing the option to carry Keyblades over when selecting New Game.

Version 1.04

  • A new game mode (Critical Mode) with new abilities has been added.
  • Some enemy mechanics have been adjusted.
  • Treasures obtained in the Frozen Slider minigame now appear in the Summary screen and can also be viewed in the Gummiphone.
  • A check mark now appears next to items in the Workshop menu that have already been synthesized.
  • New Game Help text and other various messages have been added.
  • Various issues have been fixed.
  • New save data will be created upon installing this version.

Version 1.05

  • Keyblades and other elements from clear data can now be carried over when selecting New Game to replay the game.
  • A maximum of 200 photos can now be saved.
  • Various issues have been fixed.

Kingdom Hearts III Critical Mode

Final Fantasy XV

The Final Fantasy XV journey has been concluded with the release of Episode Ardyn. For the first time, players take control of Noctis's greatest foe Ardyn Lucis Caelum with a brand new storyline taking place 35 years before the events of Final Fantasy XV and learn what drove the scorned savior to seek revenge against the line of Lucis.

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn features:

  • Several new options and gameplay mechanics to explore, including the ability to control Ardyn himself
  • Exhilarating, action-packed battles where players can utilize powerful new attack moves and skills unique to Ardyn, including the “Rising Phantom” and “Dark Tornado”
  • The ability to warp to high platforms or across nearby buildings by way of “Phantasmal Leap”
  • Though a foe of Noctis, the summonable Ifrit is now an ally of Ardyn and may dispatch enemies with powerful fire magic
  • A photography mode allowing players to capture the captivating city of Insomnia
  • A “Hat Shop” offering a plethora of hats for players to purchase, which also appear in cutscenes
  • Rewards upon completion of the episode, including the new “Ardyn’s Ensemble” outfit and “Mutant Rakshasa Blade” for Noctis

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn is now available for $ 9.99 / € 9.99 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. You can dive deeper into Ardyn’s mysterious, forbidden past in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn - Prologue, a short anime movie that offers a deeper understanding of the game’s world view and story.

Square Enix

Recently Square Enix announced that Dissidia Final Fantasy NT will be getting a free version called Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Free Edition and that this version together with the full version will be released on Steam. Now they're available on PlayStation 4 and Steam.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Free Edition is a limited version which contains no story mode. You can battle online (against other players of the free and full version) and offline with 4 characters, who change weekly. If you want to keep a character unlocked, you can buy a character starter pack. Please note that if you want to play online on the PlayStation 4, you need an active PlayStation Plus membership.

If you want to play the story and gain access to 28 characters, you need to buy the Standard Edition. The Deluxe Edition contains 6 additional characters, costumes and weapons.

Kingdom Hearts III

Square Enix has announced in a press release that Kingdom Hearts III has shipped more than 5 million units globally, both physical and digital, across all platform since it's release on 29 January. This makes Kingdom Hearts III the fatest selling game in the history of the Kingdom Hearts series.

From the press release:

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 4, 2019) – SQUARE ENIX® proudly announces that KINGDOM HEARTS III, the latest mainline entry in the beloved action RPG series, has shipped more than five million units globally, both physically and digitally, across all platforms since its January 29 release, making it the fastest selling game in the history of the series.
 
The shipment and digital sales numbers for the long-awaited installment in the blockbuster franchise have been matched with critical adoration. Media across the world are lauding KINGDOM HEARTS III for its breathtaking visuals and widespread appeal to newcomers and series veterans alike, with Bleacher Report praising that the adventure is “accessible for even the most casual of gamers” and “a sheer thrill to take in,” and CNET raving that KINGDOM HEARTS III is “the best looking Kingdom Hearts game.”

You can read the full press release here.

Kingdom Hearts III ships 5 million units worldwide

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