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Final Fantasy XV in 1080p

Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV is obviously going to be a high-res game. We're fully in the current generation now and there's no possible excuse otherwise. However, we hadn't seen it as such, and that's a shame.

Not now, though - last week, Square Enix released a 1080p version of what we'd previously seen, and if you liked the direction it was going before you should really love it now. Of course, this video's on the web, and therefore the resolution you really get is going to be a function of your internet and viewing device capabilities, but it does look pretty impressive maxed out and fullscreened on my machine.

It looks to me like the framerate could still use a bit of work, and while the main features such as characters, backgrounds, vehicles, and monsters look phenomenal, some of the smaller assets like grasses still have some refinement to go. Even unfinished, this is probably worth checking out to see what all those years have been doing!

Source: GameSpot

Sparkly Square Enix Merchandise

Square Enix
Do you have more money than you know what to do with? Are you one of those lucky Square Enix fans with a significant other who is also a lucky Square Enix fan? The holidays are coming up, and to reinforce that fact, Squenix is updating their merchandise line with a boatload of pretty-pricey swag to wear on your person.

This might sound like I'm mocking, and to a small extent I suppose I am, but the jewelry and baubles worn by Final Fantasy characters has always been something that interested me, particularly in the cases where it illustrated something about the character's personality. Somewhere I even have a cheap knockoff of Griever that I got back in college, and if I had the disposable income for such a thing I might be tempted to partake in these new official designs as well.

Anyway, the interesting stuff is the merch and the prices, right? A lot of the silver pieces have yet to be released, but there are some cool ones. For $190, you can pick up a pendant that echoes the cog design of Cloud's gauntlets. For only $120, you can get a silver Cactuar or a silhouette of a Monster Octopus-style Chocobo. If you're more into the newer games, you can also get a L'Cie emblem or Serah's engagement pendant. And, since Square Enix have merchandising deals with other IPs, you can even spend a cool three hundred bucks to get yourself a Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman pendant, or even more for Raiden's emblem from Metal Gear Rising.

There's quite a bit more that I didn't mention, including a Shinra tie clip that I would totally wear if someone bought it for me (and if I ever had to wear neckties). If you're interested or just curious like I was, check out the link below.

Source: Square Enix Products | Jewelry
Posted in: Square-Enix News

For the Birds: The CoNcast Episode 26

Man, it's been a long time since we did a CoNcast. It can be hard to get folks together when there's so much going - work, gaming, laziness...

Well, anyway, here's a new one. We went the weird angle again, and Tiddles and I decided to blow a day and a CoNcast on Twitch-streaming a big chunk of the preeminent dating sim video game featuring birds, Hatoful Boyfriend.

Not familiar with this gem of a game? What, are you nuts? Bird-brained?! Well, here: learn more about why this is so appealing.

Also, check out this collection of weirdo stuff and try to trace all the ways we're able to struggle to connect other games and media to this incredibly odd experience. And, if not being able to see it yourself doesn't do the job for you, watch the extended experience on Twitch. Or, well, watch it when we figure out how to resurrect the thing since I forgot to store it.

We are on a roll around here.

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes, This Episode
Posted in: CoNcasts

Square Enix Go Mad for Steam

A while back, a wise newsposter said that the Final Fantasy III PC release could be a precursor to Final Fantasy IV. That handsome fellow was right, as the game showed up on Steam yesterday at the same $16 price point of FF3.

Not only that, there was another surprise today, when Final Fantasy XIII showed up as well at the same price point but on sale for 10% off as of this writing. Say what you will about Final Fantasy XIII (and so will I - I got sucked in after about ten hours and absolutely adore it), but the Steam version is as of right now the top selling game on Steam, and it doesn't even release for another two and a half weeks.

2014 could be the start of a very good run for Final Fantasy fans who are also PC gamers, as the two XIII sequels are also confirmed to arrive by early next year. Type-0 HD is even coming to Steam next March!

The timing of these releases and announcements is clearly tied to Tokyo Game Show, and there is a lot more news from Squenix this week. These two games are on sale right now and that puts them to the top of the queue, though, so keep an eye out for another recap in this space soon.

Source: Kotaku

Distant Worlds Updates for Fall 2014

Distant Worlds
Active readers of CoN news (and of course, Distant Worlds fans) will already know that there's one more show coming in North America in 2014: Toronto, December 6. That show will be conducted by Arnie Roth, and will feature regular contributor Susan Calloway as a vocalist. Uematsu will be in attendance as well.

With the upcoming list getting thin, it's about time for some new shows to get announced for 2015, and that list is here! On January 31, the team will do two shows in New Jersey, at the Performing Arts Center in Newark. There will be a matinee and an evening show on the same day, and VIP tickets are available that include meet and greet packages. Not only will these shows include Roth, Uematsu and Calloway, they will also feature the first North American performances by Rikki, the original vocalist for Suteki Da Ne from Final Fantasy X. Tickets are on sale now.

In May of 2015, the series returns to St. Louis, Missouri for shows on the 15th and 16th. Uematsu won't be there, but Roth and Calloway will be performing and the composer for Final Fantasy XI, Naoshi Mizuta will be in attendance for the first time. The program will be changed up somewhat, bringing back the Final Fantasy VI character medley first performed for the 20th Anniversary show and two new arrangements from Lightning Returns and Final Fantasy VII. In addition, each show will have two other new additions to the program; the first will add in new Final Fantasy X and XIV music, and the second will add in Eyes on Me and Melodies of Life. These tickets are also on sale now.

The spinoff series from Distant Worlds, covered in our last post, has wrapped up its live performances in America for now, and has just two more upcoming - one in London on Halloween, and one in Paris on November 30th (tickets available now). However, a recording from a previous London performance is coming soon for purchase. It's described as "over sixty minutes of music and a virtually all-new repertoire" performed by a much smaller chamber orchestra. It seems like a digital performance is already available to buy from Bandcamp for a minimum $9.99 purchase, but there's no indication as to what will be different about the new release or whether it will be available only digitally or also on physical media.

Source: Distant Worlds, A New World

Redefining Retro: The CoNcast Episode 25

I looked, once upon a time, and discovered that it had been weeks since we'd done a CoNcast. Then, I forgot about it. Later, I looked again to discover it had been three freaking months since we'd done a CoNcast, and that was just not acceptable.

So, here's episode twenty-five of the CoN podcast for you. This time around, our panel is reviewing the subjectivity of "retro" gaming, particularly as it relates to Final Fantasy. The idea of what makes a Final Fantasy game "retro" is something that can change based on your own experience or lack thereof with the series, and to address that, we talk not only about what makes particular games in the series retro to our minds, but also what we as gamers can do to communicate effectively about the series to those who have a different perspective.

Do you agree with our thoughts on what makes a Final Fantasy a retro game, or which games fall into that bucket? What other games give you the feel of a classic, retro FF? Draw your own conclusions by listening to the newest CoNcast now!

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes, This Episode
Posted in: CoNcasts

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