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The CoNvent Calendar Returns!

I've been utterly awful at keeping up with fanart this year - perhaps there's a volunteer opportunity for one of you readers out there - but thanks to a burst of energy, the CoNvent Calendar is returning for its second year! Every day from now until Christmas, we'll have a new fanart published to our calendar page. If you're a CoN member, you can visit each one and rate it; if you've rated all of the pieces by the end of the year, you'll get a limited-edition CoN award for your account! Start here, with the first day's art, from new CoN artist thirteenthangel.

To follow along, check the calendar page every day, watch the Fanart Commentary forum, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter! Happy Holidays!
Posted in: CoN Site News

First Star Ocean 5 Live Event Aired

Star Ocean
Following the pattern of the Active Time Event series for Final Fantasy XV, the producers of the Star Ocean series aired on Thursday. For those of us spoiled by the subtitled XV events, it's worth noting that Star Ocean did not follow suit and was fully in Japanese. That said, there might not be a lot of information that we can pull out for you directly, but here are some highlights:
  • While the fifth game in the series, Integrity and Faithlessness is the fourth game in the Star Ocean universe timeline, falling about halfway between "The Second Story" and "Till the End of Time."
  • The entire party, up to seven, travels together during exploration.
  • Each piece of equipment has custom illustrations representing it in menus. It appears that some of these items may be purchasable via Japanese storefronts in the real world.
  • With so many party members, the battles are frenetic to say the least. The player controls just one at a time in an action-RPG system, while the others work on autopilot.
  • A special edition has already been announced for Japan with at least some of the standard pack-ins, like an art book with content from the entire series and figurines.
  • The music comes from the same source as Valkyrie Profile, and the Ultimate Box includes also a five-disc set of music from the Star Ocean and Valkyrie games.
  • The game still doesn't look nearly as visually impressive as I would expect a PS4 RPG to at this point in the console's lifecycle. It's possible that the company is showing mostly the PS3 version so that the upgraded version dazzles at launch.
The game releases on February 25 in Japan, and in the west later in 2016. Gematsu has the full broadcast.

Source: Gematsu

Prayers Answered, Moogles Added to Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV
We had news just the other day about how - O! If only we mortals could try! - we could be seeing Moogles in Final Fantasy XV. And, now, just a few days later, it seems that the cries of humanity have seen response, and the darling little mascots will indeed appear in the final game. Apparently, as per Tabata, there won't be much of a role for them due to the late stage of the process, but in the game they shall be.

Why, one might think that this was their plan all along, and perhaps the call to action was merely an attempt to get a brief bump in social media virality for the upcoming flagship game. One might think that, indeed, or instead, one might simply decide that there is a higher power out there looking out for the enjoyment of all Final Fantasy gamers. Blessed deity, hear the pleas of we sinners who all too often overlooked thy blessings of Final Fantasy XIII, and deliver unto us our furry, antennae'd batcats.

Man. That was one strange newspost.

Source: Siliconera

Tokyo Game Show 2015, Part II - the Second Tier

Tokyo Game Show
Once again, five days later than expected, here's another load of news from Tokyo Game Show. I'l happily say it again, please feel free to put your name forward as a newswriter for CoN. Literacy optional. Anyway, as mentioned previously, TGS 2015 was the venue for which Square Enix loaded up their roster, and today we'll recap the 'second tier' of game franchises under the company's banner for those fans.

Starting with the Dragon Quest Universe, we've got two games to cover. The big new sub-IP for Dragon Quest is Builders, which is a building game similar to Minecraft. For TGS, Squenix debuted a new trailer and also some more details about how the game differs from the elephant in the room. There's a strong emphasis on the quest portion of the game, as well as some explanation of the crafting system and how one collects materials in the Dragon Quest world. Builders is coming to Japan in early 2016. The second game is a bit more of a blip, but while in Tokyo Squenix announced that another Dragon Quest game is being released for smartphones - this time Dragon Quest VII. It won't be long until the entire mainline series is covered at this rate!

The SaGa series, which started in the West as Final Fantasy Legend, is making a comeback. This series turned 25 last year, and announced a new game in tribute, but just now are we starting to see a first trailer and more details. The new game is titled SaGa: Scarlet Grace, and it's the first full title in the series for over a decade. It's going to be released for PlayStation Vita and will be out sometime in 2016. The trailer has a really cute baby unicorn.

Star Ocean is another franchise that has been dormant for a while, but from the Enix side of the house. Integrity and Faithlessness is landing in Japan on February 25, 2016, though, and as such it was all over TGS. The game was playable on the show floor, so there are new gameplay videos available as well as - of course - fancy new trailer. The game still looks a bit unfinished in its playable mode, and not quite current-gen, but there's still plenty of time for polish before going gold.

I would think that the largest franchise of these second-tier IPs would be Kingdom Hearts, and Kingdom Hearts also showed up pretty big at TGS 2015. The big news is Kingdom Hearts 2.8, the 'Final Chapter Prologue.' Gamespresso covers where that nutty name comes from, but in its simplest form, 2.8 is another collection for previous games in the series: Dream Drop Distance, Unchained 358/2 Days, and a new short story called 0.2 Birth By Sleep. This latter story will focus on a character named Aqua, and has been described as a lead-in to the events of the final chapter, the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III.

Source: Siliconera, Polygon, Gematsu

Square Enix Overload Tokyo Game Show 2015

Tokyo Game Show
After a thin showing at E3, it was well expected that the Tokyo Game Show would be a bigger outing for Square Enix, but it turned out that we needn't even wait that long. As is often done, Sony scheduled their TGS press conference for a couple days before the official start of the show, and it was chock full of Squenix Goodness. So full, in fact, that we're going to have to have a couple posts to cover it all. Let's start with some of the smaller or new IPs within the role-playing arm of Square Enix.

Final Fantasy Agito, a game in the Fabula Nova Crystallis sub-brand, came out for mobile devices last year. Japan were also intended to get a version for PlayStation Vita, but as of last week, that's no longer the case. The mobile version will also be shut down at the end of November; the pending PC version has not yet been officially canceled, but its outlook surely isn't good. However, a semi-replacement was announced in the form of Type-0 Online, a multiplayer action RPG in the Type-0 universe.

Meanwhile, upcoming PlayStation 4 and Vita game World of Final Fantasy got a new trailer featuring both the ultra-chibi and larger, Kingdom Hearts-esque versions of the main characters. It's still all kinds of cute, but I still have no idea quite what it's about. For more hot trailer action, we turn to this fall's Final Fantasy for smartphones, Brave Exvius, which also got a new trailer for TGS. This trailer packs in new story details, some battle scenes, and boatloads of new Amano art. It looks like a blend of turn-based Final Fantasy battles with a Chrono Trigger or Seiken Densetsu way of getting around, and has some pretty great music and visuals to boot.

Oh, hey, speaking of Seiken Densetsu! I think it's pretty well-known now that the game that many of us played as kids on our Game Boys known as Final Fantasy Adventure is in fact the first game in the Seiken Densetsu series. It also seems like maybe the Final Fantasy Adventure name caught on for it, because it's coming back, now for PlayStation Vita and smartphones. It's going to be a clean remake with new 3D visuals and upgraded sound, with no changes to the overall plot. The game's producer, Masaru Oyamada, explains that there may even be an opportunity for Seiken 2 (aka Secret of Mana) and Seiken 3 (aka the worst CoNcast) to be produced in the new engine. Oyamada also mentioned that a fifth main-line Seiken Densetsu game might still be a possibility, with the last game in the main series nearing its tenth anniversary next year.

Finally for the smallest properties, a new one: The Sorrow of Sacrifice and Snow. This is yet another game for PS4 and Vita (which should come as no surprise, given that most of these announcements came during Sony's presser) that looks even more like it could be a Chrono or Seiken game. There's not much in the first trailer, but it's aimed for "early 2016," so more information should be coming quite soon.

Source: Siliconera, Polygon

Final Fantasy V Joins Cohort on Windows

Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V was the first game to be released for mobile platforms in the most recent in-game art style, back in 2013. Said art style is a bit polarizing among the fanbase, but one thing that it has going for it is that it appears to be pretty easy to scale for various devices - in fact, after these two years, it just dawned on me that this is probably one of the main reasons that the art was changed in the first place.

And, that might be relevant now, because after the ports of Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV to Windows recently, the mobile version of Final Fantasy V is coming too. The game will be released on Steam on September 24 at a price point of $15.99 before a preorder discount of 10%. As a reminder, this game will have the same content as Final Fantasy V Advance (which of course means CoN can be your guide), but will have the updated look and feel of the iOS and Android ports. New to this version will be gamepad support, Steam achievements, and Steam trading cards.

No, they haven't announced the same for Final Fantasy VI yet. Yes, I expect they will, and probably quite soon.

Source: Siliconera

Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2016 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.