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Distant Worlds Update for Fall 2014

Distant Worlds
As is their way, the Distant Worlds team releases a massive burst of concert information about once a quarter. Now is that time. It makes for a long news post. Now is that time as well!

Our last post talked about the upcoming shows in Toronto and New Jersey - I didn't realize until now, though, that the first of the New Jersey set of shows will actually be the centennial show for the traveling performance. That might make those tickets a bit more precious.

The new announcement for Distant Worlds this time around is to fill the gap between the New Jersey shows and the previously-announced pair of St. Louis concerts. I'm excited about this one because it's April 24 in Boston, the current (approximate) headquarters of CoN. Tickets go on sale on December 3, and I'm really hoping to snag some.

Also from our last post, we noted that A New World, the chamber music series, was wrapping up its season in Europe. What was then the final show for 2014 is still next week in Paris. But now, they've booked a new date for December 12 in Houston at Rice University. They'll also start 2015 with two February shows in St. Paul, Minnesota and one at the University of Michigan. It seems like it's potentially easier to arrange the chamber style of A New World than it is a full orchestra like Distant Worlds, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot more dates showing up in our next update.

Good luck to those going for tickets! Don't take mine.

Source: Distant Worlds, A New World

More Final Fantasy Mobile Apps for 2015

Square Enix

There's been a surprising amount of console and PC news from Square Enix as of late, from PC re-releases of games to new platforms and release windows for newer games. You might have even thought that the previous deluge of mobile games was going to slow down a bit, but if so, today's news proves you naive!

At a minimum for next calendar year, there will be two Final Fantasy-branded games, as well as what looks to be a helper app, available for iOS and Android. All three titles will be free to play with a microtransaction layer, though it remains to be seen what portions will be behind a paywall.

Crystal of Time looks to be the more traditional-style Final Fantasy game at the moment, with what appears to be a modified ATB battle setup that looks like it has a gesture-based wheel to select commands, which could be quite cool. As you might surmise from the name, time travel plays a major role. The art style is different from what we've seen recently for Square Enix' mobile games, but looks good to me so far.

Brave Exvius is a different take, a combination between Squenix and a Japanese mobile game developer called Alim. There appears to be less information about this game, but based on the early screenshots, my concern is that it might be a bit like a gussied-up All the Bravest, given the large number of party members, the presence of classic Final Fantasy protagonists fighting at once, and the vertical orientation of the gameplay. Hopefully future information will allay those fears.

The helper app looks to be a portal from which people can keep tabs on Squenix' new products and marketing events, as well as a storefront with digital content available for download. One special feature already announced is a Triple Triad game, though there's no indication if this is an in-app purchase, has online components, or anything beyond the name.

While the titles only appear in Japanese at the moment, the mobile strategy for Squenix clearly defines worldwide releases in multiple languages on similar timelines whenever possible. We can assume that Western releases will also be in 2015.

Source: Kotaku

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

Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2015 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.