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More Details on Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII
The Final Fantasy VII Remake broke the internet on Saturday, as well as blew through a large number of my monthly allotment of texts on my phone. Because of the highly-predictable hype, Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura did a fast-follow interview with Dengeki Online and Famitsu to discuss all of the things that have been warmly- and not-so-warmly-acknowledged by fans.

Here are some highlights (or lowlights, depending on your point of view):
  • The title will in fact contain the word "Remake." Because nobody would know otherwise, right?
  • Dev is being managed in-house but with some actual development work being done by third parties.
  • All of the character models are new.
  • The most recent video is virtually all in-engine.
  • You can control multiple party members in battle, or just one, with up to three party members available just as in the original game.
  • The battles do have an ATB gauge, but it's not like in the original game. How exactly it differs is not clear, but it appears that it is still tied to Limit Breaks.
  • You can still put Cloud in a dress.
  • There will be new locations to explore, possibly incorporating some areas fleshed out in Compilation games.
  • Yes, the remake will be episodic.
That last point seems to be causing a lot of contention in the community, but for my money, I don't see a reason to not give it a wait and see. Given the expectations around this game, it seems to me that doing it episodically will give the developers at least a chance to maximize the quality of the game, and in theory it will give us as gamers a chance to bail on it with a lower cost if for some reason it's truly awful.

This seems like a good time to remind everyone of the podcast we did on these and other subjects around the remake, right?

Source: Gematsu

Footage From Final Fantasy VII Remake Released

Final Fantasy VII
Sony's PlayStation Experience Keynote presentation was today and didn't disappoint, revealing gameplay footage of Square-Enix's upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII for the first time. The trailer focuses on the early game in Midgar, revealing in-game footage of Cloud, Barret, Biggs, Jessie, and Wedge through cinematics.

As the trailer continues, though, there is footage of how the battle system is likely to work. It appears to be more of an action-oriented combat system where the player controls one of the party members at a time, leaving the AI to control the others. Very interestingly, the player was shown controlling Barret in battle instead of leaving only Cloud as an option. Rather than a full menu system, there is now a menu where the player chooses what action they're currently taking. "Summon" and "Magic" were selections, though they went tantalizingly unused. Cloud's "Braver" and Barret's "Big Shot" limits seemed to be used, as well as an unknown dash attack. The battle area appeared very large but it was uncertain whether the player enters a separate area for battle or if combat takes place in the same environment where the player walks around and interacts with the environment.

The footage looked incredibly fun, if somewhat unpolished. The voices didn't match up with the mouths of the characters, which is probably just a factor of getting a trailer out before doing the final localization, acting, or voice matching. But we've finally got some actual game footage of a game some of us have been anticipating for decades, and if it's an accurate representation of what we'll get, we may actually have our long-awaited dreams come true.

Source: Kotaku, YouTube

Square Enix News for Jump Festa 2016

Square Enix
Shonen Jump, each December, puts on the Jump Festa expo for anime, manga and games. Japan, being fully futuristic as shown in most anime documentaries, naturally calls this year's iteration "Jump Festa 2016." This year, Square Enix will take the stage on December 19 and 20 for several presentations to be broadcast on YouTube. Here's the schedule, with all times listed as UTC and EST.

Day 1:
  • December 19, 1:30AM UTC / December 18, 8:30PM EST: Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness Stage interview with voice talent
  • December 19, 3:30AM UTC / December 18, 10:30PM EST: Dragon Quest Builders Stage interview with the producers
  • December 19, 5:30AM UTC / 12:30AM EST: Dragon Quest of the Stars Stage interview with the producers
Day 2:
  • December 20, 4:00AM UTC / December 19, 11:00PM EST: Dragon Quest Monsters: Battle Scanner Stage introduction to a new Dragon Quest arcade game with the producers and voice talent
  • December 20, 5:20AM UTC / 12:20AM EST: World of Final Fantasy Stage interview with the director and voice talent
The full list of games to be represented off the stage at Jump Festa are as follows:
  • Dragon Quest Builders (Trailer, Playable Demo)
  • Dragon Quest Monsters: Battle Scanner (Trailer)
  • Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 (Trailer, Playable Demo)
  • Dragon Quest of the Stars (Stage Only)
  • Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (Trailer)
  • The Sorrow of Sacrifice and Snow (Trailer)
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue (Trailer)
  • Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness (Trailer)
  • World of Final Fantasy (Trailer)
In related news, it was also announced today that the release date for the new Star Ocean has been pushed back to March 31 in Japan from its original date of February 25 to "increase the game's quality." Looking back on previous news here at CoN, one might imagine that graphics quality might be on that list.

Source: Gematsu

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

Nintendo Direct Confirms Cloud for Smash Bros, Dragon Quest Localization

Final Fantasy VII
Get turnt, CoN, because the impossible is coming true: Cloud Strife, of Final Fantasy VII fame, will be a playable fighter in the next Super Smash Bros., available on both Wii U and 3DS. The announcement came at the end of yesterday's Nintendo Direct, along with the promise of a "Super Smash Bros. Special Broadcast." The fact that Cloud was announced as an appetizer for this later event seems sufficient reason to get excited about what else -- perhaps even more of the Square Enix persuasion? -- might be in store.

We also learned from the same Squenix Nintendo Direct that two Dragon Quest games, VII and VIII, will finally be getting Western localizations on the 3DS in the second half of 2016. This confirms the rumors we heard last summer; the titles have not previously been released in the West due to concern at Square Enix as to whether they would be able to sell enough copies.

Source: Siliconera, Siliconera

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