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After the announcement of the Switch in October, the new Nintendo console hasn't made many appearances. That will change in a big way in just over a month with a two-part Switch event, culminating in the console's first appearance on Western shores.
First, though, on January 12, there will be a streamed presentation called the "Tokyo Webcast," with investors and media live and in person but with the stream presented globally (though, mind, there's no confirmation yet that the stream will also be public). In any event, the price and exact release date are expected to be announced at this time.
The next day, January 13, the Switch will appear in New York. There are no details yet as to what further specifics will appear in this second showing, so it may simply be a new media event for people to get hands-on experience with the console who can't fly to Tokyo. No matter what, we should expect to see plenty of new information that week and will know when to expect preorders to be waiting at our local stores.
The time has come. If you weren't the beneficiary of someone accidentally providing the game early, today is the day that Final Fantasy XV is on the shelves of your local retailer or arriving in your mailbox from your preorder. What a long, strange trip it's been, to quote someone with whom I share virtually no aspects of my life.
Because this game isn't your run of the mill release, the information hasn't stopped coming just because the game is playable by the public, no sir. There's a new trailer - yes, a trailer for a game that is out now - with a surprising soundtrack and a mysterious mobile phone call, among other impressive sights and sounds. Square Enix Japan also did one final Active Time Report overnight, which Siliconera provides to us with a nice set of English subtitles. It's full of weirdness that is better seen yourself, but suffice to say that Prompto has a blast at a special party for the game's release and that Yosuke Matsuda, Squenix CEO, pops in to say hello.
And how are the reviews? Solid. Of course, that won't matter to anyone who is convinced that there hasn't been an actual Final Fantasy game since the year 2000, but it is what it is, right?
After a decade, we're actually going to get this game: Final Fantasy XV has now gone gold. Of course, going gold doesn't really mean as much as it did back in the days where every game was on a cartridge or a pressed CD; just because the game's now ready for distribution doesn't mean that there won't be a big day-one patch waiting for you early adopters to download before starting. Even so, though, this is a huge step for Square Enix' flagship franchise and the gamers who are waiting for it.
Since they were announcing that anyway, hey, why not some announcements on DLC and a new trailer? For the former, the XV team announced that there will be DLC scenarios for each non-Noctis party member to have an adventure outside of the main story and collect items and treasures, as well as co-op DLC in which you can play scenarios with partners. For the trailer, Square Enix partnered with Digic Pictures, the company behind Kingsglaive, to produce a new four-and-a-half minute trailer, called "Omen." It's a bit of a stunner - catch it below.
Also, today I learned that the ESRB has put a "T" on Final Fantasy XV, in part due to "partial nudity." So, that's a thing. Reminder, the game will be released here a month from this coming Saturday.
I heard the other day that Japan was getting a demo for the super-cute World of Final Fantasy, but I didn't report on it because it was being announced just for Japan. No longer! Now we're getting one in the West, as well, on Monday October 17. Completing the demo will unlock a special Magitek Armor that can be collected in the game's coliseum once the full game releases on October 25.
If you click through the link above, you can also see the anime opening cutscene for the game, and it looks fairly bonkers. So do that as well, then get the demo and report back to me if I should consider getting this game to play with my kid.
I'd completely forgotten that a Final Fantasy-themed CCG existed. It's been around for quite a while in Japan, but never any inkling that it would make inroads here; that's a product that seems like it might have had trouble making the leap.
Well, no longer! Starting on October 28, people who like CCGs in Europe and North America are going to get these cards in English. The initial set will have 216 cards, which doubles to 432 when you factor in the fact that each will also have a foil-stamped variant (which may or may not be a more powerful version of the card). The cards will be offered in randomized packs of a yet-unknown quantity of cards, as well as pre-built starter packs that are also not yet confirmed.
Pricing and availability are unknown, but we'll find out in just under a month. I've reached out to a friend with extensive CCG experience, and he tells me that the rulebook for this game looks like it might be pretty overcomplicated, which sounds pretty par for the course for something Square Enix has cooked up lately, right? Let us know if you're planning to pick up some cards just for fun or in an effort to play the game!
Apparently, there is a non-Distant Worlds Final Fantasy symphony tour that has been around a few years, but I don't recall having heard about it until just the other day. It's called Final Symphony and differs significantly from Distant Worlds; while the latter features arrangements that are largely orchestral takes on the original pieces, Final Symphony combines themes from a few select games into acts of a symphony, with each movement attempting to express a portion of a game's world through a new interpretation of its music.
Being a symphony, each show plays the same music, with no minor setlist deviations as one might find at a Distant Worlds show, and the bulk of the show comes in three acts, first from Final Fantasy VI, then Final Fantasy X, and closing with Final Fantasy VII. There are four shows currently scheduled:
- San Diego, July 21
- Baltimore, July 23
- San Francisco, July 27
- Auckland, October 21
On top of this, there's a second iteration on Final Symphony, with music from Final Fantasy XIII, IX, VIII, and V - amazing as that sounds to me, though, there are no currently scheduled performances.
Final Symphony is available for digital download from Amazon.
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