Final Fantasy XV was at PAX Prime in full form at the end of last week, so here's our summary of what went down!
First off, and perhaps the point of greatest interest, was Hajime Tabata's continued insistence on FFXV's 2016 release (as well as its worldwide simultaneous release, which was announced two weeks ago). It seems safe to assume that this means late 2016, particularly since Square Enix will be holding a major event of its own in March 2016, at which Tabata promised the game's official release date will finally be made known.
The presentation also showed more of what to expect from the game's driving system. The famous/infamous roadtrip-mobile, named Regalia, will facilitate both automatic and manual driving, giving the player the option of either transporting immediately to the desired destination or traversing the map manually, with the ability to stop at any point along the way. Multiple camera angles are available to take in the scenery. (I encourage you to check out the video linked below.) We were also told that players will actually need to pay attention to how much gasoline they have and obtain more as necessary -- much as players must attend to their characters' dietary needs at campsites, as we've already known for some time now.
A lot of (gorgeous) art was shown as well, both concept and rendered. Some of these were for locations we've already seen, but others, like the lonely coastal outpost of Caim, are new.
As anyone familiar with Episode Duscae will know, Eidolons are expected to play a prominent role both in the game's plot and its mythos. On that note, the panel showed a piece of concept art featuring a creation scene of sorts, in which a host of Eidolons are... participating? On-hand? Providing emotional support? This could be a rewritten bit of inheritance from FFXV's days as part of Fabula Nova Crystalis, but for now it's anyone's guess. The panel further assured that Eidolons will have more personality as well -- though I'm not quite sure what exactly that means -- and went on to introduce Leviathan, a series mainstay, as female. This raises all sorts of reproductive questions... brb, gotta go fanfic.
Finally, the group made a few promises regarding what to expect at Tokyo Game Show, their next scheduled event. First, cars. We'll hear more about cars and traveling. We'll also finally hear more about the character Lunafreya, the strong-willed female protagonist, and the role she'll actually play in the game. TGS begins on September 17th, so you won't have to wait long to get your next FFXV fix!
Source: Square Enix Youtube Channel
Nearly a year ago, we covered Square's plan to release new mobile titles in 2015. Between then and now, I missed that Portal, what I previously described as the "helper app," was released. The main app is a news and information aggregator, but apparently within its framework is the capacity to serve games. A new version of Triple Triad is the first of those games.
This version has both single- and two-player modes, so one can play against the CPU or other folks online. The cards are similar to the Final Fantasy XIV version, pulling characters and such from the entire canon of Final Fantasy games. It's free-to-play, with microtransactions and time gates dictating how often you can play. The player starts with five "stamina crystals," and each game uses one of the five. Restoring a crystal requires either a microtransaction of a thirty-minute cooldown.
If you're a Final Fantasy XIV player, you will soon be able to link your Portal Triple Triad games to your XIV account, likely for in-game rewards or achievements in the latter. That functionality is not yet up and running.
Both Portal and Triple Triad are free to download and available for both iOS and Android.
If Square Enix were Apple, they would have had the HD Remake done when they announced it, and it would have just shown up in the PlayStation Network store during the presentation. What's really happened, though, is that an unannounced port of the newest PC version of Final Fantasy VII has appeared for iOS devices, at least in New Zealand; regular readers of CoN news will recall that iOS releases tend to start there and appear in other locales going westward over the next day or two.
The release trailer doesn't seem to make anything clear regarding how the game works. There are no visible touch controls shown in any of the clips, which are mostly clips of FMV cutscenes. However, Engadget reports that instead of reconfiguring the game to be more touch-friendly, the game will have a virtual joypad on screen. I personally suspect that the game will remain in the standard 4:3 ratio, leaving room on the sides of the screen for controls, at least for phones. If you've already gotten the game on your iOS device, perhaps you can fill us in - the New Zealand price has come in at $19.99, so I can't say that I'm up for it just yet.
This version of the game will include a few cheats by default, such as the ability to max our all character stats with the push of a button, and the ability to turn off random encounters. This will essentially allow the player to treat the game as a Final Fantasy VII slideshow if desired, with most of the gaming elements replaced with short bursts between cutscenes.
The game is supported only by iOS 8, and the hardware required appears to be of the iPhone 5s generation, meaning phones and tablets roughly two years old and newer. There's no indication of an Android version at this time.
News really dries up when Death Penalty and I go a-travelin', does it not? Fear not, as I'm back now and he will be soon as well; however, don't forget that all of you out there are free to write news that we're missing!
The annual Gamescom conference was in Cologne, Germany last week, and as loyal readers will know, Hajime Tabata explained back in June that there would be no new Final Fantasy XV news until then. Storing things up for a couple months led to a news blowout on this hotly-anticipated game, as follows.
The biggest thing, of course, is the new trailer. Square Enix love their trailers, and with trailers like this who can blame them?
This trailer is a flashback to fifteen years before the intended timeline of the game, with emotional scenes between young Noctis and his father, King Regis.
Gamescom was also the location and time of the most recent Active Time Report, and it and the discussions around it formed the core of new Final Fantasy XV information for the summer. Among the sights, sounds, and tidbits released:
- Ambushing monsters, in this case a marlboro
- Pending polish to game visuals and battle system
- Pending launch of English/Japanese Final Fantasy XV forums
- Next Active Time Reports at PAX Prime and Tokyo Game Show
- Flight coming to the game, and likely not passive airship flight
- New screenshots of dungeons, towns, and other scenery
A girl who had previously briefly appeared in media released by the Nova Crystallis team, Lunafreya, was also confirmed at Gamescom to be Noctis' betrothed, an arranged royal marriage to ensure peace with Tenebrae. At the start of Final Fantasy XV, she and the king are presumed dead, but come on - we all know that's not gonna happen.
And, to bury the lede as I so love to do, not only did the team confirm the game will not slip to 2017, they also confirmed simultaneous worldwide release. How about that?
The Dragon Quest series rivals the flagship Final Fantasy for remakes, sequels, and spinoffs - hey, just see the last news I posted - and this week Square Enix announced a new one and published the first screenshots of another.
First, for Android and iOS, a new free-to-play RPG called "Dragon Quest of the Stars." There's not much for it save a new site in Japanese, but Siliconera reports that the game will feature the classic Dragon Quest behind-the-party combat view with generic buildable characters around star-shaped maps out in the universe. The game will be released yet this year in Japan, but no word about other locales as yet.
Also coming soon is Square Enix' take on the up-and-coming genre of "open world building games with licensed characters." We might have expected that to show up in the Final Fantasy universe, but not this time! Dragon Quest Builders puts the player in the world of the original Dragon Quest, with a big mallet and a charter to rebuild the kingdom. If it sounds like Minecraft, it looks it as well, as shown in these first-ever screenshots. You're not just building a world, though, you're also building safety for all of the citizens around you and also directly protecting them by fighting off creatures from the Dragon Quest universe. This game is intended for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Vita, with no announced release date and no indication of release outside Japan.
Source: Siliconera, Polygon
At the Japan Expo that just wrapped in Paris - no, this isn't mistyped - Dragon Quest maestro Yuji Horii spoke with the assembled press. Among more mundane matters, Horii intimated that the recent 3DS remakes of Dragon Quest VII and VIII would be released "in French," a move that apparently caused his translator some consternation at the time.
This was clearly something that Horii simply wanted to leak for fun; there's no release date, no other particulars, and so on. However, this is good news for all Dragon Quest fans outside of Japan. Someone like Yuji Horii wouldn't make this comment if it weren't true, and if there is bound to be a French localization, there's zero chance that other languages are not on the table, especially English.