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Final Fantasy XV Real Live Event March 30


Final Fantasy XV
We reported back in February that the next big Final Fantasy XV event was to be titled "Uncovered," and is a "real" live event to take place in Los Angeles. The day has nearly arrived now, so remember to tune in tomorrow on Twitch or YouTube at 10pm Eastern.

The group must have something big planned for this event; previously, we mentioned that they plan to announce the final demo, the release date, the price, and more. But there must be even more than that, because the XV team preempted themselves by doing another livestream just last week with Famitsu.

Siliconera reports some of the highlights:
  • Cactuars will return as their Cactuar-like selves. Hopefully Gigantuars too, says this writer.
  • The new event will have a new Japanese trailer, which is somewhat disappointing given that the event is happening in America.
  • The new demo will be shown at the event.
  • They estimate a straight run of the game, sans any bonus content or sidequests, to take roughly fifty hours.
  • The frame rate target is 30FPS through the whole game, which I also find a bit disappointing.
  • The game's running resolution will be revealed also at the event... which, how can this be a question? It's surely not going to run at 4k, and I would think it would be a huge embarrassment if it can't run at 1080p.

One final, very interesting note from the previous livestream is that Hironobu Sakaguchi reached out to Hajime Tabata to talk about the original XV demo and "had a whole lot to say." That could mean a lot of things, of course. Perhaps Sakaguchi loved it. Perhaps he didn't and had a lot to say about how to make it more true to his original slate of Final Fantasy games. Maybe Tabata took it to heart, and maybe he plans to ignore it. Tabata isn't saying, so we'll just have to wonder.

Also announced earlier: the game will, for the first time, have some language options for Central and South America, with "Latin American Spanish" and "Brazilian Portuguese" selections.

I'm not sure I'll be able to see the livestream myself tomorrow night, but rest assured that we'll do our best to recap it for you as soon as possible.

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: Square-Enix News
(4 Comments – Last by Cefca)
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Distant Worlds/New World Winter 2016 Update


Distant Worlds
It's that time of the quarter again, where a new list of live Final Fantasy orchestral music shows up. There are some good venues cropping up this time around - while I haven't gone back to see all the shows that have ever been, some of these seem like brand-new locations for the concerts, which should help expose even more listeners to these great concerts.

There's just one new Distant Worlds show that's been announced, and it's for July 23rd in Houston. The show will be at Jones Hall, but as yet there are no special guests announced. Distant Worlds shows seem to have somewhat haphazard announcements, though, so don't be surprised if more show up between now and July. Tickets go on sale April 8th for Houston.

A New World seems to be blowing up this year, though - this latest update brings six new shows for 2016, starting just ten days from now! Tickets are on sale now for all six:
  • Overland Park, Kansas: March 11 (An old CoN headquarters, sad to be missing it!)
  • Boston, Massachusetts: May 6 (Ditto!)
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina: May 8
  • Brookville, New York: June 17
  • Hartford, Connecticut: June 19
  • St. Paul, Minnesota: September 17
Are any of these shows near you? Let us know if you plan to go!

Source: Distant Worlds, A New World
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Presenting: The Second Annual Square Bowl!


Square Enix
Are you worried that you won't get enough video games during the Super Bowl weekend? Is the Super Bowl not enough of a "game" for you?

Don't worry, because you're in luck! Starting at 7:00 pm PST this Friday, game developers Teddy Dief (Hyper Light Drifter) and Adriel Wallick (Train Jam) are hosting the second Square Bowl a 48-hour event to benefit the Able Gamers charity.

Last year they did Final Fantasy VII, and they are following up with Final Fantasy VIII. The two indie game developers will be joined throughout their 48-hour playthrough by other game developers.

From the looks of it, watching the stream will be free, but there will be a donate button under the video and chat. You can find the stream in the following link.

http://squarebowl.tv/

The AbleGamers Foundation is a charitable organization "that aims to improve the overall quality of life for those with disabilities through the power of video games." They do this by outreach to gamers with disabilities, "consultation for AAA and indie developers, free of charge, to assist in making each game as accessible as possible," and by providing grants for "assistive technology" in order to give gamers with disabilities access to technology and equipment to make their playing easier.

Now, what will it be like? Fun? Informative? ... (Boring?) I'm not sure. I was unaware of the first Square Bowl, so I can't tell you what this one will be like. But it's for a good cause, so tune in.

You can find more information on Teddy Dief and Adriel Wallick from the same website where you can reach the stream above.

Source: Game Informer, The AbleGamers, Square Bowl
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report 7.0


Final Fantasy XV
A lot of new Final Fantasy XV information was revealed in Active Time Report 7.0 last weekend, and I missed it all due to moving. In case you missed it too, read on and watch the ATR at your leisure.

The main focus of ATR7 is that the game is now 80% complete and that they consider development to be close to the final build, meaning there will likely be no further updates until after they consider the game to have gone gold.

There are a lot of mechanics and minor updates wrapped up in the beginning, almost like a visual changelog. There are a couple things I hadn't seen anything of yet, such as the snare combat mechanic and the fluid dynamics of characters in deep water, that looked pretty great. Also... frogs! Additionally, the overall updates show that the camera and UI have been drastically changed since the original demo, improving the overall battle mechanics.

This update showed more of Niflheim and its role and personnel, introducing in particular a dragoon officer named Aranea Highwind - it's worth noting that she has a pretty cool take on some classic Kain Highwind-style armor. The story frames Niflheim as a controlling, mechanically oriented kingdom expanding over Lucis, in a manner that echoes a bit of the plot setup for Final Fantasy VI.

A huge gameplay mechanic introduced this time around has been nicknamed "Final Fantasy Solid" in some circles; a stealth mechanic in which Noctis and crew infiltrate and take down Niflheim bases from within appears to be a significant part of the plot this time around. Destructible and otherwise interactive environments play a role in these takedowns as well, both in terms of destroying and commandeering Niflheim equipment.

With regards to magic, the typical magic system has been modified in XV to be more focused on a few elementals and "ring" magic, which is available only later in the game. The elemental spells have improved efficacy in certain environments, and have the ability to use the environments to spread to wider ranges and therefore envelop more targets.

Coming up next: the Uncovered event. This is the big one, and it's happening in Los Angeles (and free tickets are available, Californian readers!). In this event, the final demo will be announced, the 2016 release date for the final game will be announced, as well as price and "other details."

If that's not enough for XV for you, Gematsu collected a gallery of screenshots to check out too.

Source: Siliconera, Gematsu, Game Informer
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Star Ocean and Dragon Quest January Updates


Dragon Quest
The Star Ocean and Dragon Quest franchises both have updates coming soon in the form of new games; as both enter 2016, January's been a good month for updates on the progress them all. This week in particular had a new livestream broadcast for Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, and with it came new gameplay footage and discussion of gameplay tweaks, a new trailer to introduce more background on Fidel, the main protagonist, and new screenshots and background information on how the game's skillsets will work.

In the Dragon Quest universe, there's always a lot more going on. The Dragon Quest franchise turns thirty years old this year, and as such, there's a new website for the franchise in Japan. A demo for Builders, the Minecraft-esque building RPG set in the Dragon Quest universe, will be out next week in Japan for Playstation 4 and Vita. The 3DS game Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 (name just rolls off the tongue, by the by) will be coming out on March 24 in Japan, but the company is also aiming for a demo to come out a few weeks earlier. Another sideline franchise in the DQ universe, Heroes, will see its sequel released for all three living Sony platforms right on the 30th anniversary in Japan. That date is May 27th of this year.

Finally, the biggest game in the franchise, Dragon Quest XI, was announced as having a release date sometime during the anniversary year. That means that it won't be out before the start of the anniversary year, and possibly not out until next May 27th, should they hit the window at all. This news was met with great disdain by the anniversary event's followers, who expected something more concrete.

Source: Siliconera, Gematsu
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Two Battle Modes Announced for Final Fantasy XV


Final Fantasy XV
There hasn't been a ton of Final Fantasy XV news lately, but what has been coming out has been small and positive.

Last week, Director Hajime Tabata took to Famitsu to announce that the 2016 release date for the game would be announced at an event in March, and that the team was shifting into the debugging phase.

Just yesterday, a few of the game's developers participated in a Q&A on the game's official forums. They once again emphasized the visit-ability of the game's cities, and discussed the warp ability, which will constitute a significant part of combat -- particularly against large-scale and aerial enemies. The main takeaway from this Q&A, however, was the announcement that FFXV will have two different battle modes, one that is more "action-oriented" and another that is more "relaxed." It's hard to tell exactly what this means -- is this a distinction between fast-paced as opposed to strategic, or is it a distinction between hard vs. easy? -- but we'll have to wait (perhaps for the March event?) to learn more.

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: Square-Enix News

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