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Episode Duscae to Debut on Stream; Final Type-0 Trailer Released


Final Fantasy XV
Later this week, Square Enix Japan will be running a live stream to present real, live gameplay from the Final Fantasy XV demo, which will be released next month with Type-0. Game director Hajime Tabata will host the stream, which is said to show both gameplay and the "systems" comprising XV, which likely means the combat style and user interfaces both inside and outside of combat.

The demo will begin at 6am Eastern time on Friday, February 20, and will be shown on the streaming services NicoNico and YouTube Live. There's no indication as to whether the stream will be geoblocked, so if you're an early riser or a night owl, it'll be worth seeking out in a few days.

On a similar note, Square Enix also released the "release trailer" for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD last night. The trailer remains in Japanese, but the company is quick to point out that the release version will allow the gamer to switch between languages. I would presume this trailer to be the last we'll see, as the game now releases in exactly one month and counting in the United States - the Japanese and European releases come a few days later.

Source: Siliconera, Square Enix Youtube

Dissidia Branches out to Arcades


Dissida: Final Fantasy
The popular-for-a-Sony-handheld franchise Dissidia: Final Fantasy is now taking a new turn in Japan, the announcement of a new arcade game. As is customary for the company nowadays, the announcement came in the form of a video trailer debuting several characters and a battle scene set in what appears to be a backdrop emulating the Warriors of Light leaving Cornelia in Final Fantasy I. Siliconera reports that unlike prior games, battles in this game will be 3v3; whether that will take the form of a Marvel vs. Capcom-style tag-team setup, or player-plus-AI battles is yet unclear.

Characters revealed in the trailer include:
  • Warrior of Light (I)
  • Onion Knight (III)
  • Terra (VI)
  • Cloud (VII)
  • Lightning (XIII, specifically the original of the sub-series)
  • Y'shtola (XIV)

More information is expected April 10th, in a planned presentation. Naturally, there is no indication yet of a Western release, but given the state of arcades here, it would seem more prudent to hope for a console/Windows port worldwide.

One must admit, though, between this and the new Star Wars game... well, it would be pretty cool if arcades were still a real thing.


Source: Siliconera

New Bravely Job, Smartphone Game, and Realm Reborn Content


Bravely Default
The past few days have seen several small bits of news, so we've bundled them up for your reading pleasure!

First off, Bravely Second. This week's issue of Jump magazine shows the new Guardian job; while we don't really have any specifics, the image provided involves some heavy armor, leading one to suspect it will be a tank job. Additionally, the Jump reveals that Tiz will be returning from Bravely Default. Taken with most recent news, we now know 13 Bravely Second jobs and that all four main protagonists from the original game will appear in some form or another.

A teaser site has been launched for the newest Million Arthur game, Million Arthur Extasis, which rather surprisingly has been listed as for players 18+ only. If you haven't heard of the series, you've good reason: it's only available in southeast Asia, where it has been quite successful, even spawning a live action TV show. One iteration, Magnificent Million Arthur, has an official English translation available for iOS and Android but remains locked to English-speaking regions.

Finally, some news from Eorzea (Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn). The MMO's celebration of Valentine's Day began on February 3 and will continue to February 16, during which time one can pursue a seasonal quest or obtain some special holiday items, including a costume for chocobos that looks inspired by Mad Moxxi.

We also have a release date (February 24) for Patch 2.5, which will bring the Gold Saucer from Final Fantasy VII to Eorzea. Several minigames with minor rewards will be available - Monster Toss, The Moogle’s Paw, Cuff-a-Cur, Crystal Tower Striker, and a Cactuar lottery system called the "Cactpot" - as well as the iconic Chocobo Racing. In addition to these, FFXIV will be implementing a form of the Triple Triad card game from Final Fantasy VIII. As in that game, the FFXIV version will include multiple rule sets, and you can play against various NPCs and fellow adventurers across the world. Additional references to Final Fantasies of past times abound. One of the Gold Saucer rewards shown was a Setzer costume, inspired by the notorious gambler of Final Fantasy VI; a Cloud Advent Children costume will also be added as a new Veteran Reward.

Source: Siliconera, Siliconera, The Lodestone
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Life is Strange: Release and Reviews


Square Enix
Life is Strange, an episodic game published by Square Enix and developed by Dontnod Entertainment that we announced last summer, released its first episode yesterday. Subtitled "Chrysalis," it can be gotten digitally on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Steam for $4.99. The game will ultimately consist of five episodes: the second of these is expected in March, while release dates remain TBA for the third, fourth, and final episodes.

Life is Strange has received generally positive though critiquing reviews thus far. Polygon gives the game an 8/10, with reviewers praising its artistry, its originality, and its world while criticizing some of the dialogue and mishandled moments of seriousness. PCWorld's reviewer agreed on both counts, saying that while much of the game's dialogue is successful it can occasionally turn "cringe-worthy" and that the schoolkids setting isn't quite integrated with the intended gravity of the game's plot. Both reviews, however, conclude by emphasizing how attractive and compelling the game's environment is. Game Informer was even more optimistic, praising the its realism as well as its decision-making engine, and asserting that the episode successfully engages the player's interest.

Are you playing Life is Strange? Are you thinking about grabbing it? Let us know!

Source: Polygon, PCWorld, Game Informer
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square Enix' Glorious PC Future: The CoNcast Episode 28


Podcast
We've covered it in CoN news for quite some time, but Square Enix has been making inroads for quite a while in the Windows space both as a developer and as a massive company who own lots of smaller fish also publishing for PC gamers.

For a long time, the company treated the PC as a bit of a wasteland, at least in terms of the flagship Final Fantasy franchise, with no games released for Windows for many years; now, though, the company is experiencing a renaissance on the platform with the two rereleases of Final Fantasy VII followed closely on by iOS 3D ports and the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy.

So, in this installment, the CoNcast team hits the highs and the lows of Square Enix gaming on the Windows platform as well as what might be coming in the near future. Get your Steam wishlists ready for the Final Fantasy games we'll talk about today!

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes, This Episode
Posted in: CoNcasts

More Time with Tabata and Type-0


General Final Fantasy
It seems like only the day before the day before yesterday we remarked at Hajime Tabata making the media rounds to promote Final Fantasy Type-0 (and, ever-so-slightly, Final Fantasy XV), and already there's more to report.

Square Enix has released a video comparing the graphics of the original Type-0, released in Japan in 2011, with the HD version we all will see in just a couple months. You can watch the video here: it's quite an impressive upgrade across the board, from character models to environments and from menus to battle movement.

You'll notice in the video that the audio playing is the famous Final Fantasy theme. This observation leads to the next news of the hour, an interview with Siliconera in which Tabata discussed the difference between a Final Fantasy game and a Final Fantasy Type game. As we've already reported, Type-0 is currently set to be the first game in a new series of Final Fantasy Type games, owing to the huge popularity of Type-0 in Japan and the company's increasing confidence in the game's director. In speaking of Type-0, Tabata emphasized the different atmosphere and implications of teenage protagonists, as opposed to Final Fantasy XV's adult cast.

Tabata says it is hard to pin down exactly what makes a Final Fantasy game, but that despite the vagueness of the concept fans and developers who have spent a lot of time with the series are able to sense whether someone has the "Final Fantasy DNA" to lead a project. Tabata has certainly proved himself to the latter group; we will see if he can convince the former as well.

Tabata also stressed the need to do new things in both series while still maintaining a continuity of spirit between titles. He understands the Type series as being to some degree defined by its ability to try out more new things and push boundries than the main series. With FFXV, Tabata says, the balance between old and new hovers around 50-50; he continues to say that "a Type series game is 80-20. Final Fantasy Type-0 is actually 70-30." The confidence of these comments indicates that long-run plans for the Type series not only exist but are being carried out. It has yet to be determined how Tabata himself will be allocated in the future, given his present investment in both series.

Type-0 HD is set for mid-March release dates world-wide.

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

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All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.