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Final Fantasy XVI Announced with Trailer


Square Enix
I think we all knew that Final Fantasy XVI would appear on the next generation of consoles, sure, but was it really expected to debut today at Sony's PlayStation event? Well, it did, in the form of a four-minute trailer with what appears to be a pretty significant amount of footage. What we know so far is that the game will be a console exclusive for PlayStation 5, but will also have a Windows release, and that it will be a single-player game with action combat that immediately seems to be an extension of the Final Fantasy XV combat system. We also know that the footage shown was all in-engine for both combat and cutscenes, but it is very clearly in an early stage. We also know that Naoki Yoshida will be on the masthead as producer and that Hiroshi Takai will assume the mantle of Director; both have extensive experience within the company, particularly recently in Final Fantasy XIV. The game is being developed by Squenix' fantastically-named "Creative Business Unit III" group, which is... something else we know, I guess. Finally, we know that the trailer is footage captured from a PC, attempting to emulate the new PS5 experience.

The trailer, subtitled "Awakening," focuses on three main characters. The first we see is an unruly-haired warrior with a tattoo or brand on his cheek; he appears to be a soldier off to war in which both sides wield summoned monsters, here called "Icons." It seems that he is on the side who summon Titan, as he is told that his target is Shiva, who we see fighting against the "bloody mountain" early on. The second is a younger man who serves as a squire toward the third, a boy named Joshua (which, hey, good choice, guys). The younger squire appears to be the main character, as he is the only one shown in the combat sequences, and his role is to guard the child, who is the son of nobility. The "Awakening" takes place as young Joshua experiences a shock and apparently transforms into something highly unexpected. Another battle of icons takes shape, and also forms the basis for the game's logo - a Phoenix and Ifrit in conflict.

That's a quick and as spoiler-free as I can make it recap, written up after watching just a couple times. So, here, have some more general ideas and speculation. First, the two warriors, older and younger, look pretty similar. I could see them being somehow related and on separate sides of a growing conflict, or, if Squenix want to get really twisty, possibly even the same man in some sort of time loop situation. I could also give credence to a theory that in this universe, the summoned Icons are superpowers that can be bestowed upon warriors by their factions' crystals, or are even inborn powers that are unlocked over time. I also think that Square has probably elected to not play a number of cards yet with this unveiling, as the combat scenes show only one character and no battle UI at all; after the combat systems of XV and FF7R, it seems very unlikely to me that there would be only one playable character in battle on this new platform.

And finally, that puppy needs to be a companion for the whole game or I may not buy it.

Watch the video below, and click through to learn more. Square Enix have said that this will be the only information we get on the game until 2021, so enjoy it.


Source: Gematsu

Original SaGa Coming to Switch


Nintendo
The first three games in Square's long-running SaGa series were announced today for Switch in today's miniature Nintendo Direct. American gamers may still remember them on Game Boy under their American release name, "Final Fantasy Legend;" the first three games were all handheld and were originally released in the West in 1990, 1991, and 1993 respectively.

The new release is digital-only and is coming December 15, and is available for pre-order at $19.99. The games will have some additions such as fast-forward mode and cloud saves, as well as the ability to do some level of customization on the display wrappers around the old aspect ratio of the game display. In handheld mode, emulated on-screen controls will allow you to play the game either horizontally or vertically (to, I guess, emulate the feel of holding the Game Boy in your hands). The games will also be playable in TV or tabletop modes for the standard Switch.

Source: Nintendo

Project Athia Announced for PlayStation 5


Square Enix
Sonyís PlayStation 5 announcement event just concluded, and from Square Enix via the Luminous Productions studio, the first announcement of a next-gen game developed in-house. Project Athia (working title, of course) will be the first game released by the studio and will have some level of console exclusivity for PS5; a PC release has also been announced but thereís no indication yet as to whether it will also be held back for an exclusivity window. In any event, no release date was teased.

The initial teaser video is right here:

Thereís no UI layer to what is shown, and therefore itís hard to tell what might be gameplay and what might be in-engine cutscenes, but it looks like what you might expect: a prettier and smoother-running Final Fantasy XV-styled game. Thereís no particular reason to think that weíve just seen the next flagship Final Fantasy game here, but the monsters and obvious magic use do point that the game will be some sort of fantasy RPG, possibly with some modern flourishes. I mean, the characterís haircut and shoes look pretty stylish...

Source: Gematsu
Posted in: Square-Enix News

International Final Fantasy VII Remake Concert Dates


Final Fantasy VII
Have you ever gone to Distant Worlds and thought, "okay, this is pretty awesome, but what if they did it just for Final Fantasy VII? And used the new arrangements from the Remake?" Well, okay, they kinda did that last year, sure. But that one-off is now a real thing, and we have the first dozen-plus dates for it for 2020 and 2021. This concert series is going to include the new Remake arrangements, as well as the new theme song that debuted last week. It will also have visuals from the new game, and will be directed by Arnie Roth; this, of course, might mean that Distant Worlds will be back-burnered for a while, but worse things have happened, surely.

No tickets are on sale until a couple weeks from now, but here are the known show dates:
  • June 14: Los Angeles
  • July 4: Singapore
  • July 9 and 10: San Francisco
  • August 22: Fort Worth, Texas
  • September 11: Atlanta
  • September 25: Phoenix, Arizona
  • October 3: New York City
  • October 24: Chicago
  • October 30: London
  • November 7 and 8: Bangkok
  • December 13: Paris
  • December 19: Barcelona
  • January 8 and 9, 2021: Denver
  • January 13, 2021: Nashville
  • January 31, 2021: Boston
  • February 12 and 13, 2021: Tokyo


Source: Final Fantasy VII Remake Concerts Official Site

New Theme Song in New Final Fantasy VII Remake Trailer


Final Fantasy VII
Is this to make up for the delayed release reported a couple weeks back? Who knows, but that new release date of April 10 makes an appearance (for the first time in a trailer) at the end of the new trailer released today. There's actually a great deal to unpack in the new trailer, including a new theme song called "Hollow," composed by Nobuo Uematsu and sung by Yosh.

That's just the start, though; among other things, you'll get to see young Tifa and Cloud, President Shinra, Reeve, Heidigger, Hojo, Scarlet, Palmer, a ton of the Honeybee Inn and its environs, and a debut for Red XIII, whose voice is just absolutely perfect.
Thanks to Noxyfied in Discord for mentioning the new video before I had a chance to get online this morning and see it myself!

Also, if you've been on the fence about preordering, and this trailer just pushed you over the edge, you might want to consider doing a preorder direct from Square Enix. Any preorder done from their store, either before now or up to release, will get you the chance to win a Cloud- or Sephiroth-themed watch; both look pretty cool, truth be told, but the darker metal of the Sephiroth one gives it a little extra punch.

Source: Gematsu

Final Fantasy VII Remake Delayed a Month


Final Fantasy VII
Hopefully not much longer than that, of course. Today, Square Enix announced that the previous release date for the remake, March 3, has now been pushed back about five weeks to a new date of April 10. A press release from the Remake team quotes producer Yoshinori Kitase as saying that it was a "tough decision" to "apply final polish."

I didn't realize just how close we were getting to the original release date until I read this news; I suppose that one delay like this isn't so bad, but let's not make a habit of it, eh?
Posted in: Square-Enix News

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