CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
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Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy Ultimania Coming West

Final Fantasy 30th Anniv.
The Final Fantasy "Ultimania" guides have been lore for Western Final Fantasy fans for many years; I remember first hearing about their existence twenty years ago, but I've never seen one in person. Finally, though, those of us who want to see these guides in a format we can actually read ourselves - not you, smug Japanese-knowing CoN fans! - will get a chance to own them in English.

Next June, Dark Horse and Square Enix will release a 300+ page archive of Ultimania guides covering the first six games of the series in a hardbound edition. It's expected to be the first of three volumes encapsulating the entire series. Amazon, at least in the US, has it listed for just $34 currently, and I know I have already preordered my copy.

If you want to do the same, check this AmaCoN link:

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: Final Fantasy IV

2017 Charity Final Fantasy Marathon by The Speed Gamers - Now!

Several years back, The Speed Gamers did a fun Final Fantasy marathon for charity, a goal with which CoN was happy to help. It's 2017 now, and it's time to start up again! At 6pm Eastern tonight, TSG will kick off a new marathon for the benefit of St. Jude's Children Research Hospital, with TSG players running through all of the main-series games over the course of a week. I'm posting this a bit before the start, of course, but look right below for a good place to watch if you want to tune in. I know I'll be watching a fair bit and will be doing so in CoN chat as often as I can, so come join me, won't you? They'll be doing the games in order, starting with Final Fantasy I tonight and targeting the next CoN game, Final Fantasy IV, tomorrow night.

This time around, we've provided a bit more support with promotion on social media, and our old friend Gabe provided a number of awesome fuse bead sprites for TSG to give away as donation prizes. We're not sure when they'll be given away, but keep an eye out if you're a Final Fantasy IV fan!

St. Jude has been a recipient of my own donation dollars for quite a while, so I personally think this is a great time to support people playing your favorite games for a fantastic cause. You can donate directly from here, even if you're not watching. Make sure you mention that you found out about their good cause from your friends at CoN! Don't forget that donations at particular times might also enter you for prizes like Gabe's, so pay attention, or, if you want to guarantee that you get something cool, check out these charity t-shirts on Fangamer, with $10 going to St. Jude on every shirt purchased.

Join us in wishing TSG luck over the next week, and have some fun coming up by checking out your favorite Final Fantasy games played at pace!

Source: The Speed Gamers
Posted in: Final Fantasy IV

The After Years Come to Steam

Final Fantasy IV
Well, I guess enough people bought it on mobile phones, then. The Final Fantasy IV sequel, "The After Years," which has bounced from platform to platform since 2008, will have yet another release in May, this time for the Steam platform. This release will be based on the iOS and Android version released in 2013, following the same path as Final Fantasy III and IV took to Windows.

It's worth noting that this sequel has been full of mixed reviews over its lifespan, with the iOS version carrying a Metacritic score of just 62, compared to the iOS version of Final Fantasy IV sitting at 89. The news that this game is getting a Windows port might not sit well with fans hoping for remakes of other games in the series, but this release still makes a great deal of financial sense for Square Enix at this point given that it was likely a relatively easy and low-cost port.

The game's listed at $16 with a 10% preorder discount in the American Steam store, with a release date of May 12.

Source: Steam
Posted in: Final Fantasy IV

The After Years 3D Released Globally for Mobile

Final Fantasy IV
As we mentioned last month, Square Enix announced a remake of the episodic Final Fantasy IV sequel, The After Years, for mobile. Last weekend, it arrived in 3D, for both iOS and Android, and it's available for $15.99 American. This 3D version marks the first time that the game has been released its entirety using the 3D engine developed for the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV.

The reviews on both the iOS and Android app stores are pretty positive, nudging just past four of five stars on each, but Kotaku savaged it. New engine and all, seems like maybe sixteen bucks could be a bit much for this. Anyone out there pick it up?

Source: Square Enix Members Blog, Kotaku
Posted in: Final Fantasy IV

Square Enix Post-Post-TGS News Tidbits

Tokyo Game Show
Another few weeks, another tidbits. This seems like another good time to remind folks that we would love to have someone willing to write news for us, since all of us are clearly way too busy. Or just bad at this. This time around, we've got a ton of news that came out of the Tokyo Game Show this year. Unsurprisingly, there was quite a bit going on for Square Enix at what is still considered their "home" trade show. Further introductions provide no value with this much news.

Let's start off with 3D remakes, because many people have been aching for 3D versions of their favorite Final Fantasy games since III and IV got them a few years back. Good news on that front - as long as your favorite game is the Final Fantasy IV sequel "The After Years." The initially-episodic sequel that was released also in the Complete Collection of Final Fantasy IV on PSP is now getting a redux for iOS and Android in the vein of its big brother. It's already been confirmed that the West will get the game as well, as is almost always the case for Squenix' iOS and Android games. While I'm sure this will cause some gnashing of teeth among fans, it seems like a pretty easy call for the company to make, given that the engine and art assets that already exist should make this port pretty easy.

Next up comes the Bravely Default franchise, made a franchise by the announcement of a sequel. The confusingly-named upgrade of the original, subtitled "For the Sequel," is true to its word by adding in some enhancements that will also be part of the simultaneously-in-development sequel. According to the most recent news, these enhancements will also form the basis for the version of Bravely Default that Europe and North America will get. It's starting to look like the sequel will be less Default than the original, also, given that Squenix have also trademarked in Japan the names "Bravely Second" and "Bravely Third." Of course, it's way too early to predict anything about those games, but this news does give a gentle nudge to a theory that Squenix are preparing a pretty big new franchise for handheld domination.

Speaking of big new franchises, let's not forget that the Final Fantasy XIII series is soon to come to an end with Lightning Returns. Because it's just what they do with this game, Squenix had yet another new trailer at TGS. It makes one wonder if their endgame is simply to have the entire game released as a series of trailers that fans would then need to recut into the correct order to understand the plot. Speaking of things that they've done with Lightning Returns, here are three separate notes all about more costumes in the game (in these cases, a Final Fantasy XIV Miqo'te catgirl, Yuna, and Aeris respectively). Lightning Returns is still scheduled to be released in Japan next month and in the West in February 2014 - plenty of time to shove more costumes in.

And on the subject of Final Fantasy XIV, it seems like A Realm Reborn is really starting to make up for the bad taste the original created. Say what you will about their launch-window server issues (for what it's worth, I can forgive them), but it really seems like the new version has been pretty well received as both a quality MMO and a solid Final Fantasy game, which certainly differentiates it from the bulk of its competitors. Enhancements are already being discussed for future updates, such as customizable housing, PvP arenas, and even the plan to allow gamers to transition from their Playstation 3 games to Playstation 4.

Briefly, on the subject of MMOs, did you remember that Enix has one for Dragon Quest? Nah, of course you didn't. It's still not out in the West anyway. However, if and when it does come this direction, you might be able to play it on the go - a version for iOS and Android will be out this winter in Japan. Apparently, this version of the game will have the same content as the full game, simply optimized for mobile hardware. That should allow players to take their game off their console and then continue it on the train; wonder if XIV could pull that off?

Last thing: the Final Fantasy X/X-2 remaster is still coming. On the official Playstation blog, that is confirmed directly, in case you'd forgotten. There's also, yes, another trailer, and a bit of talk about the art book that preorder customers will get.

That's a lot of tidbits, and I didn't quite cover everything I wanted to. Sorry about that, but I'll see if I can't get a more specific post up to cover the rest soon. Hint: it's Type-0 related!

Source: siliconera, Final Fantasy Network, Kotaku
Posted in: Final Fantasy IV

"Remastered" SNES Final Fantasy Soundtracks Coming

Super Nintendo
Slated for July 3, Square Enix are releasing in Japan a "remastered" version of the Final Fantasy IV Soundtrack. Later in the year, similar albums will be released for Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI. There's not much detail beyond that so far, which naturally leaves some questions. The first question might well be the tracklist - will these albums be a full OST, which would require a few CDs, or is it a single-CD "best of" compilation as some other albums have been in the past? Second, though, and possibly more important, is "what on earth does a remaster of a SNES soundtrack entail?"

Given that these albums are explicitly called remasters, and not anything like the piano collections or orchestral arrangements that have been done in the past, it would seem that these new albums will still be chiptunes as they were originally, but perhaps that the chips used to make the tunes will be of a more modern variety than twenty years ago, creating the opportunity for more realistic synthesized sounds.

If you want to find out, you'll need to import, most likely - Squenix are not currently speaking of any Western release for any of these albums.

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: Final Fantasy IV
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