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Final Fantasy VII
Sony's recently-announced State of Play just wrapped up a few minutes ago, with Square Enix serving as the penultimate spectacle. After a brief bit of Foamstars (open beta coming in two weeks, release early 2024 if you're here for that news), the stream jumped straight into Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Before I break down the trailer, though, you can get the release date: Leap Day 2024. That's a bit later than I'd hoped, but at least it gives me more time to catch up on games before it releases.
Based on these three minutes, there is going to be a lot packed into this game, and this is going to be completely spoilery if you haven't gotten around to playing Remake and Intermission. The trailer starts with Zack carrying Cloud through a wrecked Midgar, showing yet again that there are some sort of timeline or universe shenanigans at play. It then cuts straight to Rufus ordering the Junon cannon to fire, and some brief snippets of combat, including some with Red XIII in the primary battle party. Cait Sith returns from his brief cameo in the prior game, complete with accent and giant Moogle, and the first confirmation that he will indeed be available for combat too.
The buggy appears, as well as some of our favorite colors of chocobo; REUNION gets some focus, as well as Midgardsormr and the Bottomswell boss under Junon. Yuffie shows off a partner technique with Barret, and Aerith does one with Cait Sith, and then we get a little bit of Cloud and Sephiroth fighting... as teammates. A couple quick cuts show us new summons, namely Alexander and Odin, and then we get a longer sequence of Gold Saucer, with everyone's favorite minigames.
We then get another brief shot of Zack, this time dropping off the still-unconscious Cloud with, of all people, apparently Kyrie? The strange shenanigans continue anon. Finally, a couple more big reveals - Emerald Weapon, Vincent, and at last, Sephiroth speaking of REUNION... "When worlds merge."
Sorry if this sounds a little breathless, but frankly, it is a bit. There was a lot packed into three short minutes, a lot more than I expected to see today. And preorders are open now.
After the mild disappointment of the Sony Showcase, in which we got no Final Fantasy VII, the Summer Game Fest stream that just ended gave us a little bit more of what we're looking for: a brand-new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
This had been expected for the last week or so, when the official Twitter accounts in both Japanese and English started posting semi-cryptic updates about the progress of the game, and users noticed that they started exactly seven days before Keighley's SGF. Bad news out of the way, first - the trailer locks in a mostly-assumed bit of news, that the game is delayed now until "Early 2024." That same title card has some surprising news, too - the game is shipping on two discs. This obviously means that it's going to be a larger game than the first one, which shipped on a single disc for Playstation 5 even including Yuffie's Intermission. I'm going to do something odd for CoN news here and put my impressions of the trailer in a separate thread so they can be more easily avoided for users who want no chance of spoilers. For this post, I'll just suffice to say that my kid got very excited very quickly.
The other Final Fantasy VII game that's on the way, Ever Crisis, also got a new trailer and updated release information. In this case, the new information is that players can pre-register for the game now; additionally, players on Android devices can sign up to get into a closed beta starting today and running until just about the end of June. It seems like this game should make it to Switch, eventually, but unfortunately that was not part of today's announcment.The way I see it, if you're not completely sold on Final Fantasy XVI yet, there is at least a lot of good Final Fantasy VII coming... but probably not soon enough.
A new prequel novel set in the Final Fantasy VII universe released in English earlier this week, entitled "Final Fantasy VII Remake: Traces of Two Pasts." The novel, written by Kazushige Nojima (the primary scenario writer behind both the game's original PS1 release as well as 2020's Remake) and translated to English by Stephen Kohler (whose other Square Enix-related translations include Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future and NieR:Automata - YoRHa Boys), explores the childhoods of characters Tifa Lockhart and Aerith Gainsborough, with roughly half of the book devoted to each character's backstory.
If you're a big fan of FF7's leading ladies, the novel answers numerous questions and expands upon the characters' origins, such as Tifa's introduction to Zangan and how Aerith came to be in Elmyra's care. And for the FF7 dorks who always wondered about that heretofore unnamed cat that shows up with Tifa in the Japan-exclusive Before Crisis flip-phone mobile game... Well, I'm happy to report that you're in luck, too! Find out all about Tifa's cat. And its cat antics. And how Tifa is most definitely a cat person.
Published by Square Enix Books, the hardcover version of the novel retails for $24.99 and the ebook edition for $14.99 (available on Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, and more).
The AmaCoN link is of course right here, and as of the time of this post, it's 10% off. I've already ordered a copy for my daughter's birthday, though there's a good chance I sneak in reading it before that myself.
Source: Square Enix Books/Penguin Random House
Final Fantasy VII turned 26 years old (timed from the original release in Japan) earlier this week, and the official Twitter account had a couple things to say about it. As a bit of trivia, Square Enix announced that January 31 would henceforth be registered as Final Fantasy VII Day in Japan; it's official but not (yet) a national holiday.
What I liked more, though, was the announcement of a special project using LEGO bricks. It's not clear yet if this is an official partnership with LEGO or what it might mean in the future, but on FF7 Day the official Twitter account announced a survey to allow people to vote on what iconic scene from Final Fantasy VII Remake would make the best brick diorama. The four options in the poll are the starry-night Nibelheim flashback, Aerith's House, the Sector 5 Church, and - almost predictably - the Honeybee Inn. The plan is for someone, I assume some sort of LEGO Master Builder, to build the winning scene; after it's complete and promoted worldwide, there will be a raffle to win the apparently-one-of-a-kind design.
That's the only part that makes me sad; at the moment, the company has said nothing about officially running the winning design through LEGO Ideas to put a fancy, expensive set on sale to the general public. The right set would mint money for both companies, so fingers crossed they announce something along those lines later.
Source: Final Fantasy VII Official Twitter
Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis, a mobile game that reimagines the timeline of Final Fantasy VII and its Compilation, has been pushed back to 2023 with a closed beta test period happening next summer.
The game was originally planned to have a beta this year; as December approached, fans were getting worried that the game might have been dropped due to the lack of news. It's good to see the game is still in production.
An updated trailer came along with news of the delay. Here it is:
Source: Square Enix Games, Final Fantasy YouTube
Well, I think we all got what we wanted there, yes? Short and sweet as promised, today's stream clocked in at just under fifteen minutes long but included a bucket of Final Fantasy VII detail. The stream led a montage of clips from Remake and Intergrade, with the announcement of a release on Steam tomorrow, June 17, with Steam Deck compatibility. They followed with an introduction from Yoshinori Kitase, and a bit of merch.
The merch shown was not groundbreaking by and large, though I think it's the first time I've seen the jewelry they showed. A Compilation of Final Fantasy VII vinyl album looked new to me, too, and it's planned for release this August as well as a special CD album and streaming playlists.
Kitase followed up with a brief video of the upcoming third season of The First Soldier, the Final Fantasy VII battle royale mobile fighter. Like every seasonal game in the genre, there's new content coming. That was followed by a moderately long look at Ever Crisis, the mobile game that runs through the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII in a new way. It's kind of hard to describe what I think this game is going to be exactly, as it styles things a little differently in various clips, but it appears to be a Final Fantasy VII version of the Final Fantasy XV game released for Switch, where everything was a bit simplified and a lot more chibi to present the plot to a new audience. It's coming for a closed beta sometime in 2022 for both iOS and Android.
Kitase returned again to lead into the first truly big news of the stream, a remaster of Crisis Core. To me, you can obviously see it's not a full remake, as the graphical quality doesn't look like it got the full Final Fantasy VII Remake treatment; that said, it's hard to say how much of that might be due to the stream itself. We should see some stills very soon. Called "Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core Reunion," it's going from official announcement today, in June, to a targeted release in "this Winter" across all current consoles and Steam.
Then, finally, one more lead-in from Kitase to give us what I called last week: Final Fantasy VII is getting its next part in Winter 2023. It's now called "Rebirth," meaning that "Remake" has been retired as the name for solely the first part; and, as has been widely considered, it's the second part of a trilogy. The third part is as yet un-named (may I suggest "Resolution?") and of course has nothing resembling a release window, so for now we will have to content ourselves on part two. This new episode looks like it's going to go heavy into Cloud's mental troubles as depicted in the middle part of the original, with a lot of content that feels like misdirection in the voiceovers from Aerith, Cloud, and Tifa, subtitles asking "What is Fact and What is Fiction?," and very brief glimpses of Meteor and... well, you all know the scene. Of course, it's releasing only for PlayStation 5 at launch. Kitase, along with confirming the name and the trilogy, mentioned that the team is still "hard at work" on Rebirth.
And that was it - I have to say it's probably everything we wanted and expected from 15 quick minutes. I no longer lament the loss of E3. Here's the video if you missed it:
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