CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
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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

Final Fantasy XV: Was Everything Really On the Line?


Final Fantasy XV
As the sales keep rolling in and everyone breathes a sigh of relief that Final Fantasy XV is overall a fairly good game, director Hajime Tabata took some time at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) to reflect on the famous decade-long development cycle that culminated in its November 2016 release.

During the conference, Tabata was noted as saying the bar was set high even before he took on the project in 2012. "If it didn't succeed, it would all be over. It meant approaching the project believing this was our last chance. If we don't do it this time, there won't be a next time."

Is this more of the typical motivational talk to set high standards and achieve them, no matter the cost? Possibly, but let's consider a few events, and what was going on in the Final Fantasy franchise in 2012 when Tabata came aboard:
  1. Square Enix doubled (and after 2012, tripled) down on Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, which was met with mixed reviews and much criticism, cooling enthusiasm after the main title's release. It would seem the Fabula Nova Crystallis universe was not the overwhelming hit they expected.
  2. Final Fantasy XIV's original release was so troubled and unpopular that they killed it with spectacular fire, built a new game from the ground up, and maybe asked everyone to forget the original existed. It is worth noting that the new game is hugely successful and still doing well today, but it was certainly a monumental effort to scrap the original game and make a better one in its place.
  3. Well known by now, Final Fantasy XV is the final form of a game started in 2006 which was then Final Fantasy Versus XIII, also requiring an overhaul and recruitment of top talent for Tabata to meet expectations.
Interesting to note as well, the following remark Tabata made when discussing the game at the GDC: "My story about Final Fantasy XV is not a success story," he said. "I don't have any magical expertise from this undertaking, but I know now the greatest goals can only be reached by taking big chances."

He sure seems more relieved than excited about its success. The franchise seems better positioned for its future than it was in 2012, with FFXIII in the books, the FFXIV remake successful, and FFXV having currently sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

Do you think the Final Fantasy franchise was ever in any danger? Or is it laughable to even think so, considering the worldwide brand recognition it has attained, and Square Enix' deep pockets to finance the huge cost of each game? After all, things like this exist.

Source: The Verge, Polygon

Nintendo Switch Makes North American Debut in January


Nintendo
After the announcement of the Switch in October, the new Nintendo console hasn't made many appearances. That will change in a big way in just over a month with a two-part Switch event, culminating in the console's first appearance on Western shores.

First, though, on January 12, there will be a streamed presentation called the "Tokyo Webcast," with investors and media live and in person but with the stream presented globally (though, mind, there's no confirmation yet that the stream will also be public). In any event, the price and exact release date are expected to be announced at this time.

The next day, January 13, the Switch will appear in New York. There are no details yet as to what further specifics will appear in this second showing, so it may simply be a new media event for people to get hands-on experience with the console who can't fly to Tokyo. No matter what, we should expect to see plenty of new information that week and will know when to expect preorders to be waiting at our local stores.

Source: Polygon

Nintendo NX Teaser in the Morning


Nintendo
Nintendo just let us all know on Twitter that we're going to see... something... about the NX tomorrow morning at 10am Eastern time. They're calling it a "Preview Trailer" and it will apparently be three minutes long, and that's all they're saying. A look at the console? A look at some games? A logo? Let's all see together.

RPG Limit Break Charity Marathon May 12th


General Final Fantasy
From our friends over at Games Done Quick comes word that this coming week, RPG Limit Break will be running a charity RPG marathon from Salt Lake City (and, of course, on Twitch). The marathon will begin at 2pm Eastern on Tuesday, May 12, and run until roughly midnight on the 17th, collecting donations for the National Alliance on Mental Illness all the while.

The schedule contains thirty-one games from a huge variety of series, including Lunar, Wild Arms, Suikoden, Fire Emblem, Disgaea and Mother. Of course, for those folks who read CoN solely for the Square Enix content, naturally series like Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy are also represented. Crystal Chronicles, Tactics, Mystic Quest, I, IV, and V will all show up, and the final game of the marathon will be Chrono Trigger.

To learn more, see the schedule, or donate to the cause once everything kicks in a few days from now, visit RPG Limit Break's twitch channel now.

Nintendo Leaves Brazil


Nintendo
Nintendo announced yesterday that it will no longer distribute games or consoles in Brazil. The company cited the massive tariffs that other companies, including Sony, have previously complained of. The cost of a Wii U in Brazil is the equivalent of some 700 US dollars. This made it the least expensive of the three home consoles, but it has been vastly out-sold by the Xbox One.

CoN is posting this as news, of course, because of its relation to the company near (if not dear) to our hearts. A number of Square Enix titles are available exclusively on Nintendo, particularly for the DS - including some of the company's most well received titles of late, like Bravely Default. These, along with the Marios and Links of the world, will be unavailable to Brazilian fans at least for the immediate future.

Source: Polygon, Kotaku

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©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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