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News from Europe
We've got some new concert news coming up for 2018, and it's been a while since we've done a major update. So, buckle up and hope for some new concerts coming your way soon!
The newest announcement for Distant Worlds is Cleveland, in what I believe is a first for the series. Ohio fans, be on the lookout with tickets already on sale for the June show. The rest of the 2018 scheduled shows lay out like this:
- Paris, April 21 (Matinee and Evening Shows)
- Vancouver, June 1
- Cleveland, June 16
- San Francisco, August 4
- Durham, North Carolina, October 13
For A New World, we just got an announcement for a new show in Boston this week. Tickets are already on sale for the April 20th show, and VIP tickets are available. The rest of the year for the smaller chamber music series looks this way:
- Honolulu, March 4 at Kawaii Kon
- Quebec City, April 7
- Boston, April 20
- Prague, May 5
- Vienna, May 6
In what should be a predictable theme nowadays, Square Enix today announced that Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be released for Steam on Windows on February 1. The HD remake of the original Final Fantasy XII, released on PlayStation 2, first added new gameplay modes and a fast-forward feature, as well as reconciling some other updates between the original and the International Versions of the game. The PC version will take it a bit further, adding in some cheat options to make the game easier, as well as support for 60fps and ultra-wide 21:9 monitors.
Once the game is released, the game's producer and director will be taking to a YouTube livestream to walk through the PC version's new features and respond to players' comments pre-organized from Twitter. That will happen in the wee hours of February 2 for us in the Western Hemisphere.
I personally had waited a while to pick up this game, intending to grab it used at some point. Now that I know it will eventually end up on Steam sale, well, I might just wait a bit longer.
A pop up experience celebrating the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy is coming to London. The experience will last from the 3rd-5th November and take place in Slingsby Place, Covent Garden.
Fans will get the chance to sample the upcoming Dissidia Final Fantasy NT ahead of it's release, as well as play past games from the series. There's also merchandise exclusive to the pop up experience, artwork covering the history of the series..
Special guests include DISSIDIAŽ FINAL FANTASYŽ NT producer Ichiro Hazama and FINAL FANTASYŽ XIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida.
Last night, a European rating for Final Fantasy IX on PlayStation 4 appeared on the PEGI site, stoking rumors of the game getting a worldwide re-release. Today, at the pre-Tokyo Game Show PlayStation conference, those rumors were quickly confirmed, with the game being released worldwide today.
This release of the game is based upon the Windows/Steam version released last year, which is itself based on the earlier mobile port. That means you can expect higher-resolution FMV and models, as well as all the other upgrades in those previous releases. It also appears that you can expect to be locked into the game's original 4:3 aspect ratio.
Until the 26th, the game will be listed at $16.79, after which it will rise to its standard price of $20.99. Packaged with the download will be a Final Fantasy IX dashboard theme and eight themed PSN avatars. Possibly worth it if you're not a PC gamer, as it remains a great game; for me, I just kind of want the theme without buying the game again.
More Final Fantasy XV stuff from Gamescom, not just the announcement of a Windows/Steam version! First off, it must be noted that Hajime Tabata confirmed, with no ambiguity, that he would not be working on a Final Fantasy XV sequel. As we've already seen, the XV universe has been set up to expand using smaller pieces rather than a standalone game. The episodic DLC for the non-Noctics members of the party reflect that perspective, with the Ignis episode coming at the end of the year. The new multiplayer mode that is coming soon, called "Comrades," does the same thing by filling in a storyline gap without needing to use the main players. I'm not sure that this tack will appease fans whose main complaint seems to be the way the final third of the game played out vis-a-vis the storyline, but I think it's more likely to work than a standalone sequel would.
The other two pieces of XV news from Gamescom don't actually expand the universe in large ways, though they are standalone titles in-universe. The first is the already-announced VR fishing game; titled Monsters of the Deep; while there's no new information about the game as yet, pre-orders have begun and Tabata did bring it up at Gamescom, so it's clear that the game is in fact on the way. Additionally, a new Pocket Edition of the game was announced for release on mobile devices and as a Windows 10 app; it's coming this fall and will be a sort of episodic "de-make" of the core game. From the trailer and screenshots released, it does appear to be a weird little chibi retelling of the game's plot, and the game's mechanics seem to be intact but quite simplified. The first episode will be a free download, with the remaining nine available to purchase on an as-yet-unnanounced schedule. I suspect that the overall purchase price will be too high to justify not simply waiting to get it on Steam, but who knows?
Finally, in the main game, we're getting a bestiary and chapter select option in the near future as a free update, which will be handy for new players and people looking to re-play alike (of course, both of those should have been available from launch, but such is life).
Source: Siliconera, Polygon
Final Fantasy XV is, predictably, now on the way to Windows PCs worldwide early in 2018. The release was announced today at Gamescom in Germany, and without a specific release date; however, the game is looking to be an upgrade in various visual and aural ways, leveraging NVIDIA GameWorks technology:
- 4K textures, scalable up to 8K in config
- Enhanced fluid, fire, and smoke effects
- Enhanced hair and fur effects
- Dynamic shadows on models
- Better grass and foliage animation
- HDR lighting and improved environmental lighting
For some reason, it will have the subtitle "Windows Edition" applied when released on Steam next year. It's going to take a serious, serious rig to max this game out, so start your building plans now.
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