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News from Japan

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
Posted in: News from Japan
(16 Comments – Last by AltheaValara)
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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:

Source: Final Fantasy VII Remake Concerts Official Site
Posted in: News from Japan
(2 Comments – Last by Rangers51)
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New Final Fantasy VII Remake Info to Wrap the Year


Final Fantasy VII
It's easy to fall behind this time of year, as we're all getting ready to move into 2020. But Square Enix is not taking a break, and starting with The Game Awards last week, the team has been rolling out more apertifs for the game releasing in March of next year. Below, see the newest trailer; it focuses on Cloud and his development from mercenary to hero.
It's got a little bit more combat and also some good snippets from Barret's (literal) elevator pitch to Cloud in the prologue and Tifa and Cloud's reunion at 7th Heaven.

Gematsu also reported earlier this week on Squenix' publication of a lot of new images, including a couple iconic scenes, and some newly-written character descriptions. The first explanations of Aerith's abilities in-battle are detailed here, too, as well as a first look at stills of Shiva, the Train Graveyard and Shin-Ra Headquarters.

Squenix also set up some good marketing for us recently, with a load of wallpapers and avatars of Tifa, Cloud, and Barret, with Aerith apparently coming soon. Those can be grabbed from the offical site. Also on social media, there's a brief teaser of Cloud on the FF7R Twitter feed. They're showing a little more of the soundtrack with each video, too, which is pretty great. All in all, a nice little gift for fans awaiting the game's release in March.
Posted in: News from Japan
(1 Comments – Last by Perigryn)
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Turks Make a Mark at TGS 2019


There's a new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake that was just released at Tokyo Game Show today, unveiling a number of new scenes and characters. Well, let's put "new" in quotes, I guess, since it's hard to be all that new when you're remaking a twenty-year-old game, right? Anyway, Gematsu brings us the new trailer in both English and Japanese, and in it you'll get some looks at Reno, Rude and Tseng, as well as President Shinra. Naturally, Aerith appears quite a bit as well, including in battle, and we get our first look at the Shiva summon and the Crazy Motorcycle Chase too.

Oh, yeah, and let's not forget about the Honeybee Inn, because, yeah... that's teased there too.

Stay tuned for an endcap of Cloud, Barret, and Tifa looking out over what has to be Cosmo Canyon. It's gorgeous.
Posted in: News from Japan
(4 Comments – Last by Glenn Magus Harvey)
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Square Enix Bring a Lot to Tokyo Game Show 2019


Tokyo Game Show
Last week, Square Enix started up their microsite to present their TGS 2019 lineup, for the show starting September 12. There will be a huge number of games across all of the studios for which Square Enix develop firsthand or otherwise publish. The first two days, as usual, will be open to industry personnel only, with the last two days open to all ticketholders.

Four games will be playable: Final Fantasy VII Remake, Crystal Chronicles Remaster, Dragon Quest XI S, and as always, Final Fantasy XIV. All of those plus Avengers, Trials of Mana, Imperial SaGa Eclipse, Star Ocean: First Departure R, Dragon Quest X, Romancing SaGa 3, Tropico 6, Brave Exvius: War of the Visions, and Octopath Traveler mobile will appear in the TGS Mega Theatre as trailers and/or gameplay videos too. Ten games will appear as stage shows as well, and the company will be selling merch and music, though there's no indication of what new products might appear.

The stage shows on September 14 and 15 will be broadcast live on both YouTube and Niconico; the first day will start with Dragon Quest X and XI events, followed by Trials of Mana and Final Fantasy XIV. The second day will begin with a SaGa show, then Avengers, Crystal Chronicles, and Star Ocean. On the first day, Square Enix will also stream a couple in-studio shows featuring the Trading Card Game and an announcement of a new Square Enix board game. After that, there will be studio shows for Tropico 6 and Brave Exvius.

That's everything we know at the moment, but the exact details of what we'll see, particularly for Final Fantasy VII, will probably leak out during the industry days leading the show.

Source: Gematsu
Posted in: News from Japan
(2 Comments – Last by Rangers51)
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Studio Istolia Dead in the Water?


Square Enix
It's been over two years since Square Enix announced the setup of Studio Istolia, headed by Hideo Baba, and Project Prelude Rune. It's been three-quarters of a year since we last heard anything significant in terms of news from the studio, too. Since then, Hideo Baba left Square Enix entirely, as it appears that I missed last month. That's usually not a good sign for a studio that has yet to produce a game, and it appears that is true here, too.

As of yesterday, all social media accounts for Studio Istolia were closed down, and as much evidence of the original trailers as Squenix could was purged from the internet. Apparently the Studio Istolia website had been redirecting users back to the main Square Enix site since around the time Baba left the studio and the company. Square Enix have yet to comment officially on this change, but the logical conclusion is that the studio and game are both now dead.

Update: Square Enix have confirmed that the studio has been shuttered.

Source: Siliconera, GamesIndustry
Posted in: News from Japan
(1 Comments – Last by Glenn Magus Harvey)
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