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E3 is Here: Have Some Trailers


E3 Expo
While we're still on the eve of E3 itself, as is the norm these days the news starts far earlier. For our favorite multinational conglomerate tasked with making video games (yes, that's intentionally bad writing), that means trailers atop trailers.

First up was one of the more eagerly-awaited by many Square Enix fans, for Kingdom Hearts III. While the game still has no release date, there's plenty of new content in this trailer, shown for the first time as part of the first Kingdom Hearts orchestral show, which took place adjacent to E3 in Los Angeles. In it, there are a number of previously-unseen battle sequences, as well as cutscenes with Sora, Goofy, Donald, Maleficient, Hades, Pete, and Xehanort, voiced in Japanese. For this game, a new trailer will be released again next month.

The newly-announced Dissidia Final Fantasy NT also got some video before the conference even begins, with PlayStation 4 gameplay at the fore. While everyone in battle is listed as "Nameless," there is a lot of Cloud, Lightning, Terra, Zidane, Dark Knight Cecil, Squall, and several others shown in battle, and even more shown in cutscene.

For Final Fantasy XV, there's actually no video - yet - but Squenix did announce that when Episode Prompto debuts later this month, additional DLC will be on offer to turn the Regalia into an off-road monster car. I'm pretty attached to the Regalia, to the point where I didn't even do any cosmetic mods to it in my playthrough, so seeing the promotional image actually makes me a little angry.

Finally, though it wasn't unexpected, at the Microsoft press conference Sunday night, Squenix announced the prequel to Life is Strange, subtitled "Before the Storm." Like the first game, this will be an episodic release, comprised of three episodes. The first will be released on August 31 of this year.

Stay tuned for more Squenix news as the week goes on!

Square Enix Promote Live E3 Streams


E3 Expo
E3 starts in just a few days, and in the leadup, Square Enix have announced their schedule for live-streamed content via YouTube and Twitch. It's just a schedule with titles, so it's not really groundbreaking content on its own, but it will definitely give folks an idea of when they might most want to tune in. Here are some of the highlights, at least according to my eye:
  • On day one, June 13, the stream will start at 2:45pm Eastern with a brief opening presentation, and will go straight into a half-hour stream of the last thirty years of Final Fantasy. Following that will be a block covering Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, and then a "trailer line up" which I assume will group all the con's new trailers together in one place.
  • At 7:30pm Eastern that day, the E3 "Letter from the Producer" for Final Fantasy XIV will begin.
  • On day two, starting at 1pm Eastern, the new Lost Sphear will take the spotlight, followed by announcements regarding the mobile games Brave Exvius and Mobius.
  • At 6pm, they'll take us into the trading card game, a NieR concert and Automata-related stream, and conclude with a stream of Brave Exvius.
For more details and the full schedule, visit the Square Enix Members Blog, and follow along here for all the E3 news we can manage.
Posted in: North America

Dissidia Comes to Consoles with NT


Dissida: Final Fantasy
In the not-too-distant past, if you wanted to play the Dissidia Final Fantasy fighting game series, you'd be stuck on your PSP's small screen or saddled with a flight to Japan for the 2015 arcade version. In the not-too-distant future, though, your options are going to open up, as a port of the arcade version to PlayStation 4 was announced yesterday. Slated for the first half of 2018, the new release will be titled Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.

This version will contain over twenty playable characters, including Final Fantasy XV's Noctis; at current count, that would bring the playable characters to 23 with seven summons, though it's likely that both arcade and console version will get more between now and launch. Unlike previous iterations, there won't be a specific "story mode" to the game; however, Square Enix promise that the game does contain a story that will unfold in a fixed path through "event scenes" among the battles. The core game will use the same 3v3 battle system as the arcade version, but will also add in some new battle modes specific to the console release. It will also have the ongoing character and other updates that the arcade version has been known for, but the arcade version (again, in Japan only) will get any new updates first.

And it's going to be playable next week at E3!

Source: Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Official Site, Gematsu
Posted in: North America

More Orchestral Final Fantasy News


Distant Worlds
It's one of those times of year where we get new information about some Final Fantasy orchestral music, both in the Distant Worlds and New Worlds concert series. There's just one announcement for the former, but it's a pretty fancy one: Los Angeles is getting a performance of the new Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary setlist on January 20 of 2018, at the Microsoft Theater. Tickets are on sale today - in fact, sales started just as I was writing this.

For A New World, there are a boatload of new dates.
  • Vancouver, July 30 (at Anime Evolution)
  • Montreal, August 6 (at Otakuthon)
  • Houston, August 11
  • Phoenix, August 12
  • San Antonio, September 2 (at San Japan, with composer Naoshi Mizuta attending)
  • Denver, October 20
If you're in Salt Lake City or Portland, Oregon, you still might be able to get tickets to Distant Worlds or A New World (respectively) for shows this coming Saturday, too, don't forget!




Source: Distant Worlds, A New World
Posted in: North America

Final Fantasy XIV Goes (Somewhat) Free to Play


Final Fantasy XIV
Square Enix announced today that MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV will, as of now, be free for all trial accounts up until level 35. This lifting of restriction will apply to any trial account, whether it's created now or dates back to day one; even expired trials will be unlocked for players. This means, Gematsu reports, that characters left on expired accounts can be picked up right where left off, and all accounts can do all of the gameplay available to any other account at or below level 35, including various jobs, the first 10 levels of Deep Dungeon, Golden Saucer, and other unique features.

The trial can be downloaded from PlayStation stores in North America and Europe as before, or from the XIV website for PC gamers. The restriction has been lifted serverside, it would appear, so users who already have the game client should need only to start it up and download any lingering updates to pick the game up again.

Source: Gematsu
Posted in: North America

Highlights from the Zodiac Age PAX East Presentation


I'm in my second year of not being in Boston, so I'm missing another PAX East. But my friends on the ground attended the Final Fantasy XII panel earlier today, so if you missed it on the livestream, here's what you missed. As we already knew, the game will be remastered for PlayStation 4 and will be based on the "International Zodiac Job System," which is a fancy way of saying that it has the job-based license board never before released in the West. Today we learned further that the game will not have just a remastered musical selection, but instead a completely new recording with a live orchestra. Additionally, a "Trial Mode" has been added, which appears to be a 100-stage set of set pieces, special challenge battles to tackle. This mode promises, according to the presentation, "unexpected characters [joining] the fight as an opponent!"

Special editions were announced as well, with the collector's edition containing a few trading cards, mini-busts of the Judge Magisters, and a steelbook with the game and soundtrack. A separate steelbook edition, with just the game, will also be available for the July 11 launch.

And, as a special surprise at the end, World of Final Fantasy popped up to show off Balthier as a new DLC character coming soon!

Hat tip for these snapshots and the video to our man on the ground in Boston. Hopefully we can see more later this weekend!
Posted in: North America

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©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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