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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

A King's Tale, Free for All


Final Fantasy XV
A King's Tale, a Final Fantasy XV sidestory previously available only with certain preorders of the main game, is now available to everyone on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. And it's free! The game is a sort of prequel to Final Fantasy XV, and takes place as a bedtime story told by King Regis to a young Prince Noctis. Unlike the action RPG of the main title, this side game is a 2.5D, sprite-based sidescrolling beat-em-up with a Final Fantasy flair.

The game features King Regis as the main character, with access to battle assistance from his friends - like father, like son. He's got access to a variety of weapons, magic, and summons to fight against monsters from the Final Fantasy XV universe, expressed also as sprites.

Again, the game is available worldwide for download today, for free, with no purchase of the original game required. Enjoy!

Source: EuroGamer
Posted in: North America

More Distant Worlds Shows Added for Final Fantasy's 30th Anniversary


Distant Worlds
Many new shows were announced for the Distant Worlds concert tour back in December, but many more have joined the tour for the celebration of Final Fantasy's 30th anniversary. The expanded tour dates span 8 total days across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
  • Sydney, Australia: July 1
  • Chicago, Illinois: September 16
  • London, England: November 4
  • Lyon, France: November 18
  • Toronto, Canada: December 2
  • Osaka, Japan: December 8
  • Tokyo, Japan: December 9-10

The larger list of tour dates intrigues me as a citizen of Chicago, so I'll be getting my tickets as soon as they go on sale tomorrow, 14 February. It was well worth my time the last time I attended and I can't wait to go back, especially since I now know that there should be abundant 3DS StreetPass opportunities. Anybody else going to get tickets for one of these shows, or one of the earlier-announced dates?

Source: Distant Worlds
Posted in: North America
(4 Comments – Last by Neal)
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Final Fantasy XIV-Themed Room Escape Coming to US


Final Fantasy XIV
Part of the Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary in Japan is an "Escape the Room" game with a Final Fantasy XIV theme. I never commented on it in a news post, I don't think, because I didn't expect such a niche part of the experience to ever make it over here... turns out I was wrong, and a game called "Trials of Bahamut" will be made available in at least eight American cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Houston, Orlando, Chicago, and New York. Specific locations and dates are not yet available, nor any information about other cities possibly being added to the mix.

I'm not sure if this is the same game as set up in Japan and just localized, or if it's a brand new experience, but it's really of no consequence unless you're planning to travel to do both, right? If you're not familiar with the rapidly-growing escape-game genre, it's pretty simple. The game in this case will be set up for six players to solve puzzles against a sixty-minute timer. Players will need to solve all the puzzles to "escape" within that window, or they lose the game; escapees then compete with other teams for the fastest escape time. This particular game is built around Bahamut's escape from a dungeon; teams that complete all the puzzles will defeat the King of Dragons before he is fully revived, and teams that fail will be, presumably, destroyed by the creature.

The game will be put on by Scrap Entertainment, known for standard Escape the Room games in the US as well as a new Legend of Zelda-themed game that has just opened in San Francisco and is planned for expansion.

Source: Polygon, Real Escape Game: Trials of Bahamut
Posted in: North America
(1 Comments – Last by Kame)
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Mobius Final Fantasy Releasing on Steam


Steam
And soon! On February 6, the game released in 2015 in Japan and 2016 elsewhere will be released on Steam. Mobius is a Final Fantasy game that, unlike most mobile titles from Square Enix, was developed for higher-end systems using Unity, which should make it a more interesting visual experience on desktops; this version of the game was released in Japan late last year, so one would assume that it will be a relatively trouble-free version for gamers to play. The game's director, Naoki Hamaguchi, told the English Square Enix blog that the game will support resolutions up to 4K and that many players will be able to expect framerates of 60 to 120 FPS, which would certainly be a departure from some PC games the company has released in the past.

Though the release over here is only a week away, the game does not appear available for pre-order in the Steam store currently, so it's not possible to confirm pricing at this time.

The release is timed for a global event in-game. Starting the next day, February 7, a tie-in to the Final Fantasy VII Remake will begin that will feature Cloud arriving in Mobius' world, Palamecia, to fight alongside the game's protagonist Wol in a yet-unannounced scenario. Hamaguchi explained that the assets used to build Cloud and any other Final Fantasy VII-related assets used in Mobius were drawn straight from the assets built for Final Fantasy VII Remake, so Mobius will be the first opportunity for most players to see any live glimpse of what could be coming in Final Fantasy VII's future.

Source: Siliconera, Square Enix Blog
Posted in: North America

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