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The 2021 iteration of The Game Awards, the awards show for games that is kind of... I guess an awards show for games that also kind of wants to be E3-light, happened last evening. My assumption is that the "E3-light" part is really the more interesting for folks, though, and in that regard Square Enix did show up with a couple nice treats.
The biggest and most immediate news we already suspected: a release of Final Fantasy VII Remake for PC. That was confirmed last night, and not only that, it was confirmed for next week and also confirmed to include Intergrade. Unlike the PlayStation 5 release that pretty much nobody has gotten to play because nobody has a PS5, this one will not be able to be upgraded from a previous PS4 purchase. That said, the PC version will still play at up to 4k with a good enough rig, and the specs to play at 1080 seem quite reasonable aside from perhaps the 100GB space requirement! The game will be available on the Epic Games Store only, at least for now.
Forspoken, the game long known as Project Athia, also got a new trailer last night and, I believe, the first specific announced release date: May 24, 2022. The game will be released only for PlayStation 5 and Windows. The new trailer is below for your enjoyment.
On top of that, if you are interested in the awards themselves, Square Enix as a developer and publisher won five. Two were for Final Fantasy XIV, and one each for Life Is Strange: True Colors, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Nier: Replicant.
Source: Square Enix Blog, Wikipedia
There are new concerts coming for both of the major ongoing concert series from our friends at Square Enix. We've got new shows in the "A New World" series and one brief but big update in the "Distant Worlds" subseries focused on Final Fantasy VII Remake, so here's a quick list of updates since our last catch-up so you can see if they're coming near you.
For the smaller-scale "A New World" series, there are a lot of shows showing up mostly in the first half of 2022:
- Fort Worth, TX (at Anime Frontier): December 5
- Berkeley, CA: January 14, 2022
- San Diego, CA: Two Shows, January 15
- Houston, TX: January 22
- St. Paul, MN: Two Shows, March 18
- Ann Arbor, MI: March 19
- Cleveland, OH: March 20
- Rosemont, IL (at ACEN): May 22
There will not be a sweepstakes for tickets to that show at CoN. We tried... okay, we really didn't.
Source: A New World, Final Fantasy VII Remake Orchestra World Tour
Today's Nintendo Direct, while maybe a little short notice to fans, obviously had some time to build up industry steam; among the many wild announcements at this evening's Direct were details on four Square Enix games appearing on Switch in the very near future. A couple of the games had been previously announced, but a couple were pretty well out of left field. Here are the details:
- Actraiser: Renaissance, a detailed remaster of the really unique Super Nintendo game of the early 90's, was both announced and released today. It's got some really crisp and pretty visuals, a remastered soundtrack with new compositions, and some new content too, and it's out for Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam, Android and iOS already.
- Chocobo GP is a spiritual successor to the PlayStation Chocobo Racing game released over 20 years ago. From watching the trailer, it does look like a less polished version of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, frankly, but it could be pretty entertaining to race in some of the Final Fantasy-themed courses they might come up with, and it looks like the gameplay modes could add some diversity too. And it has Gilgamesh! It's coming for Switch sometime in 2022.
- Also coming in 2022, March 4 to be precise, is Triangle Strategy - it's no longer a "Project" but I guess a snappier name never really came to mind. Based on the demo from ages ago, this one could really be the successor to the original Final Fantasy Tactics that people have been waiting for, and not only that, Squenix have outlined some of the updates being made based on demo feedback and I think they're hitting the right ideas.
- Finally, an RPG from Yoko Taro that was first announced a couple weeks ago - Voice of Cards. Subtitled "The Isle Dragon Roars," this is a really unique looking game that plays as a combination of console and tabletop RPG, with the entire game laid out as playing cards and combat happening in a hybrid tabletop CCG/turn-based JRPG sort of format. The writing even appears to take some tone from the idea of a Dungeon Master providing exposition to a party at a D&D session. It's coming out at the end of October.
Source: Gematsu, IGN
The releases of the Pixel Remaster versions of the first six Final Fantasy games continues on September 8 with Final Fantasy IV, Square Enix have just announced. As with all the remasters, the releases are for Steam, Android and iOS and will be simultaneous worldwide.
Those who would like to play via Steam can currently preorder Final Fantasy IV alone on a 20% discount and will also receive a three-track soundtrack and two wallpapers. You can also order the bundle and get all the games that have already unlocked, all the future games as they release, and similar OST and wallpaper bundles for all six games also at a discount. The single game package is currently $14.39, and the six-game bundle is $74.82.
Sorry, still no information about a potential Switch release, for those of you asking.
Have you been cooped up in pandemic mode for the last year and a half like the rest of us? Do you want to get out and see some live Final Fantasy music before everything gets shut down again because we're still not winning against said pandemic? The Final Fantasy VII Remake concert series has an absolute shedload of dates coming up in North America that might be just for you. Check out this big list:
- August 27/28: Fort Worth, Texas
- October 16: Orlando
- October 23: Los Angeles
- November 12: Boston
- November 20: St. Petersburg, Florida
- November 27/28: Honolulu
- December 28/29: Atlanta
- January 28, 2022: Nashville
- February 6: Chicago (with a matinee and evening show)
- February 12: Montréal
- February 25: Omaha
- March 2/3: Toronto
- March 5: Guadalajara
- March 18/19: Denver
- March 23: Phoenix
- TBA: Two dates at Carnegie Hall, New York
Also, with Final Fantasy IV celebrating its 30th birthday this year, Square Enix have also announced a new vinyl album featuring original tracks and new arrangements of the classic Uematsu tracks. I'm not sure if they have sold through their quantity for pre-order already, but the official site is currently showing a "Waitlist" button. While I personally feel that Final Fantasy IV has one of the better overall soundtracks in the series - come watch me also gush about Celtic Moon in Discord sometime - the $40 price point for vinyl plus digital download dissuades me just a bit. The album is tentatively slated to release on August 25, so if you manage to get a copy please come let us know how it is!
The Pixel Remaster games announced around E3 this year now have started to show up, with the first three games of the series coming first. Gematsu is reporting that Final Fantasy I, II, and III will be the first games released on July 28 worldwide for Steam, iOS and Android. Steam has all three available for preorder at 20% discounts, leaving the prices at $9.59 US for the first two games and $14.39 for Final Fantasy III.
There are no updates for release dates on the Pixel Remaster releases of IV, V, or VI as yet, nor prices.
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