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The World at Large
For gamers out there still enjoying Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix has just released a long-awaited companion app to streamline the gameplay experience. It's available free for both iOS and Android, and provides an app interface to a number of useful features, enough so that it's hard to pick out which might be the best. Players with active subscriptions can chat with other players from the app, organize event reminders and send invites to friends to help plan raids or general gameplay sessions, organize their inventory, and even buy and sell items in the open market and submit bug reports.
Of course, these features are useful mainly to active players, which is why an active subscription is required. However, if your subscription lapses, the app will keep your chat in storage for up to 30 days while you potentially reactivate. Very cool!
Source: Final Fantasy XIV Official Site
The Pre-E3 Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour concert in Los Angeles was last night, after which Square Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts III finally had a release date. Unfortunately for CoN readers looking to get the game under their Christmas tree or other denominational holiday apparatus, that date is not going to be in 2018. However, it won't be that much more of a wait - Asia will get the game on January 25 for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and North America and Europe will get it on January 29.
The announcement was shown in a new trailer exclusive to the concert, of which the highlight clearly must be Sora cooking with Remy from Pixar's Ratatouille. Tetsuya Nomura tweeted after the announcement that there would be more information and more trailers at E3 on the show floor; I expect that this new trailer will be among them.
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
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.
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
Apparently, there is a non-Distant Worlds Final Fantasy symphony tour that has been around a few years, but I don't recall having heard about it until just the other day. It's called Final Symphony and differs significantly from Distant Worlds; while the latter features arrangements that are largely orchestral takes on the original pieces, Final Symphony combines themes from a few select games into acts of a symphony, with each movement attempting to express a portion of a game's world through a new interpretation of its music.
Being a symphony, each show plays the same music, with no minor setlist deviations as one might find at a Distant Worlds show, and the bulk of the show comes in three acts, first from Final Fantasy VI, then Final Fantasy X, and closing with Final Fantasy VII. There are four shows currently scheduled:
- San Diego, July 21
- Baltimore, July 23
- San Francisco, July 27
- Auckland, October 21
On top of this, there's a second iteration on Final Symphony, with music from Final Fantasy XIII, IX, VIII, and V - amazing as that sounds to me, though, there are no currently scheduled performances.
Final Symphony is available for digital download from Amazon.
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