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News from September 2012

IGN Posts Top 100 RPGs of All Time (This Year!)


Ah, top x lists. Defined solely to create arguments and page views among a site's readership, because nobody has ever agreed with such a list completely, ever. IGN knows this, as do we all, and right here I'm going to throw them some more page views out of the goodness of my own heart.

Well, not really. I'd have a hard time caring about this, given how generally without merit I find most of these lists, but this one is tailor-made for CoN: three of the games we cover are in the top five, and not one of them is Final Fantasy VII.

Don't worry, Final Fantasy VII is on there! While Square Enix claimed over a quarter of the spots on the overall list, the games we cover came in as follows:
  • Final Fantasy VI: 1st
  • Chrono Trigger: 2nd
  • Final Fantasy IV: 5th
  • Final Fantasy VII: 11th
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: 14th
  • Final Fantasy I: 73rd
The only game of ours that didn't get included was Final Fantasy V.

Enjoy arguing the list here, at least until they release a new list. Have fun - it's miserable to navigate.

Source: IGN

When Lightning Strikes Thrice


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Last week, we reported that Square Enix had confirmed Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. We didn't know much more than that at the time, but here we are now, a week later, sporting the proper logo for the newspost image and a whole boatload of facts for your cranium (courtesy of a famitsu interview).

First off, the game is already 30% done; this isn't just concept stuff being thrown around (no offense to concept stuff). It will be the final entry in the Lightning-FFXIII saga, and it will have only one, happy, not-ambiguous ending. So that's refreshing. Lightning's character will continue her evolution into an increasingly refined individual. They just grow up so fast *sniffle*.

The developers of Lightning Returns have a very clear idea of where the game sits in relation to its two predecessors. FFXIII was, as its detractors have frequently brought to attention, story driven; FFXIII-2 was player driven (the path of the story was directed by the player). Lightning Returns, however, will be 'world driven', or driven based on the character's interactions in time with the changing world.

Time is the key concept in Lightning Returns. Everything revolves around it: gameplay time has a roughly direct relation to in-game time (two hours equals one day), people have stopped aging, and clocks will be found frequently throughout the world as an environmental symbol of the constant progress of time. There are only thirteen days' worth of life remaining in the world (or should I say, XIII days' worth) - reminiscent of Majora's Mask though without repeating the sequence, or the use of thirteen as the number of days over which the events concerning FFXIII took place - but players can lengthen or shorten this window of time by defeating enemies, clearing quests, helping people or even not helping people.

In FFXIII, players were restricted by time: the plot had its characters working against the clock, and as a result players were unable to 'stop and smell the roses' in the ways that they are usually able to do in . In FFXIII-2, players had (relative) freedom over time, traveling forwards and backwards across it. In another example of the theoretical continuity linking the three games, Lightning Returns once again puts the player at the mercy of time.

The battle system will feature only Lightning, going from three characters in FFXIII to two characters in FFXIII-2 to this, a final and full focus on the central figure of the trilogy (yet another way in which the game's developers see the progression of the Lightning-FFXIII saga). As mentioned in our previous post, the player will have free control over Lightning's movement in battle; what we've learned since then is that, while the game will still feature some form of ATB gauge, Lightning's actions in-battle will not be selected via menu commands but rather assigned to controller buttons, moving this latest title even closer towards live active battle.

It certainly seems from the information above that Lightning Returns will not only be distinguishing itself from its two predecessors but from the previous entries in the Final Fantasy series as a whole.

That's all we have on Lightning for now - be sure to scroll down a bit for the Final Fantasy anniversary news Josh posted earlier this morning.

Source: Andriasang
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square Enix News Tidbits: Celebration and Future


Square Enix
Sorry for the general lack of tidbits over the last month. It's been a crazy time in Rangersville. Let's catch up a bit, knowing that some of these things might not actually be news to some of you any more. Again, sorry!

The 25th Anniversary showcase that Squenix threw for the Final Fantasy franchise has now come and gone, and it definitely seemed to be quite the to-do in celebration of one of the longest-running and biggest-selling franchises in gaming history. Big names from each of the big three console makers spoke to talk about how Final Fantasy has impacted their own companies and gaming as a whole; no word on if Microsoft was mocked by the other two for not having much to contribute on that score. Shinji Hashimoto took the stage to announce the big bundle, a collection of every one of the first thirteen main-line Final Fantasy games either for PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, or PSP. The package also includes a video disc, an artbook, a two-disc music compilation, a special Amano piece, and even a code for a Final Fantasy XIV item (which obviously will be the thing that really moves units). It's on sale on 18 December for about $450 US/350 Euro/280 GBP. If you have that kind of cash laying about - and who doesn't? - there's probably nothing stopping you from ordering from the Square Enix store. You just probably won't be able to play most of the games. Now, if they'd just offer a lesser version of the package without the games, I'd order one right now, I think. I have most of the games in the package already and these new releases don't appear to actually contain anything new.

Also coming from the celebration was the announcement of three new Ultimania books, called "Final Fantasy Memorial." These, too, release on 18 December Each of the three books covers an era of Final Fantasy games, from I - VI, VII - IX, and X - XIV. They can be ordered from the Square Enix shop as well, and there will apparently be a bonus gift for buying all three together. Of course, to do that will set you back another $120 or so. They do promise some new, never-before-seen artwork, and the implied promise of lots of words in Japanese that you probably can't read. Continuing the trend of 25th Anniversary merchandise, there will be novelizations released in Japan sometime later this year of the first three Final Fantasy games. You know, in case you wanted to read hundreds of pages to find out what happens in a game you probably played more than a decade ago. These will cost you a lot less, so maybe they're easier trinkets to pick up for collectors!

The Tokyo Game Show is coming up soon, and that's always a big deal for Squenix. However, and this should not shock you, but there will be no Versus at TGS this year. According to a member of the Japanese Square Enix Members site, Hashimoto has said that XIV and Lightning Returns will be the priorities this year on the Final Fantasy front. However, if you want to see Dragon Quest X in HD, TGS will have a stage demo at the show, running the game on Wii U. With regards to what is playable at TGS, it's not yet known. However, it appears that Bravely Default, Final Fantasy III for PSP, and the rebooted Final Fantasy XIV will be represented along with a variety of other games either developed or published by the many-headed Squenix behemoth.

There's more new news about Lightning Returns coming up, as well, which Death Penalty will be writing up hot on my heels!

Source: andriasang, SiliconEra

It's Trilogy Time: Lightning Returns


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
In a newspost two months ago, we mentioned a few comments from FFXIII and FFXIII-2 director Motomu Toriyama that sounded an awful lot like a third FFXIII game. Well, at a recent presentation, Toriyama confirmed our suspicions with the announcement of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. That's right, it's FFXIII-3.

You'll notice just from the name that some odd things are going on here. As was a case withthe rebranding for FFXIV A Realm Reborn, the name "Lightning Returns" as well as its very non-FF logo (included in source) seem to be distancing the title from the main Final Fantasy series. While many potential motivations could account for this distancing policy, I find it a bit odd given that the second FFXIII title was simply called FFXIII-2.

Toriyama mentioned a few additional details regarding the game. Player customization of Lightning will play a major role, not merely as aesthetic guise (which seems to be the case for FFXIII-2's variety of outfits) but as a relevant contribution to her gameplay abilities. Could this be something as pronounced as FFX-2's Dress Spheres? Unlikely, but who knows.

In addition to being able to control what Lightning wears, players will have much more control of what Lightning does on area maps: players will be able to interact with the environment via ducking, hanging, jumping, etc, in contrast to the automatic jumping of the original FFXIII. Players will even be able to control Lightning's movement in-battle, something that has been done successfully in several other RPG series but never attempted in a Final Fantasy game. Clearly, the third entry in Lightning's story is straying from traditional territory in more ways than mere nomenclature.

In addition, screenshots were released depicting cities and natural landscapes very much in the art style of the previous two FFXIII titles, as well as concept art for smaller objects and buildings.

Source: Kotaku
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.