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News from February 2016

Presenting: The Second Annual Square Bowl!


Square Enix
Are you worried that you won't get enough video games during the Super Bowl weekend? Is the Super Bowl not enough of a "game" for you?

Don't worry, because you're in luck! Starting at 7:00 pm PST this Friday, game developers Teddy Dief (Hyper Light Drifter) and Adriel Wallick (Train Jam) are hosting the second Square Bowl a 48-hour event to benefit the Able Gamers charity.

Last year they did Final Fantasy VII, and they are following up with Final Fantasy VIII. The two indie game developers will be joined throughout their 48-hour playthrough by other game developers.

From the looks of it, watching the stream will be free, but there will be a donate button under the video and chat. You can find the stream in the following link.

http://squarebowl.tv/

The AbleGamers Foundation is a charitable organization "that aims to improve the overall quality of life for those with disabilities through the power of video games." They do this by outreach to gamers with disabilities, "consultation for AAA and indie developers, free of charge, to assist in making each game as accessible as possible," and by providing grants for "assistive technology" in order to give gamers with disabilities access to technology and equipment to make their playing easier.

Now, what will it be like? Fun? Informative? ... (Boring?) I'm not sure. I was unaware of the first Square Bowl, so I can't tell you what this one will be like. But it's for a good cause, so tune in.

You can find more information on Teddy Dief and Adriel Wallick from the same website where you can reach the stream above.

Source: Game Informer, The AbleGamers, Square Bowl
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report 7.0


Final Fantasy XV
A lot of new Final Fantasy XV information was revealed in Active Time Report 7.0 last weekend, and I missed it all due to moving. In case you missed it too, read on and watch the ATR at your leisure.

The main focus of ATR7 is that the game is now 80% complete and that they consider development to be close to the final build, meaning there will likely be no further updates until after they consider the game to have gone gold.

There are a lot of mechanics and minor updates wrapped up in the beginning, almost like a visual changelog. There are a couple things I hadn't seen anything of yet, such as the snare combat mechanic and the fluid dynamics of characters in deep water, that looked pretty great. Also... frogs! Additionally, the overall updates show that the camera and UI have been drastically changed since the original demo, improving the overall battle mechanics.

This update showed more of Niflheim and its role and personnel, introducing in particular a dragoon officer named Aranea Highwind - it's worth noting that she has a pretty cool take on some classic Kain Highwind-style armor. The story frames Niflheim as a controlling, mechanically oriented kingdom expanding over Lucis, in a manner that echoes a bit of the plot setup for Final Fantasy VI.

A huge gameplay mechanic introduced this time around has been nicknamed "Final Fantasy Solid" in some circles; a stealth mechanic in which Noctis and crew infiltrate and take down Niflheim bases from within appears to be a significant part of the plot this time around. Destructible and otherwise interactive environments play a role in these takedowns as well, both in terms of destroying and commandeering Niflheim equipment.

With regards to magic, the typical magic system has been modified in XV to be more focused on a few elementals and "ring" magic, which is available only later in the game. The elemental spells have improved efficacy in certain environments, and have the ability to use the environments to spread to wider ranges and therefore envelop more targets.

Coming up next: the Uncovered event. This is the big one, and it's happening in Los Angeles (and free tickets are available, Californian readers!). In this event, the final demo will be announced, the 2016 release date for the final game will be announced, as well as price and "other details."

If that's not enough for XV for you, Gematsu collected a gallery of screenshots to check out too.

Source: Siliconera, Gematsu, Game Informer

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©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.