After the mild disappointment of the Sony Showcase, in which we got no Final Fantasy VII, the Summer Game Fest stream that just ended gave us a little bit more of what we're looking for: a brand-new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
This had been expected for the last week or so, when the official Twitter accounts in both Japanese and English started posting semi-cryptic updates about the progress of the game, and users noticed that they started exactly seven days before Keighley's SGF. Bad news out of the way, first - the trailer locks in a mostly-assumed bit of news, that the game is delayed now until "Early 2024." That same title card has some surprising news, too - the game is shipping on two discs. This obviously means that it's going to be a larger game than the first one, which shipped on a single disc for Playstation 5 even including Yuffie's Intermission. I'm going to do something odd for CoN news here and put my impressions of the trailer in a separate thread so they can be more easily avoided for users who want no chance of spoilers. For this post, I'll just suffice to say that my kid got very excited very quickly.
The other Final Fantasy VII game that's on the way, Ever Crisis, also got a new trailer and updated release information. In this case, the new information is that players can pre-register for the game now; additionally, players on Android devices can sign up to get into a closed beta starting today and running until just about the end of June. It seems like this game should make it to Switch, eventually, but unfortunately that was not part of today's announcment.The way I see it, if you're not completely sold on Final Fantasy XVI yet, there is at least a lot of good Final Fantasy VII coming... but probably not soon enough.
Sony's Playstation Showcase ended a little bit ago, and while there were a lot of very grabby games involved (go do some Googling for Sword of the Sea, Neva, and the Metal Gear Solid and Spider-Man news if you've got a Playstation 5), the only thing that got rebirthed was the Marathon IP from Bungie.
If you were looking for Square Enix in the hour-long presentation, your options were a bit limited; we can start with the announcement of a new team-based 4v4 shooter called "Foamstars," which appears to be made up primarily of OG Fortnite and Splatoon vibes. It's a third-person shooter where the core mechanic is shooting foam everywhere, whether to build, transport, or hunt. The world and characters look fun and shiny, but my gut call is that this might struggle to find an audience.The only other presence for Squenix in this event was for Final Fantasy XVI. It was an interesting change of pace from other recent info from the game (that I've failed to cover here), as it seemed to have a lot of focus on the world around the main characters and the motivations for the plot, versus the very combat-heavy videos we've seen over the last few months. In my opinion, it gives some much-needed texture to the world that they've shown us so far and is pretty helpful with the game coming in a month. But yes, not a thing about the Final Fantasy VII world. I guess nothing more to see for that game until later - hopefully not all the way until Tokyo Games Show, which is at the end of September?
Source: Square Enix NA YouTube
Posted in: Square-Enix News
A new prequel novel set in the Final Fantasy VII universe released in English earlier this week, entitled "Final Fantasy VII Remake: Traces of Two Pasts." The novel, written by Kazushige Nojima (the primary scenario writer behind both the game's original PS1 release as well as 2020's Remake) and translated to English by Stephen Kohler (whose other Square Enix-related translations include Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future and NieR:Automata - YoRHa Boys), explores the childhoods of characters Tifa Lockhart and Aerith Gainsborough, with roughly half of the book devoted to each character's backstory.
If you're a big fan of FF7's leading ladies, the novel answers numerous questions and expands upon the characters' origins, such as Tifa's introduction to Zangan and how Aerith came to be in Elmyra's care. And for the FF7 dorks who always wondered about that heretofore unnamed cat that shows up with Tifa in the Japan-exclusive Before Crisis flip-phone mobile game... Well, I'm happy to report that you're in luck, too! Find out all about Tifa's cat. And its cat antics. And how Tifa is most definitely a cat person.
Published by Square Enix Books, the hardcover version of the novel retails for $24.99 and the ebook edition for $14.99 (available on Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, and more).
The AmaCoN link is of course right here, and as of the time of this post, it's 10% off. I've already ordered a copy for my daughter's birthday, though there's a good chance I sneak in reading it before that myself.
Source: Square Enix Books/Penguin Random House
An embargo on media previews of Final Fantasy XVI was lifted today, leading to a deluge of new info about the game coming this summer. Gematsu, for their part, released a number of new videos from their time playing the game, over forty minutes' worth split over five distinct videos on YouTube. They are mostly centered around the same portion of the game, it would appear, to avoid being too spoilery, but those who want to know absolutely nothing about the game should probably avoid watching too terribly much. I'm not including videos in this post for that reason, too.
Without going too terribly much into those spoilers myself, I can say that the videos show off a lot of combat in various modes, including solo and party combat in both normal encounters, boss encounters, and an Eikon battle. The boss-level encounters showed off a number of quick-time events within battle, certainly more than I expected. Personally, I felt vibes of both Final Fantasy XIII and XV in the combat sequences.
There are some pieces that show where the devs are working towards that M-rating with the ESRB, as well; I caught a bit more bloody violence than we're used to in a Final Fantasy game during the Eikon battle, and I'm pretty sure I caught an f-bomb in one of the boss battles, though I admit I watched the videos at 1.5x speed due to a general lack of time this morning.
Gematsu also published a transcript of a roundtable with the executive team for Final Fantasy XVI, conducted earlier in February in conjunction with RPG Fan and Den of Geek. The interview touches a lot on bringing the "constant" elements of a Final Fantasy game into this new version that steps further into the action genre than any Final Fantasy before it. The entire interview is quite long and covers a number of other topics, too, including the design of boss and Eikon battles to mash-up genres and some questions about how the game looks pretty grimdark overall so far.
The media tour continues, too - Square Enix announced today that there will be another panel discussion about XVI at PAX East at the end of March (there will be a panel for XIV there, too). Final Fantasy XVI is still scheduled for a June 2023 release.
Source: Gematsu, Square Enix on Facebook
I did a quick search of the site to see if we'd covered this yet, and I haven't seen anyone mention it. It looks like this series started in Europe and Asia and I missed hearing about it then, but now there are 22 dates for this new Piano Concert series already announced for the Western Hemisphere:
- San Francisco, March 3
- Los Angeles, March 4
- Las Vegas, March 5
- Phoenix, March 6
- Dallas, March 8
- Houston, March 9
- Miami, March 11
- Tampa, March 12
- Atlanta, March 13
- Washington, D.C., March 14
- Philadelphia, March 15
- New York, March 17
- Boston, March 18
- Montreal, March 19
- Toronto, March 20
- Detroit, March 21
- Chicago, March 22
- Cincinatti, March 24
- Kansas City, March 25
- Minneapolis, March 26
- Denver, March 27
- Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 30/31
Tickets for all shows are already on sale; here's a trailer for the concert series that the promoter published recently as well.
Source: Crystalline Resonance Site
Final Fantasy VII turned 26 years old (timed from the original release in Japan) earlier this week, and the official Twitter account had a couple things to say about it. As a bit of trivia, Square Enix announced that January 31 would henceforth be registered as Final Fantasy VII Day in Japan; it's official but not (yet) a national holiday.
What I liked more, though, was the announcement of a special project using LEGO bricks. It's not clear yet if this is an official partnership with LEGO or what it might mean in the future, but on FF7 Day the official Twitter account announced a survey to allow people to vote on what iconic scene from Final Fantasy VII Remake would make the best brick diorama. The four options in the poll are the starry-night Nibelheim flashback, Aerith's House, the Sector 5 Church, and - almost predictably - the Honeybee Inn. The plan is for someone, I assume some sort of LEGO Master Builder, to build the winning scene; after it's complete and promoted worldwide, there will be a raffle to win the apparently-one-of-a-kind design.
That's the only part that makes me sad; at the moment, the company has said nothing about officially running the winning design through LEGO Ideas to put a fancy, expensive set on sale to the general public. The right set would mint money for both companies, so fingers crossed they announce something along those lines later.
Source: Final Fantasy VII Official Twitter