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Found 20 results

  1. 2016 turned out to be a pretty big year for Final Fantasy as a series with the release of the long-awaited Final Fantasy XV and smaller titles such as World of Final Fantasy. It was surprising, then, that 2017 gave us less in the way of major new Final Fantasy releases save for ongoing episodic DLC for Final Fantasy XV and an HD remaster in the way of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, despite this being the series' 30th Anniversary. However, Square Enix's Final Fantasy brand manager, Shinji Hashimoto, is promising major news for the series in 2018. Hashimoto shared a few tidbits about the company's plans in an interview with Edamame Arcade Channel as follows. "Next year will be the 31st year, and our teams are busy working on new titles," Hashimoto said. "They are all gearing up for a big year next year." "I want to thank the fans for 30 years of support," Hashimoto said in his closing statements in the interview. "Next year will be a big one, and we will bring exciting, new Final Fantasy games to the world." What games might we see in 2018? The only two Final Fantasy titles we know of that are in development right now are the Final Fantasy VII remake, which was previously said to be episodic, and Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, which brings the fighting series to the current generation of consoles. While we're unlikely to get a release of the former's first installment, the latter is planned to kick off the new year with its release on January 30. As for what else might be released, Hashimoto's comments hint that there may be some surprises in store, perhaps with some as-of-yet unannounced games that may release next year. Might we be getting a new Theatrhythm title, a World of Final Fantasy sequel, or even our first look at Final Fantasy XVI? We'll have to wait and see. Source: USGamer What do you think Square Enix has in store for Final Fantasy in 2018? Let us know in the comments below?
  2. Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata mentioned in the past that a multiplayer update would be coming for the game for everyone who bought the Season Pass, but little else has been said about it since. The good news is we're finally getting that multiplayer update next month on October 31st, and it's titled 'Comrades.' The big question on most peoples' minds about this expansion like is: "How does multiplayer fit into FFXV's story, especially when it's about Noctis and his three friends?" And the answer to that gets a bit spoilery; needless to say, you might want to finish Chapter 13 before reading further if you haven't gotten that far yet and want to avoid any spoilers. In any case, this mode takes place in the world that's engulfed in darkness after Noctis disappears. You'll create your own member of the Kingsglaive (who'd managed to survive the attack on Crown City) and set out to discover what happened to the prince while tapping into different powers and abilities from various Lucian kings. Square Enix mentions that there will also be single player quests in addition to multiplayer ones to play through. You can check out the trailer for Final Fantasy XV's 'Comrades' multiplayer expansion below. Source: Press Release Are you interested in playing FFXV's multiplayer expansion?
  3. Another month, another set of DLC updates for Final Fantasy XV. This month sees four new updates, the biggest of them being the wearable Magitek Exosuits. Essentially, the Magitek Exosuits will grant players 30 minutes of invincibility per day, which can be useful for the more dangerous enemies out there. And even after the invincibility wears off, you can still wear the suit. Next up is a new quest called "O Partner, My Partner," which is accessible at Meldacio Hunter HQ after you complete Chapter 8. There's also a new "Cross Chain" system which lets players increase the number of linked attacks, causing massive damage to more heavily defended enemies. But it's only available after players acquire two Royal Arms: the Sword of the Wise, and Axe of the Conqueror. Finally, the Moogle Chocobo Carnival is returning in Altissia from July 31 to September, where players can play mini-games, participate in Chocobo water races, and buy special Moogle Chocobo items at the Square Enix cafe. Source: Press Release Will you be checking about any of the new DLC from July's update?
  4. GP Staff

    Game of the Year 2016: GP's Top 10

    We're nearly a month into the new year, but you didn't think we forgot to post GP's top 10 games of 2016, did you? Okay, so it's a little late, but better late than never, right? In any case, there were quite a few memorable and great games in 2016; our individual game of the year lists tended to reflect that a lot as each one had at least a few unique games that didn't pop up in others. Some games dominated the conversation for most of the year, some were quaint surprises, and yet others popped up at the last minute to steal the spotlight. And in a year where shooters had one of their biggest years in a while, perhaps the most surprising thing about our list is that only one made it on (which speaks to the quality of the games that released in 2016). But enough talk! Here are the ten games the GP staff and contributors voted on as our overall Top 10 games for 2016. Enjoy! 10. Kirby Planet Robobot "Kirby“s latest outing has me reflecting upon my childhood, and how these games make me feel, in a different way than I expected. I simply haven't felt this impressed, this unbelievably delighted from a Kirby game since my childhood. I've often said that Return to Dream Land marks the pinnacle of traditional Kirby gameplay. But Planet Robobot takes it -- and fans“ expectations -- and manages to make everything feel like a mechanized wonderland." - Jonathan Higgins 9. Severed The beauty and the pain portrayed in Severed is matched only by how simple and refined the combat is. It may not have the whimsy of their other games, but Severed is easily one of DrinkBox Studios“ best, and one of the best games overall on the Vita -- not just of this year, but of any year. - Chris "Wildcard Corsair" Garcia 8. Owlboy So much about what makes Owlboy worth experiencing isn“t in the mechanics, but in its cast and environments. You won“t feel triumphant in the end — it“ll be more like you just watched a really awesome Disney movie. The folks behind Owlboy put so much meticulous care into their work that it took nine years to make. The end result is absolutely worth your own time and attention. - Jonathan Higgins 7. Pokemon Sun and Moon Alola is an absolutely, positively phenomenal place. Its challenges were versatile; I“ve never had as much fun with a main story in a mainline Pokémon game. The soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal; “The Battle At the Summit!” is probably Masuda and his team at their absolute best. Narrative direction? Superior, bested only by Black & White. Music, sounds, and general ambiance? Also top-tier. All of this and more make Sun & Moon easy to recommend to first-timers, or lapsed fans. - Jonathan Higgins 6. The Witness It's hard to follow up a game like Braid, but developer Jonathan Blow did it. The Witness is truly unlike any other game I've ever played, thanks to its unique combination of exploration and puzzles. The game teaches you organically how to think about the solutions to each puzzle, and the way that each area is divided into different types of puzzles is extremely well done. It is, without a doubt, the smartest game of the year. - Jason Clement 5. Tokyo Mirage Sessions As a fan of both Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei, I can certainly understand the disappointment some felt when Tokyo Mirage Sessions turned out to be a game that in no way matched what they had envisioned Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem would be. But the heart of both franchises shines through in ways expected and not, with a top-notch presentation and a warm heart that in my mind turned out to be the Wii U“s last and greatest hurrah. - Justin Graham 4. Final Fantasy XV Though it“s rough around the edges, Noctis“s road trip tale of brotherhood and a desire to find his betrothed after his kingdom has fallen under imperial rule shines through where it counts, wearing its inspirations from past Final Fantasy games on its sleeve while standing well on its own. And the game“s ending is not only rewarding, but one of the very best that the series has delivered yet, nailing the game“s themes one after another. - Justin Graham 3. Dragon Quest Builders Building has never been quite as compelling in video games as it is in Dragon Quest Builders. While the simplistic combat is perhaps the game's weakest point, Dragon Quest Builders is by far one of the deepest experiences I've played this year thanks to its blend of exploration, construction, and traditional JRPG mechanics. Nearly everything about it from its addicting gameplay to its fantastic soundtrack make it an outstanding experience and one of this year's biggest surprises. - Jason Clement 2. Overwatch I won“t tell you my exact hour count, but I“ve put a disgusting amount of time into Overwatch. You know how I complained about not having enough time to play games in my backlog? Well, I'm pretty sure I could've finished a couple of RPGs with the amount of time I have thrown at Overwatch. But anyway, Overwatch is a total blast to play. Rich with personality/polish, an incredibly varied playable cast, rewarding team-based gameplay, and plenty of positive reinforcement built right within the game makes the consistent fun I've had with it far outweigh the criticisms I could level against it. And from someone who pretty much never plays first-person shooter multiplayer is incredibly high praise. - Barrel 1. The Last Guardian The Last Guardian is, by all accounts, a game that very possibly could have come out and completely underwhelmed; after all, it was in development for some eight years (and more often than not, those types of deals tend to be disasters in the end). But somehow, some way, Fumito Ueda and his team at GenDesign pulled it off. By no means is it perfect; playing the game can be challenging at times due to some awkward controls and stubborness on Trico's part to obey at times, but the journey is worth it at the end and incredibly compelling. The Last Guardian has some of the most stunning environments and architecture I've ever seen in a video game. The visuals are breathtaking, especially when you're in the outdoors areas and see Trico's feathers glistening in the light and ruffling in the wind. The Last Guardian is triumphant, its story possibly exceeding what Team Ico had accomplished in its two previous games thanks to a touching narrative that is built on the relationship between the boy and Trico throughout their journey. I can't imagine how Ueda plans to top this, but I can't wait to find out. - Jason Clement
  5. Jason Clement

    Game of the Year 2016: Jason's Picks

    I'll skip the real-world comparisons and say that for the most part, 2016 was a pretty good year for video games overall. Two of the most long-awaited games finally came out (and not a moment too soon), and they were both surprisingly excellent. Many more great indie games made their debut, and I'm looking forward to catching up with a lot of them over the next year. And the 3DS had one of its best years yet in terms of RPGs for the handheld. Heck, we even got cool surprises like the NES Classic Edition. As usual, I want to acknowledge some of this year's runner-ups, such as Firewatch and Stories: The Path of Destinies; both of which nearly made my list. Coatsink's Shu also deserves a lot of credit for being one of the most original games I played this year as well. And last but not least, Overwatch is a game I wish I had spent more time with, but ultimately there just wasn't enough time to play everything. In any event, here are my top 10 games of 2016. 10. Fire Emblem Fates Fire Emblem Fates was far and away one of my most anticipated titles coming into 2016. Awakening was my game of the year for 2013, and now the series was plunging headfirst into a story that would see new protagonist Corrin split between two warring sides: his adopted family and the family of his birth. It was an interesting twist and a great setup for a potentially epic story and character-rich plot, even if the story gets away from itself a bit at certain points. The strategic gameplay is still as good as ever and I enjoyed pairing up various units to see how their relationships would unfold. 9. Abzu Confession: I was already completely biased in favor of Abzu from the start, especially since two of the three major creative people behind Journey (aka my game of the year in 2012) worked on it. Also, in light of that latter fact, it's also not surprising that Abzu is essentially Journey except under the water, in a sense. However, it does not out-Journey Journey, and that's okay. Abzu is a short but breathtaking experience, and Austin Wintory's woodwind-filled orchestrated soundtrack adds to the epic feel of swimming alongside majestic sea creatures and currents in exotic underwater locales. There's virtually no challenge to it, but I almost can't wait to dive back in and experience it all again. 8. Batman: The Telltale Series The last Telltale game I had played before this was The Wolf Among Us, which I really enjoyed, but for some reason I hadn't had the desire to play any more after that -- until Batman, that is. Unbeknownst to players at the outset, Batman: The Telltale Series exists in its own universe, meaning Telltale gets to tell Batman as they want to tell him. Everything you knew about Batman potentially gets thrown out the window, which is refreshing and exciting to me, and Telltale used this to their advantage to tell one of the best Batman stories of recent years. Also, it probably has the most exciting quick-time-event sections I've ever experienced. Season 2 can't come soon enough. 7. Star Fox Zero If you haven't played Star Fox Zero yet, you might be surprised to see it on this list. Aren't the controls terrible? Isn't it a bad game? And to that I say no, it's not a bad game. At all. The controls aren't 100% ideal, but they're fine once you get used to them for 30 minutes or so (with occasional spottiness). But underneath the stigma of its motion controls, Star Fox Zero contains one of the best Star Fox games, bar none. Platinum's signature is definitely felt in this game especially with certain levels that feature over-the-top action (especially some of the latter ones), and it was a joy to hear the new songs as well as new renditions of old classics. It may not be exactly what everyone wanted, but as a reimagining of Star Fox 64, it definitely achieves what it sets out to do (with a few twists) and be incredibly entertaining at the same time. 6. Paper Mario: Color Splash Paper Mario: Color Splash may continue the same direction that the much criticized Paper Mario: Sticker Star started, but I'll defend it to the death as one of this year's great titles. While the plot is still rather thin (pun not intended, I swear) compared to the first three Paper Mario games, Intelligent Systems gives Mario and friends more to work with in this game as he investigates why the color is seemingly disappearing from Prism Island. The new color system doesn't add a ton of depth to the card-based battle system, but it's used surprisingly well in various puzzles throughout the game. Also, Color Splash has a fantastic soundtrack and arguably the best/funniest writing in the entire series (The Thousand Year Door included), where each level is essentially a brand new scenario to work through (mini story arcs and all). What it lacks in the main plot, it more than makes up for in its witty writing and zany characters, making for a memorable Paper Mario experience. 5. Song of the Deep In many ways, Song of the Deep is this year's Child of Light. It's a fairytale/storybook plot featuring a little girl who goes on a journey, except this time it's under the sea. It's a shame that this game never got much more recognition than it did because it features some outstanding atmosphere and environments throughout. Insomniac Games managed to tell a touching story about Merryn's journey through the sea but also make a compelling, underwater Metroidvania world to explore at the same time. 4. The Witness As someone who enjoyed Braid (and especially its big twist at the end) years back, I knew I had to experience The Witness when it finally released (being from the same creator and all). While the decision to have no music is definitely strange at first, there is something really interesting about just having ambient rustling of leaves, the wind, and your footsteps as all you hear. The island you explore is incredibly beautiful thanks to the unique low-polygon style used but also hauntingly lonely. More than anything else, the combination of exploration and puzzles is what truly makes this a unique experience. The game teaches you organically how to think about the solutions to each puzzle, and the way that each area is divided into different types of puzzles is extremely well done. It is, without a doubt, the smartest game of the year. 3. Final Fantasy XV What a long, strange journey it's been for Final Fantasy XV. While it's definitely not the game that was originally presented to us at Final Fantasy Versus XIII, I'm thrilled to say that it turned out to be a good game in the end anyhow. It's not perfect by any means, with much of its world suffering from an identity crisis (is this a Final Fantasy world or is this Middle America with some fantasy elements?) and its main plot being a jumbled mess at points. Yet, Noctis and the bond between his three friends form the core of what makes Final Fantasy XV one of the best games this year. They go through quite a bit throughout the game, but none of their interactions ever feel forced, instead feeling like four good friends going a bachelor road trip before one of them (Noctis) gets married. Even though the broader spectrum of the plot (such as the invasion behind Insomnia) is somewhat lost in translation over the course of the game, Hajime Tabata and his team got the most important aspects right by honing on the relationship between Noctis and his friends, making the open world feel alive and worth exploring, and creating a fairly memorable villain that keeps you guessing as to what his motivations are. Also, the ending is definitely one of the more interesting finales in the series and will have fans talking about it for a while. 2. Dragon Quest Builders Minecraft is a game that has only ever vaguely intrigued me, but I still haven't had the urge to play it even in the midst of its insane popularity today. Dragon Quest Builders made me a believer in the concept by taking Minecraft's building and crafting elements and pairing it with objectives and an RPG plot that's surprisingly more compelling than it should be. Exploring each area of its rich world and gathering materials is just as much fun as building towns from the ground up, block by block. It could easily be a dull, grating experience but DQB makes the experience fun by giving you a wide array of building materials as well as objects and rooms to build. While the simplistic combat is perhaps the game's weakest point, Dragon Quest Builders is by far one of the deepest experiences I've played this year, and nearly everything about it from its addicting gameplay to its fantastic soundtrack make it an outstanding experience and one of this year's biggest surprises. 1. The Last Guardian Hoo boy -- where do I even start. The Last Guardian is, by all accounts, a game that very possibly could have come out and completely underwhelmed; after all, it was in development for some eight years (and more often than not, those types of deals tend to be disasters in the end). But somehow, some way, Fumito Ueda and his team at GenDesign pulled it off. By no means is it perfect; playing the game can be challenging at times due to some awkward controls and stubborness on Trico's part to obey at times, but the journey is worth it at the end and incredibly compelling. The Last Guardian has some of the most stunning environments and architecture I've ever seen in a video game. The visuals are breathtaking, especially when you're in the outdoors areas and see Trico's feathers glistening in the light and ruffling in the wind. The Last Guardian is triumphant, its story possibly exceeding what Team Ico had accomplished in its two previous games thanks to a touching narrative that is built on the relationship between the boy and Trico throughout their journey. I can't imagine how Ueda plans to top this, but I can't wait to find out.
  6. Never has my gaming backlog felt so insurmountable until 2016. I thought I did reasonably well keeping up with popular releases such as Uncharted 4 and Dark Souls III to several lesser known titles that I mostly played for the sake of review (and shall remain unnamed since many don't deserve to be). Well, until the second half of the year. I quickly learned that buying at least five new games a month does not lend itself to a manageable backlog. Despite wishing for more free time, and wishing certain things didn't happen with the world at large, 2016 was an impressive year for gaming even if many of the more noteworthy ones were at the tail end of it. I suppose I can pretend that The Last Guardian has not been released yet for just a while longer while I try and haphazardly present my top 10 games of 2016 without anymore regret. I0. Inside I have a real respect for games that just toss you in and know the player is smart enough to pick up the fundamentals. I have a bigger respect for games that continue to expand upon such ideas with an actual logical escalation of puzzles. A showpiece example of both is playdead's game Inside. Though the developer“s prior work, Limbo, bounced right off me; Inside does in a lot of ways feel like a much better constructed Limbo. With plenty of clever puzzles, an intriguing dark atmosphere, and… probably one of the most bizarre finales in terms of gameplay makes it more than worthy to note on my own personal list. 9. Titanfall 2 First-person shooters I rarely go out of my way to play, much less for their single player content. But, both this year“s Doom as well as Titanfall 2's campaign proved otherwise. I personally enjoyed Titanfall 2“s single player just a bit more than the resurrection of the cult-classic shooter in raw gameplay and the briskly paced level design. There is an immense satisfaction towards controlling the powerful and different mech loadouts, or speedily zipping around and wall-running on-foot, that is downright unrivaled in any other first-person shooter I“ve played. Not to mention that the campaign also has very neat gameplay moments that heightens its inherent strengths even more. 8. Shiren the Wanderer : The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate Official GP Review As devious as it is charming Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate climbs right up there to become one my all-time favorite RPG roguelikes. Alleviating many grievances I have with the subgenre with a tangible sense of progression, an insane amount of hidden content and depth, and plenty of old-school charm made it a bliss to play.... despite it occasionally kicking my teeth in. 7. Thumper Thumper is quite unlike any other rhythm game I“ve ever played. I may not quite latch onto its “rhythm violence game” tagline, but no doubt that there is strong brutal-like feeling with its intense rhythm gameplay even as you are just flinging beetles around. With F-Zero levels of gameplay momentum, and the finesse needed of compelling rhythm games (especially for the crazy bosses), creates a highly rewarding gameplay experience, if not a bit unrelenting at times. 6. Blazblue: Central Fiction I make no bones about it that I generally prefer Arc System Works“s fighting game efforts to most others. While I had a lot of fun with Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, and even enjoyed the likes of non-Arc System Works titles like King of Fighters XIV and Street Fighter V as well, the one fighter that I most felt at home with during 2016 is Blazblue: Central Fiction. The incredibly complex and dense playable character roster, stylish music and 2D visuals, and various smart refinements makes it one of the outright best fighters on the market. Even the huge story mode, which been utter nonsense that almost rivals Kingdom Hearts over the years, also impressed me with the surprising amount of narrative resolution that it had. 5. Final Fantasy XV For a while I have been really unsure as to what my stance is on current Final Fantasy releases. Add an absurd amount of wait time towards Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which as everyone knows became Final Fantasy XV, only added to my increasing doubt with the series going forward. And, while it is certainly easy to nitpick many aspects about it, from disjointed storytelling to gameplay quirks, Final Fantasy XV manages to be much better than the sum of its parts through sheer charisma and heart. There is a wonderful dynamic between the goofball main characters and the journey they have along the way that helps weave it into one the very best games in the series. 4. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE It“s weird that we got official entries of both Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem in 2016, and my favorite of them was the fanfare spin-off of both. I originally had a strong knee-jerk reaction to Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE with its saccharine approach to anime tropes, especially of the J-pop variety. Quickly enough, however, I warmed up to the game underneath once getting acquainted to the final release. Chock full of lighthearted personality, Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei gameplay fanservice, and probably some of the most insane mechanical feature creep I“ve seen in an RPG in a long while (in a really good way, I think), makes for a whimsical RPG that I never knew that I wanted. Though I may ponder what Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem might've been like, I'm willing to contend with my dislike of J-pop culture in order to play the highly enjoyable RPG that is Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. 3. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir Official GP Review I was struggling quite a bit to justify putting this on my GOTY list. In my brain, Odin Sphere came out almost 10 years. It was also a game that deeply disappointed me and I would go as far as to say that the actual gameplay of it was just plain bad. At the same time, an excellent remake named Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir magically fixes the game in a way I never thought possible. So lovingly refined was it made, by entirely revamping gameplay mechanics and level design in the best ways possible, and then some, that it has retroactively altered my entire opinion of a game. Which is still near unfathomable to me, because man do I dislike original Odin Sphere and most Vanillaware games but dote upon Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir. 2. Overwatch I won“t tell you my exact hour count, but I“ve put a disgusting amount of time into Overwatch. You know how I complained about not having enough time to play games in my backlog? Well, I'm pretty sure I could've finished a couple of RPGs with the amount of time I have thrown at Overwatch. But anyway, Overwatch is a total blast to play. Rich with personality/polish, an incredibly varied playable cast, rewarding team-based gameplay, and plenty of positive reinforcement built right within the game makes the consistent fun I've had with it far outweigh the criticisms I could level against it. And from someone who pretty much never plays first-person shooter multiplayer is incredibly high praise. 1. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II My adoration of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II is somewhat rather specific to me. I would not go out of my way to really recommend going through one entire lengthy previous game to truly appreciate an equally long sequel. The dialogue-heavy nature and dated presentation alone I'm sure would push many people away from the series. Plus, I was not that enchanted with the original Trails of Cold Steel to hammer down that point even more. That said, because I have developed quite a history with the Trails of- series, it has made me that much more impressed with it being hearkened back in Trails of Cold Steel II. Not only is it an excellent follow-up to the prior game with much better storytelling, fantastic character development, and smart (if not a bit too familiar with recycled assets) gameplay enhancements, but it is also astoundingly meticulous with its consistent world-building. This is complemented further by the superb localization. To be blunt, there were so many moments throughout that made me downright giddy during Trails of Cold Steel II's massive main narrative. From references to very serious cameos, some as deep as featuring characters from entirely separate trilogies like Trails in the Sky, that had me on the edge of my seat as the narrative unfolded. It was also the first RPG in a really long time that totally fooled on what I thought was the ending, only to continue for a third longer. Not because I wanted it to end, but because just that much happens throughout. And surprisingly, it was totally warranted despite jamming in so much character development, narrative resolution, as well as fiendish twists prior to it. Oh, and there are like hype mecha fights, and tons of things to do like a Final Fantasy VII-ish snowboarding mini game, and that's pretty cool. But seriously, guys. You don't know how excited I am for Trails of Cold Steel III on PS4. YOU. HAVE. NO. IDEA.
  7. HAIL 9000

    Game of the Year 2016: Hailee's Picks

    2016 was a busy year for me, what with moving to a new country and all. Unfortunately that meant that I didn“t get to play everything I wanted to this year, but despite that I still had quite a tough time narrowing this list down to only ten games. There are definitely a few games that I really enjoyed that didn“t make the cut. I won“t give shoutouts to all of them, but at the very least I have to mention Kentucky Route Zero Act IV, which after much deliberation I decided not to put on the list because it“s only a part of a game and can“t stand alone without the other acts. But all and all this was a pretty good year in video games, at least for me, so let“s dive in! 10. Hyper Light Drifter Hyper Light Drifter is a game I“ve been looking forward to since I first ran into it at PAX last year. The game“s art direction is what drew me in immediately, but after playing the demo I was even more excited to see the finished product. When the game finally came out earlier this year, I was excited to find that it had been worth the wait. While I definitely found it to be pretty darn challenging and sometimes frustrating, I overall had a great time with Hyper Light Drifter. The gameplay, although often difficult and tense, was a lot of fun and felt rewarding, featuring some very satisfying and fluid combat which was nicely complimented by great puzzles. That said, the game was certainly an exercise is resilience, and did sometimes feel quite punishing, but never so much that it pushed me away completely. But where Hyper Light Drifter really shines is in its worldbuilding. With the aid of its stellar visual design and soundtrack, the game manages to create a consistent mood that“s mysterious and often sad. It masterfully crafts a world world that succeeds in being beautiful as well as interesting, which drove me to play and explore as much as I could. All these elements helped make Hyper Light Drifter a memorable experience. 9. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse As someone who first came to the Shin Megami Tensei series through Persona, I often find myself wishing that some other games in the series were a bit more accessible with stronger and more prominent plot and characters. While obviously not a Persona game, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse was kind of a happy medium, at least for me personally. Apocalypse brings back the world, locations, and gameplay of Shin Megami Tensei IV with a new, stronger, and more consistent plot that intersects in interesting ways with that of the original. Additionally, various gameplay and UI improvements address a lot of my frustrations with Shin Megami Tensei IV. The most welcome addition for me, however, was a cast of much more compelling and engaging characters, all of whom are unique and full of personality. All and all, it really felt like it managed to be a new experience that took advantage of its foundations while improving and building on them. It succeeded in not feeling like a rehash, despite revisiting many of the same locations as Shin Megami Tensei IV. And it does all of it with an awesome post-apocalyptic cyberpunk aesthetic and the Shin Megami Tensei art direction that I“ve come to know and love. 8. Dragon Quest Builders This is one game I never would have expected to end up on my list but holy heck did I have a lot of fun with it. I was barely even paying attention to this game until I happened to play the demo at PAX to kill some time. Dragon Quest Builders is kind of a perfect storm of several gameplay elements that I tend to have a lot of fun with. I dabbled with Minecraft a few times back in the day before it became an overwhelming cultural phenomenon, but I was never able to stick with it for more than a few days. Although I very much enjoyed the gathering and building, I struggled to give myself something to do. Ultimately, I just found the sandbox to be too big and directionless for me to really enjoy. Dragon Quest Builders does an excellent job of solving this problem by giving the game a plot (I use this term very loosely here) with quests and objectives. When I wasn“t feeling particularly creative or inspired, I had a stream of guests to give me direction. And when the mood struck, I had the opportunity to set aside the quests for a while and create a new building or improve my town here and there. Additionally, the separate chapters provide enough variety to keep things interesting. And the game has that cute whimsical Dragon Quest feeling which just makes it feel that much more fun and inviting. It ended up being my favorite game this year for all the times I just needed to wind down and relax. 7. Owlboy My list this year seems full of games with notably long development cycles, and Owlboy is no exception. It may be kind of unfairly baised, but Owlboy“s origins definitely color my feelings toward the game. It just warms my heart when developers get to see a personal project that they“re passionate about realized, even if it takes years. Owlboy is first and foremost a really fun platform-adventure game. The mechanics are solid, the levels are well designed, and the fights feel rewarding. Owlboy also builds on its well established genre template by adding fun mechanics of its own, like flight and the ability to carry Otus“ companions to utilize their various skills. It also definitely succeeds in invoking that nostalgia for some of my favorite Nintendo titles of the past. While my taste in videogames has certainly broadened over the years, I got my start with The Legend of Zelda series, and it still feels great to master the mechanics of a well-crafted boss fight and finally get it right after several tries. While great gameplay is at the core of what makes Owlboy great, it“s certainly not the only place that it shines. The art direction and character design are both lovely. The characters are endearing in appearance and personality, and to top it all off the game has a big heart. 6. Overwatch It almost feels silly to write about Overwatch or put it on a GOTY list considering the game“s hilarious popularity, but it definitely deserves a spot on mine. Overwatch is just so darn good and so much fun, and I“m not usually one for competitive multiplayer, especially in first person shooters. As I“ve come to expect from Blizzard, the game takes many of the best aspects of the genre and perfects and builds on them. It“s a class-based shooter with so much variety that it“s easy to find something that works for you. And although I had my favorites, I happily switched between a broad list of characters between matches, unlike other class based games where I tend to perfect my role as only one or two characters and avoid deviation. Overwatch also takes some deliberate steps to take the pressure off by focusing on player accomplishments at the end of matches rather than offering a ranked KDR. It makes the game accessible not just by offering lots of ways to play, but also by giving players lots of avenues to get the hang of things in a low stress way where they could focus on improvement rather than performing well enough to avoid being singled out. It was exciting to see a lot of my friends who don“t usually go for this genre try out and get into Overwatch. On top of all of that, the amazing and diverse cast of well designed characters, the colorful aesthetic, and (notably minimal) interesting lore and character relationships just makes the game a lot of fun. Although we don“t know a ton specifically about the heroes, the shorts, comics, and quips passed between characters gives us a window into who they are. And all in all the game is just a lot of fun. 5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice The Ace Attorney games are some of of my all time favorites and their characters have a special place in my heart, so I“m always excited about a new entry in the series. While I enjoyed some of the spinoffs like Apollo Justice and Ace Attorney Investigations, I was so pleased with Dual Destinies because it felt kind of like a return to the first three games, which are far and away my favorites. It was nice to see Spirit of Justice continue in this vein while bringing some fresh ideas to the series with the cases in Khura“in and the new Divination Seances. While these cases still stick to the same structure we“ve come to expect, they change up the formula in a way that I thought was interesting and fun and require you to think about things a little differently than previous games. The game of course features the usual series staple of likable characters with horribly punny names and great character designs. Additionally, moving some of the cases to Khura“in also lets the game tackle some new and interesting issues. This leads to some excellent writing which even manages to push the boundaries of the series in a few ways, with one chapter in particular completely overturning my expectations of what was possible in an Ace Attorney case. All and all, Spirit of Justice brought something new while still maintaining the staples of the series that I love so much, making it a welcome entry. 4. Stardew Valley I have a lot of love for the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons series (shoutout to Natsume for making this extremely confusing), so I was pretty darn excited about Stardew Valley. And for me, Stardew Valley is the perfect realization of everything good about Harvest Moon. Pretty much all aspects of the gameplay feel very well done, and make my day to day life as a farmer/adventurer/best friend to everyone in the town so satisfying. It“s addicting to the point of being dangerous, because you can lose hours to the game by falling into the “I“ll just play one more day†mentality. On top of that, it definitely adds a nice level of complexity to the writing and character development that I“ve never really felt was there in Harvest Moon games. The heart events feel more meaningful, and the characters have distinct personalities and backgrounds. It means that choosing a spouse goes beyond “do I want to marry the mermaid or the archeologist†(FYI I wanted to marry both in Harvest Moon DS). And on top of that, the game receives regular content updates based on player feedback, so it just keeps getting better. The other thing that really endears me to Stardew Valley is that it came about as the creator“s passion project which (as far as my understanding goes) he tackled almost completely on his own by learning to create his own art and music. The game is so lovingly crafted, and it“s clear that it could only be born out of a deep love and understanding of the Harvest Moon series. 3. The Last Guardian As an obnoxious Team Ico fan who“s always trying to force Shadow of the Colossus on everyone I meet, I was really looking forward to The Last Guardian. I definitely had tempered my expectations considering how long the game spent bouncing around in development hell, but in the end I really was not disappointed. The game is certainly not perfect, and as many have pointed out, it has its frustrating moments. I am absolutely guilty of having to turn it off and step away from it because Trico was just not cooperating. But I also find Trico to be one of the game“s greatest triumphs. He really does feel like a separate entity with his own personality and agenda, even when his agenda is doing everything but carrying me up to some dang ledge. The game excels at creating a bond between the player and Trico through shared experiences and hardships, and their symbiotic cooperative relationship feels like something unique I haven“t experienced before. I definitely applaud the developers who perfected Trico“s behavior. The game is also reminiscent of Team Ico“s previous games, Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, in more ways that one. It“s definitely a contemplative game, with the moments of calm far outweighing the moments of tension. The level design is both well executed and interesting, and the art direction is beautiful. The game excels at teaching you about its world and characters through small thoughtful details in things like the way characters move and interact with the environment. And as we“ve come to expect, the game has a strong emotional core and a story that many players will find quite moving. Of course, it also has some of the studio“s less stellar staples like awkward movement and controls, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. 2. Final Fantasy XV If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I was kind of taken by surprise by how endearing I found Final Fantasy XV. As a fairly invested fan of the series, I never would have requested an entry centered around trendy rich boys taking a roadtrip across a fantasy version of middle America, but here we are. Something that“s always endeared me to the Final Fantasy series is its willingness to try things out and do whatever the heck it wants, and Final Fantasy XV is certainly no exception. To start out with the bad, the main plot of the game definitely leaves something to be desired. It“s not incredibly interesting, it doesn“t flow very well, and I often found myself confused and wondering if I had missed some bit of context that would help me understand what was going on. I think some of this can be attributed to trying to fit it into the game“s open world structure, but the plot and its delivery feel like a bit of a mess even after taking that into account. My other complaint is that while the combat is definitely fun and satisfying on top of looking real cool, it“s lacking in strategic depth. However, this doesn“t stop the game from having some really awesome fun boss fights. The thing that really endears me to Final Fantasy XV is its characters and their journey together. Even though the main plot didn“t really do it for me, all the little character moments and interactions really did. I loved the little incidental conversations between the characters, camping at night and picking out meals for Ignis to cook, and going through all of Prompto“s pictures at the end of the day. Driving or walking around the beautiful world feels peaceful and reflective, and I think going through the day to day of this journey with the four characters let me get to know them in a different way than I“m used to. You get the sense that you“re really on a journey with four friends who care a lot about each other, and in that way the game shines. Plus the game has a heavy dose of the kind of dorky weirdness I“ve come to love in Final Fantasy games. So ultimately while imperfect and rough around the edges, Final Fantasy XV was just a lovely experience and certainly a lot of fun. 1. Firewatch Every year or so there“s a game which I am gifting to my friends out of the kindness of my heart so that they feel obligated to play it and talk to me about it. This year, that game was Firewatch. There were a lot of things that made Firewatch for me. First of all, it“s gorgeous. The art direction is incredible, and I appreciated all the time the game gave me just to wander through its beautiful recreation of the Shoshone national forest. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I spent a lot of time outdoors, and, even though it“s set in Wyoming, the “hiking†in this game felt so nostalgic to me. The writing is where Firewatch really excels though. It deals with the pretty unglamorous lives of real people, focusing mostly on Henry, a middle aged man who“s reached a difficult crossroads in his life. It touches on a lot of subjects I find are rarely visited in games, which I thought was refreshing. Henry is definitely not your average protagonist, and his efforts to escape his life by taking a job as a park ranger out in the wilderness isn“t your average premise. In addition to Henry“s story, you get to piece together the stories of previous fire lookouts as you find traces of their lives left in the park. Every single story told in the game has a strong emotional core which makes them all feel very worthwhile. The way the story is told through walkie-talkie conversations between Henry and Delilah is kind of delightful, and the writing feels both genuine and natural. I got so wrapped up in Henry“s relationship with her and with the game“s central mystery that I beat it in just two sittings, which is quite unusual for me. I also appreciate that between important conversations, you usually spend some time hiking in silence to let you process what just happened. If you“re thinking of playing Firewatch, I“d recommend not reading this last paragraph since I“d hate to color your expectations. This is where I expect my opinion diverges from many others, but the ending was what really cemented Firewatch as one of my favorite games, because I felt incredibly let down. I found myself so invested in the mysteries and in my relationship with Delilah that when things didn“t play out as anticipated I was disappointed. But I thought about it a lot (I mean really a lot) and realized that the game had intentionally manipulated me into thinking the story was something that it wasn“t, and in doing so, had really succeeded in making my experience as the player mirror the experience of the protagonist. That helped make the game“s conclusion much more meaningful and poignant.
  8. Hailinel

    Game of the Year 2016: Justin's Picks

    2016 was an eventful year for gaming. Well, truthfully, the same could really be said for any recent year, but this was the year that: The Last Guardian finally shipped! As did Mighty No. 9! And I FINALLY got my Kickstarter-backer physical copy of Broken Age. And none of the above made my list. (Although, I doubt many people will be offended by the omission of Mighty No. 9. Hoo boy, that was awkward.) But as we get ready for 2017, which also looks ready and waiting to be an eventful year in gaming, let“s take a look back at my ten favorite games of 2016! 10. Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity The Touhou series of bullet hell shooters has long had a fanbase of creators that have spawned numerous fanworks over the years. The games and their characters have inspired fanart and doujinshi comics, music, and even entirely separate games. Scarlet Curiosity is one such title; an action RPG focused on the vampire Remilia and her devoted maid Sayaka, the game is simple, but well-made and incredibly fun. Filled with charming character aided by a great English localization, it was easily the biggest surprise of the year for me. 9. Style Savvy: Fashion Forward The third Style Savvy game took a while to make it to North America, but the wait was worth it. Backed by an unapologetically fantastical premise involving a tiny magical door, Fashion Forward puts, well, fashion forward as it charges the player with running a fashion boutique while also making time to help out at the hair stylist and beauty salon. With a long list of entertaining and eccentric clients in a fashion-obsessed city, dressing, styling, and grooming them all is addicting, and the light-hearted banter just adds to the charm. It was easy for me to get pulled in, playing the video game equivalent of dress-up for hours at a time. 8. Fire Emblem Fates As a long-time fan of the Fire Emblem series, putting Fates on my list wasn“t a difficult decision. But what was difficult was deciding where to actually rank it. Fates was a divisive game for a variety of reasons, whether it be the release of three separate versions (with one being restricted to DLC) that all tell the same story from different angles, and with different focuses on challenge, at that. And for every innovation that felt like a positive direction (changes to the weapon triangle, the removal of weapon durability), other parts didn“t receive the attention that they should have deserved. (The narrative justification for the second-generation characters being able to fight alongside their parents is the most nakedly lazy writing the series has ever endured.) Fire Emblem took steps forward and back with Fates, but at its core, it“s still Fire Emblem. While the game has a number of issues, it still manages to retain enough to be a challenging, entertaining entry. Hopefully an eventual Fire Emblem title on the Nintendo Switch is in the works. 7. Pokkén Tournament One of the unlikeliest of fighting games to see a release in recent memory, this Bandai Namco-developed Pokémon fighting game with its mix of Tekken and Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs.-inspired mechanics turned out to be really darn good! While the size of the roster in the Wii U version is limited, particularly compared to the arcade version that has seen continuous updates, the variety of Pokémon on the roster is well-picked. And the fighting mechanics, which emphasize a continuous shift between open arena battling and more traditional fighting on a 2D plane is fun in both single-player and online. This is the sort of wild Pokémon spin-off that I would love to see more of! 6. Nobunaga“s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension Official GP Review Koei Tecmo has gotten back into a real groove with western releases of the company“s historical strategy titles, and Ascension really nailed it for me. Since its release just this past October, I“ve played through multiple campaigns, some more successful than others, and still have a desire to go back and try to conquer Japan again. It“s the sort of difficult strategy game where I constantly feel the pull of “just one more turn.” Ascension feels like a game I could easily play for years. 5. Attack on Titan Official GP Review Koei Tecmo“s Omega Force studio have become experts at the one-against-a-thousand action combat of the Musou franchise in all its forms. To see them take many aspects of that formula and apply them to a game with an entirely different focus, and do so successfully, is remarkable. Attack on Titan“s smooth, rhythmic flow of swinging through the air and cutting down Titans is a delight as it retells the story of the anime“s first season from start to finish. Hopefully we won“t have to wait for a sequel for as long as we“ve had to wait for the anime“s second season, which is due to start airing next year. 4. Samurai Warriors 4: Empires Official GP Review The third and final Koei Tecmo game on the list, Samurai Warriors 4: Empires continues the Empires spin-off tradition of taking the core hack-and-slash Musou action and giving it the backbone of a strategy game. This year“s Empires title is an excellent refinement of that formula, offering challenges not usually seen in standard Musou titles. Playing defense with an underpowered officer and managing to hold off a much larger and more powerful invasion force is always satisfying. Of all of the Musou series, Samurai Warriors has long been my favorite, and Samurai Warriors 4: Empires helps keep it on top. 3. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X Official GP Review At first glance, Project Diva X might seem disappointing. The game has a relatively small track list, and the more cinematic music videos of past games aren“t present, as all of them are set as concert stage performances. But Project Diva X“s new story mode, which adds a thin but entertaining premise to the proceedings, is surprisingly endearing. The song selection is also top-notch, with some personal favorites of mine making the cut. And the game“s original medleys, which blend songs from past games together into themed performances like Cute, Cool, and Quirky, are some of the best and most elaborate in the game. And it“s a Hatsune Miku game. I just can“t say no to Miku! 2. Final Fantasy XV Oh, what a long and winding road it“s been this past decade. There“s a part of me that says that Final Fantasy XV has no reason to be as good as it is. Pulled out of stagnant development from its years under Tetsuya Nomura as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Hajime Tabata and his team rebuilt Nomura“s concept into a complete game worthy of being a mainline Final Fantasy title. Though it“s rough around the edges, Noctis“s road trip tale of brotherhood and a desire to find his betrothed after his kingdom has fallen under imperial rule shines through where it counts, wearing its inspirations from past Final Fantasy games on its sleeve while standing well on its own. And the game“s ending is not only rewarding, but one of the very best that the series has delivered yet, nailing the game“s themes one after another. 1. Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Several years ago, Nintendo surprised everyone with the announcement of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, an Atlus-developed crossover title that would match Fire Emblem“s medieval fantasy strategy role-playing series with Shin Megami Tensei“s demon-infested, apocalypse-happy, modern Tokyo-set JRPG franchise. But there was little meat to the announcement beyond a placeholder title and some old character art from past games. Many assumed that the game would be a standard crossover of franchise casts, possibly involving fights between Marth and the Demi-Fiend before everyone comes together to fight the true, common enemy. Because that“s how these crossover games tend to go. And so it was surprising, to say the least, when Nintendo unveiled Tokyo Mirage Sessions for the first time last year. Bright colors! J-Pop! A bizarre title with a sharp symbol in it! And no sign of the Demi-Fiend! I was on board with this unabashed goofiness from day one. Of course, not everyone was. Some were annoyed, or more bizarrely felt betrayed. Where was the Shin Megami Tensei? Where was the Fire Emblem? While traditional franchise crossover games are all well and good, Atlus and Nintendo chose to take Tokyo Mirage Sessions in the more novel direction of a thematic crossover. With the gameplay design and structure of a MegaTen RPG with Fire Emblem influences, and a modern-day Tokyo set against a world of Fire Emblem characters largely reimagined in the vein of MegaTen demons, well, here we are! The entertainment industry backdrop and the game“s bright, beautiful color palette give TMS an identity all its own, with plenty of nodding references and Easter eggs related to both franchises for good measure. The professionally produced musical performances as sung by the cast are some of the many highlights in a game that isn“t afraid to be goofy with characters that range from an enka-singing elementary schooler to a pitch-perfect parody of a western otaku. And yet, it never feels too silly for its own good, easing between lighter and darker moments with ease. As a fan of both franchises, I can certainly understand the disappointment some felt when Tokyo Mirage Sessions turned out to be a game that in no way matched what they had envisioned Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem would be. But the heart of both franchises shines through in ways expected and not, with a top-notch presentation and a warm heart that in my mind turned out to be the Wii U“s last and greatest hurrah.
  9. Hey guys, For those of you buying Final Fantasy XV on day one, would you prefer getting the game at the usual discount GCU rate ($48) or would you rather get it with the Season Pass if you could get it bundled in, but for $65 total (game and season pass) instead (such as with the Best Buy exclusive version)? I initially did the latter, but the more I think about it, you're really only getting the Season Pass for $17 with that deal as opposed to the $25 will normally cost. That, along with the fact that we don't have all the details on what the Season Pass will bring (it could be disappointing given previous season passes for other games) is making me think I should cancel and just preorder the standard version. What are your guys' thoughts?
  10. Conan O'Brien did another installment of Clueless Gamer segment recently, where he and Elijah Wood (random cameo) took a stab at playing Final Fantasy XV. The result is pretty funny (as usual), but also actually kind of worrying for the game as well (somewhat). Take a look below. Pretty much all of Conan's criticisms were pretty valid if you ask me. Why in the world does the game look so boring and drawn out? Granted, we're looking at it out of context, but a lot of what they showed seemed like it might indicate that there's a lot of filler. And what's up with that 72-hour fight with the Adamantoise? I'm guessing the guy was exaggerating but I really wouldn't put it past SE to do something like that. What'd you guys think?
  11. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the E3 2016 trailer for Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV. Personally, I think the CG looks a bit too... uncanny valley-ish, I hate to say. It doesn't look like the mouth animations synch up with each actor when they talk, making it look like there's a slight audio delay. Aside from that, it looks like it'll be a pretty alright watch. I don't think I'll see it in theaters, but I'll definitely check it out when it hits Blu-ray. What do you guys think of it?
  12. We've got some big headlines today, most notably related to the Final Fantasy XV news that last night brought, and also a number of other announcements as well. Check out the headlines below! Everything you need to know about the Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event, including the game's release date Last night's UNCOVERED: Final Fantasy XV event was quite a doozy. Not only did Square Enix reveal the game's official release date, they also revealed that they're going all-out to promote the game with a cross-media projects. First off, let's not beat around the bush - the game is officially releasing on September 30th on PS4 and Xbox One. Oh, and there's a new trailer for the game as well which showcases the song "Stand By Me" as performed by Forence and the Machine. Moving on, there will be three different versions you can buy- Day 1 Edition - $59.99 - Comes with Final Fantasy series Masamune DLC weapon - Xbox Store pre-order exclusive: Two Xbox One avatars, including Noctis Special Outfit and Carbuncle pet - PlayStation Store pre-order exclusive: Dynamic PS4 theme for PS4 owners Deluxe Edition - $89.99 - All Day One content plus... - An exclusive steelbook containing Final Fantasy XV and Kingsglaive movie - Platinum Leviathan Regalia design - Royal Raiment costume DLC Ultimate Collector's Edition - $269.99 (available only on Square Enix's online store) - All Deluxe Edition content plus... - An exclusive steelbook containing the official Final Fantasy XV Blu-ray soundtrack (featuring music from Final Fantasy XV, Kingsglaive, and Brotherhood) - Hardcover artbook - Limited Edition Variant Noctis Play Arts -Kai- action figure - In-game item packs Additionally it was also revealed that Final Fantasy XV would be getting two multimedia projects. The first is a CG prequel movie called Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, and it will set the stage for the game's beginning. Actors Sean Bean, Lena Headey, and Aaron Paul are set to star as the main cast. The movie will be released digitally before the game's launch. The second project is an anime series called Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV, and it will consist of five standalone episodes that explore the friendships between Noctis and his three companions. All episodes will be free and will be viewable on Youtube before the game's launch. The first episode is up for watch . Also, a new demo called Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV has been released which players play through a fragmented dreamscape as young Noctis and his companion, Carbuncle. The demo is available right now on both Xbox One and PS4. Finally, Square Enix is releasing a pinball game on mobile devices called Justice Five which features RPG elements and the game's most iconic monsters. It will be coming soon to the Google Play and App Stores, and will also be playable in Final Fantasy XV. Source: Press Release Nintendo's Miitomo launches today on Google Play and iOS App Store It's finally here: Nintendo's first stab at a mobile game. Miitomo is described as a free-to-play social experience with friends. After creating your own personal Mii and customizing it to your liking, you can then add friends who have the app in-person or by linking existing Twitter and Facebook accounts. Ultimately, the app creates conversations and discussion among friends by answering questions that are presented to you. By doing different things on the app, you can also gain coins to use on Nintendo's new reward system, My Nintendo. If that sounds interesting, you can download it for free right now! Source: Press Release Axiom Verge officially coming to Vita in April PlayStation fans have been waiting for about a year for Axiom Verge to come to the Vita, and now it looks like that time is finally upon us. Creator Tom Happ took to the PlayStation Blog to explain what was behind the delay as well as a release date: April 19th! Additionally the game will be cross-buy, meaning that if you already have it on PS4, you'll get it at no charge on Vita (and vice-versa). And last but not least, the game will be 10% off on both platforms for a week when the Vita version launches. If you haven't seen it already, be sure to check out Jonathan's review of the game; it's one of the few games we've given a perfect score to and it also placed 8th on GP's Top 10 Games of 2015. Source: PlayStation Blog Nintendo to shut down DSiware Shop next year It was bound to happen sooner or later. Presumably, all DSiware titles will still be purchasable through the 3DS eShop, so it seems the dissolution of the DSiware Shop will affect very few (only those that own and use a DSi). Users will still have until September 30, 2016 to add new points to the shop to buy things, but the service will shut down altogether on March 31, 2017. Source: Nintendo Life This week in new Nintendo eShop releases (3/31/16) Not a whole lot of big releases this week although there is one new Wii game: Mario Super Sluggers! And of course, Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus also makes its debut on Wii U. Check out Jonathan's review of it if you haven't already. Here's a look at all the new releases on the Wii U and 3DS eShop today. Wii U Lovely Planet Pokken Tournament - Demo Version Mario Super Sluggers (Wii) 6-Hand Video Poker Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus Now I Know My ABCs Pixlcross 3DS Justice Chronicles DLC Fire Emblem Fates - New DLC Map - Vanguard Dawn What are your thoughts on the new details about Final Fantasy XV? And will you play Miitomo?
  13. Jonathan Higgins

    Final Fantasy XV News Coming June 4th, 2015

    Many of you with PlayStation 4s have experienced Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae by now. If not, you“ve certainly watched all the footage your heart desires. You may even know that an update is coming to Episode Duscae sometime this month. This information was shared by way of a stream director Hajime Tabata puts together devoted to discussing the game, dubbed Active Time Report. The other bit of information fans picked up from the previous Active Time Report is that Final Fantasy XV won“t have a strong E3 presence this year--likely explaining the demo update, to let folks know the game is still being worked on. While that may be disappointing to hear (again), there“s still reason to hope for a surprise or two. Another Active Time Report is going to be broadcast on June 4th. This stream will have English subtitles, so you'll be able to watch it without worry of missing key points. It“s happening at 6 AM PT / 9 AM ET. You can check it out on YouTube or Twitch. Given its proximity to Square-Enix“s Press Conference at E3, I“ll bet any FFXV news we were going to hear from Los Angeles will likely be discussed during this stream. If nothing else, we“ll at least walk away with a release date for the new demo content, as well as an explanation regarding what that content actually is. What kind of news do you hope will be discussed? Are you eagerly awaiting the full release of Final Fantasy XV? Be sure to let us know! Source: Game Informer
  14. The world got its first updated look at Final Fantasy XV last week with new video footage surfacing from the Tokyo Game Show last week, but how far along is the actual game development? According to Kotaku, the game's director, Hajime Tabata indicated that the game's progress stands at roughly 55% complete. Tabata also mentioned that this percentage only represents the last two years since he first joined the project, saying that the development could be looked at in two parts—before he joined on, and afterward. He also made mention that there were a few matters that had complicated the development, such as switching platforms entirely as well as the three different teams working on it (gameplay team, CG team, and the game engine team) not being unified until recently. With the game now at 55% and after some two years, it stands to reason that there may be at least another 1-2 years left (if not more) before the game finally releases. For now, Square Enix has announced plans to release a demo for Final Fantasy XV with the release of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD when it releases next year on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Source: Kotaku Are you surprised at where the progress stands on Final Fantasy XV's development at the moment?
  15. In the long wait for Final Fantasy XV's release, some news emerged today regarding its status. One big announcement was that Tetsuya Nomura, the game's original director, will no longer directing production on the title. Instead, its co-director, Hajime Tabata (director of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Type-0) will take over the reins of that position. As for Nomura, Square-Enix mentioned that he will focus his efforts on other titles now, including Kingdom Hearts III. Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda commented that Tabata and the rest of the Final Fantasy XV development team are working towards completion on the game's production and ensuring the "highest quality Final Fantasy title to date." Though IGN notes that Nomura's new focus is part of a development restructure within Square Enix, one has to wonder if management was unsatisfied with the slower nature of the progress on Final Fantasy XV over the years (it was originally announced in May 2006 under the name Final Fantasy Versus XIII before being publicly changed to its current title a few years back). One thing for certain is that his increased focus on Kingdom Hearts 3 can only be a good thing for fans having previously helmed the first two games and with the series effectively being his brainchild. In the meantime, a new trailer was released for Final Fantasy XV at TGS 2014 showcasing some impressive visuals. Source: IGN What are your thoughts on Nomura leaving FFXV's production, and what did you think of the new FFXV trailer?
  16. This started out as a couple of dumb one-off jokes I made earlier today, but then I realized...why not go further with it? Why not make it a number of dumb jokes? Why not indeed. So, in today's post, I'll be talking about some upcoming video games that are taking way too long to come out. But not just that - I'll also be revising their names to more accurately portray their current state and poking a little fun at them along the way. I've got my poking stick set to "stun" and my jokes set to "kill," so let's get this thing on the road! Agent Revised name: Undercover Agent This is literally the game's entire existence. Do you remember Agent? No? No one does, so if you said yes, go sit in time out, Mr. or Ms. Pants on Fire. It was announced in 2009 or so, and since then there's been nothing - total radio silence. Suffice it to say, it appears Agent has gone deep undercover, so until Rockstar pulls him from active duty, he won't be seen in the public eye unless he's in disguise. Let's just hope Momma Agent doesn't get a letter saying he was KIA. Final Fantasy XV Revised name: Final Fantasy 2015, At the Earliest Revised revised name: Pretty Boys with Sharpened Toys At first they were going to call it Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which is a heck of a mouthful. Makes sense to shorten the title a bit, especially after it's completely failed to show up on store shelves since its announcement in 2006, right? But Squenix wasn't just shortening the name, they were telling us something. Something to do with 15...what does it mean? Well, I've deduced that it means 2015 is the absolute earliest we'll see this game on store shelves. So if they rename it to FFXVI, be prepared to wait another couple of years, at least. The Last Guardian revised name: The Last Guardian of the PS3's Legacy "Woof! I mean...meow! I mean...hold on, let me think about this." Let's pretend for a moment that The Last Guardian is still coming to PS3, because that may be the only way for some of you to hold back the tears. Got rid of the sniffles yet? Good, let's move on. The Last Guardian has been "in development" for a while, being announced in 2009, and has always been slated to come out on PS3. Since it looks like the PS3's lifetime will expire before this game ever comes out, I've taken the liberty of crowning it the Guardian of the PS3's Legacy. Once every PS3 game that will ever be released has come out, ol' Trico will finally spread his wings and soar onto the system to secure the console's legacy with one final, amazing game. Unless it turns out to be terrible, like most games that stew in development hell for years, but let's just do what it takes to keep from crying and hope for the best. Beyond Good & Evil 2 Revised name: Beyond Good Graphics and Evil Executives 2 Still waiting. BG&E was a fan favorite and a critical success, but it didn't really do well commercially, so fans were ecstatic when it was announced the game was getting a sequel in 2008. And yet now they've been waiting...and waiting...and waiting. At this point, I'd like to think that by the time the game finally does come out it will have amazingly advanced graphics, probably powered by the Playstation 5, Xbox Two, and Wii U Me, and the developers will have finally found a way to convince the publishing bosses that the game will turn a profit. Prey 2 Revised name: A Longer Development Cycle than Prey, 2 Now with twice the prey! Prey 2 was announced in 2011 or so, but they've been pretty quiet since Bethesda told everyone that it was being polished up to their standards. What standards those are, exactly, we'll never know, but it probably involves releasing it with a host of hilarious glitches. In any case, the original Prey took around 12 years to finally see the light of day, and while Prey 2 has only gotten a few years in, the complete lack of any new info points to the developers trying to match or exceed that cycle. I'm pretty sure at that point it stops being "development hell" and turns into "development hell frozen over." Kingdom Hearts 3 Revised name: We Ran Out of Kingdom Hearts Spinoffs 3 I'm confused about those 3 things behind the logo too, Sora. It finally happened. After so many long years, we finally have confirmation. It's what we all expected, all hoped, all secretly knew. And our waiting has paid off as Square Enix has revealed...that it has finally run out of Kingdom Hearts spinoffs. Half-Life 3 Revised name: No-Life 3 While you wait, enjoy this mockup that took someone literally seconds to make. Because people who are still going around looking for clues of this game's existence have no life. That, and the game itself doesn't have a life, since it doesn't exist. It's a double whammy of painful realization! Starcraft: Ghost Revised name: Starcraft: Ghost I don't know if this is an actual screenshot. No one remembers what the game looks like. Oh, wait. Some of you may be saying that these are the same games I featured in a past article (welcome back, Señor or Señora Pantalones de Fuego) but I talked about them differently this time, so it makes it new. So nyah. So what do you think? Did I hit the nail on the head with my revised names? Do you have a better name for any of these? Or do you not care either way and just want to sound off in the comments about something else? Whatever the case, head on down there and speak your mind!
  17. Wondering why the oft-delayed but recently re-announced Final Fantasy XV made the name change switcheroo from Final Fantasy Versus XIII? The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, recently shed some light on the situation in intervew with Edge. He mentioned how the three games that were originally set in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series were announced with Final Fantasy XIII monikers, but that the size and scope of Versus XIII was becoming big enough to where it made more sense to make the move to a mainline numbered game. "So we were warming up the idea of considering the move to XV – which is the mainstream Final Fantasy series – and between that time and now we had several chances to announce updates of the series and we debated if we should go with Versus XIII or announce the change to XV," he said. "About two years ago we confirmed, internally, that we would change the title to XV and then at the same time, around that time, the company started working on next-gen consoles, because hard disc was getting ready for the next-gen development. So that became a really good trigger to move on to the change of XV." Not coincidentally, Final Fantasy Agito XIII, the PSP game in development at the time, also had its name changed to something a bit more unique - Final Fantasy Type-0 (and unfortunately, the game still has yet to release outside of Japan). In the meantime, expect to hear more about Final Fantasy XV in the coming months and year ahead as Nomura has confirmed that there will no longer be a media blackout on new information from the title.
  18. If you think that Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III will be PS4 exclusives, then think again! Square confirmed during their conference today that both titles will also be available on the Xbox One. This means that Final Fantasy XV loses the Sony exclusivity back when it was called Versus XIII, and also marks the first time a Kingdom Hearts game will be on a Microsoft platform. Which version of these games will you grab?
  19. The Sony Conference today has had some interesting news... and one piece of news fans were hoping to see was some information of the elusive Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Well, Square fans got a taste of what's to come for the title supposedly stuck in development hell... or rather, the new game to the main franchise, Final Fantasy XV. There was no release date, but some gameplay was shown. It definitely looks to be an Action RPG, and seamlessly moves from cutscenes to battle. You can check out the trailer below: http://youtu.be/SilkhjKw9Og Are you excited about the appearance of Final Fantasy Versus XIII--I mean, Final Fantasy XV?
  20. In February, Square Enix shocked the world at the Playstation 4 presentation by announcing that they would soon be making an announcement about something Final Fantasy related at this year's E3. If your computer's sarcasm filter isn't working properly, I'd like to announce that the previous sentences were filled to the brim with sarcasm. I absolutely hate when companies come out during a big show to announce that they are going to announce something. But that isn't the point of this article. The point is, just what is Square Enix going to be announcing? Everyone, including myself seems to believe it is going to be a Final Fantasy Versus XIII announcement. But what if it wasn't? Just think about it. We know that they'll be making some sort of Final Fantasy announcement at E3 this year, that's absolutely certain. But just how many different Final Fantasy games is Square Enix even working on right now? We've got Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Type-0 could always make an appearance, Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD, the Dissidia series is still floating out in the ether, and who could forget Final Fantasy XIV? How long do you think he's been sitting there waiting for a release date? That last one and Lightning Returns are the real dangerous ones in this scenario. The character Lightning is for some as of yet unknown reason Square Enix's baby recently. Over the last few years, Square Enix has been trying to make her the poster child for the Final Fantasy franchise, but it has been met with quite a bit of resistance. Resistance that Square Enix doesn't seem to notice. I could easily see their big announcement being that Lightning Returns will be ported to the Playstation 4, thus cementing the Lightning character in Playstation history as a mascot for Sony's newest console. Now onto the more likely scenario of Square Enix trying to hype people up for the reveal of Final Fantasy XIV being playable on both the PS3 and PS4. The original plan was to actually have Final Fantasy XIV on the PS3 years ago, but as I'm sure most of you are aware, things went south pretty quickly on those plans. The original version of XIV was torn to shreds, and Square Enix went to work on completely remaking the game. "Haha! I was a colossal waste of money!" A few months ago, they finished it. The new plan was to begin work on a PS3 version of the newer better version of the Final Fantasy MMORPG after work was finished on the PS3 version, but then Sony had to go and complicate things by announcing the PS4. Considering how much money went into making Final Fantasy XIV and then remaking it, Square Enix is going to want to get as many sales as it can. So odds are the PS3 version will stick around, but it could be followed by the "surprise" announcement of it also being on the Playstation 4. And then we have the problem of the Final Fantasy tech demo that has been making waves for the last few months. Square Enix is obviously going to want to get into using that as soon as possible and odds are they already are using it for their next big Final Fantasy title. This, of course, doesn't change the fact that they're still working on Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but I have to wonder, just which one are they going to want to hype up at E3 this year? Mums the word on Versus for the last seven years, so who's to say they won't shelf it for another year so they can start hyping up their next big thing? Its an incredibly stupid move on their part if they try it, but like I said before. They're almost certainly revealing Versus XIII this year, in my opinion. But I said that last year too. As always, thank you for reading.
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