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Final Fantasy XIV

Square stops Final Fantasy XIV Mac sales after dev team's 'mistakes'


Offering refunds
Jul 06
// Steven Hansen
As we noted last week, the Mac port of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is plagued with issues. This doesn't seem uncommon these days, but remember that Naoki Yoshida built A Realm Reborn back up from Final Fantasy XIV's ini...
FFXIV photo
FFXIV

I'm pumped to raid in Final Fantasy XIV's Alexander


Mechanical playground
Jul 06
// Chris Carter
The Alexander raid, the second real raid set to debut in Final Fantasy XIV after The Binding Coil of Bahamut, is on track for tomorrow. In the meantime you can check out this new trailer to get an idea of what to expect...
Final Fantasy VII photo
Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII G-Bike is still a thing, Phoenix is in it now


Jul 02
// Chris Carter
Yep, Final Fantasy VII G-Bike, the mobile "runner" based off the popular franchise, is still around. This week, Square Enix is adding a Phoenix event, alongside of a new in-game bike reward. I have to say the boss fight actua...

Final Fantasy VII remake photo
Final Fantasy VII remake

So people are really into this Final Fantasy VII remake


A casual look at some numbers
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
I was rooting around YouTubes as one does when a number of (hah) zeros caught my eye: 10,018,000. That was the view count on the PlayStation upload of the Final Fantasy VII remake announcement trailer (there's an additional m...
FFXIV photo
FFXIV

Final Fantasy XIV's Mac port isn't great


Moogles prefer the Surface over the iPad
Jun 29
// Joe Parlock
Players of Final Fantasy XIV are reporting major performance issues in the recently released Mac client. Low framerates, hanging launchers, and graphical errors are all being seen. On the official forums, and reddit, many pla...
FFVII remake photo
FFVII remake

Surprise! Nomura didn't know he was directing Final Fantasy VII remake


Who's on first?
Jun 26
// Steven Hansen
But if I'm here...and you're here...who's driving the boat?! Tetsuya Nomura is directing the Final Fantasy VII remake, and he's already talked about ways in which it will differ from the 1997 original aside from just the visu...

Review: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Jun 26 // Chris Carter
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixMSRP: $39.99 ($12.99 per month)Released: June 19, 2015 (Early Access), June 23, 2015 The "40 hours" of questing claim by Square Enix for the main story (levels 50-60) is accurate, but there's a caveat. You'll have to do a combination of sidequests, daily hunt marks (which can be done solo), and dungeons to push through some gaps, particularly in the middle levels. A few portions can be off-putting sometimes in terms of pacing, especially since the sidequests aren't nearly as good as the main story questline. Having said that, there wasn't any point, even the aforementioned lows, where I stopped having fun. There's just so much to do at this juncture of Final Fantasy XIV. I would frequently stop to do world hunts, which respawn every few hours or so in each area. They're even more fun now once you've unlocked flight for that particular zone, and all of the old hunts still exist too, albeit with smaller rewards for kills. You could hunt all day if you wanted to. I'd visit my new apartment in my friend's beachfront property villa in the Mist, and see what was going on with their new workshop -- a feature that lets you build Free Company (guild) airships in Heavensward, which go on expeditions for more items, similar to Retainer quests. Although I don't tend to craft in any MMO I play, I hung out with a group of crafters and chatted for hours about the new crafter meta and theories for some testing, which are insanely deep. For those who aren't aware, each crafting and gathering class has its own miniature storyline, and crafters in particular now have a even more complicated method of creating new high quality items. Crafting was always like a puzzle, allowing players to learn the best rotations for creating the best items, but now, there's an "endgame" of sorts for the profession, featuring a separate system of crafting in guilds to help build airships, and more complicated patterns that will fetch big gains on the auction house. Flying makes gathering nodes more fun, which is a big improvement on the 2.0 system -- and more nuanced with new gathering abilities. I also took a break and started a Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist, which are all new jobs in Heavensward. Although there's a debate going on regarding the latter's low damage output, I've grouped and played all of them, and each brings something unique to the table. The Dark Knight is really fun to tank with, as he can drop his "Grit" stance (having it on lets you take less damage) on occasion, which unlocks a whole host of damage-dealing abilities. [embed]294750:59242:0[/embed] As a general rule you always want to be doing your core job and tanking with Grit, but when you need that extra push, the Dark Knight is ready and willing, and feels far more engaging than the existing Warrior. The Astrologian sacrifices a bit of firepower (compared to the White Mage and Scholar) but makes up for it with a variety of different healing tricks, and the Machinist is one of the most complicated DPS classes in the game. They are all worthwhile additions, and each role (tank, healer, ranged DPS) fits perfectly in the current meta. By the time I was done with the story and hit level 60, I had played far more than 40 hours. While there are some predictable plot points and far too much Final Fantasy grandstanding, I have to say I enjoyed it as a whole. I really dig the dragon theme that permeates throughout the expansion (they commit to it), and I was satisfied with the conclusion, especially the final boss, which Final Fantasy fans will love. The epilogue also does its job of sufficiently teasing all of the upcoming free content updates, so I'm pumped to see where this goes. The dungeons are all par for the course, which again, is a theme with this expansion. Every dungeon, including the three level 60 ones at the end, have the same linear design that is crafted to prevent you from speedrunning them. Gone are the labyrinthine paths of some low-level dungeons, as well as the tricks of the trade of the vanilla endgame areas; the structure is basically the same every time. Thankfully, the boss fights are spectacular, and nearly every zone features an encounter that has something I've never seen before. Without spoiling it, my favorite dungeon has a fight where a bird flies up into the air, and causes the entire battlefield to fill with fog, forcing you to find his shadow before he comes back down. Another hilariously tasks players with picking up totems and placing them in certain areas to prevent a boss from casting a ritual that ties his health to them. Every fight is intuitive so you won't be scratching your head going "how does this work?" but you will have to actually try. It's a good balance, even if I wish some of the dungeons were a bit more open. The two Primals (Ravana and Bismarck) are worthy additions to the game, and both have EX (extreme) versions that will test your might at level 60. Ravana is an awesome fight that I refer to as "the ninja bug," and it basically feels like how Titan should have been, with a circular arena that you can fall off of. Bismarck on the other hand is like nothing else in Final Fantasy XIV, featuring the titular whale flying right next to a floating rock that the party is standing on. Players will have to hook him with harpoons (you can shout "call me Ishmael" while doing it) and whale on the whale's weak point temporarily. I feel like Ravana is faster-paced and more fun, but again, Bismarck is unique. Currently the endgame consists of gathering law tomes (obtained by high-level dungeons and hunts), buying item level i170 gear, and upgrading them to i180 by way of items from seals. Bismarck EX will net you i175 weapons, and Ravana earns you i190. You have two weeks to fully upgrade your left and right-side gear to face the first part of the Alexander raid, who will debut at that time (with the tougher "Savage" difficulty unlocking two weeks after that). Said raids will be even better thanks to the new loot systems, which can give a raid leader more control over who gets what (finally). With everything there is to do in the game though, it doesn't feel like a grind to get to that point. Did I mention Heavensward was beautiful? I'm pretty sure I have often, but I'll do it again just to drive the point home. It looks fantastic, from the snowy landscape of Ishgard to the Souls-esque Dravanian Hinterlands, complete with lush plains and hellish mountains filled with fiery depths. I would often stop just to admire the scenery, which is even easier thanks to flying mounts. Every time I visit an old content area I long for the chance to use a flying mount, but alas, it's only available in new zones. Specifically regarding the PS4 version, it's starting to feel the sting of the more open areas a bit, particularly when it comes to longer load times (which can be a pain while zoning in for hunts) and some slowdown. I should mention that said slowdown never becomes unplayable, even with 50 other players slashing away at the same world hunt target. It can just get a bit sluggish is all. My view is partially colored by the fact that the new Direct X 11 version on PC looks gorgeous and runs smoothly. Down the line you have new storylines to look forward to, as well as the aforementioned Alexander raid, more 24-player casual raids (which aren't currently in yet), a new PVP map, and a new multi-part relic weapon quest that will debut next month for all jobs. None of this was factored into this review, but it's something to be aware of -- based on its past track record, Square Enix will continue to evolve the game and make it better. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is more A Realm Reborn, which is a fine thing to strive for in my book. Whether you're the type of player who enjoys crafting, endgame content, or role-playing, there's so much to do here for people of all skill levels it's insane. While I fizzled out a bit after completing the main story in 2.5, Heavensward has rekindled my flame. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Heavensward review photo
Par for the heavens
When our story began last week, I was a level 53 Paladin, soldiering through the new content for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. I stand before you now as a level 60, having played everything that's currently available. My opinion on the expansion hasn't changed much, which is a good thing.

Promoted blog photo
Promoted blog

An open plea to Square Enix: Don't remove FFVII's turn-based combat


Promoted from our community blogs!
Jun 25
// Sephzilla
[With the recent announcement of Final Fantasy VII's remake, speculation abounds regarding what will and won't be changed. In today's promoted blog, Sephzilla decides to focus on the one crucial thing that shouldn't: the turn...
Hmm photo
Hmm

Final Fantasy VII remake: No new characters, more realistic gameplay


Hmm
Jun 23
// Steven Hansen
First, I'd like to know if "there won’t be new characters" includes previously invented Final Fantasy VII characters, say from Advent Children, or if it means no new characters added relative to the original Final Fanta...
FF7 photo
FF7

The Final Fantasy VII port you don't want is coming in October


Contain your excitement
Jun 22
// Brett Makedonski
[Update: Square Enix reached out to "...confirm that the published release date for this title is incorrect. As discussed at this year's E3, Final Fantasy VII will be ported to the PlayStation 4 in Winter 2015. The pricing ...

Experience Points .16: Final Fantasy VII

Jun 20 // Ben Davis
The descendant of the Shinobi Picking a favorite character in a Final Fantasy game is usually pretty tough (unless that game is Final Fantasy IX). I have a soft spot for most of the party members in Final Fantasy VII; Cid and Barret are comically vulgar, Red XIII is awesomely adorable (that part where he's trying to walk like a human <3), Tifa has this sort of quiet badass-ness surrounding her, and Cait Sith is really weird, but I just want to snuggle up with the giant Mog like Mei napping on top of Totoro. If I had to choose a favorite, though, I would have to pick Yuffie. I feel like Yuffie often gets a bad rap. She's a thief, after all, and is constantly plotting to steal the party's Materia. She's also kind of a brat, and can come off as rather obnoxious and selfish. But even so, she has so many shining moments throughout the game where she demonstrates a wonderful sense of humor and optimism. It's also revealed through a side quest that she only wanted to steal Materia to help out her father and their home town, so even as a thief she still manages to be a sympathetic character. Then again, Yuffie and her father hatch up a plan to steal everyone's Materia again after the adventure is over, presumably for selfish reasons. I guess some things never change. When she's not stealing things, she can be found suffering from motion sickness, slicing things up with giant shurikens, calling people "old farts", pretending to be a news reporter, and other crazy stuff that a teenage ninja girl might do. She also has my personal favorite theme song; it's very upbeat and cheerful. Hearing it always makes me really happy! Whenever I replay Final Fantasy VII, I always make it my mission to recruit her to the team as quickly as possible. How anyone could hate Yuffie is beyond me. Interrupted by fireworks The Gold Saucer: an endlessly exciting theme park with obnoxiously happy music, filled with games, rides, haunted houses, live theater, fireworks, racetracks, battle arenas, and all sorts of fun stuff. Not to mention the fact that it's built on a giant, almost unreal, tree-like structure towering above a desolate wasteland. It's a truly magical place. While the rides and games are fun and addicting (the motorcycle and snowboarding games are my favorites), the highlight of the Gold Saucer occurs after the party decides to rest at the inn. Depending on certain choices the player has made in the game up to this point, one of four characters will knock on Cloud's door late at night and ask him out on a date, where they walk around the park, take part in a theatrical performance (which is always hilarious), and go on a romantic gondola ride during a fireworks show. Obviously, the two main options for date night are Tifa and Aeris, but it's also possible to go on a date with Yuffie and, surprisingly, even Barret. Tifa and Aeris might make the most sense, but the scenes on the gondola with Yuffie and Barret are some of my favorite moments in the game. The date with Yuffie is adorably awkward. Yuffie clearly likes Cloud, and she even manages to work up the courage to give him a peck on the cheek, but Cloud just sits there like a grumpy, silent lump and embarrasses the heck out of her ("Gawd, I could just die."). Poor Yuffie! The date with Barret, on the other hand, is just plain awkward as hell. Barret asks Cloud to accompany him because he wants to go for a walk, so it's not framed as a date at all, but it sure starts to feel like one. The gondola ride starts out in awkward silence as the two men just sit there and stare at each other with their arms crossed, until Barret gets pissed about having to enjoy the fireworks with another dude and asks Cloud why he never asked one of the girls out. He then goes on to basically accuse Cloud of pedophilia by falling in love with his daughter, Marlene (she's like four years old!), and gets even more pissed off to the point where he starts shooting at the fireworks to make them shut up. I mean, geez, you could just cut that sexual tension with a knife, am I right? The protector of Cosmo Canyon Final Fantasy VII has no shortage of emotional, tear-jerking moments. Of course, while there is the big one which you're no doubt thinking about right now, my personal favorite moving moment happens much earlier in the game when the party first arrives at Cosmo Canyon and learns a little more about their mysterious animal friend, Red XIII, or as he's known in Cosmo Canyon, Nanaki. While sitting around a big bonfire, Cloud has a chat with Nanaki. He reluctantly begins to open up about his parents and how the thought of his mother fills him with pride and joy, while the thought of his father fills him with anger. Apparently, his father abandoned his mother and the town and left her to die. Nanaki's grandfather, Bugenhagen, overhears the conversation and asks if Nanaki really cannot forgive his father. Bugenhagen then leads the party through a dangerous cave full of ghostly terrors in order to show Nanaki something special. At the back of the cave, the party finds themselves at the bottom of a cliff, at the top of which sits a stone statue resembling Nanaki. Bugenhagen reveals that the statue is actually Nanaki's father, Seto, who was turned to stone by poisonous arrows as he was trying to drive enemies out of the canyon to protect the town. He still remains there today, watching over Cosmo Canyon. Learning all of this about his father, Nanaki has a sudden change of heart. He decides to accompany Cloud and the team in order to help protect the planet and proudly declares, "I am Nanaki of Cosmo Canyon! The son of the warrior, Seto! I'll come back as a warrior true to that noble name!" Upon making this announcement, drops of water begin to fall from above, and Nanaki looks up to see that the statue of his father is shedding tears of joy. Nanaki jumps up onto a small outcrop and begins to howl up to his father. This scene always sends a shiver down my spine, and the howling almost makes me shed a tear. It leaves me feeling simultaneously sad that Red XIII's father is dead and happy that the two could reunite and come to an understanding. And the music, a more melancholy version of Red XIII's theme, fits the scene perfectly. It gets me every time! Love and rockets Another wonderfully touching moment happens a bit later in the game, when the party sits down to have tea with Shera at Cid's place in Rocket Town. The relationship between Cid and Shera comes off as particularly volatile, with Cid constantly shouting and cursing at her and generally acting very agitated whenever she's around. The party asks her how she can put up with all of his anger, and she explains that he wasn't always this way. This cues a flashback of Cid's first attempt to launch a rocket into space. Shera is busy checking an oxygen tank, which Cid claims she's wasting her time with. It then cuts to Cid in the cockpit, ready to take off, and the countdown begins. But there's a problem: a mechanic is still in the engine section of the rocket, a very dangerous place to be when the rocket is about to blast off, as the heat would surely kill them. The lingering mechanic is Shera, of course. She stuck around to do some final checks on the oxygen tanks, since they weren't testing to her satisfaction. She's urges Cid to continue with the launch, and seems to be dead set on fixing the oxygen tanks even if it means she'll be killed. She only wants the launch to be a success, to fulfill Cid's lifelong dream of making it into outer space. Cid doesn't want her to die, but the countdown has already started, and if it's canceled they'll have to wait another six months until the next launch. In a panic, Cid shuts down the engine at the very last second, saving Shera's life but sacrificing his dream. Later, the Space Program was cut back and plans for another launch were canceled. So that's why, according to Shera, she's okay with all of his abuse. She blames herself, so she feels she deserves it. Deep down, though, I still think Cid really cares for Shera. He may not show it very well, but he did save her life, after all. It's a complicated relationship for sure, but that just makes it all the more interesting. [embed]294343:59146:0[/embed] Just play it cool, boy Is there no cooler theme song than the Turks' theme? It fits the group perfectly, with their cool, confident demeanors, sleek suits, and take-no-shit attitudes. It's a really interesting part of the soundtrack, too, because it's made up almost entirely of percussion sounds, with a slight bit of melody thrown in occasionally for good measure. I like to imagine the Turks walking down the streets of Midgar with this song playing, snapping along to the music and kicking stuff out of their way while other people look on in intimidation. Maybe they throw in some subtle dance moves while they're at it, like they're performing a more subdued version of "Cool" from West Side Story. They could totally pull it off. Awkward encounters at the Honey Bee Inn Midgar's Honey Bee Inn, a seedy brothel run by women in sexy bee costumes, happens to be the home of some of the most unexpected scenes in Final Fantasy history. During Cloud's visit to the inn, he has access to one of two rooms: the Group Room and the &$#% Room. They sound pretty exciting, no? Choosing the Group Room, the sexy bee lady steps aside as a mob of sweaty, muscular men barge into the room and practically force Cloud to take a bath with them (what a lucky guy!). Or if he chooses the &$#% Room... well, I'll just let you imagine what goes on in the &$#% Room. I'm honestly really surprised these scenes weren't censored from the game. I'm also kind of glad that they weren't. Not only because my pervy teenage mind enjoyed them (even if I probably didn't fully understand what was happening at the time), but also because this awkward, racy, unexpected content was part of what made Final Fantasy VII feel so special. I mean, who honestly thought they would see stuff like this in a Final Fantasy game? Hits like a truck I love it when Final Fantasy gets real weird with its boss fights. The Ultros fights from Final Fantasy VI and the fight against Sandy, Cindy, and Mindy from Final Fantasy IV always stick in my mind because of how silly they were. There always seems to be at least one humorous boss fight, and in Final Fantasy VII, that boss is Palmer. Palmer is the head of the Space Program for Shinra, but he's a very incompetent and obnoxiously childish old man. In Rocket Town, the party interrupts him while he's trying to steal Cid's plane, the Tiny Bronco, which leads into the boss fight. During the entire fight, Palmer bounces back and forth in a ridiculous, taunting manner. Occasionally, he'll use up a turn to spin around and smack his butt in the party's direction, muttering, "heh heh hic!" as though he's drunk (and he probably is). The best part, though, is at the end of the fight. After Palmer is defeated, he does this weird little dance, almost gets his head chopped off by the propeller of the Tiny Bronco, mocks the party to save face, then turns to run away only to get hit by a truck out of nowhere and sent flying. The entire cutscene is just crazy. Why is the Tiny Bronco suddenly moving on its own? Where did that truck even come from? I mean, they're fighting in Cid's fenced off backyard, so did it drive over his fence? It's the most absurd, unexpected way to end a battle, especially in a mostly serious game like Final Fantasy VII, but that's exactly why I love it so much! Past Experience Points .01: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.02: Shadow of the Colossus.03: EarthBound.04: Catherine.05: Demon's Souls.06: No More Heroes.07: Paper Mario.08: Persona 4.09: Final Fantasy IX.10: Mega Man Legends.11: Rayman Origins.12: Metal Slug 3.13: Animal Crossing.14: Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King.15: Super Mario Sunshine  
Final Fantasy VII photo
This guy are sick
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a p...

Weekend Deals: Grab hold of Arkham Knight at 46% off for PC

Jun 20 // Dealzon
Batman Arkham Discounts Use Coupon: DEALZO-N40OFF-BATAKV Batman: Arkham Knight Premium (Steam) — $53.99  (list price $100) Batman: Arkham Knight Standard (Steam) — $36  (list price $60) Batman: Arkham Knight Season Pass (Steam) — $24  (list price $40) Console Deals Batman: Arkham Knight + $10 Rewards (PS4) — $59.99  (list price $60) Batman: Arkham Knight Serious Edition (PS4, XOne) — $69.99  (list price $90) Use Code: GRAB25-PERCNT-OFFNOW Batman Arkham Origins (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) Batman Arkham City GOTY (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) Batman Arkham Asylum GOTY (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Deals Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward - Collectors Edition — $44.99  (list price $60) Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward — $29.99  (list price $40) Xbox & PS4 Consoles PlayStation 4 Console + Last of Us + Bloodborne — $399.99  (list price $400) Xbox One Halo MCC Bundle + AC: Unity + $50 Promo — $349  <- plus 1 free game Xbox One 1TB Console + Halo MCC + $50 Promo + AC: Unity — $399 <- ditto PlayStation Plus 12-Month Card — $39.99  (list price $50) Xbox Live Gold 12 Month Gold Card — $35.99  (list price $60) Recent Releases 06/12: LEGO Jurassic World (Steam) — $25.99  (list price $40) 06/10: Kholat (Steam) — $13.50  (list price $20) Upcoming Releases 07/10: F1 2015 (Steam) — $39.95  (list price $55) 07/21: F1 2015 + $10 Xbox Gift Card (Xbox One) — $59.95  (list price $60) 08/04: Rare Replay + $10 Xbox Gift Card (Xbox One) — $29.99  <- not bad MSFT 11/10: Fallout 4 + $10 Xbox Gift Card (Xbox One) — $59.99  (list price $60) 11/10: Fallout 4 (Steam) — $45  (list price $60) PC Game Deals Just Cause 3 (Steam) — $40.50  (list price $60) Battlefield: Hardline Deluxe Edition (Origin) — $34.99  (list price $70) Dragon Age: Inquisition (Origin) — $29.99  (list price $60) World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (PC DVD) — $29.99  (list price $50) Killing Floor 2 (Steam) — $23.99  (list price $30) <- Steam Sale Day 10 Battlefield 4 Premium (Origin) — $19.99  (list price $40) Resident Evil 6 (Steam) — $7.49  (list price $30) The Wolf Among Us — $6.24  (list price $25) Duke Nukem Forever (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) <- meh? Age of Empires II HD (Steam) — $2.99  (list price $20) Console Game Deals Lords of the Fallen (PS4, Xbox One) — $27.99  (list price $40) Just Dance 2015 (PS4, XOne, 360, Wii U, Wii) — $19.99  (list price $50) <- still going South Park: The Stick of Truth (Xbox 360, PS3) — $14.99  (list price $30) PS4 Bloodborne (PS4) — $39.99  (list price $60) <- not bad Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4) — $32.95  (list price $60) The Last of Us Remastered (PS4 Download) — $11.49  (list price $40) Xbox One Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One) — $24.99  (list price $40) Forza Motorsport 5: Racing Game of the Year (Xbox One) — $24.99  (list $40) Wii U Zelda Hyrule Warriors (Wii U) — $48.99  (list price $60) Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Wii U) — $29.99  (list price $40) Laptop Deals 13.3" Lenovo LaVie Z, i7-5500U, 8GB, 256GB, 1440p — $1,274.15  (list $1,700) 17.3" Lenovo Y70, i7-4710HQ, GTX 860M, 16GB, 256GB — $1,099  (list $1,500) 14" Lenovo Yoga 3, i5-5200U, 8GB, 256GB SSD — $919  (list $1,200) HDTV Deals 48" Samsung UN48H8000 Curved 240Hz 3D Smart TV — $1,049.99  (list $1,798) 55" LG 55UB8200 2160p 4K Ultra HD Smart TV — $838  (list $2,200) 55" Samsung UN55J6300 120Hz Smart HDTV — $749.99  (list $1,800) 55" LG 55LF6000 1080p 120Hz HDTV — $549.99  (list $899) 50" LG 50LF6000 1080p 120Hz HDTV — $499.99  (list  $700) SSD Deals Crucial M500 Series SSD 2.5" 960GB — $279.99  (list price $520) SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD 2.5" 480GB — $199.99  (list price $400) PNY CS1111 SSD 2.5" 480GB — $139.99  (list price $200) Seagate 1TB 3.5" Hard Drive — $34.99  (list price $80) Game deals from Dealzon. Sales from certain retailers help support Destructoid.
Weekend deals photo
Gotham's Bargaining
For PC gamers, Tuesday's release of Batman: Arkham Knight is fairly cheap over the weekend -- up to 46% off list price. Use our 40% off code at GMG which drops the price of the Standard Edition from $60 to only...

Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Jun 19 // Chris Carter
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixMSRP: $39.99 ($12.99 per month)Released: June 19, 2015 (Early Access), June 23, 2015 Picking up directly where the last campaign left off, the first quest of Heavensward is located in the Coerthas Central Highlands, directing you to Ishgard. Yep, you heard that right -- it continues the story of the core game, so you'll need to complete the main campaign (ending with "Before the Dawn") and reach level 50 first. Newer players will find at least double the experience from the original vanilla quests to help boost them up a bit. According to Square Enix, the new Heavensward story is roughly 50 hours, and based on my pace so far in at 10, that's fairly accurate. It's about the same length as the original game, which is quite a feat, and about the sweet spot for a campaign in my mind. There's so much other stuff to do to keep you busy at this point. The flow of the process is to get from levels 50 to 60 with mostly story quests, which has worked out for the most part with my first character -- so far, I'm level 53 and counting. I decided to take on the leveling process with my trusty Paladin, who would be able to jump into queues at a moment's notice. Most classes have a handful of new abilities, and in the Paladin's case, there are five in total. I've acquired one so far -- the power to use a pinch block ability to give him some extra durability. There are a few new combo abilities that mix up your rotation quite a bit, as well as a few tweaks (like an accuracy buff to Shield Oath). It's just enough to keep you on your toes and get you interested in leveling without making things too tricky. Ishgard is the new capital city and the expansion hosts nine new locations, all of which are much larger than the original zones in A Realm Reborn. This is mostly because they now support flying mounts, a brand new mechanic in Heavensward. You can't just fly right off the bat, though -- you'll have to attune to each zone through a combination of locating aether and completing key quests. The idea is that you'll have fully explored the area by the time you're done, opening up a more vertical approach later on. [embed]294029:59024:0[/embed] It sounds like it could be annoying, but you'll get a compass item that will help you find said aether currents with instructions that aren't too vague and aren't on-the-nose either. It's a fun mechanic that reminds me a lot of the same design philosophies found in Guild Wars 2. Some of the currents are even built around jumping puzzles. Flying isn't as glorious as in, say, Aion, but it's very fun to soar about when tracking down hunt targets. I can see Square Enix doing a lot of cool things with future updates like hidden areas and quests; there's some of that already now. Speaking of flying, your personal Chocobo will allow you to do just that at a certain point in the story, so everyone can easily get on track and enjoy the ride. Having said that, the PlayStation 4 version is starting to show its age already. Although this is launch so there's lots more people concentrated in specific areas, the frame rate crawls a bit more than it used to in vanilla Realm Reborn, especially since most of these zones are so much bigger. It's not game-breaking, but it is odd. The PS4 was previously a powerhouse and nearly on par with the PC. I haven't tested it for that long, but the newly minted DirectX 11 engine on PC (that also released today) is drastically better than ever before, alleviating nearly all of my concerns. I'll provide more information on this in the future. The quality of the story is improved overall, drawing from what the development team learned from all of the superior updates. It deals with a thousand-year conflict between Ishgard and Dravania. I'm interested in seeing where this goes, and I'll provide a spoiler-free update when I complete it. The actual quests haven't been any better or worse than A Realm Reborn, and so far, the theme of the expansion seems to be "more of a good thing, without re-inventing the wheel." There are two starting zones to alleviate the congestion, which have worked, on top of the fact that roughly half of the post-level-50 community is going back to the old content with the new jobs anyway. As for other content, there are a handful of new dungeons, one of which I've tried out already called Dusk Vigil. It's about on par with the recent additions in the newer updates. That is to say they're very flashy, filled with their own lore bits, and while they cut down on exploration quite a bit, they're all designed to be completed casually with the occasional peppering of a challenge. The pacing is spot on, and they don't drag like a few of the vanilla dungeons. The same goes for the first hard mode trial (read: group instanced boss) I've encountered, which features a really badass bug that I don't want to spoil here. Suffice to say, it's a little more interesting than the initial Primals you meet in A Realm Reborn. Several other classes have gotten a few major shakeups, like the Bard, who now has a DPS-based Limit Break, and the Black Mage, which must stay within Ley Lines, a magical circle, to gain extra damage by way of haste. Every class now has a unique level-three Limit Break animation, which is great. All of these changes help make your job feel more unique and make Final Fantasy XIV a more well-rounded MMO as a whole. Switching to my other jobs for a few moments felt different, especially the Bard. You can really notice even just a few extra skills in dungeon runs. As for the three new jobs, I had a chance to try out Dark Knight, but there's also the Astrologian and Machinist. Unlocking them is as easy as reaching Ishgard and talking to a specific quest starter in town, then doing a 10-minute quest for each -- that's it! They all start at level 30, and come equipped with a few pieces of gear and roughly 10 skills each at first. It's perfect, as there's just enough there to give you plenty to do right away, but not so much that you're overwhelmed. While I need more time to test them, I think they all bring something unique to the table, and I love the Dark Knight's risk-reward mechanic. It's the freshest take on tanking yet. Other extras that I still need to dig into include the all new Au Ra race, the DirectX11 visual upgrade on PC, new hunt targets, a more comprehensive loot system for raids, the power to queue for dungeons with less than five players, Free Company (guild) upgrades like Workshops and Airships, crafting upgrades, Bismarck and Ravana as new Primals, more Triple Triad cards, a future new Frontlines PVP map, an all-new Relic questline set to debut in 3.1, and a new Alexander raid, which will unlock at a later date. Stay tuned as I continue to play through Heavensward, work my way up to level 60, and try out the new classes. Only then will I provide my full review for the expansion.+ [This review is based on a retail build provided by the publisher.]
Final Fantasy XIV review photo
Par for the heavens
The story of how Square Enix turned Final Fantasy XIV around is still incredible to me. I always tell people about playing it at E3 in 2010 for the very first time, pre-Realm Reborn, and how it was one of the least fun MMOs I...

FFXIV photo
FFXIV

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward's launch is bumpy, but it works


Server issues, but not nearly as bad
Jun 19
// Chris Carter
Well, this is a lot smoother than Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's initial launch, which left some people unable to log in for weeks. The Heavensward expansion debuted today for early access subscribers (read: pre-ord...
Heavensward photo
Pretty standard stuff
The Heavensward expansion launches for Final Fantasy XIV in a few hours, and Square Enix has sent over a copy of the Collector's Edition. For $130, it includes the expansion, a special box, a dragon mount figure, an...

Final Fantasy VII remake will have new story bits, updated gameplay

Jun 17 // Steven Hansen
"Since we now formally revealed Kazushige Nojima’s name for the scenario, there will be more plot devices in the story, so I think you can also look forward to that," Nomura said. "if you are going to do a full remake, you have to take a different approach and make something that suits the times." I'm completely with Nomura here. A straight Final Fantasy VII remake would be fine, but I'm glad Square Enix seems to be trying to do something bold and make appropriate changes rather than end up with something like Gus van Sant's Psycho.  We may see more at Tokyo Game Show or maybe Sony's PlayStation Experience if they do another one of those Vegas shows and Square stays mum on what other platforms its coming to for a while. フルリメイク版『ファイナルファンタジーVII』&『キングダム ハーツIII』について野村哲也氏を直撃【E3 2015】[Famitsu]『FFVII』は安易なリメイクではない。『KHIII』を含めて野村哲也氏へインタビュー【E3 2015】[Dengeki Online]The Final Fantasy VII Remake Won't Be Exactly the Same [Kotaku]  
Final Fantasy VII remake  photo
'Not a simple remake'
Zack Furniss couldn't pull much about Final Fantasy VII when he interviewed Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura (in what was a Kingdom Hearts 3 focused meeting), but crumbs of not at all unexpected news about the for-real Fina...

FFXIV photo
FFXIV

Here are the preliminary patch notes for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward


Tons of info to sift through
Jun 17
// Chris Carter
Square Enix has posted the 3.0 update patch notes for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, which is due for launch on Friday for early access pre-orders. It details the new locations, jobs, abilities, items, and everything else yo...

Talking Kingdom Hearts III (and a bit of Final Fantasy VII!) with Tetsuya Nomura

Jun 16 // Zack Furniss
[embed]294205:59114:0[/embed] Mr. Nomura, I see that Sora is dressed in new duds. With your history of costume design, are we going to see changing outfits to go with form changes like in Kingdom Hearts II? Yes. Form changes are being considered to bring back. I have enjoyed making different designs for different abilities in the past. What is the process like when deciding which Disney levels are going to be in the game? Does Disney often intervene to make sure you're utilizing certain properties? Disney sometimes does make suggestions, but the development staff has more sway over worlds and gameplay mechanics. When KH began, Disney was a large pool to pool from, but now with the additions of the Star Wars and Marvel properties, it is goddamn huge. Has this made it difficult to parse between which franchises you would like to insert into the ever-expanding universe? The fact that we have to pick, and the difficulty associated with that, is something we have faced with each installment since the beginning. We pick more IPs than necessary and consult the schedule and feasibility of actually getting our designs to work. It’s been a repeating process. How much would I have to pay you to draw a small portrait of me in your signature aesthetic? I do some work outside of my current projects. The tasks come and I do them without knowledge of how much money I will make. If I ever decide to leave Square Enix, I will determine a price! (I pull out my wallet and start taking out whole dollars. Tetsuya lets out an adorable giggle and shows a big, goofy [ha!] smile.) With Final Fantasy VII being remade, are you more excited to finally remake this, or nervous because of the years of players' built-up expectations? When I create anything, I feel no pressure for some reason. When the trailer was announced yesterday, I was texting Kazushige Nojima and Yoshinori Kitase, but I sensed that one of them was nervous and it was interesting to me. Seeing the reactions made everything worth it. Nojima said he is very determined to make this after seeing the reaction. I asked “you weren’t sure before that?” Haha. The news of the remake is impacting so many people. I couldn’t sleep last night because my phone was blowing up! So many people are congratulating me that I feel like “Oh wow, maybe I did do something profound here!
Tetsuya Nomura photo
What an adorable little man
HOLY FUCK I UNEXPECTEDLY INTERVIEWED NOMURA. I sat in a private room at the Square Enix booth with Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII's creative director Tetsuya Nomura. Co-creator Tai Yasue was also there, though he let Nomura answer the majority of the questions that two other journalists and I asked him.

Final Fantasy app photo
Final Fantasy app

Final Fantasy portal app coming this summer


Woo?
Jun 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at its E3 press conference, Square Enix announced the Final Fantasy portal app, a resource that looks to "provide any and all information related to Final Fantasy." An English version is slated to launch on smartphones and tablet devices this summer. 
PS4 and Vita photo
PS4 and Vita

World of Final Fantasy meant for kids, set in a new world


PS4 and Vita
Jun 16
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix showed off World of Final Fantasy at its press conference. It was previously announced for PS4 and Vita at Sony's last night. It takes place in a "completely new universe" than other Final Fantasy games, though it...
FFVII photo
FFVII

The less exciting Final Fantasy VII on PS4 is still on track


Not the one you care about
Jun 16
// Brett Makedonski
Everyone's abuzz about Final Fantasy VII on PS4, but while that's the talk of the town, Square Enix wants to keep us informed about something we're less excited about. The Final Fantasy VII Returns PC to PS4 port th...
World of Final Fantasy photo
World of Final Fantasy

World of Final Fantasy set PS4 and PS Vita, coming 2016


Chibi Final Fantssy
Jun 15
// Alessandro Fillari
During the Sony E3 presser, we got a sneak peek at an upcoming spin-off title for Square-Enix's fabled JRPG series called World of Final Fantasy. It's looks to be an super-deformed take on FF lore, featuring a young cast about to embark on an adventure. It looks quite colorful, and I'm intrigued to see what the gameplay will be like.
It's actually happening! photo
It's actually happening!
Wow. When a release exists so far in the realm of improbability that it becomes a joke -- like The Last Guardian or Agent or Half-Life 3 -- and then, bam, E3 gets a damn car battery to the gonads as one of these things actua...

FFVII photo
FFVII

Multiple sources say a proper Final Fantasy VII remake is coming for PS4


To be revealed tonight
Jun 15
// Chris Carter
If Sony reveals a real Final Fantasy VII remake tonight for the PS4, and not that "classic FFVII" troll release from last year, people will lose it. That might just happen, according to multiple sources. This m...
Kingdom Hearts survey photo
Kingdom Hearts survey

Kingdom Hearts survey references last-gen consoles, Vita, Wii U


Also asks about localization
Jun 10
// Jed Whitaker
The official Kingdom Hearts Facebook page posted a survey for fans to fill out that will be available till June 12. It asks about how important it is to fans to have games localized in their own language, be it text...
FF Type-0 HD patch photo
FF Type-0 HD patch

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is getting a console patch today


Minor improvements
Jun 09
// Chris Carter
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD was surprisingly good, and it looks like Square Enix isn't quite done with it yet. In addition to the announcement of a full-on PC port later this year, the publisher has revealed a patch for the conso...
Final Fantasy Tactics photo
Final Fantasy Tactics

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions is on Android now


$13.99
Jun 08
// Chris Carter
Square Enix has released the mobile version of Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (itself a remake originally debuting on PSP) on Android devices. It's basically the same version as the iOS release from 2011, with touch ...
June 9 photo
June 9

Major Final Fantasy XV demo update lets you fight giants


June 9
Jun 05
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix has released a video for Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae's 2.0 patch, the major update that is hitting the Final Fantasy XV demo next week on June 9. Yes, weird. As previously noted, it "features camera/targeting...

Stella, Versus' opening party scene no longer in Final Fantasy XV

Jun 05 // Steven Hansen
Stella was a straggler. "Stella was presented as the heroine to play opposite Noctis in Versus XIII. We wanted to keep her as a heroine in FFXV’s story, and pursued ways to tie her in to FFXV’s design as well, but we found it increasingly difficult to make sense of Stella’s character and role within FFXV. So then we thought, do we want to recreate Stella with a different role and image, or do we want to start over with a new heroine? And after a lot of consideration, we decided not to include Stella in FFXV. Instead, we have a new heroine named Luna, who has a different role within the story. So we will be talking more about her in the future." That future is likely Gamescom, where Final Fantasy XV will have a big presence. It is basically skipping E3. Other characters from what was Versus, like the woman dragoon, "are still in the game with their own important roles within the story." Still, the erasure of a major character emphasizes what Tabata wants to get across ahead of the big reveals at Gamescom, that Final Fantasy XV "is indeed a different game now." Another specific change Tabata points out is that the party scene from Versus, followed by the attack on the city, has been removed. "So now, the sequence is: Noct and his retinue leave Insomnia, and...then the Niflheim army attacks the crown city," he explained. "There’s an extremely important reason behind this decision. In fact, it could be construed a spoiler, so I can’t tell you about it here." Even that change comes with a serious concern over fan reaction to these changes. "We decided to delete the scene of a party in Insomnia, which is a city like Shinjuku. So then we became concerned that the players who were looking forward to some gameplay in that city might worry that they would be losing that gameplay as well," Tabata said. "So I thought I should let you know here and now that we are preparing situations that would involve gameplay in the Shinjuku-like city of Insomnia. We had previously released information on Versus saying you would begin combat right after the Niflheim army attacks the city, but the new gameplay would not fall in around the same timeline."
New heroine Luna photo
New heroine Luna & the Versus transition
A lot has changed since Final Fantasy XIII Versus was announced. We have a black president now! Seriously. We're going on a decade now. It's not just minor things like titles or planned consoles that have changed, director H...

Heavensward photo
Heavensward

PlayStation 4, Vita, PS TV get weak Final Fantasy XIV consoles


Heavensward
Jun 03
// Steven Hansen
Sony, Square, c'mon. These Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward themed consoles are a bit low effort. The white PS4 does look fine, but both are literally just white and black PS4s with Sony's weak faceplates packed in. I like the ...

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