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Final Fantasy

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 ...
Lightning Returns photo
Lightning Returns

Square Enix assures fans that Lighting Returns is still coming to PC


Hopefully
Jun 03
// Chris Carter
Lightning Returns is such a weird game. Given my many issues with XIII (less with XIII-2 though), I didn't think I'd enjoy it in the slightest. Funnily enough, it ended up being one of my favorite games of 2014. Sin...
Final Fantasy Type-0 photo
No details yet
[Update: Square Enix has confirmed that it will be an enhanced port of sorts, offering up "new graphical options," as well as an improved battle and camera system, among other updates.] Square Enix has been on a Steam be...

Batman Arkham Knight 40% off discount storms onto the scene

May 30 // Dealzon
Top Weekend Deals 40% Off Batman: Arkham Knight Premium Edition (Steam) — $53.99Use code: 40OFFB-ATAKVC-GMGRB9 Batman: Arkham Knight (Steam) — $36  <- Use super secret code above. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DRM-Free) — $36  <- Login required to see deal. 25% Off Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward - Collectors Edition — $45 <- Login required. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward — $30  (list price $40) <- Login required. Bayonetta 2 (Wii U) — $44.97  (list price $60) Noteworthy Bloodborne (PS4) — $39.99  (list price $60) Xbox One Assassin's Creed: Unity Bundle — $299.99  <- nice price Humble Nindie Bundle + Humble Relic Bundle Recent Releases 05/27: Dying Light: The Bozak Horde (Steam) — $8  (list price $10) 05/26: Magicka 2 (Steam) — $12  (list price $15) <- Deluxe too at $20 05/26: The Evil Within: The Executioner (Steam) — $4  (list price $5) Upcoming Releases 06/12: LEGO Jurassic World (Steam) — $28  (list price $35) <- of course there's a game 08/25: Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One) — $52.99  (list price $60) 09/01: Mad Max (Steam) — $40  (list price $50) 11/06: CoD: Black Ops 3 (PS4, PC, XOne) — $59.99 + $10 Rewards + Beta Access PC Game Deals Capcom Sale Use Code: GET20P-ERCENT-OFFNOW Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition (Steam) — $20  (list price $50) Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition (Steam) — $16.80  (list price $30) Ultra Street Fighter IV (Steam) — $12  (list price $30) Resident Evil HD Remaster (Steam) — $12  (list price $20) Resident Evil: Revelations (Steam) — $8.16  (list price $30) Resident Evil 6 (Steam) — $8  (list price $40) DMC: Devil May Cry (Steam) — $7.92  (list price $30) Lost Planet 3 (Steam) — $6.80  (list price $25) Strider (Steam) — $6  (list price $15) Ultra Street Fighter IV Upgrade (Steam) — $6  (list price $15) DuckTales: Remastered (Steam) — $6  (list price $15) Remember Me (Steam) — $4.80  (list price $30) GMG VIP Sale Far Cry 4 (Uplay) — $24.99  (list price $60) The Crew (Uplay) — $24.99  (list price $60) <- anyone online? Assassin's Creed Unity (Uplay) — $24.99  (list price $60) More Dying Light (Steam) — $35.99  (list price $60) Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed (Steam) — $26.99  (list price $30) Starcraft II: Battle Chest (PC/Mac) — $23.99  (list price $40) Game of Thrones - A Telltale Games Series (DRM-Free) — $17.99  (list price $30) Flockers (Steam) — $5.44  (list price $20) 8-Bit Adventures: The Forgotten Journey Remastered (Steam) — $5.36  (list $10) Rise of Venice - Gold Edition (Steam) — $4.50  (list price $30) The Last Remnant (Steam) — $4.24  (list price $10) Worms Reloaded Game of the Year Edition (Steam) — $4  (list price $25) Alien Breed 3: Descent (Steam) — $1.60  (list price $10) <- 1 & 2 also on sale Console Game Deals Saints Row IV + Gat Out Of Hell (PS4, Xbox One) — $19.99  (list price $40) LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (PS4, Xbox One) — $19.99  (list price $60) Destiny (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3) — $19.99  (list price $60) FIFA 15 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3) — $19.99  (list price $60) <- fund Blatter's yacht edition  Murdered: Soul Suspect (PS4, Xbox One) — $14.99  (list price $30) Fuse (Xbox 360) — $8.99  (list price $30) PS3 Deals Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMix (PS3) — $19.99  (list price $30) Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3) — $17.99  (list price $30) 3DS Deals Nintendo 2DS + Yoshi's New Island (Crimson Red) — $89.99  (list price $130) Pokemon X (Nintendo 3DS) — $29.99  (list price $40) Pokemon Y (Nintendo 3DS) — $29.99  (list price $40) Pokemon Omega Ruby (Nintendo 3DS) — $29.99  (list price $40) Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (Nintendo 3DS) — $29.99  (list price $40) The Legend of Korra A New Era Begins (Nintendo 3DS) — $9.99  (list price $30) Target: Buy 2 3DS Games Get 1 Free Laptop Deals 17.3" MAINGEAR Pulse, i7-4700HQ, GTX 870M, 16GB — $1,799  (list $2,399) 13.3" Alienware, i7-5500U, QHD+ 1800p, GTX 860M, 16GB — $1,499  (list 1,799) 15.6" Asus i7-4700HQ, 8GB, GTX 850M, 1080p Touch — $799  (list $1,099) 14" Lenovo Y40-80 i7-5500U, R9 M275, 16GB — $779  (list $1,350) HDTV Deals 55" LG 1080p 3D Curved OLED Smart HDTV — $1,799.99  (list price $3,500) 60" Samsung 1080p 240Hz 3D Smart LED HDTV — $1,099.99  (list price $1,998) 55" Samsung 1080p 120Hz Smart LED HDTV — $899.99  (list price $1,800) 40" Samsung 4K Ultra HD Smart LED HDTV — $649.99  (list price $1,000) Game deals from Dealzon. FYI: sales from certain retailers help support Destructoid.
Weekend deals photo
Its raining deals!
As June creeps around the corner, we're now less than a month away from the release of Batman: Arkham Knight. This weekend the PC pre-order became very enticing at GMG where a both Arkham Knight edition is at 40% off - d...

Dissidia Final Fantasy photo
Dissidia Final Fantasy

12 minutes of the Final Fantasy fighter Dissidia


Currently in arcades
May 26
// Steven Hansen
The currently Japan-only, arcade-only (a PS4 release down the line is likely) Final Fantasy fighter (spun off from the PSP series) has some new footage fresh from arcade cabinet location testing. The 3-on-3 fighter looks deep. Right now the breakdown of the six confirmed characters is Heavy (Cloud, Warrior of Light), Speed (Lightning, Onion Knight), and Ranged (Terra, Y’shtola).

Final Fantasy was almost called Fighting Fantasy: Creator explains actual reason behind the name

May 26 // Steven Hansen
Sakaguchi recently gave a keynote address at Kyoto's Ritsumeikan University on, "the globalization of Japanese-produced games," according to RocketNews' translation of a Famitsu article. According to Sakaguchi, the team wanted a title that had a simple abbreviation in the Roman alphabet (FF) and a four-syllable abbreviated Japanese pronunciation ("efu efu"). Because of the setting and style, "fantasy" was an easy choice. "Final" wasn't the first choice of adjective, however. The initial proposed name was "Fighting Fantasy," but it was already taken by a tabletop game. And so it is, Final Fantasy. "To be sure, we had our backs to the wall when we were developing Final Fantasy," Sakaguchi said, "but really, anything that started with an F would have been fine for the title." Of course, Sakaguchi's explanation doesn't discount the fact that "final" could've carried some import, even if it was a secondary choice shoehorned into an earlier-made decision. Famed series composed Nobuo Uematsu was thought to have clarified the origin behind the name six years ago in a Wired interview. Uematsu confirmed Sakaguchi's often repeated explanation that he would have had to quit and go back to university had the game not been successful, but at that time Uematsu agreed that the ultimate reason for the name was that Square was going belly-up and the folks working on it figured it was their last production. At the least, Sakaguchi's explanation adds a new wrinkle to what has always been an inalienable piece of gaming history. Final Fantasy creator reveals the real reason behind the “Final” part of the hit series’ title [RocketNews24]FF』はどのように世界に広がっていったのか? 坂口博信氏と浜村弘一ファミ通グループ代表が“国際日本ゲーム研究カンファレンス”にて語る [Famitsu]
Fighting Fantasy?! photo
Disputes long taken for granted origin
Why's it called FINAL fantasy if there's a load of 'em, an internet commenter snickers before calling American football "hand egg" and ordering three more bacon meme t-shirts from Epic Threadz. The trodden joke has an equally...

FFXIV photo
FFXIV

Nobuo Uematsu unveils his beautiful new Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward theme


Also, have some expansion footage
May 22
// Chris Carter
One of the best parts of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the music. Most people don't consider it a "real" Final Fantasy because of the MMO tag, but let me tell you -- it's probably my favorite main entry sinc...
Final Fantasy XIV photo
Final Fantasy XIV

Chocobos are using Twitter to race in Final Fantasy XIV


It's funny because birds tweet
May 21
// Joe Parlock
Final Fantasy XIV confused the shit out of me. I played it for about a month, and I’ll probably go back to it, but god damn I had no idea what I was doing. But now there is an anchor in that game, something I know and ...
Japan sales photo
Japan sales

Re-re-release: Final Fantasy X/X-2 PS4 tops Japan sales


PlayStation 4 tops hardware charts
May 20
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix's somewhat screwy PS4 release of the previously release Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster topped Japanese sales chartsfor the week ending on May 17 (it was released in Japan May 14), according to Gematsu's report of...
FFXV photo
FFXV

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae 2.0 is coming next month


Early June
May 18
// Chris Carter
Some time ago Square Enix released the Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae demo out into the wild for PS4 and Xbox One. I really enjoyed it, despite the blemishes. It's also a work in progress, and the publisher seems keen o...
Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: Bloodstained, Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, and more


Zen-distilled stories
May 18
// Darren Nakamura
To fans of weird deadpan comedy poetry: I'd like to extend my humblest apologies for the hiatus. I'd like to say I was celebrating the 10th episode by taking some time off, but the reality is that I have just been super busy...

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster on PS4 looks better than ever, but has major problems

May 14 // Brett Zeidler
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS Vita, PS3, PS4 [tested])Developer: Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixReleased: May 12, 2015MSRP: $49.99 In terms of the entire package, the PS4 version is the exact same compilation as the original remaster release. The international versions of both base games, Eternal Calm, Last Mission, and the super weird audio drama are all here. Nothing in terms of gameplay content was added or removed. However, there appears to be an alteration or a major bug affecting FFX's random number generation. People even more keen than myself on FFX have noticed the RNG system is completely broken in the PS4 version. Random encounters and events are supposed to be, well, random. However, this is no longer the case in this version. Encounters always occur when they are supposed to, they will always have the same enemies, and the battles will always play out exactly the same way. No matter how many times the game is reset, the occurrence and outcome of encounters or events that involve the RNG system are set in stone. This has a drastic affect in key aspects of the game. Say you're having trouble on a specific boss, and if you could just land that twenty-second hit it would change the tide of battle for you. Well, the bad news is on the PS4 version you're always going to miss that twenty-second hit as it stands. Additionally, this changes ribbon farming, blitzball, and likely everything else that involves RNG. I couldn't test every aspect of this, but I could easily predict down to the second when my first battle against two Chimera would occur during one of my saves in the Calm Lands. I could have tracked this up to as many subsequent "random" encounters as I wished. I checked the exact same save file on PS3, and encounters were always random. FFX-2 does not appear to have this problem. [embed]292113:58550:0[/embed] A major complaint of the PS3 and Vita release was the new rearranged soundtrack. It seemed a lot of people simply outright hated its existence, whereas others would have at least preferred the choice to switch to the original soundtrack. Thankfully, players now have that option at any point during their playthrough. I actually really enjoyed the remaster soundtrack, but on my current playthrough it's been nice to use the original. It sounds amazing. The Besaid Village theme in particular sounded the best even back in 2001. Unfortunately, the background music system also has a major bug in the PS4 release. Background music on the PS2, PS3, and Vita versions continued playing where the track left off once a battle occurred, but now this is no longer the case. For a game like FFX that has a ton of random encounters, you will likely only ever hear the first ten or twenty seconds of a track unless you stop and listen to the music. It appears to have to do with how the soundtrack switching system was implemented, affecting both FFX and FFX-2. The soundtracks sound amazing, which makes this bug so unfortunate. Hopefully it can easily be fixed in a future patch. Cross-Save was a great feature of the PS3 and Vita version, and it's been extended here for the PS4 version. Once a particular game is fired up, all old saves that were stored in the cloud previously can be accessed just as quickly and easily as before. It took me less than a few minutes to install the game, start up Final Fantasy X, load a save from awhile back, and instantly pick up right where I had left off at that point. That's pretty cool. The PS4 version of the remaster has even more enhanced visuals, which is pretty amazing considering how incredible and smooth the game looked on PS3. To check this, I started a fresh playthrough on both consoles on the same television and played them alongside each other. The PS4 does have a slight graphical enhancement overall, but I really only noticed it because I was looking for it. There's a sort of extra crispness to the PS4 version, and the occasional aliasing issues that were still on the PS3 version are gone here. It's not a major overhaul, but the improvements are there. Additionally, Square claims more NPCs and monsters received enhanced models. I didn't notice any of these in my current playthrough (it's really hard to just stumble upon these without knowing specifically which were enhanced), but seeing poor-looking character models in the same scenes with enhanced ones was a big complaint, so it's nice to know this was addressed in some fashion. However, some other major complaints were not addressed at all. Cutscenes, for whatever reason, are still not skippable and there's no option to toggle between the old character models and the remastered ones. These types of things don't detract from my experience, but they were definitely huge complaints upon release last year, and it's unfortunate they weren't taken care of here. Some of those cutscenes are really long, man. As is stands, the PlayStation 4 version of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is not the definitive version of the compilation. Even for super fans of Final Fantasy X, it's hard to recommend a version of their favorite game that has broken RNG, a background music bug, and still no skippable cutscenes no matter how beautiful the game looks or how incredibly fast it loads now. With an MSRP of $50 it's also a really hard sell to a brand-new player when the other two versions are currently so much cheaper, even more so if they already own one of those two versions (especially since they launched at $40). The PS3 version does lack the original soundtrack, but other than that it offers the truest experience of Final Fantasy X and X-2. If you must have it on PS4 or that's your only option, I'd honestly recommend waiting for the RNG and background music issues to hopefully be patched soon and the inevitable price drop. If those two major issues are ever fixed, the PlayStation 4 version of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster would easily be the definitive package.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 PS4 photo
Spira never felt so good
Barely over a year after its original release on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster makes its way to the PlayStation 4. A remaster of a remaster, if you will. However, the original releas...

Final FAntasy IV photo
Final FAntasy IV

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years out now on PC


Too bad it looks gross
May 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is now available on PC, and good lord does it look bad. The sequel to the 1991 classic picks up nearly two decades after the its predecessor ends, treading old ground with familiar chara...

Review: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster

May 10 // Dale North
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS Vita, PS3 [reviewed])Developer: Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixReleased:  March 18, 2014MSRP: $39.99 The original Final Fantasy X was and still is a great game. It took the franchise to a new place with its fully voiced scenes, strong storytelling, and visual flair. Its story, which follows summoner Yuna on her journey across the world of Spira to fight Sin, is one of Square Enix's best. Likable characters with memorable outfits, a fantastic musical score, and a powerful ending made this game one of the best role-playing games of the PS2 era. All of these positive aspects hold their value even today in this remake, though some other parts of the game haven't aged as nicely. While it was fully engaging so many years ago, Final Fantasy X's turn-based battle system now seems a bit simplistic compared to more recent JRPGs. Its true turn-based nature leaves the player open for careful decision making, it pales a bit when put up against even other newer franchise games where action is the focus. That said, there are still some great battles to be had in Final Fantasy X, and those that favor strategy over action will certainly enjoy this flash from the past. While Square Enix has spent a fair bit of time on upgrading the visual side of Final Fantasy X, they weren't able to change how cameras used to work in older RPGs during exploration. Set backdrops have the camera jumping abruptly between two scenes, which can be disorienting during exploration, and sometimes downright confusing when navigating dungeons. We're spoiled by modern RPGs where the camera will automatically pan and follow the character. But, current-day RPGs could learn a thing or two from Final Fantasy X. I appreciate that it wastes no time getting the player into real battles, and that it isn't scared to put some early pressure on players. Players are given full access to the game's systems, with little in the way of training wheels or babying. Its directness is somewhat refreshing, and its lack of complicated systems makes it seem more like a pure role-playing experience. One of its systems, the Sphere Grid, is open from the beginning for the taking. Using earned AP from battles to move through a sort of game board to collect abilities and increase powers is fun. This remake adds an Advanced Sphere Grid (from the international version), which brings even deeper levels of exploration and customization. Its navigation is more open and free, which gives the player more freedom to shape characters' powers. Final Fantasy X was always a nice looking game, but Square Enix's overhaul has added so much more visual appeal. I'm pleased to say that this isn't some quick upscale job. They took the time to upgrade backdrops, textures, lighting, user interfaces, and more, and it definitely shows. Spira has never looked better. If you've played Final Fantasy X more than a few times, you'll appreciate how it seems like you're seeing the game's varied locales for the first time. Details pop out, and foreground set pieces have been shined to a polish. Hats off to Square Enix for completely overhauling the character models of the game's main characters. A critical eye will catch that the new Tidus, Yuna, Wakka, and others still have some corners cut in places, but these models still hold up nicely when compared to newer 3D Japanese role-playing games. I'd bet that there's not a series fan out there that won't appreciate their reworking. The cutscenes have been revamped for HD resolution and look great. Some seem like they've been cropped to fit, but the scenes don't really suffer for it. They look and sound great despite being over ten years old now. But there's a slight downside to the visual upgrades in that they sometimes serves to highlight the smaller bits that have not received the upgrade treatment. While the foreground elements of scenes sport shiny new textures, pieces in the background are still made of lower resolution ones, making them look blurry in comparison. The shortcuts stick out, too. In one early scene, crowds of townspeople were made up of a mix of polygonal models and pre-rendered animations. They didn't blend, making this background detail a distraction. For the character models, while your eyes are drawn to their faces in close-up scenes, looking at anything else kind of ruins the magic. Some of the lower parts of the models, like their clothing or legs, appeared to use less polygons than their upper halves. The higher quality main character models never looked right up against second tier characters and NPCs, as other characters did not receive similar visual upgrades. Scenes can jump between a main character and a NPC, showing a high quality face one minute, and then another that looked to use one flat texture for a face. You can't help but feel that all the rest of Spira was cheated. While the HD resolution upgrade works against the whole on occasion, the improvements are mostly excellent, and greatly appreciated. The music has also seen an overhauling, though the changes might be less agreeable to fans of the original score. For the most part, the quality of sound has improved greatly, though some of the choices for certain instruments seem odd. For example, some of the more brassy instruments stick out of the mix against other higher quality sounds. However, most songs sound great. Final Fantasy X still has one of the greatest role-playing game scores ever created, so a few odd patches aren't that big of a problem in the end. It has been quite awhile since I last played Final Fantasy X. I forgot how challenging some of the battles are, how great it felt to acquire and use a character's ultimate weapon, and how high the random encounter rate was. I also forgot how strange this game is in places (Blitzball, thongs, swimming with boots on, an so on) and how much I loved some of the cutscenes. I'm happy to have been able to play Final Fantasy X again; it was a nice upgraded trip down memory lane. I enjoyed Final Fantasy X so much that I was sad to see it end. So when spin-off/sequel Final Fantasy X-2 came along, I was more than ready to jump back into the world of Spira. When I was finally able to play it, I was surprised to find that it featured a different tone, brand new systems, and completely different gameplay. Despite all this, it still ended up being one of my favorite games of the PS2 era. The sphere-hunting antics of Yuna, Rikku and Paine are as entertaining as ever in the HD remaster of Final Fantasy X-2. The mission-based gameplay is a departure from its predecessor's mostly linear progression, but there's plenty of fun to be had in exploring Spira. The new visual upgrades and gameplay features easily make this the best Final Fantasy remaster yet. The battle system of Final Fantasy X-2 holds up well, though it is still too easy to create a powerful class combination to breeze through just about any battle. By my measure, the balance is off; smart players will be able to walk through this game after earning the right equipment. Still, even with the broken balance, X-2 manages to entertain. The Dressphere job system spin-off is still great after all these years, and the mid-battle magical transformations are just as funny as you remember, though they look much better now with their upgraded visuals. Some new dresspheres have been added to the mix; their transformation and attack animations are hilarious and worth seeking out. New Garment Grids have also been included. Final Fantasy X-2's remaster brings along with it the international release gameplay additions. The new Creature Creator is pretty good fun for fans of collecting. Enemies can be captured and trained to be used in battle, but I found that capturing NPCs was even more enjoyable. It's like a complete game within another game with the full ability to customize creatures with different skills. Properly collecting and leveling enemies and NPCs gives you more story bits and sometimes even character-specific endings. Last Mission is a separate game mode that has the heroines working through a tower crawl and a series of bosses to reveal new story elements as play rewards. This game ditches X-2's free customization and open exploration for straight-ahead gameplay that requires careful choices and smart strategy. Last Mission definitely speaks to me as a fan of rogue-likes, but it may not have as much appeal to fans of your typical Final Fantasy game. Compared to the Final Fantasy X remaster, X-2 HD seems more inconsistent. While the upgraded character models are even higher quality than those of Final Fantasy X, the NPCs look even worse alongside them. Close-ups of these NPCs are pretty rough in cutscenes. Background textures are also inconsistent; it doesn't take much sleuthing to realize it. But, when it looks good, it looks really good. The character models seem to sport even more polygons than they did in the remaster of Final Fantasy X. Faces are more filled out, eyes move more realistically, and mouth animations look spot-on. The girls appear to have more makeup on, too. The lighting and spell effects in particular are great, making X-2 look like a current-gen JRPG at times. Oh, and I forgot how great the X-2 opening cutscene was. This J-Pop video of laser beams and hot pants is one for the ages, so I'm really glad it got the remaster treatment. I still think that Final Fantasy X-2's soundtrack is delightfully dorky with its action themes and singers though. It holds up nicely today and fits the game's tone perfectly. Unlike Final Fantasy X, it doesn't sound like they changed much other than a bump for the sound quality. Overall, I think Final Fantasy X-2 looks and feels better than Final Fantasy X. But, unfortunately, it also does not let you pause or skip cutscenes, and there are times when voice and animation synchronization gets off track. The game's frame rate would dip in some dungeons, though never to a terrible number. Admittedly, X-2 is a bit of a hot mess, but I've always loved this game. This remaster has made it even more enjoyable with its new look and content additions. It's not as lovingly crafted as Final Fantasy X is overall, but it makes up for that in pure entertainment value. As far as videogame remasters go, Final Fantasy X and X-2 are at the top of the list as far as quality is concerned. It's clear that Square Enix put a lot of time into both of these beloved titles, and as a series fan I really appreciate that. They've made both of these great games even better with this remastering, and any fan of either should definitely check them out.
Final Fantasy X & X-2 photo
Praise be to Yevon!
Y, R, P -- in position. It's showtime, girls. 

Music photo
Music

Silky smooth Game Music Lullabies Volume II out now


Featuring Final Fantasy, Majora's Mask, and more
Apr 28
// Jordan Devore
[Disclosure: Jayson Napolitano, the producer of Game Music Lullabies Volume II, previously wrote for Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into this news post.] It seems like I was...

Final Fantasy XV getting demo update, mostly skipping E3

Apr 28 // Steven Hansen
The two also talked new features that will make it in Final Fantasy XV, including difficulty options. The more action-oriented style seems to have fans clamoring for an easier setting. Voice acting will be improved, too, as the demo's acting represents non-final dialogue (Noctis will sound less like Batman). The sexy mechanic Cid, however, will stay sexy. "She's actually not meant to be an erotic character," Tabata said, explaining that her cleavage represents her "energetic...cheerful, and active character." He was also perplexed by the "too sexy" complaints, which mostly came from Europe, combined with the desire for a female party member, again hitting up the "bro-trip, men can't be themselves around women" excuse that sort of flies in the face of series history. Other little changes are already promised or underway. A mini-map will be added with enemy radar now being considered additionally. You'll be able to evade and cancel out of most attacks. You were meant to be able to warp outside of battle, but the team hasn't been able to implement it without bugs (and might not be able to). So, if it wasn't obvious, Final Fantasy XV is still a work in progress. This is where we loop back to the headline and note that the game will have a short trailer at E3, but "the promotion for the main title will officially begin at Gamescom" in August, a month ahead of the Tokyo Game Show. Final Fantasy XV feedback live stream full report: Episode Duscae 2.0 coming mid-May [Gematsu]
Final Fantasy XV photo
Demo gets camera, combat and targeting tweaks, main game gets difficulty settings
Ok. Final Fantasy XV isn't skipping E3. It'll only pay lip service, though. The above Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report, which is helpfully subtitled in English, sees director Hajime Tabata and marketing manager Akio Ofuji...

Final Fantasy XIV photo
Final Fantasy XIV

Check out the new Final Fantasy XIV Direct X 11 benchmark here


Some in-game footage and Au Ra character creation
Apr 27
// Chris Carter
Today is the day -- Final Fantasy XIV gets its new benchmark program to show off some Direct X11 footage. This new tool, a small demo of sorts, lets you check out how the new Heavensward expansion will look on your...
Square Enix photo
Square Enix

Square Enix apes Street Fighter in 'Ultimate Fight Final Fantasy XIV'


Not real, sadly
Apr 25
// Chris Carter
Last night Square Enix hosted a Japanese live event for Final Fantasy XIV, and among a few announcements, it showed off a hilarious trailer for "Ultimate Fight Final Fantasy XIV." In a clear nod to the Street Fighter series,...

Final Fantasy IV & WWE 2K15: 31% off for this weekend

Apr 25 // Dealzon
Top Deals PC: WWE 2K15 (Steam) — $34.65  (list price $50) Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (Steam) — $11.09  (list price $16) Mortal Kombat X (Steam) — $30  (list price $60) <- yes, 50% off Battlefield: Hardline (Origin) — $35.99  (list price $60) Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (Steam) — $11.55  (list price $30) Console: PS4 + Last of Us + Sony Headset + $100 eGift Card — $399.99  (list price $490) <-sweet bundle deal Xbox One Halo Master Chief Collection Bundle + Extra Controller + Charging Station — $350.01  (list price $494) <- click "Customize" to add extras to cart for $0.01 each PS4 DualShock 4 Wireless Controller + $25 eGift Card — $49.99  (list price $60) PlayStation Vita Bundle + Borderlands 2 — $169.99  (list price $200) Xbox Live Gold 12 Month Gold Card — $35.99  (list price $60) Recent Releases 04/23: Crypt of the NecroDancer (Steam) — $11.24  (list price $15) 04/14: Grand Theft Auto V — $46.20  (list price $60) 04/14: Titan Souls (Steam) — $11.55  (list price $15) 04/01: DiRT 3 Complete Edition (Steam) — $21.89  (list price $30) 03/30: Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (Steam) — $27.72  (list price $40) Upcoming Releases 05/05: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (Steam) — $15.40  (list price $20) <- yay more Wolfenstein 05/08: Project Cars (Steam) — $37.49  (list price $50) 05/19: The Witcher III: Wild Hunt — $53.99  (list price $60) <- up to 20% off PC Game Deals GameStop Spring Sale: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution (Steam) — $29.99  (list $50) <- dat title length Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth (Steam) — $24.99  (list price $50) Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (Steam) — $23.99  (list price $60) Mass Effect Trilogy (Origin) — $10.19  (list price $30) Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Season Pass (Steam) — $9.89  (list price $30) The Orange Box (Steam) — $4.99  (list price $20) <- always a good buy GamersGate Spring Sale: Paradox Grand Strategy Pack (PC/Mac/Linux Download) — $20  (list price $100) The Walking Dead Pack (PC/Mac Download) — $12.50  (list price $50) GMG Deals: Trainz: A New Era (Steam) — $24.64  (list price $40) Cities: Skylines (Steam) — $21.89  (list price $30) Console Deals Guitar Hero Live (PS4, Xbox One) — $89.99  (list price $100) Battlefield: Hardline (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3) — $39.99  (list price $60) Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4, X360, XOne, PS3) — $19.99  (list price $40) Toukiden: The Age of Demons (PS Vita) — $19.99  (list price $30) South Park: The Stick of Truth (PS3, Xbox 360) — $14.99  (list price $30) The Wolf Among Us (PS Vita) — $9.99  (list price $30) Hardware Deals Laptops: 15.6" Asus ROG. i7-4710HQ, 32GB, GTX 880M, Blu-ray — $1,599.99  (list $2,700) 15.6" HP Omen 15t, i7-4710HQ, GTX 860M, 256GB SSD — $1,099.99  (list $1,600) 15.6" Lenovo Y50, i7-4700HQ, 8GB, GTX 860M — $769.99  (list $1,200) HDTVs: 70" Vizio 1080p 120Hz LED Smart HDTV (Refurb) — $1,079.99  (list price $1,495) 55" LG 2160p 4K Ultra HD LED TV — $999  (list price $2,199) 32" Insignia LED HDTV — $159.99  (list price $180) Components: Asus Radeon R9 290X 4GB GDDR5 Video Card — $269.99  (list price $390) <- not bad for a 290X Crucial MX200 Internal SSD 2.5" 500GB — $179.99  (list price $250) Samsung 850 EVO SSD 250GB + Toshiba 3TB 3.5" HDD — $149.99  (list $198) Game deals from Dealzon. FYI: sales from certain retailers help support Destructoid.
Weekend deals photo
PC port bros
Believe it or not, WWE 2K15 and FFIV has a lot in common. They're both PC ports that are arriving in the near future... and they're both at 31% off while in pre-order status. WWE 2K15 heads to Steam on April 28th, while Final...

Final Fantasy IV photo
Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years getting a remake


Coming to Steam this May
Apr 23
// Kyle MacGregor
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is on its way to Steam next month, Square Enix just announced. The episodic role-playing game takes place nearly two decades after the events of the original Final Fantasy IV. The story follo...
Final Fantasy photo
Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy bosses make an appearance in Puzzle & Dragons


Yay Cloud of Darkness
Apr 22
// Chris Carter
Puzzle & Dragons' crossover power cannot be stopped. In addition to Squall and Ace making their way into GungHo's puzzler, more Final Fantasy characters are invading the game -- specifically, a few final bosses. Clou...
FFXV photo
FFXV

FFXV's Noctis may appear in Dissidia Final Fantasy


But not until his game launches
Apr 22
// Chris Carter
Are you ready for Noctis to start showing up in more Final Fantasy games? It was kind of a given seeing how pretty much every series protagonist ends up in some smartphone or "all-stars" title at some point, but Final Fantasy...
Final Fantasy photo
Final Fantasy

Watch the London Symphony Orchestra do Final Fantasy... in 3D!


Just imagine the Chocobo racing theme
Apr 16
// Joe Parlock
We here at Destructoid sometimes get a bit distracted by the crasser things in life. When we’re not making sweet love with fictional wrestlers, we’re wanking off cars, but we’ve got to have a bit more class ...
Final Fantasy XIV photo
Final Fantasy XIV

New details, full intro revealed for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward


New jobs will start at level 30
Apr 13
// Chris Carter
Square Enix recently had a blowout of information for Final Fantasy XIV's Heavensward expansion. For starters, the game will launch on June 23 (June 19 for early access), as we previously knew. But at some point later, ...
Dissidia Final Fantasy photo
Dissidia Final Fantasy

Team Ninja developing next Dissidia Final Fantasy


Arcade fighting game debuts in Japan this fall, maybe PS4 later on
Apr 10
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: Here's new trailer for the game, as spotted by community member FlanxLycanth.] Dragon Quest Heroes isn't the only project Square Enix and Koei Tecmo are collaborating on, as the companies just announced Team Ni...
Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: Sexy Final Fantasy, amiibogeddon, Bloodborne trick, and more


Zen distilled stories
Apr 07
// Darren Nakamura
Nintendo took a big spot in last week's news, with the highs of the Nintendo Direct and the lows of the Wave 4 amiibo rollout. Does that give the company perfect balance, like a haiku? I'm not sure. In this series, we take a...
Final Fantasy costume photo
Final Fantasy costume

Fan complaints could bring back 'too sexy' Final Fantasy costume


They toned it down, but are willing to sex things back up
Apr 03
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix recently held a lengthy presentation (starts around 7:30) for its upcoming Mevius Final Fantasy. One of the things revealed during the presentation is a new design for lead character Wal that covers up quite a bi...
Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: Bloodborne, Grand Theft Auto V, Evolve, and more


Zen distilled stories
Mar 30
// Darren Nakamura
This week I was tempted to do all Bloodborne all the time, because we had so many Bloodborne stories go up that got a ton of attention. Instead, I collected them all into one little Bloodball and turned the abundance in...

Experience Points .09: Final Fantasy IX

Mar 28 // Ben Davis
The little Black Mage that could It's impossible to talk about the best parts of Final Fantasy IX without mentioning Vivi. I mean, are there actually people out there who don't like Vivi? Is that possible? Vivi is a quiet little Black Mage who stumbles into Zidane's group almost by accident. At first, it takes a lot of encouragement to get Vivi to fight alongside them (which, surprisingly, he gets the most of from Steiner, who is generally rude to everyone who is not the princess). Turns out Vivi is quite the powerful Black Mage, able to learn all sorts of useful magic attacks, from lighting fires to calling down comets and meteors from the sky. What makes Vivi so great, though, is his personality. He may seem shy and insecure at first, but he is always incredibly humble and kind to everyone he meets, and he ends up being by far the most mature character in the game. The little guy goes through quite a huge transformation; it's really great to watch his character grow. You see, Vivi knows nothing about his past at the beginning of the game. Eventually, the team runs into more Black Mages like Vivi, but it turns out they're being produced in a factory. Not a great way to learn the truth behind your existence... The other Black Mages can't really communicate; they behave more like puppets, produced for the sole purpose of killing others. They're essentially pawns in a war. Understandably, this causes great distress for Vivi, and also raises a lot of questions, like why does he have a consciousness while the others apparently do not? Well, later on in their journey, the team comes across a hidden village of Black Mages who had suddenly "awoken" to a consciousness of their own and escaped from Queen Brahne's army to live by themselves, cut off from the rest of the world. Vivi also discovers that some of them have been mysteriously "stopping," or in other words dying, a year after they were built. All of this information weighs heavily on Vivi's thoughts, but he comes out way stronger for it than anyone could have imagined. He becomes a leader of sorts, trying to help save the Black Mages and others like them, and begins offering sound advice on life and death to the other characters, lifting everyone's spirits and encouraging them to continue fighting for what they believe in. Vivi is an extremely admirable character. I think the reason he resonated so well with me was because from the beginning of the game, I felt like I could relate to him. I've always been rather quiet and reserved, and tended to have more faith in other people than in myself. Seeing Vivi grow and become someone that people could look up to and rely on really gave me hope that I could do the same someday. Thank you for being so amazing, Vivi! A Thorn (and a Zorn) in my side Zorn and Thorn are a mischievous pair of antagonistic jesters. Their alliance shifts periodically during the game, first being controlled by Queen Brahne, then almost falling under Garnet's supervision when she becomes queen, before finally being scooped up by Kuja for use in his grand scheme. But where did they even come from, exactly? Their identities largely remain a mystery, but it's hinted that they're just pawns, much like the Black Mages, so maybe they were created in a similar manner.  The two of them are rather bizarre characters. They're over-dramatic, constantly bickering with each other and running around mindlessly, yet always managing to cause trouble for Zidane and friends. They have a very peculiar speech pattern, where Thorn basically repeats everything Zorn says but switches the words around (Thorn kind of sounds like Yoda). They're really weird, but for some reason I can't help but find them endearing. There's just something about silly, bumbling villains that always makes me smile. My favorite Zorn and Thorn moment is their first battle sequence. Whenever they're ready to attack, they bounce up and down like weird toys and give each other spells to use like Meteorite and Light Flare. It's similar to the Twincast ability used by Palom and Porom in Final Fantasy IV, although it works a little differently. It's a very easy battle once you figure out what to do, but it just makes me happy to watch them bounce around like fools. Oh Zorn and Thorn... you guys are special. Tinkling in the starlight There's one scene in Final Fantasy IX that I'm never really quite sure what to make of, but it's so random that it has always stuck in my mind as one of the most memorable moments. When the team arrives at the remote summoner's village of Madain Sari, Vivi's anxiety about his origins is at an all-time high. He goes off by himself, consumed with existential thoughts about life and death, staring off into the distance and unable to sleep. Zidane tries to comfort him, and offers to show him a trick to take his mind off of things. "This is an age-old ritual between male friends," he says, as the camera pans away and he urges Vivi to join him by the side of the canyon to "let [himself] go under the stars." Then all you see are the words, "Tinkle. Tinkle tinkle. Tinkle tinkle tinkle tinkle." Meanwhile, Eiko has been off to the side eavesdropping on them this whole time and clearly doesn't know what to think about what's currently happening, so she just runs away. Poor Eiko... I still don't know what's up with this scene, but I think I like it. It's apparently about pissing off the side of a cliff under the stars with a buddy, which is really weird to think about in a Final Fantasy game. But, you know, it honestly does sound pretty relaxing. Friend or foe? The enemies in Final Fantasy IX were top-notch. The series has always had really neat enemy designs, some based on mythology, and others like Cactuar and Tonberry created specifically for the Final Fantasy universe. The enemies in IX perfectly encapsulate the diverse roster of enemies found in the series while adding quirky new foes like Armstrong and Grimlock. Final Fantasy IX also introduced friendly monsters. Occasionally while traveling across the world map, a random encounter would occur, but instead of the typical battle theme, the player would hear a much different, much happier tune. Sometimes this would be an enemy called the Ragtime Mouse, presenting yes-or-no quiz questions to answer. Other times, friendly monsters would appear, asking the player for ore or other items rather than engaging in combat. Finding all of the friendly monsters can be very beneficial. For starters, they grant tons of ability points, meaning characters can easily learn abilities without having to grind much. Finding all nine friendly monsters also makes the powerful hidden boss, Ozma, much easier to fight. Just be on the lookout for the Gimme Cat, a false friendly monster. This ungrateful jerk will ask for diamonds, but gives nothing in return. If attacked, it freaks out and counterattacks with Comet, which can easily destroy the team. Stay away from my diamonds, you mangy cat! A trip down memory lane The final dungeon, Memoria, has some of the coolest level design I've seen in a Final Fantasy game. The location is essentially comprised of the memories of Zidane, his friends, and all of their ancestors. The memories are given physical form so that they can actually walk through them. It's presented in a surreal, dreamlike way, with architecture that twists and transforms and doesn't really make much sense. Each room is completely different visually from the last. One room is filled with eerie floating furniture, one is submerged underwater, one is a beautiful sunset, one is out in space, one is a stairway leading up to a creepy, red eyeball... it's truly a joy to explore and take in the sights. I never knew what I was going to see next. Players will also find several references to past Final Fantasy games in Memoria. Zidane and friends will have to fight four bosses: Maliris, Tiamat, Kraken, and Lich, otherwise known as the Four Fiends from the original Final Fantasy. There's also an optional boss fight against Hades, who appeared as a summon in Final Fantasy VII. These fights were a neat way to pay tribute to the game's roots, and they also happened to fit nicely with the theme of memories that the area fosters. [embed]289609:57943:0[/embed] You're not alone One of my favorite scenes in Final Fantasy IX occurs in the alien dungeon of Pandemonium, when Zidane has an abrupt and jarring change in personality. Some people seem to feel that this particular moment is out of place, completely out of character for Zidane, and unnecessarily angsty, almost like the writers were trying to have Zidane emulate the pessimism of Cloud Strife or Squall Leonhart for no apparent reason at all. However, I can't help but feel that these people are missing a very key element to this scene. Immediately before this sequence, Zidane is speaking with Garland, his creator, who is very unhappy that he refuses to cooperate and take over for Kuja in his attempt to assimilate the souls of Gaia. Garland regretfully decides to discard Zidane, banishing him to Pandemonium and taking away his very soul so that he would become a mindless Genome, as he has no use for him anymore. This is the reason why Zidane suddenly has a complete change of character; he is essentially no longer Zidane. What follows is a particularly touching scene in which all of Zidane's friends try to get him to snap out of his unusually gloomy, antagonistic mood. They manage to interrupt the soul-stealing process and he awakens in an angry, zombie-like state. All of his friends are fighting to protect him, but he keeps pushing them away, saying he doesn't need them anymore. Everyone is shocked at his behavior, but they keep trying to get through to him anyway, reminding him of all the ways that he helped them to be true to themselves in the past and how much his friendship means to them. Meanwhile, he keeps shutting them out and leaving them behind. Finally, Garnet, the love of his life, is able to bring him around and he returns to his normal, optimistic self. Even though the scene is mainly about Zidane, all of the other characters really shine here. It's a showcase of how much each character has grown, and how Zidane has affected each of their lives. It's all about the power of friendship, which may sound incredibly sappy, but gosh darnit it makes me smile. And of course, the best part of this entire scene is the music. "You're Not Alone" is by far my favorite song from Final Fantasy IX. It's moody, but with a tinge of hopefulness. It's a perfect fit for such a beautiful scene. 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
Final Fantasy IX photo
I'm sharpening my knife, kupo
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...


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