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final fantasy

Square Enix photo
Square Enix

Square Enix's Adventures of Mana is out now


For mobile worldwide, PS Vita in Japan
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Adventures of Mana, a remake of the Game Boy classic Final Fantasy Adventure -- the first entry in Square Enix's Mana series, is now available worldwide on iOS and Android for $14 / £10.50 / €14. Of course, there's also a PlayStation Vita version, but for some reason it's exclusive to Japan.
Dissidia photo
Dissidia

See Ramza in all his Dissidia glory right here


That's it for now, folks!
Feb 03
// Chris Carter
Over the past few months we've covered all of the Dissidia Final Fantasy arcade character reveals, and the last character is a pretty welcome surprise -- Final Fantasy Tactics' Ramza Beoulve. You can watch him in action ...
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy photo
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy confirmed for arcades!


Glad to see this series alive and well
Feb 03
// Chris Carter
Just this morning, Square Enix confirmed that they are working on an arcade build for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. The same producer from the 3DS version will return to supervise the project, and more info is coming next w...
FFVII first-timer photo
FFVII first-timer

Popping Cherries: Final Fantasy VII


Mako'd for the very first time
Jan 31
// Ben Davis
Nobody has time to play every video game. We all have classic games that have slipped us by for whatever reason, be it time constraints, money issues, initial lack of interest, or any number of other things. But that just mea...

Square Enix photo
Square Enix

Adventures of Mana drops February 4


For mobile platforms (and Vita in Japan)
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix's Adventures of Mana is launching worldwide for iOS and Android on February 4, the company has announced. And because we can't have nice things, a PlayStation Vita version will be available the same day, but ...
Final Fantasy photo
Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy XV release date coming March 30


Announcements of announcements
Jan 31
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: New screens are in the gallery below.] In case you're chomping at the bit to find out when you're going to find out when Final Fantasy XV is coming out, well then chomp no further. Square Enix is hosting an event on ...
Ramza photo
Ramza

Square Enix finally reveals Ramza in Dissidia Final Fantasy


Pretty dope
Jan 29
// Chris Carter
Finally! After dancing around it for weeks and teasing his lower body, Square Enix has showed off Ramza's character model in Dissidia Final Fantasy. He's currently set to debut at some point in the near future on the arcade e...
Final Fantasy photo
Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance hits Wii U today via Virtual Console


Goodbye, free time
Jan 28
// Alissa McAloon
The second game in the Final Fantasy Tactics family can now be found on the Wii U. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, originally released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, follows the journey of a boy named Marche after he and hi...
FFXV photo
FFXV

Final Fantasy XV's January 30 update will detail stealth, magic


Oh and have some new screens
Jan 26
// Chris Carter
Square Enix has been peppering in "Active Time Report" updates for some time now, which are basically just big livestreams that detail more information for Final Fantasy XV. Normally I'd be over a gigantic hype campaign ...

Nintendo 3DS's spring is an oasis of JRPGs

Jan 26 // Steven Hansen
Project X Zone 2 is full Japanese gaming fan service with appearances by the likes of anyone from Street Fighter's Ryu to Devil May Cry's Dante and Vergil to Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki to SPace Channel 5's Ulala. It's coming to 3DS February 16. Bravely Second: End Layer hits Europe on February 26 and the states on April 15. There are 12 new jobs in this old school JRPG from Square Enix, including Catmancer, a class that trains cats to use enemies' skills (like the past game's Vampire). Another involves throwing cake at people. It also tried to "take the pain out of the grinding" with a "let it ride" system where random battles will flow into one another so you don't have to run back and forth to trigger another. The caveat is that if you finally lose, there goes all the accumulated experience from those battles. It also "might be longer than Bravely Default." Plus, here are some actual lines of dialogue from Bravely Second: End Layer. Note: "Ba'als" is pronounced "balls." Like balls. "She studies Ba'als." "Ba'al buster Magnolia Arch is on the job." "A new Ba'al is headed this way and it's my job to bust it." "It's...it's huge [referring to a Ba'al]." "I'm Magnolia Arch and it's time to bust some Ba'als." The localization team went Ba'als to the wall with this joke. Oh, hey, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow -- yes, the originals -- are coming to the 3DS eShop on February 27? Time to find out how well that game is actually balanced 20 years later. Also to argue over which version's sprites were best. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King and Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past are also coming to 3DS in 2016, with Dragon Quest VII coming first. It won't have random battles, instead getting treats like Dragon Quest VIII with enemies on a world map and other additions.
JRPG spring lineup photo
Six within a month
Fire Emblem Fates is just a few weeks away (February 19) and I'll finally have a reason to re-glue my face to my 3DS and play nosy match-maker. But the two versions of Fates are just, uh, two of the JRPGs (and adjacent genres...

Review: Final Fantasy Explorers

Jan 26 // Chris Carter
Final Fantasy Explorers (3DS)Developer: Square Enix, RacjinPublisher: Square EnixReleased: January 26, 2016MSRP: $39.99 Right at the character creation screen, it's immediately evident that Final Fantasy Explorers is a dated game. It was released in 2014 in Japan, after all, and the limitations of the tool itself will not inspire any confidence. I actually got a laugh out of the initial male avatar -- it had typical chibi-like features but a rock-hard manchild set of abs. It won't matter much when you're all suited up in gear, and the game has a Goku hairstyle in its small pool of options, so it gets a pass. Like many other entries in the series, Explorers revolves around crystals (of course), and the overall plot is kind of secondary to leveling up, acquiring cash, and completing missions, which lead to those sweet, sweet boss battles we all crave. You'll roam about in a Monster Hunter-esque hub world complete with shops, upgrade centers, and a few other fixins (like a one-mission-bonus-granting fortune teller who takes Play Coins as payment) as you take on new quests that lead you out into the overworld. Combat is based around AP, which fuels your abilities and is used when sprinting. The game has a rudimentary lock-on feature, the option to use the Circle Pad Pro (or the New 3DS nub) to control the camera, L or R toggles menus for your powers (with four mapped to each trigger, for a total of eight active abilities), an auto-attack button, and that's really it. To dodge or do anything fancy, you'll need to equip a skill for it, and even then, it's a bit rigid in nature. Make no mistake, this is not a high-intensity twitch action game. [embed]335296:61957:0[/embed] You'll get the keys to the kingdom so to speak after roughly 30 minutes of tutorials, where Explorers will provide you with five jobs (classes) right away: Knight, Monk, Ranger, White Mage, and Black Mage. Thankfully, it isn't as rigid as a lot of other RPGs in that jobs and abilities can often overlap. With the exception of, say, a Knight using bow-based skills while equipped with a sword, players can thankfully experiment a bit. Almost anyone can use magic, including the always helpful Cure spell. It's a great concession for newcomers and veterans alike. You can really mess around with nearly everything available to tool up your dream build -- which includes silly "Trance" modes featuring fan-favorite characters like Cloud. As time goes on it only gets deeper, as an impressive 21 jobs are at your disposal. The freedom to do what you want is even better when playing with a party (both locally or online). Team synergy and class makeups aren't necessarily bound by the RPG Trinity (tank, healer, damage), but are composed a bit more loosely, to the point where everyone can have fun with what they want to play -- like a Dragoon that can use his jumps along with evasion techniques from other jobs for maximum mobility. Speaking of multiplayer, there is support for lobbies online (rather than shoddy matchmaking), which allowed me to get into a number of games even before launch. If you're going at it solo, you can bring up to three other monsters with you on your travels, with the caveat that the AI isn't very intelligent or nearly as effective as players. By the time you fight Shiva several hours in, it picks up, but as a general rule Explorers is a slow burn. Now, I did have fun working my way up the ladder, earning more jobs, and crafting my own equipment, but it's a bit too slow going at times. As such, the "it gets better after you put time into it" argument comes to mind, but plenty of games do allow for an enjoyable early game to accompany the payoff. That's not the case here, to an extent. If you do end up sticking with it though, you'll find a 100-hour RPG full of stuff to do, including an endgame that involves fighting all of the core bosses again with new strategies in tow. Like many games filled to the brim with different classes, a lot of my time was spent trying out new jobs. While some of them don't feel wildly different from one another, the dichotomy between the three core playstyles (melee, ranged, and magic) is strong enough to feel like you're playing a different game. Final Fantasy Explorers has a litany of pacing issues, particularly when it comes to its quests and, visually, it feels like a DS-era game at times. But players who are willing to jump in with both feet will find a lot to love, and that goes double if you're planning to play through the adventure with a friend. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] 
Final Fantasy review photo
Eidolon Hunter
If one wanted to delve into the world of Final Fantasy for the first time, the barrier to entry is generally rather high. You have a host of 50-hour JRPGs, several daunting MMOs, and a number of complicated and deep tactical spinoffs. Final Fantasy Explorers tries to ease people into the world of Black and White mages with a different, gentler approach, albeit with its own set of flaws.

Final Fantasy Tactics photo
Final Fantasy Tactics

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is coming to Wii U Virtual Console (in Europe)


It starts with a snowball fight
Jan 25
// Zack Furniss
This Thursday, all o' yous who live in Europe will be able to play Final Fantasy Tactics Advance on the Wii U Virtual Console. While I infinitely prefer the tone of the original game on PlayStation, I have a few fond memories...
FFXV photo
FFXV

Well, it looks like Final Fantasy XV has Magitek armor


Alright alright alright
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
Folks, Magitek armor has been confirmed -- nostalgia boosters, engage. New screens from Final Fantasy XV show the iconic suit in action, with the team battling one. Magitek has shown up in several games after its debut i...
Final Fantasy Explorers photo
Final Fantasy Explorers

Final Fantasy IX gets the Final Fantasy Explorers snub


FFVII, X over-represented
Jan 19
// Steven Hansen
The upcoming Monster Hunter-ish Final Fantasy Explorers is a more nondescript, job-system-based affair, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters are absent. While in Trance mode, your character can use previously equip...
Gaming News photo
Never a dull moment in gaming!
Keeping up with gaming news can be bloody hard.  In gaming terms, a week is an eternity, so here we are with this handy-dandy breakdown of the past week’s most important, interesting, or downright bizarre gaming ne...

Portal choir cover photo
Portal choir cover

Portal's 'Still Alive' sounds very Disney with a full choir


A whole album of choir-full game music
Jan 15
// Steven Hansen
Portal's beloved "Still Alive" is a quirky anti-epic, so giving it the full choir treatment just kind of sounds like a '90s Disney tune, even when the rest of the voices (backup singing villagers or something) jump in halfway...

'I don't like champagne, but I'll grab a beer': Lightning on her Louis Vuitton ads, life

Jan 13 // Steven Hansen
ME: You've starred in more Final Fantasy games than most; is there some kind of equivalent to the club for hosting SNL multiple times where you all sit around and laugh at Zidane because no one gives a shit about Final Fantasy IX, or what? LIGHTNING: [Laughs] No, there's nothing like that. I don't really have that much connection with any of the prior cast just because, you know, it's a fresh story every time around. I crossed paths with a few of them on Dissidia, but even then schedules are crazy and people are booked for different times. ME: Are you aware of your status among series fans as, well, a less than ideal ambassador to the series? LIGHTNING: I know I upset a lot of people, yeah. I mean, I am doing my job, doing what I love to do, I don't want to apologize for it-- ME: No, I mean, you shouldn't have to, but why do you think you set people off so much? I get a Kristen Stewart thing where you become the face of a popular, but critically panned thing and people just freak out, or think that's all there is to you -- and you have that same kind of aloofness that can be seen as standoffish or wooden. LIGHTNING: Maybe modeling designer wear like an ice queen doesn't help [laughs]. Look, people are going to heap their discomfort on the easiest target, and a lot of fans didn't like the direction of the series that I starred in so I'm an easy punching bag, I get it. And I can't complain too much, because look where it's gotten me, right? I mean, 5-6 years ago I was a nobody, and now I'm part of a Louis Vuitton campaign and getting interviewed by Destructoid. I'm very blessed. ME: How do you feel about ISIS? LIGHTNING: What? ISIS? Oh, they're bad. ME: Good. LIGHTING: They're good? ME: No, I mean good you think they're bad. LIGHTNING: Oh, ok, yeah, they're bad. ME: Good. LIGHTNING: Huh? ME: Nothing. So, I noticed you're a fan of the classics. I read that you spent downtime on the set of Final Fantasy XIII trying to memorize "Rime of the Ancient Mariner?" LIGHTING: [Laughs] Well, I tried. Coleridge was my favorite Romantic. It's a long poem, though. ME: Did you ever get the whole thing down pat? LIGHTNING: It is an ancient Mariner, and he stoppeth one of three. [Laughs] I didn't get the whole thing, no.  ME: Where does that particular passion show up in your work? LIGHTNING: Well, it doesn't much, I guess. I mean, when you're an actor serving someone else's vision [as with the Final Fantasy XIII series], you're limited in your expression. Hopefully you can bring something unique, but they have a tone and style they're going for. I don't know. One of my obsessions right now is Fritz Lang. Have you seen The Big Heat? ME: No. LIGHTNING: It has to be Lee Marvin's best role. I mean, Lang basically invented film noir. His dark surrealism--like, all this started for me when I saw a still from The Testament of Dr. Mabuse and Rudolf Klein-Rogge's eyes just piercing the screen. The rawness, the darkness, I was drawn to it. And so I started exploring Lang beyond Metropolis. Sorry, did I answer the question? ME: Yeah, no, yeah. So, well, that segues into my next question. Which -- it doesn't seem like your interests are lined up with the direction of gaming. Do you think the industry is healthy, moving in the right direction? I mean, what the hell are they doing over at Square Enix? LIGHTNING: Square was so good to me. There are a lot of talented people working over there. I think, maybe [pause]. I don't know, I don't know enough about how things come from on high, or how things work over there. [Final Fantasy designer Tetsuya Nomura] is a bit much. Generally I think we're in a healthy space, yeah, but I would like to see more of reality -- and different realities, you know, other peoples' realities' -- reflected in games, in stories. ME: So do you feel at home here in Paris, where we're talking for this interview, at this Louis Vuitton party? LIGHTNING: God no! [Laughs] I mean, everyone's nice, the spotlight, you know, I'm used to that by now. And I like the clothes, I really do. They're cool, they look great. I prefer my day to day social outings to me a little more lowkey, though. I don't like champagne, but I'll grab a beer. ME: Who's your favorite member of Jurassic 5? LIGHTNING: [Chali] 2na! His voice is amazing. ME: Right? [Laughs] You answered that way too quickly. Most interviewees I ask that are really confused and then I just talk about Jurassic 5 at them for a few minutes while I think of other questions. Ok. Uhm. Would you go back in time and kill baby Hitler? LIGHTNING: Well, I've already learned time travel isn't something you want to mess with [laughs]. ME: Come on. LIGHTNING: What? ME: Don't do that. LIGHTNING: What? ME: The cutesy question dodge. Would you or would you not kill baby Hitler? LIGHTNING: I mean, I don't really want to answer that. ME: I'll take that as a no. LIGHTNING: I didn't say that! ME: So you would? LIGHTNING: [Pause] Do you have any other questions? ME: Will you go on a date with me? We can go to the Louvre or whatever's around here, in Paris, where we are. LIGHTNING: Of course! Fuck, I've been waiting all interview for you to ask me. You are so beautiful, understanding, and intelligent. And not to mention funny. I'm actually a huge fan of yours, I was nervous when I heard you were going to be interviewing me! ME: Thanks.
Interview with Lightning photo
'Coleridge was my favorite Romantic'
Final Fantasy XIII (and then some) star Claire "Lightning" Farron made headlines last week when the she became one of the new faces of prestigious fashion designer Louis Vuitton, for whom she will model the spring-summer 2016...

Final Fantasy XV news photo
Final Fantasy XV news

Final Fantasy XV's cafe-filled city and new battle mode


New combat style and switching
Jan 11
// Steven Hansen
Oh, baby, it's tidbit time. Over in the Final Fantasy XV forum, the development team has addressed some questions about the scale of its cities and changeable difficulty settings. First, Planner Ishikawa Tomonori, on the city...
Theatrhythm photo
Theatrhythm

Theatrhythm producer says he wants more Theatrhythm games


Hey me too
Jan 10
// Chris Carter
While it would have been easy for Theatrhythm to die after the first game, Square Enix has fostered it into a nice little mini-franchise, capping off two Final Fantasy titles with a Dragon Quest entry. Speaking...
Dragon's Dogma photo
Dragon's Dogma

Capcom is listening to requests for a Dragon's Dogma sequel


Dark Arisen PC port feedback matters
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
We're a week out from the PC release of Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen. Capcom also has the free-to-play Dragon's Dogma Online (in Japan, anyway) for PC, PS3, and PS4. What are the odds we'll get a full-fledged sequel? Better th...
Adventures of Mana photo
Adventures of Mana

English release of Final Fantasy Adventure remake likely


But Vita version dropped
Jan 08
// Steven Hansen
Square has put up an English version website for Adventures of Mana, which is a remake of Final Fantasy Adventure. Square released that game as a Final Fantasy title in 1991 though it would ultimately lead to the Mana series...
Final Fantasy IX photo
Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy IX on PC will have the option to turn off random encounters


Lovely
Jan 07
// Chris Carter
Final Fantasy IX will arrive on PC this month with a few bells and whistles in tow, according to the game's official Steam page. Evidently there will be seven game boosters in this version, including "high speed" and "no...
Lightning photo
Lightning

Final Fantasy XIII's Lightning ad campaign confirmed for Louis Vuitton


::insert popular Lightning quote here::
Jan 05
// Chris Carter
I feel like a lot of the time when people dump on Lightning, calling her a bad character, they haven't played all of the proper Final Fantasy games she's in. Well I have, and even though I loved Lightning Returns, she's still...
Final Fantasy IX photo
Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy IX is releasing on PC and mobile next year


The one with the best chocobo mini-game
Dec 31
// Zack Furniss
Square Enix's Japanese website has just announced that Final Fantasy IX (which should be subtitled Vivi and his Less Cool Friends) will be coming to PC and Smartphones soon. There's no set release date, but I'm hoping it...
Love on the battlefield photo
Love on the battlefield

Drifting through time: Arousal and gaming


Promoted from our community blogs
Dec 30
// LinkSlayer64
[Image: BLUEamnesiac on DeviantArt.] [LinkSlayer readily admits what his formative years of discovering the fairer sex was like through what else but Final Fantasy. After all, Final Fantasy X-2 was about adding a bit of a sex...
Dissida Final Fantasy photo
Dissida Final Fantasy

Ramza is coming soon to Dissida Final Fantasy arcade


Chaos characters too
Dec 30
// Chris Carter
Right now, the roster for the Dissida Final Fantasy arcade edition is complete. Well it mostly is, outside of Final Fantasy Tactics' Ramza, who will be added in "soon," according to Famitsu. Ramza was initially teas...
Lightning photo
Lightning

Watch Lightning try to lifelessly sell a Louis Vuitton handbag


Haha what
Dec 26
// Chris Carter
Square Enix has partnered with French fashion house Louis Vuitton to sell...outfits and handbags, apparently. This new video was created by Visual Works, and shows Lightning in a variety of Vuitton merch. Lest you believe this is fake, multiple signs point to this being actually real. This is the best/worst Christmas gift of all. Lightning can never truly die. Nicolas Ghesquiere [Twitter]
Humble Bundle photo
Humble Bundle

Square Enix's newest Humble Bundle is worth a look


That $1 tier!
Dec 22
// Jordan Devore
Square Enix is back for yet another Humble Bundle. You probably own at least some of these by now, but if not, your patience has paid off. Pay $1 or more: The Last Remnant Life is Strange Episode 1 Tomb Raider I, II, and III...

Here are some of the best in-game winter events running right now

Dec 21 // Joe Parlock
Neverwinter: The Winter Festival The Dungeons & Dragons MMO for PC and Xbox One has already launched its winter event on December 17. This year sees the return of the Winter Festival of Simril, a lovely little snowy fair full of mini-games and prizes. Claiming a present each day from the Giftmaster in Twilight Tor will nab you a whole load of free stuff, including new mounts and clothing, without having to do much work. While this event also ran last year, some new quests and areas have been added to celebrate the recent-ish release of the Underdark expansion, so there’s more to check out if you thought you’d done everything last year. The Winter Festival will run until January 7. World of Warcraft: Feast of Winter Veil Feast of the Winter Veil is a long-standing tradition in World of Warcraft, and once again the event brings with it new quests and loot up for grabs. If you’re Alliance head to Ironforge, and if you’re Horde head to Orgrimmar. There, you’ll find a whole load of characters needing help setting up the festivities. Greatfather Winter needs help doing his totally-not-Santa thing, and the Jinglepocket Goblins want you to go and save Metzen the Reindeer. But best of all is some dungeon bosses will be wearing little hats which you can take for yourself. Little. Freaking. Hats. Some of the others rewards you can get include new pets, such the Clockwork Rocket Bot and the Tiny Snowman, as well as new toys like the Train Set. The Feast of Winter Veil started on December 16, and will be running through to January 2. Hearthstone: Winter Veil World of Warcraft isn’t the only one who gets the Winter Veil festival, as it’s also come to everybody’s favourite collectible card time-sink, Hearthstone. The boards have been all decked up with snow, fireplaces and fancy lights, and even the heroes are getting a bit festive with their new holiday greetings emotes.  However, the big thing is the Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl mode. Greatfather Winter drops presents and crates onto the board, and whichever player manages to destroy them will get a new 1-mana card that will grant them a card either for their own or for their opponents' class. Winning a game of Gift Exchange will net you a very festive Winter Veil Wreath card back. Unfortunately, you don’t have much longer left with the Gift Exchange, as it ends on December 21, which at the time of writing is tomorrow. If you’ve missed that though, don’t worry. The wintery boards and a holiday sale offering 50 classic packs for $50 will be running until January 6. Rift: Fae Yule Rift’s winter event is probably one of the longest ones this year. It started on December 10, and will be running all the way through to January 6. The Fae Yule event returns once again with everything players are used to from previous years, with quests being found in Sanctum, Meridian, Iron Pine Peak, and Draumheim. However, this year there’s some pretty big changes to the proceedings. There’s a new instant adventure in the Iron Pike Peaks, a new questline for the Minions, as well as a reworking of the Sparkle Quest. There’s also a sale running on the in-game store, featuring weapon and item skins, mounts, and backpacks. Depending on how much in-game credit you buy, you can also nab either a Jolly Hellbug Pet or an adorable Jolly Hellbug Mount. RiftGrate has a great (heh) guide on getting the most out of the event too, for those who don’t want to miss anything. Final Fantasy XIV: The Starlight Celebration If you head to the upper deck of Limsa Lominsa and talk to Collys before December 31, you’ll be roped into a fairly long questline to help her set right the celebration plans for the Starlight festival. If helping save Starlight out of the goodness of your heart wasn’t enough, you can also nab some goodies too: Christmas trees and glowing wall decorations, as well as costume pieces to make you look like Santa or his Reindeer. This isn’t the biggest or longest event running, but it’s definitely one of the most adorable that I’ve seen. Rocket League: Snow Day Probably one of the best multiplayer games to come out this year, Rocket League introduced a hockey mode to its roster. It comes as part of a mutator called Snow Day that replaces the usual ball with a huge puck, which changes the game almost completely. As well as the new mode, a variety of cosmetic drops are available until January 4, including the ‘Xmas’ rocket trail, various toppers, and two new antennae. Azure Striker GUNVOLT: Christmas in Gunvolt Land Indie platformer Azure Striker GUNVOLT went full-out this year and added in a whole new mode for its winter event. Christmas Mode gives the game a wintery makeover, and tasks players with collective as many presents as they can on the slippery ice. The mode also has its own leaderboards too, for those who want to prove they’re officially the best at Christmas. Christmas NiGHTS Okay, this isn’t technically an event in the same way the other games are because it’s been available for almost 20 years now, but it’s still totally worth checking out. If you have a copy of either the PC or PS2 rereleases of NiGHTS into Dreams, you’ll currently find the menus have taken a much more festive tone. NiGHTS is decked out in red, there’s an awesome version of Joy to the World blaring, and even Dream Dreams, the game’s main theme, has a lovely a capella cover. It’s all one big reference to one of the coolest demos ever released for a game, Christmas NiGHTS.  Christmas NiGHTS was a demo released NiGHTS back in 1996 on the Sega Saturn. If you played for nine months of the year, it was just a standard preview of the game, showing off Spring Valley and the boss Gillwing pretty much exactly how you’d find them in the full game. However, if you played it from November to January, the entire thing took on a festive vibe. Spring Valley is covered in snow, NiGHT’s podium turns into a giant cake, and the Ideya containers are transformed into Christmas trees. Even Gillwing changes, turning his lair into a glittery Santa’s grotto around a huge Christmas tree. The whole thing was really cool. I always play whatever version I can find at this time of year, and so should you. That should be more than enough gaming to tide you over the next couple of weeks. However, remember that this week sees the start of Christmas sales on Origin, Green Man Gaming and Steam, as well as basically every console’s digital store too! Neverwinter: The Winter Festival The Dungeons & Dragons MMO for PC and Xbox One has already launched their winter event on December 17. This year sees the return of the Winter Festival of Simril, a lovely little snowy fair full of minigames and prizes. Claiming a present each day from the Giftmaster in Twilight Tor will nab you a whole load of free stuff, including new mounts and clothing, without having to do much work. While this event also ran last year, some new quests and areas have been added to celebrate the recent-ish release of the Underdark expansion, so there’s more to check out if you thought you’d done everything last year. The Winter Festival will run until January 7. World of Warcraft: Feast of Winter Veil Feast of the Winter Veil is a long-standing tradition in World of Warcraft, and once again the event brings with it new quests and loot up for grabs. If you’re Alliance head to Ironforge, and if you’re Horde head to Orgrimmar. There, you’ll find a whole load of characters needing help setting up the festivities. Greatfather Winter needs help doing his totally-not-Santa thing, and the Jinglepocket Goblins want you to go and save Metzen the Reindeer. But best of all is some dungeon bosses will be wearing little hats which you can take for yourself. Little. Freaking. Hats. Some of the others rewards you can get include new pets, such the Clockwork Rocket Bot and the Tiny Snowman, as well as new toys like the Train Set. The Feast of Winter Veil started on December 16, and will be running through to January 2. Hearthstone: Winter Veil World of Warcraft isn’t the only one who gets the Winter Veil festival, as it’s also come to everybody’s favourite collectible card time-sink, Hearthstone. The boards have been all decked up with snow, fireplaces and fancy lights, and even the heroes are getting a bit festive with their new holiday greetings emotes.  However, the big thing is the Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl mode. Greatfather Winter drops presents and crates onto the board, and whichever player manages to destroy them will get a new 1-mana card to work with. Winning a game of Gift Exchange will net you a very festive Winter Veil Wreath card back. Unfortunately, you don’t have much longer left with the Gift Exchange, as it ends on December 21, which at the time of writing is tomorrow. If you’ve missed that though, don’t worry. The wintery boards and a holiday sale offering 50 classic packs for $50 will be running until January 6. Rift: Fae Yule Rift’s winter event is probably one of the longest ones this year. It started on December 10, and will be running all the way through to January 6. The Fae Yule event returns once again with everything players are used to from previous years, with quests being found in Sanctum, Meridian, Iron Pine Peak and Draumheim. However, this year there’s some pretty big changes to the proceedings. There’s a new instant adventure in the Iron Pike Peaks, a new questline for the Minions, as well as a reworking of the Sparkle Quest. There’s also a sale running on the in-game store, featuring weapon and item skins, mounts, and backpacks. Depending on how much in-game credit you buy, you can also nab either a Jolly Hellbug Pet or an adorable Jolly Hellbug Mount. RiftGrate has a great (heh) guide on getting the most out of the event too, for those who don’t want to miss anything. Final Fantasy XIV: The Starlight Celebration If you head to the upper deck of Limsa Lominsa and talk to Collys before December 31, you’ll be roped into a fairly long questline to help her set right the celebration plans for the Starlight festival. If helping save Starlight out of the goodness of your heart wasn’t enough, you can also nab some goodies too: Christmas trees and glowing wall decorations, as well as costume pieces to make you look like Santa or his Reindeer. This isn’t the biggest or longest event running, but it’s definitely one of the most adorable that I’ve seen. Rocket League: Snow Day Probably one of the best multiplayer games to come out this year, Rocket Leagueintroduced a hockey mode to its roster. It comes as part of a mutator called Snow Day that replaces the usual ball with a huge puck, which changes the game almost completely. As well as the new mode, a variety of cosmetic drops are available until January 4, including the ‘Xmas’ rocket trail, various toppers, and two new antennae. Azure Striker GUNVOLT: Christmas Mode Indie platformer Azure Striker GUNVOLT went full-out this year and added in a whole new mode for their winter event. Christmas Mode gives the game a wintery makeover, and tasks players with collective as many presents as they can on the slippery ice. The mode also has its own leaderboards too, for those who want to prove they’re officially the best at Christmas. Christmas NiGHTS Okay, this isn’t technically an event in the same way the other games are because it’s been available for almost 20 years now, but it’s still totally worth checking out. If you have a copy of either the PC or PS2 rereleases of NiGHTS into Dreams, you’ll currently find the menus have taken a much more festive tone. NiGHTS is decked out in red, there’s an awesome version of Joy to the World blaring, and even Dream Dreams, the game’s main theme, has a lovely a capella cover. It’s all one big reference to one of the coolest demos ever released for a game, Christmas NiGHTS.  Christmas NiGHTS was a demo released NiGHTS back in 1996 on the Sega Saturn. If you played for nine months of the year, it was just a standard preview of the game, showing off Spring Valley and the boss Gillwing pretty much exactly how you’d find them in the full game. However, if you played it from November to January, the entire thing took on a festive vibe. Spring Valley is covered in snow, NiGHT’s podium turns into a giant cake, and the Ideyacontainers are transformed into Christmas trees. Even Gillwing changes, turning his lair into a glittery Santa’s grotto around a huge Christmas tree. The whole thing was really cool. I always play whatever version I can find at this time of year, and so should you. -- That should be more than enough gaming to tide you over the next couple of weeks. However, remember that this week sees the start of Christmas sales on Origin, Green Man Gaming and Steam, as well as basically every console’s digital store too!   What other events do you think are worth checking out? 
Winter Events photo
No Scrooges are allowed to take part
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Mince pies, gingerbread men, last-minute panic buying of presents, and, of course, shutting yourself away from your family for the entire time to take part in some of the many i...

Final Fantasy VI photo
Final Fantasy VI

That ugly Final Fantasy VI port is out now on PC


Dec 19
// Kyle MacGregor
I have good news and bad news. The good news is Final Fantasy VI, otherwise known as the best Final Fantasy, is now available on Steam. The bad news is it's a port of the hideous mobile version. As for while the mobile versio...

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