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Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary: thanks for the memories

Tuesday, 4 September 2012 08:56 GMT By Dave Cook

Final Fantasy officially turns 25 in December, but celebrations have already begun. VG247′s Dave Cook looks at why a series that started as a gamble needs to start taking risks again.

To say that Square’s competitors don’t owe at least a little of their DNA to Final Fantasy’s is to overlook how fundamental it was in popularising the genre.

Final Fantasy is 25. Square-Enix celebrated the series’s landmark by announcing a string of new memorabilia, as well as a new Final Fantasy 13 spin-off, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy. The game will continue the pink-haired protagonist’s journey.

The announcement of a new Final Fantasy title used to send RPG fans worldwide into a frenzy, but now – even though they still score and sell relatively well – that old spark, that frenzied excitement seems to have dampened over time. What changed?

Let’s go back to the year 1998: hot from the success of Final Fantasy 7, JRPG giant Squaresoft has just announced the eighth game in the series to thunderous fanfare.

There were no qualms about the character’s gravity-defying haircuts, odd outfits or anything like that. We were largely already sold on the idea thanks to the runaway success of the previous game.

Show a picture of Final Fantasy 13-2′s dreadfully named Noel Kreiss to a member of the public today and they’d likely spit on it and go back to playing Skyrim. Times have changed and RPGs have changed. The industry as a whole has changed.

But Final Fantasy for the best part hasn’t changed much. At base level it’s the same as it ever was, with comfortingly familiar staples like Gil, Mogs, Chocobos, and amnesia by the truckload. But that’s fine, everyone has their own tastes, after all.

Like Final Fantasy 13 or not, keeping the current story arc alive with spin-offs makes perfect sense. New IP is a gamble today, and Square-Enix obviously needs a lot of time and money to make Final Fantasy 15, and presumably recoup money pumped in to re-tooling Final Fantasy 14.

Franchising a cross section of a franchise is simply good strategy from the developer, as mechanical as that sounds. Some of us may not like the direction, but it’s surely a means to an end.

Desperate gamble

What many may not know, or may have even forgotten as of late, is that this entire series was allegedly founded on a gamble – a last-ditch effort to save a company dangerously close to bankruptcy.

This anecdote has been diluted over the years, but back in 1987, Square’s NES output didn’t really ignite the kind of sales it wanted in Japan. So under the direction of Hironobu Sakaguchi, the studio’s key staff started working on one last game.

If the game didn’t sell, Sakaguhi said he’d retire from the industry and make it his last project, hence the name ‘Final Fantasy’. You already know how the rest of the story turns out.

Somewhere along the line, that same Square spark has been lost, and although each new entry to the series still meets a particularly high quality, some of them simply don’t resonate well.

After Final Fantasy was a hit in the east, Sakaguhi and his team started honing the turn-based format it had popularised, and all the way through Final Fantasy 2-5, the game worlds got bigger and the narratives grew epic.

The real turning point was arguably Final Fantasy 4, in which dark knight Cecil is betrayed, prompting him to embark on an epic pilgrimage to become a Paladin and defeat the corrupt commander Golbez.

Square knocked it out of the park with the story and just started running laps around the baseball field for years afterwards. The games couldn’t be stopped, and it wouldn’t take long for them to raise the bar even higher.

Considered the epitome of the series by many retro fans, Final Fantasy 6 is a truly essential RPG game. It embodies everything that is good and accomplished in the series, and if you haven’t played it yet you owe it to yourself to do so.

Part of the appeal comes from Square taking many risks with the game’s narrative that few studios would have dared to at the time. It was a game that was fuelled by human interaction, and little tales from the world’s civilians that were significant even though the planet was crumbling around them.

Players saw an entire city’s population killed by a spiked water supply just to murder one man within its walls. As the population wretched and died violently, maniacal villain Kefka just sat back and laughed. It was unsettling, even then.

Final Fantasy 7. You may have heard of it.

There is also a touching scene in which the battle-hardened Celes bared her soul on an opera stage, in what is one of the series’s best musical numbers. Ultimately though, this is one of those rare games in which the villain actually won.

How many games actually see the heroes lose? Not many, and your team’s failure leads to almost all of the world’s population being wiped out in a cataclysmic event. You survive of course and see the world dying in front of you. It’s harrowing stuff.

Genre-defining

Final Fantasy 6 isn’t just a good game: it’s genre-defining. But again, that definition has long-changed for many people, and part of the reason is that the west has now caught up in the RPG genre and carved out its own, darker slice of the market.

But talk to anyone about RPG games in the late 90s and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t name drop Final Fantasy 7 for good or ill. Like the sixth instalment, this is also an incredibly important game.

Not only did it underline PSone’s dominance over the console industry, it also gave rise to a trend of CGI cutscenes, fully orchestrated soundtracks of course, ‘that’ death. It may not have aged so well on reflection, but to deny its contribution to the industry is to do Square-Enix a great disservice.

In fact, the PSone Final Fantasy games are all impeccable, even if Final Fantasy 8′s battle system is essentially an 80-hour maths test. Square’s sheer effort across all three titles was astonishing.

The developer even took another big risk by going back to the twee characters and high fantasy setting of its earliest games in Final Fantasy 9. The game is also home to some of the series’s most human and touching moments, especially black mage Vivi’s constant fear of death.

Then came Square’s 2001 PS2 debut, Final Fantasy X. Fundamentally, it’s a brilliant game that raised the bar as far as visuals were concerned, but the appeal of its cast is often called into question.

The game also delivered a funnelled approach to progression when compared to earlier games. There were new barriers in place where there were very few before.

Overall Final Fantasy X told a touching tale that satisfied millions of fans, so you can imagine the surprise that greeted the developer’s decision to take the series into MMO territory.

Square’s MMO efforts with Final Fantasy haven’t been exactly fluid, but the studio definitely sees life in its departure from single-player games. You could even see traces of this mindset in Final Fantasy 12′s sprawling world and Gambit system.

Final Fantasy 12′s move away from the classic template left some players feeling cold, although it was still a huge achievement that came late in the PS2′s lifespan and had the technical clout to back the system up. However, this was the beginning of a great divide among fans.

Look at the great western RPGs of our day: you have the Fallout franchise; the sprawling scope of the Elder Scrolls saga; Diablo’s infectious gameplay, and many more, including scores of accomplished F2P RPGs flooding the market right now.

Our tastes are changing and people have found new and equally as exciting RPG experiences to keep them satisfied. Some offer things Final Fantasy doesn’t, while others do things the series used to do, reminding us all of just how much it’s changed.

Next generation

Final Fantasy is now one RPG now swimming in a very crowded pool. For many, the series died with Final Fantasy 13. The biggest issue at review stage was that the game drives players down a tight corridor that was essentially a 30-hour tutorial before the world opens up.

You can only put up with so much of the same thing for so long, and perhaps Square-Enix has stuck too rigidly to its own values across the series. As we grow, we do tend to seek out new experiences, and that changing landscape is something the developer needs to try to crack.

Once it did open up, it took on new life, but its understandable why some players simply couldn’t put it with it for that long. Was this an attempt to teach newcomers how to play the game, or just a misguided design choice? Either way a rift had been torn in the player base.

Plus, Hope is just a pain from beginning to end.

Compare the scope of something like Skyrim to Final Fantasy 13 and there’s no contest in terms of size and the freedom to simply wander and explore. Final Fantasy games used to have a world map area, but even that has dissolved away, replaced by things like the Historia Crux – which is a terrible name by the way, Square.

You can only put up with so much of the same thing for so long, and perhaps Square-Enix has stuck too rigidly to its own values across the series. As we grow, we do tend to seek out new experiences, and that changing landscape is something the developer needs to try to crack.

That old Square spark could be coming back however. The studio’s Luminous tech demo at E3 took place in a very western world, complete with men brandishing assault rifles in what looked like a Middle Eastern favela.

If this is a taster of what Final Fantasy 15 will hold, the jury’s out on whether or not this darker direction will entice western gamers – especially those who are put off by the series’s staples.

Could the contents of the Luminous demo be a conscious effort to bring people back, or is it a tech demo with no future? Either way, many gamers attribute a lot of fond memories to Square-Enix and to Final Fantasy in particular.

The RPG genre may have expanded and grown a lot over the past 25 years, but to say that Square’s competitors don’t owe at least a little of their DNA to Final Fantasy’s is to overlook how fundamental it was in popularising the genre.

For richer or poorer. Thanks for the memories, Final Fantasy.

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11 Comments

  1. Deacon

    nicely done Dave :)

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 Thanks man, I’m a huge fan, it’s by far my most favourite series but even I’m starting to get a little weary of it al. They need to shake it up with FF15 I think.

    Drop Mogs with baby voices, drop the campness of some of its male characters, and just focus on telling a gritty, world-consuming story again. I’d love to see the series go totally dark without resorting to emo characters, like FF 13 Versus’ Noctis. He already looks like I’ll despise him.

    But, open mind and all that. Excited to see what he future holds.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Eregol

    Nice article Dave.
    I have to admit, I enjoyed FFXIII and XIII-2, but I am growing cold to Squeenix’s insistence on keeping with the semi real/anime styling.
    I’d love for them to go back to the chibi style of FFIX.
    The last JRPG I actually loved was DQVIII, and I’d love FF to return to a similar style. Getting fed up of laser blasters and steampunk. I want medieval fantasy again.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Alex Donaldson

    Great article, Dave. Couldn’t agree more.

    Hiroyuki Ito – Director of FF6, FF9 and FF12 – may well be at the helm for FF15, as we haven’t heard from him since FF12 and he’s definitely still at Square. He has the potential to deliver something truly different.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Dave Cook

    @4 I loved 12 and I got a lot of crap from mates about it. It was just so big and ambitious, plus I really enjoyed the Gambit system. I really hope FF15 stays thematically similar to the Luminous engine tech demo. Dark and sinister.

    @2 Yeah man I liked both FF13 games too, but I came away feeling a bit weary. Hope they change it in FF15 :D

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Alex Donaldson

    @5 Shameless self promotion – but with you seeming to love Luminous, you should read my chat with them from E3: http://www.rpgsite.net/articles/393-square-enix-luminous-studio-interview

    The thing these guys have that a lot of Square – like the FFXIII team – don’t have is simple: They haven’t been working on FF their entire careers.

    Three of the core Luminous Team are ex-SEGA – they worked on the Hedgehog Engine that powered the brilliant-looking Sonic Unleashed – and then moved to Square. Because they haven’t burned themselves out on millions of FF games, they have fresher ideas. That’s my theory, anyway.

    Lovely blokes. I hope they get a chance to work on a game, but they were quite clear to me that they are only a tech team – though individual members are ALSO working on different games – the tech director for that demo is the tech director on FF14 2.0, for instance.

    As far as Ito/Gambits goes – the reason I’m excited for an Ito-helmed FF is because he’s responsible for a lot of FF’s greatest stuff. ATB, Materia, Triple Triad, Gambits. FF9′s my favourite, as well, and that’s his work.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. kupocake

    @2 Got to say, it’s precisely that “grit” that has been Final Fantasy’s undoing. If you get rid of the quirky elements (or equally, just cram Moogles and Chocobos into random places for the sake of a little series tokenism), you’re just left with yet another half-sensical, oh-so-serious anime story about a bunch of kids (sometimes in the bodies of adults) vacationing and saving the world.

    Never trust Square-Enix/Squaresoft to understand “grit”. They think “grit” is a synonym for “angst” or “glumness”, for teenage boys running out of the room saying “I’m not having anyone talk about me in the past tense!” or for pink-haired protagonists looking glumly at the impending apocalypse before slashing at something for a bit.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @7 awesome post. The first para is spot on, and I especially liked the ‘bunch of kids in adult bodies going on holiday’ line.

    It’s true that ‘grit’ gets mistaken for hormonal teen angst, but I would like to see them do a genuinely dark game that gets it right.

    Am I perhaps wishing for too much here? :P

    #8 3 years ago
  9. deathm00n

    Here comes a opinion from someone wich the first RPG ever was Final Fantasy VIII

    I’ve always liked how the characters of Final Fantasy looked like, Seifer was the coolest guy at the time I’ve begin playing, the history of VIII I didn’t really understand at the time because I’m brazillian and I didn’t talked english at the time, begun learning with this game. Then FF IX launched and I didn’t liked it, the design of the character are too childish for me. X I didn’t played, X-2 was great in my opinion, XII was very good but the change in the system “Enter a battle, fight it, return to the world” really let me down, and XIII is the second in the series for me(VIII still #1).

    You might ask me why, but the problem is: I don’t care what they do with how the world is designed, if it’s linear or not, what is good in FF is gameplay, history and design. I don’t like the FF who are more anime style, I like the ones where people are more like real world people but with things that ditinguish them from reality. In XIII you have this with Snow(looks a lot like Seifer by the way), you will never find someone who looks like him walking in the street, but you know he could be real.

    For the history part: a theme that is recurrent in most of them is: if you don’t fight, the world will be destroyed. This make everything that happens feel almost epic. This is present in XIII, but not in XII for instance.

    Everything I’m saying is getting me out of the point that is: I don’t think they need change things, they should stick to the formula: cool guy who looks like an awesome real person, world is going to be destroyed, world is a twist of themes. What they need to change is the world, the setting play a major role in all FF. In XIII we had a problem, the setting was great, 2 worlds, one futuristic, the other one with old technology, but in the end Pulse was only a empty world. VI was a good mix, technology is in contrast with medieval themes.

    The setting show in the tech demo was awesome to me, a wasteland with bandits and guns contrasting with magic. They made a error with XIII, there was no contrast in it, the linear part I don’t mind, because it had a great history, they couldn’t have done it with open world mechanics.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. HighWindXIX

    I’m gonna play Devil’s advocate and say they need to get back to basics. You can argue that the Final Fantasy games change too much between main titles. As far as pure gameplay mechanics, X, XII, and XIII have wildly different battle systems and totally different takes on exploration (or lack thereof). On the other hand, while there are numerous improvements, Skyrim is really the same game as Oblivion and substitute magic for guns and it plays the same as Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

    If Square really wants to get back on top, going back to basics and releasing something with a Retro vibe Ala FFIX might get them more love and praise than going off the deep end and trying to be Western which we all know they can’t pull off…

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Lounds

    Good article dave.

    FFIX was my favourite it was the first FF I played and I think to all fans out there, I think the first one game you play in any series will be your favourite.

    FFIX was epic, it was a dark story and I loved Zidane as a lead character, I wanted to be like him so bad lol. I remember playing it as a kid and wanting an Airship.

    Scenes that will stay with me is when Vivi is see all the model black mages with no souls fall out the airship as they’re being chased by the Black Waltze 3rd. Also I remember The horror on Princess Garner’s face when her mother Queen Brahne attacks Lindblum.

    Brilliant game start to finish, and I love it’s concept on a creator of planets and races.

    #11 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Betting on eSports for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has reinvigorated the biggest game on consoles and turned it into a spectator sport. “We were looking at the eSports scene blowing up. Every year it was getting bigger. Players were maturing and being more discriminating. We had to understand the impact that eSports is having […]

  • Destiny: how does the road ahead look?

    The future of Destiny looks very bright with House of Wolves and Comet releasing this year. But what about next year, and the one after that? Alex has a new video for you that tries to paint a picture of the future of Destiny. He goes over the timeline as we know it based on […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.09 improves Heists matchmaking

    GTA 5 received a patch towards the end of last week. The patch, version 1.09, brought with it a few improvements to Heists and plenty of other fixes. Rockstar has released patch 1.09 (1.23 PS3 and Xbox 360) for all versions of GTA 5 to help make the Heisting experience better for all. The ‘auto-invite’ […]

  • Diablo 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and more make up this week’s Deals with Gold

    Deals with Gold is back for the week of March 30 with discounts on Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Lego Movie Videogame, and others. Xbox Live Gold members get a few good deals this week to spend money on. A large assortment of The Lego games is on […]

  • GTA 5: parallax occlusion mapping is gone, but framerate is better

    Patch 1.09 for GTA 5 has indeed removed the parallax occlusion mapping effect, but has in turn improved the game’s overall framerate – at least on PlayStation 4. Earlier last week a YouTube video came to light and showed what appeared to be the removal of effects from GTA 5 after applying patch 1.09. The […]

  • The Witcher 3 dev: DirectX 12 may not have impact on Xbox One games resolution

    DirectX 12 may not be the miracle that some are believing it to be, at least not when it comes to improving the resolution of Xbox One ports. Damien Monnier, a senior game designer at The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED has revealed through a Twitter conversation with fans that DirectX 12 may not […]

  • Get infinite items in Bloodborne with this duplication glitch

    Bloodborne has a nasty glitch that will let you duplicate all in-game consumables. The glitch was discovered by Kotaku and makes item duplication pretty simple. Note that doing this will trivialise a major part of the game’s challenge and that it will probably get patched soon. For this glitch to work, you’ll need to create […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for March 31: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    The weekly reset to Destiny’s merchants, strikes, and reputation caps is here. The strike for this week is The Nexus on the Ishtar Sink on Venus. Void burn will be your ally/enemy for the Nightfall. The Juggler modifier is also available on both Heroic and Nightfall. Inferno Crucible mode also returns with Clash, and it […]

  • Motivational Growth is the first non-documentary film to be released on Steam

    Motivational Growth will soon be Steam’s first foray into selling movies that are not based around video games Steam will release its first, non-documentary film later today in the form of Motivational Growth. The film is a sci-fi comedy distributed by Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital, who has itself produced other game-centred documentaries before, and […]

  • Metal Gear Solid movie in the works at Sony Pictures

    A Metal Gear Solid film is in the making at Sony Pictures. Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures has closed a deal to make a film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid. The film will be written by Jay Basu, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts attached to direct. Michael De Luca is said to be heading production. There […]

  • Destiny: Inferno mode returns this week with Inferno Clash

    Inferno mode returns to Destiny this week. This time it’s Inferno Clash. The Inferno playlist will be back to The Crucible rotation in Destiny this week. Unlike last month’s Control, Clash will be the mode variant this time. The main changes Inferno brings to the game is the removal of the radar (mini-map), scoring is […]

  • Bladestorm: how 28 rogue ninja conquered Brittany

    The Hundred Years War wasn’t ended by the superior forces of the French cavalry: it was ninja. Bladestorm: Nightmare Battlefield sim. Take control of dozens of unit types. You play a mercenary, fighting for both France and England, usually at your own discretion. Unit variations liven things up; Lady Lancers replace Knights. Vikings replace Swords. […]

  • First Bloodborne speedrun is in, game finished in under 45 minutes

    Bloodborne has been out for less than a week in most parts of the world and the first speedrun record has already been achieved. YouTuber Oginam_tv managed to finish Bloodborne in under 50 minutes. Of course not without utilising more than his fair share of exploits, including level-skipping glitches, as well as the item duplication […]

  • Advanced Warfare Infection gameplay shows the new map, monsters, extraction mechanic

    We’ve got some new gameplay footage from Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies episode 2 – Infection. Arekkz went to L.A. this past weekend and played the new map that Infection brings to Exo Zombies mode in Advanced Warfare. The map is noticeably larger than that of the first episode, with more branching paths you can unlock. […]

  • Hotline Miami collector’s edition is close, 50% already achieved

    The Hotline Miami crowdfunding effort to produce a special collector’s edition is going strong with 50% of the target achieved. Gamer Network’s collector’s edition initiative has announced that funding for the Hotline Mimi Gamer’s Edition has reached 50% of its goal, with just over nine days to go. The collector’s edition is a one-of-a-kind bundle […]

  • Woah Dave will be an extra free PS+ game on PS4 in April

    Indie platformer Woah Dave will be made free to PlayStation Plus members on PlayStation 4 in April, but it’s not part of the month’s main Plus offering. Woah Dave is a “secret” April PlayStation Plus game, according to Sony. The game is a 2D platformer that received positive feedback when it was released on PS […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: three international tourneys announced, $100,000 prize pool

    Warner Bros. has announced a new series of Mortal Kombat X tournaments with a prize pool starting at $100,000. Mortal Kombat X Worldwide Competitive Program is a series of tournaments that kick off in April and allow players from the around the world participation. The tournaments are the Fatal 8 Exhibition Tournament, Mortal Kombat X […]

  • Project CARS to receive a free car every month, starting with the Lykan Hypersport

    The Lykan Hypersport, the supercar featured in one of Furious 7′s action set-pieces, will be a free download for Project CARS owners. To thank the fans for their patience throughout Project CARS development and several delays, developer Slightly Mad will be giving all owners one in-game car for free each month. The first car will […]

  • Leaked Halo Online gameplay shows weapons, maps, and more

    Gameplay from the upcoming, Russia only, Halo Online has leaked online and it looks like a mix of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. Microsoft announced last week that a free-to-play Halo game is in development at Saber Interactive. The game will be available in Russia only, at least on launch. YouTuber Noble, with the help […]

  • Get PlayStation 4 with the PS Camera and The Last of Us for $399

    US retailer Best Buy is offering a free PlayStation Camera with the purchase of The Last of Us PS4 bundle. If you’re in the US, Best Buy is having a very good deal on PlayStation 4 systems at the moment. If you buy The Last of Us PS4 bundle, you’ll automatically get the PS Camera […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC comes to PS4 in May

    Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC has been given a release window for PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360. Jaws of Hakkon, the first story add-on to Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last week on PC and Xbox One. The release was a complete surprise, as there was no prior announcement. What was also surprising […]

  • Watch Rainbow Six Siege developers stream new gameplay right now

    Rainbow Six Siege developers are about to livestream new gameplay footage. Come and watch with us. The livestream below starts at 7pm UK time/6pm GMT. Ubisoft will be showing new gameplay footage and will talk more about the operator system, which was revealed today. The footage will be from the PC alpha build. Expect more […]

  • Advanced Warfare Exo Zombie Infected trailer shows new weapons, massive enemy

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies episode 2, Infected, has been shown off in a new trailer. The official trailer for Exo Zombies Infected is here with footage of the new gear and new enemies. All of which help set up the mess everyone’s making at Burger Town. John Malkovich and co are dropped […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition comes with a 120-page field manual

    Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a collector’s edition and it comes with a 120-page guide. The Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition has been fully detailed. It’s called the “Art of Siege Edition” and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, priced £65. Here’s what you get: A copy of the game […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege trailer is all about the operators

    Rainbow Six Siege has a new trailer available explaining the operator system. Operators are what makes any Counter Terrorist Unit and you will get to choose each of them individually before assembling a team. Any operator you choose will not be available for others though, so planning ahead will be crucial. The new trailer shows […]

  • Spotify now available on PS3 and PS4, lets you play music in the background

    Spotify has arrived on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Spotify app is now available in 42 countries on PSN. The app was part of last week’s firmware update and can be found under PlayStation Music. Anyone can download it, as it doesn’t require PlayStation Plus. You can use your PSN account to subscribe to […]

  • Let’s talk Battlefield Hardline weapon balance

    The weapon balance in Battlefield Hardline is causing a controversy among the players. Are some weapons too powerful, or are other not powerful enough? Westie has been playing Battlefield Hardline since it the day it came out and he has some opinions about the state of weapon balance as it stands right now. Westie also […]

  • UK Charts: Bloodborne enters at No. 2, Battlefield Hardline defends No. 1 spot

    Battlefield Hardline has defended the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts against Bloodborne’s impressive numbers. The UK Charts for the week ending March 28 show Battlefield Hardline continuing to hold the top spot despite dropping 43% in sales. Bloodborne achieved the No. 2 spot and came only 22,500 copies short of becoming number 1. […]

  • Halo 5: Guardians release date and new trailers released

    Halo 5 is coming in October. Are you ready? Halo 5: Guardians has been slapped with a release date of October 27. Microsoft and 343 Industries also released a new trailer to mark the news; check it out below. “The Master Chief. Spartan Locke. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?” Microsoft said […]

  • Denial wins Call of Duty Championship 2015

    In a weekend where favourites crashed out and non-US teams took a beating, Denial stepped up to take the title and $400,000 prize Denial have beaten Revenge to win the Call of Duty Championship 2015, claiming a $400,000 prize. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, 32 of the best teams in the world battled it […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC- check out new maps and the grapple ability

    Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC is looking pretty sweet in these two new videos. The Call of Duty Championships this weekend have given our very own Arekkz a chance to check out the new Ascendance DLC coming this month. Take a look at all four new maps as well as the cool new grapple ability (which […]

  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]

  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U: 2015 release not a “priority”, skipping E3

    The Legend of Zelda franchise producer Eiji Aonuma is featured in the latest video update on the status of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, stating a 2015 release is no longer a “number one priority” for the team. While Aonuma never specifically says the game has been delayed into 2016, the announcement confirms […]

  • Destiny gameplay designer exits for Bethesda

    Destiny’s senior gameplay designer Josh Hamrick announced on Twitter overnight he would be leaving the company in a week’s time for Bethesda. Hamrick joined Bungie in 2009 after working two years at Midway Austin, where he created multiplayer maps, modified single-player levels, and other designer functions. He was in charge of fixing bug in code […]

  • What to expect from the Call of Duty Championship this weekend

    Just settling down to the Call of Duty Championship this weekend? Here’s a rundown of today’s matches and what else to expect over the next three days. The Call of Duty Championship is taking place in LA this weekend until Sunday, with 32 four-player teams battling it out for a prize pot of $1 million. […]

  • MLB 15 The Show video highlights improved graphics, updated grass patterns

    Sony has released a video for MLB 15 The Show which provides a look at graphical improvements made to the game. Along with the visual upgrade over MLB 14 The Show, the game contains new minor league stadiums, dynamic sun generated in real-time, and upgraded grass patterns which reflect each stadium’s unique look. MLB 15 […]

  • Valve to offer HTC Vive Developer Edition free to qualified developers

    Valve has said it will offer the HTC Vive Developer Edition for free to qualified developers in an effort to buoy projects before the tech launches commercially. Surgeon Simulator developer Bossa Studios and The Room studio Fireproof Games are just some of the developers which already have a free Vive in-hand. According to Valve’s Doug […]

  • DriveClub gameplay video features MotorStorm’s off-road buggies

    Some gameplay footage of MotorStorm’s off-road buggies in DriveClub has surfaced. Pictures of the buggies were shown on the Japanese PlayStation Blog earlier this month, which considering the game was developed by Evolution Studios – which developed MotorStorm – this isn’t too much of a surprise. The buggies were first spotted by Videogamer, which pulled […]

  • Mortal Kombat X live-action TV spot features the track Chop Suey

    The TV sport for Mortal Kombat X has been released, and not only does it contain a “spontaneous fight circle” taking over an entire city, but it features the System of a Down track Chop Suey. Mortal Kombat X will be released on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One April 14. The […]

  • Bloodborne Forbidden Woods progression bug caused by multiplayer summon

    A progression bug in Bloodborne is in the works, according to Sony and From Software. The issue occurs when players activate a multiplayer session in the Forbidden Woods using the Sinister Resonant Bell or Small Resonant Bell. It also appears the Lunarium Key won’t appear because of the multiplayer bug, and without the key you […]