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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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Lucius 2 has a really fitting release date. Lucius developer Shiver Games has produced a follow-up to the dark tale of an evil child, and it’s coming your way on February 13 – which just so happens to be a Friday. Lucius 2: The Prophecy will set you back $20, and release through Steam. As […]

  • Saints Row 4: Re-Elected PS4 recalled in Australia, incorrect content to blame

    Saints Row 4: Re-Elected has been recalled in Australia due to a mysterious manufacturing issue. An Australian PR representative said that the retail PS4 version of Saints Row 4: Re-Elected has “a serious manufacturing issue” and has been recalled nation-wide. Here’s what we were told (emphasis mine): “A manufacturing issue has caused an incorrectly classified […]

  • The Whispered World follow up now coming to PS4, too

    Deadalic’s gorgeous-looking adventure Silence has been confirmed for a fourth platform. Originally announced for Mac and PC with an Xbox One port one revealed at a later date, Silence is now on its way to PS4 as well. All versions are due later this year. Silence is Deadalic’s first multi-platform release and in my mind […]

  • Mythbusters to tackle DOOM this weekend

    DOOM is the subject of the next episode of Mythbusters. Having been airing for over ten years now, Mythbusters has pretty much run out of myths to bust, which is why we find ourselves in 2015 with an episode dedicating to answering the question “could DOOM be real?” Bethesda has rveealed that the January 31 […]

  • Destiny hosting a Bungie Bounty – go go go

    Destiny players have a chance to take down Bungie employees in return for one of the most exclusive vanity items in the game. Destiny’s Bungie Bounties usually feature guests from the community, and today’s event is no exception. Joining Bungie community manager David “Deej” Dague are several members of Bungie.org, the developer’s most staunch fan […]

  • Elite: Dangerous developer issues lay-offs

    Elite: Dangerous team Frontier Developments has had to let staff go. At least 15 staff have been laid off from the developer’s Halifax studio. According to an investor update, this decision will allow Frontier to focus its efforts at its primary studio in Cambridge, England. “With its business emphasis now on two major self-published franchises, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition tavern songs free for a limited time

    Dragon Age: Inquisition tunes can be yours for the bargain price of zero cashmoney. The tavern songs from Dragon Age: Inquisition will be made available for purchase from various digital distributors sometime after February 9. Until then, though, you can have them for free – including their sheet music. To take advantage of this generous […]

  • Even the Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 teaser is frightening

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is probably going to be just as tense and uncomfortable as its two prequels. This teaser for Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is the first we’ve heard of the project since creator Scott Cawthon confirmed it is in the works. The third entry in the series is now up on […]

  • 6.6 million Xbox consoles shipped last quarter

    Xbox One and Xbox 360 console sales were strong last quarter, although Microsoft isn’t talking hard numbers yet. Microsoft shipped 6.6 million Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles to retailers in the quarter ending December 31, the company revealed in its latest financial briefing. This figure wasn’t broken down by platform, and Microsoft didn’t supply […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection: five minutes of b-roll footage

    We may not have proper, uncut gameplay footage of the Homeworld Remastered Collection, but we have the next best thing. Homeworld Remastered Collection was confirmed to release on February 25. Gearbox has only showed a trailer, but no extended gameplay demos. There was however a b-roll video showing at PAX South, and we’ve embedded it […]

  • Grim Fandango Remastered looks sharp in these new screens

    Grim Fandango will come back from the dead with the Remastered edition, and it’s looking great. Grim Fandango Remastered has a few new screens available to prove that even old games can look stunning with the right remaster, especially ones with an already well-defined art style. Have a look at them below and get excited. […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: beta weapons, maps, modes, progression system and more

    The Battlefield Hardline beta will include a third new map and a new game mode, on top of what’s already announced. You may remember last week DICE started a community mission for all Battlefield 4 players. The goal was to reach 2 billion points playing Rush mode. That goal has been achieved and as a […]

  • Dying Light launch trailer is one last display of its forte

    The launch trailer for Dying Light is here one day ahead of the game’s release. Techland and Warner Bros. have put out the launch trailer for Dying Light. The trailer is a short reminder of the game’s main selling points: free-running, weapon crafting, drop-kicking zombies. Reviews should start to come out tomorrow for the game […]

  • Watch The Witcher 3 developers stream new gameplay on Twitch

    The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED is hosting a Twitch live-stream to show off brand new gameplay footage and answer some fan questions. The live-stream will start at 7:00pm GMT, 2:00pm EST, 11:00am PST. It will show off plenty of new footage, some of which was shown only to the press so far. The […]

  • Finally, some screens for Final Fantasy 15

    Patience is a virtue and we finally have our hands on a few gameplay screens from Final Fantasy 15. There’s not a lot of them, but they show the impressive lighting and they’re all gameplay as far as I can tell, so take a look. There is no release date for Final Fantasy 15 as […]

  • Here’s 15 minutes of gameplay from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 1080p

    The Witcher 3 has a new direct-feed, 1080p video available that’s 100% gameplay. Would you like some gameplay of The Witcher 3 in beautiful 1080p? Why, of course you would! The gameplay below shows combat, conversations, travelling. In short, it’s a small sample of everything the game will offer. If you’re looking to learn much […]

  • Two Mortal Kombat X characters to be revealed this week

    Mortal Kombat X will get not one, but two character reveals this week. Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon has been at again on Twitter, teasing all kinds of reveals over the past few days. Firstly, Boon tweeted this image, which at first glance appears to show a character holding a bow. However, further examination by […]

  • Planetside 2 successfully claims the Guinness World Record for biggest FPS battle

    The Planetside 2 community has successfully organised an online battle involving over 1000 players, breaking the previous Guinness World Record. The event, which was organised by Planetside Battles was pitched to the community last week. 1,158 players have answered the call, smashing the record for “Most Players Online in an FPS Battle.” The previous 999 […]

  • Microsoft aiming for Xbox One-to-PC streaming to function while you watch TV

    Streaming Xbox One games to PC while you watch TV on the console through the HDMI pass-through is something Microsoft is hoping to achieve when the service launches with Windows 10. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has been on Twitter answering fan questions following last week’s Windows 10 event. One interesting bit that came out of those […]

  • Everything we know about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is sure to be one of the biggest RPGs of the year, due for release in May on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Delayed since its target release of 2015, CD Projekt Red’s latest game takes the series to a true open world environment, and charges the player with tracking […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beta date leaked – rumour

    According to an email sent to some YouTubers, the upcoming beta for Battlefield Hardline is scheduled for February 3. The date for the Battlefield Hardline beta is believed to be February 3. It comes from an email that’s been sent by Ronku to various YouTubers reminding them of the starting date, February 3. Ronku is […]

  • The history of The Witcher: beyond the Road With No Return

    We take a look at The Witcher franchise, from the original short stories to its blockbuster video games. The world was first introduced to Geralt through a set of short stories called The Witcher (English translation) written by author Andrzej Sapkowski. The first short story was published in the Polish fantasy and science fiction magazine […]

  • Bringing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to life

    In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt RED takes a whopping enormous map and fills it with stuff you actually want to see and do. Do you remember back before Oblivion came out there was a lot of chat about how much more lifelike and realistic the NPCs would be? Rather than just hanging […]

  • The big Witcher 3 questions answered: delays, playing as Ciri, and why enemies don’t scale

    Spending some time with The Witcher 3 level designer Miles Tost we were able to put some of our immediate questions to him after playing the game for over 4 hours. “That sense of improvement doesn’t happen if the monsters around you remain the same strength, there’s no sense of achievement.” Tost is a relaxed […]

  • The Witcher 3 sets a new generational standard for graphics

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the new standard in outrageously pretty. “The Witcher 3 is more than just eye-candy. Destiny, once the loveliest thing I had ever looked upon, has been outclassed.” The Witcher 3 is even better looking than the screenshots would have you believe, and until you see it in motion, running […]

  • The Witcher 3: hands-on with the RPG of the year

    Getting to know a bawdy hero; Geralt of Rivia’s third outing is accessible, untamed, and dripping with story. Warning: some spoilers are inevitable. “The Witcher 3 is horror and violence. It’s charming, witty and cheeky. Like Geralt, it knows what it wants and it’s going to grab it with both hands.” The Witcher 3: Wild […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel gets Lady Hammerlock DLC tomorrow

    The Lady Hammerlock DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be released on PS3 and Xbox 360 tomorrow, January 27. The new playable character comes with three skill trees and the action skill Cold As Ice. If you haven’t bought the season pass for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel you can download the DLC for $9.99, you lucky […]

  • A limited edition 20th Anniversary PS4 just sold for $128,000

    Sony has just auctioned one of its limited edition 20th Anniversary PS4 consoles for over $128,000. The model had the serial number 00001, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We appreciate all who participated in the auction and are surprised at the highest bid price, which was higher than our expectations,” said a rep for […]

  • Here’s Killer Instinct’s new Omen and Golem fighters in action

    Microsoft has revealed Killer Instinct Season 2′s fighter Omen in a new trailer. Stick around for the end of the video and you’ll also get a peek at another new fighter, Golem. Omen is a bonus character and as such isn’t available as part of the main season roster. He’s available for free to Ultra […]

  • Digital copies of Far Cry 4 are being deleted from Uplay

    Ubisoft appears to be deleting copies of Far Cry 4 bought through digital third-party retailers. According to the Ubisoft support forums, copies of the game acquired via G2Play and G2A are being removed from Uplay. Users had not been given any warning by publisher Ubisoft that the game will be removed, although it is now […]

  • Gearbox wants “badass” talent for the next Borderlands

    Borderlands 3 may not have been announced at PAX this weekend, but studio boss Randy Pitchford is currently recruiting for the next game in the series. We are recruiting for next Borderlands. This is the big one. Industry badass? E-mail me: heyrandy@gearboxsoftware.com pic.twitter.com/ZG9dLytX1B — Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) January 26, 2015 A recruitment push would suggest […]

  • Destiny: less grind, fairer economy in House of Wolves DLC

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it aims to lessen the grind in House of Wolves, and it won’t repeat mistakes it made with rewards in The Dark Below. Gear rewards will be fairer, according to lead designer Luke Smith in a Neogaf thread. For example, buying from a vendor should not invalidate gear rewarded for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Disaster

    Over two months since release and Xbox One’s big Christmas game is still a turkey, says Rich Stanton. “The game has now been available for two-and-a-half months, including the blockbuster Christmas season, and by any reasonable standard it doesn’t work.” Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched worldwide on November 11, 2014. Intended as something of […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection dated, first gameplay footage released

    Homeworld Remastered Collection has a release date, and as promised, the gameplay footage of Gearbox Software’s remake has been released along with the news that Homeworld Shipbreaker development continues. The video was shown during the Inside Gearbox Software panel earlier this morning at PAX South. Last year, Gearbox had said hoped to release the title […]

  • Clock Tower spiritual successor Night Cry has landed on Kickstarter

    The Kickstarter for Clock Tower spiritual successor, Project Scissors, recently announced as Night Cry, has launched. A teaser directed by The Grudge director Takashi Shimizu was released for the game earlier this month, and the full short film can be viewed below. Shimizu is also creative director on the project and Silent Hill creative and environment […]

  • Toukiden Kiwami mission trailer released, pre-order bonuses detailed

    Pre-order bonuses for Toukiden Kiwami have been announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita. Here’s the pre-order bonus list for each participating retailer: North America GameStop – Armor inspired by new slayers Reki and Soma’s costumes and classic armor from Toukiden‘s six original NPC slayers. Amazon – 2 exclusive pieces of armor: a set of Tenko […]

  • More Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Final Fantasy 15 info doled out by Tabata

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD director Hajime Tabata took part in a Reddit AMA yesterday, and answered a variety of questions pertaining to the game and Final Fantasy 15. According to Tabata, the first playthrough of the game will last around 40 hours, but “the real fun” starts from the second playthrough which contains new events. […]

  • This video gives you an idea of what Borderlands Online is like

    A video for Borderlands Online, the China-exclusive title from 2K, Shanda Games and Gearbox, has been released. Posted on MMO Culture, the video was released to announce the “technical test” which started today. Borderlands Online is an instance-based online shooter, and will probably never reach western shores. Still, you can have a look anyway.

  • Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is the MMO’s first expansion

    The first expansion for Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, was announced today during PAX South, and ArenNet has posted a few content details for it on the official webiste. Heart of Thorns contains a reimagined progression with the new Mastery system, which provides new training opportunities for characters beyond level 80. Players will be […]

  • Turn-based action platformer Ronin has been polished up, nets a publisher

    Tomasz Waclawek has polished up his freeware title Ronin and will be releasing it through publisher Devolver Digital later this year. The turn-based action platformer stars a vengeful ninja who is determined to kill important memebers of a powerful corporation. Weapons at your disposal include razor wire and a katana, or you avoid combat by […]

  • Footage of cancelled Justice League brawler surfaces

    Footage of the cancelled Double Helix-developed Justice League brawler has surfaced online. The game was supposed to be a tie-in title for the also cancelled Justice League film directed by George Miller, according to leaked images and information from 2012. Jon Gwyn, the game’s artist and now Rockstar San Diego staffer, said at the time […]

  • Free Icona Vulcano DLC for DriveClub releases next week

    Sony has posted a video of the Icona Vulcano, which will be released as DLC next week for DriveClub. The video was posted on Facebook and we’ve embedded the video below courtesy of GamesHQMeida. It was announced earlier this week the Icona Vulcano would be released on the PS Store as a free download.

  • The Bard’s Tale 4 announced by inXile Entertainment at PAX South

    The Bard’s Tale 4 was announced today by inXile Entertainment CEO Brian Fargo during a panel at PAX South. inXile hinted around back in December that a sequel was in the works. Granted, The Bard’s Tale wasn’t mentioned. Still, everyone figured this was the game when Wasteland 2 project lead Chris Keenan stated the team […]

  • Here’s another Majora’s Mask 3DS vs N64 comparison video

    Last week, YouTube user Master0fHyrule uploaded a Majora’s Mask 3DS vs N64 comparison video, and we’ve embedded it for you below. The video shows 4.5 minutes of footage which appears before hitting the start button and the first meeting between Link and the Skull Kid. Another comparison video was released by another user back in […]

  • The Game Awards 2015 already in the planning stages

    The Game Awards 2015 are already in the planning stages, according to Geoff Keighley. The inaugural show took place on December 6, 2014. Keighley announced the 2015 show during his Storytime with Geoff Keighley panel at PAX South this weekend and through Twitter. He said more details will be announced in the spring. You can […]

  • Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered listed for January release

    It looks like Quantic Dream’s Indigo Prophecy is returning in remastered form next week, if an Amazon listing is any indication. According to the listing posted on NeoGAF, the uncut version of the game contains Steam DRM and will release January 29 at 12pm PST/3pm EST for a Linux, Mac and PC download. Titled Fahrenheit: […]

  • Indie Flash Sale kicks off on North American PS Store

    The North American end of the PlayStation Store is hosting a Flash Sale a beefy list of indie games and some films. The sales includes titles such as Resogun, Shadow Warrior, The Unfinished Swan, FEZ, Costume Quest 2, Joe Danger, Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, and more for up to 80% off. The full […]

  • The Witcher 3 Twitch stream to show 15 minutes of new gameplay footage

    New The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gameplay footage will be shown Monday, January 26 on GOG.com’s Twitch channel. Along with the footage, the developers will be answering questions from the community as well as providing commentary on the gameplay being shown. Live questions posted via Twitter chat will be answered by senior gameplay designer Damien […]

  • Borderlands 3 information teased for tomorrow’s Gearbox PAX South panel

    During PAX South this weekend, Gearbox Software is hosting a panel titled Inside Gearbox Software which will provide “the latest news and updates on Borderlands and upcoming Gearbox titles.” Yesterday during Gearbox’s panel called Question and Answer Time, CEO Rady Pitchford was asked “when or if” fans can expect Borderlands 3. “I’ll tell you what,” […]

  • Best Buy cancels multiple pre-order units of Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL

    Multiple sources reported overnight Best Buy has cancelled some pre-orders for the Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL. As of press time, it appears to only affect those who pre-ordered more than one system. Only one system was allotted per order, so the cancellation notices were sent out to comply with the restriction. Those […]

  • Rob Huebel is your KillCameraman in this CoD: Advanced Warfare video

    A live-action video for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Havoc has been released by Activision. Subtitled: Randall Higgins: KillCameraman gives you a look at the action from a different perspective. In the video, Higgins is played by comedic actor and writer Rob Huebel (Children’s Hospital, Parks and Rec, The Mindy Project). The first DLC […]

  • Xbox App features included with Windows 10 January build outlined

    The January build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview includes a basic version of the Xbox App announced earlier this week. With the initial preview release, the team at Microsoft wanted to only include the basics such as high resolution monitor support along with keyboard and mouse input. Additional functionality will be released with each […]

  • Standalone version of DayZ has sold 3 million units

    The standalone version of DayZ sold 3 million units, Bohemia Interactive has announced. Release Just over a year ago on Steam Early Access, the milestone was hit yesterday. The standalone version was created by Dean Hall as a Arma 2 modification which has been updated 24 times since its initial release. In 2014, the development […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt video shows gameplay clips, global hands-on events

    CD Projekt has released a video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, giving a glimpse of gameplay and noting that hands-on impressions of the game will be bombarding the Internet next week. We’ll have extensive coverage of The Witcher 3 on Monday Jan 26 at 3pm GMT. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming to […]

  • Microsoft looking into possible HoloLens support for PC, Xbox One

    Microsoft’s HoloLens may be a dedicated device, but the company is obviously looking into how it could be used with PC and Xbox One. Speaking with Polygon, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said should the stand-alone product become a success, “specific scenarios” on how it could be used with Xbox One are already being brainstormed. “We […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD video compares PSP graphics to PS4, Xbox One

    A video for Final Fantasy Type-0 comparing the upcoming console version of the game to the original PSP version has been released by Square Enix. While comparing PSP graphics to those of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One seems rather unfair, it’s worth a watch anyway. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD releases March 17 in North America […]

  • Payday 2′s The Bomb Heists and Dragan Character Pack released

    In case you forgot, The Bomb Heists and Dragan Character content packs for Payday 2 were released yesterday. The new heist pack is available for $6.99/€6.99/£4.99 and the Dragan character will run you $4.99/€4.99/£3.99 through Steam and other digital distribution sites. Here’s the details: The Bomb Heists A new contact, called the Butcher, brought to […]

  • Rockstar offers tips on scaling GTA Online creations to support 30 players

    Rockstar has posted a tutorial of sorts on how to edit your GTA Online’s creations to support up to 30 players. According to the developer, when selecting Load Creation, users will be able to access any previously published Jobs and edit them in any way they wish. Users can also increase the Maximum Players races […]