New Round of Theatrhythm DLC Arrives Thu

March 3rd, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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More post-release DLC for Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call has released today in Japan as part of “The Second Performance” batch, and features music from Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy Tactics, Romancing SaGa, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana and NieR Gestalt & Replicant.

The new round of DLC will arrive on March 5th and in North America.

BMS Final Fantasy X — “Assault”
BMS Final Fantasy Tactics — “Apoplexy”
BMS Chrono Trigger — “Battle with Magus”
BMS Romancing SaGa — “Beat Them Up!”
BMS NieR Gestalt & RepliCant — “Hills of Radiant Winds”
FMS Secret of Mana — “Into the Thick of It”

Little Ladies’ Day Returns to Eorzea

March 3rd, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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As spring draws closer and closer, it’s time once again for Little Ladies’ Day – an Eorzean celebration of humility which has its origins in the long lost Thorne dynasty. You can start the quest by visiting Ul’dah, and fulfilling a daily quest from there on will allow you to collect more of this seasonal event’s rewards.

Start: Tuesday, March 3 @ 12AM (Pacific Standard Time)
End: Monday, March 16 @ 8AM (Pacific Daylight Time)

As a reminder, Final Fantasy XIV is currently hosting a Free Login period, wherein anyone that has purchased and created an account for the game can log in and play — regardless of subscription status. This free login period will end on March 9th, after which you will need an active subscription to continue playing.

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Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD PS4 Set for May 12

March 2nd, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster will be coming to the PlayStation 4 on May 12th of this year, Square Enix announced today. In this new version, Square Enix has included additional features to the PlayStation 3 version, such as the ability to toggle between the original and remastered soundtrack, Remote Play functionality with PlayStation Vita. You will also be able to transfer your saves from the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita version to pick up where you left off on PlayStation 4.

Square Enix has also announced a limited edition that will include boxart by Yoshitaka Amano, desktop calendar, and art cards.

Mevius Final Fantasy Update

February 26th, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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Mevius Final Fantasy, a brand-new smartphone RPG from Square Enix, has resurfaced in the newest media circuit in Japan. Different from other Final Fantasy titles in the company’s mobile lineup, Mevius seeks to deliver a different experience than what we’re accustomed to.

Stricken with amnesia, a warrior of light arrives in the land of Paramitia. A desolate land abandoned by the light of hope, the warrior has no clue to his past or future. However, he is guided by a mysterious voice — perhaps it is a woman seen within a giant crystal? It seems that a moogle will also lend a helping hand in your journey.

Combat in Mevius is simple in execution, by tapping the screen to execute attacks in a turn. You can also use abilities and magic including elementally-aspected skills like “Flame Blast”. A job system sees the introduction of the Ranger, reminiscent of a thief, that attacks in close proximity with two daggers and has high mobility. The Black Mage has low HP and strength, but attacks with powerful elemental magic spells.

Mevius Final Fantasy is currently announced for a 2015 release on iOS and Android smartphones in Japan.

Yusuke Naora’s SMU Lecture

February 26th, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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You can watch the entirety of the presentation on Twitch by clicking here.

This evening Final Fantasy Type-0 HD art director Yusuke Naora held a lecture at Southern Methodist University in Texas. During his presentation, he talked about his long career at Square Enix as an artist and shared concept artwork of old and new games alike — including Final Fantasy XV. We’ve got the summary of the presentation below, so take a look:

• Before Square Enix, Naora had a stint as a musician with part time jobs. Broke, he found for a job with a good art dpt. and good benefits.
• Challenges for Final Fantasy VI pixel art were CRT monitors and limited memory for art assets.
• There were passionate staff that would compete over their work appearing in the game because of that limitation.
• Naora says that moving on to the PS1 and PS2, being able to draw well became bigger requirement.

• Naora proposed the establishment of an art division that would focus on creating art assets in this new era. This was due to the size of development teams becoming much larger.
• Games with a camera and 3D allowed for a new level of expression.
• The explosion seen below from Final Fantasy VII is on a 2D background and the team hand drew the flames frame-by-frame.
• In the process of creating keyart, projecting the image and feeling of the game’s universe is important.

• Yoshitaka Amano was asked to make the Final Fantasy VIII logo based off this image of Squall and Rinoa.
• A concept art of Zanarkand shown includes a sketch plus color, visual, and emotional concepts.
• Onto the new era like Type-0 and FFXV, the level of expression increased drastically again, which required a new approach with physics-based rendering.
• Going from PSP to PS4, the team thought gold would be a better key color to express Final Fantasy Type-0.

• Naora talked about how real life experiences informed his imagination — he went on a trip to an island, which eventually served as inspiration for the island the Rubrum Akademia is on. Naora relates a story about seeing a cat that had been struck by a car, and using that to convey imagery in an artwork with Bahamut and Class Zero.

• Concept artwork of different locations within the Crown City in FFXV. Varying factors determine resources.
• The locations in this artwork are inspired by places in Shinjuku, even near the Square Enix offices. The staff went on mountain climbing trips to build personal experiences.
• In this current environment, the staff has switched from section-based work to task-based work with a wide variety of staff. Previously there were many specialized staff with individual tasks, but now there is a teamwork aspect with regard to ideas.
• Tomohiro Hasegawa (Kingdom Hearts series) is the enemy art director. He created this scupt of a behemoth. Using 3D scanning and mock models, the sculpt was worked into the game. For Leviathan, Hasegawa bought fish from a market and dissected it to learn about scales, etc. (They cooked and ate it after.)

• After the intermission, Naora creates a piece of concept art live based on a kabuto. While he doesn’t finish the work, he says he will take it back to Japan and finish there.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper Heads Westward

February 26th, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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Final Fantasy Record Keeper, a smartphone game celebrating the franchise history, will be headed overseas. The partnership between Square Enix and DeNA brings us a game about a fictional custodian of the history of each game who can dive into each world and participate in key battles. Here’s the official version, anyhow:

In a glorious kingdom that thrives on the harmony between magic and art, epic tales of valor and hope have been passed from one generation to the next.

The records of these great chronicles uphold the peace and prosperity of all civilization. The kingdom sealed these records inside paintings, to safeguard the balance of the world.

That is until, without warning, the records within the paintings began to fade away… Darkness fell upon the world, bringing catastrophe and ruin.

The time has come for you to save the kingdom’s future.

You can pre-register for Final Fantasy Record Keeper at the game’s official website here.

Active Time Report in London

February 26th, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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Square Enix held yet another Active Time Report involving Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, this time in London. Community manager Dan Seto welcomed the director of both titles, Hajime Tabata, as well as marketing director Akio Ofuji, and translator Gavin. We’ve rounded up all the major details of the brodcast in the tidbit below — make sure to share your thoughts on the new developments in the comments below!

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
• Most areas in Final Fantasy Type-0 HD can be streamed, save for parts with licensed music. “Zero”, etc.
• Episode Duscae can be streamed, but SharePlay can’t be used.
• While Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, it and Final Fantasy XV are distanced.
• You don’t need to know the lore and terminology from FFXIII series for Type-0 or FFXV

• Given a hypothetical “Final Fantasy Type-1″, Tabata says he’d like to produce it for “high-spec” platform.
• Tabata was surprised by demand from fans, cites it as a reason why the HD version is coming overseas.
• Some gameplay from Final Fantasy Type-0 HD up now, from Tabata’s favorite section of the game — Togoreth in Ch. 2.
• Tabata likes this area because it was one of the first areas developed back when the PSP version was in development.

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae
• In the current demo, you won’t be able to use just one weapon for all your combos; the team wants you to think about using different weapons.
• Of course, the team will be taking feedback from fans on Episode Duscae – including the combat.
• Are there equippable armor and accessories? Not in the demo – but in the final version.
• You can use the car on main roads, but off-road you’ll need to walk or use a chocobo. Other modes of transport, perhaps a train can be used.

• The more attacks you evade by holding the guard button, the quicker your MP is depleted — so you can’t rely on it to dodge everything.
• Skilled players can use precise timing for blocks and evasions (uses less MP).
• You’ll be able to customize the control scheme in the final game. The team wants to hear feedback on customization options.
• They want fans to use one control scheme in Episode Duscae and consider the feedback from various experiences.

• In Episode Duscae, the level cap for characters is 99. You don’t have to level that much, but you can!
• This feature is included for dedicated players who want to outlevel and overwhelm encounters. The level cap in the final game has yet to be decided.
• Tabata-san says Ignis is from a different part of the world than the rest of the party – so he has a different accent.
• The team shows live gameplay from the Xbox One version of Episode Duscae.

• Pre-recorded video of dungeon footage. The transition from overworld to dungeon is seamless.
• The team wants to create a sense of fear in dungeons present in early Final Fantasy games.
• The hitstun on abilities has been hastened based on fan feedback.
• There’s an advanced guard technique you can use by collecting Phantom Swords that uses no MP.

• A “World of Wonder” video is shown that takes a look at the various wildlife inhabiting the Duscae region.
• The demo area is just a part of the Duscae region, it’s bigger than that in the final version. It includes populated areas and ruins.
• The final game is estimated to be around 10x the size of the -entire- Duscae region.
• No large towns in the demo, but there will be in the full game. Comical NPCs are out there, Tabata says “look for a certain couple”.
• Chocobos are in the demo, but you can’t ride them just yet. The system couldn’t be completed in time.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will release on March 17th (North America), March 19th (Japan), and March 20th (Europe) for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Details on a Collector’s Edition can be found here.

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae comes as a redeemable voucher with the Day One edition of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, and is playable day-and-date with release. Final Fantasy XV is currently announced for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Final Fantasy XIV Free Login Weekend Returns

February 26th, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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To celebrate Final Fantasy XIV surpassing 4 million registered accounts, Square Enix is holding an extended Free Login Weekend, wherein anyone with a service account can log in and play regardless of subscription status.

Want to check out the new Manderville Gold Saucer mini-games like Triple Triad and Chocobo Racing? Want to catch up on the story and the latest patch content released over the last year? Now’s your chance!

Start: Friday, February 27, 2015 @ 12AM (PST)
End: Monday, March 9, 2015 @ 1AM (PDT)

Final Symphony Album Available Today

February 23rd, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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Final Symphony – Music From Final Fantasy VI, VII and X, a new Final Fantasy symphonic arrangement album, is out today. Based off the concert series of the same name, it features the work of composers Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu arranged by Jonne Valtonen and Roger Wanamo.

Featuring the London Symphony Orchestra and recorded at Abbey Road, Final Symphony isn’t just orchestrated versions of familiar arrangements, but wonderful new interpretations.

Fantasy OvertureCircle Within A Circle Within A Circle
Final Fantasy VISymphonic Poem: Born with the Gift of Magic (Terra’s Theme, Kefka, Esper World, Battle, etc.)
Final Fantasy XPiano Concerto (Besaid, Hum of the Fayth, Thunder Plains, Assault, etc.)
Final Fantasy XI. Zanarkand II. Inori III. Kessen
Final Fantasy VIISymphony in Three Movements (Main Theme of FFVII, J-E-N-O-V-A, Tifa‘s Theme, The Great Warrior, etc.)
Final Fantasy VIII. Nibelheim Incident II. Words Drowned by Fireworks III. The Planet‘s Crisis

You can check out the Final Symphony album, including samples, on iTunes here.

Final Fantasy XV Gallery Update

February 23rd, 2015 by Tony Garsow

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New images from the latest circuit of Final Fantasy XV media include yet another look at the contents of the Episode Duscae demo, set to release with preorder copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. In the demo we’ll find Noctis and party without their car as it must need to be repaired. In order to scrounge up enough gil for the job, they take on a bounty to defeat a Behemoth named Smoke Eye.

The Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae demo comes with preorder of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, redeemed with voucher. Final Fantasy XV is currently announced for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.