It’s a Final Fantasy packed news fest! FE Heroes releases, Final Fantasy feels Saban’s wrath, and I didn’t have time to watch anything interesting.
What was Played
Ys: Memories of Celceta continues to be an easy time sink, nothing really spectacular or terrible yet. Fire Emblem Heroes is out now for iOS and Android and it’s a fun little experience, but if you’re expecting a full fledged Fire Emblem game, temper your expectations. The release of Fire Emblem Heroes got me in the mood for turn based, tactical RPGs so I busted out Fire Emblem Fates and Front Mission 3 to try and scratch that itch.
Fates and Awakening didn’t enthral me. They’re both fantastic games, but something about them just didn’t sit right with me. Maybe it’s the self-insert main character or the oddly cringey romance that comes with it. Whatever the case I’d never finished the Conquest or Revelations sides of Fates but FE Heroes triggered my Fire Emblem craving so I decided to finally start on finishing the Conquest path of Fates. The Conquest path in Fates is tough. Like, “Radiant Dawn with no battle saves” tough. I bumped the difficulty down to Normal but kept the classic permadeath on. I enjoy the Conquest story far more than the Birthright story of “good kingdom fights evil kingdom”. My favorite FE game is Radiant Dawn because of the political climate and the complexities that arise from it. I feel that in FE returning it lost some of the niche qualities that made me love it. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying Fates immensely, just that tone is so much more watered down than the older games that it makes me miss the old tone.
Front Mission 3 is scary. Scary good and scary in how big it is. The combat is basic grid based tactical fare, but having your pieces be mechs armed with firearms and brass knuckle-type melee weapons gives it a totally different feeling from FF Tactics or FE. I’ve heard the fake in-game internet is larger than you think and factors into some side quests, and that the game is insanely long. I’m unsure if I’ll keep playing this right now, but it’s definitely on my list of games to beat someday.
As I suspected, the changes made by the two large Dishonored 2 patches make the game far more enjoyable. New Game+ and Chapter Select feel like features that were cut so the game could ship on time. I couldn’t tell you specifically what was changed about detection, but getting spotted is far less frustrating than it was my first time through. And now that you keep your upgrades in NG+, it makes replays more than a speedrun. These patches make this game far better and make the replayability a key selling point.
NieR: Automata, Some Quick Info
In a recent interview, NieR: Automata devs revealed that the game will probably be around 25 hours for a minimalist true ending run, but if you engage with all the side activities it can up to 60 hours. A remake of the first Nier may happen depending on how Automata does and how much demand there is for a remake.
Crystal Dynamics Working on Guardians of the Galaxy Game
The developers of the Tomb Raider reboot are tackling the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise next. There aren’t many details on this game but the gameplay of the Tomb Raider reboots would actually fit an adventurous IP like Guardians of the Galaxy. However, nothing comes free, so with Square Enix focusing on its Avengers projects, this means we won’t be getting another Deus Ex game for a while.
Splatoon 2 Will Use Switch Matchmaking and Voice Chat Phone App
The Japanese Splatoon Twitter tweeted some info about how Splatoon 2 will use the Switch matchmaking and voice chat apps. Translation here. It seems like it’ll work like most other matchmaking services, just controlled through an app on your smart device.
Switch Online Service Priced
Speaking of the Switch online service, we’ve finally gotten a price on it.
Odds are that this will be rounded up to $30 USD, but considering this service seems far less robust than Xbox Live Gold or PSN+ it’s a fitting price. It’s one of the only Switch add-ons that is priced reasonably.
Final Fantasy XII Remaster Footage and Release Date
The FF XII remaster that was leaked a while ago has been officially shown and given a release date.
This remaster will have gameplay improvements not found in the original U.S. release. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will release in North America and Europe July 11 and July 13 in Japan.
Final Fantasy XV DLC Release Dates and Delays
FF XV’s Gladiolus and Prompto DLC episodes have been given release dates.
Episode Gladiolus: March 28, 2017
Episode Prompto: June 2017
Even though we have no release date for Ignis, I think it’s wise of SE to focus on FF XV’s main strength of its bro characters.
The “Booster Pack” free DLC has been delayed and the suits are being redesigned. The suits grant invincibility and greater fishing skills for 30 minutes, but can only be used once every 24 hours.
The suits have been pushed back from their initial February 21 release to an undetermined date. Square Enix’s marketing manager said they had been contacted by “Power Rangers people” and SE had decided to redo the designs.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Update
Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase did a Q&A with Siliconera about what influence FF XV might have on the FF VII remake. Kitase said that they plan to put out something in between the releases of FF VII Remake. He also said they have laid the groundwork for the battle system and “wouldn’t be removing any parts of the original Final Fantasy VII that was well-received”, such as the Materia system.
Freedom Planet 2 Demo Out
The Freedom Planet 2 Windows demo is out now! The original Freedom Planet is the Shovel Knight of old-school SEGA games and FP2 looks like it’ll be building on the first FP’s insane level of quality.
Titanfall 2 Live Fire Free Update
One of the best games of 2016 gets better with free updates.
Live Fire is a 6v6, no respawn, pilot only, center flag mode. Each round is only 60 seconds and whichever team holds the flag at the end wins regardless of kill count. This mode sounds like a blast, and a mode that only Titanfall could truly deliver on. Live Fire will be released sometime in February.
RIP in Peace Wii U Production
Wii U production has officially ceased. If you want a Wii U get it soon because of the coming years their price will steadily increase. In the same press release Nintendo also mentioned that they want to put out 2 or 3 mobile games a year.
ZeniMax/Oculus Lawsuit Settled
Long story short, ZeniMax was suing Oculus Rift/Facebook over the fact that they believed John Carmack had used code he’d originally developed working for ZeniMax when he left to go work on the Oculus Rift. Carmack basically admitted to the allegations and a jury awarded ZeniMax half a billion dollars. Since then ZeniMax has hinted that they may want to halt production and sales of the Rift since it uses their property, technically. Polygon has a full write up of the court’s verdict if you want further detail.
Ben Affleck not Directing “The Batman”
The one bright hope for the DCCU was extinguished when Ben Affleck announced he would not be directing “The Batman”.
The DCCU has had a rough start, to put it nicely, and the loss of a talented director on what could’ve easily been the best DCCU movie is a harsh blow.
Persona 5 Update
Persona 5 is still not available in North America.
Va-11 Hall-A Vita Update
Va-11 Hall-A isn’t on the Vita yet.
What’s on the Plate
I’m still working on that ol’ GOTY post and SAO. Ideally I’ll have the first of my more positive pieces up by the 14th, and it’s going to be on the old PC FPS/RTS hybrid: Battlezone II: Combat Commander. Thanks for reading!