Posts Tagged ‘Square Enix’

Fear Effect Sedna revives old PlayStation horror today

Square Enix’s experiment in licensing fan-made, crowdfunded sequels to old games they own today emerges from its bunker for the first time with the launch of Fear Effect Sedna. It’s a supernatural stealth shooter following up on Kronos Digital Entertainment’s old Fear Effect games from the PlayStation. Sedna is actually a sequel to the original Fear Effect from the year 2000, though it does tinker with ye olde structure a little in going from that fixed-camera survival horror to more of a top-down shooter style. A remake of the first game is in the works too. Read the rest of this entry »

Final Fantasy XIV is adding a mega-scale hunting ground

Final Fantasy XIV

We might be devoting a lot of column inches to the good, good boys of Final Fantasy XV as of late, but let’s not forget that its immediate predecessor is still one of the most successful MMORPGs on the block.

In-between expansions, Final Fantasy XIV is supported by massive episodic updates, each one effectively a small expansion. The second episode of the current season was so big, they had to split it in two. The first half brought cackling clown-god Kefka back for an encore performance, and the latter half (due to hit servers on March 13th) promises a new, larger kind of endgame experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Best of Final Fantasy

best-of-final-fantasy-1

A group of Final Fantasy fans divided against themselves cannot cast fire. Or so the saying goes. For too long we’ve been at war about which is “the best”. Sliding roman numerals around on a table until one of us gets upset and starts using bad language. Let’s end this, here, today. Let’s look at each other, earnestly, with open minds and opener hearts, and regard one another as friends, allies in a world that doesn’t understand us. Let’s look not to the past, but to the future!

And also at this definitive list of Final Fantasy games available on PC ranked in perfect order.

Don’t worry, there’s only nine of them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kane & Lynch 2 is well worth a go for 80p

Psst, hey, you, wanna see something unusual for 80p? Pick up Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days in Square Enix’s Steam sale. Made by Hitman folks IO Interactive, K&L 2 may be typical for a 2010 cover shooter in a lot of ways but I still find it interesting for:

1) An aggressively ugly look riffing on uploaded camera phone videos that are over-compressed, blown-out, glitched, distorted, and censored by video hosts.
2) Making you fight for ages with awful guns, scrabbling from cover to cover and desperately trying to grab new guns after yours runs out of ammo.
3) A stunning and bustling Shanghai.
3) That bit where they’re naked and drenched in blood.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lost in time for decades, Chrono Trigger finally hits PC

Chrono Trigger

Twenty-three years, eh? Some of you reading this are probably younger than that. Well, you whippersnappers had better sit up and pay attention, because a genuine, no-qualifiers-necessary JRPG classic just popped up on Steam, over two decades past its original Super Nintendo debut.

While others such as Square’s own I Am Setsuna have attempted to recapture its spark, there really is nothing quite like the original time-travelling classic Chrono Trigger. For the first time, us PC folk can experience it without having to go emulate old consoles, though perhaps not without some issues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Boys are back in town: Final Fantasy XV PC demo is out

Boys, boys, boys, I’m looking for a good time. That’s why I’m downloading the demo for Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition, which just launched. The demo contains the RPG’s first chapter so we can meet those boys, boys, boys and see how their road trip starts. And hopefully it’ll let us see how the game might actually run on our PCs, given that the benchmarking tool released earlier this month is wonky and Square Enix say it “may not accurately reflect the game’s final performance”. For now: boys.

Read the rest of this entry »

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition: all your PC port questions answered

Final Fantasy XV

The royal boyband roadtrip adventure that is Final Fantasy XV is almost here. In just under two weeks, Square Enix’s ginormous JRPG will finally arrive on PC, a little over a year after it first came out on console. Yes, it gets a little bit bogged down by its wonky story beats, but to dismiss it because of that would be to ignore all the brilliant things it does right, like chronicling your journey with amazing photographs. It also helps that the PC version looks properly brilliant. Yes, you’ll need an Iron Giant-sized PC in order to run it, but more thoughts on that are coming separately soon.

Here, I have a talk with the game’s technical director and lead programmer Takeshi Aramaki and game design and development manager Kenichi Shida (and their translator) about all things XV on PC. We cover just about everything but if you’re after hot mod chat that’s over here. There was also a surprise gatecrashing by the game’s director, Hajime Tabata, about ten minutes in, so I got to hear what the big boss had to say about the PC version as well. Let the battle music commence. Read the rest of this entry »

Final Fantasy XV getting demo next week, also adding Gordon Freeman cosplay

A proper playable demo of Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition is coming next week, containing the RPG’s first chapter, following the recent benchmark tool. A demo! In this day and age! Bless their hearts. Square Enix have talked a lot about wanting to do the PC version right, mods and all, and they do seem to be going for it. They’re even teaming up with iconic PC chap Gordon Freeman, adding the Half-Life hero’s HEV suit, glasses, and crowbar to FFXV’s Steam version. Well, he’s not using them, is he? Read the rest of this entry »

Mod support was “essential” for Final Fantasy XV’s PC outing

FFXV Cactuar mod

Last August, Square Enix finally confirmed that the upcoming PC version of royal roadtrip Final Fantasy XV would indeed come with full mod support when it launches on March 6. At the time, though, the developers kept schtum about exactly what that might entail. Indeed, it was only over the weekend that we got our first glimpse of what a potential Final Fantasy XV mod might look like. Fancy the idea of turning everyone in party town Lestallum into adorable cactuars? Then you’re in luck.

Cactuar skins are all well and good, of course, but what else does the team have in store for budding modders? To find out, I sat down with director Hajime Tabata, technical director and lead programmer Takeshi Aramaki and game design and development manager Kenichi Shida and quizzed them (and their translator) about exactly that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Final Fantasy XV’s co-op expands with its PC launch

Final Fantasy XV

We’re just two weeks from the PC release of Final Fantasy XV. Despite a wobbly start on consoles, Square have poured a shocking amount of support into the game, and I admit no small amount of excitement for the re-launch, especially after the benchmark confirmed that my new laptop can more than handle the game on its highest graphics settings at framerates my ageing PS4 can only dream of.

One aspect of it that hasn’t really been talked about much is Comrades, a surprisingly beefy online multiplayer expansion which came late to the console version, but will be included as standard with the PC release along with the three character side-story DLC chapters. As part of Square’s long-term plans for the game, Comrades is set to receive another chunk of content on the PC version’s launch day, March 6th.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spawn Point: The best JRPGs for total beginners

Tales of Symphonia

Welcome back to Spawn Point, where we take an element from the world of gaming and explain what it is, why it’s worth your time and how you can dip your toes in and get involved. Last time, Brendan gave you a 101 course in Final Fantasy XII, a JRPG that recently got spruced up for PC twelve years after its original launch on PlayStation 2. This time, however, I’m going to be looking at JRPGs as a whole, discussing what they are and which ones you should try your hand at first if you’ve never played one before.

Read the rest of this entry »

Secret of Mana’s 3D remake is out now on Steam

Secret of Mana

Aah, Secret of Mana, middle game in one of the most confusingly named trilogies in gaming. Known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 2 and barely known as anything in Europe due to a very small PAL print run. For those who could get it, it’s a fondly remembered if slightly awkward SNES action-RPG that skews a little more heavily towards the RPG side than most.

As of today, it’s back and looking downright fine; Square Enix’s 3D remake (first announced at Gamescom last year) is out today on Steam.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fear Effect returns next month, now isometric & tactical

Fear Effect Sedna

For those who grew up through the PlayStation 1 era, it was hard not to at least be vaguely aware of the Fear Effect series. Despite their genre roots lying in survival horror, awkward camera angles and all, their mix of stylish comic-style visuals, cornball sci-fi/supernatural espionage stories (with zombies, sometimes) and famously tacky ad campaigns helped the series stand out.

On March 6th, the series officially returns as Fear Effect Sedna, from Studio Sushee. Despite being a true sequel set four years after the PlayStation original, it’s metamorphosed into a real-time-with-pause squad tactics game somewhere along the way.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

final-fantasy-xii-review-1

There’s a race of beings in Final Fantasy XII called the Bangaa. They have the snout of a crocodile, the squat of an ape and the arms of an entire gymnasium. Their ears are colourful leathery drapes, their lips adorned with piercings and trinkets. One of them, a shopkeeper called Migelo, resembles a rehabilitated Watto. Others are menacing bounty hunters. But they all have strange voices. Not otherworldly or fantastical, I mean strange in the sense that the voice actors can’t decide between a Scottish, Jamaican or West Country accent, and often speak as hackneyed villains. In a lot of ways, these scaly people encapsulate how I feel about this late-to-the-PC-party JRPG. They are both good-looking and incredulous. Flawed works of biological art that I can’t help but like, even when my better judgement often says “no”. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Lost Sphear

lostsphear1

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a ragtag group of orphans wake up one day and decide to slay some monsters, as all small-town gangs are wont to do. This is the opening of Lost Sphear. After bonking some bunny-mutants to death in a nearby field, they discover that their idyllic hometown has blinked out of existence, replaced by a gaping white void. But, soon enough, one of our heroes has a dream that reveals that he and he alone possesses mysterious power that can restore these “lost” objects through the power of memories. Together, the gang embark on a quest to save the world from ruin.

Read the rest of this entry »

Battalion 1944: a hardcore hybrid of noughties COD and Counter-Strike, with teething troubles

battalion-1944

“I wonder how long it will be before I get even a single kill in Battalion 1944“, I whinged at my colleagues earlier. I had plenty of time to whinge, because I was, on average, getting insta-killed within 10 seconds of starting a round, then having to wait 50 seconds before the next one started, at which point I would respawn.

The more capable players, meanwhile, spent their down and out time whingeing in Chat about how much people like me, who hadn’t instantly memorised all the maps and had the temerity to not make every single shot land in their very first match, were spoiling the show. World War II-themed multiplayer first-person shooter Battalion 1944 is not, at present, a particularly happy place to be. That’s not because of the solid and steely-eyed underlying game, but because this early access build’s long waits, disconnects and minimal player-matching mean tempers are short once people are finally in a match. Nonetheless, it’s very obviously and immediately meeting a need.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cast Firaga on your GPU with Final Fantasy XV’s PC benchmark tool

Final Fantasy XV

It’s been a long time coming, but the expanded, tuned, moddable and polished-up PC port of magical realist pretty-boy road-trip RPG Final Fantasy XV is nearly here. The only question that remains is “How well will this thing run on my PC?”

Well, hypothetical questioner, I’ve got some good news for you: Square have been kind enough to release a benchmark tool for the game, allowing you to ogle a bit of it in action on your own PC, and receive advice on whether you’ll need to lower your settings or resolution in order to get a consistently smooth result out of the game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is out now on PC

Final Fantasy XII

Patience is a virtue, but sometimes, you need to be positively saintly to hold out for a PC release. It’s been a very long time since Final Fantasy XII‘s original debut on the Playstation 2, but the underrated (at the time) JRPG has finally found a new home on our humble, flexible platform. You can now buy Final Fantasy XII on PC, upgraded with a slew of enhancements from the recent console remaster of the game, and for 20% off the RRP thanks to a generous launch discount.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spawn Point: What to know about Final Fantasy XII

final-fantasy-xii-1

This is Spawn Point, where we take something from the world of gaming and explain what it is, why it’s worth your time and how you can get involved. This week, Final Fantasy XII is coming to PC – a whole 12 years after its release on PlayStation 2. That’s good, it’s one of the better ones. If your idea of Final Fantasy is boring turn-based battles, well, that’s fair. But this one is a little different. Read the rest of this entry »

Lost Sphear out now from I Am Setsuna studio

If you fancy JRPG action in a retro way, here’s Lost Sphear out today. It’s the second RPG from Square Enix’s Tokyo RPG Factory, the studio behind I Am Setsuna, and it too riffs on ye olde JRPGs. I won’t pretend to be well-acquainted with the genre but: yes, JRPG stuff. We do have a review coming from someone who actually knows a gad dang but we only just got our hands on Lost Sphear so, for now, here’s word that the game is out. It does have a demo so you can try a bit yourself. Read the rest of this entry »