Posts Tagged ‘Square Enix’

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 »

Final Fantasy XIV’s next update gets down with the clown on a ghost train

Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV‘s update trailers continue to surprise and impress me. To call these ‘patches’ sells them short. Every few months in-between major expansions, the revived and highly successful story-driven MMO receives a good slab of episodic content continuing both the main plot arc, as well as expanding outwards into various side-stories and crossover events.

The next such episodic adventure, entitled Rise Of a New Sun (officially ‘patch 4.2’) is due at the end of the month, and looks set to be a nostalgic trip for Final Fantasy 6’s fans, as you can see in the video after the jump.

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Life Is Strange: Before The Storm’s prequel-prequel bonus ep reunites Chloe and Max on March 6

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm‘s third and final chapter arrived in December, bringing the teen trauma prequel full circle, but that isn’t quite the end. Still to come is a “bonus” episode set even earlier than Before the Storm, visiting teensy Chloe and teensy Max before they were pulled apart. Square Enix today announced that the bonus ep, named Farewell, will launch on March 6th. It will only be available in the game’s various deluxe editions, which is a bummer. New deluxe editions are coming, mind, including one with the soundtrack on vinyl for those who enjoy forcing squished dinosaurs to do karaoke. Read the rest of this entry »

Final Fantasy XV due March 6 on PC, supporting mods and HDR

The anime boyband roadtrip of Final Fantasy XV will swing by PC on March 6, developers Square Enix have announced. Noctis, Ignis, and the rest of the boys have been rolling around consoles since November 2016 and I am delighted they are finally coming to our town. Our version will be fancier than the plain old console version too, coming with bits including mod support, a new royal boat to sail and go fishing with the lads, everything from the console DLC season pass, and a new first-person camera view. Splendid! Read the rest of this entry »

Final Fantasy XII coming to PC on February 1st

With the pace Square Enix are slinging old console Final Fantasy games at PC, we’re almost caught up in time for Final Fantasy XV hitting in a few months. Before then, though, Squeenix are filling in one big game: Final Fantasy XII. Today they announced that Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, the recent PlayStation 4 revamp of the PS2 RPG, will come over to PC on February 1st. Our version will be just a little bit fancier too, adding support for niche novelties like putting three 21:9 ultra-wide monitors side-by-side to drown yourself in the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Life Is Strange: Before The Storm’s final episode out now

Tragic teen tale Life Is Strange: Before The Storm has concluded with the launch of its third episode last night. Before The Storm is the prequel to 2015’s wonderful third-person coming-of-ager, doing away with the time-travel powers as it focuses on wild rebel Chloe and her gal pal Rachel Amber. It’s a story whose final ending was already known, but I’m told life is about the journey not the destination. A bonus episode is still to come, reuniting Max and Chloe and their original voice actors for a prequel to this prequel, but that’s separate from Before The Storm’s story – and only for Deluxe Edition owners. For now, let’s see what Chloe and Rachel are up to in episode 3: Read the rest of this entry »

Romancing SaGa 2 comes west next week, 24 years late

Romancing Saga 2

There’s been an awful lot of surprise announcements these past few days, but this one really caught me off guard. We’ve known for a while that Square Enix are aiming at a broader market than ever before, but the last thing I expected was a fully localised remake of Square’s oddly capitalised Romancing SaGa 2 coming to PC, 24 years after its original Japanese-only launch on the Super Nintendo. Even more surprisingly, it’s just on the horizon, due out next Friday, December 15th.

Baffled? Step inside for a nice cup of tea, a trailer for the PC version and a little more explanation as to what the Romancing SaGa 2 brings to the table.

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Would you believe it, they’re only making another Tomb Raider

I know! Another sequel to a ludicrously long-running and successful game franchise! What surprises this life holds.

Unfortunately, “a new Tomb Raider” is quite literally all publisher Square Enix are saying right now, outside of promising we’ll hear more soon. Still, it’s nice to have forgone conclusions confirmed, innit? Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Deus Ex: Mankind Divided?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

It feels as if game developers have spent the past ten years learning how to efficiently build the design ideas conceived in the ten years before that. As a result, where the original Deus Ex’s commitment to systemic design offered player’s options which surprised, Deus Ex Mankind Divided has boiled those systems down to a tight, repeatable loop. Read the rest of this entry »

Star Ocean: The Last Hope HD warps onto Steam

Star Ocean: The Last Hope

It’s a sign of the times that the PC debut of a JRPG series as venerable as Star Ocean isn’t met with enormous fanfare. We’re long past the days when Japanese publishers thought of the PC as a strange and distant frontier, and now we’re seeing more and more titles released in parallel with consoles.

It’s for that reason, perhaps, that PC gamers can now play Star Ocean: The Last Hope, fully remastered in ultra-HD. Part of Square Enix’s plans to fill in the blanks of the PS4 release calendar with a few games from the past generation, it seems to have spread to PC just as a matter of course. It’s just a shame they picked this particular Star Ocean to introduce PC gamers to the sci-fi/fantasy RPG series.

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