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Final Fantasy XIV’s First Expansion Heavensward Coming In Spring 2015

Announced during Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival this weekend, Heavensward, Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion, is coming spring next year.

Square Enix announced the expansion with a tweet reading, "Announcing FINAL FANTASY XIV: Heavensward! The 1st expansion for FFXIV set to release in Spring 2015! #Heavensward."

The expansion takes place in a very cold climate, but other than that no additional details have been offered yet. You can find a trailer for the the oppressively icy expansion below.

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[Source: @FF_XIV_EN, via: NeoGAF] – The Feed

Final Fantasy creator finds much to learn from mobile game design

Hironobu Sakaguchi speaks to why he’s made the jump to iOS and Android development as Mistwalker gears up to launch its first free-to-play mobile RPG with a unique download promotion. …

Gamasutra News

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call gets weekly DLC

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call

Square Enix’s second musical celebration of the Final Fantasy series is set to have weekly DLC, starting this week.

The rhythm-action game already has a whopping 200 songs, including all the DLC from the last Theatrhythm, as well as a bunch of playable characters from across the series, such as fan favourites Cloud, Cecil and Terra.

The new tracks available to download include Final Fantasy VIII – Premonition and Vivi’s Theme from Final Fantasy IX. The rest of the tracks will come from spin-off titles Romancing Saga, Final Fantasy Fables and Final Fantasy Tactics.

There is also a new character on offer: Cloud from the movie sequel to Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children - perfect if you’re either a fan of the film or you’re not happy with only having one Cloud to play as.

Every track and character will only cost £0.89, and more songs and characters are set to appear every week, with next week already a character from the aforementioned Tactics.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is available exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS.

The post Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call gets weekly DLC appeared first on That VideoGame Blog.

That VideoGame Blog

Final Fantasy XV director: Game must be amazing or ‘it’s meaningless’

“Before I joined Square Enix, I always looked at Final Fantasy games as the benchmark for game consoles. Each new game showed what was possible on video game hardware.” …

Gamasutra News

Final Fantasy XV’s New Director Talks About Release Date And Demo Length

During TGS last week, Square Enix announced that Hajime Tabata is now directing Final Fantasy XV. That wasn’t the only big news about the game; the publisher also revealed a playable demo called Episode Duscae will be available for free to those who buy Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. If Square Enix wants to reignite enthusiasm for Final Fantasy XV and demonstrate the game is moving in the right direction, these announcements are a perfect start.

However, even with two big pieces of news hitting recently, we still wanted to know more about Final Fantasy XV. We sat down with Tabata to get his thoughts on a wide range of topics pertaining to the highly anticipated RPG and its associated demo releasing in 2015.

On The Name “Episode Duscae”:
Duscae is the name of an area within the world of Final Fantasy XV. So, we took that as the name of the episode for the playable demo.

On The Reason For A Demo:
It is the first time that fans who have been waiting for XV get a chance to try out the game. I can’t say what their reaction is going to be. The reason I wanted to make a demo is to let players see whatever portion is available right now and to understand that XV is still coming and we’re still working on it.

On The Length Of Episode Duscae:
If you just play straight through the story, it’s about one hour worth of gameplay. If you go and explore the world map or go into a dungeon, it would be somewhere upwards of three to four hours.

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On FF XV’s Progress:
In terms of development, about 50 to 60 percent of the game is complete. We kind of started from the beginning of the game, so the first part is more complete than the others.

On The Open World:
Not literally everything is open world, but it is pretty vast, and you will be able to freely explore. You may have noticed that they’re traveling in a car. You can technically walk around the world, but we recommend using a vehicle, and it’ll be a journey driving through the continent.

On Encounters:
In XV, it’s all seamless; you’ve got enemies that are roaming around in all areas…there’s not an “encounter,” per se. It’s all seamless.

On Stances:
We won’t go into too much detail, but you can switch between an offensive stance and a defensive stance with the push of a button.

On The Final Fantasy Icons:
In creating a new game, if you throw in familiar elements just to please the fans, it gives an impression that we’re very shallow. I’m very careful that. With each element of a familiar Final Fantasy icon that I include, I have to think about how it applies to the setting of the particular Final Fantasy numbered title, and make sure that it’s there because it’s necessary. In Episode Duscae, there is a sort of surprise element incorporated toward the end.

On Release Dates:
During the “Versus era” – though it might be weird to refer to it that way – we weren’t able to reveal any information on release timing because that was a project in which we had to overcome so many different problems that arose. Unfortunately, while we were trying to work through the issues, the timing never matched. But about two years ago, when I officially joined the project, we did a pretty major directional change when we decided not to go with the previous generation. I also had to talk with Nomura-san about the direction FF XV is going to take. Unfortunately, it’s still going to take a while, but I’m hoping people will reset their timers from when I joined the team and restart the count from there.

On Fan Reaction To XV:
We can’t gauge very well quite yet. Now that we have decided to put out a demo version, I’m hoping that the fans will come back to us with their input and feed us the passion that everybody has and let us know how they feel about the game. – The Feed

Opinion – Offering A Final Fantasy XV Demo Is A Step In The Right Direction For Square Enix

The road to Final Fantasy XV has been long and winding. The game that started off as Final Fantasy Versus XIII was announced at E3 2006 and very little information surfaced about the title up until it transformed into Final Fantasy XV last year. In a way, it was gutsy move to make it a mainline title. After all, it was always depicted as more of an action game, something the numbered entries haven’t touched. Not to mention, a lengthy development timeline already raises some doubts and concerns. Is this a game we’ll even experience? Is it a quality title? Why has there been such a delay in any information?

Fans have tried to patient, but knowing about the game for eight years and seeing few details isn’t an easy pill to swallow. Back in April, I wrote an editorial expressing my concern over Square Enix’s decisions with the JRPG market. I wrote that the company has a lot to prove to RPG fans, and that it must ensure games like Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are worth the wait. More importantly, Square Enix can’t afford to make both games’ development cycles extend too much longer. 

That’s why I’m happy to see that Square used this TGS to finally show off new footage and announce an upcoming demo. The footage looked fantastic with realistic mannerisms and exciting backdrops. It reminded me of what Square has always been known for: making a statement with the power of new hardware. It felt like the game had been made for PlayStation 4 all along. However, I immediately got that inkling of a feeling that it could be too good to be true. Thankfully, while in Japan, I was able to discuss what the demo entailed and what Square hopes to achieve with it with new director Hajime Tabata.

First off, I think this director change is a smart move. This frees up previous director Tetsuya Nomura’s time to focus exclusively on Kingdom Hearts III, another game Square Enix can’t afford to take years upon years to launch. Tabata was candid with us about the demo, called Episode Duscae. It’s not just a 20 minute affair. He said if you’re playing through just the story content in the demo, it should take about an hour. But if you’re really exploring every nook and cranny, it can take anywhere from 2-4 hours. Most times when games are available to be previewed at shows, they are only about 20 minutes long. Having the first hands-on with the game given straight to fans and in such a large chunk shows a lot of promise and faith. Tabata stated he is looking for this demo to provide fan feedback.

He also let us in on the fact that, as of right now, Final Fantasy XV is over 50 percent complete. The game has been in development a long time, but once you switch console generations on a title and completely re-envision it, there’s a lot of heavy lifting to be done. But also with over 50 percent in place, hearing fans’ reactions gives them still enough room to make changes should the demo garner any concerns. Square Enix has some passionate fans and the company has been known for its magical touch on RPGs, but in the past years, it hasn’t seemed as focused on what the fans want. I like that Square Enix is using the demo as a way to gauge that. 

All told, these recent developments look like steps in the right direction. I hope it’s all not for show, and that Square Enix really is as serious as they seem. Tabata genuinely seems thrilled with his new role and the game.

An exact exact release date for the demo hasn’t been given so far, but a voucher for it is being included with Type-0. Square Enix indicated that it wants to launch the demo as close to Type-0’s March 17 release date as possible. It feels almost surreal to think we’ll actually be playing some of Final Fantasy XV soon. We sure have been waiting a long time, but things can only get better from here on out. Let’s hope this message from Square Enix is just the beginning and it continues to prove that its games aren’t just ephemeral dreams. – The Feed

The new Final Fantasy XV gameplay trailer makes me feel things

So the huge news of the day is that Square Enix put out a brand new gameplay trailer for Final Fantasy XV at the Tokyo Game Show. Before I tell you how I feel about it, why don’t you check out the trailer below. I’ll see you on the other side.

Okay, that was a lot to take in based on what we saw from this game over a year ago at E3. After I saw that trailer last year, I thought that this the series lost me. The characters from their short snippets of screen time were unrelatable, and their appearance just didn’t do anything for me. And when this trailer started, I immediately thought, “here we go again”. Here are some young punks driving a sweet convertible their super rich father bought them and checking out some freakishly large monster for fun.

Final Fantasy XV Cast

But the trailer presses on, and we get insights into the characters and their traits. The small dialogue between two characters sitting in the backseat makes me stop and go “hmm”. And the battles where they are helping each other out and communicating began to break down my developed anti-FF shell.

I had revelation as I watched this trailer, and it was that I judged the book by the cover, because I am protective for the nostalgia of the Final Fantasy series and what it means to me.

I technically entered into the series at a later point, with Final Fantasy VII being my first foray, as I assume it was for many others. Who didn’t love that game? And the story. Phenomenal. I was learning what life had to offer outside the world of Nintendo, and soon I was playing Final Fantasy VIII & IX. I went back and played the collections when they were released for PlayStation, and when I bought my PS2, the first second game I played was Final Fantasy X (love you Dark Cloud!).

Final Fantasy X HD

But I had a hard time adjusting to Final Fantasy X-2 and I got tired of grinding in XII. It just didn’t feel right to me, so I waited for the next Final Fantasy to change my mind. But when Final Fantasy XIII was released, I didn’t bother picking it up. And no, I haven’t tried the MMO Final Fantasy games, so I won’t speak for all games.

In the end, I realized I lost my love for the series. It was changing with the times, but I didn’t want it to change.


So here we are, staring at a game that has been in development for a long time. This switch went off that I have changed my view of gaming quite a bit since I started writing in the video games media. I have learned to embrace games I thought were taboo or that I would have passed over due to various influences. I have started playing games like Madden 15 and The Sims 3 because those games are good in their own right (apart from being published by EA, to which my general dislike will never change), and they give you experiences an RPG can’t always give you.

It’s been a long journey, but I think it’s time that I personally, and maybe some of you feel the same way, is that we should try something out before we write it off as “no good” or “that’s not for me” or “it’s just not the same, man”. Final Fantasy is an incredibly imaginative series that has been with us for as long as we have been gaming, and for what I hope will be with us for long after we can no longer physically pick up a controller and push buttons (unless of course mind control is invented in the future). We owe a lot to it, and the least I should do is give these newer iterations a shot.


With that in mind, I am definitely going to follow Final Fantasy XV through its development, and try out Final Fantasy XIII in the mean time (which thankfully you can now pre-order on Steam for October 8th release!) because I don’t really need to, but because I want to.

That VideoGame Blog

Final Fantasy series developers unveil Zodiac for Vita, iOS

French developer Kobojo has assembled a team of Final Fantasy series veterans for Zodiac, an upcoming multiplayer online RPG for iOS platforms and the PlayStation Vita.

Taking place in a persistent online world, Zodiac features gameplay that spans…
Joystiq RSS Feed

After 8 years as director of Final Fantasy XV, Nomura steps down

His co-director Hajime Tabata will assume the role of sole director as Square Enix moves Nomura over to work on other projects, including Kingdom Hearts III. …

Gamasutra News

Shinra Technologies Is A New Cloud Gaming Company (Not Final Fantasy VII HD)

This morning in Japan, Square Enix announced a new subsidiary specializing in cloud gaming. The business is named Shinra Technologies, after the antagonistic corporation from Final Fantasy VII, and will be headed by former Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada.

Shinra is in conversations with developers to make use of its services, no specifics have yet been offered. It’s unclear so far what sets Shinra apart from other cloud gaming options like OnLive and PlayStation Now.

The service is scheduled to go into technical beta in early 2015 in Japan. North America will get its turn later in the year. – The Feed