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Nomura Gives Update On Final Fantasy VII Remake & Kingdom Hearts III

In an interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu, Square Enix director Tetsuya Nomura gave an update on the development of Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III, and the news is that neither is coming out any time soon.

When asked about the development status of FF VII Remake Nomura replied, "We're making steady progress on its production. While we are indeed working on it, I think we'll have you guys wait a little longer for both Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake… The release of these titles will still be a while."

Earlier in the interview, Nomura said that there were worlds in KH III that "still remain untouched," and that "as far as development status goes, there's still a ways to go."

At least, however, Nomura did say he hopes to show the progress of both titles at an event this year.

[Source: Famitsu via Siliconera]

 

Our Take
Even with the recent release of new screens for Kingdom Hearts III, it's not surprising that neither it nor FF VII are not imminent given how relatively little we've seen of either.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

How Final Fantasy VII conquered 3D and made history

After two years of work and interviews with over thirty people, Polygon has published a massive feature that documents the inception, development, and impact of Final Fantasy VII. …


Gamasutra News

Final Fantasy XV Glitch Allows The Full Map To Be Explored

Final Fantasy XV is split into two distinct sections: the open world first half, and the linear second half. The second half doesn't offer much room for exploration, but a glitch, discovered by YouTube channel Fotm Hero, allows Noctis to go walk around and see what's out there.

Fotm Hero has uploaded two videos: One shorter video exploring Cartanica, and a much longer video exploring all of Niflheim.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

(Please visit the site to view this media)

It's unlikely these areas were ever meant to be explorable or filled with quests, but it is certainly a possibility. Future DLC may also fill these areas with content. The most likely scenario, however, is they were simply put in place to offer an interesting view from the train.

For our review of Final Fantasy XV, head here.

[Source: Fotm Hero, via Kotaku]

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Ariana Grande Is Coming To Final Fantasy

Singer/actress Ariana Grande is coming to the Final Fantasy world. Grande is to be featured as a character in the mobile title Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, which is currently available on Android and iOS. Grande took to Twitter yesterday to make the announcement and even show off a sneak peak of what her character will look like in the game!

19 Amazing Photos Prompto Took During My Final Fantasy XV Journey

Final Fantasy XV is a story of friendship, and a hell of a game to boot. I have vivid memories of the time I spent in the world of Eos, and grew to appreciate the characters so much that I claimed they were Square's best ensemble yet in a Final Fantasy game. Noctis, Ignis, Gladiolus, and Prompto all have different stories to tell, and each of them grow as the game unfolds. The bond between them also strengthens as time passes, turning the game's final moments into an emotional roller coaster.

One of Prompto's hobbies is an integral part of the experience. He is a budding photographer, and has taken it upon himself to chronicle the journey through snapshots. Developer Square Enix brilliantly turned these photographs into an interactive element of the game. Whenever the four friends retire for the night, Promoto presents the photos he took over the course of that day. The player has no control over the actual snapping of photos, and instead determines which shots should be saved into an album.

Whether you've played Final Fantasy XV or not, I thought you might get a kick out of seeing the photos Prompto took during my journey. As you'll soon see, he has an eye for action, an eye for camaraderie, and, well, an eye for just about everything. He's a photojournalist in the making. I think you'll get a good sense of just how much these characters grew as you scroll through the images.

A Slow Start
Our car ran out of gas on the first day on the road. How embarrassing!  We pushed that hunk of junk for miles and eventually reached a gas station. Prompto took this photo of Noctis taking a breather.

On the Road Again!
We wasted no time getting back out there. Prompto snapped this awesome photo of the crystal. You can see it directly ahead. It's behind the light pole. No no, not over there. More to the right. In front of the big cloud clump.

So Much Fun!
We knew this journey was going to be special from the moment we hopped into the car. Here's a great shot of Ignis and Gladiolus having the time of their lives!

A Beautiful World
I can't state just how scenic Eos is. Here's a nice snapshot of the landscape.

Unforgettable Faces
We met so many interesting people along the way, including Jim. Or was it Hank? Ted? It's hard to tell from this shot, but he was an interesting blonde person. Well dressed too!

Our First Battle!
We didn't have much chemistry in this fight against a pack of five Voretooths, but we fought our hearts out, and came out on top! Noctis showed off his new powers, and wow! We were impressed!

Here's the same fight from a better angle. You can almost taste the intensity, can't you?

We Fed a Cat
We took a break from our quest to soak in the beauty of a beach, and found a hungry cat on a dock. Noctis caught a fish for it, and a nice lady at a restaurant cooked it up. The cat loved it! As you can see, Noctis was quietly pleased with himself. He wouldn't stop smiling.

The Fifth Party Member
On our way to the city, we stopped at a small farm to help someone in need. One thing led to another, and before we knew it, we all had chocobos. Prompto captured the exact moment that Noctis and his chocobo bonded.

???
This shot is of a…uh…battle? Something epic is likely happening behind this bush.

????
Okay, what the f—, Prompto? You were supposed to capture the key moments of our lives in these photos. This is another shot of a tree or shrub or something.

????????
Seriously, dude. Were you even trying? This is the only shot you have of the Behemoth battle? We fought that thing for like 30 minutes. This bush isn't even in focus!

Oh Bloody Hell
I wanted to show you a shot of the Titan, you know, that character that is as tall as Trump Tower, and Prompto focused on the fire instead.

Finally a Somewhat Clear Shot
We took on some nasty critters during our adventure, and Prompto managed to frame up a couple of them. Kind of. You can clearly see this beast has like a billion snake heads.

If you combine the above image with this one, you can almost make out what this creature looks like.

About to Make History
The fate of the world is about to be determined deep within an enemy stronghold, and here's a picture of a door, or a gear, or holy hell, Prompto, we can't even tell anymore.

A Foot AND a Hand
When Prompto wasn't snapping blurry close-ups of rocks and shrubbery, he may have framed up a character's foot or hand in a battle sequence. This shot has BOTH of them. A rare piece indeed.

The Keepsake Shot
I actually saw Prompto look into the lens before running over to take this photo with his friends. He clearly had no idea how to use a camera, and had we known this from the outset, we wouldn't have taken him along with us. He's an annoying little s—, and he barely contributes on the battlefield. No one said it, but we hated hearing him sing the Final Fantasy theme after battles. Get bent, Prompto. Thanks for nothing.

 

If you are about to leave an angry comment pertaining to how this article misrepresents Prompto's photography skills, please do so. This is a joke piece that highlights the bad photos that Prompto took on my journey. He took hundreds of great shots too, but showing them here just would have made Prompto look talented, and well, I would rather not do that. This is an attempt at a humor piece. If you neglected to read this fine print, your angst only makes my piece funnier. So thank you for that. Comment away. Give in to your hate for stupid crap on the internet.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Launches In June, Adds Red Mage Class

The next chapter of the Final Fantasy XIV saga, Stormblood, was revealed in October, but today's Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2016 gave fans some more details on what Stormblood is and when it will be available to players.

The biggest news is perhaps the addition of the new Red Mage class. The class is designed to deal ranged damage through magic, similar to the Black Mage, but it has a unique melee weapon that it can use in combat.

Stormblood is also set to expand players' horizons with the ability to swim and dive. You can even bring your flying mount with you. Though these submerged areas are now explorable, no battles will happen in the water. In order to unlock the ability to swim and dive, you must complete a quest at the beginning of the expansion.

In addition to these new announcements, longtime fans of Final Fantasy can look forward to some familiarty; composer Nobuo Uematsu and designer Yasumi Matsuno are returning to the franchise. Uematsu is known as the longtime composer of the series, contributing much of the iconic music in the franchise's 30-year history, while Matsuno is notable for his work on Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII. Uematsu is currently working on the main theme for Stormblood, while Matsuno is working on the new 24-player raid, Return to Ivalice. 

The expansion also adds a new beast tribe called The Ananta, a snakelike, mostly female tribe that is skilled with magic, as well as another new raid called The Bend of Time – Omega, which sets players on a quest for Omega Weapon.

Stormblood is set to hit on June 20. It was previously announced that this expansion marked the end of PlayStation 3 support for Final Fantasy XIV.

[Source: Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2016 on YouTube, Nova Crystallis]

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Final Fantasy VII Remake Is A Long Ways Off, But You Can Get The Toys Soon

The 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII is next February. There's a chance Square Enix could celebrate this momentous event with the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake at some point in 2017, but that's wishful thinking, especially considering how long it took the company to release Final Fantasy XV. Square has said Final Fantasy VII Remake will be an episodic series, similar in design to Final Fantasy XIII, with each installment being a full-length RPG experience.

Regardless of the hazy future for this game, Square is releasing two action figures for it in April 2017. The newly designed Cloud Strife and Barret Wallace join Square's long-running (and immensely popular) Play Arts Kai line of action figures. Cloud stands in at 10.75", and comes packaged with his Buster Sword, a stand, and a variety of hands. He will retail for roughly $ 120. Barret is the same price, but is slightly taller, standing in at 11.6". He comes with removable sunglasses, a stand, and one extra hand.

Perhaps the release date will sync up with the delivery of the final figure in this line. Here's hoping Square delivers more information on these figures soon. There's a good chance we could hear more in February.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Five Fixes That Would Make Final Fantasy XV Even Better

It may have taken 10 years of development, but when Final Fantasy XV finally released, it was an excellent game (read our review) that had anxious fans breathing sighs of relief. However, just because it was good doesn’t mean it can’t be better; the team at Square Enix has already announced plans to add free updates including new story scenes and a tweaked Chapter 13. These are welcome changes, but we can think of a few more modifications to help Final Fantasy XV come closer to realizing its full potential.

To be clear, the game does many things well. However, by clearing away some of the rough spots on this spoiler-free list, the path to appreciating Final Fantasy XV’s merits would be less obstructed.

A codex
Final Fantasy XIII caught a lot of criticism for relegating important character and story developments to text archives. Final Fantasy XV doesn’t do that (which is good), but it would benefit from having a collection of explanations that players could reference if desired. Unlike Final Fantasy XIII, this shouldn’t be required to understand the basic story arc, but it would lend the tale some extra depth for those who want it. After all, the end of the game still leaves questions unanswered; we won’t detail those specifics, but it’s enough to say that several late-game developments would have been more rewarding and impactful if players had the opportunity to become more familiar with the lore.

Smoother quest interface
Lots of people need help around the world, and your quest log in Final Fantasy XV can swell to an intimidating size. That gives you plenty to do in the world, but creating a clear itinerary is difficult because of how the interface works. You can look at the map and scroll through quests to see their individual target locations, but you can’t track multiple quests or get a view of the map that shows you all active objectives. Instead, you need to scroll through your quests (which could really use more sorting options) and take mental note of which things are in roughly the same spot. This can be a real pain if you have multiple quests to complete in an area; they could be shuffled into your quest log in various spots, so you need to go through the whole thing every time you want to take stock of nearby opportunities.

Improved magic
Unless you pour a lot of ascension points into it, standard elemental magic is prohibitively impractical. First of all, you expend elemental energy to craft spells, so you need to worry about keeping your supply (which is has a low cap) topped off to keep producing spells. That adds an extra layer of inventory management, which might pay off if the power of your spells justified the effort needed to maintain them – but it doesn’t. Magic doesn’t feel like the heavy artillery it should, so you typically don’t get the satisfaction of seeing a well-placed cast do immense damage. Maybe that’s good when your party members wander into the blast (magic damages friendly characters), but most of the time, casting a spell is a letdown. This whole system could use rebalancing to make magic a more consistently viable and gratifying option in battle.

Better item management
Many RPGs reward players with knick-knacks that are intended to be sold – and they are usually kept separate from quest-essential items. Final Fantasy XV has “treasures” you can exchange for money, but doesn’t have the necessary safeguards to keep players from selling something they may need. A weapon seller might ask you to go collect some monster parts; once you find the beasts and get the items you need, the parts are put in your treasures tab. Unless you turn that quest in right away, you might accidentally sell those parts the next time you clear out your treasures, forcing you to go recollect them. Or, you might get a rare item needed for a weapon upgrade, but if you don’t have that quest yet (or don’t remember the name of the item you need), you could easily sell the item for a profit without knowing it has a better application. Giving players the option to lock quest items like these away until needed would allow them to sell off their spoils without worry, which they should be able to do since it's a great source of money.

Banter while traveling
Noctis and his buddies spend a lot of time in the car. While driving, you can listen to music from previous Final Fantasy games, which is a great dash of nostalgia. However, the passengers are conspicuously silent in transit. One of Final Fantasy XV’s main themes is the bonds of friendship between these characters, but we don’t get to hear enough of them interacting in these moments. If most people were to take a cross-country trip with their best friends, the conversations in the car would be one of the most memorable elements. Apart from a few canned remarks, these exchanges are surprisingly absent from Final Fantasy XV’s road trip. Imagine what you could learn about the four main characters if they talked more as they moved between destinations – joking around, sorting out their thoughts, and waxing philosophical. It wouldn't need to be anything too revelatory, but the payoff in character development would be huge.

What changes would you like to see come to Final Fantasy XV? Share your spoiler-free thoughts in the comments below.

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New Game + Patch Now Available For Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is getting a host of holiday additions over the coming days, in both free and premium forms, but ahead of those, a New Game + mode has been added to the game.

The patch appears to be available on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game and allows players to restart a Final Fantasy XV game after completion with all of their weapons, magic, and skills intact from their first playthrough.

For more on Final Fantasy XV's expanded holiday DLC, which begins dropping tomorrow, head here. For our review of Final Fantasy XV, head here.

 

Our Take
I'm surprised New Game + would be reserved to a patch. It seems like such an obvious inclusion for any RPG, or any game with RPG elements. In any case, I am glad the mode is here.

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Notoriously Expensive Square Enix Final Fantasy Mobile Games Currently On Sale

Square Enix has been great about making many of its classic RPGs available on mobile devices, but their prices have always been high, especially when compared to the App and Google Play Store's other offerings. Currently, they are on sale which creates the rare opportunity to get classic RPGs at on your phone at prices a little closer to mobile game prices. Here's the full list of discounts:

  • Final Fantasy – $ 3.99
  • Final Fantasy II – $ 3.99
  • Final Fantasy III – $ 6.99 (iPhone/Android) $ 7.99 (iPad/Google Play/Amazon)
  • Final Fantasy IV – $ 6.99 (iOS) $ 7.99 (Google Play/Amazon)
  • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years – $ 7.99
  • Final Fantasy V – $ 7.99
  • Final Fantasy VI – $ 7.99
  • Final FantasyVII – $ 12.99
  • Final Fantasy IX – $ 16.99
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions – $ 6.99 (iPhone/iPod Touch/Google Play/Amazon) $ 7.99 (iPad)
  • Final Fantasy Dimensions – $ 6.99
  • Chrono Trigger – $ 4.99
  • Adventures of Mana – $ 6.99
  • Secret of Mana – $ 3.99 (iOS) / $ 3.99 (Google Play)
  • Romancing SaGa 2 – $ 14.99
  • Chaos Rings III – $ 9.99

I would recommend grabbing Chrono Trigger.

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