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This Week In Mobile – Final Fantasy And The First Apple Watch Game

This week in mobile, the Final Fantasy world is falling apart at the seams and Disney brings Star Wars Rebels to mobile platforms. 

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Final Fantasy Record Keeper
Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): iOs, Android
Price: Free

At its core, Final Fantasy Record Keeper is fan-service layered in fan-service. In some cases that would be a bad thing, but not when the game in question is paying homage to one of the biggest series of all-time. It also helps that Final Fantasy Record Keeper is a good way to spend time. It might be a little boiled down, but the basic premise of wave-based, classically-styled Final Fantasy dungeons works well enough to support the premise of piece the universe back together. It’s not going to blow anyone away, but fans of the series should find plenty to enjoy.

Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions
Developer: Disney
Platform(s): iOS
Price: Free

One of the first things Disney did after acquiring the Star Wars property was canning the Star Wars: The Clones Wars animated series that had been airing on Cartoon Network. The replacement for the show came in the form of Star Wars Rebels, which jumped from the middle of the prequel trilogy to just a few years before the events of Episode IV. To go along with the series, Disney has released Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions. Recon Missions puts players in control of one of four characters and pits them against the forces of the evil Empire in a side-scrolling shooter. When players aren’t blasting away at bad guys, they’re building up their base to earn unlocks and rewards.

Rules!
Developer: TheCodingMonkeys
Platform(s): iOS
Price: $ 2.99

In Rules!, players are presented with a game board and 16 cards. As they play more rules for eliminating cards are presented, and players must eliminate as many sets of cards as possible before time runs out. It’s a simple premise, but not exactly what makes Rules! noteworthy right now. Rules! is actually the first game to be approved for the Apple Watch. While Apple’s latest product doesn’t hit shelves until late April, there are a few of the devices out and about in public already. The Apple Watch version of Rules! is slightly paired down, supporting just 4 cards instead of 16, but it maintains the same catchy formula of the original. Only this time it will be, quite literally, impossible (or at least a very bad idea) to put down.

Breath of Light
Developer: Many Monkeys
Platform(s): iOS
Price: $ 2.99

If you enjoy getting lost in a game, or peacefully puzzling your way through relaxing environments, then Breath of Light is a game you should be checking out. Breath of Light mixes particle physics-based puzzles with a relaxing soundtrack and simplistic visuals to create a game that’s easy to get lost in. Players are tasked with dropping objects to redirect the flow of life-force between white lotuses in a level. One of the big upsides to the game is that there is no need to unlock levels or race a clock, everything is open from the start. 

Silly Sausage in Meat Land
Developer: Nitrome
Platform(s): iOS
Price: Free

Silly Sausage in Meat Land is a surprising combination of a snake game and roguelike sensibilities. Players are set at a starting point, and tasked with collecting gems by swiping to control the direction Silly Sausage moves through the world. Any time they contact a wall, Silly Sausage stops and sits on it, allowing players to catch their metaphorical breath and also avoid being hit by spike traps. If the player is still stretching, they can be hit by moving spike balls, but sitting on a wall immediately makes them invincible. Players can pay gems to respawn at later checkpoints, but get knocked all the way back to the start if they die without doing so.

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Final Set Of Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Curtain Call 2nd Performance DLC Is Now Available

Earlier in the week we learned some more tracks would
be coming to Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, and now all eight tracks
are available to purchase and download in North America. This batch of DLC will
be the final set of the 2nd Performance DLC.

The following songs are available as Battle Music Sequences
(BMS) and the two songs marked with an asterisk, “Struggle to the Death” and “Devil
Lord Confrontation II” are free to download for a limited time.

  • “Real Emotion” (Final Fantasy X-2)
  • “Struggle to the Death” (Final Fantasy Legend II)*
  • “Devil Lord Confrontation II” (Romancing SaGa 3)*
  • “Boss Battle 2” (Chrono Trigger)
  • “Shadowlord” (Nier)

The following songs are available as Field Music Sequences
(FMS)

  • “Corridors of Time” (Chrono Trigger)
  • “Meridian Child” (Seiken Densetsu 3)
  • “Birds in the Sky, Fish in the River” (Live A Live)  

 

Our Take
It is disappointing to learn this is the final batch of
the 2nd Performance DLC for Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, especially
since it was interesting to see the song selection branch out from Final
Fantasy music and into Square Enix’s back catalog of RPGs. Releasing over 80 songs
of DLC for the game was certainly an impressive amount of support though, and
really did extend the experience for many. It will be interesting to see in the
future if we get Dragon Quest Theatrhythm in North America and if the series will
continue beyond that.

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Test Chamber – Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

While a lot of people were attracted to the release of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for the coupled demo of Final Fantasy XV, this port of the PSP game contains a lot of content and is one of the most experimental Final Fantasy games in years. Game Informer's Matt Miller reviewed the game and is joined by Andrew Reiner and intern Justin Mikos as he explains the basics of the game and shares his full impressions.

Watch the video below to learn all about the latest installment in the Final Fantasy series.

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Test Chamber – Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae

This week saw the release of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, but the more exciting element to that package was the inclusion of the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae demo. You can watch us play through the entire demo in the archive of our live stream or watch the video below to have a look at a gigantic summon and new limit break.

Join Brian Shea, Ben Reeves, and intern Justin Mikos as we explore the small open world demo after beating the behemoth, check out how the world levels up as you do, and to watch the game's amazing summon one more time.

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Watch Our Two-Hour Long Final Fantasy XV Live Stream Archive

Final Fantasy XV has been a long time coming and we finally got our hands on Episode Duscae.

We played the entire two-hour demo in its entirety and got to unlock an impressive Elder God summon at the end as a reward. Check it out below.

If you want a primer on FF XV's long – and we mean long – development path, check out Joe Juba's feature on the game's history.

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Watch Our Two-Hour Long Final Fantasy XV Live Stream Archive

Final Fantasy XV has been a long time coming and we finally got our hands on Episode Duscae.

We played the entire two-hour demo in its entirety and got to unlock an impressive Elder God summon at the end as a reward. Check it out below.

If you want a primer on FF XV's long – and we mean long – development path, check out Joe Juba's feature on the game's history.

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Watch The Final Fantasy XV Tease At The End Of Episode Duscae

As a demo, Episode Duscae is only a small taste of what players will encounter in Final Fantasy XV. The scope and direction of the full game have still not been revealed, but the teaser sequence at the end of Episode Duscae hints at what's to come.

The video below only uses dialogue and static art, but it still foreshadows some of the themes and other aspects of Final Fantasy XV after the events of the demo. How will it all come together? At this point, we have to wait and see.

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[Source: DualShockers

 

Our Take

Final Fantasy XV (or Versus XIII) has been in the works for so long that anything we thought we knew about the story is up in the air. Can we still trust a CG video from five years ago? Or an interview from eight years ago? I'm intrigued by this sequence from the demo, and I'm also curious to see how it ties into (or doesn't) what has already been revealed about the plot and characters.

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Watch Us Live Stream Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae

Update: Technical issues have forced us to postpone, but we're working on a fix! Keep an eye on @gameinformer on twitter for updates!

Happy Final Fantasy XV demo day! We couldn't let this occasion go by without hosting our own stream.

Let me be frank, I haven't been this excited since I bought Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, which came with a demo for Final Fantasy XII. Naturally, I couldn't be more pleased to announce that today we're going to have special episode of Grind Time, our RPG live show, that shows off the Final Fantasy XV demo. This a big day, indeed. 

Let's experience the first moments from the demo together, discuss the franchise, and share our impressions. You can click here to watch us stream the game right now!

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Where is Final Fantasy XV?

Many gamers are looking ahead to the next generation for exciting games, but for one of Square Enix’s most anticipated upcoming titles, we have to look backward. Final Fantasy Versus XIII was unveiled in 2006, but remained seldom-seen and mysterious until it reappeared as Final Fantasy XV. Even then, concrete answers about the game’s status are rare, so we’ve assembled this timeline of its progress, major appearances, and related comments from original director Tetsuya Nomura, current director Hajime Tabata, producer Yoshinori Kitase, and brand director Shinji Hashimoto.

Update 3/17/15: New entries added to reflect the continued developments and release of the Episode Duscae demo.

May 2006 
At E3, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is announced as part of Fabula Nova Crystalis, as is Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. Along with Final Fantasy XIII, it is revealed as a PS3 exclusive. 

January 2007 
Nomura says Versus XIII will feature some kind of unique support for the PlayStation 3’s Sixaxis controller.

July 2007 
Versus XIII is absent from E3.

September 2007 
Versus XIII is absent from the Tokyo Game Show.

December 2007 
Square Enix releases a new video adding more content to the original reveal trailer, showing a stylish fight and more of the protagonist’s powers in action. 

June 2008 
Nomura says Versus XIII is on hold while the team helps complete Final Fantasy XIII. Square Enix later denies this, attributing Nomura’s statement to mistranslation.

July 2008 
Square Enix announces that Final Fantasy XIII is going multiplatform at E3. The company claims it has no plans to change the PS3 exclusivity of Versus XIII, which is otherwise absent from the show.

August 2008
A new trailer debuts at a Square Enix fan event, showing a new female character battling the protagonist.

October 2008
At the Tokyo Game Show, the protagonist’s name is revealed to be Noctis, and the woman he was fighting in the previous trailer is named Stella. The first in-game footage is revealed in the form of a conversation between Noctis and Stella. The video shows no exploration or combat.

June 2009 
Versus XIII is absent from E3.

September 2009 
Gameplay footage in a closed theater at the Tokyo Game Show depicts Noctis running around in various environments, but no combat is shown.

December 2009 
Final Fantasy XIII (now multiplatform) releases in Japan. The North American release follows three months later.

March 2010 
Nomura reveals via Twitter that players can navigate the world of Versus XIII with an airship.

June 2010 
Versus XIII is absent from E3. Nomura claims that the game’s storyline, character designs, and clothing designs are finished.

August 2010
Voice casting begins in Japan. Yoshinori Kitase says that Versus XIII might not release in 2011.

September 2010
Nomura affirms via Twitter that Versus XIII is being developed exclusively for PlayStation 3, saying: “The debate over porting is decided by the management based off the current market and the costs. All I can say right now as a developer is that Versus is being developed specifically for the PlayStation 3.”

What Else Has Happened Since Versus XIII’s Announcement?
  • All three Mass Effect games released
  • The entire Assassin’s Creed franchise
  • The rise and fall of music games
  • Five other main Final Fantasy titles:  XII, XIII, XIII-2, Lightning Returns, and XIV
  • BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite released
  • Every Call of Duty game after Call of Duty 2, including World at War, Ghosts, Black Ops 1 and 2, and all three Modern Warfare titles released
  • The PlayStation 3’s entire life
  • The Wii craze
  • Sony and Microsoft introducing/releasing their own motion controllers
  • Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo each designed and released a new generation of hardware
  • Duke Nukem Forever released

October 2010 
Listings for battle planner and level design plannerpositions appears on the recruitment page on Square Enix’s website.

January 2011
Square Enix releases a six-minute trailer highlighting the story, new characters, and the battle system in action. Nomura confirms that Versus XIII will not release in 2011.

June 2011
Versus XIII is absent from E3.

July 2011
Versus XIII is still in the pre-production phase, though Nomura says that  the team is making preparations to screenshots are shown to selected press, but are not published or otherwise released to the public.

August 2011 
Square Enix files a new trademark application for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, indicating that the company still intends to move forward with the game under its current name (rather than dropping the XIII, as many had speculated).

September 2011
Versus XIII is absent from the Tokyo Game Show. Yoshinori Kitase confirms that the game has entered full production.

October 2011 
Final Fantasy Agito XIII (the second of the three announced Final Fantasy XIII titles) releases in Japan under the new name Final Fantasy Type 0. No North American release plans are announced (though a renewed trademark keeps hope alive).

May 2012 
When asked about Versus XIII in an interview, Nomura tells Game Informer: “We would like to ask for your patience on an official announcement for this title. It always takes time when tackling the challenge of doing something completely new, but we are doing our best to bring information to the fans as quickly as we can. Your patience is greatly appreciated.”

June 2012 
Versus XIII is absent from E3. Square Enix gives Game Informer the following comment: “We appreciate the excitement for this title, but at this time, we do not have any new information to share on its development. We are extremely thankful for the continued support for the Final Fantasy franchise and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.”

July 2012
On Twitter, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada denies rumors of Versus XIII’s cancellation, explaining that he was recently in a regularly scheduled meeting for the game and that the visuals of the city are particularly impressive.

February 2013
Shinji Hashimoto says that a new Final Fantasy entry is coming to the PlayStation 4. He is not specific, leading to speculation that the title is related to the next-gen Final Fantasy tech demo (shown below).

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April 2013
Nomura describes the development of Final Fantasy Versus XIII as “a delicate situation within the company” on a podcast. He says that the date has been set for the next big reveal.

June 2013
E3 2013 brings with it the most substantial news since the game’s unveiling. At Sony’s press conference, Square Enix reveals that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is now Final Fantasy XV. In addition, the game drops the PS3 and goes next-gen multiplatform, now coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. No specific release date is given, but it is not soon, whatever it is.

June 2013
Shortly after the re-reveal, Square Enix provides new art and character info.

September 2013
Apart from a very familiar trailer, Final Fantasy XV has no significant presence at the Tokyo Game Show.

February 2014
In an interview, Kitase says Final Fantasy XV is “quite far into development now and it is being given a very high priority within the company itself.” He also says that it is not competing with Kingdom Hearts 3 for resources, implying that KH3 is further out on the release schedule.

April 2014
Official product pages for Final Fantasy XV describe how it has been “designed as an action game,” highlighting stylized combat over traditional turn-based mechanics.

June 2014
A year after the announcement of the name change, fans were hoping to see the game reappear at E3. That didn't happen, with Hashimoto explaining that fans will have to wait until after E3 for more information.

September 2014
During the Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix made two important announcements regarding the status of FF XV. The first was the changing of the director role; Hajime Tabata took over for Tetsuya Nomura as the head of the project. The second piece of news was that a Final Fantasy XV demo entitled Episode Duscae is scheduled to release in 2015. 

December 2014
A new trailer and Q&A with director Hajime Tabata comes out of Jump Festa.

February 2015
Square Enix releases new screens for the upcoming demo. 

March 2015
Gamers get some hands-on time with Episode Duscae at PAX East. For the first time, we get some solid, playable proof that this game is moving along toward release.  

March 2015
As promised at the previous TGS, the Episode Duscae demo is released with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

 

A portion of this feature originally appeared in issue 232 of Game Informer.

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Final Fantasy Type-0 Teases Sequel With Fiery Secret Video

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD comes out tomorrow, but due to some copies breaking street date, the secret movie has already been uploaded to YouTube by user Khaled Rizk. While the unlock conditions for the secret movie remain unknown, if you don't mind spoiling the video you can look at the trailer below which features a dying samurai being revived by some kind of spirit or demon.

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It is likely that this trailer is teasing a future entry in the Type series as trademarks have been filed for Type-1, Type-2, and Type-3 which, like the main series, is envisioned to offer stand-alone tales. It is interesting to note that the face of the character, his voice, and sole line of dialog is shared by Ace in Type-0 so it remains unknown how this video ties into Type-0 beyond that. You can check out our review for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD here.

[Source: YouTube]

 

Our Take
I’m excited to check out Final Fantasy Type-0 tomorrow despite there being a wide range of opinions on its quality. Should it prove enjoyable, I’m certainly excited to check out a Final Fantasy influenced by Japanese supernatural mythology. Considering director Hajime Tabata is focused on Final Fantasy XV, I’m not expecting anything from this teaser for the next few years.

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