Wednesday, Sep 17
Marry me, blonde lady, and please launch your game already
It feels like some time since we've seen Final Fantasy XV in motion. There's no way that Square Enix could get past the Tokyo Games Show without a new trailer, however. It's my privilege then to introduce everyone to the Final Fantasy XV TGS 2014 trailer, which focuses almost entirely on in-game combat at exploration. Half of it literally takes place in the back of a convertible. The clash of modern fashion and Final Fantasy tradition is unmistakable. Ah, it feels good to be home.
From that first moment, where four guys in black slacks suits riding packed into a convertible look up to see a giant turtle-like monster bursting forth from the group, the trailer is glorious. In what other game would the party ride around in a convertible fighting knights in full plate mail and wielding automatic rifles. The beautiful contrast of modern style, futuristic technology and fantasy tropes continue from there as dragons take to the sky and that classical Final Fantasy tune closes the video out. It's hard for longtime fans not to swoon just a little.
Reveling in the nostalgia is a disservice to the other awesome portions of the video. Sure, the game features 3D action, but the UI looked minimalist and with a classic flair (those bottom right health bars). The animations of each party member as they dashed and sliced was some of the best I've ever seen in an RPG, not to mention those group action animations. Just the dudes' hair as they drove around in their car was impressive. Take that, Lara Croft and your hair physics technology!
The bad news is that Final Fantasy XV still doesn't have a release date. It's looking more and more like 2016 is the realistic release window for the game's launch in the west. That's not a terrible thing, considering we're most of the way through 2014 already, but with the game now looking to have taken 10 years of development... it wouldn't be unfair to be angry at this point. Watching this TGS trailer should sooth those woes at least a little bit.
Tetsuya Nomura is a legend at Square Enix. He's the man behind Kingdom Hearts, directing and creating the story and character design for the franchise. Considering Final Fantasy's recent missteps, Nomura could be called Square Enix's top man. That's probably why he was brought on to direct Final Fantasy XV back in 2006. I doubt anyone, including Nomura himself, expected the damn game to take this long to make. That's probably why Tetsuya Nomura is now no longer directing Final Fantasy XV.
According to Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, Tetsuya Nomura will be replaced with Hajime Tabata of Final Fantasy Type-0 fame. The reason for Nomura's departure wasn't made clear, though judging from where he's at now the reasoning should be obvious:
"As the director of Final Fantasy XV, Tetsuya Nomura has mainly worked on the original concept for the story and universe in addition to creating the characters. Hereafter, he will be focusing his efforts on the production of titles that can only be made possible by Nomura, himself, and delivering products that exceed the quality of past titles, starting with another one of his representative projects, Kingdom Hearts III. Square Enix will continue to work on these titles with the best staff formation in an effort to deliver them to everyone as soon as possible and appreciates your continued support."
Yes, Tetsuya Nomura has switched back over to the Kingdom Hearts team to lead the development and design of Kingdom Hearts III. One could say that the reason the franchise has taken so long to get a tried and true sequel is because Nomura has been busy with Final Fantasy XV. Square Enix waited as long as it could, but it's now or never. Nomura likely had to switch over or see his baby given to another director.
That isn't to say that Final Fantasy XV will suffer from a director switch at this point in time. Odds are, as Yosuke Matsuda explained, Nomura's talents were put to their full use in the design and production of Final Fantasy XV up to this point. All that's left is ensuring the game's development stays on-track and that it gets released in 2016 as planned.
The good money is that this is just Square Enix can't wait any longer to start development of Kingdom Hearts III and that Nomura is just going home. Hopefully both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III will see smooth sailing from here on.
The League of Legends 2014 World Championship is culminating in South Korea, where finals will determine who the best League team in the world. To celebrate, Riot Games released another animated trailer, in collaboration with Imagine Dragons, who wrote the song "Warriors" especially for the occasion.
The trailer, going by the same name as the song, blows last year's anime-inspired short out of the water. In addition to a heart-pumping soundtrack from Imagine Dragons, Warriors also boasts more stylized animation, and actually goes for a broader appeal by keeping the identities of the players vague. They could honestly be anyone, not just pro players. The idea here is to embrace the competitive spirit that defines League and brings together players from all around the world.
Don't take my word for it, though. Have a look below. Go figure, the Imagine Dragon guys actually play League too, and all have level 30 accounts.
The Evil Within TGS trailer escalates quickly between peaceful hallucinations and a horrifying reality
The Evil Within celebrates this year's Tokyo Game Show with a new trailer today, one that fully embraces Sebastian's spiral into madness. Funny thing about Evil Within is that reality becomes relative, proving that even the most resilient mind can be broken.
Ruvik, the primary antagonist in Evil Within, speaks at length in the trailer, addressing and taunting Sebastian as our unfortunate detective friend stumbles through a bloody hallway (in a mental asylum, of course). Pleasant images of a cabin and sunflowers flash by, as the hooded villain speaks of his power over Sebastian's mind, while also hinting at his plans for escape. In Ruvik's own words: "I created this world. You cannot keep me here."
That's some ominous stuff. You know, more so than all the murderous patients and horrifying monsters lurking about. For the especially curious, our preview of Shinji Mikami's return to classic horror delves more deeply into the gameplay.
The wait will end on October 14, when The Evil Within makes its way to PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Assassin's Creed Unity co-op trailer talks about a uniting cause and Brotherhood, still lacking ladies
Assassin's Creed Unity is still two months away, but Ubisoft is still keeping the hype alive and well. Another trailer, released just before Tokyo Game Show incidentally, reminds everyone that four-player co-op is going to be a thing. For the first time ever, even!
Arno, the protagonist of Unity, narrates throughout the trailer, addressing his three unnamed allies (the three other playable guys in co-op) and being all inspirational about the whole Brotherhood thing. He comments that everyone is different, right down to their skills, but a common goal unites them. Too bad about there being no women, still.
The four playable characters, including Arno, are set apart by their colorful costumes and likely their abilities as well. As for potential backstories? Well, those remain a mystery for now, assuming the devs actually wrote each Assassin as a standalone character.
Assassin's Creed Unity will be out November 13 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. The release coincides with Assassin's Creed Rogue, a separate title for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Tuesday, Sep 16
Net Articles Summary
A website by the name of A9VG has acquired some leaked concept art which they are claiming comes from Guerrilla Games' in-development project. Reportedly code-named "Horizon," the concept art certainly implies some sort of larger-than-life gaming experience, though it's absolutely far departed from the studio's previous Killzone work. Up to this date all that Guerrilla Games has confirmed about the title is that it's a new IP and unlike anything they've previously worked on.
As for the concept art itself, oh boy. Giant, mechanical dinosaurs that somehow have normal teeth and breath what looks to be fire are the name of the game. These creatures stalk the wilderness as if they were any other normal creature. They aren't, of course, which is why the second part of the game implied by the concept art is the act of hunting. Three characters, which we can probably guess are playable characters (cooperative?) are absolutely wrecking a dinobot in one of the image.
The characters themselves have rather unique weaponry. An Assassin's Creed looking fellow has a spear, a bear-shaman wields an old fashioned pistol and a lady who looks surprisingly under dressed for the environment has a compound bow. Considering there are robot dinosaurs here, I suppose a compound bow fits. The question is whether these characters are wholly customized or if they're cookie-cutter, like how Evolve and its hunters work.
My final question is as to what sort of game Horizon will actually be. A few guesses would include an Evolve-style cooperative game facing off against giant monsters, a Monster Hunter-style open world with crafting and customization, a DayZ survival experience where players scavenge for items while avoiding monsters roaming the world, or heck, it could even be an MMO. Time will tell.
Hopefully Guerrilla Games will be more forthcoming with some early details now that fans have a taste of what could potentially be in the works. Or maybe they're so far in early development that talking about their game would be a bad call. Or maybe this concept art has nothing to do with their game and we've been trolled! Take your pick! If this is Horizon, however, I'm excited to hear more.
Click here to see more images
See Azir's ascension in League of Legends: Rise of the Ascended trailer, the Emperor finally arrives
Azir debuted today in League of Legends, and to herald the Emperor of the Sands' return, Riot released the final trailer in their Shurima saga. In Shurima: Rise of the Ascended, we learn that Sivir is apparently the last in Azir's bloodline, and we learn just how Azir achieves Ascension so long after his death.
When we last left off, in Shurima: Descent into the Tomb, Cass had betrayed Sivir and then promptly was turned into a snake (how appropriate). While she's dealing with her new form and, you know, unleashing Xerath and crazy-face Renekton, Sivir is at risk of dying. As her blood spills across the sands, it's realized that she is, in fact, related to Azir by blood. This awakens the ancient king, and he rises from the sands to save his descendant. In doing so, he essentially becomes a god; because coming back from the dead didn't already make him enough of a deity.
That's Nasus narrating, of course.
The longer we remain separated, the colder our hearts grow
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U may have a robust roster that even fans can't deny is impressive and larger than expected. That doesn't mean that some fighters haven't been left behind. Wolf, Lucas and several other fighters are missing from the now finalized roster, but no single character will be as sorely missed as Ice Climbers. A roster regular in both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Ice Climbers has been intentionally removed and the reason why is quite surprising -- it's the 3DS hardware.
One's first thought might be that the Ice Climbers were removed due to the fact that they are well out of the spotlight over at Nintendo. They're not exactly Mario or or Link is what I'm saying. Nevertheless, it appears that project director Sakurai had still intended to retain the brother/sister duo in his version of the fighting franchise. After all, they have working code for the fighter already in their source. Updating Ice Climbers for new hardware couldn't be that much more difficult, right?
Yet that's exactly the limiter that blocked Ice Climbers from joining the roster. In his bi-weekly column on Super Smash Bros., Sakurai explains that Ice Climbers is not in the game because of limitations from the 3DS hardware -- it's simply not powerful enough to handle both Ice Climbers at the same time. Where other characters are singularly controlled by the player, Nana is an entirely AI controller character paired tasked with staying caught up with the player's Popo. The extra hardware required for this was apparently more than the development team was willing to use for a single character.
Sakurai did note that Ice Climbers was up and running on Wii U prior to being cut bringing the character to 3DS. Perhaps, just perhaps, that could mean that after Nintendo is done putting money behind this "roster parity between 3DS and Wii U" campaign, they'll release Ice Climbers as a Wii U exclusive DLC character.
Super Smash Bros. 3DS is currently available in Japan and will release in North America and Europe on October 3. The Wii U release of Super Smash Bros. still has no official release date, though early leaks imply a November 21 date. It's already a rather ridiculous success.
Hero of Time, complete with blue bandanna and oddly pretty eyes
Alright, Hylians. Turn on the TV and check out the most recent commercial from Nintendo of America, featuring Hyrule Warriors for the Nintendo Wii U. There isn't any outstanding news in the commercial, but it's always nice to see some pre-release footage.
Legend of Zelda fans, try not to analyze the trailer too much for correct features -- that may lead to slight disappointment. But if an overpowered Link is everything you've ever asked for in a video game then this commercial could be the greatest thing Nintendo and Koei Tecmo have ever released.The Hero of Time isn't the only warrior with too much power and range. While it's probably typical in a Dynasty Warriors roster, I never expected to see Impa slaughter hordes of Moblins with such ease, or Princess Zelda fire a Light Arrow through a crowd of feeble mooks.
Don't count out characters like Darunia, the Goron warrior who crushes his enemies with an abnormally large hammer, or Fi, the most graceful warrior to ever step on to a battlefield. They don't get as much action in the commercial, but it's safe to say that their appearances at the end are just enough screen time for those hyped up by the idea and footage of the Dynasty Warriors x Legend of Zelda crossover.
Hyrule Warriors is already out in Japan, but it will be available on September 19 in Europe, September 20 in Australia, and September 26 in America, exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U.
Update: As is standard practice with any given Humble Bundle, three games have been added to the Humble Indie Bundle 12. These three games will be available immediately to those who have already beaten the average payment in their purchase, though anyone who beats the average from here on will also unlock the games. Enjoy!
- The Bridge
- Monaco: What's Yours is Mine
- Race the Sun
It's that time of the year -- time for another Humble Indie Bundle! Even though the Humble folk have turned into this platform of its own, offering a mix of Humble Mobile bundules, Humble Flash sales, Humble Books and Humble everything under the sun really, the Indie Bundle is always their favorite child. No other bundle really captures their goal of pay-what-you-want, DRM-free, multiplatform content. *sniff* It's good to have you back, buddy.
Video games! Let's get past all of this sentimental stuff and talk about what games will be bundled into the Humble Indie Bundle 12. Of special note, this is the first time I believe where the Indie Bundle has added a special threshold purchase as opposed to just pay-what-you-want and beat-the-average:
Pay What You Want
- SteamWorld Dig
Beat the Average
- Papers, Please
- Gone Home
- More to come...
Pay at Least $10
- Prison Architect (Alpha Access)
As usual, about a week from now (the Humble Bundle will run for two weeks) another game or two will be added to the bundle. Sometimes these are games from previously released bundles and sometimes they're awesome surprises. Time will tell! Currently the average price for the bundle is sitting at over $7, likely due to the $10 Prison Architect inclusion. What I'm saying is, if you're wanting to buy into this bundle, there's no better time than now.
As far as the game selection goes, there are some awesome inclusions here. I've spent quite a bit of time playing Hammerwatch with friends, Papers, Please is one of my favorite games of last year, Luftrausers is an instant classic, and Gone Home is my favorite game of last year -- though it's certain to cause a bit of controversy from that one crowd that thinks games should only be what they want and nothing else. Basically, a lot of awesome games. Games are awesome. Awesome games are awesomer.
Check out the Humble Indie Bundle 12 today over at the official Humble Bundle website.
- Special 'Super-Size Pumpkaboo' available via Pokemon X and Pokemon Y Nintendo Network 
- Maxis reconsiders, offering free The Sims 4 DLC starting with Halloween update today, November pools 
- Destiny 1.0.2 patch goes live, includes Cryptarch fix and better Engram drops for Strikes 
- 9-minute 'Discovery' trailer gives an in-depth introduction to Civilization: Beyond Earth 
- October's PlayStation Plus line-up debuts DriveClub on PS4, Batman on PS3 and Rainbow Moon for Vita 
- Pokémon Trading Card Game Online launches today in App Store, play for free with PC/Mac users 
- The Witcher 3 art featuring Triss and Emhyr var Emreis released, wallpapers for Geralt and Yennefer 
- No place for hobbits in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's launch trailer, Nemesis System lives