News: Breath of Dire

Not unlike Capcom in the penchant for disappointment.

Capcom Is an Abusive Parent

Exalt Breath of Fire fans, the day of thine fondest yearning draws near! Breath of Fire has lain dormant for ten long years, and anon most people never truly expected to see a sequel, yet the hardcore Breath of Fire faithful never fully gave up hope that they would one day hold in their eager hands a gilded digital treasure in the form of Breath of Fire VI. Breath of Fire fans can finally rejoice this week, as Capcom has heard their earnest pleas, and has responded by indulgently granting them a full multi-platform sequel to their cherished franchise. But lo, what devilry is this? What wretched and crippled thing has clad itself in Breath of Fire‘s garb? What is this social monstrosity that is so sorely maligned by an ugly flash-based veneer, and belabored neath the heavy yoke of browser gaming?

Wonder upon wonders, Breath of Fire has shown not a sign of life in ten years, yet funnily enough the franchise now feels deader today than it did last week. Yes, Breath of Fire is to receive the full browser/smartphone social gaming treatment [replete with the exclusive use of touch controls] – delivering a concerted ‘fuck you’ to fans who have stuck with the franchise over its many ups and downs. Breath of Fire fans commenting commenting on gaming media have been suitably caustic towards this penile slap in the face from Capcom, yet happily for Capcom the Cat Fancy brains trust are a mite more forgiving.

Incidentally, just this week the world of gaming has seen the net result of Capcom’s ongoing franchise abuse of the Resident Evil series. Hot on the heels of Operation Raccoon City [over two million units initially sold across PS3 and 360] and Resident Evil 6 [4.8 million units initially sold across PS3 and 360], Resident Evil: Revelations, indisputably the strongest entry in the series since 2005’s masterful Resident Evil 4, has sold a mere 900,000 units across PS3, 360, PC, and Wii U after two and a half months on sale – a figure which is substantially the same as the sales generated by its earlier 3DS release alone.

If a company continually abuses its franchises, then little by little they will go away. That said, it is not like Capcom was doing anything with Breath of Fire, so this only really stands to hurt their reputation, which could not really be lower at this point. At any rate, one is heartily glad not to number among the Breath of Fire fanbase, as the week’s news would be soul-crushing elsewise.

The Microsoft hivemind remains operational.

Next-Gen News

This week Microsoft has confirmed that they have increased the speed of Xbone’s GPU by a scant 53MHZ, constituting a gain in performance of 6.62 percent from this modest overclock. It is perhaps a tad churlish to damn Microsoft when they fail to compete in the technological armsrace, and then turn around and damn them when they finally do – yet their past history with adding last minute features to their consoles inspires little confidence when considering an Xbone overclock, and nor do reports that Microsoft were already having trouble controlling the core temperature of the Xbone’s APU on account of its large size and five billion resident transistors. So, any takers for Xbone early adoption off the back of this news?

At any rate, makes the bold prediction that the only next-gen specification which will now matter to Xboners is the GPU frequency, because goodness knows performance will always scale linearly with a graphics chip’s clock.

Elsewhere on the internet a follow-up to last week’s PS3 rumours has emerged. Readers may recall that Digital Foundry ‘journalist’, Richard Leadbetter, claimed to have viewed official Sony documentation which he claimed confirmed that PS4 developers would only have access to 5.5GB of RAM [a floating figure which he later revised down to just 5GB of RAM]. As it turns out PS4 developers have subsequently been lining up around the block to inform Leadbetter that he is full of shit. Vblank Entertainment’s Brian Provinciano [of Retro City Rampage fame], a confirmed PS4 developer, took to Twitter to bluntly state:

“It’s absolutely false. Absolutely ridiculous.”

Meanwhile, a verified industry insider by the name of Thuway has confirmed on NeoGAF that the amount of RAM available to PS4 developers is actually 6GB – presumably 5GB of dedicated RAM and 1GB of flexible RAM, with only 2GB being reserved by the system’s OS.

“This cannot be repeated enough. No matter how many times this was said, there is “disappointment” and an insistence that Sony is crafting a machine that isn’t focused on gaming. Stop it GAF.
WITH THIS SAID: There are games in development that are using 6 GB of RAM. I will not say any more about this.
I will say: the RAM situation on launch, will not reflect the RAM situation in two years, and not reflect the RAM situation at the end of the console’s life cycle.
Another hint I’ve been trying to drop is that there is potential for an upclock a few years into the console life cycle for both Xbox One and PS4. This can give a late generation graphics boost similar to the one on PSP. (Optimistic parrot hopes for a 2.4 TF 1 GHZ GPU).”

At any rate, the damage has been done – both to Sony’s PR efforts and to Digital Foundry’s reputation. As Brian Provinciano puts it:

“What’s worse is the ripple effect. A quick Google search shows headlines going from “Rumor” to “Report: Nearly Half…”, to “BREAKING”, to flat out “HALF Of PS4 RAM Saved For OS” . Suddenly there are gamers screaming that they’re cancelling their pre-order. Someone else tweets “It’s true. Sony’s basically admitted it in their statement”, misreading the official comment. This is sadly how things work. It’s a game of telephone.”

A game of telephone indeed, when a man is not as good as his word.

Every game should feature Vanille.
Vanille and Fan Translation Patches are things of which wholly approves.

An English Patch for Final Fantasy Type-0 Is in the Works

How often are readers able to say that they have read a piece of positive gaming news on Once or twice yearly? At any rate, it is perhaps advisable to brace one’s self because we have the motherload of eagerly anticipated JRPG news inbound. It is almost as though the colossal shittiness of Capcom’s weekly antics was sufficient to substantially throw-off the cosmic scales of global JRPG karma, and thus obliged something good to happen in order to redress the balance, because it would seem that in return we are to receive an English patch for Final Fantasy Type-0 [AKA that game that should have been released instead of a billion Final Fantasy XIII sequels].

It will perhaps never be known quite why Square Enix have refused to release Final Fantasy Type-0 in the West. One rumour has Square Enix butting heads with Sony over whether or not the game would have a physical release [and effectively shelving a game which had been predominantly translated], yet, given Square Enix’s atrociously poor efforts in releasing their most popular PSP games [Crisis Core, Birth by Sleep] to PSN, it is wholly possible that Square Enix simply skipped Western territories due to entirely irrational reasons. At any rate, Square Enix have failed to to release the game in a timely fashion, and so the gamers at Sky’s RomHacking Nest have taken matters into their own hands. Surprisingly, the project looks fairly far along.

As of the 22nd of June 98 percent of the romhacking has been completed, 90 percent of graphic translation [i.e. non-text-file writing] has been completed, 40 percent of the story text has been completed, 20 percent of secondary text has been completed, and zero percent of videos have been completed. Hearteningly, perusal of the relevant Sky’s RomHacking Nest project page reveals a moderate sample of completed gamescreens and captured footage, which ostensibly appears to range from decent to great in terms of translation quality.

Perhaps the only disheartening aspect of the game, is the fact that watching the sample video seemingly confirms that one of Final Fantasy Type-0‘s party members is a virtual carbon-copy of Final Fantasy XIII‘s Snow in terms of personality. One fondly remembers the days when the designated ‘tough guy’ of a Final Fantasy title was able to be cool like Auron, Shadow, and Cid instead of a noxious knuckle-head.

[Editorial Note: this post has gone live with placeholder pictures because pictures were not provided to the editorial staff before the cut-off time.]


  1. Wasn’t the PSP’s “overclock” merely correcting the underclocking that Sony used in an attempt to extend the battery life of the console? If an upclock is really in store for the future for both consoles, why are they being underclocked out of the gate? I know Microsoft is terrified of the heat from their DVR/oven combo, but it seems that Sony may have some of the same fears as well.

  2. @James: To the best of my knowledge both the Xbone and PS4 GPUs were initially underclocked in comparison to their PC counterparts, so this may just be Microsoft restoring a small measure of functionality.

    Difficult to say though, as we do not know the precise make-up of the APU.

  3. “I’ll save judgment for gameplay footage.”

    I love it how this people always say this about social/phone games, then they’re always proven wrong and say it yet again anyways. These games are not meant to be a rewarding gaming experience, they’re crafted to be an addictive shalow experience with the only purpose of squeezing money out of you. How the hell can one of these be good? How? Apologists, damn it. Hope an afterlife where all entertainment available to them is FF All the Bravest awaits them.

    The BoF “6” announcement got me mad. Not disgruntled, not annoyed, mad at Capcom. It looks nothing like a BoF game. It’s like they already had a generic social RPG in development, received a ton of feedback from that poll they did a while ago for more Breath of Fire. And went “we’ll just name it Breath of Fire, get the money from those nerds”. To top it off they made it a numbered entry. Fuck you Capcom.

  4. Anyone who was actually “screaming that they’re canceling pre-orders” based upon the PS4 RAM rumors is a moron, even with that rumor disproven. I highly doubt most consumers would know what that rumor would have exactly meant for the PS4, aside from “smaller number = BAD = M$ Xbot! = console warz!”

  5. @Epyon: Clearly the only aspect of the game which is Breath of Fire, is the name itself.

    The hero does not have blue hair, and I want to guess that his name wasn’t originally Ryu either…

  6. Does he turn into a dragon and is he accompanied by a winged woman named Nina? Is there a snake woman named Blu?

  7. Everything Epyon said.

    This is a giant ‘fuck you’ to fans, delivered as if they were Father Christmas handing out gifts.

  8. “This is Thuway!”
    Final Fantasy Tactics

    We talked about it on the podcast or perhaps before the podcast. You’ll start with just Ryu and when you meet Nina a message will pop saying, “Have Nina join the party – $0.99”. I was quite bothered by this announcement. I have *heard* that there are some good ipad games out there but I have never played and I’m sure that none of them were previously console games or online. Not glad to hear this news at all.

    So in the case of a fan translation, I wonder how Square Enix views this. It seems like something like this has far greater potential to take money out of Square’s hands than something like the FFVII web series. Is there a likelihood of a Cease and Desist letter here?

  9. Square’s public statements about their reasoning to cancel the US release of Type-0 would make it hard for them to prove the translation resulted in lost profits.

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