Final Fantasy IX Is Coming to PC
Final Fantasy IX is coming to the PC – talk about an ambiguous statement. Square Enix has today launched a product page and trailer for Final Fantasy IX, which lists the game as “coming soon” for PC, iOS, and Android. This could either be the best thing ever, or the typical niggardly Square Enix cash grab. A native PC port of Final Fantasy IX presents Square Enix with the opportunity to significantly update one of their very best games in a way that keeps it relevant going forward, which in turn will allow them to continue selling it into the future. The resolution of 3D game assets can be easily displayed at a higher resolution in order to make them look acceptable by modern standards, yet the pre-rendered 240p backgrounds are not so easily upgraded, and tend to look quite pixelated when displayed at higher resolutions. The one glimmer of hope [faint though it may be] is that the studio responsible for porting the game will be able to use various filters and edge enhancing techniques in order to remaster the game’s backgrounds. Capcom was able to do this to stunning effect when remastering Resident Evil‘s already beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds, though it would be prudent to not go in expecting as much from Square Enix [because they are whores and also bone lazy]. Still, any improvement to visual fidelity would be greatly appreciated by the game’s fanbase, even if it merely consists of an optimal method of scaling the game’s low resolution imagery to display on HD displays.
The one Reason to hold out hope that Square Enix might address the game’s graphical elements is that there is no existing PC port of Final Fantasy IX, meaning that if they want to produce a native version of the game then they will have to convert all game assets from the original PS1 title, which in turn will require the team to consider how to best go about that. That being said, Square Enix may not necessarily be looking to create a native PC version of the game, and may instead be looking to just dump the PS1 ISO into a nasty emulation wrapper and call it a day. Fuck glitches get money. The cheap and nasty emulation option will mostly look fine on diminutive smartphone screens, so if this is the crowd that Square Enix are after then the PC version might have just been thrown in as an afterthought. This is the company which famously released horrendously ugly flash graphics smartphone versions of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI onto Steam, so it is entirely possible that they do not give two shits about the user-experience of PC owners. At any rate, until Square Enix fucks us yet again there is at least the faint glimmer of hope that they will do right by fans in presenting Final Fantasy IX in a way that looks acceptable on modern TVs and monitors.
Tetsuya Nomura, Please Quit Your Day Job
Just lately Tetsuya Nomura has taken some time out of his busy schedule of wrecking Final Fantasy VII in order to pursue a project closer to his heart – namely fashion. This week it was revealed that Louis Vuitton’s artistic director, Nicolas Ghesquière, had partnered up with Tetsuya Nomura and Visual Works [Square Enix’s bespoke CG studio] in order to put together Luis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2016 “Series 4” prêt-à-porter line – a line which is distinguished not only by the fact that it sounds like an expensive French toilet, but also by the fact that the garments are being modeled by Final Fantasy XIII‘s Lightning.
Arguably, this is a role much more suited to the stoic Lightning, as it does not require her to say a single thing. Inarguably, this is a role more suited to Nomura, who has always been more interested in visual design than making games that are fun to play. Whatever the case, Lightning certainly proved more fetching in Luis Vuitton garb than the half-emaciated child models employed to parade these wares in RL, so they might actually be onto something with this fashion/gaming partnership. Regardless, one hopes that this proves to be a smashing success for this creative union, so that Tetsuya Nomura can begin the next stage of his career: as a designer of high fashion, mercifully free from the strictures and limitations of the world of video game design.
This Christmas VR enthusiasts have been given a rare treat by Sony, in that Sony has just sent out the Playstation VR development kits into the wild, meaning that ample online pictures and documentation of the hardware now abounds – and boy were Sony not kidding when they said that they planned on selling Playstation VR as though it were its own console! Apparently sensory deprivation was not enough of a burden when playing vidya in a room full of people, now Sony wants to tether the head of every VR enthusiast to a small brick so as to prevent them from just drifting up and away, buoyed as they are by a headful of high ideals!
Playstation VR will not simply connect to the PS4, but rather it will connect to its own console [it is roughly the size of a Wii], which will then connect to the PS4. Apparently the brick even has a processor which runs hot enough to require an exhaust fan for cooling. One might very well ask why Playstation VR requires any sort of brick, and why such a brick would require its own cooling solution; and the answer to that is very simple. The Playstation 4 was never intended to support VR – and so the console must be jerry-rigged in order to play host to this parasitic technology.
In order for a video game to be enjoyed on a nice big TV thirty frames of animation per second serves as the bare minimum standard, while sixty frames of animation will provide users with a good experience. On the other hand requirements for virtual reality gameplay are in a whole different league, as thirty frames of animation per second while using VR will make many people physically ill on account of there being very perceptible lag between a user’s head movements and the visual representation of that movement displayed by the goggles. The absolute bare minimum acceptable framerate when using VR is 60fps, yet in order to have an actually good VR experience something in the order of 90-120fps is required. Because of this Sony engineers built the Playstation VR headset with a 120hz display, the only problem being the PS4 struggles to consistently output any framerate higher than 30fps [and sometimes it struggles even then]. Thus, the Playstation VR brick is an alchemy box which Sony claims will scale the PS4’s framerate up to 120fps by taking existing frames of animation and using them to create a composite image which is then slotted between them as though it were another unique frame of animation. Needless to say one is all rather dubious about the efficacy of Playstation VR’s alchemy brick, because if boosting a console’s framerate was so easily done then Sony would not even have to produce the Playstation VR, as people would be willing to buy the brick alone for a less janky 120hz console experience.
New 2016 Anime from ‘One Punch Man’ Creator – Mob Psycho 100
Get ready to be excite! In December it was confirmed that Mob Psycho 100 would be adapted into an anime series by animation studio, Bones. This is significant on two counts. Firstly, Mob Psycho 100 was created by One, the guy behind One Punch Man, which was probably the biggest hit of the 2015 anime schedule [at least in the West]. Secondly, Bones is the studio responsible for producing 2003’s superb adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist, meaning that the project is being handle by a studio that is both seasoned and competent.
Mob Psycho 100 follows the daily life of Kageyama Shigeo, a middle-schooler who is so bland and unassuming that he has been nicknamed Mob [which appears to be the Japanese equivalent for ‘John Doe’]. Appearances can be deceiving however, as Mob is far from the average student on account of his powerful ESP abilities. Mob was able to bend spoons with his mind from an early age, yet began to reject his abilities because of the negative attention they were bringing him. As such he has been doing his best to eschew his powers by regulating his emotions since early childhood, which is part of the reason that he appears so bland and emotionless. Despite this apparent lack of use, Mob’s powers have grown to apocalyptic proportions by time he has reached middle school, but of course that only becomes pertinent if and when his emotions are pushed over the edge and he loses control. Good thing then that Mob spends his days in middle school, where nothing bad ever happens!
Fans of One Punch Man will definitely want to watch out for this show, especially considering the premise of both shows sound so similar to one another. That is to say that One appears to enjoy writing protagonists who are aggressively mundane in superficial terms, yet are also capable of wielding the power of a god. Given the relative newness of the show’s announcement, this author would expect it to begin airing no sooner than mid-2016 – so look forward to some mid-year awesomeness!