Party Combat for Those as Can Afford It
Does anybody else remember when Final Fantasy XV was going to allow players to freely switch between party members, assuming full control of their actions? Pepperidge farm sure remembers, and so too does this author. Hell, Square Enix even released footage of the PS3 version of Final Fantasy Versus XIII which proved that this was an implemented feature at one point, yet this capability was supposedly scuttled in the game’s move across to the PS4. Readers might also remember last week’s news post which revealed that Square Enix had announced their Final Fantasy XV season pass, yet had not seen fit to detail precisely what any of this DLC would include. Lusipurr.com maintains that the reason for this was because Square Enix were still deliberating upon which parts of the main game’s content to cut out and repackage, even though Square Enix makes claims to the contrary:
“Unfortunately we can’t show you what any of the DLC looks like… The reason for this may surprise you (well, maybe…) The truth is that the DLC is not ready to show because while it has been designed, we will begin the development once the final game is in your hands.:
Regardless, the DLC featured in the Season Pass has this week been listed, and it would seem that the ability to play as all members of one’s party has returned to the game, albeit to Season Pass owners exclusively. Players can play as Ignis, Gladiolus, and Prompto by playing through Episode Ignis, Episode Gladiolus, and Episode Prompto respectively. That being said, it is unclear whether each party member will be available just for their respective episode, or whether playing through their episode will unlock them for use in the main campaign. Square Enix is already acutely aware of the immense fan demand for the entire party to be available for play throughout the main campaign, which probably means they have done just the opposite – because fuck the fans.
The Season Pass will also include a ‘Booster Pack’, which will allow players access to overpowered weapons which in Square Enix’s own words will “make battles more exciting” – because easier battles are always more exciting, right? Also available is something variably listed as either an ‘Expansion Pack’ or an ‘Online Expansion Pack’, which in Square Enix’s own words is an “expansion pack that lets you play a completely new Final Fantasy XV” – if Square Enix were capable of actually delivering on that promise then every single Final Fantasy fan would assuredly rush out to buy the Season Pass, because the Final Fantasy XV they have delivered to us is kind of shit. Really though, this piece of DLC sounds like it might allow for four player online co-op which Secret of Mana fans *spits* are sure to enjoy. Finally there is the Holiday Pack, which in Square Enix’s own words will allow players to “obtain a wonderful item pack that will make the game even flashier“. It is unclear whether Square Enix mean ‘holiday’ in the sense of summer vacation, or ‘holiday’ in the sense of a cuckold who is too afraid to say the word ‘Christmas’ – so expect to be battling with either candy cane swords or beach umbrellas come September.
Square Enix Plays the Strangled Cat Bagpipes
In further Final Fantasy XV news Florence and the Machine has just released an EP called Songs from Final Fantasy XV, and there is not just the one as we initially feared, but instead a full three warbling aural disasters. The music would actually be quite nice if one could simply switch off Florence in the options menu, but what are the chances of Square Enix letting that happen? After reading several comment sections one’s favourite description of the Florence and the Machine is ‘Foghorn and the Machine’, which is really rather apt given the poor quality of music that she produces. This author was not the biggest fan of Leona Lewis being dropped into Final Fantasy XIII‘s soundtrack in order to replace the Japanese theme song, but at least she was a good singer, and My Hands proved to be a pretty catchy song. Florence and the Machine is just a mess. Fuck Square Enix for doing this to us.
In a Square Enix press release director Hajime Tabata has subsequently stated:
“We are incredibly excited to have collaborated with Florence on both the cover of ‘Stand by Me’ and on the two original tracks inspired by the world and story of Final Fantasy XV. Music has always been a hugely important and much beloved part of the Final Fantasy series, and with these three tracks we really wanted to create a musical experience to live within the game, and that will transport listeners, whether new to the series or not, into the epic Final Fantasy XV Universe.”
It will certainly ‘transport listeners’ somewhere when Florence unfurls the brown note, but it most likely will not be to their happy place. What were Square Enix thinking? Were they even thinking? Is this about marketing? One has not seen bugger all in the way of largescale advertising for the game a mere six weeks away from its launch, but they do have an EP from a world renowned music autist, and a CGI movie full of Hollywood talent. Is the marketing strategy for Final Fantasy XV simply to name-drop famous people? Has Final Fantasy XV already blown through its marketing budget? Did they consult with Hideo Kojima on their marketing strategy? Can anything rekindle interest in this moribund carcass of a game? Only time will tell…
Metroid II Remake Released to Mark 30th Anniversary
This week the gaming world paused to observe the 30th anniversary of Metroid on August the 6th, a day that marks the game’s initial Japanese release on the Famicom Disk System. Stories were written, Youtube videos were uploaded, and gamers reminisced about thirty years of memories, and [contrary to SJW claims] thirty years of strong female protagonists in AAA games. Among the celebrations there was one conspicuous absence, namely Nintendo themselves. Not one of Nintendo’s official Twitter accounts spared Metroid the barest of mentions on its 30 year anniversary, not even in order to spruik awful looking 3DS spin-offs like the upcoming Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Rather it was left to Nintendo’s fans to mark Metroid‘s anniversary, and mark it they did with DoctorM64 releasing AM2R [Another Metroid II Remake] – the fruit of some eight years of development. The game not only provides a graphical, audio, and mechanical overhaul, but also adds new locations, boss encounters, and different AI attack patterns for an improved challenge, making it a bit of an ultimate Metroid II remix.
– Metroid Zero Mission style gameplay
– Map system
– Updated enemy AI
– New areas
– Challenging Metroid fights
– Stackable beam system
– Completely redrawn enemy and Metroid sprites
– Log system with non-intrusive narrative
– High quality soundtrack
Of course no sooner did DoctorM64 push the game out of the proverbial doors before Nintendo slapped any site hosting the file with a legal take down notice, yet by this point it was too late as the cat was already out of its bag, and this particular genie refused to climb back into his lamp. Torrents of the game are now widely available, and there it will stay. Forever.
It is actually on this point that there is a little confusion. When Nintendo initially issued the take down notices there was a lot of fist shaking from the Metroid community because Nintendo was fucking with their new toy. On the other hand, many people have subsequently pointed out that Nintendo waited until a couple of days after the game’s release to hit sites with the take down notices, which ensured that the game would be available forever via torrent. Moreover, despite issuing these take downs Nintendo did not slap DoctorM64 with a cease and desist letter, meaning that at present he is still free to work on game patches for AM2R.
Basically the argument goes that Nintendo have done the bare minimum required to enforce their intellectual property rights, while at the same time allowing Metroid fans to have their shiny new toy. Literally the only argument that one could mount to the contrary is that it is a little difficult to imagine Nintendo acting so altruistically with one of their IPs, and that we should not attribute to altruism what can be chalked up to mere incompetence. That being said, in absence of any kind of concrete proof, perhaps we should cut Nintendo a little slack. Just this one time.
[PSA]: Final Fantasy XV Rumoured to be Delayed
Gamenesia is reporting that a source within Gamestop has informed them that Final Fantasy XV has been delayed until November 29. Apparently shortly after receiving promotional materials, employees received additional instructions to cover up the September 30 release date with a sticker reading November 29, along with further stipulations that these materials were not to be put up for display until August 14 so that Square Enix has time to issue a press release. This information seems kind of sketchy and there are conflicting claims, so take this information with a pinch of SJW salt [up to five times more thirst-inducing than Zestria].
On a personal note, this author would honestly prefer that the game be delayed to mid-2017, as two additional months is simply not enough time to fix everything that is wrong with it.
[UPDATED, 15 AUGUST: Amazon today confirmed a Final Fantasy XV release date change to 29 November. -Lusi]