News: Final Fantasy VII Playable Demo?

Latest Final Fantasy VII Rumours

This latest rumour can probably be filed under big if true, but probably not. A couple of the points listed here echo similar claims made in a previous alleged leak, but that does not necessarily mean anything, given that the author of this alleged leak may have simply been aware of the previous one. That said, we are mere weeks out from E3 where Final Fantasy VII is set to play a major role, and so if leaks were to come out, then this would be the time for it. Besides, TDT is very nearly almost a Final Fantasy VII fan site, so we are likely to take a look at any rumours on the game, no matter how spurious. The leak claims to have sourced these rumours from the El Segundo Square Enix branch, who are allegedly assisting with the game’s localisation.

... Just like Final Fantasy XV.

Final Fantasy VII will allegedly be an open world vehicle-heavy road trip…

So right off the bat let us focus on the bad. If these leaks are legit then it means we can say goodbye to any hope we may have held for the game containing a traditional world map. The leaks are alleging that, like Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy VII will be an open world game. Because of this the game will feature multiple modes of transport, also just like Final Fantasy XV. It looks like Noctus’ father will live on as a truck in Final Fantasy VII!

Anyone who has seen the most recent Final Fantasy VII trailer will have noticed what looks like a tiny segmented ATB meter, which looks quite a bit like a miniturised version of the ATB bar seen in Final Fantasy XIII. Apparently the number of these ATB segments will increase as the game goes along. Traditional Final Fantasy VII Limit Breaks such as ‘Braver’ can be seen in the trailer, mapped to the triangle button as heavy attacks. Allegedly, using these triangle button heavy attacks will not consume an ATB segment, and in fact the game also features proper Limit Breaks which are accessed in some other way, meaning that it seems like it will be a crapshoot whether original Limit Breaks will end up as heavy combo finishers or legit Limit Breaks triggered through the command menu. Players will change the heavy finisher available to them by equipping different weapons.

While heavy finishers will not consume an ATB segment, use of magic allegedly will. Apparently use of magic will consume both an ATB segment along with MP. Hopefully this emphasis on ATB usage means that combat will slow down when the command menu is open, so that players can deliberate over their magic usage, like in the original game. Regular attacks cause chip damage, while the heavy finishers will be the main source of damage.

There are a number of changes in store for Final Fantasy VII (allegedly). Cid will not smoke in the game, though apparently there will still be some environmental evidence of him being a smoker. They have also drastically toned down Cid’s anger towards Sherra, so anyone expecting him to cuss her out will be sorely disappointed. The game will feature a couple of Red XIII clones, Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV, which the player must defeat before Red XIII will join their party (sounds a little bit iffy). And the Shinra HQ now features fewer explorable floors, but there will apparently be more things to do on each floor.

Some very brief details include materia will be visible in a character’s weapons when in the field (though accessories will not be visible). The Honey Bee Inn will now be accessed by paying an entry fee, rather than obtaining a membership card. The squatting mini-game and cross dressing sequence will be in the game. The game will feature traditional summons which play out as a cutscene, rather than having summons fight alongside the party like in Final Fantasy XII. Cait Sith will have an up close fighting style, which seems odd given that the original game had him attack by shouting into a megaphone (ahoy). Vincent and Yuffie are now compulsory party members, and Yuffie will join the party automatically if the player has not recruited her before Rocket Town. Finally, the game will feature one new summon, Amarok, a giant wolf which will blind enemies along with causing damage. This seems quite apt, given that a wolf insignia has been retroactively associated with Cloud following Advent Children.

This leak claims that Final Fantasy VII will have a demo on the floor of E3, and once the expo ends PS Plus subscribers will be able to download and play this demo for themselves. It also claims that Final Fantasy VII will release as two $60 games, rather than the three installments that we have been expecting, with the first game finishing at the death of Aeris. It makes a lot of sense from a planning perspective to split the games there, since it is a nice even split of content that would not require too much additional filler content in order for both games to hit a decent length. Limiting themselves to a mere two games seems uncharacteristic of Square Enix though, since they always opt to milk everything to death. Not long to go until E3, so we will know if this leak pans out soon enough.

World Health Organisation Declares Gaming an Illness

People may accuse this headline of being clickbait, but one would argue that it is the literal truth based on the vaguery of the terminology used to classify ‘gaming disorder’. Even if one were to, for the moment, buy into the highly dubious need to create a discreet mental illness category for the treatment of gaming addiction, it is still impossible to view this designation as anything other than harmful, given that it can be made to fit any gamer who plays vidya for extended sessions.

It's like we've wound back the clock to the attitudes of the early 90s, which might not actually be a bad thing.

Gaming has now been classified as deviant behaviour.

A pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by:

-Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);
-Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and
-Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

‘Characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurring gaming behavior’

The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behavior and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

Sooooo… If you have been a gamer for over twelve months, you prioritise gaming over other personal interests, and your gaming is either continuous or episodic, then congratulations, you have ‘gaming disorder’ – otherwise known as being a gamer. This is fucking toxic. If a parent does not like their child gaming, then they can now just shop around for a doctor willing to give them the diagnosis they are looking for, and proceed to gaslight them into believing they have a mental disorder. A shrill and disapproving spouse can likely do the same.

This is not to say that that what was attempted here is completely baseless. Gaming addicts, particularly from China and South Korea, have been known to play for such extended periods of time as to be deleterious to their health, sometimes resulting in death. We also know that some companies actually use quack psychologists in order to make their games more addictive through the periodic positive reinforcement provided by in-game rewards.

That being said, one would argue that the distinction of ‘gaming disorder’ (no matter how well constructed) is unnecessary and unhelpful, as excessive gaming is the symptom rather than the problem. The problem is that some individuals are primed to become mentally addicted to various types of reward stimuli (artificial or otherwise) manufactured by various forms of entertainment. There really is very little difference between addiction to gaming, gambling, social media etc, and so the only real important thing here is that psychologists need to possess enough knowledge about gaming in order to effectively treat a patient’s mental addiction. A distinct category for ‘gaming disorder’ is unneeded though. Within the field of addiction only one division is needed within the topic to separate ‘mental addiction’ from ‘chemical addiction’. Treating an addiction to gaming should differ very little from treating an addiction to social media.

It seems that Sony jumped at the opportunity to use the pretext of ‘gaming disorder’ as an oblique justification for their policy of arbitrarily censoring Japanese games. CEO Kenichiro Yoshida stated:

We need to take it seriously and adopt countermeasures. […] We’ve already implemented a ratings system (to restrict players by age) and have been taking measures based on our own standards.

Not a good time to be a Playstation fan…

Ninth Console Generation To Be Caught Up in a Trade War

… And being a Playstation fan may be about to get a whole lot worse, or at least more expensive. The ninth console generation is about to begin in earnest within the next eighteen months or so, and buying into a new console generation is never cheap at the best of times. Right now Sony and Microsoft can ill afford any additional cost inputs into their next generation machines, but they may have no choice in the matter as it looks like console manufacture is about to be dragged into the trade war between America and China.

The people's tariff!

Console manufacture for the glory of China!

China is not on the level as a trade partner. Chinese currency manipulation distorts trade relations in a very negative direction for Western countries attempting to do business with them, especially since Western business interests tend to treat China as though they were a legit market economy, when really they are not. This has resulted in quite a severe trade deficit for America in relation to China, and it is only set to become worse as China grows in power. This has led to the Trump administration to move to re-establish trade barriers between the two countries in order to protect American industry, and unfortunately it looks like this will result in substantial tariffs slapped on a range of products being shipped from China to America.

Right now the Trump administration is planning to place a 25% tariff on a wide range of goods coming from China, including many electrical goods and components.

Some of these include “Radio remote control apparatus for video game consoles,” “infrared video game controllers,” “coin- or token-operated games for arcade, table or parlor,” other game machines that do not utilize coins or tokens, any other “articles nesoi” (Not Elsewhere Specified Or Indicated) needed to run an arcade including spare parts and of course “Video game consoles and machines.” In addition televisions, headphones and microphones are included.

China has used currency manipulation in order to turn itself into a manufacturing powerhouse, as no other country with the capacities and capabilities of China can compete due to the cost of labour and currency conversion. This has resulted in pretty much all electronics manufacturers, particularly console manufacturers, becoming incredibly exposed to any cost fluctuations in their dealings with China, and indeed most consoles tend to be manufactured in one of Foxconn’s Chinese operations.

The good news is that the proposed tariffs will in the fullness of time make non-Chinese manufacturing industries more competitive. The bad news is that more expensive Chinese imports may hurt console manufacturer’s ability to offer their consoles at a palatable price. That being said, the console manufacturers may well be assembling and stockpiling their next generation consoles right now, so possibly it may not even hurt their launch price. It will almost certainly hurt their ability to implement future price cuts though.

1 comment on “News: Final Fantasy VII Playable Demo?”

  1. “It looks like Noctus’ father will live on as a truck in Final Fantasy VII!”
    I KNEW IT! Open world vehicle bullshit! They just can’t let go of Failure Fantasy XV!

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