News: Gotta Mod ‘Em All!

Final Fantasy News

A Woman in her 20s and a Man in his 30s have this week been arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police for threatening Ayumi Ito, the Japanese voice actress of Tifa Lockhart. Japan has not had their Final Fantasy VII voice actors replaced by Teen Wolves, and so Ito has been voicing Tifa ever since the Final Fantasy VII characters got voice actors back in 2005 for Last Order and Advent Children, including for related products like World of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts II, and is set to reprise her role for Final Fantasy VII Remake. The female arrested was threatening Ito with the apparent aim of preventing her from attending the preview screening of a television episode, which obviously has nothing to do with Final Fantasy VII. The male on the other hand was threatening her because he wanted to see her recast in an upcoming video game. The police did not specify which game this was in reference to, but Final Fantasy VII Remake is the only game that she is known to be currently working on, so do the math.

Did they threaten to smash them or break them?

Tifa can’t catch a break!

On a completely unrelated note, Nintendo Life is now reporting that the physical release of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII Remastered will be releasing on November 29. PlayAsia updated their listing for the game to reflect this a short time after. Looks like we only have about a week to wait for the first physical release of Final Fantasy VII in 21 years!

Trials of Mana News

In other news, Square Enix has this week released additional details for their upcoming remake of Seiken Densetsu 3, Trials of Mana. Seiken Densetsu 3 has always been an eminently replayable game, but some might say that it was replayable to the point of disrespecting the player’s time. The only way to fully experience a character’s story in Seiken Densetsu 3 is to select them as your main character. Aspects of a secondary party member’s story will still be told, but parts of their story will also be missing. Given that the game has six selectable main characters, yet the maximum party size is a three man team, this means that there are a good many permutations of available story content that can only be experienced through multiple playthroughs.

Mana games really don’t have the gameplay to warrant multiple playthroughs.

These changes are most welcome.

With this in mind, Square Enix has this week revealed that for the remake players will now have the option of playing through a party member’s opening story sequence upon recruiting them. It is still not clear whether Square Enix intends to make other such previously omitted party member story content available in a similar way, but it seems likely. SNES story sequences were comparatively very easy to put together, so the team no doubt felt they could afford to back the game with tons of completely missable story beats. Things are markedly different in the current year, where producing cutscenes is an expensive and time consuming prospect, and so the dev team wants players to experience the vast majority of their hard work. You can bet that Vincent and Yuffie (along with Vincent’s Lucretia side material) will no longer be skippable in the Final Fantasy VII Remake for this very reason.

One hopes that the Trials of Mana team is doing their best to ensure that players will only be required to finish (at absolute most) two playthroughs of the game in order to experience all of the game’s story content. If we get lucky then maybe Square Enix will allow us to have all six characters in our party so as to experience all the content in a single playthrough, with the player simply nominating three party members they wish to have active in combat. We are no longer children with near endless free time. Replaying lengthy RPGs multiple times is something we now reserve only for our very favourite games, so it would be really great if Square Enix respected our time by giving us the full story during our first time through the game.

Axed Pokemon Modded Back into Sword and Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield has been a swirling vortex of controversy ever since it was announced that hundreds of pokemon were being cut. The reason that Game Freak gave for doing this was because the company had to create completely new models and animations for the returning pokemon in Sword and Shield, and doing this for all existing pokemon was simply too onerous an undertaking.

... But modders are fixing it.

Game Freak lied…

Following the game’s release data miners quickly discovered that the pokemon found in Sword and Shield were using identical character models and animations to the previous generation of Pokémon games, albeit they were now reskinned in higher quality textures. This discovery led to the hashtag #GameFreakLied quickly blowing up on Twitter, as gamers voiced their displeasure at being lied to by the company. Given that the game is essentially using 3DS models and animations it is somewhat confusing as to why Game Freak did not just include them in the game, especially once the strength of player’s feelings on this matter because plainly evident. Series fans took it as a breach of faith with the ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’ tagline, so when it became apparent that this had occurred under false pretences people were left gobsmacked. More puzzling still are all the pokemon missing from Sword and Shield that were present for the Let’s Go! games.

To this end a modder by the name of SciresM has already taken an Omastar from Let’s Go and stuck it directly into Sword and Shield with very little modification. It’s animation has a little jank to it and its stats and move-list have not been properly adjusted, yet it is pretty remarkable to see one of the omitted pokemon fighting battles in the world of Sword and Shield less than a week after release! One is sure that Game Freak had their reasons for omitting a large portion of the Pokédex, but it is really not a good look for them when a lone hobbiest is able to achieve in days the thing they said was impossible.

6 comments on “News: Gotta Mod ‘Em All!”

  1. “One is sure that Game Freak had their reasons for omitting a large portion of the Pokédex, but it is really not a good look for them when a lone hobbiest is able to achieve in days the thing they said was impossible.”

    To be fair, this assumes that they would have followed the hobbyist’s approach. It is more likely that, as a Nintendo-aligned company, the process was far more arcane that any which a normal person could have followed to achieve precisely the same result.

    Normal Person: uses 3DS models, updates textures.

    Nintendo: rebuilds models from scratch, endlessly comparing them to 3DS models by dead reckoning, and by holding up a ruler to the screen, increasingly zooming in until alll aspects of the model are correct. Then another staff member independently repeats the process to ensure they get the same result. After this is done, the textures are redrawn by hand, using references to the original release of the specific PKMN, and then it is manually updated in line with subsequent re-releases of the PKMN in later generations, until arriving at the present generation. This process is also independently repeated. The texture is then incorrectly mapped onto the older 3DS model, which it does not fit. At this point, the entire process is cancelled and started again from scratch. Et cetera.

  2. Any chance they’ll be releasing remaining Pocket Monsters as DLC later on? I’ve also been thinking thay they’re working on a more “games-as-service” Pokémon game in the background, and felt that 2 1/2 years on the Switch needed one out.

  3. @Tanzenmatt: I believe this question came up and the response was ‘no we’re not doing that’ rather than the more usual ‘no plans at this time’ response, but anything could happen.

    I think they want to be freed of the burden of having to constantly update 800 pokemon with various forms everytime they improve or change their graphics engine. And they probably don’t want to invent so many new pokemon anyway, so they want to have future pkmn games have a handful of new creations, and then a modest SELECTION of older pkmn. In this way, pkmn that haven’t been included in a recent release can drive sales when they eventually do get rotated back in a future title–it’s like the disney vault, but for pkmn.

  4. WTF someone other than Caspius commented on my news post!!

    I think they will release an ultimate version of the game in about a year or so.

  5. I always read your posts, but can’t always think of how to comment on them. And now that you mention the ultimate version, it seems blatantly obvious how correct that is.

    They must have people fron the Dragon Quest side working on Trials Of Mana, because it looks fantastic and is adding features to make it even better! The system you’re describing reminds me of Octopath Traveler, and it worked well there.

  6. pokemon is the gift that keeps on giving having in mind all the drama born around it, the ones blaming Game Freak and the fans defending the game. Sometimes one just wants to see the world burn…..

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