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.
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.
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.
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.