News: Final Fantasy XVI Hits the Final Stretch

Basic Development on Final Fantasy XVI Already Complete

Confound it! This humble author was only making light of Final Fantasy XVI‘s timeliness the other week! When Jason Schreier made the claim that the release of Final Fantasy XVI would be sooner than anybody expected, he did so on the sole basis that he knew that the game had already been in development for four years – which is an uncompelling line of argumentation to anyone who is familiar with Final Fantasy development cycles. One is unsure whether he made this dubious justification to cover for an actual source who he was unable to name, or whether Schreier simply got lucky with his guess, but it is beginning to look like he was right, and Final Fantasy XVI will release before any of us thought it would.

Sigh...
We might be facing down this beast sooner than any of us thought.

According to a Square Enix job listing basic development of Final Fantasy XVI and scenario writing have already been completed, and the company is now hiring for positions in order to implement cutscenes, boss fights, and player actions (among other things). After that the team will have to polish what looks to still be a fairly rough game, and get it working well on PS5, so the release is not exactly immanent. Still, it is likely closer than we had previously guessed, as they appear to be on the home stretch of development. It is not unthinkable that we could see the game releasing a year from now, though a more realistic estimate would probably be about eighteen months.

We have already completed basic development and scenario production, and are continuing to create large-scale resources and build boss battles while expanding our various development tools. Also, most of our staff are carrying out their work remotely.

So, is this good news? From Square Enix’s perspective the answer is probably ‘yes’, as the project looks to have been relatively smooth sailing. That being said, from the perspective of someone who did not love what they saw in the announcement trailer the answer is more of a ‘no’, as it seems quite unlikely that the game will change in any substantial way between now and release.

DLC Detailed for Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster

It is amazing how one simple change can make one truly excited for a game. The original release of Nocturne was quite uncompromising when it came to its demands of the player’s time. Dungeons were long and hard, while savepoints were few and far between, so when life (or need for sleep) intervened it became quite inconvenient. The addition of a quick-save function is a genuine game changer for the title. One supposes that Atlus could not very well release the game onto a handheld without sorting out the game save situation. A number of extra features have been detailed this week ahead of the game’s October 29 release in Japan, most of which will come in the form of paid DLC.

We won't be seeing the Demi-fiend in HD until next year. :(
Atlus have detailed their planned DLC for the HD port of Nocturne.

One piece of DLC which will be available free of charge to gamers is the ‘Merciful” difficulty setting. Nocturne can be notoriously hard in parts, so this option might not be altogether amiss. That said, one could make the argument that the difficulty is the entire point of the game – and if the easy difficulty could be said to be questionable, then some of the other DLC on offer appear to be downright cheating. ‘Little Master’s Mercy’ (350 Yen) is a dungeon where the player is able to grind for ‘heavy grimoires’ and ‘light grimoires’ – with the former granting a full level up, and six of the latter doing the same. Similarly, ‘Master’s Expectations’ (350 Yen) is a dungeon where players can grind for items which can be sold at shops for a decent bit of currency. One feels that this kind of DLC should probably come with a warning, as unwitting players will be able to absolutely break the game with this. That said, the EXP items may be of some legitimate use in raising demon levels for the purpose of fusion.

Not all DLC has such a baring on the gameplay though, as there is also a fair amount of it aimed at aesthetic improvements. The first is the ‘Maniax Pack’ (980 Yen), which swaps out Raidou Kuzunoha for Dante from Devil May Cry. One says aesthetic improvement here, because, although the character of Raidou has had some minor tweaks to his moveset, both characters are largely the same. Put another way, Raidou is the Ken to Dante’s Ryu. One is kind of ambivalent about this news, as one’s chief concern about this HD port was that the player would not have access to Dante due to licensing issues, so the fact that we will have access to him is great, yet having to pay approximately $10 for content that came with the original release of the game seems kind of offputting. That said, this cost may be kind of justified in the eyes of Atlus, as they are probably having to pay a licensing fee to Capcom for his use. Other than Dante, the remaining aesthetic DLC for the game consists of four BGM packs which determine the music that plays when on the overworld map and during battles. The music packs are for Shin Megami Tensei, Shin Megami Tensei II, Shin Megami Tensei IV, and Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse – so no funky Persona tunes. This author is kind of bummed that we will have to wait until next year to play the game.

Bravely Default II News Coming Soon

Somebody at Square Enix clearly listens to the podcast. Either that, or they have our offices bugged. Just the other night on the podcast Caspius was loudly bemoaning the fact that Square Enix had gone radio silent on Bravely Default II, and was fretting that we were facing down the prospect of having to postpone our end of year playthrough of the game. Mere hours after this the official Bravely Default II Twitter account tweeted out a piece of artwork celebrating the series’ eighth anniversary, and telling fans to please be expecting information regarding the game to drop imminently:

Information on Bravely Default II will be released soon, so please check it out.

We could still see Bravely Default II before the end of the year.
We know you’re listening, Squeenex! Hey, how about not ruining Final Fantasy XVI?!

This is not an iron clad guarantee that we will be getting the game before the end of the year, but neither is it the sort of tweet that one posts when they are about to deliver bad news. Bad news is best delivered without a pre-announcement to get people’s hopes up. Regardless, some communication is certainly a hell of a lot more heartening than no communication. If a release date announcement is made within the next week, then we could still potentially see a release for Bravely Default II before the end of the year, and a Christmas playthough could still be on the menu – this is cutting things incredibly close though.

10 comments

  1. GREAT news about Bravely Default. We asked Square Enix and they delivered with expedition!

  2. Every time theres no Ogre Battle news its a fail. They are almost as bad as EA. Every game I love is dead. Command and Conquer, Advance Wars, Ultima series, Ogre Battle/Tactics Ogre, Wing Commander.

  3. I’m perfectly happy with Ultima being dead. There was a series that overstayed its welcome. The last few Ultima games were *terrible*!

  4. 8 and 9,yes I agree. 1-3 being the template for RPGs for years. I always imagine if was done nowdays it would be like modern Elder Scrolls. I know Shroud of the Avatar was supposed to be quasi Ultima but it never got out the door. I got history with 3 it was my first. And you never forget your first.

  5. The FFXVI also did very little for me, but mostly because I was shocked at how boring the art style looked. That being said, very little was truly shown and because it’s not a project that’s majorly changed identities the way that XV did (and had a distinct lack of personality to show for it), I’m content with reserving pre-judgment until more is shown off.

    But even then, who knows? I still think that Episode Duscae is a far better game than FFXV proper, so nothing will speak truly except the game itself.

  6. *The FFXVI announcement trailer

    But while I’m here, my biggest hopes for the game is that it’s distinct. I’m somebody who overall enjoyed FFXV more than most, but I’ll still take almost every other Final Fantasy over it because it left the smallest impression on me. I might truly hate FFVIII, but it *feels* like a Final Fantasy. It feels like it was trying to be something and say something and it definitely has a distinct personality. No other game feels like that game to play. I had a good time with XV, but I rarely ever think about it and when I do, I’m only meant with formless cloudy memories of my time with it. There are certainly no emotions attached.

    And if I thought I was just losing the ability to feel things from video games, both VII Remake and Origami King proved me wrong this year. Both those distinct and inspired titles have flared up into my senses at unexpected moments nonstop since completing them.

  7. The FFXVI also did very little for me, but mostly because I was shocked at how boring the art style looked.

    So the official FFXVI website has just been launched:

    https://na.finalfantasyxvi.com/

    Final Fantasy always has a key artistic render which tends to stick pretty closely to the colour scheme they are going for with the game. The key artistic render for XVI (viewable on the official site) is heavily dominated by shades of grey and brown. People were already sick of grey-brown games by the time that the PS4 launched, but going into the launch of PS5 and Series X having a grey-brown game just seems comical. Especially for a series that has previously been noted for its colourful visuals.

    Colour use in XV was a little dull, but I think this will be much worse.

    XVI feels like it is trying way too hard to be Witcher. I don’t want mainline FF to be grimdark.

  8. ^ I should add that the grey-brown key art that Square Enix are using is actually quite visually striking – but I can’t imagine that it will be anywhere near as visually pleasing when used for a game as a whole.

  9. I at least don’t fear drowning in taking-itself-too-seriously testosterone like with Witcher (no moral objection to that, mind you, just a shallow overdrawn well, no matter how meticulously expressed). My optimism currently lies in the fact that even with the website, we’ve still seen little enough to practically know nothing about what the game will look and feel like to play. Of course, that fact causes wariness too, but that’s half the fun of these sorts of conversations!

    Thanks for your response, knowledge, and thoughts ^^

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