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.
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.
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 Akademician 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.
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.