News: Out of Season April Fools

Final Fantasy News Round-Up

There has been a lot of Final Fantasy news this week, and very little of it has been good – or at least not unless you are a journalist. Journalists must be positively chuffed however, as Yoshi P has this week confirmed that Final Fantasy XVI will have a journalist mode, which will allow journalists to bypass the bothersome gameplay, and just focus on the game’s story for their very important reviews. When is the last time that Square Enix did something to accommodate their actual audience?

This probably means that the VII Remake team are done working on PS4 hardware.
Yuffie is for PS5 owners only.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is getting a PS5 update called Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade on June 10. This update will include an additional episode starring a playable Yuffie as well as the addition of a difficulty setting which allows classic mode to be played with a normal difficulty level – this is of course on top of the visual enhancements that one would expect. The biggest change to the visual make-up of the game seems to be the inclusion of drastically higher resolution sky-boxes, along with the addition of many more environmental light sources.

TDT’s Seb thinks that this lighting makes use of the PS5’s ray tracing capabilities, however this author suspects that Square Enix are far too married to the fine grain control afforded by the use of pre-baked lighting to give up that control to an automated realistic lighting model. Ray traced lighting looks amazing in terms of how realistic it can make game environments look, yet a game with fantastical visuals like Final Fantasy VII Remake might not necessarily benefit from having a more realistic looking lighting model.

This upgrade will be free to owners of the PS4 version of Final Fantasy VII Remake, but it will only be available to them on the PS5. This is a pretty solid indication that the PS4 will not be seeing any further instalments in the Final Fantasy VII Remake franchise.

Finally, with this Final Fantasy VII Remake update Tetsuya Nomura will be reviving the Dirge of Cerberus deep lore! Dirge of Cerberus villain Weiss, along with his Deep Ground soldiers, will now be part of your Final Fantasy VII experience, so look forward to that!

Remember when we actually wanted a Final Fantasy VII Remake?
Dirge of Cerberus is getting all up in your Final Fantasy VII!

I personally am curious as to how a battle would play out for the first time with Cloud versus Weiss. In fact, I even asked the team to add Weiss as a secret boss ever since the PS4 version.

As for who else will appear aside from Weiss, well, please wait for more info to find out.

Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis will be a shitty episodic mobile phone game, which features self-contained scenarios from across Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children, Before Crisis, Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, and First Soldier – and these can be experienced in any order, because nothing matters. It is very important for Square Enix to retell the story of Dirge of Cerberus now that it forms an integral part of Final Fantasy VII’s backstory. This digital abortion will be coming in 2022, and apparently it is intended as something of a gift to longtime series fans who prefer command-based battle systems!

No one asked for this.
April Fools!

Finally, Nomura is asked about Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis and what went into the decision to remake the entire Final Fantasy VII series as a mobile game and what stories it will cover. Nomura describes that Ever Crisis is designed to be an answer for the players who enjoy the command-style RPG system. He also says that Ever Crisis will span across several Final Fantasy VII titles, which will be released monthly as chapters, and can be played in any order. This does, in fact, include The First Soldier as well in the lineup of stories, to which Nomura teased a little bit about

Who says Square Enix never does anything to accommodate their actual audience?!

We will never stop being tired of being right.
But why tho?

Finally and hilariously, it would seem that another TDT prediction is coming true, only this prediction was, at least in part, tongue in cheek. Akademician said that Square Enix would release a Final Fantasy battle royale several years too late to capitalise on the fad, and lo and behold we have Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier – a battle royale that is also a shitty smartphone game! The game will feature third person shooting and melee, and both of these things are sure to perform flawlessly on smartphone touch screens. The First Soldier will release some time in 2021.

Pokemon News Round-Up

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Pokemon, and as such big plans are afoot. This week’s Pokemon presentation started with a really neat montage of the brand’s history so far. Next up New Pokemon Snap still looks beautiful and is still coming out on April 30. All this is besides the point however, as the meat and potatoes of the presentation was new game announcements.

Imitanis has repeatedly brought us rumour stories that Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were receiving remakes on the Switch, and it would seem that he was right. These games are being remade as Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for the Nintendo Switch. Anyone looking for a comprehensive remake in the style of Sword & Shield will be disappointed, as the original DS game’s 2D graphics have been very faithfully recreated in high definition 3D, but the presentation of the game has not really been elevated beyond this. This may not be the best we could hope for, but it will still probably be the best way to play these games in the current year, and at least the games are not being remade in such a way as to pervert and destroy the core original experience of these titles. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will release in late 2021.

It looks like a good way to play the game.
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl are getting some fairly safe remakes.

Finally, the biggest announcement of the presentation: Pokemon Legends: Arceus, so called because it will feature the mythical pokemon Arceus. The game will serve as a Pokemon prequel, with the player creating the region’s very first Pokédex. Starting pokemon will be Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott. The thing that really sets Legends: Arceus apart is that it is being developed as an open world game. The trailer also describes the game as being an action RPG, yet the game footage clearly shows the use of command-based combat, so claims of it being action-based seem to be based on various action elements such as manually throwing pokeballs in order to capture pokemon.

Legends: Arceus appears to have been developed as a response to the complaints of the people that hated Sword & Shield (two of the most popular games in the series), and predictably these people greeted the announcement of Legends: Arceus with much celebration and merriment. That being said, that is no reason to not be excited for the game, as it does not seem that that the developers have thrown the baby out with the bath water. The game will release in early 2022.

6 comments

  1. “This upgrade will be free to owners of the PS4 version of Final Fantasy VII Remake, but it will only be available to them on the PS5. This is a pretty solid indication that the PS4 will not be seeing any further instalments in the Final Fantasy VII Remake franchise.”

    I own a PS4 version of the game. If I understand this correctly, that means I can pop my PS4 disc into my PS5 (when I buy one), and I will have access to the upgraded visuals and extra content, Yuffie inclusive, right?

    If so, why would anyone shell out $70 for the PS5-specific version, when the PS4 version goes for $30?

  2. “Caspius said that Square Enix would release a Final Fantasy battle royale several years too late to capitalise on the fad, and lo and behold we have Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier – a battle royale that is also a shitty smartphone game!”

    Infuriatingly, exasperatingly, exhaustingly right again.

  3. I really like the concept of Arceus, but I’m disappointed that the art style doesn’t reflect the setting better or differentiate itself from Sword & Shield more. But visuals aren’t particularly important to me in Pokemon, so it’s a minor gripe.

    I’m glad I stopped my Pearl replay a few weeks ago. Unlike my partner, I really like the look of the remakes but – like Arceus – I’d be excited for it even if I didn’t.

  4. @Ethan – I think the visual style of the locations might not necessarily be representative of the game as a whole – as what we are seeing is likely the first (and possibly up to this point the only) location developed for the game, and at one point it likely served as a proof of concept vertical slice, so because of this it likely made a lot of sense to the devs to create an environment similar to the ones that they were already familiar with. I imagine that the end product will have more varied locations than what we have seen.

    Then again, if you were expecting a completely new take on the Pokemon art style then I can see how you would be disappointed – but then it does not seem sensible to expect such a radical change form Game Freak, given how resistant they are to such things. The adoption of an open world has likely already stretched their comfort zone to breaking point.

    All that being said, I do get where you’re coming from. I thought the tropical setting in Sun and Moon was lovely, and then the English countryside setting of Sword and Shield looked a little generic by comparison – and then Arceus (so far) does not look like a radical departure from that.

  5. @SN – You’re right, I think it’s fair to expect the locales will be more varied than Sword & Shield and that’s something to take into consideration.

    And you’re right again, Megan watched it before I did and told me about the concept so my imagination immediately went wild and conjured more of a woodblock print art style which, as you point out, isn’t sensible to expect from Game Freak.

    I switched to replaying X and Y after I cut my Pearl replay short and although the setting is also a little generic in that game, it does a wonderful job of using angles and composition to create really striking scenes and it made me miss when Pokemon games would impress me visually.

  6. If I remember correctly X and Y didn’t have free camera controls, so the game required the use of carefully selected camera angles. By contrast Arceus looks to use a player controlled camera, so you’re not really going to get fancy camera angles there. I think Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl look to be a bit of a missed opportunity in this respect tho.

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