Over the years, Square Enix has put out quite a few tech demo’s. Whether it was showing off what Final Fantasy XI could look like on Xbox 360 under the codename Rapture, showing off what Final Fantasy VII would look like on PS3, or showing off the tech for a game that’s actually coming out, Square Enix has a history of showing off their tech. Well, they’re at it again. Square Enix shown off a new tech demo at Microsoft’s 2015 Build conference and boy was it a jaw dropper. The tech demo, titled Witch Chapter 0 [cry], was used to show off what DirectX 12 could achieve. Let me tell you, this engine is pushing visuals that are easily on par with what you see in movies.
For the past few years when you think of E3, you have a handful of conferences. One for each of the console companies, one for Electronic Arts, and one for Ubisoft. This appears to be changing, however, with Nintendo bowing out of the traditional conference and going digital two years in a row. Earlier this year, Bethesda announced that they’d be a holding conference for the first time. Today, Square Enix has announced that they, too, would be holding a conference.
The conference will be held in downtown LA on Tuesday, June 16th at 9AM PDT/ 5PM BST/ 1AM JST. You can view it at Square Enix’s Twitch and Youtube channels. This conference will be before E3 officially starts so make sure to be ready nice and early.
Japanese RPG’s seem to be making a big comeback recently and this trend only continues. The most recent Famitsu magazine revealed Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness is in the works for Playstation 4 and Playstation 3. Here’s a little from the plot:
Do the depths of space forbid peace for mankind—
Centuries after leaving Earth, after a multitude of trials, with the creation and spread of the ‘Galactic Federation’, humanity was on the verge of unified order and peace.
But the embers of conflict have begun to burn again.
Over 6,000 light years from Earth, on the unsettled planet, ‘Faicreed.’
Just as so many times before, the waves of history begin from a remote planet.
The game is developed by Tri-Ace, Akira “Akiman” Yasuda is doing character design, Shuichi Kobayashi is the producer, Hiroshi Ogawa is the director, and the lead programmer is Yoshiharu Gotanda. No release date or time frame has been given as to when we can expect it however Square Enix did open a teaser site for those wanting to follow it closely.
In a recent interview with Nikkei Trendy, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda gave a hint of that info will becoming for another console JRPG this year.
In 2015, I believe we will offer a vast number of high-end games in both the domestic market and overseas. Now that we’ve already announced Final Fantasy XV, we will also reveal information on [another] JRPG. I believe we have a bit of a surprise in store for this year.
Whether or not this is a game that has already been announced or something completely different, who knows. What we do know though is we can definitely expect some big Square Enix news coming this year. Square Enix just released Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and has more games on the way in the near future.
If you’re one of the many people still playing Final Fantasy XI on consoles you’ve got about a year left to experience the game. Square Enix has announced that they will be bringing the console versions to a conclusion in March of 2016.
The game was originally released for consoles in 2002 and has been running and had an active player base for 13 years. The company announced that they’ll be releasing the game’s final mission, called Rhapsodies of Vana’diel, in May. It is designed to tie the whole game’s history together and will see the return of many major characters from the past. It will be split into three parts with the first part in May. The second and third parts will be released in August and November respectively.
Square Enix is incredibly proud of the longevity of the game and said, “”We plan for this to be a grand conclusion to the Final Fantasy series’ first MMORPG, and indeed, the first console MMORPG, in a way that will be recorded in the annals of the genre’s history.”
Final Fantasy XI isn’t completely dead though. The game will continue to run on PC and Square Enix is working with Nexon Korea to bring the game to mobile phones. That version of the game will launch in 2016 for Japan, Korea, North America and parts of Europe.
If you’re still looking for a Final Fantasy RPG you can take a look at Final Fantasy XIV.
Square Enix came out with a new survey today to help them get a better understanding of their consumers. They asked a variety of different questions. There were questions about the social networks you use, the TV networks you watch, the game genres you enjoy, etc.
What struck me as weird though was the area where they asked about the platforms you game on. They included Other Mobile, they included Facebook, and they even included last gen systems (minus PSP) but they excluded Vita, Wii U, and 3DS. What’s even crazier is Bravely Default, a game that’s exclusive to 3DS, is included in a different part of the survey. While I don’t like seeing it, I can understand the exclusion of Wii U and even Vita as their sales and support aren’t the greatest in North America and Europe but 3DS too? That seems like a bit of an oversight.
In the survey they also asked what type of games you’d like to see in the future. If you’re looking for a the return, localization, or port of a favorite Square Enix series, this is the chance. Let your voice be heard!
Dragon Quest Heroes launced in Japan last week and now Square Enix is showing off some more of the character art for the game. Specifically the updated looks to some familiar faces as well as some of the new characters you’ll meet in the Dragon Quest and Dynasty Warriors mash-up. Much like in Hyrule Warriors the returning characters are getting a bit of a make-over to fit in with the new art style. The changes made to the characters outfits are mostly subtle. You’ll see some additional detail or a button or two that have been added. Outside of that they look nearly identical to the way they did in their previous outings, only in much higher resolution. These character models are incredible and I think the artwork of Mr. Toriyama comes across really well. Check all of the out after the break.
And those wacky folks at Square Enix have gotten creative with it too. The first entry into the Kingdom Hearts franchise for the 3DS will be called Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
I have no idea what that actually means, but according to a Square Enix representative the 3D affect will emphasize action and speed along with a greater sense of height and distance . You’ll be switching time between two of the franchises main characters, Riku and Sora.
You can bet I’ll be bringing you more information on this title as I really like the Kingdom Hearts franchise.
Mindjack is an upcoming third person shooter developed by feelplus. The game takes place in the near future with governments falling around the world and corrupt organizations are on the rise. The developers have done work previously on games like Blue Dragon Plus, Lost Odyssey, and they’re responsible for the port of No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise on the 360 and PS3. They’ve passed along some screenshots and the box art for the game and we’ve set up an interview with the developers that will appear on the site later in the month.
Space Invaders was one of those titles that helped to define gaming in the late 70’s. There have been numerous attempts to re-invent the franchise since that time. Some of them, like Space Invaders Extreme, were successful. Some, like Space Invaders Get Even, were less than successful. Space Invaders: Infinity Gene is the latest attempt to update the franchise for a modern generation of gamers. Does this game evolve properly or will survival of the fittest make this another casualty of evolution?
Space Invaders Evolved
Infinity Gene takes the simple graphics from the 70’s and gives them a modern overhaul while still keeping them very simple. The game begins exactly as it looked on the Atari 2600, but after a few seconds of game play, accompanied with a quote from Charles Darwin, the game takes on a black and white vector look. As you progress further in the game you’ll begin seeing a few simple colors added. Blue 3D vector lines dominate the playfield and some levels takes on different background colors. This simple look is very effective, but if you’re prone to seizures you might want to skip this game because it’s very flashy.
Lots of Game Modes and Upgrades
As you move further into the game’s campaign you’ll begin unlocking new weapons that also bring about unique upgrades to your ship. You’ll get weapons that move around the field towards the closest enemy, a spread weapon that will take up most of the screen, gravity weapons that upon explosion suck in any enemy within a certain radius around it, and more. These weapons provide completely unique game play styles and understanding the proper weapon for the situation will be key to success.
There are also new modes of play. Bonus Stages and Challenge Stages provide even more difficulty modes of play than the main game. For people who have large libraries of music there is also a mode that uses playlists on your Xbox 360 and creates custom stages based on that music. There’s plenty of reason to keep coming back for more Space Invaders once you’ve beaten the campaign.
There’s not a lot to talk about in a game like this. Space Invaders has been around for more than 30 years and everyone knows the game. If you’ve been playing the franchise for that long it’s a very welcome change and a solid addition to the franchise. If you’re somehow new to the Space Invaders franchise it’s a great shooter that will take you to an era of gaming you’ve never seen before. It might have seemed like an impossible task to update a game that was so simple and make it fresh, but Taito did just that with this game. There’s no reason you shouldn’t own a game like this.
Final Score: 5/5 Excellent
Review copy of the game was given to us by the publisher. Played through the campaign in it’s entirety twice. Played a dozen Bonus and Challenge Levels Total Play Time: 8.5 hours