Yesterday I talked about some of the things that I think should stay the same in the upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII. While the game was groundbreaking in 1997, quickly earning a status that is sustained to this day by fans, there are some aspects of the game that have not aged very well at all. On top of that there have been changes to the fiction surrounding Final Fantasy VII, thanks to the ancillary things, like the other games and movie. So simply slapping a new coat of paint on the game and calling it a day is clearly not the answer. What should be hacked out or changed?
First thing that needs to be changed is the writing. The script for Final Fantasy VII was a damn mess. Not that translations for any games were amazing at that time, however, FFVII‘s issues are all the more glaring, probably due to the sheer size of the game. Using the original script as maybe a bad first draft, more passes are needed on the game’s writing, it needs to be improved in a few ways. Everything needs to flow better, errors need to be fixed, and one very uncomfortable character needs to be completely reworked. Continue Reading
So I am “playing” two games. Really at the moment it is probably closer to one, but I still sign on to the other each day to quickly do something for when I do dive back in. They share some similarities, with one of them being a very odd quirk. First, both are Japanese RPG’s. Both are generally well received, and took a very long time to reach American shores. They are also both ports, not the original versions of the game. Those games, are probably pretty obvious by now. For the most part, I am enjoying both Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. Xenoblade seems to be the game I am throwing the most time into right now. I just keep on signing onto Type-0 in order to refresh the “Secret Training” function where one character gains XP for up to 24 hours while not playing the game. Each day, another character gains about 3-4 levels, which will no doubt trivialize the hell out of the game pretty soon. Xenoblade I am more easily able to find time for, and it doesn’t hurt the game was pretty immediately engrossing. Oh! Before I go more into the games themselves, there is one more thing these titles have in common, which is the reason for the title.
Not only are Xenoblade and Type-0 ports, but they’re games that left their first systems to go to totally different systems of another type. Type-0 started as a portable game, on the PSP. Never came here that way, but was eventually ported to the PS4 home console. Xenoblade took the opposite journey. Starting on the Wii, it eventually came to America by way of Gamestop, becoming incredibly rare and expensive on the secondhand market. However, with the New 3DS coming out, one of the promises of this new hardware was more graphically-intensive games. That promise was filled by Xenoblade making the jump from a home console to a handheld. So yeah, one went from handheld to home system, the other went from home system to handheld. It’s odd, and one of them is a good fit. Continue Reading
Get it?! Oh god…anyway. The DLC for Assassin’s Creed 4, Freedom Cry is taking a tip from Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon and becoming a standalone product. Being released into the wild on February 18 for PS3 and PS4, at a $14.99 price point, Ubisoft is going to allow players to experience the adventure of Adéwalé, a former slave and companion to AC4’s protagonist, Edward Kenway. This seems like a great way to get people still on the fence about Assassin’s Creed back into the fold, with a value priced, fully-featured side story. Afterall, Assassin’s Creed 3 was not great, and I am sure I wasn’t the only one hesitant to jump back into a life of patiently waiting as groups of dudes politely took turns trying to kill me. This is a very low barrier to entry to see that the series still has legs, and I would not be surprised if this move causes an upswing in AC4 sales. Anyway, here is the standalone trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry.
Source: Official Assassin’s Creed Website
One of the bigger issues of the Xbox 360’s climate, especially as the generation went on and came to a close was Microsoft’s seeming indifference to the growing Indie-games scene. Titles that were not developed and/or published by the Activisions and the EA’s were getting more and more attention on things like Steam and PSN, and Microsoft never really seemed to care. Sure, they had that Xbox Live Indie Channel, but let’s be honest; that channel was (and still is) a god damn cesspool of Minecraft clones and other garbage. Very few quality games came out of that thing, and even fewer got any acclaim in their own right. It’s also damn near impossible to find, buried under tons of crap and button presses on the 360 interface.
However, while this was going on, the PC was chugging along with new, and inventive games coming to it via Steam and other sites, PSN allowed Indies to start self-publishing their own wares, and hell, even Nintendo dipped a toe into the Indie waters, allowing the developers freedoms on their own digital storefronts. While Xbox Live makes money hand over fist year after year due to a robust multiplayer environment, the time has finally come where they cannot ignore the rise of self-publishing Indies any longer. When the details of the now released Xbox One were surfacing, Microsoft announced a new policy when it comes to Indie games. The ID program is a new system to allow Indie developers to get their games out into the wild, without having to submit to the archaic and unfair to non-AAA developer slot system the Xbox 360 used. This is a big step forward for Microsoft, especially in the face of Sony sending roses and chocolates to every Indie developer they can think of. Luckily this seems to be the best of both worlds for Microsoft: embracing Indies self-publishing, but it will not be the wild west of trash the 360 Indie channel was. Continue Reading
On the 21st of May, Microsoft announced the much anticipated next entry in the Xbox line. With this reveal, all three major console manufacturers have drawn their lines in the sand as to what their idea of the next generation will look like. This current console generation has gone on now for the better part of a decade, and honestly games look great. We have a wide swath of titles out now, for various price points. While Triple A gaming seems to remain and brown and gray, shooter-filled hell by and large; one can look across the entirety of the gaming landscape to find a plethora of titles more just as diverse as any point in gaming history. So with this generation featuring such a range, why do we even need new gaming consoles? Can graphics really get better without driving the already high cost of game development into the stratosphere? What new features do we need on our consoles? Which ones need to be improved? Let’s take a look at each next generation offering and see what each company has put out there thus far, and what it needs to do going forward. Continue Reading