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Final Fantasy IX Coming to PC and SmartPhones December 31, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Square Enix made a huge announcement for New Year’s Eve!  Less than half a month after we published a wish list of Final Fantasy games we would like to see Square Enix release, Square officially announced the formerly PS1 exclusive title Final Fantasy IX is going to be rereleased on PC and selected Android and iOS smartphones!

This is unprecedented news as, unlike the two other numbered Final Fantasy games to release on the PS1, Final Fantasy IX never received a PC release. This will be the first time the game is playable on a non Sony-branded platform.

The game appears to have the game’s original PS1 graphics assets. If you’d like to know a bit more about what this game is, watch the trailer below.

Final Fantasy IX is coming soon to PC, Android and iOS Devices. Square Enix cannot guarantee compatibility with all Android phones, but the game will require Android 4.1.  iOS users will need an iPhone 5s or newer device running at least iOS 7.

So, does this mean we could see Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy IX playable on PS4?


Super Mario Maker Unboxing December 28, 2015

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Christmas has just wrapped up, and Maniac is finally getting around to unboxing his presents.  Today, we’re going to be unboxing Super Mario Maker for the Wii U, a game we previewed at Best Buy during E3 2015.

Let’s take a look inside the box!

Super Mario Maker is out now exclusively on Wii U.

Do We All Live in a Pokémon World Essay Updated December 23, 2015

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Three years ago, we published the long form essay “Do We All Live in a Pokémon World” on this website, and it has sat in a place of honor at the top of our site ever since.  It was a labor of love by our lead writer, as he tried to figure out all of the real-world logic behind how the world of Pokémon works.

The essay was an economist’s dream read and covered everything in the Pokémon world ranging from who could be funding the game’s Pokémon Centers, why Poké Marts were such a successful business model, the quality of education provided by Pokémon‘s in-game schools and a lot more.

While he was pleased with his work he had to admit that the original article was written in 2012 from the perspective of someone who had only played the first generation games. Since that time,  Nintendo has been busy. A new generation of Pokémon games was released and an entire generation was remade in the past two years alone, so there was a lot of new content that wasn’t covered in the original essay.

Our writer has also changed some of his perspectives. Over the course of this year he’s completed the two most recent generation Pokémon games, including both games in generation five, and the recent generation three remake.  He recognized a lot of the Pokémon world’s lore and history have updated and expanded in the past fifteen years, and that meant some of the information in the essay needed to be expanded.

So after much debate and soul searching we decided to update our essay, “Do We All Live in the Pokémon World?”  It will conveniently remain readable by selecting the Pokémon World tab in the upper portion of this website but if you’d like to read it immediately you can click on this direct link. Enjoy.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Delayed December 23, 2015

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The most anticipated PS4 exclusive title has been delayed once more, but only by a month.  Earlier today, Sony and Naughty Dog have officially announced the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will be delayed.

I honestly don’t have a problem with this announcement. Naughty Dog has delayed their games in the past and have used that time to release some of the most polished titles of the last generation. If they need an extra month, that’s okay with me.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is now coming April 26th, 2016 exclusively to the PS4.

Batman: Arkham Knight Patch 1.12 Released December 23, 2015

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A new patch for Batman: Arkham Knight was released yesterday, bringing the game to version 1.12 on the PlayStation 4. The new update fixes a minor issue with rain effects on certain costumes  and adds support for this month’s downloadable content.

If you already had the previous version installed, the new patch is only a single GB to download. If you haven’t downloaded any of the game’s patches up to this point, you’ll be expected to download over 5.5GB of data to bring your game to its most recent version.

Batman: Arkham Knight is out now for PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End CGI Trailer December 21, 2015

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After watching this I only have one question, “Where is my mind?”

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is coming March 2016 exclusively on PS4.

Final Fantasy Wish List Part 2 December 19, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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We’re all fans of the Final Fantasy franchise over here and now that the franchise has turned 28, we thought it was the perfect time to list some of the biggest requests that Final Fantasy fans have been asking from Square Enix.

Yesterday, we started our wish list, and today we are going to finish it. In this part, I decided to forgo my own personal requests and instead decided to share some of the most popular requests from the Final Fantasy fan community.

Before we continue this list I just want to make one more disclaimer. This list is just a humble amalgamation of my personal hopes for the future of the Final Fantasy release schedule, along with the requests of other Final Fantasy fans from all over the world.   I don’t mean for this article to dictate what I believe Square Enix MUST do. All conclusions are not based on any insider information, they are based on my knowledge of the company’s recent history and are entirely my own.

Now with all that out of the way, let’s get started with the second set of requests. After all, it’s almost Christmas.

Bring Final Fantasy X/X-2 to PC

Final Fantasy X was released on the PlayStation 2 over a decade ago, and with the exception of Spoony, the game has been considered by critics and fans alike as one of the finest RPGs ever made. Its become so popular as of late, it has gotten ported to the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 4 in just the past few years. With all these ports being released, players have wondered if the game would ever come to the PC.  A lot of PC gamers don’t own the latest game consoles and since PCs can be regularly updated, the games could hypothetically be at the highest possible quality on PC.

What are the odds we’ll see this?  Honestly, I think the odds are next to zero.  With Square Enix bringing all these other Final Fantasy games to the PC as of late, the fact that they haven’t chosen to bring Final Fantasy X or Final Fantasy X-2 to non-Sony platforms says to me that they may not be legally able to do so. If Square Enix has an exclusive contract with Sony, the Final Fantasy X games may never be able to release on PC or Xbox consoles.  Someone should take a deeper look into this, but until they do I’m going to give this a low chance of happening.

Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy on PS4 and Xbox One

When it released, Final Fantasy XIII was a very divisive game but over the past few years it has gained an incredible community of loyalists. Even I have to admit, despite its flaws, I felt comforted by how easy the first game was to just pick up and play. On top of that, the games had amazing graphics with incredible production values. To this day, I believe they are still some of the best looking games of the last generation.  If they were ported to the new consoles, players would be able to take advantage of better game performance, higher resolution textures, and console features like game streaming.  Why doesn’t Square Enix bring the games to the PS4 and Xbox One?

What are the odds we’ll see this?  Even odds, 50/50.  The games have already been ported to the PC, and the textures models and graphics already look phenomenal in 1080p.  However, porting three games to new hardware is no easy task. It took Square Enix a year to port all three of the Final Fantasy XIII games to the PC, it could be very difficult to bring them to the two newest consoles.

Remake the PSP Game Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII in HD

This request is specifically on behalf of a friend of mine. The immense success of Final Fantasy VII convinced Square Enix to branch out the numbered title into multiple spin offs. One of those spin offs was the PSP-exclusive game Crisis Core, which out of all the content released as part of the Final Fantasy VII series, deserves an HD port. The game’s 3D graphics and high end CGI cutscenes would look amazing on modern HDTVs, so why not bring this game to modern home consoles?

What are the odds we’ll see it? I would say 25%. Crisis Core is a pretty old game which unlike Type-0, got a North American release. Because of that, I don’t think it would be very likely we will see this game get an HD remake any time soon.

Final Fantasy XII HD on PS4 or Xbox One

Almost immediately after Square Enix released the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD version, people started asking for Square Enix to rerelease Final Fantasy XII.  I know this game’s gameplay style was a huge departure from earlier single-player Final Fantasy games, but this game has a pretty big cult following. In fact, it also has seen  spin-offs on other platforms including the Nintendo DS.  If Final Fantasy X can come to modern consoles, why not bring Final Fantasy XII?

What are the odds on this one? Hard to say for sure but I would give it at least a 30% chance.  Square Enix did a great job bringing their earlier games to Sony’s newer consoles but it may still be too early for them to consider porting Final Fantasy XII or any of its spin offs to newer hardware.  I think if the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD sells well, it could become an easier decision for Square Enix to make.

And now, here’s one last request just for me…

Remake Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the Wii U

In the early to mid-2000s, Square Enix released the first Final Fantasy game on a Nintendo console since Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the Nintendo GameCube.  The game had a revolutionary multiplayer mode only possible with the GameCube, it required each player connect a Game Boy Advance to their GameCube to play. This did a lot more than just make the GBA into a game controller, the handheld offered a second screen experience years before it would become common in Nintendo systems. Wouldn’t it be awesome as hell to see this game playable in HD on modern hardware?  The Wii U controller makes a perfect fit for the first player, and I’m sure the other three players could connect to the game wirelessly using a modern 3DS-compatible handheld.

What are the odds we’ll see it?  I would say about 5%. It probably wouldn’t be too hard to update a GameCube game to run on the Wii U (Nintendo has already done it for games like The Wind Waker), but Crystal Chronicals has a few more technical issues that would need to be resolved. While it’s true that Nintendo Wii U games can make use of a 3DS/Wii U connectivity, that was used in games built from scratch to take advantage of these features, it may be a lot harder to adapt the complex code from a previously released title.  Because of that, the technical hurdles alone might be too much trouble than it’s worth.

So there you go guys, a complete wish list of all the Final Fantasy content I and the people who love these games would like to see from Square Enix. If I forgot to include anything please post a comment and write what you would like to see below.

Until we meet again, Happy Holidays to all of you!


Final Fantasy Wish List December 18, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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Today marks the 28th anniversary of the Japanese release of Final Fantasy, and to celebrate the release of this console classic we at this website wanted to share some of our hopes and dreams about what we would like to see from this beloved franchise in the future.  Don’t worry, since Final Fantasy VII Remake was officially announced as in development, it won’t be brought up here.

Like with most of the editorials we write on this site, we have to preface this with the disclaimer that we won’t presume to dictate Square Enix’s future business plans. These are just some desires that Final Fantasy fans have been talking about for some time.

So, with all that out of the way, let’s get started shall we?

Restore Final Fantasy VI’s original 16-Bit Graphics on Android, PC and iOS

I’m bringing this up first because it seems to be a pretty hot button topic right now. Final Fantasy VI was rereleased on the PC earlier this week and immediately brought on a huge fan backlash. The outrage had nothing to do with the game’s quality, Final Fantasy VI is still considered one of the finest games ever made, the backlash was over the “updated” graphics engine Square Enix has continued to use when republishing this game on newer hardware. The PC users are hardly alone in being forced to look at this horrible graphics palate, it had previously been used in the game’s Android and iOS ports. Given the incredible amount of care that went into the game’s original graphics when it was first released on Nintendo’s 16-bit console, it’s a shame the game’s newest players have to look at such awful graphics.  Why doesn’t Square Enix patch the recent games to allow players the option to choose which graphics they prefer?

What are the odds we’ll see this?  Next to zero. The fact that Square Enix continues to use this graphics package in all of these rereleases, even after all its negative feedback, makes me suspect that the graphics engine might have been retooled for either legal or technical reasons and it might be very difficult to restore the original graphics. My advice would be to download the games on either the PlayStation 3 or Wii.

Release the Final Fantasy XV Demo for Everyone on Xbox One and PS4

There’s no bigger multiplatform game on track for release next year than Final Fantasy XV.  People have been looking forward to playing this game since it was first announced for the PS3 in 2006 under the title Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The graphics look amazing and the gameplay looks like a lot of fun. Square Enix included an official playable demo for Final Fantasy XV inside early copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD over a year before the final game was expected to release and from what I’ve heard, the demo is really good. In fact many players commented the demo alone justified the purchase. Well, aren’t demos supposed to be freely distributed?  They’re supposed to make you want to buy the full version of the game.  New copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD are getting harder to find, and demo codes are running out.  Why doesn’t Square Enix release this demo to the Xbox and PlayStation digital marketplaces?

What are the odds we will see this?  I would give it a 15% chance. Final Fantasy XV‘s developers have stated on several occasions during Final Fantasy Type-0 HD‘s launch that they would only offer the Final Fantasy XV demo to people who bought one of the initial printings of Type-0 HD.  Without a doubt, that improved the sales of the game it was paired with but it left a bad taste in a lot of fan’s mouths.  I hope this policy doesn’t remain perminant as we get closer to XV‘s release, a lot of work went into that demo, and it would be a shame to see it played by so few people.

Re-Release Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy IX to the PS4 as a Digital Download.

Three numbered Final Fantasy titles were released on the original PlayStation over a decade and a half ago. All three of them are still frequently referenced as staple games in the RPG genre, and many players still debate which is their favorite game from that era.  However, the PlayStation 4 cannot play PS1 games and newer gamers who lack older hardware can find themselves unable to play these staple RPGs.  Meanwhile, Final Fantasy VII was re-released on the PlayStation 4 a week ago. The port was based on a slightly updated PC version, which kept the game’s original graphics mostly intact.  It may be the exact same game players remember playing on the original PlayStation, but is that really a bad thing?  If Square Enix could bring Final Fantasy VII to the PS4, why couldn’t they bring the later PS1 era numbered titles as well?

What are the odds we will see this?  75% For Final Fantasy VIII, 55% for Final Fantasy IX.  Square Enix has already done a modern PC port of Final Fantasy VIII, and it looks pretty good. In theory, that PC-port could be adapted to the PS4. While there currently is no modern PC port for Final Fantasy IX, I’m sure it will end up on the PS4 if the previous games sold well.  So if you want to see more classic Final Fantasy games on the PS4, buy Final Fantasy VII now.

Bring the NES and SNES Final Fantasy Games to the Wii U’s Virtual Console

Some time ago, Nintendo rereleased the original three numbered NES and SNES Final Fantasy titles released to the US on the Wii’s Virtual Console. They’re still available to download at a reasonable price if you have a Wii, but if you’ve upgraded to the Wii U, you can only play these downloadable games on the Wii U’s Wii emulator. Because of that, the games can’t be played solely with the Wii U controller or take advantage of Wii U’s Virtual Console features, like the ability to save at any point.  Why doesn’t Nintendo bring those games to the Wii U’s eShop?

So, what are the odds?  50/50.  Nintendo has been slow to release games on the Wii U’s Virtual Console, but they are doing it. The fact that the games have already been released on the Wii is a good sign Nintendo will eventually make the games Wii U native, but I don’t even want to think about how long we may have to wait before it happens.  I would have to give its chances even odds.

What do you think of the list?  Not enough wishes?  Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2!

Happy Birthday, Final Fantasy December 18, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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Today marks the 28th Anniversary of the release of the very first Final Fantasy game in Japan, making today essentially the 28th birthday of the Final Fantasy franchise.

Final Fantasy was intended to be the final project for Square, a company unable to capitalize on the success of the 8-bit Nintendo home console.  With only enough money for one more project, the game’s director decided to make a game he would have been happy to play. It was expected to be a  commercial flop and the final game ever to be released by Square. Instead it became one of the strongest franchises in the history of gaming, and many of the later games would go on to become incredible commercial successes, fan favorites and added to numerous best of lists.

What can we say about this franchise twenty eight years later?  There have been fourteen numbered games (including two massively multiplayer games which are still in operation), two feature-length movies, numerous spin offs, and tons of rereleases and ports to new platforms.

So, raise a glass everyone. Happy Birthday Final Fantasy!

Final Fantasy Explorers Multiplayer Trailer December 17, 2015

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We’re a month away from the release of Final Fantasy Explorers on the Nintendo 3DS and Square Enix decided to release this awesome looking trailer showcasing the game’s multiplayer features.  Give it a watch below.

Final Fantasy Explorers is coming January 2016 exclusively to Nintendo 3DS handhelds.