Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut Hacking into the Wii U
I know I don’t pay enough attention to you Wii U loyal out there. It’s not you, it’s me…and also partly because of Nintendo’s gimmicky cobbling of a console to which you’ve sworn allegiance. Video gaming is a war of preferences, though, and one gamer’s paperweight can be another gamer’s portal to limitless enjoyment. So I’ll bury my digital hatchet, choose diplomacy, and deliver news to you Wii U faithful (we’ll settle this later).
Shortly after a listing outed the title, today Square Enix confirmed plans to release a special Director’s Cut of 2011’s cyberpunk hit Deus Ex: Human Revolution especially for the Wii U. The Nintendo port earns Director’s Cut status by meshing two pieces of previously separate DLC — Tong’s Rescue and The Missing Link — into the ebb and flow of Human Revolution’s narrative.
Director’s Cut hugely capitalizes on the Wii U’s gamepad by converting mechanics like hacking, grenade throwbacks, sniping, and much more to the controller’s touchscreen. The game has been further augmented from its original release with improvements to spotty boss fights, AI, weapon balancing, and more.
Though the leaked date pointed to Director’s Cut hitting stores May 7th, Square Enix only offers up “soon.” Straight Right, the dev that brought Mass Effect 3 to the Wii U, is rumored to be reformatting Human Revolution. If sci-fi is your bag, you’re more than a little obliged to partake in this standout action-RPG.
Legacy of Kain Property Recommissioned?
This news is just a blip on the radar by all accounts, but fans of the long dormant Legacy of Kain franchise may be witnessing the first baby steps towards a brand new game.
Missing in action since 2003’s Legacy of Kain: Defiance — a crossover that pitted players as both Blood Omen’s blood-sucker Kain and the life harvesting Raziel from the Soul Reaver spin-offs — the license’s current master, Square Enix, has registered the domain warfornosgoth.com (no need investigating it now since the site is a husk). Nosgoth should ring a bell for fans, it being the gothic fantasy world both series are set in.
The last we heard even an inkling about anything Kain n’ Legacy-like was nearly a year ago, when the rumor mill insinuated a Soul Reaver reboot was in development at Crystal Dynamics, the folks that brought you four outta five games in the series.
Though Raziel held a certain air of iconography (jawless-ness and all) back when the PlayStation brand ruled the world, it’s hard to imagine this War for Nosgoth not having both of Legacy’s undead poster boys make a simultaneous return to video games.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3/X360 - 2013)
For those of you eagle-eyed amongst us, you’ll immediately notice in these screens something irregular for a game bearing the Final Fantasy moniker: you fight alone. Upending the party system standard, which sees you control a group of characters in battle, Lightning Returns sees you guiding the gorgeous and stoic namesake lead during a fight, and rarely anyone else.
“This time, it’s just Lightning,” says the game’s producer, Yoshinori Kitase. “So it seems like the number of characters you control has decreased, but it still feels like you’re fighting with a multi-character party.” Utilizing a “Style System,” players will be allowed to switch between several different arrangements of armors, appearance, and abilities during a battle. These Styles, in true Create-A-Class form, can be customized and tweaked before you throw Lightning into an encounter.
Managing your Style may sound like a concern reserved for handheld dress-up games, but in Lightning Returns, it’ll be the difference between looking good while felling your enemies and looking good while you’re crushed to death by a ten-foot monster.
Lightning Returns “Unique Enough” to Drop the XIII-3 Name
A branching of stories within the Final Fantasy games — referred to as the ‘Lightning Saga’ — comes to a close next year, forming the franchise’s first full-fledged trilogy. Despite beginning with Final Fantasy XIII and carrying on to, naturally, Final Fantasy XIII-2, the final chapter shutting the curtains on this saga forgoes the logical, if unimaginative, next step numbering of XIII-3.
Given that Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns is projected for the tail end of 2013, I’d expect even the shittiest basement dwelling ad agency to go nuts with the coincidence and drill XIII-3 in ‘13 squarely into gamer’s heads. But in explaining why Lightning Returns shirks the numbering scheme in an interview with 4gamer, the game’s creators have shared insights on just how different of a beast this finale is from previous entries.
Yoshinori Kitase, the game’s producer, says the game is, put simply, a “new experience.” Calling it XIII-3 would already put the incorrect suggestion into fans’ minds that this sequel’s gameplay launches off of XIII-2’s conceits. Motomu Toriyama, tasked with directorial duties, breaks down each installment as such: the original XIII, at its foundation, was story driven, while XIII-2 opted for a more player driven approach. Lightning Returns revolves around the notion that the game is “world driven,” where the world environment runs in real-time, “24 hours a day” and is dramatically “changing and shifting” whether the player is there to experience it or not.
This design element both instills a sense of urgency in players to seek out events and happenings before they play out without them while also promoting serious amounts of replay value, where going about subsequent playthroughs differently rewards you with new content each time. Slaying monsters or performing miracles (whatever the hell that means; slaying monsters sounds tiring as it is) impacts the flow of time — which is constantly ticking down till doomsday — by either speeding it up or slowing it down. This mechanic plays into the “risk versus reward” nature of the game.
Every little shred of information I hear about this game — and we’re talking very little shreds considering the game’s August announcement — absolutely fascinates me. There was a time in my gaming life when a Final Fantasy release meant that nothing besides a Squaresoft emblazoned disc would be spinning in my drive for weeks straight. XIII brought with it a decidedly mixed era for the franchise, but from what I’m hearing, Lightning’s Saga is attempting to end on a high note.
Square Enix Unveils Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix at TGS
Ten years ago, Square decided to bet on an oddball licensing mash-up of their benchmark Final Fantasy series with…the House of the Mouse, no less. While closeted Disney fanboys grew deadly serious, the rest of us scoffed at the prospect of Kingdom Hearts.
Until we got our hands on the game, that is. A simplistic yet deeply playable approach to marrying action-adventure and RPG elements within a diverse, masterfully designed world (or worlds, rather) laid the groundwork for a new classic. Today, if you find someone quick to dismiss the original KH as “childish,” they’re also probably someone who didn’t play it very long or even at all. Listen, you live in a reality where wielding a keyblade is badass. The sky is blue, politics are boring, and keyblades kick ass. Moving on.
What was once a barely believable rumor is now HD-ified fact: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix has been announced by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3, slated for a 2013 release in Japan. Why 1.5, you ask? Well, it’s not a KH1/KHII double-pack as speculated in the linked rumor, but 1.5 does include the PS2’s Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days from the Game Boy Advance and DS respectively. All are reduxed in high-definition for the PS3, all now feature Trophy support.
A stateside release is more than probably in the cards, but of course nothing past the Japanese release has been confirmed.
Square Enix Announces Lightning Returns for 2013
The Final Fantasy XIII saga is coming to a close next year and Lightning is back as your sole character in this third and final entry. Set hundreds of years after the events of XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII pits our titular heroine in the middle of a new world called Novus Partus — a locale said to contrast against the previous two installments’ gloss and sheen, opting for a more mechanical, gothic backdrop.
Following the darker shift in atmosphere, Lightning races against an in-game clock counting down to the end of the world — a mere thirteen days after you begin the adventure. Gameplay makes use of this Majora’s Mask staple in such instances as being able to barter a re-do of a failed battle for a chunk of your precious time. Similarly, more powerful attacks can be traded for shaved time. Also markedly changed is the combat system, now retooled with a heavier emphasis on controlling Lightning in real-time. Not only will players be tasked with managing Lightning’s movement and attacks, but blocking has been added to her skill set, forcing players to perfect their timing and keep a keener eye on enemies.
Despite its high points (and its signature, unparallelled visuals), the XIII branch of the Final Fantasy vine has found ways to disappoint the ten-year-old kid inside of me that first discovered these spectacular worlds back in the PS1 days. Yet these early, broad ideas stemming forth have reignited my interest. This “XIII-3” may not be out to satisfy the level-grinding me from my formative RPGin’ years, but it doesn’t have to. It’s playing to its own strengths, and what I’m hearing sounds pretty damn intriguing for a Final Fantasy game.
While Lightning Returns just began life at the beginning of August, Square still projects a 2013 release for the game on both the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Final Fantasy XIV is ‘A Realm Reborn’
If you’re one of the few participants to jump onto Square Enix’s second MMO within the Final Fantasy series when it released way back in September of 2010, you may have noticed something awfully suspicious: the game sucked.
Final Fantasy XIV sucked so much that it even derailed the PS3 port’s release from March of 2011 to “eventually” (“eventually” in this case meaning “when the game stops being terrible”). Looking to rectify the product’s wrongdoings — and recapture some of the surprise success that made fellow MMO FFXI the most profitable title in the franchise — Square promised a full-on restructuring of the game, tentatively called 2.0.
Now, the efforts behind 2.0 have come to be, rebranded as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The update is a massive undertaking that, to name a few fixes, alters the battle regimen, introduces a new map system, adds new client software, and includes an additional graphics engine. A Realm Reborn marks a very apparent shift for FFXIV; so much so that it almost seems like a different game altogether, one certainly more suited for the Final Fantasy name.
Alpha testing for A Realm Reborn is scheduled for September with a not-quite-solid Winter release in mind for the final build. And, Sony fans, I know you’ve been waiting patiently and politely through this article so here’s your feel good of the day: Square Enix has remarked that that FFXIV port sitting on the back burner will drop for the PS3 sometime after the PC version’s humungous update, and it will certainly reflect all of the additions A Realm Reborn claims stake to.
Ah, Versus XIII isn’t dead, XIV Online will stop sucking soon…Things are looking up, Final Fantasy fans — Hmm? You want them to remake VII? Listen, fixing a crappy game is already like moving a mountain. Remaking one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, a title so revered that many already consider it to be perfect? Bigger mountain.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII: Totally Not Cancelled
The bitter stew that is internet rage hit boiling point when Kotaku reported that an anonymous source tipped them off about Versus XIII being shit-canned. The continued absence of the title from several major gaming expos paired with a — so far — six year development span was enough to convince the press and fans alike that the rumor was true.
But who better to squash a vicious, nearly sentient rumor than Square Enix, the game’s publisher and financer? The company’s president, Yoichi Wada, took to Twitter (a veritable spring of information for people that are quick to fire “tl;dr” at anything and everything), and outright confirmed Versus XIII was alive, kicking, and well into production. “Just a minute ago, the regular Versus meeting ended. If you saw the presentation of the city, it’d knock you off your feet,” Tweets Wada, after laughing off the damnable rumor.
Well, this series certainly dodged a bullet. If you’re a casual spectator and are curious, mayhaps even confused, as to why you heard a dull roar the moment this very spin-offy sounding title flashed a red warning light, then I’ll try to be brief: Final Fantasy Versus XIII has smacked of ambition the moment it was announced. Straying away from the more traditional aspects you’d find in this RPG franchise, Versus roots its gameplay in a freer, more realistic style that harkens to Kingdom Hearts to a degree but draws inspiration from other titles like Mass Effect both graphically and in how you interact with the world and its inhabitants.
And unlike its forefathers, Versus looks to put unprecedented control (for an RPG) right in your hands. Battles unfold in real-time and don’t take place in confined spaces — you’ll fight in the streets, on rooftops, anywhere you can get hit. Plus, the whole package — or what we’ve briefly seen of it — is visually astounding, evoking comparisons to Square’s CG films more so than any of games carrying the XIII moniker. It’s a major shift in direction and a bold gamble for a series that has grown especially stale this generation.
Square Enix swears they have something special cooking for September 1st’s Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary presentation. Even if a bare minimum is shown or announced there, new rumors have it that the Tokyo Game Show exhibition taking place at the end of that month may be our first satisfying Versus blowout. Time will tell. I’m simply stoked this project isn’t dead.
Is Final Fantasy Versus XIII Our New XV?
Originally a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis family tree of Final Fantasy games, Versus XIII has been in development longer than our President has been in office. Sporadic trailers and screen have appeared over the last six years but every new detail comes with huge intervals of complete silence. Versus XIII has become the white whale of JRPG’s, fans all but giving up hope they’d see the mythical beast break the water’s surface and arise from the depths of development hell.
With E3 a weekend’s hurdle away, strung-along Versus XIII fans may be in for a surprise announcement next week if this leaked video is anything to be believed. Supposedly captured during Square Enix’s pre-E3 conference held behind closed doors on May 30th, the footage depicts a trailer for Versus XIII spotted with familiar imagery including the game’s broody main, Noctis.
Apparently the trailer’s nothing new — it being comprised of an older trailer — but what’s sure to grab fans’ attention is the fact that Square Enix branded the demo reel with a Final Fantasy XV logo followed by PS3 and Wii U icons, confirming which consoles the game’s coming to. Let me reformulate that for you: Versus XIII is alive and well, and it’s now our new Final Fantasy XV.
Gauge your feelings and center yourself; we’re not sure this is real until Square Enix is sure we’re sure. Still, a lot of the rumors whizzing around these days and smacking forums, blogs, and press outlets are either being outright confirmed by companies or have enough evidence to support them where we don’t need no stinkin’ confirmations. But I especially hope this one’s legitimate. Versus XIII, XV, Chocobo Chronicles — it matters little what they call it, I just want this very unique and long-in-the-making RPG to finally happen already.
Oh, and also have it blow my mind hard enough to fragment my skull. Simple request.
Will We Really See Kingdom Hearts HD Remix Revealed Next Week?
Online gaming rag Dual Pixels has caught wind that Square Enix intends on showing off more than the 3DS’ Dream Drop Distance at E3. Count this as a code teal rumor (I don’t know about you but ‘teal’ has always meant ‘severe’ in my book), but the site claims the publisher is compiling a remastered collection featuring Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II, 358/2 Days, Chain of Memories, and Birth by Sleep.
This colossal gathering of the times Disney collided with Final Fantasy will either be called Kingdom Hearts HD Remix or — the much classier — Kingdom Hearts: Remembrance. Dual Pixel’s source indicates that the title will release for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and, interestingly enough, the Nintendo Wii U. The HD treated collection is said to have extra side quests that clean up messy plot threads between the games. Specifically, the Wii U version of the set is reported to have exclusive story elements that connect it directly to Kingdom Hearts 3D — connections apparently missing from the Sony versions.
I don’t know, folks. Swallow the salt shaker on this one. From the sheer amount of titles included and additional assets mentioned…it all seems too good to be true. And yet, the fact that Kingdom Hearts III hasn’t even begun production makes it all the more likely that Square Enix would be keen on keeping the property fresh in gamers minds while also appeasing longtime fans with the prospect of something “new” to call their own.
[Note: image from Dream Drop Distance.]