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.
The Red Herb Roundup - 7/22/12
Sweet Zeus, it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these. If you’re unfamiliar with why I’m listing vidja game happenings the week over, it’s because these be the stories that caught my eye but failed to pull my hands towards the keyboard. The Roundup was supposed to be a safety net to catch my lazy bones and get me a-finger tappin’ but its temporary decommission proved my lethargy had reached new, possibly dangerous levels.
But today, friends, to fuck with that noise. Knowing that you guys are just out there eating gaming news without a single side of sarcasm is…it just…it basically gives me thought-hemorrhoids. And with that, welcome back to the Roundup:
- Resident Evil: Damnation, an original CG movie that fits snugly into the games’ canon, is releasing on Blu-Ray and not-Blu-Ray on September 25th. Unlike the RE films you may be accustomed to, Damnation probably won’t feature brief Jovovich nudity (but don’t rule it out).
- A valiant and anonymous soul working at NASA has decided to laser engrave an image of Portal 2’s Wheatley on this panel which will be launched into space and sent to live its days on the International Space Station. As Wheatley puts it, he’ll be “In spaaaaaaace!” Someone please remind me why NASA’s budget was cut.
- After six long years in tumultuous development, rumblings strongly suggest Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been shit-canned by Square Enix. Sources say Square isn’t keen on outwardly admitting they sunk Versus XIII in order to protect their stock. This having been the only FF to get me excited about the franchise in about, oh say, six years, I’ve scheduled at least one proper afternoon to scream my guts out.
- However, Square has promised September 1st will house some sort of presentation celebrating the series’ 25th anniversary. Specifically, they have an announcement pertaining to the Fabula Nova Crystallis segment of games in which anything branded with the number XIII belongs to. Best case scenario, Versus XIII has been pushed to next-gen consoles; worst case, a tired coroner out there has to explain to my loved ones how a person is able to scream his organs out of his body.
- EA’s marketing department admitted co-op was introduced into Dead Space 3 because their research found that consumers thought the first two games were too scary. Rightfully so, of course, but if that’s your major complaint, are you sure horror games are for you, pal? Personally, I like my survival horror scare factor right in between “Loud, persistent man-sobbing” and “I’ve filled my pants.”
- Capcom Vancouver, the dev behind Dead Rising 2 and all pertaining to it, has laid off 7% of its staff, amounting to 20 employees total. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t sound as if Capcom is simply tightening its belt, claiming the firings came about from “periodic assessment.” The studio’s even scouting for new talent, leaving us to wonder what sort of project they’re switching up their staff in preparation for. Dead Rising 3, anyone?
- The Elder Scrolls Online might make it console-side after all. Zenimax isn’t actively flogging team members in order to crank one out, but if truly worthy, the next generation of systems may be able to contain the MMO’s beastliness. We’ll just file this one under “Shit That Probably Won’t Happen” right next to a Diablo III port to spare us from future heartbreak.
- Battlefield 4’s existence was accidentally outed by EA in a listing that promotes the fact you’ll get your hands on a beta with purchase of Medal of Honor: Warfighter’s Limited Edition. How soon will BF4 come out? Given that the beta is planned to launch in the Fall of 2013, I’d say chances of “soon” are FUBAR.