Shawn Wasabi mashed up a list of his favorite songs and sound effects to create the original track “Marble Soda.” Wasabi uses a Midi Fighter by DJ Techtools to assign 153 different sounds used during the song. Among them are “Fushizen Na Girl” by Perfume, “PONPONPON” by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, “Prelude” from Final Fantasy VII, and Pikachu’s iconic “Pika!”
The Nippon Cosplay Photo Contest at St. Fest. 2015 posted its winners on Monday. Unlike other cosplay contests that judge strictly on costume creation and styling, this contest focuses on the photographer and the composition of the photograph. Votes were tallied for a month and a half via the internet and the event venue itself.
Those of you with an interest in the Final Fantasy series, mobile gaming, and/or the male form might remember when we took an early look at Mevius Final Fantasy a few months ago. The most ambitious original mobile title yet from publisher Square Enix, the Mevius development crew is made up of Final Fantasy veterans, and the visuals that have been released are far beyond what you’d ordinarily expect from a smartphone title.
But while Square Enix apparently isn’t skimping on the production budget, it was willing to give the game’s male hero a skimpy outfit, as the first promotional images showed the main character dressed in a costume that showed off plenty of his tanned and toned back and buttocks. If that was right up your alley, though, we hope you already got a good eyeful, because Square Enix has since rethought the design and changed it to one that exposes less skin.
Sony is holding a contest from February 24 to April 26, with the opportunity to win a special PlayStation 4 cover plate that features art from both the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy series. The cover plate’s design features a Slime (a traditional monster from the Dragon Quest series), and a Moogle (a recurring race in the Final Fantasy series). The contest will be a lottery, and Sony will only make 100 copies of the cover plate.
Potential applicants will need to complete three steps to acquire a lottery ticket to win the cover plate.
Harry’s wand; Luke’s lightsaber; Eren’s 3D maneuver gear. Surely more than a few fans have at some point pictured themselves wielding one of these iconic objects. While some must be content with imagining, others may find themselves the happy owners of something straight out of the realm of fantasy.
Such was the case with one Final Fantasy super-fan named Brittany Walloch. Unbeknownst to her, Brittany’s fiancé got in touch with the minds behind Super-Fan Builds, a popular web series that creates custom items for die-hard film and video game fans. The crafting wizards at Tim Baker Productions then went to work designing a one-of-a-kind gift. Let’s just say chopping vegetables will never be the same.
As someone who’s been playing video games long enough to remember when the ideas of putting a game on a CD or making a controller with more than two face buttons were considered revolutionary, I always have to stop myself from referring to the company behind the Final Fantasy series as Square. That’s because in 2003 Square merged with role-playing game rival Enix, publishers of Dragon Quest, to become the single company Square Enix.
But while the fusing of the two industry giants created one of Japan’s most respected gaming entities, it seems the formerly separate companies haven’t entirely lost their individual identities, as Square Enix Holdings recently filed separate trademark applications for the names Squaresoft and Enix.
While the main Final Fantasy series went multi-platform with Final Fantasy XIII, most people still tend to think of Square Enix’s role playing franchise as a standard-bearer for Sony’s PlayStation consoles. Likewise, The Legend of Zelda has had the throne of fantasy-themed video games for Nintendo’s home consoles all to itself since Final Fantasy VII jumped ship for the original PlayStation back in 1997.
But just because Final Fantasy and Zelda act as figurative haymakers between Sony and Nintendo in terms of their competition for gamers’ hard-earned cash, that doesn’t mean the gamers themselves can’t enjoy both extremely polished series. One such equal-opportunity virtual adventurer is artist Shattered-Earth, whose taken the iconic logos of four Final Fantasy sequels, but recast them with the cast of The Legend of Zelda.
Even though the Final Fantasy video game franchise has spawned a long string of sequels, very few of the games feature characters or plotlines from previous instalments. Instead, each title draws from a pool of visual cues, music compositions, and gameplay systems that together constitute the games’ shared legacy.
For example, almost every Final Fantasy includes summoning magic, where players call upon dragons, ifrits, or other powerful monsters to aid them in battle. Developer Square Enix can’t do the same in real life, though, which is why it’s currently recruiting employees to work on the upcoming Final Fantasy XV.
Obviously, you won’t need to know how to cast Meteo or throw a Dolphin Blow uppercut to land a spot on the Final Fantasy XV team. Having a heroic level of physical constitution might come in handy, though, as looking through Square Enix’s want ads suggests they might be planning to work the project members until they drop.
What’s the first Final Fantasy game you played? I came somewhat late to the party, and my first experience of Final Fantasy was Final Fantasy VIII. After a childhood spent playing Sonic, suddenly finding myself in a semi-realistic world with massive potential for exploration really blew my tiny mind back then. In VIII, the headmaster of the military academy is a middle-aged, bespectacled dude with a paunch called Cid. But as Final Fantasy fans know, Cid is actually a character who appears in different forms in (pretty much) all of the Final Fantasy games. The dude’s been regenerated more times than the Doctor in Doctor Who! So we decided to take a look back at all of the Cids in chronological order to see how he’s changed over the years.
When video game developer Square Enix gave the largest preview to date of its upcoming role-playing game Final Fantasy XV, it rubbed some fans the wrong way. Just about every installment since the series switched to having set characters has featured female adventurers, but the company announced that the playable cast of Final Fantasy XV is entirely male.
While details are still scarce about the separate but concurrently in-development game Mevius Final Fantasy, newly released screenshots of the smartphone title also feature only a male character. With a Y-chromosome suddenly seeming like a necessary bit of adventuring equipment, does this mean Final Fantasy has consciously decided to turn its back on the many female fans who’ve helped it achieve the success it enjoys today?
Probably not, since while it’s not certain whether or not Mevius Final Fantasy will allow female gamers to create a character in their own likenesses, it’s absolutely certain that the game is planning to provide a generous serving of extra-lean beefcake.
Nearly 20 years after the release of Final Fantasy VII, the iconic Japanese RPG is still regarded as one of the best video games ever made. And although fans may have been disappointed by the recent announcement that the game won’t be given a facelift for its PS4 debut, Final Fantasy VII lovers can wallow in their grief by an amazing video compiled from 200 original works of arts from more than 100 artists. The artwork recreates key scenes from the video game, taking viewers on a very nostalgic walk back to the many days spent on their PlayStations with Cloud and his friends.
Great stories make great games. But when all is said and done, when you have finished the game, saved the world and beaten down the bad guy, the thing that sticks with you the most is the music. Especially in roleplaying games, a grandiose soundtrack will elevate your game from memorable to unforgettable. There has been a trend in the past decade or so to perform live symphonic versions of famous video game music. These concerts have been incredibly popular around the world, but how would you like to hear the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra whisk you away to a fantasy world? Now, you don’t have to wait for their next concert!
Although director Hayao Miyazaki gets the lion’s share of the credit for the sterling quality of Studio Ghibli’s anime films, you can’t discount the contributions of Joe Hisaishi. The veteran composer’s musical scores are timeless and ethereal, and there’s no better visual compliment to their mix of trepidation and adventurousness than the moving pictures of Japan’s most respected animation house.
The beautiful projection mapping that accompanies this stirring piano cover of the ending theme to Castle in the Sky Laputa is a close second, though.
Although video game developer Square Enix had dabbled in a few direct follow-ups here and there, whenever the counter for its Final Fantasy role-playing franchise rolls over to a new numbered sequel, the company completely ditches the old cast of heroes and villains, and even the previous game’s world.
But even if the narrative is starting from scratch each time, that doesn’t mean the games aren’t connected. For example, every Final Fantasy has scenes where the player rides on airships or horse-sized flightless birds called chocobos. The cursor is always a white glove with a pointing index finger, and major victories in battle are marked by the sounds of the series’ instantly recognizable “Victory Fanfare.”
Gamers have already heard the short but sweet melody played by the NES, Super NES, and PlayStations 1 through 3, and this month, they can look forward to hearing it someplace new: at the register of Lawson convenience stores when they purchase special items.
Two decades ago, Sony had displayed about as much skill in producing video games as Nintendo had Hollywood movies. Sure, Sony had published games sporadically under its Sony Imagesoft brand, but it’s hard to build much consumer goodwill with such a small catalogue of titles, especially when most of said titles are terrible.
Then, on December 3, 1994, the company launched the original PlayStation. While the 3DO and CD-i of fellow electronics manufacturers Panasonic and Phillips would both end in ignominious failure, Sony would go on to slice itself a very large piece of the pie in its new industry, dominating two generations of console gaming and remaining competitive ever since.
Of course, hardware isn’t worth much without fun games to play on it. Thankfully, Sony’s systems had plenty of hits, as shown by a poll of Japanese gamers’ 20 favorite PlayStation games.
There are two things that I think stand out as particularly memorable from my oldest brother’s wedding ceremony. One is the stuttering mess of a toast I gave as his best man. The other is that he and his wife cut their cake with an honest to God sword, since my brother, being a member of the Marine Corps, got married in his dress uniform, complete with Mameluke saber.
It definitely made for a much more dramatic effect than slicing up dessert with some puny kitchen knife, and you might now find yourself wondering how you could incorporate a similar idea for your own wedding reception. Thankfully, you don’t even need an official work blade, just a love of iconic video games, as demonstrated by the couple in Japan that cut their cake with the The Legend of Zelda’s Master Sword.
Given the massive success he’s since enjoyed as a video game character designer and director, it’s almost hard to remember how skeptical everyone initially was about Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura. When he stepped up to the plate as character designer for Final Fantasy VII, long-time fans were uneasy about his ability to fill the boots of predecessor and renowned artist Yoshitaka Amano. When Nomura announced Kingdom Hearts, a new series that would blend characters from Final Fantasy games and Disney animation, early reactions ranged from puzzled silence to nervous laughter.
Fast-forward 15 years, and Nomura has established himself as the single most influential person behind those two Square Enix franchises. As a matter of fact, his skills are now in so much demand that he’s produced his take on virtual idol Hatsune Miku, which was recently shown off in gorgeous animated form.
Back at the start of the year, we all had the urge to go out and fight some monsters when we saw Hollywood blacksmith Tony Swatton recreate the massive sword wielded by Final Fantasy VII’s Sephiroth. Of course, Sephiroth is just one member of the gigantic collective cast of the long-running video game franchise. With so many more iconic weapons to choose from, it was only a matter of time until craftsmen went to work on armaments from the other games in the series, and next up is a real-life version of Squall’s gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII.
Earlier this year, we stopped by Artnia, the café run by video game publisher Square Enix, to munch on buster sword chocolates and drink material cocktails. Just as you’d expect from the company behind some of Japan’s biggest RPG franchises, though, there’s now an upgraded sequel, the Eorzea Café, with an even larger menu of Final Fantasy themed foods.
Led by our sense of adventure and gnawing appetite, we journeyed to the strange and wonderful land of Tokyo’s Akihabara to check it out.
Over the last few years, Tokyo Game Show has become increasingly focused on mobile gaming. This year’s show is one of the smallest to date, with noticeably fewer booths and even big-name publishers seeming almost reluctant to make too much of a fuss of their triple-A titles.
But it’s not just Gree et al pushing mobile gaming in Japan. Console maker Sony, too, is getting in on the action by putting the spotlight on its own smartphone line while doing all it can to show that mobile and traditional console gaming needn’t be completely separate entities, with the company setting up two enormous Xperia booths opposite its PlayStation area at Tokyo Game Show 2014.