Square Enix

Final Fantasy XV team’s “location hunt” video looks suspiciously like awesome adventure vacation

As the graphics in video games have become increasingly sophisticated, a new and unexpected expense has surfaced for design teams hoping to make their game’s environments as realistic as possible: the so-called “location hunt.”

While in the good ol’ days of pixel graphics, design teams could just look at some photographs or even paintings of real-world locations for inspiration, modern gaming’s open, 3-D worlds demand level and object design so advanced that it becomes a near-necessity for teams to travel to locales that closely resemble the digital worlds they’re hoping to create,  getting actual eyes on, say, that volcanic mountain they plan to have the player venture through, or checking out the minute curves and angles of some military hardware they plan on dropping into the game.

Ironically, though, while the “location hunt” is still considered work, outside of the unlucky design team that has to go inside of a volcano for that epic RPG boss fight or something, these excursions can actually end up looking suspiciously like a vacation. Just ask the Final Fantasy XV design team, who recently posted a YouTube video of their location hunt.

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Sega sneakers, kawaii T-shirts and plushies: all the cool stuff you can buy at Tokyo Game Show!

Earlier today, RocketNews24 attended the first day of Tokyo Game Show 2015, a video game and technology expo/convention held annually at Makuhari Messe in Chiba. Since the first two days are for press only, the venue was a little quieter, and we were able to browse the selection of video game merchandise for sale in a calm and serene manner. (Even though we really wanted to hug all of the plushies, rummage madly through all of the T-shirts, and fondle all of the beautiful figures on display!)

Check out what lucky shoppers can expect to buy during Tokyo Game Show 2015 with our exclusive guide!

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Life Is Strange is coming to Japan, gets new voice cast & dubbed trailer 【Video】

The last few years especially have seen a notable increase in the number of western-developed narrative-driven video games. Notable entries include Telltale Games’ The Walking DeadThe Wolf Among Us, and of course Game of Thrones, which deliver their respective stories in downloadable chunks once every few months, leaving players itching to play the next episode and find out what happens.

Telltale pretty much cornered the market on this genre until French development studio DONTNOD Entertainment released the absolutely captivating five-part supernatural high school story game Life Is Strange. The game has been a surprise hit, selling over a million copies to date, with players falling in love with the endearingly complex characters, time-travelling mechanics, mellow game atmosphere, and killer soundtrack. In fact, the game has done so well for itself that publishers Square Enix have decided it’s time Japan got a piece of the photo-snapping, heavy decision-making, time-rewinding fun for themselves. Yep, Life is Strange is being released in Japan, and it’s getting an entirely new Japanese voice cast, too!

Check out the reveal trailer to hear Max, Chloe and the rest of the characters speaking Nihongo!

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Gold Saucer on the go! Final Fantasy VII out now for iOS devices with skippable battles

When Final Fantasy VII hit the PlayStation in 1997, it was one of the most graphically advanced games ever produced. For months leading up to the title’s release, gamers had been drooling over magazine previews plastered with work-in-progress screenshots of what developer Square was doing with its first foray into the bold new world of CD-based games and polygonal graphics.

Flash forward 18 years, and technology has progressed to the point that Final Fantasy VII looks pretty retro to most modern eyes. As a matter of fact, it’s so retro that not only is Square Enix is remaking it for the PlayStation 4, mobile phones now have enough power to run the original, which is why Final Fantasy VII has just been released in iOS form.

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Baymax returns in Kingdom Hearts 3 with adventures following events of Big Hero 6

While many gamers initially scoffed at the concept of Kingdom Hearts, a tale of adventure blending an original cast with characters from the Final Fantasy series and Disney animation, it’s since gone on to become one of publisher Square Enix’s most beloved franchises. So even though there’s still no firm release date for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3, fans are always happy to hear any developments about the latest chapter in the saga of Keyblade-wielder Sora and his eclectic group of costars.

Disney has just announced that in Kingdom Hearts 3, Sora will be sharing the screen with the Big Hero 6 team, including the show-stealing Baymax, in a segment that acts like a sequel to the Academy Award-winning film.

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Final Fantasy’s Cloud gets special illustrated birthday card from designer Tetsuya Nomura

If you’re putting together a profile for a video game or anime character, the inclusion of certain bits of information are optional, such as favorite food, hobby, or breast weight. But just about every fictional character coming from Japan has an official birthday. As a matter of fact, it’s become such a standard bit of background information for anime and video game characters that you can search online and find dozens to sing happy birthday to on any given day.

This week, though, was the birthday of an especially popular figure: Cloud Strife. Not only did the hero of Final Fantasy VII hero receive plenty of warm wishes from fans, he also got an illustrated birthday card from his designer himself, Tetsuya Nomura.

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Dragon Quest XI’s main protagonist’s outfit may reveal a spoilery secret origin

Common knowledge to basically anyone conceivably reading this website, Japan is responsible for two of the world’s biggest, longest-running and most well-known console RPG seriesFinal Fantasy and Dragon Quest. While both have historically featured similar gameplay (random enemy encounters, turn-based battles and the like), the two series are distinct enough that many JRPG fans prefer either one or the other series.

While Dragon Quest has evolved into a kind of cutesy, anime-inspired, all-ages RPG series, for example, Final Fantasy has always taken a more adult tack. And while each game in the Final Fantasy series takes place in a totally distinct universe from other entries, the games of the Dragon Quest series are at least loosely related to one another, making some interesting and sometimes dark game-to-game connections evident to observant players.

And one such dark connection may be hiding in plain sight in the upcoming Dragon Quest XI’s promotional materials.

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Square Enix to release Dragon Quest game exclusive to smartphones

Game developer Square Enix, renowned for its number of long-running Japanese RPG series, announced yesterday that a new, smartphone-only entry in the fabled Dragon Quest franchise will hit online stores sometime this year.

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Final Fantasy fans want more remakes, so will Square Enix listen?

With the recent “surprise” announcement that Final Fantasy VII is being remade, fans are wondering if Square Enix will start taking more requests. The pleas from gamers for a FF VII remake began way back in 2005 when the opening sequence for the game was recreated using the graphics capability of the PS3. So if the famous video game company is willing to finally give the fans what they have been asking for, why not ask for more?

A petition has been started that is asking Square Enix to remake another classic from their catalog of “final” role-playing games. Will the gaming company listen to their fans, or will it be another long wait for Final Fantasy enthusiasts?

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Yes, Cloud will still wear a dress in the Final Fantasy VII remake

With the recent announcement of a Final Fantasy VII remake, gamers are already starting to imagine which parts from the RPG classic will be making the trip to the PlayStation 4. While they haven’t been officially announced, we’ll probably once again see the scene where Sephiroth flashes video gaming’s most memorable stink eye in front of a fiery backdrop, the moment when Cloud and childhood friend Tifa share a heart-to-heart talk in a starlit playground, and also that one part where the spikey-haired hero wades into the water holding Aerith (I think he was trying to teach her to swim or something, but I don’t remember exactly).

But while none of those have been officially confirmed for the new game, there is one thing director Tetsuya Nomura has made clear. The part where the main character dresses up as a woman to infiltrate a brothel? Totally going to be in the new Final Fantasy VII.

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Have you found the third Square Enix character hiding in the Final Fantasy VII remake video?

The announcement at this year’s E3 that video game developer Square Enix is finally remaking Final Fantasy VII thrilled gamers old enough to fondly remember completing the RPG classic and those young enough to have never tried it alike. Fans around the world have been repeatedly watching the short preview video that gives us a glimpse at the newly rendered city of Midgar and returning characters Cloud and Barret.

Actually, though, there’s one more famous Square Enix character who can be seen in the video, as sharp-eyed viewers have pointed out.

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Final Fantasy VII remake is officially announced, and the video is right here 【E3 2015】

A video game series doesn’t get to its fifteenth installment without a steady string of commercial and/or critical successes, and you’ll find plenty of both in publisher Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise. But even as many gamers are looking forward to the exploring, monster-fighting, and camping of Final Fantasy XV, it seems like just as many have been taking a bittersweet glance back at Final Fantasy VII and wistfully asking if Square Enix is ever going to update its aging masterpiece.

The answer is yes, Final Fantasy VII is getting a modern PlayStation 4 remake, and here’s the official video teaser that proves it.

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Final Fantasy creator reveals the real reason behind the “Final” part of the hit series’ title

To those unfamiliar with the history of video game developer Square (now merged with former rival Enix and renamed Square Enix), the title of the prolific Final Fantasy series must seem pretty ironic. After all, the franchise’s Roman numeral-numbered sequels now go all the way up to XV, and by the time you add in the sequel’s sequels, like the recently rereleased Final Fantasy X-2, and spinoffs like Final Fantasy Tactics (which of course has a sequel of its own, too), there doesn’t seem to be anything “final” about the series at all.

Some gamers will be quick to point out, though, that had the original Final Fantasy not been a hit, Square wouldn’t have had the financial resources to keep going and would have had to shut its doors, and the title is a nod to that desperation. Others will correct them, saying that in fact the “Final” portion of the title was chosen because Hironobu Sakaguchi, the driving force behind the creation of the series and its most popular installments, was going to quit the gaming industry if the first Final Fantasy wasn’t a success.

But as Sakaguchi himself recently revealed, neither of those was really the reason Square decided to call what would go on to be its defining game series Final Fantasy.

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Toyota Chocobos?! Iconic Final Fantasy music used in new car ad 【Videos】

Following several years of building dependable, affordable, yet almost utterly soulless automobiles, Toyota is trying to get back to creating and market cars with a sense of joy and playfulness. After all, it’s a waste to treat driving as just going from Point A to Point B in the dullest way possible instead of the fun journey it has the potential to be.

That’s why in its newest commercial, Toyota is invoking the spirit of adventure with a fleet of yellow hybrids running about the countryside with the musical accompaniment of one of the most instantly recognizable pieces of Final Fantasy music every composed.

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Star Ocean 5 announced for PlayStation 3 and 4 as developer tri-Ace remains in the console arena

In the video game industry, tri-Ace occupies an unusual place in that quite a lot of gamers have never heard of it. On the other hand, out of those that do recognize the name of the developer, many are intensely loyal fans, largely thanks to the strengths of tri-Ace’s Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile franchises, in particular the games’ detailed worlds and combat systems that innovatively mix action and strategy.

So when tri-Ace was acquired earlier this year by mobile game developer Nepro Japan, many feared that the team’s talents for intricate craftsmanship would be wasted as it shifted to simplified smartphone titles. That doesn’t seem to be the case yet, though, as tri-Ace has just announced its newest project, Star Ocean 5, for PlayStation 3 and 4.

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Lifelong SaGa Frontier fan makes real-life princess outfit that’s a true labour of love【Photos】

Late-nineties roleplaying game SaGa Frontier may have had mixed reviews in North America, where critics slammed its non-linear gameplay as lacking in focus, but the game was a huge success in Japan.

And 17 years on from the game’s original release, one Japanese fan has finally achieved her lifelong dream of recreating the dress of Princess White Rose (aka Shirobara Hime), and she’s got the pictures to prove it!

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Gamers puzzled as Square Enix files separate trademark applications for “Squaresoft” and “Enix”

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.

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Square Enix now hiring Final Fantasy XV staff, might be planning to work them to death

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.

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New Final Fantasy may not have playable female characters, will have almost naked male hero

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.

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Japanese convenience store’s registers play Final Fantasy victory theme for special items 【Video】

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.

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