Hinted at during E3’s own Distant Worlds show and now a reality, Final Fantasy XIV’s Dragonsong will be joining the concert series circuit starting with its world premiere later this year. Revealed today, AWR Music Productions will be joined by Nobuo Uematsu in Chicago on December 26th for a special holiday event.
In addition to Dragonsong, Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra and Arnie Roth plan on bringing a special musical tribute to Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy I – XIV Battle Medley and other planned surprises. Of course, vocalist Susan Calloway will also be in attendance as the original singer of both Dragonsong and Answers from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
Tickets will go on sale from July 20th and more information on the show can be found over at the official Distant Worlds site.
Final Fantasy VII made a big splash last week when it was announced during E3 that a full remake was finally in production. After years of wishing and online debates, the game many thought would never come is now a reality – with director Testuya Nomura now at the helm.
Speaking in a new interview with Famitsu this week, Nomura shared a few updates and details on the new PlayStation 4 title – including words on his plans to modernize the game beyond a simple graphical redux.
The CG teaser trailer we saw at E3 will be used in part in the new game, for starters. Nomura plans to raise the quality even more than it is now. On the choice of hardware, it’s clear Final Fantasy VII is heading to PlayStation 4, but what about other platforms? “You’ll be able to play it first on PlayStation 4, that’s for certain,” said Nomura. “We’re not thinking beyond that yet, so after that is undecided. Since we’re bringing out PlayStation 4 title after PlayStation 4 title, it’d be great if we can give the hardware and industry a boost.”
Because the original Final Fantasy VII is such a special game, Nomura feels that simply making the visuals nicer isn’t going to cut it and fans shouldn’t be excited just for that. “Precisely because it’s a full remake, I want to challenge what’s fun and what’s possible now.”
Although Nomura wants to modernize the game, however, he won’t be adding in new characters. Instead you can expect them to be updated to match today’s more realistic visual style. On the game systems themselves, however, he remained coy. “I can’t share details, but we’re changing it to a more realistic system.”
More action-styled battles perhaps? Our next update is promised for Winter later this year.
For those who didn’t quite make the early access period, Final Fantasy XIV’s first expansion Heavensward has launched today for all players across PlayStation 3, PS4, PC and Mac for the first time.
The expansion features an all new story that focuses on the Dragonsong War as adventurers make their way into the long-awaited city of Ishgard along with a level cap raise to 60, new playable jobs including Dark Knight, Machinist and Astrologian and a new playable race – the Au Ra.
“Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward marks the beginning of the second season of our journey through the vast Final Fantasy XIV universe,” said Naoki Yoshida, producer and director. “Having laid a strong foundation in A Realm Reborn, we are extremely excited that Heavensward will build upon this with new and diverse gameplay and content that continue to be the hallmarks of the online Final Fantasy experience.”
Heavensward is out now for the base price of $39.99 across all platforms. A physical Collector’s Edition is available for $129.99 and a digital Collector’s Edition can be had for $59.99. A free 30-day trial is included with all new accounts, while monthly subscriptions start at $12.99.
Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae is set to receive its promised 2.0 update later today, with several changes incorporated into the early build giving fans a look at some of the mechanics and other gameplay features Square Enix had already planned for the final game. This week, Famitsu has a closer look at what to expect.
- Added cooperation attacks that come from ally suggestions.
- Guarding just before being hit by an enemy attack will no longer consume MP.
- Evasive maneuver has been changed into a dodge roll, no longer consumes MP, and can be shifted into from various actions.
- Moving the left stick during a consecutive attack will change the attack movement.
- You can now charge great sword attacks by holding down the button.
- The Shift (Warp) command has been changed into a long Circle button hold. If you hold Circle for a short period, you’ll perform a mid-range shift.
- The areas you can warp to have been greatly increased.
- Attack power, MP consumption, and more have been adjusted.
- Camera turning speed and acceleration has been improved. The lock-on tracking has been improved, and target-switching has been simplified.
- Camera can now be moved down during combat.
- Party AI has been improved.
- “Individual action quests” that are suggested by party members has been added.
- The Catoblepas by the lake can now be fought.
The patch is a free download to anyone who has redeemed their voucher code or already downloaded the FFXV demo. Square Enix has scheduled it for launch around 11AM EDT today alongside a new patch for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. While the game will be skipping this year’s E3, the next big update is planned for Gamescom in August.
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is set to receive its own update today, addressing one of the biggest complaints of the game since before launch – its camera and use of motion blur.
According to the series’ official Japanese Twitter, the patch will drop around the same time as Episode Duscae’s and includes camera improvements and reduces motion blur. Nearly three months after launch, one has to wonder why Square Enix didn’t get to this sooner.
Final Fantasy XV won’t be making this year’s E3 after all, despite previous promises of a short trailer in the lead up to Gamescom. Instead, Square Enix will be focusing full force on the German show, with director Hajime Tabata offering up a bit of a teaser in the form of a piece of rough concept art featuring a young Noctis and King Regis.
Tabata’s reasoning for skipping E3 were simple – he was going to mix in a bunch of old footage but the western branches of the company weren’t too keen on that idea, so the trailer has been scrapped completely.
Gamescom will run from August 5-9 this year in Cologne, Germany and will play host to the next Active Time Report.