Dragon Quest XI S has been a long time in the making for the Nintendo Switch. We still do not have a firm release date although Square Enix is planning to release it this year. It is not clear whether that is worldwide or just in Japan. The company broadcast a live stream today and it shows a smattering of footage. Have a watch down below and see what you think!
Square Enix has revealed a new figure in its Bring Arts line, this time the Kingdom Hearts design for Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud. He has the win, the battered cape, and sword bandages, just like anyone would expect. This new figure is set to release in July 2019, and preorders are live as of today.
Like other Bring Arts figures, Cloud has tons of detail and points of articulation, all set for all kinds of posing and shelf spaces. He also comes with several interchangeable parts, including an extension for his cape, different hands, and an adjustable stand. The figure’s dimensions are W 4.33” x D 3.54” x H 7.09” and the figure is priced at $89.99. On the Square Enix Store, you can currently preorder it for a slightly discounted $80.99.
Also listed on the Square Enix Store is the Square Enix Limited Version. This is the same figure for the same price, but it comes with an alternative face part for Cloud that can be switched out for a different expression. Presumably this SKU won’t be as readily available as the other one.
Square Enix has been pumping out these higher-end collectibles quite often. Just in the past few months, we’ve seen new Bring Arts figures released and revealed for games such as Dragon Quest XI and NieR: Automata.
Of course, this is the perfect time for some slick, new Kingdom Hearts merchandise to start rolling out. After all, despite some delays for the VR software, Kingdom Hearts III is right around the corner. We’ll be finding out what Sora, Goofy, and Donald are up to on January 29, 2019.
[Source: Square Enix Store]
After two successful concerts and a third game right around the corner, Square Enix has revealed a third official concert for Kingdom Hearts. This tour, which will start running in April 2019 at venues around the world, is called Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World of Tres- and will incorporate music from Kingdom Hearts III for the first time.
This is the third concert in a series, following 2016’s -First Breath- and 2018’s -World Tour-. Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World of Tres- will begin with two shows in Tokyo on April 27, 2019. Tickets will go on presale starting January 29, and will be sold via a lottery system. The tour will close out in Osaka, returning to Japan for the final show on November 30.
In-between the Japan shows, the even will go on a global tour, stopping in countries such as France, Italy, Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Canada, and of course the United States. Tickets for these shows have a variety of sale dates and vendors, so please refer to our source link at the bottom of this article for the specifics.
This is yet another orchestra concert tour organized by The Wild Faery, which is a French production company with a history in running shows based on video games and anime properties. It is currently also running a show based on Konami’s Metal Gear series. Metal Gear in Concert is set to soon make its United States debut after some delays.
Of course, Kingdom Hearts III is set to launch for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 29, 2019.
We have got a number of games in the acclaimed Final Fantasy series landing on the Nintendo Switch this year. One of those is Final Fantasy X HD Remaster which also includes Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster. However, the official Square Enix store has listed Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster as a digital download so presumably you’ll get a download code in the box if you opt for the physical package. Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster comes to the Nintendo Switch on the 16th of April.
As technology improves and allows us to do greater things, the desire for older games to be remastered and remade has increased drastically. One of the main issues is up-scaling visuals, as many times it needs to manually be done, adding to the workload and most importantly, the cost. A remake that many gamers have been clamoring for is the beloved Final Fantasy VII, especially after its arguably premature announcement at 2015’s E3. While this remake is still in development, it’s unclear when we will see it come to fruition. In the meantime, a fan-made piece of software called A.I. Gigapixel might hold us over until FFVII Remake’s release.
A.I. Gigapixel could help overcome one of the major hurdles of remastering Final Fantasy VII: The backgrounds. Back in the day, the original assets for the backgrounds were lost, so upscaling them in modern iterations has proven to be an arduous task. It’s doable, but with the help of A.I. Gigapixel, this task could be made significantly easier. The software can learn what a proper upscaling looks like, based on developers feeding it thousands of images. Using an algorithm, it can learn to do all the hard work, instead of countless modders upscaling assets by hand, usually unpaid.
After discovering this software, modders began working on new assets for the game’s backgrounds. By working with A.I. Gigapixel, it not only upscales the assets, but it increases them, bringing the pixels to 400 times original in some cases—sometimes more. The program is not without its issues, though, as this kind of computing takes time. In some cases, lots of time. In some examples, it took over four million calculations just to enlarge one pixel, so imagine how long an entire background would take.
In the video above, you can see how the modding community is taking advantage of the software, despite how much computing it needs to do. Over time, it’s possible that A.I. Gigapixel could learn to enlarge pixels even faster. As it stands, many members of the community are hard at work on the Final Fantasy VII mod and it looks absolutely stunning.
Since the team at Square Enix is remaking Final Fantasy VII from the ground up, this software might not be as useful for them. But to those who just want to play a more visually appealing version of the game with everything else untouched, A.I. Gigapixel is definitely going to come in handy. What do you think of this? Are you savvy with modding? Let us know!
[Source: Topaz Labs]
Today, Square Enix released a second trailer for its upcoming anime short film, Final Fantasy XV Episode Ardyn Prologue. This is the “Story Trailer,” meaning it gives fans more insight as to just what the heck is going on with the short. The trailer even features subtitles, so English-speaking fans are covered as well. In addition to the peek at the story, Square Enix also provided a release window at the end of the trailer. So now we know that Final Fantasy XV Episode Ardyn Prologue will be released in February 2019.
The story is set well before the events of Final Fantasy XV, when villain Ardyn was a king. He seems to take the throne during a difficult time, and the trailer quickly introduces a nasty sickness referred to as the “Scourge of the Stars.” Ardyn appears to put himself at the forefront of the issue to great personal sacrifice, which of course ultimately leads to his downfall. What happens between that, of course, will be addressed in the short film. After that, fans will have the actual Final Fantasy XV Episode Ardyn DLC episode to look forward too, which has a release window of March 2019.
Unfortunately, this short film and DLC were originally meant to kick the door open on another year of Final Fantasy XV content, but that is sadly no longer the case. Director Hajime Tabata left Square Enix in October, and has since formed his own company. That company, JP Games, has since launched and announced work on a new project.
The long-awaited remaster of the PlayStation 2 games Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD now have a firm release date for the Nintendo Switch. The bundle will be available on the 16th of April. The company tweeted earlier that Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age will also be coming on the 30th of April, so it’s going to be the month of JRPGs for Switch owners.
2018 was no doubt the year of the photo mode. Games like God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man really helped popularize the feature in video games, and now it seems like almost every major game features it nowadays. A game like Final Fantasy XIV has had a photo mode, known as “gpose,” but 2019 will bring a host of new updates and improvements to make it even more accessible.
The 4.5 update, known as A Requiem for Heroes, will wrap up the storyline that began in the Stormblood expansion. However, it also brings some quality-of-life improvements. This includes the photo mode changes. There is now an increased list of conditions to access the mode. In another instance of making the mode more accessible, your emote can also be changed from within the mode itself. Naturally, you can only change your own emote, so group shots will require some coordination.
In addition, the photo mode will have a manual focus feature, allowing you to make the shots much more artistic. Whether you want to bring attention to your party mid-battle, or show off the beautiful scenery is up to you. You can also change the depth of field and blur within the picture. Hopefully, with these new additions, we will see a brand-new crop of player-create Final Fantasy XIV screenshots taking over the internet.
The 4.5 update also introduces a host of high-profile features. The most notable is no doubt the introduction of the Blue Mage job class. The first part of the two-part update goes live on January 8, 2019. The second part releases sometime in March.