Final Fantasy VII Remake Finally Happening

Final Fantasy

Remember that Final Fantasy VII tech demo at E3 2005? The one that showed off the hardware capabilities of the PS3? I sure don’t. But if I did, I’m sure I’d have theorized that it was in fact an early teaser for an actual Final Fantasy VII remake. The best part about this news is that precious child Simon would be right.

Since I am in fact a future version of him, (spoiler alert) I’d also be right, And that’s awesome possum.

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Accurate rendition of child SImon

Square Enix has finally released details to a few sources (I’m just that special) that Final Fantasy VII will be properly remade for the PS4 and Xbox One. With the news that Square has realized the potential for JRPGs, it’s not surprising that they’d like to hit the gold mine with the most popular FF title to date. However, it does seem a bit abrupt considering they only just announced their refocus.

Inside sources including President Obama and Skynet tell me that we will be getting our first teaser for the upcoming mammoth in a fortnight or less; Stay tuned for extensive coverage.

In the meantime, I’ve got a Reunion to get to.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Early Access Begins Today

The Elder Scrolls Online will release next friday, April 4th, but the early access kicks off today for the the digital Imperial and Standard Edition pre-purchases. Furthermore, the physical pre-orders will have access to the servers on April 1st and assure their three-day head start bonus, as Bethesda stated:

The three-day early access bonus that comes with pre-ordering the Physical or Digital Standard Edition of The Elder Scrolls Online from one of our participating retailer will begin on April 1, 2014.

Pre-orders are still available but the head start bonus is not longer accessible. The servers will launch early in the morning in the United States and late in the evening in Oceania. Check the five-day and three-day early access schedules for different zones.

Five-day early access bonus schedule:

North America (East): 7:00 AM EDT, Sunday March 30th
Central Europe: 1:00 PM CEST, Sunday March 30th
Sydney, Australia: 10:00 PM AEDT, Sunday March 30th

Three-day early access bonus schedule:

North America (East): 7:00 AM EDT, Tuesday April 1st
Central Europe: 1:00 PM CEST, Tuesday April 1st
Sydney, Australia: 10:00 PM AEDT, Tuesday April 1st

For more information about the early access schedules check the official news.

Sony Releases List of All 2014 PS4 Titles

Sony

Earlier today, Sony released a post on their official US blog that lists every single game coming out for the PS4 in 2014; a very informative and useful guide for PS4 owners.

Taking a gander at their post, it’s quite clear that the PS4 has a great line-up for the year. Showstoppers like The Order 1886 and Destiny, indie gems like The Witness and Child of Light, and surprise hits like The Evil Within and The Division all suggest that the PS4 was a wise choice. It’s finally worth noting that this list will change throughout the year, as more games are announced and dates are solidified.

What games have you the most excited to be a PS4 early adopter?

Dragon Age Inquisition: Alistair’s Return Confirmed

Dragon Age

Dragon Age Inquisition will count with another old character from the previous games, Alistair, the famous king of Ferelden. BioWare published today several images of Steve Valentine, Alistair’s voice actor, recording at Edmonton’s studios.

Voice Over Director at BioWare, Caroline Livingstone, released an image confirming that Alistair’s return is not mere speculation.

Furthermore, Steve Valentine has also published a picture of himself recording with the following statement:

Somethings come as a surprise, even to me, guess where I am today.

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Steve Valentine at Edmonton studios with Caroline Livingstone (BioWare’s Voice Over Director) and Jessica Merizan (BioWare’s Community Manager).
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Steve Valentine voicing Alistair at BioWare studios.

Now, what’s left to know is whether Alistair is returning to become an influential character or a secondary role, as it happened in Dragon Age II. But according to BioWare, Inquisition will be the longest and deepest game of the series, so there’s a great chance that Alistair will get at least more scenes than the previous game. Other old characters like Morrigan, Varric and Cassandra have already been announced to return in Inquisition.

Dragon Age Inquisition: ‘Vivienne Was a Truly Great Character to Build’

Vivienne

BioWare has announced that a new Inquisitor follower will be revealed every month and March will be exclusively dedicated to Vivienne, a human mage and possible companion in Inquisition. Senior Artist Rion Swanson unveiled the development process for this character and stated that “it was a truly great character to build.” Swanson strengthened the fact that it is a significant product that meets the high-quality standards of the studio. Despite the multiple reviews and back-and-forth processes, Vivienne ended up being a refined, detailed and complex character, as Swanson concluded:

In the end, I think we achieved quite a dramatic look for this strong new character. The combination of sleek and powerful shapes with the ornate gold and fine fabrics gives Vivienne a pretty unique appearance. Watching her move through the world with flowing fabric and using her awesome mage abilities is a real nice counterbalance to some of the other heavily armored characters in your party. Enjoy!

Dragon Age Inquisition Vivienne
BioWare’s development process of Vivienne’s appearance, clothes and ornament.

The Madame de Fer or the Lady of Iron, as Vivienne is known, will be the official enchanter of the Imperial court in Inquisition and she won’t let anything stand in the way of her goals, even if it means going against her fellow mages. As BioWare stated: “Vivienne fights to restore order in a world gone mad…so long as that leaves her among those left standing, once all is said and done.”

Tom Clancy’s The Division: ‘Snowdrop Engine Gives Total Freedom’

Tom Clancy’s The Division is currently under development and Ubisoft has been unveiling multiple details about the programing engine, Snowdrop. According to Ubisoft, this engine has been “built from the ground up to create truly next-gen AAA games.” Very little is known about this upcoming third-person tactical shooter game, however it’s known that it will have a hybrid system made of role-playing and action features. Next-gen offers unparalleled possibilities and freedom seems to be the main key towards creativity, as Ubisoft stated today:

@TheDivisionGame: The Snowdrop engine gives content creators a total freedom to experiment, prototype and unleash their creativity.

Tom Clancy's The DivisionFurthermore, Rodrigo Cortes, Brand Art Director at Massive Entertainment, has stated that Snowdrop is designed to “do things better, not bigger.” To achieve a higher level of game development, in a period of great competitive edge between new AAA games, Ubisoft decided to rely on freedom rather than brute force, as Cortes explained:

Triple-A game development projects are growing in scope exponentially, so we wanted to be smart and not rely on brute force. We needed an engine that would support how we work in the studio, promote creativity, and allow the freedom to experiment and prototype.

League of Legends: Team Builder is Not Coming to Ranked for Now

Team Builder

Riot Games has officially launched Team Builder, a new team set-up queue for normal games, which will exclude the ranked ladders for the time being. After a long beta testing period, it is now available in all servers and is here to stay according to Riot Games. This system allows players to create their own team setup or queue for one using a specific champion, role and position.

Check the trailer below and let us know what you think about it:

This new queue system is merely casual and it’s not coming to the competitive grounds for now. Riot Games doesn’t want to dictate any restrictions to the development of competitive matches and as so, this system will be only live for normal queues. The company explained that  might be implemented in the future but possibly with a different format, since the pick order and ban mechanics are crucial in the ranked system:

Because Team Builder is a brand new way to handle champion select, we started with basic elements such as choosing the champion, position and role you intend to play in a given match. We know that the ban and pick order mechanics of the draft process are critical to the competitive nature of ranked mode, and we’re not quite sure yet how these would fit into Team Builder.

Team Builder seems to be ideal for training purposes, since players can easily pick a specific role or champion. However, there are a few concept lines that could be useful for the competitive level – who wouldn’t appreciate a permanent balanced team in ranked?

Dragon Age Inquisition Companions Left to Be Unveiled

Dragon Age Inquisition companions

Dragon Age Inquisition Companions

Two more Inquisition companions have been revealed, which means there are possibly three more to be officially announced. The fourth Dragon Age Inquisition companion spotted in a video last week has been officially identified by BioWare. After an image leak from the German PC magazine GameStar, Bioware’s lead writer David Gaider explained that the supposed Solace is in fact, Solas, a male elf mage companion in Inquisition:

Just FYI, however, it’s Solas. Not Solace. Not sure where they got that. And, since this seems to be a persistent notion: Solas is not the “Dorian” from the survey. He was never that character. As to who Solas is… well, I suppose you’ll all have to wait and see.

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A screenshot of Solas, an elf mage.
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Concept art of Iron Bull, a qunari warrior.

It’s also assumed that a concept art created last year by lead concept artist Matt Rhodes corresponds to the fifth Inquisition companions. His name is Iron Bull and he’s a qunari male warrior. Judging by his giant sword, he’ll probably be an aggressive warrior-like Fenris in Dragon Age 2 and Oghren in Dragon Age Origins.

With five Inquisition companions brought from the shadows (Varric, Cassandra, Vivenne, Solas, and Iron Bull) there’s possibly only one companion left to be unveiled. This of course, if BioWare follows the logic used in the previous two games, which included eight companions per game and a balanced class distribution among characters:

Dragon Age Origins:

Alistair (Warrior-Templar); Leliana (Rogue-Bard); Mabari War Hound (War Pet); Morrigan (Mage-Shapeshifter); Oghren (Warrior-Fighter); Sten (Warrior-Fighter); Zevran (Rogue-Assassin); Wynne (Mage-Healer).

Dragon Age II:

Anders (Mage-Healer); Aveline (Warrior-Defensive); Bethany Hawke (Mage-Offensive); Carver Hawke (Warrior-Fighter); Fenris (Warrior-Fighter); Isabela (Rogue-Assassin); Merril (Mage-Offensive); Varric (Rogue-Archer).

Dragon Age Inquisition:

Cassandra (Warrior-Defensive); Iron Bull (Warrior-Fighter); Solas (Mage-?); Varric (Rogue-Archer); Vivienne (Mage-Offensive).

Following this trend, one of the remaining companions is certainly a female rogue, since we already got three males, two females, and only one rogue-archer. The other two companions could fit in any class and specialization role.

Xbox One In 26 New Regions By September

Xbox One

Microsoft has revealed via their website that the Xbox One will be entering the markets of 26 new regions in September. This should help Microsoft compete with Sony considering the rocky start they had this generation. Eight of these countries were supposed to be in the original XOne launch window, but had to be removed for reasons unknown.

If you had hopes of playing Titanfall on an Xbox One but resided in one of the following countries, prepare yourself for the immense satisfaction of piloting Titans.

Argentina
Belgium
Chile
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
Greece
Hungary
India
Israel
Japan
Korea
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Slovakia
South Africa
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
UAE

SimCity Now Officially Offers An Offline Mode

SimCity

With the release of the cleverly titled Update 10, SimCity is now officially an offline single player game… finally.

When the game released last year, it came under heavy fire by critics and the internet alike for its lackluster servers and curiously absent offline mode. It was an entire week before people could play the game, and even after it was still a buggy mess. When confronted about the problem, EA said that an offline mode was ‘impossible’ and that it could simply not be done. Fast forward to this very day, and it is done. EA at work, folks.

simcity

The full details can be found on their brand new FAQ, which does require an internet connection to view. The following are the most noteworthy excerpts.

Q: How do I play SimCity offline?
A: The new Single-Player Mode allows you to play SimCity anytime, anywhere, without the need of an active Internet connection.

Q: How do I download the Single-Player Mode for SimCity?
A: The Single-Player Mode will be included as part of Update 10 at no additional cost. This will be available to all current and future players on PC and Mac starting March 18, 2014.

Q: Will I still require an Internet connection to play?
A: An Internet connection is required to download Update 10 when it becomes available on March 18, 2014. You will not require an active Internet connection to play SimCity offline in the Single-Player Mode.

Q: Can I still play the game Online?
A: Yes, the Online game and all of its features are still intact. This includes Multiplayer, SimCity World and Online Save Games.

Q: Do I need an Origin Account to play?
A: Yes, you use Origin to download and launch SimCity. Once you’ve installed Update 10, you can put Origin into offline mode when you are playing Single-Player Mode.