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Really, What’s Up With Final Fantasy: A New Empire

So Really, What’s Up With Final Fantasy: A New Empire

You’ve probably seen those strange ads for the mobile game Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. This strange ‘free’ app looks like any other free to play mobile game but with one major exception, it’s based on the most recent Final Fantasy game. Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolus, Iignis, they’re all there but it still feels like an intellectual property lawsuit waiting to happen rather than an actual Square Enix game. But yes, this game and all of its elements are legitimately licensed from SQUARE ENIX HOLDINGS CO., LTD. according to their official website.

Seriously, What’s Up With This Game?

A fan reached out asking us to give our impression on this game and we’re here to deliver.

New Empire, ffxv, mobile game, gigamax, gaming news

This is a game that would normally fly under the radar for Gigamax Games but there were a few things about it that did catch our eye. The marketing on those aforementioned social platforms stood out, maybe not for the best reasons but it did have our intention. The graphics (on the ads) and action looked impressive for a mobile game. However, as gamers know all too well this is a common marketing ploy. Video game developers have lied in the past when it comes to their marketing, No Mans Sky comes to mind. However, this seemed to be on an entirely different level.

FFXV: A New Empire promised exciting quests, action, and combat when in reality it is just another “age of empires” tower defense style mobile game. Yes, it does use the Final Fantasy universe but things are so much different.

Even with the Final Fantasy inspiration, this game is nearly identical to all the other tower defense, base builder, free to play mobile games on the market today. There are a lot of different things to do but there’s very little substance when it comes to the content.

“Questing” They Call It

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The questing system is extremely shallow. The only thing a player has to do to complete a quest is click “start” and wait for the timer to tick down. Fighting other bases and monsters is dull as well. The tiny sprite that represents a character slowly walks through the overworld, swings its sword and walks back to the base. There was only time Noctis is ever actually seen fighting and that was in the ‘Proving Grounds’. Noctus runs toward an enemy and each slash of his sword uses 50 Ether. Ether is not easily found and it costs an incredible amount of ‘Loyalty’ to purchase more.

With the lack of exciting content, there is one thing that this game does very well, entice the player to purchase the in-game materials and currency. There are so many things to do, even if they’re shallow, there’s a lot of different bases to upgrade, bosses to fight, in-game items to purchase but free players are extremely limited. To continuously play, the only real option is to pay.

Time Goes On But The Game Stands Still

After a while playing, there was the inevitable point where you are stuck waiting for resources to generate and a building to finish completing. The only New Empire, ffxv, mobile game, gigamax, gaming newssaving grace would be free to play mini-games that gamers could play while waiting around. However, there were actually multiple mini-games to choose from. This could have been the ultimate “Is this actually a great mobile game I would have missed out on?”

Clicking on the first one brings the player to a classic tower defense game. You build turrets that defend a wave-like onslaught of enmities, protecting the walls of your empire. This was exciting, having the chance to play fun games while resources accumulate or buildings to upgrade could have been great! However, players only have one attempt and then they are locked out with a 24:00 timer. Gamers only get 1 chance to play a single mini-game per day. There are 4 mini-games to try and a 24-hour timer shared between them. This means it will literally take four days to try each of the mini-games and you only have one attempt.

Final Thoughts

At the beginning they give you an incredible amount of resources and leveling up the citadel is a breeze. This honeymoon stage ends abruptly and they make it abundantly clear that in-game purchases are easy to complete and readily available. It’s unfortunate that the Final Fantasy brand is associated with this kind of game. The beautiful thing about Final Fantasy is the abundance of content a game purchase offers. Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire is the opposite. The shallow and lackluster content teases people along to get hooked and then once they level their buildings to about level 8, resource requirements for an upgrade increase exponentially. The only way to continuously play this game is to buy the in-game currency, however, if you’re a very patient person and don’t mind putting the game down for long periods of time, it’s a great distraction for a short period of time.

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Square Enix Embraces “Games As A Service” Model

Square Enix Embraces “Games As A Service” Model

Square Enix has previously stated that they felt the gaming industry was heading toward a “games as a service” model, saying that the publisher “will approach game design with a mind to generate recurring revenue streams.” In a recent note to shareholders, the President of the company, Yousuke Matsuda,  said that this model is the current way forward in the industry.

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“Gone are the days in which single-player games were of primary status and multiplayer games secondary,” Matsuda said. “Lately, multiplayer games have taken the lead, and it is standard for games to be designed for long-term play.” (http://bit.ly/2fmyhLO)

In terms of a concept, games as a service are nothing new to the industry. Each company has their own way of defining this philosophy and for the Final Fantasy publisher, it means a strong emphasis on long-term user engagement.

Here’s A Bonus!

Square Enix will start making more of an effort to release games that drive the player to engage with a game for a longer period of time instead of a quick completion and moving on. The company believes that this will increase their overall customer satisfaction and create a lifetime value to the games themselves.

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To show their commitment to this style of game, Square Enix added multiplayer to Final Fantasy XV through an upcoming expansion. The company also announced a new shooter this week called Left Alive, which will have a significant online portion to keep players interested. This model makes plenty of sense as a developer can sustain their game over a period of time and sell content and the game for much longer.

Streaming and Shareholders

Matsuda also recognized the importance of streaming in the note to shareholders. He wants the company to place a growing emphasis on the matter and look into using it as a revenue stream.

“An increasing number of our customers around the world enjoy not only playing games themselves, but also watching other gamers play them. You do not actually need to play a game yourself to enjoy it,” Matsuda said. “Watching the advanced techniques of professional gamers and the unique broadcasts of game streamers is another way to enjoy games. Watching gaming is growing into a major form of entertainment thanks to considerable advances in the online streaming environment. It is the presence of e-sports spectators that make this meaningful.” (http://bit.ly/2fmyhLO)

This is big news for any Square Enix fan. It shows that the company is learning from the market instead of sticking to old ideas that gamers are getting sick of. Games like Overwatch and Destiny 2 show that the industry is moving toward a community driven experience that receives new content on a monthly basis instead of something that can be finished in a few hours. Hopefully, this note to shareholders shows the true direction of the company and isn’t just business rhetoric. If you’d like to see the full note you can find it on their website.

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Dissidia Final Fantasy NT: New Final Fantasy Fighter

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT: New Final Fantasy Fighter

Square Enix offered some additional information about the closed beta for their upcoming Final Fantasy fighting game, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Last month the company announced they will be holding a closed beta but now gamers have an idea when they can play. Between August 25th and September 3rd, select players will have the chance to give this arcade fighter a try.

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Registration is now live and gamers have until August 20th to sign up for their chance to try out Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. North and Latin American players can sign up here and other regions can visit this site to register. Unfortunately be prepared for bad news, as with any closed-beta acceptance is going to be limited.

This game looks like it’s going to be an epic adventure. Come take a look at some Dissidia Final Fantasy NT below.

It isn’t the first time Square Enix released a Final Fantasy fighter. For the 20th anniversary in 2008, they released a similar fighting game for PlayStation Portable, Dissidia Final Fantasy. The North American version released back in 2009. This latest title should be an exciting revisit, with new characters and the incredible power of the modern console. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT will be exclusive to the PlayStation 4 with an expected release in 2018.

Get Your Final Fantasy Fix Today

For those not lucky enough to be chosen for the closed-beta, they’ll have to survive on gameplay footage from the lucky few until its release or an open-beta. However, Gigamax Games does have some Final Fantasy video’s to get you through the year. Be sure to keep checking back for new episodes and the latest gameplay.

Don’t forget to Subscribe to keep up with the latest releases from Gigamax Games.

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Nier: Automata DLC – Coming ‘Soon’

Nier: Automata DLC: “3C3C1D119440927”

Nier: Automata is a game to remember for more reasons than one. A strange story and unique gameplay, this DLC will turn it up a notch. Dubbed “3C3C1D119440927”, it’s turning heads with the introduction of new enemies. Players will be fighting the CEO of Square Enix and Platinum Games, Yosuke Matsuda and Kenichi Sato, respectively.

According to the Square Enix press release, the DLC for Playstation 4 and Windows PC will be available ‘soon’.  A Japanese-language livestream aired on April 17th which announced a May 2nd release date and its cost, 1,500 yen. It’s not confirmed whether this will be the same for North America. The 1,500 yen is about $13 USD which hits at around a $15 price point. However, as of now the release date is still not confirmed for North America, but the price seems to be close. 

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Yosuke Matsuda and Kenichi Sato

Below is Yosuke Matsuda and Kenichi Sato fight. Interesting is the best word to describe this wacky encounter. If you haven’t seen much of Nier, this will look even more absurd.


[Source: http://bit.ly/2pycDr3]

What Else To Expect

Beyond the exciting new battles, the DLC introduces new challenges, costumes, gear and hair dye. The new costumes are a tribute to the first Nier. 2B gets a new look based on the outfit Kaine wars in the first game. 9S and A2 both get new costumes based on the first game’s protagonist.
The multi-genre RPG is definitely a break from the norm, thrilling and unique, it keeps interest high throughout the story. Be sure to check back soon for coverage of ‘3C3C1D119440927’, it’s offer to have some surprises along the way.

Gamers curious about what Nier: Auutomata has to offer can watch the video below. The DLC is definitely eye catching, but the game might not be for everyone.

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Resources:

http://www.gamingunion.net/news/2017/04/nier-automata-director-teases-dlc-related-to-the-apologetic-machines

http://www.gamesradar.com/nier-automata-dlc-lets-you-punch-square-enix-and-platinums-ceos/

https://www.polygon.com/2017/4/17/15324792/nier-automata-colosseum-dlc-announcement-ps4-pc-steam-square-enix-platinum-games

Screenshots for Kingdom Hearts 3 & Final Fantasy 7 Released

Attendees at this year’s Monaco Anime Game International Conferences got a real treat. The developer behind Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Final Fantasy VII remake, Tetsuya Nomura, showed some brand new screenshots of the highly anticipated titles.

Final Fantasy VII

The first couple of screenshots were taken from the upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII. They are some awesome action shots of the series protagonist, Cloud in some sticky situations. The initial picture shown is of the hero taking cover behind a box as a Shinra soldier fires at him, presumably in the beginning moments of the game. The photo also highlights how radically different this game will be than the original. New to Final Fantasy VII is the action combat that is very reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts. Although veterans of the series will notice a battle timer that will surely impress old school fans.

Kingdom Hearts 3

The next screenshot of Final Fantasy VII was an action sequence showing Cloud and the gun arm wielding, Barrett, fighting off a spider tank. This is the first boss fight that players encountered in the original release and it couldn’t look more different. Square Enix has also recently revealed that the remake would be an episodic adventure so that every part of the game would be extremely detailed.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3

Finally, an image of Kingdom Hearts 3 was shown that did the unthinkable, increased the hype even further. In the screenshot the protagonist Sora is preparing to take on a new type of unnamed heartless. He is wearing some new flashy clothes and seems to be preparing some sort of spell to throw at the monster. Kingdom Hearts 3 is over 10 years in development and the hard work shows. The Unreal 4 Engine is a perfect fit for the game and makes the game look gorgeous.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Unfortunately no release date was announced for either game but hopefully it drops by the holiday season this year.

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Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Review

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

It’s been 12 years since the last core Kingdom Hearts game. Finally, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue feels like the last stepping stone before the third entry. 2.8 is another uprezzed collection much like Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 but misses out on not including a game from the main series. This time around players are given Dream Drop Distance (the 3DS game), Birth By Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage (a short section from the PSP game), and a collection of cutscenes from the mobile title Unchained x. While there is plenty of content, it is nowhere near as substantial as the prior remasters but manages to remain fun with what is delivered.

Developer Square Enix put a lot of work into making the old 3DS title, Dream Drop Distance work on the PS4. Playing the game feels way more comfortable on a Dualshock controller then it did on the clunky 3DS gamepad. The combat flow feels smoother and getting invested in the worlds is easier when you can see everything that’s going on. That being said, this is still an apparent 3DS port. Touch and motion controls were a big part of the title and they don’t always translate well to the PlayStation. The game also plays differently than a core Kingdom Hearts so newcomers beware,this is not a traditional Kingdom Hearts experience.

Sora and Riku: Dynamic Duo

Dream Drop Distance relies on a gimmick that has the player switch between controlling Sora and Riku. A drop meter is added underneath the health bar and when the automated timer runs out the player is forced to switch to whichever character they were not using. Seeing the two heroes stories develop simultaneously is entertaining, but the invasive drop system ruins the experience. Once the drop timer runs out, no matter where you are or what enemy is being fought the game force switches your character. I had too many instances of long boss encounters having to be restarted because of this new system. Also gone is the traditional buddy system. Sora no longer fights alongside famous Disney characters. New to the series is the spirit partner system that has players create pets based on the enemies you fight. Using these new partners, our heroes are able to utilize spirit link attacks that let Riku fuse and Sora combo attack with their respective monsters. These new abilities are fun to use but only add to the chaos of the combat system which sometimes feels a little too hectic.

Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage

The next entry available to players is “Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage.” This snippet of the PSP game Birth By Sleep has been completely remastered in the Unreal 4 engine. The new style is a first glimpse into what Kingdom Hearts 3 is going to look and play like. The combat is fast and fluid and the story gives a good impression of what’s going on in the events right before the third core game. Aqua is an awesome hero and the new option to customize your character’s appearance is an entertaining distraction. The only downside to this experience is that it is not terribly long. I managed to complete 0.2 in 2 hours 45 minutes on normal difficulty, albeit without finding a ton of the secrets that the game has hidden. This small section of gameplay leaves you wanting so much more, but unfortunately that is still a ways off.

Overall Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is a welcomed addition to the series, but at the end of the experience it only leaves a desire to play the main games. This title is a treat for fans who need something to tide them over while waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3. Newcomers to the series will be left confused and should wait for the re releases of 1.5 and 2.5 on the current gen consoles before sinking money into 2.8. If you’d like a look into what the game looks and plays like, we have a Let’s Play at the bottom of the article that will give more insight into the game.

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