In an extremely anticipated event on February 20th, Sony finally revealed the PlayStation 4 to the public, along with some upcoming games for the system. The system is coming out for the 2013 holiday season, and sports impressive technical specifications and a modified DualShock 4 controller with extra features like a touchpad and a built-in speaker.
As I did for last year’s E3 conferences, I have prepared a comfortable bullet-point summary of the major announcements during the conference, in order of appearance.
I’ve been a Final Fantasy fan for many years now, and, despite the less-than-stellar entries in the last 10 years or so, the series remains dear to me. Games like Final Fantasy VI, VII and Tactics are among the best I’ve ever played, and not even Square’s recent problems can take away from their greatness. It is undoubted that Final Fantasy has plenty of awesome characters, but it’s usually the male ones that get all the attention, with some small exceptions. In this list, I have decided to give some credit to the great female characters in the series. Admittedly, there aren’t as many of them, but they still add a great amount of quality to their games. One of them is even my favourite video game character of all time, and you’ll see her on top of this list.
Square Enix have finally put the new Final Fantasy VII PC version up for sale. Sadly, the rumour that it would be up on Steam didn’t hold true. What we do know is that this new version has improved graphics and music compared to the original PC release, though, naturally, it’s far from the full-blown modern-technology remake fans want so much. For a limited time, the game costs just 10 Euros to download, so I highly recommend it to anyone that has not played this masterpiece yet!
“Character booster” option – allowing you to increase HP, MP and Gil values with the click of a button (kind of like the fan-made cheat utilities that modified your save file in the original PC version)
The price is set at €9.99/£7.99.
No release date yet, but we should hear about that soon enough!
Some very interesting facts regarding Final Fantasy VII’s development process came up recently in the Japanese Weekly Famitsu magazine, as part of Final Fantasy VII’s 15th anniversary feature. Here’s the gist (beware of spoilers):
There was a discussion about whether to use sprites or polygons for the character models. Sprites was the more popular option, but polygons were eventually chosen so that character movement could be expressed better.
SD (Super Deformed) style for character models outside of battle were chosen by Hironobu Sakaguchi, who thought they were necessary to show character’s expressions better
Sakaguchi put effort into the battle system and came up with the Materia system
Tetsuya Nomura, aside from working on the characters’ designs, also contributed to gameplay, he was the one who came up with the Limit system
Zack was added near the end of the development, after the other main characters had been fleshed out
Nomura suggested that either Tifa or Aerith die
Aerith was to be the sole heroine, Tifa was added later
Cloud’s hair was originally slicked back to reduce polygon usage
Originally, Sephiroth and Aerith were to be brother and sister
Afterwards, Sephiroth was to be Aerith’s first love (eventually, that idea led to the creation of Zack)
These are all quite interesting. The sprites vs. polygons argument is visible in what Xenogears, the other big Square game developed in the same period, eventually became – visually, the opposite of FFVII – with sprites for the characters and 3D polygonal environments, as opposed to the polygonal characters in pre-rendered 2D environments seen in FFVII. Square obviously wanted to try the different styles and see which came out better. I’d say both were quite impressive in their own way.