FINAL FANTASY XIV: A REALM REBORN HAS OVER 4 MILLION REGISTERED ACCOUNTS

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Before I get into it, I just want to say, I’m a HUGE fan of Final Fantasy XIV and have been since late 2013. If you don’t know much of anything about FFXIV, it is a MMORPG game thats been released for Playstation 3, PC and Playstation 4. Very similar to that of Final Fantasy XI with a much improved battle system and all-around experience. As of a few days ago, Square Enix has announced it’s MMO Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has over 4 million registered accounts.

This number, which marks a pretty massive jump from the 2.5 million accounts revealed at the end of last year, doesn’t include accounts made for free trials of the game. We don’t know how many of these are active, but it’s clear interest in the game is growing at a substantial rate.

To celebrate the announcement, Square Enix has revealed a free login period will kick off Friday, February 27 at 8am GMT and finish on Monday, March 9 at 8am GMT. To be eligible, you have to have apparently “previously purchased and registered Final Fantasy XIV and [have an account] set as inactive during the campaign period.”

Earlier this week, the latest patch rolled out, bringing with it Chocobo racing, Chocobo breeding and the Triple Triad card game that originally appeared in Final Fantasy VIII.

The news is good considering the MMO’s first expansion, Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is due out in early 2015, and will add flying mounts, personal airships and three new jobs and a race.

In other related news, Square Enix released its annual end of year report which cites a strong presence from its various MMOs and the company’s focus on game development in different categories for the next year.

I’m personally proud of Square Enix’s success and to be apart of the Final Fantasy Community. I look forward to a lot more from them. If you haven’t played, you can give it a try with their 2-week free trial here.

Final Fantasy XV Director says “The end is closer than we think” + New Trailer

Above is the new trailer that was recently released, which has incredibly impressive interaction between the native wildlife. In my opinion, it seems as if we should set ourselves up to start exploring a massive world; so long as it wasn’t just portrayed that way in the trailer. As far as progress in the game, Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata has promised progress on the game is being made, saying the team is about 60 percent done with the title.

Mr. Tabata reassured anxious players that things are looking set to speed up from here once the Episode Duscae demo arrives. He also said that development was making good progress despite it sounding comparatively slow when you consider it was 55 percent complete last September. Here’s what else he had to say:

“It’s about 60 percent now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ but it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. In some ways I’m being very conservative in my estimates there and not wanting to put out too big a number. Developing big games on a large scale like this… it’s not very even in terms of each area of the game being created, so you have uneven development processes where some things are nearly done, and others are still at prototype stage.

“What we’ve tried to do for the demo is we took what we had ready by last autumn and had some teams spend some time to make sure it’s optimised to show to the public now. The order in which you develop something obviously isn’t going to see you completesomething and then move onto the next thing, so some things in the middle of development had to be shoved forward to be ready for the public and that’s what we’ve done with the demo.

“But because of the way development works, now we’ve seen a solid milestone, and using that it means the end is in sight in some ways. After that’s released and we continue on with development there may be times where we move on with massive leaps and bounds, so the overall number shoots up by 10 percent at a time. I think we’re looking at a much faster development in the near future.”

What do you think about this? I’m absolutely sold!

Amazing: 40-minute Final Fantasy XV Gameplay(Demo) Released + Many Details Revealed

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Square Enix’s confirms demo will be available March 17 but won’t run in 1080p; Project thought to be 60% done.

On Friday, in Japan, there was a livestream taking place for Final Fantasy XV and they’ve given us so many details to work with; 40-minutes worth, to be exact.

During a live video presentation, director Hajime Tabata revealed how far along the game is in development, talked about resolution details for its upcoming demo, released a new gameplay video, and more. But before getting into that, lets talk a little about Final Fantasy XV.

final-fantasy-15-demo-hq-screens-2Final Fantasy XV is what I like to call a real-time-role-playing game. It actually didn’t start out with that title — but as Final Fantasy Versus XIII back in 2006 which was announced at the expo during E3. However, rumors came around that it was cancelled. Later it was found out that the project wasn’t cancelled but rebooted with the new Playstation (PS4) and Xbox (Xbox One) consoles in mind.

Now, getting into some new information, Mr. Tabata was asked how much of Final Fantasy XV is currently completed. According to Kotaku, he replied, “We’re now at 60 percent.” Tabata added that he didn’t think it would take much longer to reach 80 percent completion, while the final 20 percent should also should “fall into place in a relatively smooth and timely fashion.”

Thanks to GameHQMedia, we got a look at the nearly 45-minute video of the upcoming Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae demo.

According to DualShockers, Mr. Tabata confirmed that the upcoming Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae demo will not run in full 1080p/30fps on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. However, he plans to have 1080/30fps resolution implemented into the final game.

Hajime Tabata also revealed during the presentation that the full map for Final Fantasy XV will be about 10-20 times larger than what players will find in the demo. Something else he said was that the game’s title screen will change according to the real-world time of day, and that the demo won’t have weather effects, although the final game will. You can go to this DualShockers post for more gameplay details regarding the demo.

The upcoming Final Fantasy XV demo will be available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but only for people who buy Final Fantasy Type-0 HD.  Here’s what Square Enix product marketing manager Scott Strichart explained in December.

“We’re never going to release it as a standalone piece down the line.”

Although that moment blows my mind (Must I purchase Final Fantasy Type-0 HD?), I enjoy everything that I’ve seen and look forward to what’s to come. The demo is set to release on March 17.

Here’s everything happening with The Sims 4

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The Sims 4 was released for PC back in September 2014 with a world-wide spread of anticipation. I myself have had this game pretty much since it’s release. However, I’ve never spoken on Sims 4. So today, after a few months of researching the ins and outs of this game, I would like to share a perspective on The Sims 4 and look into the view of other Sims 4 fans. Here’s what I came up with.

Was the release of The Sims 4 worth the hype?

  • The Sims 4 had a lot of things good (maybe even great) about it starting out. Like the fact that you can actually model your sims into something more personal was something I can assume everyone wanted; with little to no restrictions. The graphics and camera-views are smooth and very refined. It has noticeably evolved and makes you feel more connected with the sims. A sim’s personality is more convincing and seem to display each trait more realistically. The multitasking played an essential role and helps prove that interacting/socializing has definitely improved. Managing households has become even more manageable — having the ability to control many lots on the map. For example, you can create another family (if you decided to) for another home on the map aside from the first home you’ve made. You can also control a random family that was already created in your world. The Sims 4 also features an online Gallery which allows simmers to share their characters and lots and even interact [to some extent] with other simmers. So there are definitely some good things about the game.
  • The Sims 4, unfortunately, takes a step forward in some ways while taking two steps back in others — which in this case could make the bad out do the good. Why does The Sims 4 no longer support an open-world? And not only that, but moving from one lot to another requires that the game loads, it gets to a point where you might find yourself saying “boy, this is redundant”. Why are features like the young toddlers and dishwashers no longer available? Even pools weren’t available for the first few months of its release. The Sims 4 has had quite a hobby of crashing. The game felt too simple and cut-and-dry, especially when you’re a Sims fan who has played Sims 3 + all of it’s expansions. The core features seemed like they were “missing” from the game. Features as small as genealogy wasn’t available at launch of The Sims 4. It’s as if they wanted us to know that we (the players) will have to rely on their DLC/expansions to possibly unveil their real potential. Does that seem fair? Although socializing has indeed improved, why does it feel like socializing/interaction was on the top of their priority list? Keep in mind, it’s not as good as it could be.

But hey, after much disappointment and a lot of broken promises, EA has no plans to stop. So for those of us still holding on to dear life, hold on a little longer. Here’s some reasons why:

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The Sims 4 got a “Get to Work” expansion coming April 2015

As of April 2015, EA will be spicing things up with one of their first significant expansions: “The Sims 4 – Get to Work“.

Yes, we’re all familiar with your Sim disappearing into thin air whenever the Sim goes to work. We would wish to be able to follow the Sim to their job and experience it with them. Well! That’s set to change with this new expansion.

According to a press release from EA, you will have the opportunity to GO TO WORK with your Sim; allowing you to take an active role in four different job types:

  • Emergency room doctor will let you “spend your days saving lives. Just make sure to stay focused as you’re treating patients, delivering babies, and performing emergency surgery.”
  • Police Detective involves “solving elaborate mysteries” by having your sim “investigate crime scenes, interrogate Sims, arrest criminals, and work your way from Cadet to the Chief of Police.”
  • Scientists will be able to “create crazy inventions. Collect unique specimens to craft diabolical creations like the Sim Ray and decide whether you’ll use your inventions for good or to torment your fellow Sims.”
  • Entrepreneur is a broader occupation that can taken on as a supplement to the other three professions. You’ll be able to “create any type of retail business you desire including bakeries, clothing boutiques, art galleries, bookstores, and many more.” Using the game’s Build Mode, you can “customize every facet of your business.”

In addition, the pack introduces new photography and baking skills for characters to learn, and aliens will invade the game to an extent. They’ll look like regular Sims and it will be up to the player to detect which “Sim” is actually not a Sim.

A question that many have/may ask is “can you have multiple jobs”? The answer is Yes and No. You will only be allowed one job at a time if you’re choosing between the doctor, scientist, or detective. But you’ll be able to run a business on the side as well. So if you’re interested in scientists work but also want to sell pastries on your free time, you can.

Oh, Fyi, did you know April 2015 marks The Sims 15th Anniversary? No coincidence there.

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Here’s something nice for Sims fans with a Mac. The Sims 4 has just been released for Mac users. giving them the opportunity to experience The Sims 4 as well. This works for Mac users since they won’t have to start with little to no features in their game, since The Sims 4 has progressed a bit since it’s started. Giving us updates/content such as the Deluxe Edition, pools, Halloween content, Holiday Celebration Pack and even the Outdoor Retreat.

Maxis notes that existing Sims 4 saves and all of the add-on content you already own for the Windows PC version can be transferred to the Mac edition. Transferring save files requires the use of a Flash drive (because The Sims 4 doesn’t support Origin’s cloud storage), but it doesn’t sound all that difficult. See step-by-step instructions here.

Lastly, here are The Sims 4 System Requirements for Mac:

The Sims 4 Mac System Requirements:

  • OS: Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion)
  • PROCESSOR: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz Processor or better
  • VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce 320M, 9600M, 9400M, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro or better. Video RAM of 256MB or better.
  • MEMORY: 4GB RAM
  • HARD DRIVE: 10 GB of Hard Drive space
  • INPUT: Keyboard and Mouse

Well, there you have it. I’m personally rooting for EA and Maxis to get their act together, Hopefully we will see a change in them for 2015. Do you feel the same?

Okay! A Final Fantasy Arcade Fighting Game in the works [Video]

So.. how does this topic make you feel when first reading it? Interesting I bet. But before making any judgements, check out their trailer above. Keep in mind, this is their 3rd Final Fantasy fighting game installment known as “Dissidia”, so this isn’t anything new for them. Did I mention that this includes 3v3 fighting?

Dissidia was made to represent the Final Fantasy series 20th Anniversary campaign. The Dissidia franchise has been described as a “dramatic progressive action” genre as characters from the Final Fantasy series battle it out in 3D environments. The saga began back in 2009 exclusively for PSP. Because of its great feedback and well-rounded rating, it would eventually lead into its 2012 sequel (which is actually a prequel and a remake all-in-one), “Dissidia 012”. If you would like an idea of what this new dissidia might play like overall, check out this video: 

As far as we know now, Square Enix announced that this new Dissidia game will be released in Japanese Arcades. Square Enix announced the game at the Japanese Amusement Expo, which focuses on all things arcade. They’ve even launched a website for the game, though it doesn’t have much information right now. Square Enix didn’t announce any plans to bring the game to consoles for now.

What this means for us: we’re basically on the side lines for now. There isn’t much to go by so we can’t tell if they will or won’t be bringing this outside of Japan. Frankly, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they kept it exclusively for Japan. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hope.

Stay tuned for more.

For real? Possible leak of Rayman in Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS [Updated]

Will Rayman be joining the battle?
Will Rayman be joining the battle?

You want hype? You got it! Nintendo could be making some of our wishes come true. It appears that there have been some leaked pictures spreading around that Rayman is joining the Smash Bros Wii U/3DS roster. Created by Ubisoft, Rayman is a classic character who has been around since the days of the very first Playstation console. Can you imagine what this would mean if this were real? Lets figure out the possibilities.

According to sources regarding the relationship between Ubisoft and Nintendo, since E3 of 2013, Ubisoft hasn’t been able to promise Nintendo any exclusive Ubisoft games for their consoles due to lack of Wii U sales. And although we’ve recently been able to take a look at Wii U sales as of earlier this year, indicating that the company revealed that lifetime sales of its Wii U console to be 9.2 million sold units, there hasn’t been any word on anything exclusive as of yet; that includes Rayman. Ubisoft’s latest series to the Rayman franchise, “Rayman Legends“, was released on all consoles (Xbox 360, PS3 and WiiU). How does this relate to Super Smash Bros? Well, this could mean either Ubisoft wouldn’t support this movement or that they would, maybe to possibly help with Nintendo’s sales.

More proof of Rayman possibly a DLC in Super Smash Bros WiiU/3DS
Screenshot of more proof that Rayman’s possibly a DLC in Super Smash Bros WiiU/3DS

Yes, there’s even a shot of Rayman added into the roster right underneath Mewtwo — who is said to be officially available via DLC during the spring of 2015. This helps us believe that Rayman could likely be a DLC as well. Don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, but this is looking pretty friggin’ convincing. Still not convinced? Well! To further increase the evidence, here’s another screenshot taken that shows Mr. Sakurai (the Director of the Super Smash Bros franchise) speaking on the Rayman trophy:

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But hey, who knows. We all want someone in the next Super Smash Bros game so much that we’re willing to do anything to fool the masses to believe that it’s true. All of this could be done with some quite impressive photoshop skills. I don’t like to be a party-pooper but I also don’t like to be fooled! All we can do is wait and see how the world, including Mr. Sakurai himself, will react to this spreading around the web.

Will keep you posted, but until then, what do you think?

UPDATE: Rayman is not going to be apart of this roster. Apparently, after new sources, Artist and YouTuber “Artsy Omni” revealed that he was behind the “leaked footage” of Rayman as a playable character in Super Smash Bros for Wii U. He did this with a step-by-step video of how he went about Implementing Rayman (and even Mewtwo) into the Roster, and how he created an animated video to convince us even more! All of this was done with the use of Adobe Photoshop (I told you!) and After Effects.

Lesson of the day: Don’t believe in every leak you see!