Final Fantasy IV Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Final Fantasy IV RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Series Gives New Life to Six Classic Games https://www.gameskinny.com/6qwyc/final-fantasy-pixel-remaster-series-gives-new-life-to-six-classic-games https://www.gameskinny.com/6qwyc/final-fantasy-pixel-remaster-series-gives-new-life-to-six-classic-games Sun, 13 Jun 2021 17:06:26 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Square Enix is releasing the first six Final Fantasy games on Steam and mobile devices as the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster series. Each game is getting released individually, though Square Enix hasn't yet announced a price or release date yet for the games.

Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster looks to be a mix between the original pixel graphics and the updated mobile versions, though, thankfully, without the extra bit of shine-and-gloss that characterizes the mobile versions.

As yet, Square Enix also hasn't announced any extra details about the remasters, such as quality of life updates, extras, whether they'll be released as a package at any point, or if we'll see them on Nintendo Switch.

Whatever the case, it's in keeping with Square Enix's commitment to make its older games available to a broader audience.

Here's how Square Enix described them in the official announcement:

The six original Final Fantasy titles that inspired a generation of RPG fans are coming to life once more in the Final Fantasy pixel remaster series.

Fans and newcomers are invited to dive into six masterpieces that bridge the ages with unique tales of epic adventure. The company will release the beloved titles individually, from Final Fantasy I through Final Fantasy VI, for Steam and mobile platforms.

Square said that more information would be provided "at a later date," so stay tuned for more on the remaster series as we learn it. 

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8 Games and Franchises with the Biggest Translation Gaffes https://www.gameskinny.com/3ja5f/8-games-and-franchises-with-the-biggest-translation-gaffes https://www.gameskinny.com/3ja5f/8-games-and-franchises-with-the-biggest-translation-gaffes Mon, 18 Mar 2019 17:30:01 -0400 Josh Broadwell

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Breath of Fire II

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Fans love to hate Capcom. Sometimes, it seems unfair. Other times, like when you remember Breath of Fire II, then it's completely understandable, and you just step back and let things go. Oh, if only the above picture had been true.

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The early BoF games had an interesting history. Squaresoft handled the first one's localization and publishing. It had some problems, sure. The dialogue and mechanics were rough around the edges but there's still enjoyment to be had with it.

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You would think of the BoF games, the first would have all the terrible issues, that Square would have taken the opportunity to sabotage a potential rival creeping in on its RPG monopoly.

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Or perhaps someone at Square could tell that left to its own devices, Capcom would do that quite nicely on its own.

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Breath of Fire II's translation and localization are full of ludicrous descriptions and sound effects and unclear dialogue. It's a showing on par with gems from the '80s like "all your base are belong to us" and Castlevania II.

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It's near Deborah Cliff...

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There are some classic signs of bad, careless translation as well, where the untranslated text is left in alongside the translated script, or even worse, the writer just added a transliteration, which isn't, y'know... actually a translation.

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Manju are Japanese buns, so this particular instance is one of those cases where you forget  where the writer forgets to delete what they chose not to use. Note the transliteration was highlighted as the key point, though.

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Other errors are less in keeping with the context. I'm not sure about you, but I see what could possibly be a boar — no bears, though.

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It's amazing how punctuation can be so significant. Some bizarre uses of periods in here, except where a period is actually needed.

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At first glance, there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with these two. It's just a nice, normal observation from a character who obviously hasn't seen Nina for a while. Except, she isn't seeing Nina now either.

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This isn't a case where the party members all fold into the leader. The girl with the wings near the table? That's Nina. This woman just told Ryu he's not a little girl anymore, and I can only imagine how surprised he must have been to learn that.

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If these things had remained a relic of the '90s BoF II, that would be a different story. But two different re-releases later — first on the Game Boy Advance and then on the Virtual Console — and Capcom still believed this translation was worth keeping.

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---

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Modern games aren't free from the plague of bad translation, sadly, but their shortcomings certainly do provide an amusing way to pass the time. Whether it's Capcom's carelessness in the '90s, Atlus's rushed schedule from a few years back, or the flood of cheap titles inundating digital platforms, it seems like bad translations are simply a universal factor of gaming life.

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Got any examples of terrible game translations? Share yours in the comments!

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Persona 5

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Including Persona 5 on this list might be controversial. However, there's no denying that good though the game undoubtedly is, it falls far short of Atlus's standards in localization and what fans have come to expect from the company. That departure from the high-quality norm is a bigger gaffe than any translation awkwardness in the game.

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Fortunately, for the most part, the game's dialogue quirks don't come anywhere near Kitty Love and Hollow Fragment levels of bad. You do have to pause for a moment and consider what's being said from time to time, though.

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Morgana is pretty quirky to begin with, so at first glance, this seems like just another manifestation of that personality. But the sentence doesn't technically make sense. "seriously trying to kill us" maybe or "serious about killing us," but serious to kill us is what you'd expect from an inexperienced translator or an early ESL student.

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Conner Kramer put together a site listing some notably egregious errors (and getting some flak for it from the fan community as well), and he added some alternatives for a few of them. Here's an example:

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His revision is a lot more like what fans got in Persona 4 and much more in keeping with the character doing the speaking as well. One would expect a high school principle to say something like "misdemeanor is not tolerated..." as opposed to "you will behave yourself," which is better suited to an elementary school setting.

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There are other signs of carelessness too.

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Image via j-entranslations

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Persona games rely heavily on good dialogue to push the story forward and keep players interested. These issues are hardly game breaking, but they do break the immersion, which makes it difficult to remain invested.

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What lies behind the issue is a mystery. It's possible some elements of localization were a rushed job, since the game was delayed to begin with. But it's equally possible it was simply oversight.

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Yu Namba, senior project manager at Atlus and responsible for a good deal of Persona games' localization processes, once said he couldn't account for everything that happened, but tried to make sure the core narrative was coherent and clear. Other things could slip through the cracks, as they apparently did for P5.

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Kitty Love

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The Switch has taken over the Vita's place as supreme host of otome games. The eShop is flooded with romance games, most of which are geared towards female audiences, and many of which have rather low production values.

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Kitty Love takes the crown for one of the worst translations, though. It's the usual quirky premise for one of these games. The protagonist works at a flower shop by day and turns into a cat by night, because why not.

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As is a growing trend with eShop games, the game's end result is less than stellar, with apparently very little in the way of quality control either by the developer or Nintendo's alleged curation process.

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The quintessential tourist activity — buttering the day

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Some of the errors here aren't quite Hollow Fragment bad, but they do range from the mild to the completely unintelligible, up to the "how could you think this was okay?"

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The protagonist is in cat form in the above, so presumably, this is just a special way of saying he held the cat

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Many of the scenarios just take a bit of figuring out to understand.

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That isn't one of them, though.

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Or that one.

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Okay, so maybe it is on par with Hollow Fragment.

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That's...not good.

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Slapdash niche games riddled with errors aren't exactly new, but there are a couple of things that make Kitty Love stand out as particularly noteworthy.

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The first is the fact that it exists at all on the Switch eShop. Nintendo claimed from the eShop's early days that it would be akin to a curated platform, and not every pitch, even from well-known developers, would be accepted. Fast forward two short years, and it seems that policy has quietly been abandoned.

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What's more, unlike some games, including Hollow Fragment, Kitty Love continues to exist in this form — no patches, no changes, no discounts. Whether the amusing dialogue is worth the price of admission is for you to decide.

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Pokemon Crystal: Vietnamese Version

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Pokemon Vietnamese Crystal has been a thing on the internet for many years, and it's practically a meme generator. The game has a strange history. It started as a Chinese translation of the Japanese script, but despite being considered a Vietnamese version, the game is pretty much entirely in English.

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Players are greeted with this.

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They do? I'm...so sorry

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For some reason, the translator was a bit free with referring to Pokemon as Elf and as Monster, depending on the context, though there didn't seem to be much of a guiding reason behind which scenario got which reference. Either way, there's not much of a link between professor or scholar and monster.

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Some of the text is comprehensible, and you can get an idea of how it went from the original meaning to the slightly garbled one.

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Friend makes sense, since Pokemon are often referred to as friend in the script. Store... eh. Center and shop are close, but that's starting to stretch it (especially when everything in there is free).

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And then you get ones like this, from the next script point.

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It's easy to pick up on the fact that "grasp" is used for catch, but basin?

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This early conversation shortly after the rival makes an appearance is unique, but not actually instructive.

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This one doesn't seem to be very clear either, until you realize he's talking about Mr. Pokemon.

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Apart from the phrasing, it makes sense. I don't know what the original script says, but I imagine it's something referring to Mr. Pokemon as an older man, hence "Grandfather."

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But then you get this again.

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And this.

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The battle system is its own set of special. The theory goes that perhaps there was an indexing error that threw descriptions and translations off, since some are correct, just out of place. Other issues involved transliterating Japanese grammatical particles that weren't intended to be spoken or read.

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But it doesn't explain everything about it or the naming conventions.

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It certainly doesn't explain the unique way of obtaining items, where the game throws the F-bomb your way every time you place an item in the bag.

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Most of the game is almost impossible to understand. If you're interested, you can check out the original Let's Play that sparked the phenomenon. 

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Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment

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Sword Art Online is a popular transmedia franchise, spanning manga, anime, and video games. In most cases, SOA in all of its forms tells a compelling story with likeable characters, and it's garnered a decent-sized following in the West. We even ranked Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization as one of 2017's best anime franchise games.

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Its sequel, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment had a very, very rough start in the West, though. Like a handful of other Japanese games released in Asia before the West, it initially had an Asian release with an English language option.

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But that translation was bad. In fact, bad doesn't even begin to cover it.

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Japan has its share of race problems, but this wasn't an instance of blatant insensitivity. This is just referring to Kirito, the man wearing black. Though, I don't think he was sexually harassing anyone.

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This isn't exactly what you'd expect to find as a subject line in a hero's inbox.  Fear not, though — it's just monster extermination, SAO Asian translation-style.

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The translation was also just plain lazy. SAO games stray into racy territory now and again, but , this isn't a reference to one of those adult visual novel scenes. This is just bad translation of a symbol with a wide variety of meanings, most of which relate to war, exploration, and things like that.

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Fans who played the version that existed prior to the improved translation patch saw lots of references to penetration throughout the game, in some unusual contexts as well.

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Some of the (many) instances do make me wonder whether the translator had a slight idea of what they were saying and tried to just make a joke out of it.

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This wasn't the only instance of single-minded determination to stick to one translation regardless of context either.

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A standard Japanese greeting is yoroshiku, or the full version, yoroshiku onegaishimasu. It can mean a variety of things, from "nice to meet you," to "let's get along" or "let's work together," among other potential definitions.

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It's useful when you first meet someone, of course. But Asuna and other characters  would say this every time Kirito chose them to accompany him on a penetration — er, that is, an exploration trip.

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Same to you!

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There are countless other instances of unclear or ridiculous phrasing as well.

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This being one good example.

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As a matter of fact, there is.

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Bandai Namco isn't known for always making the best decisions, but it's odd how an established company ended up using a very evidently poorly trained translator for the original English version.

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One of my favorite things about being underground is seeing the sky.

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The Tales of... Games

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Bandai Namco's Tales of... series is known for its endearing characters, interesting plots, and snappy dialogue. However, not all entries are created equally.

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The most recent new Tales of game, Tales of Berseria, was lauded for its darker take on the usually chipper stories and characters, but it suffered from some very uneven dialogue and writing towards the end of the game

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Not all the errors are quite as confusing as this one, though.

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But the biggest issue with the numerous gaffes towards the end of the game is that most of them end up completely unintelligible, like these next two.

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Bandit shrooms don't even exist in the game.

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It's worth noting the voiced lines don't always match with the written dialogue, though. This fact leads some to suspect that perhaps what happened with Berseria was a sudden change in script or direction near the end of production that didn't make it to the localization department and was just crammed in at the last minute.

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Errors in Earlier Games
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Either way, these kinds of issues aren't restricted to modern titles. Clyde Mandellin with Legends of Localization noticed this interesting mistake in Tales of the Abyss that's rather easy to overlook.

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In between all the talk of fonons and fomicry in the early part of the game, it's easy to forget that the seventh fonon was known about for a long, long time. After all, how could Tear be a practicing Seventh Fonist if it was only just discovered?

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The error here comes from a loose translation of the original Japanese, which only said it was the most recently discovered, which doesn't give any kind of time reference.

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Then there was the official English translation of Tales of Phantasia, with this interesting little nugget.

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The original line was Ragnarok, but Mandelin says older versions of Microsoft Word didn't include Ragnarok in the dictionary and only offered Kangaroo with a capital K as the first recommended choice. This one was a careless spell check error that somehow managed to make it through to publication.

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Why the editors of a fantasy game script thought spell check could be relied on anyway is another matter.

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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

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The Ys series is one of gaming's longest-running series, with Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana being the most recent entry. While its action oriented gameplay and immersive worlds haven't changed dramatically over the decades, its publication status in the West certainly has.

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Most of the early titles after the original two ended up as fan translations, before XSeed began bringing them over as part of its partnership with developer Nihon Falcom (we won't talk about that Konami incident with Ys VI).

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And then came Nippon Ichi Software America. As part of Falcom's attempts to expand its international audience, it gave the publishing license for Ys VIII to NISA, with some initially unforeseen results.

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This character's bowel habits became a running gag in the original translation, which shouldn't be too surprising since NISA also gave us Esty Dee (STD) as a localization joke (as they did in Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland).

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It's okay Reja; most of us don't either.

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The game was riddled with untranslated text, randomly scattered here and there — a common error in badly handled games from the '90s, but not something one would expect from modern games. It's certainly not in keeping with what fans expected, which made it stand out all the more.

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Lines like this are common as well, making certain narrative segments and even dialogue a sort of guessing game. But that's not the worst thing.

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The game originally had a passable English translation, especially for most main segments and place names. Why NISA  re-translated isn't clear, particularly when the re-translation was as it was.

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Fortunately, NISA publicly recognized its errors and re-re-translated the script, providing a much better experience all 'round and apparently earning Falcom's trust enough to warrant being given its next big overseas project, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III

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Final Fantasy Games

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Most Final Fantasy games are high quality, well-produced works. That doesn't mean they are error-free, but for the most part, the base games are well-written with good localization.

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Unfortunately, Square Enix has gained a reputation for not really caring about how those high quality works transfer to other platforms based on their lazy ports and similarly low-effort localizations.

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No, the above isn't a screenshot from an alternate Final Fantasy IV universe where the Red Wings were Baron's premiere delivery service with Cecil as their leader. It's the first line of script in the mobile FFIV port.

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The port was supposed to use the DS version's script, but obviously, something happened along the way. It made its own mistakes, while keeping those of its predecessor.

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And then there's the mobile port of Final Fantasy VI.

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Given how many times "esper" appears in the script, it's baffling how this mistake wasn't caught before the game launched, to say nothing of the awkward phrasing that was left untouched.

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Still, the script is entirely readable, unlike some other inclusions in this list. The biggest issue is that errors like this are expected with most SE ports, causing one to wonder about the overall attitude of the port teams and the company towards its franchises.

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Errors in Original Versions
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However, the original versions are certainly not free from errors.

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Final Fantasy VII fans will already know this screenshot contains two errors The potentially less obvious one is Aeris's name. It's actually meant to be Aerith, and that's how it appears in all later mentions in the Final Fantasy universe.

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This was a common translation error in the 1990s, when localization teams were apparently not experienced in differentiating between easily misunderstood Japanese characters. Most people know about the "L" and "R" confusion, but "S" and "TH" is another one.

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There are, of course, other linguistic challenges to overcome as well.

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That above is a wyvern in Final Fantasy V.

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There's not really any reason other than just "whoops" for this one from Final Fantasy X, though to be fair, it was fixed in the HD remasters.

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/d/bad-translation-header-85854.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/d/bad-translation-header-85854.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195737","description":"

Video game fans have been dealing with the highs and lows of translation and localization since the 1980s. It's a risk built into a hobby that often relies on media translated from one context-sensitive language to a very different one.

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Some of the early examples of translation gaffes have made their way into meme-dom and are among the best-known examples of games gone wrong, games such as Top Wing and Ghosts N' Goblins.

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As time progressed, one would think these issues would gradually fade away, with more experienced translators and bigger budgets.

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That, however, didn't happen. Through the 1990s and up to recent years, video games still dealt shoddy translations, rushed schedules, and bad management — even some of the bigger games and studios.

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Some of the more egregious errors in these games and franchises are what this list focuses on, examples of games that should have been better from companies that ought to know better. Along the way, we'll touch on the reasons behind the gaffes and explore what, if anything, was done to remedy the problems.

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East to West: The Major Differences in Game Releases Based on Geographic Locations https://www.gameskinny.com/w75lm/east-to-west-the-major-differences-in-game-releases-based-on-geographic-locations https://www.gameskinny.com/w75lm/east-to-west-the-major-differences-in-game-releases-based-on-geographic-locations Wed, 08 Nov 2017 15:40:40 -0500 Sarah Elliman

Ever since video games started being released internationally, developers have been changing or removing certain pieces of content. These changes usually end up being cosmetic only, with some larger changes required depending on the region,and the most common things to be changed are depictions of violence, sex or nudity, and religious content. However, it's not just games released in the US that end up changed. Japan, Europe, and some Middle Eastern countries adapt releases to suit their particular cultures or needs as well.

Censorship or Localization?

Many games go through a variety of changes when they are released for different areas. These are often minute changes to fit the cultural differences between the areas they are being released. The changes do not mean that a game is censored, however; it's more that they are localized for that specific region.

Censorship means that there is a suppression or prohibition of parts from a game and other forms of expression, such as books or films, whereas localizing a game is the process by which a company adapts something to be local in character. So, in other words, "localisation is not outright censorship, but merely adapting a piece of work," while censorship deals more with the suppression of thought and ideas.

With that in mind, a lot of games that move between regions fall under the category of localization, rather than censorship. These changes are typically made because of cultural differences, tragic circumstances in the region, or for religious purposes. Some regions may have issues with nudity, with North America being one of the major regions where this change is made, alongside Middle Eastern areas, such as Saudi Arabia.

Or the culture could have issues with certain religious depictions, and these are changed in the localization process to fit that region's perspective. It doesn’t restrict free speech, as it doesn’t tend to restrict ideas, but change certain cosmetic effects to fit the sensibilities of the region.

Nudity and Sex

This is one of the major aspects of video games changed for all sorts of launches. It is especially true of releases in North American and Middle Eastern nations, since they tend to have a greater aversion to nudity, rather than other things like violence, but other nations aren't always happy with certain depictions of sexual content.

Cover-Ups

You can find numerous examples of localization changes made for American releases when it comes to sex and nudity, especially with a series like Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI were games that were changed for American releases by removing anything risqué. For example, the town dancers in bikinis were covered up with leotards in Final Fantasy IV, and all nudity was covered up for the Espers in Final Fantasy VI. More recent games were localized for nudity and sex too. Games like Indigo Prophecy and The Witcher had graphic sex scenes removed, and most of the nudity was removed as well, unless the scene happened to be integral to the story.

The FFIV remake, however, stuck to the original intention for the dancer's design.

Although countries such as Japan are more open about nudity and sex in video games, that doesn't mean every instance is permissible. GTA V, for example, was changed for Korean and Japanese launches, removing or modifying a lot of controversial sex and nudity. However, the examples and instances where this is changed for Japanese audiences are fewer by far compared to North America.

Why Bother?

So why is there a massive difference between places like North America and Japan when it comes to sex and nudity? 

There is a substantial cultural difference between Japan and America, which explains the frequent level of localization between the two countries. Culturally, Americans are more sensitive to nudity, and sex is a particularly sensitive topic. The 2015 Parents Ratings Advisory Study showed that 80% of Americans studied were more concerned with sex scenes in films than violence. This was a study predominantly looking at films; however, considering the gaming medium's similarities with the film industry, the concepts involved are still closely linked.

There is not the same stigma in Japan and European countries, especially regarding female nudity. My own experience can attest to that. When I was working in a gaming store, a woman wanted to bring back a copy of GTA V that she had bought for her 8-year-old son. She told me she knew about the violence in it, but didn’t realize there was nudity and brought it straight back. Whereas traveling through Europe, I saw many of the beaches throughout Europe are topless, and the Scandinavian spas normally have a clothing optional policy. Being in Spain at the moment, I see even their advertisements featuring full-frontal nudity, as long as they air after the watershed.

Religion

Religion is another reason why games can be altered, because religion is central to lives of those who worship, regardless of the creed. Insulting or demeaning someone's religion, even without meaning to, can send people into a fury and cause backlash against the company.

Holy [Censored] Batman!

One issue that caused mass controversy was the design of Hindu gods in SMITE, especially Kali. The Hindu community in India was not pleased with the representation of their goddess and asked Hi-Rez to make changes. The developer eventually removed Kali from the website, but not much more. 

Kali is an important goddess within the Hindu community, and some sects worships Kali as the ultimate goddess or the true form of Brahman. She is the goddess of death, time, and sexuality, but has always had strong roots in motherhood too.  Hi-Rez didn't want to issue a statement on their removal of Kali from the website, but the Hindu community is still pressing for their other gods to be removed as well. 

However, Hi-Rez's Todd Howard believed that:

Hinduism, being one of the world's oldest, largest and most diverse traditions, also provides inspiration toward deities in our game. In fact, given Hinduism's concept of a single truth with multiple physical manifestations one could validly interpret ALL the gods within SMITE to be Hindu. And all gods outside of SMITE as well. Ponder that for a minute. Anyway, going forward SMITE will include even more deities, not fewer.

Although this opinion suggests that Todd Howard would have preffered not to remove the gods altogether, the Hindu community still wants their gods to be removed from the game. Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesmen and the President of Universal Society of Hinduism said that the removal of Kali from the website was "a 'step in the right direction,' thanking Hi-Rez Studios for being so understanding."

Games like CoD 4 have been banned in countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates because of the perceived negative presentation of Arabs, along with passages from the Qur'an being added into the game. Since the games are banned outright, these issues come under censorship, rather than localization. But the religion and culture of these places will not permit these offenses, so it also relates to localization and shows how the two are often closely connected. 

The Devil in the Details

It isn't just the Middle Eastern and Asian worlds affected by religious imagery in video games. Many localization changes from Japan to America change the religious imagery presented as well.

Religious imagery had to be removed in games like Final Fantasy IV and Super Castlevania IV. Any references to Christianity in FFIV were removed, including Holy, and religious imagery and all references to prayer were taken out or altered, such as the Tower of Prayer being changed to The Tower of Wishes. Even direct references to death were taken out.

The other early Castlevania games were no different, with a lot of crosses taken out of the North American release, among other things. The only piece of religious imagery to stay throughout Castlevania was a piece of rosary that was integral to the game and it's overall image.

There was also the infamous chanting debate surrounding the Fire Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. There has been some controversy about what happened with the Fire Temple and whether the chanting was removed from the game before release. It has always been argued that the chanting was removed to avoid religious controversy, along with changing the original Gerudo symbol--which resembled the Islamic crescent and star--over misusing religious elements. Continuing with the Zelda series, but on a smaller scale,the Bible was turned into the Book of Magic, even though Link's shield retained its cross.

Violence

Violence is another aspect of video games that is often changed for releases. However, we mainly tend to see  North American games being changed to accommodate European and Middle Eastern standards of what constitutes over-the-top violence.

Some interesting examples of these changes relate to North American games released in Japan. Games like Crash Bandicoot 2 and The Last of Us were altered for their gratuitous violence. One of the death scenes was altered for Crash, where he was just a squashed head and feet, as it resembled the work of a serial killer in Japan at the time. The Last of Us was mainly altered in multiplayer to remove any dismemberment or exploding heads. The change doesn't feature in the main story, and the dismemberment is obscured and covered by camera angles, rather then removed.

Other games, like Manhunt, were banned for their excessive violence in a variety of different countries, from the East to places like the United Kingdom.  Germany has strict rules for their games, as decided by the USK, that limit the amount of blood and gore that is visible in their video games. (The USK "is the officially recognized institution responsible for the classification of computer and video games in Germany.") For example, the German version of Team Fortress 2 has no blood or detached body parts shown as part of the required regulations for the game. The USK is responsible for the protection of children and youths particularly in the gaming industry and the content they are available to see.

One theory for Germany's censure of video games is that:

due to its history and a cohesive nation opinion, the legislature limits content severely, much more severely than the surrounding European nation.

This is why the USK exists, as the general consensus of those living in Germany is to limit profanity and violence in video games.

You Decide

Perhaps all these changes are limiting our gaming experience and we're putting too much pressure on the companies. Yet some also argue that many of these changes are purely cosmetic and do not alter the story. However, one anti-censorship opinion is "it is no one’s responsibility but yourself to determine what is offensive or not."  Video game development is a business, though, and companies, at all cost, want to avoid backlash, since it is much better for business if they aren't involved in a major scandal. In the end, there are multiple sides to the story that make it difficult to arrive at an easy answer. 

Do you think that games should be changed at all? Or is it not worth worrying about? Let us know in the comments!

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4 Fantastic Games That Should Have Been on the SNES Classic Mini https://www.gameskinny.com/bj42t/4-fantastic-games-that-should-have-been-on-the-snes-classic-mini https://www.gameskinny.com/bj42t/4-fantastic-games-that-should-have-been-on-the-snes-classic-mini Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:41:29 -0400 Will Dowell

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) has one of the best libraries in classic games history. Whether it be the challenge of Contra 3: The Alien Wars or the sense of adventure in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, these games capture players and keep them coming back for more.

Capitalizing on the quality of the SNES and the nostalgia that comes with it, Nintendo will set upon the world the SNES Classic Mini. With this plug-and-play console, you can immediately access 22 SNES games, including the unreleased Star Fox 2. While the 22 SNES games are high-quality romps through gaming nostalgia, there are few fantastic games not on the SNES Classic Mini.

These 4 games provide interesting adventures and are well worth your time. LEt's jump in and see what they are. 

Chrono Trigger

One of the best RPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger presents an engaging tale full of time travel and action, where players follow Chrono and his party as he saves the world from the catastrophic Lavos. While the large-scale plot is engaging, the details turn the game into something special. With multiple subplots flowing throughout Chrono Trigger, each party member faces their own individual challenges, growing in the process.

Tying the story together is an engaging turn-based combat system. Similar to the ATB system in Final Fantasy, combat becomes a combination of time management and strategy. These fights become more engaging with the addition of Techs, special abilities in which party members can combine turns into one move.

All in all, saving the world in Chrono Trigger is an adventure that no gamer should miss out on. 

Final Fantasy II 

Speaking of RPGs, while the SNES Classic Mini contains Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy II is nowhere to be seen. With one of the best character arcs present in the 16-bit era, Final Fantasy II shows the struggle of a group just trying to do what's right. Experience a tale of redemption as the knight Cecil turns away from his past and fights to bring peace to the land. Every character has a story and will grow alongside Cecil throughout this adventure.

Final Fantasy II innovated upon the Final Fantasy battle system with the addition of the ATB system. Face against your enemy -- and even time itself -- as you command your party members to victory. Final Fantasy II is endearing and one of the best Final Fantasies of all time.

Super Bomberman

One of the best local-multiplayer games on the Super Nintendo, Super Bomberman used the Multi-Tap to bring four players into the fun bombing foray. While it was the first four-player game on the SNES, Super Bomberman takes the added players and creates chaotic matches full of frantic combat. With the simple premise of blowing up your competition, each map layers the gameplay with new strategies revolving around the power ups and layouts.

For players searching for a cooperative or solo mode, Super Bomberman contains a simple, yet enjoyable, set of stages that will send you through multiple worlds. Sadly, it doesn't have a save system, instead relying on passwords to continue your progress. However, these passwords are readily available online and are relatively short. If you want some explosive action, Super Bomberman is for you.

Legend of the Mystic Ninja

Combining ninjas with quirky platforming, Legend of the Mystic Ninja provides a fun co-op experience for the SNES. While the overall story is simple, everything from enemies to items are lighthearted and fun. As you fight through Japan, levels are split between exploring towns and 2D platforming stages. Light RPG elements make exploration enjoyable, but the true engagement of the game is the 2D action.

These 2D levels turn from challenging adventures into co-op madness when you decide to bring a friend along for the ride. Not only is the difficulty alleviated due to the added lives, but creative players can bypass difficult sections by working together.

Of course, you'll also run into the chaos of having two players scrambling as they take down challenging boss fights. But even when the game gets intense, its lighthearted nature provides many laughs with your struggles. Legend of the Mystic Ninja provides a fun co-op adventure rarely seen today.

--

The Super Nintendo is a fantastic system, and hopefully the SNES Classic Mini can show a new audience the wonders these classics have to offer. While the NES Mini introduced players to the classics on the NES, production issues limited the reach the NES Mini had. If Nintendo can properly supply the SNES Classic Mini, it can reintroduce the games that helped shape the gaming landscape of today.

]]>
10 Best Final Fantasy Hairdos of All Time https://www.gameskinny.com/owpuu/10-best-final-fantasy-hairdos-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/owpuu/10-best-final-fantasy-hairdos-of-all-time Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:04:09 -0500 Pablo Seara

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/1/a/d1a046f877e5f4940ae62623fe33c859-4d55c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/1/a/d1a046f877e5f4940ae62623fe33c859-4d55c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143577","description":"
Noctis Lucis Caelum - Final Fantasy XV
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Finally, we have the last protagonist of the franchise, the prince of Lucis, Noctis. This dark gentleman travels the world with his friends to save his fallen kingdom from the Niflfeim Empire. They are usually compared to a Japanese boy band, since they all were leather, black clothes in a similar style and have weird, over-the-top hairstyles.

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Noctis is usually compared to Sasuke, one of the three protagonists of Naruto. Both of them are serious characters and have a very similar hairstyle. Noctis' color is black, and his hair is one of the darkest in the franchise. He has many different layers and combs them to the front and the sides, covering a big portion of his cheeks and his forehead. However, the back consists on several pieces of spiky hair that extend as long as possible. A fitting hairdo for a modern prince.

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And that is it for the best hairstyles in Final Fantasy. There are many, many characters with awesome hairdos that we could not include in this article. Who would you have liked to see? Is there any character you do not agree with? Tell me in the comment section below!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/r/serah-e2508.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/r/serah-e2508.png","type":"slide","id":"143589","description":"
Serah Farron - Final Fantasy XIII-2
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Serah, the youngest of the Farron siblings, also earns a position on this list. She is a key character in Final Fantasy XIII and the protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII-2. Since she is Lightning's sister, she shares many traits with her, like the eyes, the color of her hair and certain facial details. Her hair is also similar, but Serah styles it in a completely different way.

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This hairstyle is the same she had in the first game, just with a small change: the pin she uses to hold her side-ponytail is different, more suitable for combat. That mixes perfectly with the rest of her hair; shorter, straight and cut in layers, as usual in the franchise. She learned it from her old sister!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/n/vincent-valentine-arielxsora-d5ki55e-d4225.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/n/vincent-valentine-arielxsora-d5ki55e-d4225.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143583","description":"
Vincent Valentine - Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus
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Going back to Final Fantasy VII, concretely to a spin-off, we can find Vincent Valentine, an ex-member of The Turks and a key figure in the events that lead to the birth of Sephiroth. He is also one of the two secret characters from the original Final Fantasy VII, the other one being Yuffie. This guy has an awesome hairstyle.

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Vincent exemplifies most of Final Fantasy hairstyles: hair band, predominant color (red) and long, straight hair. However, if we compare him to other hairdos, we can see that there are not so many layers. It is very managable, just as Caius' or Rydia's case. Long hair on men rocks!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/p/hope-estheim-aa415.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/p/hope-estheim-aa415.png","type":"slide","id":"143578","description":"
Hope Estheim - Final Fantasy XIII
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Hope is not a very likeable character, but we can agree that his hairstyle is pretty cool, and not as complicated as the ones we have seen before. His clothes are also pretty normal, which could make him more relatable to us... Now, if only he had a good personality. Anyway, let's just concentrate on his style.

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Hope looks like an average korean/japanese teen, since many teenagers in both countries have this kind of hairstyle. The layers in his hair are more defined and important than the previous characters, since they are precisely what gives it such a cool effect. His hairdo is also possible because Hope has lots of thick pieces of hair, which he combs in different directions. The result is a very achievable hairstyle many of us could get.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/a/character-spotlight-caius-ballad-paddra-nsu-yeul-380bf.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/a/character-spotlight-caius-ballad-paddra-nsu-yeul-380bf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143584","description":"
Caius Ballad - Final Fantasy XIII-2
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The protagonists are not the only ones with cool hairstyles in Final Fantasy. Many villains like to display fashionable, complex hairdos as well. This is the case of Caius, the main enemy of Serah and Noel in Final Fantasy XIII-2. His creation was a direct response to the critics of Final Fantasy XIII regarding the lack of a good, likable rival.

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As you have noticed during this article, there are many Final Fantasy characters with a color that represents them. In Caius' case, it is purple. He has long, thin hair, divided into layers. Just like Rikku, he has a hair band. Elements like the feathers and the pendants complete an extremely cool look that real men could mimic, if they had the patience to grow such a fabulous hair!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-remaster-rikku-4c0f8.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-remaster-rikku-4c0f8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143582","description":"
Rikku - Final Fantasy X-2
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Rikku was Yuna's guardian during Final Fantasy X and member of the Gullwings in Final Fantasy X-2. During the two years in between the games' stories, Rikku changed her appearance. In FF X, she had shorter hair, diving googles and an outfit that allowed hair to swim freely. In FF X-2, she looks completely different -- especially her hair.

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We chose Rikku's second hairstyle because we think it is simply better and cooler. She uses a big, blue hair band that holds her hair and pushes her bangs to the right side of her face. She also has several braids in weird patterns at the front, and two big ones at the laterals. Finally, a long mane emerges from the back of her head, completing a unique and complicated hairdo.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/u/l/lulu-menu-a754b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/u/l/lulu-menu-a754b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143581","description":"
Lulu - Final Fantasy X
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Lulu is the black mage of the group in Final Fantasy X, a serene and stoic woman that guards Yuna on her journey to Zanarkand. She has one of the most complex and original outfits of the franchise. She even uses a moogle doll as a weapon! This depth of style extends to her hair as well. 

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Her hairdo consists on long bangs covering the left side of her face, a bun held by several exotic pins and very long pigtails at the back. All the little details add to an overall interesting and complex hairstyle. It also fits Lulu's personality in a perfect way, something designers should look for while creating their characters.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/y/d/rydia-fmv-4cf6d.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/y/d/rydia-fmv-4cf6d.png","type":"slide","id":"143586","description":"
Rydia - Final Fantasy IV
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Rydia is a powerful summoner from Final Fantasy IV and the only character from the classic Final Fantasies (FF I-VI) to appear on this list. The first installments of the franchise had a different approach in art style, which extends to the hair of the protagonists. Their hairstyles were simpler and less over-the-top, but beautiful nonetheless.

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In this case, the predominant color is green, more so than any other character in the franchise. Rydia's clothes are almost all green, making her jewelry stand out from her outfit. Her hair is divided in multiple layer to look like it is more complex than it actually is. It is the most realistic hairstyle on the list, so you could try to mimic it!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/2/2425687-ff7ac-cloud-render-19bcb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/2/2425687-ff7ac-cloud-render-19bcb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143579","description":"
Cloud Strife - Final Fantasy VII
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Speaking of Cloud, we could not leave him out of this list. Final Fantasy VII is probably the first game to feature lots of outstanding and bizarre hairstyles in the franchise, starting with its main character.

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Cloud's hair is his second most iconic element, after the gigantic buster sword he carries around. Similarly to Lightning's hair, Cloud has beams divided into several spikes that go into different directions, although his hair is blond instead of pink.

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He has two different hairstyles: the one depicted above, from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and the other from the original FF VII. We prefer the second hairdo, since it is more stylized and less crazy than the original one.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/i/g/lightningfarronfull414001-1aeee.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/i/g/lightningfarronfull414001-1aeee.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143576","description":"
Lightning Farron - Final Fantasy XIII
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Lightning is the main protagonist of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. She was designed as a female version of Cloud, with whom she shares many traits. One of these is her awesome hairstyle -- no wonder why she is one of the most popular characters in Japan!

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Lightning's hair is divided in two parts. The first one is the spiky bangs in her front and her right side. The second is the long piece of hair that falls from her left shoulder. Both mix perfectly in a unique style, where light-pink is the predominant color. It is the color that represents Lightning in the games, which makes it perfect for her hairdo.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/6/u/l6ujkpsdtoqtgolndfbo-40956.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/6/u/l6ujkpsdtoqtgolndfbo-40956.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143863","description":"

If there is one thing that characterizes Final Fantasy characters, is their awesome hairstyle. Even people that have not played any of the games can recognize one of them by their cool-looking, mostly weird hairdos. Lots of us have dreamed of rocking one of those, but it is almost impossible in many cases.

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For those of you who wanted to have one of those hairdos, we have chosen our ten favorite hairstyles in the franchise, from main characters to villains. You will find well-known characters in here, as well as some surprises you might not expect. You can then try to mimic one of them -- In that case, I recommend you use lots of hair gel!

"}]]]>
The Most Absurdly Expensive Luxury Gamer Gifts https://www.gameskinny.com/zuay6/the-most-absurdly-expensive-luxury-gamer-gifts https://www.gameskinny.com/zuay6/the-most-absurdly-expensive-luxury-gamer-gifts Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:00:01 -0500 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-58e30.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-58e30.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143058","description":"

What did you think of our list of the most absurdly expensive gamer gifts, and have you managed to actually nab anything here for yourself or that special someone in your life?

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For those who can only dream of Emperor chairs and pricey limited edition game packages from afar, don't fret! We've already covered all the gamer Christmas gifts that are actually affordable and have got you covered right here.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/c/tacobell360-cb7fc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/c/tacobell360-cb7fc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143054","description":"

Taco Bell Xbox 360

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Bummed out about the long-reigning Xbox 360 officially leaving production? Missing all those cheesy gordita crunch and Mountain Dew-fueled nights with your best gamer bud?

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For that friend of yours who freaking adores all things Taco Bell and is an Xbox fanatic, well, you can't get a better gift than this console literally bearing the bell itself... if you can find one.

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Good luck getting it though, as there's only a handful in existence handed out as part of a Canadian promotion and they very, very rarely go for sale online. As it turns out, there are some things even money can't buy!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterchief-cb4dc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterchief-cb4dc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143056","description":"

Full Size Master Chief Costume

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Get It Here! 

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I'm sitting here imagining this friend I know who is all about Halo opening a box containing this life-size, multi-piece cosplay of Master Chief, and I can just picture the absurd grin and hysterical happiness that would ensue.

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You don't need to be a kid and it doesn't need to be Halloween to suit up as a Spartan and go to war... if you've got $500 - $700 burning a hole in your pocket at the moment, that is.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/n/6/4/n64base-a753a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/n/6/4/n64base-a753a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143053","description":"

Nintendo 64 Coffee Table Base

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Get It Here!

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You are going to need somewhere to set that Pikachu N64 you bought your gamer spouse, right? That's where this nifty little item comes in. At a mere $150, it's practically a steal in comparison to anything else on this list! Just don't forget to buy the glass to set on top, otherwise you just have a really big knick knack sitting in the corner.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/i/k/pikachun64-c70f7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/i/k/pikachun64-c70f7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143051","description":"

Pikachu N64

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Get It Here!

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There's just something about these old consoles that can't be matched by modern gaming, with a whole generation of gems now forgotten by the gamers of today.

\n

If you want to relive the glory days of the Nintendo 64, then do it in style with this limited edition Pokemon branded version that can go from anywhere between $350 - $700 online.

\n

They came in blue, purple, and orange color schemes, and yes, there really is a raised Pikachu coming out of the side of the console that lights up - that's not just a packaging image.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/i/saintsrow-3ae12.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/i/saintsrow-3ae12.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143050","description":"

Saint's Row 4 Super Dangerous Wad Wad Edition

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OK, I love Saints Row 4. I mean seriously, I LOVE it. I've dubstepped a gazillion aliens. I saved Christmas with the Saints and killed that evil Santa Claus. I've done horrible, terrible things to destabilize the simulation that no sane person should ever consider.

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But never would I be deranged enough to go for the Super Dangerous Wad Wad Edition. Only one is available and it will cost you precisely $1 million dollars. 

\n

You also have to contact Deep Silver directly, as presumably PayPal isn't going to be cool with that sort of transaction. But hey, you get a Prius, some elective plastic surgery, and a “spy training day" along with a copy of this amazing game.

\n

For those with less disposable income, there was also the Super Dangerous Wub Wub Edition for a mere $100, which does comes with a rad dubstep gun replica.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/f/c/ffcoldcasts-195f9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/f/c/ffcoldcasts-195f9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143049","description":"

Final Fantasy Cold Casts

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Search For Them Here!

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There is an absolute horde of Final Fantasy memorabilia and collectible figurines from throughout the years covering every last nook and cranny of this massive franchise.

\n

One of the spendier and harder to find series are the old cold cast line covering classic scenes from older games, like Mt. Ordeal from FFIV or the Opera House from FFVI.

\n

There's not too many of them left, so when available they typically go in the $500 - $800 range at eBay.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/a/spaceinvaders-510e0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/a/spaceinvaders-510e0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143048","description":"

Space Invaders Couch

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Check Out This One!

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Or This One Instead!

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Designer furniture gets crazy expensive, and designer furniture based around video games is no exception. There are several different versions of this Space Invaders-themed blocky monstrosity that go in and out of availability and are very limited edition, usually running from $5,000 - $9,000 when they are being made at all. Betcha anything they aren't that comfy though.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/falloutsurvival-0e486.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/falloutsurvival-0e486.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143047","description":"

Fallout 3 Limited Survival Edition

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Get It Here!

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Oh sure, Fallout 4 gets all the love these days, but this Amazon.com exclusive for its genre-redefining predecessor is absolutely worth it for the Capital Wasteland fanatic.

\n

The Survival Edition - featuring a lunch box, Vault-Tec Bobblehead, all sorts of physical maps and manuals, and yes, even a wearable Pip-Boy - now goes for a pretty penny and will run you $700 - $1000 for one of the few sealed copies still remaining.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/y/skyrim-03d7c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/y/skyrim-03d7c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143046","description":"

Skyrim Daedric Helmet

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Get It Here!

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For that cosplayer in your life, this is a gift that won't be soon forgotten. What's most impressive is that despite appearances, this isn't actually a licensed outfit from Bethesda.

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Some very crafty person just got inspired by the Daedric armor from Skyrim and decided to start making these hand fashioned helmets based on the design, which are very highly rated at Etsy and will set you back $299.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/m/p/emperor-d595f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/m/p/emperor-d595f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143045","description":"

Emperor Gaming Chair

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Get It Here!

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Calling this a "chair" is perhaps doing it a disservice. MWE Labs describes it as a "work environment," and even that doesn't really capture what's going on here.  

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Anti-glare lighting, total sound and imagery immersion, completely adjustable (and heated!) seating in multiple dimensions... this thing is nuts!

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The price tag matches the insanity of what's on display, starting at a mere $5,300 with none of the extra bells and whistles and going way, way, way up from there as you add on more features.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/o/c/u/oculus-aa1ce.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/o/c/u/oculus-aa1ce.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143044","description":"

Oculus Rift

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Get It Here!

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How are VR devices still seriously around the $500 price point? At the cost (or in same cases, even higher) of a brand new console before any price drops come into play, it's going to be awhile before this trailblazing medium catches on and becomes more mainstream. But that's OK, because you're absurdly, filthy rich and plan on buying at least two, right?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/t/titanx-0b646.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/t/titanx-0b646.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143043","description":"

Titan X Graphics Card

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Get It Here!

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Got an extra $1,200 lying around? Some sites are selling it for as much as 2 grand, but savvy shoppers can always find graphics cards cheaper than the going rate.

\n

The absolute top of the line at the moment, the Titan X will chew up and spit out any Ultra settings 4K gaming experience you throw at it, and then still ask for more. Make sure your gamer's motherboard and power supply can actually handle this behemoth first though...

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-b8182.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-b8182.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143042","description":"

You've seen all the lists online: coolest gamer gifts under $20, awesome gamer secret Santa presents for $10 or less, and those are well and good... but what about the really, absurdly ostentatious gifts when money is no object?

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We're talking about the things nobody in their right mind would buy, like 8 grand retro video game furniture or 20 grand gaming chairs. That's just the tip of the iceberg, at least for those with a whole lot of disposable income and a gamer they really want to treat well this holiday season.

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We're going to cover it all here, from collectibles that are "just" a few hundred dollars all the way up to -- and we're not joking -- limited edition games running a cool million.

"}]]]>
Final Fantasy XV is not going to salvage this declining series https://www.gameskinny.com/zthc2/final-fantasy-xv-is-not-going-to-salvage-this-declining-series https://www.gameskinny.com/zthc2/final-fantasy-xv-is-not-going-to-salvage-this-declining-series Mon, 12 Sep 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

There was this glorious, nostalgic time back where Final Fantasy was the pinnacle of console RPGs. Sadly, that time has long since faded away. As the series aged it tended to get worse with subsequent entries, while other developers got better at refining the RPG experience in new and more exciting directions.

While the hype for new numbered entry Final Fantasy XV is palpable, so is the push back at what has been shown off so far – and in fact the negative crowd may be in the majority at this point in time, and I count myself among that number.

For a different and more optimistic take on the coming XV, you may want to check out an opposing op/ed on how this game will manage to save the series. 

A Constant Black Eye For Square Enix

Even outside skepticism over FF XV's ability to deliver, Square Enix in general has been taking the heat from fans lately. Hitman going episodic at the 11th hour, the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided tiered pre-order fiasco, and the FF VII remake being broken into episodes all haven't endeared the once-beloved company to gamers lately.

Things didn't get better on that front after the recent release delay, with FF XV again being pushed back, this time from September to the end of November. That's a concern, because not only does it mean that after 10 years this game still isn't in a silky smooth release state, it also shows there's problems behind the scenes.

Obviously someone in charge thought the game was good enough to hit homes – why else would they have announced the September 30th release date? - and then somebody else in the company thought better of it and put on the breaks last minute. This is a recurring problem in the development of FF XV, shown most strongly when Square Enix replaced the director midstream, swapping Nomura for Tabata. That's never a good sign, whether we are talking about movie / T.V. development or a video game.

 Maybe they really mean it this time?

The simple fact that this game started development a decade ago is a big red flag for what the end product is going to look like. While there have been games with overly long development times that went on to succeed, in general anything with a decade worth of development is inevitably going to draw Duke Nuke'em Forever comparisons, and that's not something you ever want for your game franchise.

Looking To The Past

To understand why some fans aren't looking forward to this new edition, you have to look back at what worked and what didn't in this never-ending series. Final Fantasy has typically done best either when there were big leaps forward, or retro looks to the past with drastic changes in style (think FF Tactics), neither of which is particularly on display with XV.

Consider the change in combat and graphical style enhancement from FF I – III to the revered Final Fantasy IV, considered a classic of the series. Everything was refined and tightened up, with a better story and more interesting characters, making it easy to see why that game is remembered more fondly.

Although still using hand drawn pixels before the advent of 3D games, there was even a further boost and refinement to FF VI, which to this day has some of the most gorgeous enemies in the series, not to mention some of the best characters and story Square has ever come up with short of Chrono Trigger.

Next up was the massive change to part VII, and it paid off big. While it hasn't aged well and I personally feel nostalgia clouds how people remember it, there's no question that VII is the most well known, most loved Final Fantasy game of all time. Unfortunately since then, the series has been in decline, continuing a steady downhill slog to the current sad state of affairs.

 With minor excpetions, we've mostly gone down hill since here

The cracks started to show in part VIII, with Square trying too hard to be modern and needlessly adding in changes to the combat system just for the sake of having a new combat system (did anyone actually think the draw system was better than what came before?).

X is where there was a more dramatic drop, with an underwater football game that was intensely uninteresting and characters who lacked memorability. XII at least got us back to an actual fantasy universe, but it had that annoying main character and for some reason everyone looked the same.

We hit rock bottom with Final Fantasy XIII, the absolute dregs of the normal numbered series, with not just unlikable characters but even straight up hate-able ones. Couple that with music that didn't fit and a combat system not even worth discussing and you've got the worst game in the franchise.

 Why god, why?

Since that disaster, Square Enix has been busy pumping out mobile ports of classic games with “upgrades” that actually make them worse.

Clearly, we need a change in direction to reverse this downward spiral (for a look back at the history of the series, check out our full ranking of the series from best to worst).

Demos Fail To Drop Jaws

I'll admit upon seeing the first real trailer years ago with all those gigantic monsters (back when the game was looking like it was entirely focused on giant bosses) I was actually pretty impressed. While it was clear there wasn't going to be anything amazing story-wise, the graphical polish was impressive and the sense of scale had some serious grandeur.

That all started to change over time as more video was released and the demos landed. Reception to the demos and game conference reveal footage has been less than positive, with many critics referencing clunky controls and a displeasing combat system.

While the Platinum demo isn't supposed to actually be part of the game itself, instead taking place in a dream world, what was on display there didn't inspire confidence with its childish and whimsical feel. Running around grabbing coins while engaging in Kingdom Hearts-style combat definitely isn't what I have in mind when I think of Final Fantasy.

The real time combat in general isn't sitting well with many, although I'm on the fence about it. Final Fantasy doesn't necessarily have to utilize classic ATB turn based combat - we got our fill of that earlier this year with I Am Setsuna, and The Witcher 3 for instance managed to nab a whole lot of critical acclaim with real time battles.

The problem is how this particular real time, action-focused combat is being implemented. The two-button dodge/attack system shown in the demos has been lackluster to say the least, and just doesn't grab me as being particularly fun in the long term.

Outside the combat system, its clear the game world is again trying to go too modern, and it just doesn't work as well in the FF universe. While FF VIII had its moments and is overall worth playing, the whiny emo kid characters were an obvious low point. It looks like that concept is getting taken into overdrive with XV's primarily male cast, with the phrase “Final Fantasy Boy Band Edition” getting bandied about – and there's good reason for it.

Hi, we're here for the My Chemical Romance reunion tryouts...

One major change and cause for concern on the character front is that XV only allows you to control one playable character, and you have to buy DLC to play as the other party members. Throw in the obnoxious voice acting heard in the demos and you've got a recipe for a game where no one will care about the story and just go in for the gameplay.

Speaking of story, it's yet again about nations going to war over crystals with a small group of characters fighting against the larger empire. We've done this how many times now? Come on guys, spice it up. And by that I don't mean add in cars and cell phones. 

The Bottom Line

Will Final Fantasy XV sell oodles of copies? Of course it will, it's Final Fantasy and people have been waiting 10 years for this game. That obnoxiously priced ultimate edition (you know, the one that doesn't even have the season pass included...) sold out immediately, so clearly there's fans salivating at the prospect of getting the full game.

Although there will be sales – lots of them – its unlikely there will enough to recoup the costs of a decade of development, hiring orchestras, making a full-length movie, hosting lavish announcement parties, building the full scale car replica, etc.

After the huge costs and the major backlash among the fan base, this entry just might actually live up to the “final” name. XV is going to be the nail in the coffin on this bloated series that has lived long past its prime.

What can Square Enix do next time around to salvage the name if Final Fantasy actually continues? For starters, its time to focus less on the visual aspects and window dressings and more on the story and base gameplay mechanics. We don't need dynamic weather, a day-night cycle, or the ability to push over blocks: we need a story that's comprehensible about characters who aren't annoying and we actually care about.

Since that's unlikely to happen anytime soon (or ever), there's still hope for fans of the genre this year who are going to be massively let down by FF XV. Persona 5 is coming, and shaping up to be an all-around better game. If CRPGs are more your thing, Obsidian is prepped to absolutely knock the genre out of the park with the impending game changer Tyranny.

Let us know what you think – will FF XV manage to salvage the series from the doldrums it finds itself in, or with this bomb hard and finally kill the series off for good?

]]>
Lazy porting mars the Final Fantasy VI experience on PC https://www.gameskinny.com/zaenh/lazy-porting-mars-the-final-fantasy-vi-experience-on-pc https://www.gameskinny.com/zaenh/lazy-porting-mars-the-final-fantasy-vi-experience-on-pc Thu, 17 Dec 2015 09:30:24 -0500 Ty Arthur

Despite dominating on consoles, the Final Fantasy series generally has a poor track record when it comes to the PC. The MMORPG entry Final Fantasy XIV had such a negative reaction from fans that it was pulled entirely and rebuilt as A Realm Reborn, while the single player console games typically also suffer from problems when they make the jump to PC.

The double DRM (both Steam and online activation through the Square Enix servers) on Final Fantasy VII definitely doesn't sit well with fans, but now we've got a whole new issue to deal with: ports of ports that lead to sub-par experiences for high prices.

Making Different Editions Distinct

Back when we covered the Final Fantasy series from best to worst, it was mentioned how difficult it can be to rank a long-running series that contains such a huge number of re-releases, re-packages, ports, and now re-makes. The original Final Fantasy for instance has seen more than 10 distinct releases on various platforms.

Some of those updated entries clearly had work put into them though: when the classic Final Fantasy IV came to the Nintendo DS, it actually got a major overhaul. For good or ill, the 2D sprites were entirely re-imagined in 3D model format, the translation errors were fixed, new mini-games and cut scenes were added, but the basic gameplay remained essentially the same.

Not everyone digs the 3D style, but at least IV tried something different

From there this version of FFIV went to iOS / Android devices, and then something baffling happened: the mobile edition was ported to PC, essentially as-is. There are places where it's clear the graphics were designed for a smaller screen and that a touchpad was supposed to be used. Despite that odd decision to not make any significant changes for the PC version, at the very least Steam users got to experience the game in a different way than the original SNES edition by virtue of the 3D graphics and other extras.

Going In The Wrong Direction

Unfortunately, there's no such luck for the next two games in the series as the porting issue gets worse from there. FFV and FFVI both got mobile versions, but with minimal changes. Rather than a complete overhaul, the sprites were instead updated to be more “hi-res” and there were some character portraits thrown in during dialog sequences.

These mobile editions have now been ported, again as-is, to the PC through Steam, and the experience is a less than satisfying one. Frankly, the whole thing feels pretty lazy. In the grand scheme of things though, the Steam asking price isn't all that much, and Final Fantasy 6 is an absolutely amazing game in terms of story and music, so what's my beef with this new edition?

Sad but true analysis of the graphical evolution

For starters, it seems odd to pay $16 for a direct mobile port of a 20 year old game with only slightly modified graphics and no significant new content (especially considering how the originals are freely up for grabs for anyone who knows about emulators). Note that I wrote “modified” and not “improved” about the graphics. Sure, the character sprites are no longer pixelated and lo-res, but they don't actually look better.

In fact the odd juxtaposition of styles looks worse than the original SNES version, as there's no cohesiveness between the characters, backgrounds, and monsters. There's some serious problems on the character portraits, as they frequently don't match the sprites – at all. The games also don't look good in full screen mode no matter what resolution are you using, as its again clear these sprites were made for a phone and not a 20” or larger monitor.

Portrait says "woman in a dress" while sprite says "man with brown hair"

Pricing Ports Of Old Games On PC

With these new ports of FFV and FFVI you are literally getting a mobile game, but with the added “benefit” of having to be at your computer to play it. The most that can be said about the Steam edition is that you get achievements and Steam cards, so that's at least something, but if you don't care about achievements then there's really no drive to grab these games on PC.

Considering the fully 3D FFVII and FFVIII are on Steam for only $12, this pricing of older, smaller, less graphically advanced games seems higher than it really should be. Then again, the lack of micro-transactions on these mobile games means you are actually only paying $16, and not 99 cents plus $25 in nickel and diming over the course of the game.

The smudged sprites somehow look worse than the old pixelated versions

Putting Some Effort Into New Versions

For these PC ports to get any recognition and love, Square Enix has an issue to overcome here that's made difficult by the fickleness of a devoted fanbase: we want changes, but not that many. Sadly, they really can't win either way. Give us the exact same thing and we'll complain about it, or make a major change (like the combat system in the upcoming FFVII remake) and we'll complain about it even harder.

The problem is that with this latest batch of ports, there wasn't any effort made at all. How difficult would it be to efficiently optimize the experience for PC and throw in some additions to take advantage of better hardware? Take the PS4 port of FFVII for instance – while the game remains very close to the original, there were at least a couple of new features added in, like the ability to skip random encounters or increase the game to 3X speed. There really should have been more, but that was at least an attempt at new features.

The still unreleased Final Fantasy XV has been in development for 10 years (!!) now, so there's no argument to be made that Square Enix doesn't have the time or resources to devote to these projects and make the PC editions worth playing. As someone who completely plays FFVI from beginning to end at least once a year, I'd rather wait longer and see a new version worthy of the original come out than get a lazy port with some Steam achievements slapped on.

Please, please be worth the wait!

It's hard not to see these bare-minimum effort ports as a cynical money grab. You already bought the game on the SNES, then you bought it again on the PS1 for the nostalgia, then you bought it again on a mobile device for the casual diversion, and now you can have literally the same thing on the PC. Throw in the upcoming remakes with modern graphics and this situation has reached an absurd level.

Yeah, Square Enix having more money means they'll keep making new games (with potential decade-long development cycles...), but at some point this whole system just gets ridiculous, especially when the newer versions become increasingly lazy. Square Enix owes it to the fans to give us something better than what's been coming down the pipe lately.

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A look at the Final Fantasy series from best to worst https://www.gameskinny.com/8ut51/a-look-at-the-final-fantasy-series-from-best-to-worst https://www.gameskinny.com/8ut51/a-look-at-the-final-fantasy-series-from-best-to-worst Tue, 24 Nov 2015 06:42:03 -0500 Ty Arthur

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Final Fantasy XV is now on the horizon, and the highly anticipated remake of FF7 is coming as well, so there's no shortage of major releases arriving soon for RPG lovers.

\n

If the huge number of releases up till this point are any indication, we probably have many, many more spin-offs and numbered titles still on the horizon as Square Enix experiments with the formula and heads in new directions.

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What did you think of our picks, and what order would you have placed the best to worst ranking of Final Fantasy games?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/1/4/c142962fdc055adcf4756ef159779fab.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/1/4/tiny_c142962fdc055adcf4756ef159779fab.png","type":"slide","id":"93440","description":"

Worst: Final Fantasy 13

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You know how everyone feels about Final Fantasy 12? That's how I feel about part 13. Seriously, this abomination needs to be nuked from orbit and then some men in black need to show up and wipe the disappointment of FF13 from our memories. This is the only game in the series I've actually put down in disgust and never had any desire to pick back up again. That's 10 hours I'll never get back.

\n

The first entry for the PS3 / Xbox 360 era may have enhanced visuals, but absolutely everything else was a tragic misstep. The absolute bottom of the Final Fantasy barrel, XIII made the tragic mistake of losing composer Nobuo Uematsu and then gave the double whammy of actively annoying characters (Vanille is the worst thing to ever happen to gaming) and a truly uninteresting combat system.

\n

No matter how badly FF15 gets nerfed, I take solace in knowing it can't be as bad as this entry in the series.

\n

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/4/9/7499dd6e2ed8f27165219cc3fa84432f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/4/9/tiny_7499dd6e2ed8f27165219cc3fa84432f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"93439","description":"

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest

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Mystic Quest is one of the very few Final Fantasy games to never get a remake or re-release, and unfortunately there's a reason for that. The combat system switched to a different view more along the lines of Phantasy Star, and the story and characters were incredibly weak, mostly existing as vehicles for a never-ending string of monotonous battles.

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Trudging through the constant onslaught of repetition becomes a serious chore that makes Mystic Quest hard to play for extended periods. Despite all that, I have to admit I still I have a soft spot in my heart for this red-headed stepchild of the FF series, mostly because of the many hours I put into it as a young 'un. And on the plus side, it's not Final Fantasy 13.

\n

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Final Fantasy 2

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Not many games open with your party getting utterly annihilated, so FF2 has that unique start going for it. Everywhere else it remains as difficult to get into as the first game in the series, but without the nostalgia factor since it didn't hit the U.S. until decades after its Japanese launch.

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Final Fantasy 2 definitely has the most odd skill and leveling system for the series, improving your stats as you use them in battle or as you are hit by enemy attacks rather than as you gain experience points.

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Even for its age, the game design wasn't the greatest, as you could literally walk into an area where you'd die immediately in every battle without any warning or prompting to stay away until reaching a higher level.

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Final Fantasy 3

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Playing the original NES/Famicon versions of the first three games in the Final Fantasy franchise, the visual style is incredibly similar with only minor graphical tweaks. The major differences were instead in the leveling and class systems.

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Final Fantasy 3 is where many of the iconic elements of the series that appear in every game originated, but, unfortunately, they were only gestating here and not fully developed. Lacking the nostalgia of the original or the more polished style of the SNES games to come, FF3 exists mostly as a curiosity to be explored to see how far the series has come.

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For those who can't handle the simple graphics and clunky controls, updated 3D versions with gameplay tweaks came to the Nintendo DS, the PSP, and the PC.

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Final Fantasy 10

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As a kid who grew up on the excellent storytelling and very different art style of the SNES and PS1 days, I never developed the same emotional connection to the PS2 games the next generation of RPG lovers has, so frankly I'm not a big fan of this entry.

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Swapping out characters directly in battle was neat and some of the characters had their moments, but overall this is one of the weaker entries in Final Fantasy history on most other fronts.

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Adding underwater football also really didn't do anything for me, as I found myself wondering why I was learning Blitzball plays instead of battling monsters or saving the world...

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Final Fantasy 5

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While graphically pleasing (for the early SNES days anyway) and fleshing out the class system that would become very famous later on, there's actually a lot wrong with this game.

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Taking place in a variety of worlds that only had a few quests each meant that huge areas were pointless, and it's easy to get lost without figuring out just where you are supposed to go. The game also gets fairly repetitive after a few hours, and it's worth mentioning that in the North American version your main character's name is, oddly, “Butz.”

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Nobody in North America played it (legitimately anyway) for a long time due to the lack of an official release until much later on, so FF5 really missed its window to shine. Of course, everybody in the know had downloaded an English translation ROM way before Squaresoft figured out people actually wanted to play this game and gave it a proper stateside release.

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Final Fantasy 8

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Although the graphics improved and many new elements were added in, the characters just weren't as likable nor the story as engaging as Final Fantasy 8's groundbreaking predecessor. Adding in a card game was an interesting twist for a time when kids were still trading Pokemon cards at recess, providing an extra level of depth for those who spent the time learning its mechanics.

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Some of the changes were hit or miss, as the game didn't just completely change the magic system, it even changed the menu system. Letting you swap out which three abilities you wanted was cool in theory, but it was annoying to decide whether you wanted magic or items for the next few battles.

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The characters were sometimes amusing and charming... and sometimes just flat out annoying. I'm still split on which side of that divide Laguna lands when he gets a leg cramp while trying to muster the courage to chat up a sexy singer and then somehow gets her back to his hotel room but doesn't make a move.

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Final Fantasy

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This is where it all started, and whoever would have guessed the absolutely massive industry it spawned? Going back and playing it today there's a huge D&D influence to the first game (especially in the magic system) that many probably missed back then.

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Needless to say, this is a very bare bones game where the formula hadn't been refined yet. Some of the classes were completely pointless, and the combat system was in need of serious polish (you could actually attack an empty space if another attack took down an enemy), but there's a nostalgia to be had here, especially in that distinctly '80s fantasy box art.

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The witch Matoya's backwards talking broomsticks are also a little gem of gaming history that have been referenced in all kinds of media since those heady early days of console role-playing games.

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Final Fantasy 4

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Released as Final Fantasy 2 originally in North America, this is another game in the franchise that's completely iconic and remembered fondly but actually has a ton of flaws.

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While I probably played this game a couple of dozen times as a kid, returning to it as an adult will cause more than a few cringes. Despite the memorable characters and fun gameplay, much of the dialog and plotting is flat-out bad (who can forget such heart felt insults as “You spoony bard?”). But hey, you get to fly a space whale to the moon!

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This was also one of the earlier games to feature major character deaths that really stuck with you, as well as villains that you won't soon forget. The music from that battle against the dancing calcobrena dolls thoroughly creeped me out as a kid, and I can still hum it to this day.

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If you want to return to the kingdom of Baron and see what happened with Rose and Cecil's kids, there was a direct sequel for the Wii (in the exact same original art style) released in episodic format, with each segment revolving around a different character.

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Final Fantasy 12

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This one may be a bit controversial ranking above others, as plenty of Final Fantasy fans straight up despise this game and would like to see it stricken from the franchise's history. Those fans are also wrong.

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I'll grant you Vaan is somewhere between annoying and forgettable, and all the characters do oddly look too similar, but that's about where the criticisms end.

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Gameplay-wise, FF12 is very solid and offered a satisfying experience capping the PS2 era as the consoles were about to change over. The map-based skill system was interesting to learn and play around with, while the completely redesigned combat was a fun change of pace, and unlocking all the monster entries offered a reason to keep playing previous areas.

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Final Fantasy 7

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Age hasn't been kind to the most famous game in all Final Fantasy history, but it still remains a strong contender for the top spots, even if there's a whole lot of nostalgia influencing that positioning. Props also have to be given where they are due for introducing RPGs to a much wider western audience.

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On the positive sides, who could forget cross dressing for a mob boss, chocobo racing, snowboarding at Gold Saucer, the absurdly long Knights Of The Round summon, or the excellent materia system?

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On the downsides, the graphics are straight up ugly at this point, and the story was often bizarre and sometimes incomprehensible (it took me more than one playthrough as a kid to figure out just what the heck Cloud actually was and what his relationship to Zack was supposed to be).

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Final Fantasy 9

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Capping off the golden era of PS1 releases, FF9 returned to actual fantasy territory after two games that strongly blended sci-fi and modern day elements into the mix.

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Although there was lots of comic relief (particularly with the knight character Steiner), there's some gut-punching stuff in this story. Vivi's storyline is both thought-provoking and heart-wrenching, even when it's filled with adorable little guys in overly large hats.

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Final Fantasy 9 is also notable for working summoned monsters into the actual main storyline, rather than just being these beings of massive power you casually pull out for any given random battle and then send away a few minutes later.

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Final Fantasy Tactics

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The only game to truly compete with Final Fantasy 6, this turn-based strategy take on traditional Final Fantasy lore is another one where the music and sound effects are major highlights. For a game featuring a more serious and dark tone than the rest of the entries in the series, the music really ramps up the tension and perfectly matches the art direction.

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While the job-based class system and grid combat system are excellent, it's the story and characters that shine most brightly. It's a complex story but one that's still easily accessible, and it was a little daring for the time it was released in (when games were still considered “for kids”) with its openly anti-religious themes.

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That bleak ending is perfect for the story being told as Ramza – who saved the world – gets branded a traitor and forgotten by history, while Delita – who is actually the villain – becomes king.

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Best: Final Fantasy 6

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RPGs not only cut their teeth but really hit their stride on the SNES, with the cream of the crop on that beloved system easily Chrono Trigger... and Final Fantasy 6. Originally released as Final Fantasy 3 in North America, there's a whole era of kids who first experienced this legendary game under that title before RPGs were even close to mainstream. We may have been the nerd crowd, but we had something awesome no one else had caught onto yet.

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Fast forward from 1994, and Final Fantasy 6 still stacks up today as a game worth playing that frankly beats out a lot of modern titles in terms of characters, story, music, and yes, even art style. To be honest, I don't think Squaresoft/Square Enix has ever released anything better on any of those fronts to this day. The quality of the soundtrack can't be overstated, as this is some of the best music Nobuo Uematsu has ever crafted.

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That opera house scene is one of the best in gaming that still makes people tear up today, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. The multi-part battle while defending Narshe, switching between three groups of characters separated across the continent, stealing mechs in the imperial camp, the ghost train, and the world getting completely and utterly destroyed half way through the game are all classic moments in gaming.

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Every playable character had an interesting backstory as well as a unique combat ability that made them all play differently, but let's not discount the bad guys. Has there ever been an antagonist like Kefka? Turns out the insane clown was way more evil than the evil emperor he worked for, and he succeeded where every other villain failed in a quest to destroy the world and rule the ashes.

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Without question, Final Fantasy is easily the most famous and prolific console RPG series of all time, introducing several generations of gamers to the concept of turn-based side by side battles as heroes attempt to overthrow kingdoms and protect magic crystals.

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The coming next-gen remake of Final Fantasy 7 was one of the biggest pieces of news to land from E3 this year, but it's not all we have to look forward to, with the anticipated part 15 arriving next year and slated to shake up the formula quite a bit.

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Ranking these games from best to worst is a monumental task, especially considering the sheer number of titles released since the first Final Fantasy way back 1987. To keep things manageable, here I'm focusing on base single player games in the main series, with two spin-offs included solely because of their iconic nature. The mobile phone games, spin-offs, sequels, MMORPGs, and Legend / Adventure titles on the Game Boy are all being left off this time around.

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Even by culling all those extra games and whittling it down to the 14 titles included here, ranking them is harder than you'd think, as most of the Final Fantasy games have been re-released in alternate versions, some with major graphical and gameplay changes. The first game alone has come out in no less than 11 separate releases from the NES to the PlayStation to mobile phones and most recently for the 3DS.

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For consistency's sake, these are all being ranked based on their original versions and not on the later re-creations.

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A brief history of post-apocalyptic video games https://www.gameskinny.com/ima7p/a-brief-history-of-post-apocalyptic-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/ima7p/a-brief-history-of-post-apocalyptic-video-games Mon, 09 Nov 2015 18:42:23 -0500 Michael Falero

Humans love to imagine how it might all end: how our society could collapse at any moment, leaving the Earth a barren wasteland. We have a long history of imagining nightmare scenarios, as well as what would happen to the small percentage of us who might survive.

We'll get to experience another incarnation of this idea in Fallout 4, which comes out tonight. Bethesda's iconic Fallout series has spent years exploring what human existence would be like centuries after nuclear annihilation. Many of us are anxiously counting down the minutes until we can create our character's look, pick our S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, and open that Vault door for the first time.

While we wait for the release of Fallout 4, let's take a look at where the post-apocalyptic video game genre began: a history that has brings together 19th century literature, 20th century geopolitics, and the emerging technology of video games. At its root is a single over-arching question, one that humans have grappled with again and again: what would happen if everything as we know it was suddenly gone?

The Future Cut Short, Reimagined: Post-Apocalyptic Literature

Most English dictionaries define post-apocalyptic as follows:

(adj.) "denoting or relating to the time following a nuclear war or other catastrophic event."

We have two separate ideas contained in this definition: the "catastrophic event", and the time after that event. Writings from long-dead civilizations like the Assyrians and the Vikings have focused on how the world might end - you're probably familiar with the concept of Ragnarok. A number of religions also maintain some prediction of radical change sweeping the Earth and greatly impacting human life as we know it.

In the past 200 years, writers have imagined all sorts of scenarios in which humans continue to exist in some reduced state.

The idea that some of humanity might survive such an event is a newer one. Humans, much like that bug in your garage you can never manage to kill, have a tendency to live on despite the countless dangers in the world that threaten their existence. In the past 200 years, writers have imagined all sorts of scenarios in which humans continue to exist in some reduced state.

The modern post-apocalyptic literary genre started to develop in the early 19th century. Beyond the variety of retellings and derivations of the Book of Revelation that existed during that time, a couple of original works stand out. Among them is the 1826 novel The Last Man by Mary Shelley (the same Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein). This novel follows a group of people, mostly British aristocrats, who live through a devastating plague that kills a large percentage of the population. The resulting disorder leads to the destruction of governments and basic social structure, the rise of fanatical religious cults, and an invasion of the British Isles by American survivors that leads to even more death and destruction.

Mary Shelley: probably too metal to be in your band.

During the rest of the 1800s, writers detailed supernatural apocalypses as well as those that were perfectly plausible. Edgar Allen Poe's short story The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion (1839) features a disruption in the Earth's atmosphere, causing it to become 100% oxygen and igniting a worldwide inferno after a nearby comet hits. In H.G. Wells' 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, one of his most famous works, an unnamed narrator recounts a Martian invasion of England, with a focus on the senseless violence the aliens inflict on his town. Up until the mid 20th-century, nearly every post apocalyptic work built upon the idea that humans would die out as a result of disasters seemingly out of their own control. 

Learning to Love the Bomb: Nuclear War and the Video Game Era

It's little surprise that the events of World War II affected mankind's view of how the world might end. The advent of nuclear technology, combined with the heightened geopolitical tensions of the Cold War, mean humans could be wiped out in moments from a nuclear blast. Even scarier was the fact that a single human error or misunderstanding could lead to the same outcome. In 1983, a NATO military exercise led to the Soviet Union nearly launching nuclear warheads in response to what they thought was a first strike.

Post-war fiction, such as A Canticle for Leibowitz and On The Beach, explored the costs of nuclear war and its aftermath. Films began to confront the question as well, most notably Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove, which follows a rogue U.S. general ordering a missile strike on the Soviet Union. It parodies various Cold War concepts for being nonsensical, for instance Mutually-Assured Destruction (MAD).

The popular focus on nuclear warfare, MAD, and fallout shelters overlapped with the advent of video game technology in the late 1970s and 1980s. It was only a matter of time before video game studios focused on man-made nuclear annihilation, given that society was so obsessed with it at the time. Perhaps no other game defined the post-apocalyptic genre more so than Wasteland.

A Wasteland battle screen, featuring what seems to be a Buzzy Beetle enemy from Super Mario Bros.

Released in 1988, the game's main character is a Desert Ranger who must find and recruit survivors in the irradiated landscape of the U.S. after a nuclear war with Russia. Wasteland combined many of elements of earlier post-apocalyptic literary tradition — a narrative focus on people dealing with social breakdown and lacking the basic necessities to survive — with the interactive elements of the video game, such as decision-making, fighting threats, and an immersive visual experience.

In Wasteland, the consequences of the player's actions are meant to mirror the gravity of an actual post-apocalyptic world: the game was one of the first to have a "persistent world" feature, meaning player's changes to the environment would remain after they left the area.

A number of games would expand upon Wasteland's success and approach the nuclear war scenario from a variety of perspectives. Whether it's the first-person perspective of Midwinter (1989), the literally Earth-shattering catastrophe that takes place in Final Fantasy VI (1994), or the engrossing narrative and constant threat of death in Beneath a Steel Sky (1994), post-apocalyptic games continued to innovate through the 1990s.

From Wasteland to the Wasteland: The Era of Fallout

Combat in Fallout getting a bit messy.

The Fallout series has become the iconic post-apocalyptic franchise for many younger players. It has in many ways defined the genre since the release of the first game, Fallout, in 1997. The name comes from the meteorological concept of "fallout", where radioactive material falls from the atmosphere after a nuclear explosion. Debuting to critical acclaim, the 1997 game introduced gameplay elements that would become mainstays of the series: the player's Karma points, the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system, and the use of ability points with weapons.

Many gamers describe the original Fallout as the spiritual successor to Wasteland. Instead of a U.S.-Russian nuclear holocaust, its story focused on the aftermath of nuclear war between the U.S. and China, and the lone player's journey across the barren landscape nearly a hundred years later. Fallout's gameplay also took cues from Wasteland's gameplay mechanics, with an isometric perspective, dialogue screens that featured moving character portraits, and the ability to recruit team members.

Fallout 2 came out a year later, in 1998, and expanded the scope of the series' story, while still maintaining the gameplay style. Following two spinoff titles in the early 2000s, the series' new publisher Bethesda released Fallout 3 in 2008. It soon became the most successful in the franchise, hitting nearly five million copies sold that year and receiving many Game of the Year awards. Fallout: New Vegas was released in 2010, also selling five million copies.  

Both of these games boasted improved graphics, a third person perspective, and expansive open worlds. Gameplay features, like the VATS targeting system introduced in Fallout 3, lent a first person shooter element to the series. New Vegas provided a "Hardcore Mode" to add even more realism: health and food items took more time to restore the player's health, and death in-game became final, as opposed to just a blackout.

A Golden Era for the Post-Apocalyptic Genre

A normal conversation in The Last of Us.

In the past seven years or so, gamers have seen a wide variety of new post-apocalyptic games coming out. The runaway success of Fallout 3 showed studios that the genre still held gamers' attention, and that there might be room to expand the scope of what a post-apocalyptic video game might entail.

Rage (2011) combined elements of a first-person shooter with driving stages that one might expect in a racing game (the result was often a high speed shootout). I Am Alive (2012) focused on the character's isolation and the physical costs of attempting to navigate the city and survive.

Both The Walking Dead (2012) and The Last of Us (2012) involve zombie apocalypses (yet another apocalyptic trend in popular culture), but their main stories add an extra challenge for the player: escort a younger character through a variety of hostile environments, unharmed. Even within these games, there are different approaches: The Walking Dead revolves around difficult narrative choices, while The Last of Us uses first-person shooter gameplay and an artificially intelligent companion.

Gamers continue to have an appetite for challenging games that place them in unforgiving environments. When done right, the post-apocalyptic video game gives them just that.

These are just a few of the more than dozen titles that have come out since Fallout 3, and the genre shows no sign of slowing down. Gamers continue to have an appetite for challenging games that place them in unforgiving environments. When done right, a post-apocalyptic video game gives them just that.

It may be that humans preoccupy themselves with post-apocalyptic ideas (and gamers with post-apocalyptic video games) because they represent an exciting story, however horrible, and the small chance that humanity could survive - a message of hope, if you will. Perhaps we might be one of those survivors, going out and exploring a world that has become vastly different from the one we knew. Most of us would probably never want to live through it for real, so for now, playing that fantasy out in video games will do. 

Can't wait to play Fallout 4? Do you have another favorite post-apocalyptic game that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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Final Fantasy classics come to Amazon Fire TV https://www.gameskinny.com/mbjon/final-fantasy-classics-come-to-amazon-fire-tv https://www.gameskinny.com/mbjon/final-fantasy-classics-come-to-amazon-fire-tv Wed, 28 Oct 2015 10:01:15 -0400 Thewritevictor

Final Fantasy classics III, IV, V, and VI, are all now available for streaming from Amazon's newest device, Amazon Fire TV

All four games have been gloriously improved for Amazon Fire TV's release. Final Fantasy III brings new 3D sequences and updated designs while Final Fantasy VI's graphics were all painstakingly recreated by one of the original graphic designers, Kazuko Shibuya himself.

Final Fantasy 3

Final Fantasy 6

In celebration of the release, Square Enix is offering a sale of 50% off the titles starting October 29 and lasting until November 26. Players can download the four updated games via the Amazon Appstore for immediate gameplay gratification. 

Meanwhile, Amazon Fire TV is still pushing strong into the world of gaming. The Final Fantasy titles join over 800 other games available through the streaming network, including Knights of the Old Republic and Shovel Knight. 

So far Amazon Fire TV Gaming hosts mostly mobile games and apps that are played through their game controller and the Fire TV stick, but reviews have been less than enthusiastic since the device's launch.

"If I could give this zero stars I would. As everyone else has said..." - Michele's review of Fire TV Controller

With compatibility issues and a serious lack of communication from Amazon, many buyers have seen only headaches as they try Fire TV Gaming. Players, for now, seem to be sticking with the consoles they know and love instead of jumping for the new streaming device.

Will the new additions of Final Fantasy classics be enough to gain the praise of players throughout the gaming community? Tell us what you think of Amazon's new adventure into gaming in the comments below!

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Final Fantasy Discount Celebrates Android TV compatibility until August 13th https://www.gameskinny.com/rb902/final-fantasy-discount-celebrates-android-tv-compatibility-until-august-13th https://www.gameskinny.com/rb902/final-fantasy-discount-celebrates-android-tv-compatibility-until-august-13th Fri, 07 Aug 2015 20:16:26 -0400 Steven Troya

Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy III to VI will receive an update for compatibility on Android TV. To celebrate, Final Fantasy III to VI will be getting discounts on the Play Store until August 13th.

Final Fantasy III to VI will be reduced from $15.99 to $7.99 and you better move fast since the offer will only last for a few days.

While the games are at discounted price, your chance to get into the Final Fantasy series (if you aren’t already) has come. Final Fantasy has been around since 1987 and many fans will definitely recommend this batch of games.

In Final Fantasy III, four adventurers together as one of those adventurers, Luneth leaves the village of Ur to find three other comrades in order to save the world from the chaos that the Gulgan prophesized.

Final Fantasy IV gives you the role of Cecil, a knight stripped of his command. Chaos is starting to ensue in the world as creatures of darkness begin to roam the lands and the king begins to seek the Crystals. Figure out why in this gorgeous game!

In Final Fantasy V, the Crystals of water, fire, earth, and wind have suddenly lost their power and are now on the verge of destruction and by extension, the very world itself! Join Bartz and co. on their epic adventure.

Finally (ha!), Final Fantasy VI is set in a world devoid of all magic—all for one girl who posses the lost power. Meeting Locke, a young man, they attempt to escape the evil Empire, which has kept Terra, the only girl with magic, enslaved for many years. This one event sets of a chain of events that will eventually lead to one inevitable conclusion.

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The top 25 baby names inspired by video game characters https://www.gameskinny.com/s2x4c/the-top-25-baby-names-inspired-by-video-game-characters https://www.gameskinny.com/s2x4c/the-top-25-baby-names-inspired-by-video-game-characters Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:24:07 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

Let's face it, naming your child can be tough. When it came time to name my daughter, there were so many names to choose from; it was hard to make a definite choice for a long time. While my daughter's names may not have been drawn from the world of video games, there are plenty of excellent names to consider for my next child or yours.

This is our list of the best gamer baby names inspired by video games!

1. Epona

Yes, Epona is Link's horse from The Legend of Zelda series. Did you know the name also belongs to the Celtic goddess of horses? Sounds a little better now doesn't it?

 

2. Saria

The name of the Sage of the Forest from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Saria serves as a beautiful name. Certainly more interesting than anything your friends will come up with!

 

3. Majora

Majora may be the main antagonist of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, but the being sure has an awesome name. Any kids who know anything would think twice before messing with someone named Majora!

 

4. Cortez

The protagonist of the fantastic Timesplitters series, Sergeant Cortez is a time-traveling, one-liner spitting badass. What better example for your child do you need?

 

5. Kratos

The focus of the ultraviolent God of War, the games following the murderous rampage of Kratos would not be something your child could play for some time. Maybe not the best name for a cute baby.

 

6. Dante

Sure Dante was an Italian poet who wrote one of the most influential and popular works of all time, but why cite that as your child's namesake? Why not name them after the demon hunting, cheesy one-liner loving, and completely ridiculous Dante from Devil May Cry? He's clearly the better choice of the two.

 

7. Liliana

Liliana is a Planeswalker from the venerable Magic the Gathering card game and the Duels of the Planeswalkers titles. While she is a necromancer and makes a deal with demons for power and wealth, she is extremely charismatic, quick-witted, and one of the coolest Planeswalkers! A great choice.

 

8. Chandra

Master of all things fire, the hot-headed (literally) Planeswalker is known for being impulsive with a short fuse for her fiery (I swear I'll stop) temper. Don't get on her bad side!

 

9. Jace

In case it wasn't obvious, I have a slight addiction to Magic the Gathering. Another entry from the beloved card game is Jace, the blue Planeswalker. Known for his intelligence, powers of telepathy, and reserved nature, Jace is usually about using trickery to your advantage and your opponent's ire. Bonus: also a character name from League of Legends.

  

10. Ryu

The face of Capcom's long-running Street Fighter series, Ryu has made an appearance in every main game and most spinoffs. His signature "hadouken" move has become as iconic as the character himself. What better to name your child after than a martial arts master?

 

11. Raiden

We have a double entry for this name! 

Raiden is the name of thunder god (based on the Japanese thunder god Raijin) and protector of Earth from the Mortal Kombat series. 

Raiden is also the name of an awesome ninja from the Metal Gear Solid series. Either way, you can't go wrong.


  

12. Samus 

The bounty hunter from Nintendo's long-running Metroid series, Samus has shown herself to be capable, strong, intelligent, and the bane of galactic villains everywhere. She's kinda awesome.

 

13. Layton

Layton is known for intellect and solving mysteries that would stump Sherlock Holmes. Plus, he rocks a top hat like it is nobody's business. A great role model for the kids!

14. Guybrush

The bumbling star of the Monkey Island series, Guybrush is known for his wit as much as he is his naivety. By the series' end though, Guybrush had transformed from a wanna-be swashbuckler to the real deal. 

 

15. Cecil

While Cecil remains a "normal" name, it is also the name of the protagonist from Final Fantasy IV. Cecil is known for undergoing a complete change from a Dark Knight questioning his King to a Paladin who sets out to defeat evil.

 

16. Aerith

Aerith from Final Fantasy VII was the cause of many tears to be shed upon meeting her untimely and unfortunately demise at the end of antagonist's Sephiroth's sword. Known for her kindness, independence, and a keen perception of others, Aerith wormed her way into many hearts before her early exit.  #Neverforget.

 

17. Tidus 

Known for his skills at Blitzball as much as his grating laughter, the main protagonist from Final Fantasy X is also no slouch at wielding a sword when necessary. 

 

18. Sora

Kingdom Hearts is a fan-favorite series of many due to its amalgamation of the Disney and Final Fantasy characters. Sora is the main star of the RPG series who wields the ridiculous Keyblade. Yep, a key is a sword. Don't ask.

 

19. Tyrion

The Imp from A Song of Fire and Ice book series, you may know it as Game of Thrones, has seen his entry into the digital realm with Telltale's recent game based on the HBO adaptation of the fantasy series. While not the most flattering of inspirations, Tyrion is a unique name.

 

20. Geralt

The main character of the terrific The Witcher series, Geralt serves as a titular witcher, humans mutated specifically to hunt monsters. Throughout the games however, Geralt does battle with more monsters of the human variety instead of the fantastical type. I guarantee your child will be better-looking than this scarred fighter. 

 

21. Ciri

Being the adopted daughter of the witcher Geralt is no easy task, yet Ciri has managed to thrive and grow strong, perhaps even surpassing her adoptive father. Throughout The Witcher 3, Ciri shows herself to be capable, caring, and more than willing to do anything to help those she cares about.

 

22. Thane

A dying assassin, perhaps the best in the galaxy, who is also extremely spiritual and intelligent, Thane proves to be one of the most interesting characters in the Mass Effect universe. No easy feat! 


 

23. Tali

Being a member of the Quarian race, Tali is unable to remove her mask without incurring some health detriments to herself. Despite never seeing her face (that one picture doesn't count), players enjoyed Tali's presence for her mechanical genius and her social awkwardness, especially with those she developed feelings towards. In combat though, the inner warrior emerges, and Tali proves as useful as she is unique.

 

24. Raven

A member of the superhero group Teen Titans, Raven is the definition of conflicted. The daughter of a powerful demon who can travel the galaxy that seeks to conquer everything, Raven seeks to distance herself from her parental legacy by fighting for good and against her father. Family issues arise.

 

25. Mario

Is this any surprise? Mario is arguably the most recognizable characters in games and popular culture as a whole. With his dashing moustache and dazzling fashion sense, more than one little tyke has been named for this plumber's exploits. 

 

Poor Luigi...

 

Have some favorite video game-inspired baby names of your own? Sound off in the comments!

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Retro RPGs in Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest Series Discounted on Mobile Devices https://www.gameskinny.com/ijs6z/retro-rpgs-in-final-fantasy-dragon-quest-series-discounted-on-mobile-devices https://www.gameskinny.com/ijs6z/retro-rpgs-in-final-fantasy-dragon-quest-series-discounted-on-mobile-devices Sat, 20 Dec 2014 15:03:33 -0500 Brian Spaen

Need an classic RPG fix for the holidays? If you have an Android or iOS phone or tablet handy, you can get multiple Square Enix games at heavily discounted prices.

Normally, the later Final Fantasy titles are available for $15.99, but all the titles will be discounted until January 5th. Highlights include Final Fantasy IV and VI for just $7.99, Dragon Quest VIII for $12.99, and Chrono Trigger for $4.99.

Here are all the deals for select Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games on Google Play and iTunes.

  • Final Fantasy - $3.99 (50 percent off)
  • Final Fantasy III - $7.99 (50 percent off)
  • Final Fantasy IV - $7.99 (50 percent off)
  • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years - $7.99 (50 percent off)
  • Final Fantasy V - $7.99 (50 percent off)
  • Final Fantasy VI - $7.99 (50 percent off)
  • Dragon Quest II - $2.99 (40 percent off)
  • Dragon Quest VIII - $12.99 (35 percent off)
  • Chrono Trigger - $4.99 (50 percent off)

For those wondering, the only classic Final Fantasy title that's left off the list (pre-FFVII) is Final Fantasy II, which is available for $3.99 and doesn't have a discount. All of these Final Fantasy games are remakes that have been found on various Nintendo and Sony consoles and handhelds.

And as a friendly reminder to those that remember playing the great Final Fantasy III on Super Nintendo, that is actually Final Fantasy VI on this list. The FFIII on this list is from the original Nintendo that was only released in Japan before Square Enix remastered and brought all the titles over to North America.

Will you be picking up any discounted titles from Square Enix over the holidays?

Image credit: Nerd Reactor

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Introducing the New Next Gen Console....Your Smart Phone? https://www.gameskinny.com/c9y9y/introducing-the-new-next-gen-consoleyour-smart-phone https://www.gameskinny.com/c9y9y/introducing-the-new-next-gen-consoleyour-smart-phone Mon, 12 Aug 2013 20:48:35 -0400 Critley Lynn King

Consoles and PC’s have been at the forefront of gaming for years, but with the development of iOS and Android devices, they may have to jump over to the passenger’s side. Yes, that’s right, there is a new kid in the gaming town, and it is the smart phone.

With the instant gratification mind-set of this generation that spreads like a wildly contagious disease, it is no wonder that mobile gaming is so popular.  Instead of having to save and scrape up sixty dollars to go out to your local game store (or order online) to buy that console game you have been dying to play, you can simply download some of the newest and hottest things to your smart phone. 

Awesome Titles

Google play and the Apple store have an endless array of hardcore games ranging from MMO’s to RPG’s, to shooters, puzzle games and tactics. Usually these games are rather inexpensive (the highest I found was $15.99), mere pocket change in comparison to what is spent on console games of the same genres.

While many might suspect that mobile gaming lacks quality, this is not the case. Popular titles in the Apple store and on Google Play such as Horn, Order & Chaos, Avabel, Champs, and Infinity Blade put up a fair fight competing with console games on graphics, story, gameplay, and musical score. Classic console games such as Pitfall, Galaga, and Pacman are also a staple for the platform.

Mainstream companies such as Sega, and Square Enix also have a mobile presence with titles such like Sonic the Hedge Hog, Final Fantasy IV, The World Ends With You, and Chrono Trigger all available for download.  More recently, TellTale has made all of their newest games available for iOS.

Cool Gadgets

The low-cost, convenience, and popularity of smart phone gaming has spawned a number of new gaming accessories such as:

  • Mini joysticks simply attach to the screen of a smart phone (or tablet) via a suction cup and instantly you have two thumb joysticks just like you would have on a Playstation or Xbox controller.
  • Smartphone gaming guns allow the player to place their phone inside a special slot in the gun (near the top much like a scope) and blast their frustrations away in this new twist to the shooter genre.
  • Special speakers which enhance the mobile gamers experience and make them feel more “in” the game.
  • Tiny Arcade machines are also there to please the classic gamer. For those who want to relive their glory arcade days there is the Arcadie. The gamer places their phone in the back of the Arcadie, and instantly their phone is transformed into a mini arcade machine.        
Strength in Numbers

While your iPhone won't be usurping the PS4 or the Xbox One, it offers a great gaming alternative, at a fraction of the cost.

Perhaps the biggest reason that hardcore gaming may be becoming so popular on mobile devices, is because there is no huge, expensive console required…you and millions of others, already hold the superior option in your hands.

 

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Final Fantasy IV Released for Android! https://www.gameskinny.com/ddcxk/final-fantasy-iv-released-for-android https://www.gameskinny.com/ddcxk/final-fantasy-iv-released-for-android Tue, 04 Jun 2013 11:30:35 -0400 CSLJames

It's been almost six months since Square Enix released their trailer for Final Fantasy IV's Android port, as well as hinting towards more of releases from the franchise onto the Android device, but it's finally here! Final Fantasy IV was a legendary game in the original series- it was the first to implement the "Active Time Battle" system that has become the focus of the series.

The FFIV is now available for $15.99 on the Google Play market, with improvements to the original game such as high resolution, voice acting, new emotional portrayals, a map-building tool, and a jukebox allowing purchasers to listen to the Final Fantasy IV soundtrack on the go.


However, there is huge backlash from the community after Square Enix made the decision to prevent rooted Android devices from installing the game. This, in theory, reduces the amount of piracy, but in a backwards way also hinders those who really do wish to purchase the game.

The assumption made by Square Enix--that if one roots their phone (which is typically something power/more technologically advanced users do) they're very likely to steal their game--is insulting to many. I was considering picking up this game to support the developer and get the soundtrack, but my rooted Motorola Defy makes me ineligible to purchase the game (nor play it, due to my phone's age). Hopefully Square Enix reverses this decision and allows rooted phones to play their games in the future.

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