Hope County, Montana – Your Next Location for Far Cry

With all the excitement of Destiny 2 announcements in the past week, it’s been hard to even think about anything else. That is, until today… Ubisoft dropped a quick teaser on their YouTube channel for Far Cry 5 that captured my interest. The official announcement trailer is set to be released this Friday, May 26th. The new location is a pretty big change considering the past locations in the game. The rumors are flying over on the /r/farcry, so be sure to grab a bucket of popcorn and check that out. I, for one, will be tuning in on Thursday for the announcement trailer.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Back sometime in 1994, I remember seeing a commercial for a video game that was funny, but didn’t showcase any of the game. The more and more I saw it (I watched a lot of TV), the less interested I was in ever trying it. The following summer my cousins mentioned this game by name as a game they couldn’t stop playing and couldn’t wait to show me. I remember telling them about the commercial and how I didn’t think the game seemed that interesting (what a jerk, right?). The game they introduced me to was Final Fantasy VI (released as Final Fantasy III) for the SNES. Here is the commercial:

This was my introduction to JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games), and I could not have been more hooked. I spent an entire week with my cousins playing this game, enamored with the story, the characters, the combat, the weapons, the spells, the music, and the depth one game could have.

Because of how much I enjoyed it, this game led me to its follow-up, Final Fantasy VII. I purchased any game magazine that had any bit of information about it, and just like I do today, studied all of the screenshots in-depth an eagerly awaited its release, a date I’ll never forget: 9.7.97.

I was always excited when a commercial aired for it on TV. I bought a promotional tabletop stand-up cardboard cut-out (I still have it) and posters. It was the first time I can remember being this excited about a video game.

Being this excited, though, I wasn’t sure if the game could live up to the anticipation. Thankfully the game was amazing. I spent the entire weekend playing and finishing the game because I just couldn’t put it down, and I would go on and replay this game a ridiculous amount of times. To me, Final Fantasy VII is the best in the series.

As much as I have (mostly) enjoyed the Final Fantasy games that have followed, I always enjoy going back and playing Final Fantasy VII. It wasn’t until I had played Final Fantasy X that I (and probably most fans) wished we could have a graphically improved Final Fantasy VII to enjoy it even more.

Then …

Technical Demo and Remake

At E3 in 2005, Square Enix showcased a technical demo to demonstrate the graphical capabilities of the PlayStation 3. However, instead of using footage from the then in-development Final Fantasy XIII, they treated fans to the opening sequence of Final Fantasy VII. Watch the video below.

This demo was so well received that fans immediately started wondering when the game would be re-released in HD. Many of us had hoped that after the release of Final Fantasy XIII (and it’s two sequels) were released, Square Enix would finally give fans what they had been asking for.

Sadly, an HD release wouldn’t happen, and it wouldn’t be until E3 2015 (a whopping 10 years later) that Square Enix decided to unveil a trailer of Final Fantasy VII Remake for the PlayStation 4 and XBOX one. Watch the trailer below.

(I still get goosebumps watching this)

The remake of the game is more of a re-imagining of the game and not just an HD version. While locations, characters, and storylines from the original will most likely be used, it is unclear how many elements will be kept.

The latest image release, calling back to one of the more iconic images to promote the original game.

This seems like a giant undertaking and potentially a risky move on Square Enix’s part to alter what is arguably the (or one of the) greatest Final Fantasy games.

With as excited as we’ve been since this trailer, there has been very little information provided.

What We Know So Far

Details have been scarce ever since the E3 2015 announcement, but here is what we know.

Voice acting

The most recent announcement came from Steve Burton’s Twitter account. Steve is the actor who has provided the voice for Cloud Strife in various properties, most notably Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (side note, I feel like you should only watch this movie if you’ve played the game) and his tweet confirmed he was doing voice work for Cloud again, and just last month.

The original game did not have have voices for the characters, and some fans are a little unsure how this will alter the game. It’s hard to image a game of this size with today’s standards not having voices for the characters, and I for one am glad there will be consistency between the properties.

Combat System

The original releases combat system was Active Time Battle (ATB), meaning the fight time continued while you were selecting each character’s next move, but you would have to wait for each character’s turn.

The more recent combat system of Final Fantasy XV has you focused on controlling each move of the main character and setting combat preferences for others in your party, which allows you and the AI to attack your enemies at once rather than having to wait for turns.

From the demos shown so far, it appear the Remake is moving more towards the Final Fantasy XV combat system. Without having played any of it so far it’s hard to say if this is for better or worse, but I’m optimistic. Tetsuya Nomura recently unveiled an image of the combat system stating that he’s “put a lot of attention into the combat system, and it’s going to happen without interruption.” (via Gematsu)

Some will immediately notice that the enemy in the picture is the Scorpion, the first boss you fight in the original game!

Three Games

It has been said that the Remake will span across three separate games, each of them will most likely have their own release date.

It is unknown if the story from the original is being split up into three games, or if each game will tell a different side of the same story, much in the same way Final Fantasy XIII was.

I’m wondering if they will expand upon the story from the original game’s timeline. Or, I wonder if they’ll add in the events that took place from the end of the game to the events of Advent Children?

Systems

The game will initially released as a PlayStation 4 exclusive with a later release date coming for the XBOX One (similar to what Rise of the Tomb Raider did, releasing n XBOX One first then PlayStation 4 a year later).

Release Date

Sadly, no release date has been announced, and while I don’t think this is a possibility, 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of the original Final Fantasy VII, so maybe the first release will be available by the end of the year (fingers crossed).

What Can We Look Forward to at E3 2017?

Nothing is confirmed, but this fan is hoping for some big unveiling. At E3 2016 Square Enix primarily focused on promoting (the somewhat disappointing to me) Final Fantasy XV, and they stated all other projects would not be shown so they could focus their efforts.

Recently game Director Tetsuya Nomura stated in an interview (via Gematsu) that he hopes to show off the game at an industry event sometime in 2017. We’re hoping that the event will be at E3 2017.

Are you excited about the Remake, or hoping to see something announced at E3? Let us know below.

Pokemon GO Gen 2 Is Out!

I hope you’re having a great President’s Day weekend Pokémon hunters! Last week a highly anticipated moment arrived – the release of Pokemon GO Gen 2! With this release we now have access to more than 80 new Pokémon to catch, hatch, and evolve. I’m sure your pokedex is filling up with these new critters as is mine. But that’s not all, Niantic has released an update to the gameplay mechanics as well. We’ll detail out what we know so far, but make sure and check out the unofficial, community driven, feature list over on /r/TheSilphRoad.

What I’ve Caught So Far

New Avatar Customization

This is super exciting. Not only do we have more options for our characters to look different, we now have clothes items available for purchase. While some may complain that microtransactions are a bummer, for those that really want to customize their appearance, the option is there. Additionally, you can turn off some of the appearance items like backpacks, socks, shoes, hats, and gloves.

Pokémon Movesets Have Changed

Niantic has balanced many of the movesets in the game, so you may notice that some of your moves don’t do as much damage as they used to, while some others do more damage. One thing I was really excited about is that they’ve made all moves be just 1-3 bars instead of the useless 4 and 5 bar moves. There are a few moves that have been removed from the game as well. For a full list, check out the thread on reddit above.

New Items From Pokestops

Pokemon GO Gen 2 - New BerriesPokémon hunters can now expect to start receiving two new berry types from pokestops, Nanab Berries and Pinap Berries. Whereas Razz berries increased catch percentages, Nanab Berries calm the Pokémon down so they’re less likely to jump, attack, or fly around the screen. Pinap berries can be fed to Pokémon to make them drop more candy when they’re caught. It’s worth noting that like Razz berries, these new berries only apply the effect to the next attempted catch.

Additionally, there are new evolution items that are needed to evolve some Pokémon. These are seemingly more rare to find, and are only useful if you have the Pokémon that it applies to along with the commensurate amount of candy to evolve it.

Pokemon Catch Mechanics

I was surprised by this one actually. I went to toss a ball to catch a Ledyba only to find is zooming around the screen dodging my throw. No longer do you have to just work on your timing between attacks and jumps. Now you also have to anticipate lateral movement and flying patterns.

One thing I found super awesome was the UI update to the catch screen. You don’t have to go deep into menus to apply a berry or switch the type of pokeball you want to use. You also don’t need to run away when you run out of pokeballs. The new UI allows you to purchase pokeballs without leaving the screen. I can’t tell you how many times I have found a new Pokémon out in the wild with only a few pokeballs left only to have to run because I couldn’t catch it on the first try.

Speaking of first catches, there are also some new bonuses you can get depending on how your catching experience goes. If you catch a Pokémon on the first throw, you get an extra 50xp. Additionally, each throw has a chance to be a critical catch. This catch is accompanied by a new animation as well.

Wrapping Up

Overall I’m super happy with this new release of Pokémon GO. I’m sure most of you, like me, were almost complete with your pokedex for generation one and running out of new things to catch and evolve. I had almost put the game down completely except for the seasonal events. The 80 new Pokémon, updated gameplay, and continuing community events. Unlike so many mobile games that are a couple hours of fun in total, Pokémon GO has the promise of long term gameplay. I hope that Niantic continues to release more frequent updates to keep this game fresh for a long time to come. Happy Hunting!

Meet the Newest World Warrior: KOLIN

Introducing KOLIN, the new challenger!

Happy Friday, Awesome Gamers, it’s raining in Southern California right now but Capcom just let the sun shine in by releasing a video on youtube that sheds more light on the latest Season 2 character: Kolin.

The video details some info on Kolin, not only her fighting style and powers, but also a bit of her past and her association with Gill (the two-tone terror from previous games and former leader of the Illuminati before losing to Urien), who gave her ice powers. Here’s the full video so you can see for yourself!

I’m personally excited for Kolin, and I’m very curious to see how many top tier players will choose her during EVO2017. Then again, with more characters yet to be unveiled, which world warriors will appear in the winning bracket is still a mystery!

All Gamer Bulletin : LoZ gets DLC, Johto in GO!, and McFarlane does Destiny!

zelda gets a season pasS!

How’s it going, Awesome Gamers, and welcome to All Gamer Bulletin. Our first topic is a big one, as Eiji Aonuma, the producer for Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild” released a video on youtube earlier this week in which he announces that, for the first time in a main line Zelda game, there will be paid DLC. In the video, Eiji discuss how the production team went to “great lengths to make Hyrule a massive place.” Massive enough, it seems, that a single base sticker price can’t contain it all. Here’s the video, so you can hear it straight from the horses mouth. 

The Season Pass will cost $20 and will include two DLC packs, both slated for release later this year. The first pack, which is estimated to be released around the summer time and will include “a Cave of Trials challenge, a new hard mode and a mysterious new feature for the in-game map”, according to Forbes.com.

Since this is the first time that a main line Legend of Zelda game features paid DLC, a few fans don’t really know who to feel about it. I don’t know about you, but after seeing that amazing trailer that was released for Breath of the Wild at the beginning of the year, Nintendo can take my money!

pokemon go gets more pokemon!

Big news for all you Pokemon GO trainers out there, Niantic announced today that 80 new pokemon have been added to the game, as well as a slue of new features! Expect to see many inhabitants of the Johto region, who were first seen in Pokemon Gold and Silver so start popping up on your radars, as well as a few new evolutions for some familiar pokemon already in your pokedex. According to the official statement release from pokemon.com, you can also expect to see new berries to feed to pokemon, new apparel for your player avatar, and brand new pokemon reactions during encounters!  This is big news for a lot of trainers, and seeing as how a full list of which 80 were actually included hasn’t been verified yet, the hope for a legendary mythical pokemon still burns in our hearts. Articuno, you WILL be mine someday!!

mcfarlane toys releases destiny figures!!

I love Todd McFarlane, and I love Destiny. That being said, I don’t have much to say about this next bit of news, just because I believe a picture says a thousand words. The figures are 10 inches, $20, and on sale in July. If you would like to read more about it, here’s an article from gamespot. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to stare at this picture some more and patiently wait until Mr. McFarlane lets me pay him for what I never knew I always wanted. <3