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Final Fantasy X Remaster

Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster is now available

ffx-2_battle2Square Enix has announced that its awesome RPG, Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster is now available in North America for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita systems completely remastered in high-definition glory. The compilation brings two favourite timeless classics – Final Fantasty X and Final Fantasty X-2 to fans old and new alike.

Considered a ground-breaking milestone for the PlayStation 2, Final Fantasty X was the first in the series to incorporate voice acting and full 3D graphics. In the remastered version, the artwork has been beautifully reworked and redrawn, and new character voices are included as part of the new 30-minute audio drama that will be played during the ending credits.

“Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster is the best way to play one of the best RPGs ever” –IGN (9.3/10)

“Whether you’re taking a trip down memory lane or experiencing Final Fantasy X for the first time, you won’t be disappointed” – Game Informer (9/10, Gold Award, April Issue)

The game features brand-new content for the North American market and will provide players with an entirely new way to experience the world of Spira. Players will be able to watch the Eternal Calm, a short film following Yuna after the events of Final Fantasy X. Additionally, “Last Mission”, the storyline-based mission following Yuna, Rikku and Paine in their exploration of the Iutycyr Tower ruins will make its North American debut.

“With this remaster, we wanted to service our community by bringing back two of the most cherished titles in the series,” said Yoshinori Kitase, producer at Square Enix. “We’ve spent a lot of time completely remastering the game and the final high-definition experience is a true testament to the team’s hard work. We can’t wait for the fans to re-experience the gorgeous world of Spira.”

We’re yet to confirm if Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster is coming to the UK but as soon as we have, we’ll be sure to let you know.

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Soul Goodness

Riding hard on the tail of its critically acclaimed predecessor, Dark Souls 2 is due to hit the shelves in early March, and it’s been sweetened further by the announcement that some of the game content will be inspired by artworks produced by the Dark Souls online community.   Last year Namco Bandai Games Europe S.A.S held a contest via facebook/darksouls for fans to generate game inspired shield.  The winning designs have now been selected and incorporated into the game in time for its release this year.   As a prize, the six winners will receive credit in the game titles, as well as receiving a full size replica of their shield design, so if you come across one at a car boot sale, you’ll know its history.

dark_souls_2_1920x1080_85503Dark Souls 2 is much anticipated by the rapidly-expanding community as it will build on the foundations laid by the original in the mysterious realm of Drangleic, but with even more of the blood curdling enemies and ferocious gameplay so loved by its fans.  Set in the same open world environment, the player takes on the form of a cursed character desperate to find a cure for their undead condition.  Once again, the player will be able to align with different Covenants but Manco have made it easier to join so newbies will be able to pick up the gameplay with ease.  Other additions are a more powerful graphics engine, so it should look a whole lot more splattery when beheading your foe.

Set in a world over twice the size of that in Dark Souls, the sequel will feature many side quests and hours of gameplay, though beware, game co-director Tomohiro Shibuya, has stated that the game will retain the challenging gameplay known to the series: “We do not plan on having an Easy Mode since we are creating this game with a thought that challenge and difficulty are core elements of the game.”   We say that March can’t come quick enough so unsheathe your Bastard Sword and get ready to wade into the bloodshed!

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Final Fantasy Hits Android – Yay!!

There’s much excitement in the office with the news that Square Enix is releasing Final Fantasy VI on Android devices, so now there’s a credible reason to fiddle with your device.   Available for download from the Google Play Store, the release is compatible with devices running Android 3.2 (Honeycomb), though ideally you should be up to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher to get the full effect of the game.  Based on the original Super Nintendo system all the way back in 1994 but with updated graphics to bring it up to date with today’s devices and formulated to allow the use of touchscreens, you will take on the persona of a number of playable main characters in a plot that sees a group of rebels striving to overthrow a dictatorship.

While many of the original story lines and configurations continue to exist though players of the original game will find the controls updated to make for seamless gameplay on a phone or tablet device.   Those getting lost or stuck in the convoluted story will find the minor and slightly irritating character Mog available to give hints and tips to get you back on the right path.

As always with Final Fantasy products, the story line contains the usual sinister elements involving scantily-clad young girls being kept enslaved in dungeons, and close run escapes of the same from the gnarled and arrant-looking tyrants, which would probably be banned were it not Anime and beloved by , ahem, serious comic aficionados.   Further, more positive features in the game play include an album which allows the player to revisit any part of the story that they have already played and multi-language support so it can be played by the majority of the world’s population.

Square Enix is a world-renowned all-round developer and publisher with over 100 million Final Fantasy units shifted as well as being the name behind such gaming heaven as Tomb Raider and Space Invaders.  With credentials like that, whatever the arguments for or against semi-dressed and adult –child cartoon characters, we think that playing Final Fantasy on your device is light years ahead of any fun you may have with either disgruntled birds or crushed candy.  So what are you waiting for; why don’t you have it already??

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Fallout New Vegas - Ultimate Gaming Paradise

Fallout 4 Hoax – Survivor 2299

War. War never changes. This is the most iconic quote we hear in the Fallout series and it has been three years since we’ve had another release. With Fallout 3 being released in 2008 and Fallout New Vegas being released in 2010, the pattern would dictate that we’re a year overdue for another game in this illustrious universe. Yet, there is no game.

Fallout New Vega Gas Mask - Ultimate Gaming ParadiseRumours of Fallout 4 being developed have been circulating since DLC stopped being developed for New Vegas. This is a given, as any dedicated fan base will actively attempt to find stories and hints of the next release in order to prepare themselves and, more importantly, start what many like to call a hype train. When gamers think of hype they are usually reminded of the colossal failure called Spore, but hype is usually a pretty good thing. Hell, just look at Game Dev Tycoon. There’s an entire feature of the game making process that involves generating hype which in turn improves sales and fan reception – assuming, of course, that the game is good and not a disappointment.

So, it was no surprise whatsoever, at least to me, that when a website called The Survivor 2299 went live a month ago that the hype train suddenly found itself accelerating rapidly. Fan tribute sites are rather common, so the question of why this was so deserving of attention from the fan base is a valid one. Beyond the fact that a simple WHOIS search determined that the website was registered by ZeniMax, the big daddy company for Bethesda, there were other factors at work that implied legitimacy. For example, the website contained a trademarked symbol that quite obviously cannot be used by anyone except the company that owns the rights (Bethesda). It also used somewhat elaborate methods to portray itself as a big mystery, such as using morse code to convey messages and having an ominous countdown that was slowly ticking itself down to zero.

Bethesda, sticking to their guns, said nothing. All media and fan inquiries went unanswered as is their policy when it comes to rumours so everybody was pretty much left to their own wits. Hoax, or truth? It was a difficult thing to answer, especially with there being evidence to support both claims. In hindsight, this hoax was excellently executed, although the man behind the magic said he had many more plans. You can actually read his Ask Me Anything (AMA) over on Reddit where he answered questions from the Fallout fan base. Some of the key points revealed that the website was found earlier than he would have liked, he had a few more tricks up his sleeve, and he had a CGI trailer he wanted to play on the website once the countdown ticked down completely.

Fallout 3 - Ultimate Gaming ParadiseNeedless to say, it was ambitious, and it worked incredibly well. The fan base was slowly but surely convinced that The Survivor 2299 was a legitimate reveal from Bethesda, and the only thing that finally stopped the hoax was Bethesda themselves. They had released a statement saying that all rumours were false, and then they contacted the hoaxer himself to put an end to things. Their message was short, but clear: Anything they didn’t release directly was a blatant lie.

Fans figured that although it was a hoax, it would at least encourage Bethesda to reveal Fallout 4 at the VGX 2013 convention that was held on December 7th. This didn’t happen. In fact, after all things were said and done, the fan base was left back where it started; no new game, no release, no reveal. The hype train met an unfortunate and rather abrupt end. Perhaps E3 2014 will be kind to these disheartened fans, me included.

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