I’ve got goosebumps. Okay, that’s an understatement. I’ve got goosebumps on my goosebumps. Square Enix had a lot to live up to considering they were taking Sony’s usual E3 time slot to showcase their games. I’ll admit I’m pretty biased when it comes to Square’s games. I’ve been a fan of their stuff since they were separately known as Squaresoft and Enix. They know what their fans want and they definitely delivered the goods with this presentation. If you were a Final Fantasy fan, there was an overwhelming amount of things to love.
While plenty was shown during the presentation, these are the games that piqued my interest…
I have to start with this one first. I know fans are divided when it comes to Final Fantasy games but Final Fantasy VIII will always be my favorite. You can’t sway my vote. The junction system (I know, people hate it, I love it), the card battles, the music. It’s the whole package for me. I was very disappointed when Final Fantasy IX received the remaster treatment and it seemed that Square had skipped right over Final Fantasy VIII, especially when they announced most of the FF games were going to be coming to Xbox and Nintendo Switch. Well, they were listening. This fall we get a remaster of FFVIII and it looks gorgeous! It’s definitely not FF7 Remake levels of gorgeous, but it looks fantastic and I’m so eager to dive back in. I’ve been playing it on my Playstation Classic but now I won’t have to squint when I look at the new graphics and I’ll be able to earn trophies on PS4 for my hard work.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered releases this year
Watching Cloud ride on the train to the first reactor was a sight to behold. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched that scene on the original Playstation and seeing it with updated graphics was unreal. The new combat system looks great. I had my reservations but they are including some turn-based elements for us purists, which I adore. While they did show off a $350 collectors edition, complete with a statue of Cloud on his motorcycle, I think I’ll just pre-order the standard edition because I’m a cheap bastard.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake releases on March 3rd, 2020
Final Fantasy XIV is my favorite MMO on the market right now. It’s even more so now that I’ve got my wife playing with me. I’ve been leveling alts in preparation for this and I’m stoked. They’ve revamped all the jobs and it seems like the game is headed in a great direction. If you haven’t tried FFXIV out yet, it’s free to play up to level 30 and the first expansion Heavensward, is free to pick up until June 28th, so get on it!
Final Fantasy XIV’s third expansion Shadowbringers releases on July 2nd for PS4 & PC. If you pre-order now you gain early access on June 28th!
My brother and I played this back on the Gamecube. You had to hook up a Game Boy Advance to the Gamecube for each player, and had to have your own cables as well. It was a pain in the ass but we had a blast. With this remaster, we’ll just be able to play online together, and bring two friends! I think someone still has to carry the damn chalice to keep the poisonous miasma away, but we’ll just delegate that to someone else.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition releases on PS4, Nintendo Switch & Mobile this winter
Dragon Quest XI was my top favorite RPG last year. You can read my review to see just how much I loved it and why it’s a must play. If you haven’t played it yet though and own a Nintendo Switch, the definitive version releases later this year. Along with the option to play the game with the 3D graphics, you can play it with the pixelated graphics from the 3DS version. There’s also new content, so I’m almost convinced I’m going to have to buy this again. It’s totally worth it though.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age releases on Nintendo Switch this fall
From developer Tokyo Factory, the masterminds behind I Am Setsuna & Lost Sphear. Oninaki looks like it’s going to change things up a bit by being an action RPG as opposed to the turn-based offerings the studio has delivered before. It looks like it could be interesting and you don’t have very long to wait until you can try it out.
Oninaki releases for PS4 on August 22nd, 2019
The new Avengers game was how Square Enix closed out their presentation. While I’m definitely intrigued, it seems to be lacking a certain polish. The character models look a bit strange and threw me off. They’ve got quite the all star voice cast which includes talent like Troy Baker (The Last of Us) and Nolan North (Uncharted series), let’s just hope the gameplay can live up to the name. You can play online with up to 4 players and it seems that they will be releasing new heroes after the game launches. PS4 owners can pre-order to gain early beta access. I’ll reserve judgement until the beta of course, but my expectations have been tempered since watching the new footage. It didn’t quite have the oomph I wanted.
Marvel Avengers releases for PS4, Xbox One, Stadia & PC on May 15th, 2020
Overall, I feel like Square Enix did a great job this E3. They were a bit of a letdown last year, but they’ve redeemed themselves with some great fan service. I’m honestly still reeling from the Final Fantasy VIII announcement. Tomorrow we get to watch the Nintendo E3 presentation. I know I mentioned it in my last post but I just have to say it again because I’m like that. They better announce Secret of Mana Collection tomorrow or I swear I’m going to riot! – NVJ