“These do match, right?” Clearing challenges nets you custom costumes.

Long time no see, and happy belated new year! There will be some changes to the WordPress and Tumblr as I move forward, so here’s hoping you’ll enjoy what’s to come.

With that said, the new part of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 in five spoiler-free sentences or less:

Some games and franchises feel like home, and as soon as I started A Fragmentary Passage, I knew I was back where I wanted to be. The gameplay is silk smooth and possibly the most fine-tuned it’s ever been (barring KH3), and some serious lighting changes have made 0.2 a great example of what we’ll be seeing in the future. Comparisons to Final Fantasy XV have been made and will continue; to me, XV has always felt like caramel, and this will go down like cotton candy.

This and KH3 may bring an intense level of difficulty that could overwhelm players at last–the diabolical Osaka team dubbed the last boss “Devil’s Wave,” and they weren’t kidding; after an hour of trying to get my Proud Mode clear, I went back and redid the whole thing in Beginner Mode to make up for lost time.

Kingdom Hearts fans have a lot to look forward to if they keep up the innovations in A Fragmentary Passage… but rusty players may want to go practice with Bloodborne or any of the Dark Souls entries, because we haven’t seen a tenth of what they could do with the new technology.

The rest:

The port of 3D felt amazing from the short half-hour I tested it, and although Back Cover is beyond my current language skills, it was cool to see the little mobile game I’ve been playing rendered into something others can enjoy or get into at a later date. Any fans hoping for solid content will find it here for sure. Just be sure to budget carefully now that March has an all-star line-up–I know I will be.

More logging to come: next up is patch 3.5 for Final Fantasy XIV on Tuesday!



Note: Sorry for the wait, everyone! I’ve been posting status updates on Tumblr in order to decrease clutter here. Long story short, I went to E3 2015 and got eaten by my internship. Now let’s get things back on track!

Square-Enix was not doing well during the PS3’s mid-life cycle. The ambitious mythos of Final Fantasy Fabula Nova Crystallis announced during the early years—when PS3 and Xbox 360 were truly the next generation—began to crumble almost immediately after the release of Final Fantasy XIII. Final Fantasy Agito became Type-0, and then didn’t arrive on PSP for NA and EU at all. XIII ended up with two sequels and an overall mixed reception. Final Fantasy Versus XIII became Final Fantasy XV, changed directors and stories, and has yet to be released to this day.

Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 released in 2010, before the delayed development cycle was well on its way. It was the second Final Fantasy MMORPG of the series and underwent several different shifts before it officially launched for the PS3 and Windows (a 360-friendly version was rumored but never came to light). The world was large, the animations were fairly fluid, and it became immediately criticized for being buggy and in nowhere near out of beta. Staff changes were implemented by then-president Yoichi Wada almost immediately, and Naoki Yoshida was hired onto the team as the game’s main director and producer in December 2010. XIV 1.0 chugged along for another two years, with the PS3 release continually delayed from its original March 2011 date.

On October 14, 2011, Square-Enix announced it would be re-launching the game as Final Fantasy XIV 2.0. Yoshida began development changes and received community feedback during the remainder of 1.0, but most players weren’t even charged for their subscription. Free 30-day trials became indefinite, and billing for 1.0 didn’t start until January 6, 2012. The servers were shut down that November for preparations of the re-launch’s alpha test, but the damage at the time was immense. Bravely Default released a month prior in Japan, but foreign audiences wouldn’t see a localized release until December 2013. Kingdom Hearts was arguably the only franchise still bringing in consistent profit, although the multitude of titles across multiple consoles and the delay of Kingdom Hearts 3 (TBA) slowed any momentum the series had. The rise of other JRPG and various Western successes caught hold of the fans tired of waiting and reeled them away.

This could go on, but what mattered was that on November 11, 2012, the online world Square-Enix built ended, and they made sure it was televised.

Continue reading

2015-02-13 15.15.23

State of the backlog: hoo, boy.

Amazon shipped my copy of Majora’s Mask 3D last night and left it at my door a half-hour ago! Total personal cost: three dollars. All tax.

Looks like leveling up Shulkiibo (aka Roth Mantel) will have to wait.

I also apologize for the lack of updates since the Xenoblade Direct. The life backlog cleared out and queued up with a vengeance. More on that later! For now, let’s all enjoy the end of the world.