About Raptorchan

Raptor joined Nova Crystallis as a news contributor in 2017. She discovered she has a passion for both video games and writing because of Square Enix, and aims to make video game journalism and writing in general her career choice. Video games and writing aside, Raptor has a wide variety of interests, which include cosplay, drawing, voice acting, video editing and collecting figurines. She is also easily excitable and loves to laugh.

A free trial for Life is Strange 2 is now available

Square Enix has announced that the episodic adventure game Life is Strange 2 now has a free trial available for download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC(Steam). Players interested in trying out Life is Strange 2 before purchase can now do so, and any progress made within the demo can be carried over into the full game.

This five-episode series follows the story of 16-year old Sean and 9-year old Daniel Diaz, two brothers who had to flee their home in Seattle after a tragic event. Their lives only become more complicated as they travel toward Mexico, and the brothers must not only deal with Daniel’s growing telekinetic powers, but also with major life-changing events that put pressure on the brothers’ relationship.

“Life is Strange 2 is a narrative experience we are extremely proud of. We love Sean and Daniel, our new protagonists, and the socially relevant story of prejudice, loss, brotherhood and hope that this game brings to life,” said Jon Brooke, Co-Head of Studio at Square Enix External Studios. “We’re excited for everyone to have the opportunity to try it for themselves.”

The complete season of Life is Strange 2 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One family of devices and PC(Steam).

War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is now available worldwide

Square Enix’s turn-based tactical RPG, War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, is now available worldwide on iOS and Android devices. This standalone title is set in the same universe of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, and follows the stories of twin princes, Mont and Sterne, and the Shield Maiden, Machérie, as they navigate a world on the brink of war. With gameplay similar to classic tactical RPGs from Square Enix, players will have to strategically move about the battlefield and carefully plan out attacks in order to secure victory.

Having met all their pre-registration goals, players who download the game will be able to collect various milestone rewards, one of which includes Final Fantasy XIV’s Y’shtola in her Shadowbringers garb. Additionally, players who participate in the currently on-going Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers collaboration event will be able to obtain FFXIV’s Thancred, who is also sporting his Shadowbringers attire. You can check out the official artwork of them below.

Celebrating the game’s worldwide launch, several limited-time events will be available for players to participate in. These events include the following:

  • Release Commemoration Login Bonus: By logging in daily, all players can obtain Visiore, the premium in-game currency, character enhancement materials and more.
  • Release Commemoration Quest: Starting from today through April 7, players can attempt this special quest once a day. Completing this quest will earn the player character enhancement materials.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Collaborative Event: From now until April 14, completing these quests will grant the player exclusive items, including items to help enhance Y’shtola.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Collaborative Summon: From now until April 14, players can obtain a unit or vision card of MR rarity or more from this limited-time banner. Players will also receive Final Fantasy XIV Summon Medals each time a summon is completed, which can be exchanged for rewards.

Character Artwork

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia celebrates Final Fantasy VII Remake with special themed event

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, one of Square Enix’s mobile RPG titles based on the Dissidia series, is celebrating the ever-nearing release of the highly-anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake. Starting today and lasting until April 13, players can take part in new quests, limited-time co-op quests and access special offers that are all Final Fantasy VII themed. Simultaneously, DFFOO has also begun their in-game spring celebration.

The full list of limited-time content includes the following:

  • Special Limited-Time Event “Abyss: A New Episode”: This Final Fantasy VII themed event will feature challenging quest restrictions and enemy modifiers in Normal and Hard Modes. Rewards include gems, armor tokens, power tokens, realization materials and more.
  • Gem and Costume Bundles: Special themed outfits for Cloud, Tifa and Aerith are now available for players to obtain. Cloud and Tifa’s outfits were inspired by their appearances in the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children film, while Aerith’s outfit was inspired by her appearance in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.
  • Limited-Time Co-op Quests:
    • From now until April 6: “March of the Machines”
    • March 31 to April 13: “The Marauding Mimesis”
    • Players can exchange tokens earned from completing these quests to obtain power tokens, armor tokens, draw tickets and more.
  • Draw Banners with first Multi-Draw Free: Starting from now until April 6, the first banner available will feature Cloud, Tifa and Aerith. A second banner will also be made available starting March 31 to April 13, and will feature three different characters.
  • Additional limited-time Spring promotions:
    • Co-op Stickers: Starting from now until April 13, New animated Kactuar stickers are available for purchase with Dissidia Points.
    • Special Chocobo panel missions.
    • 3x-Effect Support Item Sale
    • 2x Rewards from Cycle Quests and 3x Rewards from Daily Missions will be available from now until April 14.

Character Art

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is available now as a free-to-play game for iOS and Android devices.

Demo for Trials of Mana is now available on multiple platforms

A demo for the upcoming Trials of Mana remake is now available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Steam. Players interested in trying out the game ahead of it’s April 24, 2020 release date can download the demo for free to briefly explore the world of Mana.

According to the PlayStation Store information page, the demo of this action-RPG will allow you to experience the beginning of the game. You can play as any one of the six main characters, encounter their party companions, and take on the mighty boss Fullmetal Hugger. Any progress made within the demo can be carried over to the full version.

Additionally, Square Enix has released a character quiz for players who might be unable to decide which character to choose first. The quiz has a strict time-limit on each question to encourage users to react on instinct and discover which hero’s personality matches their own. Square Enix Members who complete the quiz will receive special character avatar portraits. You can take the quiz here.

Character Renders

Trials of Mana is scheduled to release April 24, 2020 on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC(Steam).

New screenshots for Final Fantasy VII Remake showoff new side-characters, Honey Bee Inn and more

Coinciding with the release of their new Inside Final Fantasy VII Remake video series, Square Enix has released a bunch of new high quality screenshots that showcase scenery and moments from the game in beautiful high definition, such as the Wall Market and Honey Bee Inn. Full-body character renders of some familiar side characters were also released alongside small snippets of information on the new faces we will be seeing in Final Fantasy VII Remake when it launches next month.

Characters

Tseng

Tseng finally gets a character render and portrait. As the leader of the Turks, Tseng is a no-nonsense and stern individual who works for the Shinra Electric Power Company. He is a former acquaintance of Aerith and has been been keeping a close eye on her ever since she moved to the Slums of Midgar.

Don Corneo

Don Corneo is a scumbag and de facto ruler of the Wall Market who hosts nightly auditions for the “next Mrs. Corneo.” Despite his appearance however, he rules the Wall Market ruthlessly.

Andrea Rhodea

The owner and dancer at the Honey Bee Inn. Andrea is an influential person who manages the entertainment district and is one of the people in charge of hosting auditions for Corneo’s bride. He trains his body and spirit regularly in pursuit of supreme beauty.

Leslie Kyle

A subordinate of Don Corneo. Although still young, he is extremely skilled at negotiation, has a stone-cold gaze and isn’t easily moved.

Madam M

A prideful woman who runs a massage parlor in the Wall Market and has a immense love for gold. Like Andrea, Madam M also possesses the rank of approving women to see Corneo.

Chocobo Sam

The owner of a chocobo hut in the Wall Market District who runs a successful delivery business called “Sam’s Delivery.” He is a seeker of thrills and gambles, and also a recommended agent for the Corneo’s bride auditions.

Gameplay

Barret Battle Basics

Much like the rest of the cast of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Barret possesses his own unique combat style. He specializes in ranged attacks and fighting against monsters and enemies that melee users can’t reach.

Pressing the Triangle button will release Barret’s unique ability “Overcharge”, which is a powerful attack that utilizes the ATB gauge.

Once used, Overcharge takes a moment to activate again, but you can reduce the wait time by hitting the “Energy Reload” button.

Barret’s Battle Abilities

Fuel Burst: Consumes all ATB gauge and fires a powerful bullet with a large burst effect.

Avalanche Soul: For a certain period of time after activation, allies will share their HP when damaged.

Materia

Materia can be utilized to unlock special abilities and magic. There are lots of various types of materia that players can use to test out different combinations. Players can also learn enemy skills through special materias as well when the specified materia is equipped.

Summon Beast: Leviathan

Summon forth the magnificent water dragon to attack your enemies. Leviathan swings it’s giant tail and hits foes with powerful waves. It is also worshiped as a water god in Wutai.

The City of Midgar

Wall Market

The Wall Market is Midgar’s red light district, where Shinra’s security is weakened by the looming presence of Don Corneo. Despite being a lawless zone surrounded by walls, many people visit this part of the city in search of pleasures that can only be found here.

Corneo Colosseum

An underground fight arena where intense battles unfold all day and night, and contestants aren’t limited by any rules. Challenging opponents in the arena and winning battles will grant players rewards.

Honey Bee Inn

A luxurious nightclub in the Wall Market where the gorgeous Honeybees perform beautiful dances on an impressive stage. Costumers can purchase elaborate rooms here.

In order to gain access into Don Corneo’s mansion, Cloud, Aerith and Tifa must dress to impress! Players can also unlock different costumes for all three characters!

Beginner’s Hall

The Beginner’s Hall acts as a weapon’s shop on the first floor and a vigilante’s hideout on the second floor.

The Jukebox

Players can find and obtain “music discs” from shops and town dwellers within Midgar, then play them on the Jukebox in Seventh Heaven.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is scheduled to release on April 10, 2020 for PlayStation 4. A demo is also currently available.

Source: PlayStation Blog, Siliconera

First Impressions: The demo for Final Fantasy VII Remake is a short nostalgic adventure

With the first installment of Final Fantasy VII Remake only a month away from finally being released into the world, Square Enix surprised fans with a demo release this past Monday that allows players to try the very first chapter of the game.

Since the original Final Fantasy VII was the entire reason I got into the Final Fantasy franchise in the first place, I rushed to download the demo as soon as I was able to, as I was far too impatient to wait for the full release. I wanted to relive the iconic opening cutscene in glorious high-definition graphics, and was curious to try out the new battle system and see any new changes that had been brought to the game, no matter how small or brief they might’ve been in the demo.

As mentioned above, the demo only covers the very beginning of the game, or the Mako Reactor 1 bombing mission. While I won’t go into the specifics in regards to the story — as it is only a demo and there isn’t much to discuss here — I will say that watching the entire first chapter unfold in beautiful detailed graphics and fully voice acted cutscenes was a rather surreal experience. It was like I was watching how I had imagined the original game to look when I played through it all those years ago, except fully realized on the Unreal Engine and playing out in front of me. Impressively dramatic lighting and angered expressions added an emotional impact to tense scenes, and the light-hearted banter and conversations between characters, and even some of the enemy’s combat dialogue, made the world around me feel alive.

The introduction of characters and basic plot-setup flowed together effortlessly, and newly added cutscenes and character reactions never felt out of place or forced. I thought the pacing was handled very well for the beginning, with the right amount of action and cutscenes that kept everything moving at a good and excitable speed. However, with the plethora of sidequests and updated character stories promised in the full version of the game, I am very curious to see if this will remain the case. Story pacing can easily go awry if not handled carefully, which can lead to lulls between main quests, and too many characters can cause a struggle for the spotlight when it comes to development and growth. However, what I have seen in the demo — the story pacing, the character interactions, the new scenes with Shinra Company — left quite a good impression on me.

The one thing I was most concerned about was the decision to change Final Fantasy VII from its roots in standard JRPG combat and shift it toward the more active combat style akin to Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts. I was worried that the change in battle formula would ruin the experience of the game in some way, be it from clunky controls or even not hitting those notes of nostalgia from a typical old-school Final Fantasy game. I warmed up to the idea gradually by watching trailers, and went into the demo with an open mind to give the gameplay a chance. I will be honest, it’s a lot to deal with at first, and the buttons seemed so haphazardly placed, which resulted in me using all the wrong abilities at all the wrong times quite frequently at the start.

But as I progressed toward the end of the demo, I had become quite comfortable with the controls and I feel this is entirely because the response time for actions are so immediate and so smooth. At the beginning of the demo, I fully expected each swing of Cloud’s Buster Sword to be sluggish and slow, resulting in more chances for enemies to strike. The bigger the sword, the slower the swing, right? This was not the case in the FF7R demo, at least not in my own experience. Hitting the dodge button or attacking never felt slow or laggy in response to my command inputs, and actions were dealt immediately, letting me roll into combat, swing a big ol’ sword around like it didn’t weigh anything without any noticeable lengthy pauses in-between different actions. It felt really, really good; so much so that I hadn’t realized how smooth the controls were until after beating the first boss and I noticed how the game was able to keep up with my furious button mashing.

I also really enjoyed the addition of the Matrix-style bullet time combat menu. Opening up the Tactical Mode menu slowed battles to a near halt and allowed me the chance to quickly plan my next course of attack or action: Such as using potions, casting a spell, giving a command to my party member, or executing a Limit Break. This pause in time really helped with how chaotic combat could get. With multiple enemies attacking you from every angle, a chance to briefly slow time for a second to look over your options was an incredible addition to an active-combat RPG like this one. I am looking forward to seeing how this style of gameplay feels in the full game and if the response time for command inputs remains as smooth as it was in the demo. I’m also curious to see how difficult battles will get later on, especially with the addition of another party member, new abilities and magic and when we inevitably face more and stronger monsters.

Gameplay and story updates aside, the game looks absolutely gorgeous and was incredibly smooth with no weird graphical lag. Cutscenes flowed into gameplay and back again without any noticeable load-screens, characters were very expressive both in their faces and postures, character models looked great in motion with no strange clipping or bugs. Everything in the demo felt and looked really solid and clean, and I hope this carries over into the full game and that the streets of Midgar look just as impressive and are as smooth-loading as the Mako Reactor zone had been.

Overall my first impressions with this demo were all good, save for when the game ended. Honestly I think my only complaint for this demo was that it was just too short. Right when I was at the edge of my seat, eyes glued to the screen after an exciting boss battle, the demo ended with a trailer. It was like getting to see a glimpse of a gift before it’s wrapped up and held out of reach until opening day. I know this was done on purpose, the entire function of a demo is to give a sample of gameplay, but still! It could have been just a little tiny bit longer!

The wait till April is going to be a long one…

Final Fantasy VII Remake is scheduled to release worldwide for PlayStation 4 on April 10, 2020. For more coverage, check out our previous articles.