Square Enix shows off Final Fantasy XV’s gorgeous setpieces

At this point Square Enix could put out a video of a static image of a summon for Final Fantasy XV and we’d all analyze and ogle over it. They’ve said it all.

XV is locked in for a September 30 release on PS4 and Xbox One, and there’s already been two playable demos out there for public consumption, in addition to an ongoing anime series and lots more on the horizon. So if you’re not sick of hearing about this game yet, here’s an overview of some environments.

I’m assuming you’re not sick of it.

Final Fantasy XV release date coming June 30

In case you’re chomping at the bit to find out when you’re going to find out when Final Fantasy XV is coming out, well then chomp no further. Square Enix is hosting an event on March 30 in Los Angeles, where the publisher plans to announce a release date (and many more things apparently).

If you happen to be in the area, you can reserve a free ticket to attend the event right here.

Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report January 2016 [YouTube, Square Enix via Gematsu]

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Well, it looks like Final Fantasy XV has Magitek armor

Folks, Magitek armor has been confirmed — nostalgia boosters, engage.

New screens from Final Fantasy XV show the iconic suit in action, with the team battling one. Magitek has shown up in several games after its debut in Final Fantasy VI, including the recent Final Fantasy XIV. In addition to that confirmation, other tidbits include the fact that if you use fire magic near grass it will cause the area to burst into flames, you can mount monsters, and there will be sneaking areas.

I’m so ready to play the final version of this.

FFXV [Games Talk via Gematsu]

Final Fantasy XV’s cafe-filled city and new battle mode

Oh, baby, it’s tidbit time. Over in the Final Fantasy XV forum, the development team has addressed some questions about the scale of its cities and changeable difficulty settings.

First, Planner Ishikawa Tomonori, on the city of Altissia: “Altissia has many and varied locations, such as multiple cafes, ship-bourne market places and parks etc. The city is of a considerable scale, to the extent that even the developers sometimes get lost there!

“The player is free to take a leisurely walk around the complex maze of streets, or ride the gondola to see the sights and there is also added enjoyment to be had looking for restaurants to visit!

“You are bound to encounter some unique characters when exploring the city streets.”

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Final Fantasy XII was the last in the series that gave me a sense of wonder as I casually walked about Rabanastre. It felt lived-in, like a real city, compared to Final Fantasy XIII‘s colder environments. So I’m down for a nice city to explore, especially if “looking for restaurants to visit” is an actual thing to do.

But all that exploration doesn’t have to be languid shuffling about. Lead Level Designer Terada Takefumi says large buildings and rooftops will have various warp points to enable quicker traversal.

“The warp ability that lets you teleport instantly to high up locations is a vital part of Final Fantasy XV’s battle system. The ability to use multiple warp points in a strategic manner is especially prevalent in the game’s large scale battles over urban terrain. It is not just the buildings though, and we have also created exciting aerial battles with flying foes and gigantic boss enemies, so watch out for those.”

The last tidbit comes from Lead Game Designer Takizawa Masashi, answering to the possibility of difficulty settings, the equivalent in Final Fantasy XV being, “a system where you can switch between different battle modes.” The “switching system” came via feedback from the Episode Duscae — maybe the surprising amount of respondents who felt the game was too hard?

“By having this ability to switch modes, we want to make it so that both players who like action oriented, technical gameplay and also those who want to fight at a slower, more relaxed pace can all enjoy the combat in their own style.”

Final Fantasy XV is now playable from ‘start to finish’

It’s kind of absurd to be getting up-to-the-minute updates on the development of a game, I know, but this is Final Fantasy XV — a game that was announced in 2006, and had rumors of cancellation for years on end.

According to developer Kitade Satoshi on the official forums, it is playable from start to finish, and that the first half of the game is basically done. At this point, the devs can now start assessing the overall package, and make adjustments as needed, as they’ve done with the demo version.

Everything is coming together, but more of that signature Square Enix fanfare is still on the way — the game isn’t even getting a release date until a special announcementevent in March 2016.

FFXV [Final Fantasy XV Forums via Gematsu]

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Final Fantasy XV trailer officially remixed to include less dad hugging

PlayStation Japan has released a new trailer for the upcoming Japanese role-playing game Final Fantasy XV and…wait a minute. This is just the awkward “Dawn” trailer from gamescom with more dramatic music, less silent dad-hugging, and more shots of the blonde woman.

I don’t get it. You’ve even shown off more new footage since. Even fishing. Why is there a remaster of a one and a half month old trailer? More appealing to Japanese audiences, maybe?

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 seems to be PS4-only in Japan

Japan has a habit of just focusing in on a few platforms rather than spreading the love around, which makes perfect sense when you put the Xbox One’s failure in that region into perspective. Koei Tecmo tends to not even release their games on Xbox One over in the east, but with their western localizations, we often see both PC and Xbox ports.

The same seems to be the case for Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. As spotted by Famitsu, the Japan-only trailer for the game sports a PS4 logo, whereas the international version gains the two aforementioned platforms.

Just a little bit of a heads-up for those readers currently in Japan!

Bandai Namco announces Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

Fighting through multiple 404 errors, the countdown site for a mystery Dragon Ball project is now revealed to be Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2.

It’s being developed by DIMPS, and will debut sometime in 2016 on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One platforms. Bandai Namco notes that it’s going to take “full” advantage of current hardware this time around. New features include a new hub city, more customization. More info will arrive at E3, where the game is being shown.

I liked Xenoverse as much as the next guy but it just came out last year. Is Bandai Namco going for annual iterations here? There better be a lot of new features this time.

Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2 [Bandai Namco]

Dogmeat wins big at the World Dog Awards

Sometimes it’s easy to forget what’s important in life. This week we’ve had eighty billion VR headsets announced, and graphics cards that could probably punch a hole in the space-time continuum, and yeah, that’s exciting and all… but does it actually matter? Probably not.

There is only one this in this world that really matters, and that’s dogs. Bethesda has announced that River, the German shepherd that modeled and voiced Fallout 4’s Dogmeat, won the award for Top Videogame Dog at TheCW’s World Dog Award

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The awards were back in January, so Bethesda is a bit late, but that’s not important. Just look at how happy that pooch is to have gotten a trophy! You won’t see that from a cold, lifeless VR headset.

If you’re curious as to who won Dog of the Year, meet Gabe, a therapy dog who supports wounded veteran Justin Lansford:

Fallout 4’s Automatron DLC looks…okay I guess

Bethesda has released the first trailer for their Fallout 4 Automatron DLC, set to release this month as the first part of the Season Pass. It now has a final date of March 22 on all platforms.

So far it literally just looks like a cheap mod, where various existing robot models battle each other. Cool on paper, especially if you love robots? Sure. But based on what Bethesda has told us, it old seems like a small storyline that will only keep us busy for a sort while.

It’s priced at $9.99.