Last year’s Square Enix E3 presentation was one of the absolute worst in E3 history. And considering the stature of the company, its legacy and its IPs, that still feels like an absolute understatement.

Surely, anything it had this year would be better than that. Well, yeah. Considerably actually.


Boy, that escalated quickly

Well. Final Fantasy VII Remake is still a thing. Like, an actual thing that exists. But wow does it look incredible. Everything about it spoke to me on every level. Real-time combat, strategic gameplay via ATB, how it looks.

Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura plus some marketing dude from Square Enix US showed the game for a good portion of the show, comprising of a ten-minute demo and an extended version of the trailer that aired at a special concert for music of the game that confirmed the remake’s March 3, 2020 release date.

It’s sort of hard to explain this, but long story short, if I’ve not had a heavy investment of time into a game from the PS1, I can’t play it for too long. It’s why I can’t play the original FFVII. So the fact I can delve into this no problem is a godsend.

Yes, I know what happens and yes, I’m not savy on the game that more or less kickstarted the series’ popularity in the west. But when FFVII Remake comes out next March, it’s still going to be a game I full on delve into as if I played the original from start to finish. Because hoo boy does this line up to be absolutely amazing.

Blimey.


Entering the endgame?

Square, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal finally lifted the veil off its Avengers game it unveiled many moons ago (like, in 2016). It was its marquee game, the title that would end the publisher’s showcase event.

It didn’t impress. Sort of.

Everything shown looks good, it has a great cast behind it (considering there was a who’s who in the MCU Avengers, it’s the same here with Nolan North, Troy Baker, Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham), confirmation the game would expand with the inclusion of new areas and heroes for free and the promise from Crystal Dynamics the game would contain no lootboxes or pay-to-win scenarios. But I didn’t feel an immediate connection with the game’s story and, more importantly, no gameplay was shown.

Square is showing gameplay behind closed doors at E3, but not showing even a small snippet of footage to help tide viewers over was a bad move on its part to try and keep it behind a hidden veil, especially considering that the game is out before next year’s E3 on May 15.

I hope we get to see gameplay footage publicly sooner than later because it’s the one thing that could make or break this game. There’ll be a beta too exclusively for PS4 to test out the game considering it’s a four-player co-op game, but we have no idea when that’ll be other than it’ll likely be closer to launch.

I’m not sold on this yet.


Other Notes

– I’m a bad Life is Strange fan. Square played an overview video of Life is Strange 2 and I’ve yet to play episode three. I should play it sooner than later before I’m spoiled on it.

– Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is coming to iOS and Android, as well as the previously confirmed PS4 and Switch this year. It looked really good!

– Hey, Octopath Traveler is on PC now. Just in case you needed a reminder.

– The Last Remnant is coming to Switch! In fact, it’s out now! It was previously released on PS4, but now it’s time to play the last generation’s best mediocre RPG on a portable! (I’m not kidding, I have such a soft spot for Last Remnant, even for all its mediocrity).

– I’m not a big Dragon Quest Builders person, but I am there for the energy and enthusiasm for the voiceover guy who did VO’ed the overview trailer for Builders 2. Square also showed a new trailer for the Switch version of Dragon Quest XI that’s coming this Autumn and I hate the fact I’ve yet to play the PS4 version, but if I want to play the superior version, I must buy it again on Switch (he says, as a double dipper of several games on different platforms).

– Circuit Superstars is so my jam. It’s Square Enix Collective’s next game and I am here for it. No date beyond 2020, but it’s coming to PS4, XB1, Switch and PC.

– Square finally showed the trailer for the upcoming Re:Mind DLC for Kingdom Hearts III it showed a few days ago at a KH symphony concert. It’s due this winter.

– Naoki Yoshida showed up to unveil the launch trailer for Shadowbreakers, the third expansion for Final Fantasy XIV. It looked good! Also, it’s amazing how much Yoshi-P has steered the game’s ship from the absolute car wreck it was nearly ten years ago to being the biggest MMO on the planet right now. I don’t know about Final Fantasy XVI, I reckon that will still be headed up by Hiroyuki Ito, but Square should give Yoshi-P Final Fantasy XVII. Go nuts. He’s earned it.

– Dying Light 2 got a new gameplay trailer. That was it. No new info. Out Spring 2020. Square Enix is publishing this, but only in the US. We still have no idea who’s publishing it for Europe, but if not Warner (who published the last game), I’d place good money on Square again.

– Romancing Saga 3 and Saga Scarlet Grace is coming westbound. I don’t have a clue about these games.

– It did a thing then for Final Fantasy: Brave Exivus and the new content coming for that. Again, I don’t have a clue about it.

– People Can Fly’s Outriders was officially announced and is coming Summer next year for PS4, XB1 and PC. But it also had no gameplay. I need to see actual gameplay of it in action before passing judgment.

– Tokyo RPG Factory’s Oninaki, revealed in a Nintendo Direct earlier this year, is coming out August 22 for PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC. And I am here for everything TRF does. So here for its games.

– The madmen actually did it: Final Fantasy VIII is finally getting remastered, and is coming to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC this year. This means, with the exception of XI, all numbered Final Fantasy games from VII onwards through to XV have been on at least one current-gen platform, one way or another.


This was a massive improvement on what came before with last year. A lot of the stuff shown greatly appealed to me, especially Final Fantasy VII Remake. But ending the way it did with how it unveiled Avengers was not so much anti-climatic as it was disappointing considering how long its been anticipated. For that, Square gets docked a point off its final total.

But all things considered, it was a significant return to form. Anything that marked even a small improvement on last year would still have been better than last year, but it went out big and mostly gained great results.

Job well done, Square.

7/10

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