Square Enix is always a major attraction for me. I grew up on the Final Fantasy series and they’ll always hold a special place in my heart. So as you can imagine, this year at Gamescom I knew who I wanted to hit first.
Mind you, there were no main Final Fantasy titles to hit. That is unless you count the Monsters of the Deep fishing game. I hate to say it but the only reaction I could muster for that game is “…Why?” That said, Square brought some pretty fun games to the show this year.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
The first game I was drawn to at Square Enix was Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Not only because they were playing the infamous ‘Victory Theme’ after every match at their booth. Having had a run in Arcades across Japan since 2015, the title is finally coming to PS4 and is expected in 2018. I’ve never gotten the chance to play a Dissidia game before, but I understand it’s a fighting game with Final Fantasy characters. I just never picked the title up!
That said, I think I might just change my tune. The build I played was incredibly fun. The fighting style kind of reminded me of Kingdom Hearts mixed a little with FF14. It might just be the nostalgia hitting me but running around swinging my gunblade as Squall was really enjoyable. I don’t by any measure expect I’ll become a pro at Dissidia but it’d be a great pick-up-and-play game for myself and my Square obsessed friends.
Life Is Strange
I shouldn’t even need to tell you how much I love this series. So I’ve been very eager to get my hands on this game. Before The Storm tells the story of Chloe before her time bending friend Max comes to town. It focuses on her struggles with losing her father, gaining a step dad and generally being the rebellious little scamp we all know and love.
One of the things I was most interested in finding out was how they would replace the time rewind mechanic. Unless Chloe was holding out on us, she didn’t seem to have any special powers. Well, as I’ve learned we now have a new mechanic more in tune with Chloe’s rebellious nature. It’s called Back Talk. Basically, think of it like the conversation bosses in Deus Ex. Certain responses lead to certain results that will help you get your way.
I really love this idea, since it not only really fits Chloe’s character but gives us something fresh to play with in the series. Plus, that’s not the only thing being reminiscent of the original game. The butterfly effect is still a major part of the gameplay. Further, an idea I love is that Max’s photography moments have been replaced by opportunities to graffiti certain areas. Again, it’s incredibly fitting for Chloe and I cannot wait to get my hands on this one later this week.
Some of you may be familiar with the Square Enix Collective. Essentially, it’s a chance for smaller Indie studios to get their games out to the players on a bigger platform. It seems like an excellent move for Square, particularly given their financial struggles in recent years. Plus it gives much more exposure to Indie gems such as Tokyo Dark.
I absolutely love this game. It’s probably one of my favourites of the show, in all honesty. Tokyo Dark follows Detective Itō as she tries to search for her missing partner. She is soon drawn into a twisted nightmare wherein she must confront her past and question her own sanity.
Basically, it’s an anime styled point and click game. But it combines so many elements from so many different sources and they all fit so well. It’s a little bit of mystery, a little bit of horror and a little bit puzzles. It plays out a lot like an old detective movie. You’re able to make the choices that will affect the story and decide who Itō is. For example, whilst playing the demo I got to choose whether to buy a drink from a bartender to get information or abstain. I took the drink, because why not!? But that damaged my professionalism and I had a little… interaction later when someone smelled the whiskey on me.
It’s little things like that that really intrigue me and get me excited to play this game. Furthermore, as one of the developers explained to us, for your first play-through there are no save slots. Any decision you make, you have to stand by. It’s not until completing the game that you’ll be able to reload and try again. So no matter what, my Itō is a drunk hard ass with no professionalism whatsoever, and no one can say the same. I’ll be looking forward immensely to the Steam release of this game on September 7, so if you’d like to take a look at it, check out their website here.