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FFVII Remake turns its back on turn-based combat; Square Enix responds to criticisms

The latest Final Fantasy VII trailer has shown a surprising change in the classic RPG — the removal of the turn-based combat system that many fans were expecting to have. Pixelpine’s affiliate podcast, The Platinum Achievement Podcast, initially questioned whether new fans would be supportive of the old gameplay. It seems Square Enix thinks the risk would be too great and have opted for a more contemporary approach.

Fans have had mixed reactions, but the concerns that some have had were addressed by Square Enix in a recent blog post by the game’s original director suggested fans look at FFVII in a new way as the devs are given the opportunity “to go beyond” what they’ve done in the past.

“With FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, we have the opportunity to go beyond the story, world and experience of FINAL FANTASY VII in ways we’ve always dreamed of – from the depths of Midgar to the skies above the Planet. The multi-part format enables us to expand the original story and turn it into an epic experience for fans and new gamers alike.” – Yoshiniri Kotasi, Square Enix Blog

The latest gameplay video shows a more adventure-game feel to the past one — perhaps that’s just a side-effect of being converted to a newer style. The small glimpse of action looks visually stunning.

The new gameplay isn’t the only thing proven to be disconcerting for some fans. FFVII will be released in an episodic format rather than a full single release. Square Enix went on to respond to this in a way that many could expect — claiming it would have been impossible to include all the content they would have liked to include in a single release. “…we would have to cut various parts and create a condensed version…”

Still, the criticisms from the diehard fans looking for a rejuvenated nostalgic feeling of playing Final Fantasy VII again will have to be considered throughout the development process for Square Enix. It’s clear the developer wants to appeal to a larger audience, but maintaining the core fanbase will be crucial to ensure this high-profile title will be a success.

Square Enix has yet to reveal a release date for Final Fantasy VII.

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Exit Project Morpheus…Enter PlayStation VR

PlayStation VR

Sony shows off PlayStation VR at TGS 2015, hints at price

If history is any indication of future events, then Sony consumers across the globe know all too well the Japan-based video game juggernaut can’t have a feature product without PlayStation in its name.

That is why Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House officially announced the name change of Sony’s flagship foray into virtual reality gaming from Project Morpheus — which sounded like something out of the Terminator franchise — to the clean and simple PlayStation VR.

But that’s not all PlayStation fans were offered at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show this week. House did not specify an exact price for the headset but did confirm it will be priced as a “new gaming platform.” So consumers will have to be really committed to PlayStation VR to consider shelling out another $350 or so dollars for it.

House believes PlayStation VR will be a key part of the PlayStation ecosystem.

“VR rewrites the rule book on how you can create games,” House noted in an interview with Bloomberg. “You’re seeing a large amount of interest and work happening among smaller teams, because it’s possible to create something in VR that is very simple but still very magical.”

Playing catchup?

PlayStation VR has come a long way since its introduction in 2014 at the Game Developers Conference.

Since last year’s prototype, several modifications have been made to improve the Sony piece into the leading VR headset in the industry. In addition to changes, PlayStation VR packs a hell of a punch in terms of its specifications:

  • New 120Hz refresh rate (up from 60Hz), the fastest available across the “Big Three” of VR headsets — PS VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
  • Additional 90Hz display option to give developers more flexibility
  • 5.7 inch 1920 X RGB X 1080 resolution OLED display, which expands the field of view and enables low persistence, removing motion blur
  • Reduced latency to less than 18ms, about half of what the first PlayStation VR prototype had, helping to deliver a sense of presence and comfort to players

PlayStation VR, which will work in tandem with the supposedly-underpowered PlayStation 4, shocked the VR community when it announced its upgrade to a 120Hz refresh rate, the highest of any VR headset on the market.

Release date

House confirmed earlier reports that PlayStation VR will enter the market in the first half of 2016. Additionally, the Sony executive said it plans to deliver over 10 titles for the device throughout the course of next year.

For now, PlayStation VR seems to have the hot hand. Time will tell if Oculus or HTC can halt Sony’s momentum.

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Witness ‘The Witness’ on the first month of 2016

Used as a majoring selling point for Sony when the PS4 was about to debut in store shelves yet remained silent since it’s delay from its original 2015 launch schedule, gamers had been wondering “what happened to The Witness?” That question has just been answered.

Coming straight from Jonathan Blow, the designer of Braid, The Witness will finally be playable on January 26, 2016.

The Witness is a first-person adventure game where you explore an island and solve puzzles. According to Blow’s blog post, he claims that the game can be beaten from 8 to 12 hours but completionists or people who want more can get up to 80 or 100 hours of gameplay. PS4 owners will be the first to play this long anticipated game with an eventual release on Windows and iOS.

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The Sony Empire Strikes Back with Limited Edition PS4 Bundles

On November 17, 2015, the Playstation 4 is getting another limited edition console that features the glorious face of Darth Vader. Announced during the D23 Expo in Anaheim, the Limited Edition Star Wars Battlefront PS4 Bundle will come with:

  • a custom 500GB PS4 of the CUH-1200 series(that’s the re-modeled PS4 with the mechanical buttons and increased power efficiency) with Darth Vader on the top of the console,
  • the Darth Vader Edition Dualshock 4 that’s designed to resemble Darth Vader’s chest plate which makes this the most asymmetrical PS4 controller to date,
  • Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe Edition,
  •  a download voucher for four classic star wars titles – Super Star Wars(SNES), Star Wars: Racer Revenge(PS2), Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter(PS2/Xbox), and Star Wars Bounty Hunter(PS2/GC) – with enhanced graphics and trophy support.

Not only that, Disney Infinity has their own Star Wars bundle that’s coming out in November.


The Limited Edition Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars PS4 Bundle will also include the 500GB custom Darth Vader Playstation 4(CUH-1200 series), Darth Vader Edition Dualshock 4, the download voucher for the four classic Star Wars games, as well as the Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Edition PlayStation Exclusive Hardware Bundle Kit. The kit includes:

  • a physical copy of Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition
  • the Disney Infinity Base
  • the Rise Against the Empire Play Set Pack (featuring Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa figures, as well the Rise Against the Empire Play Set piece)
  • the Boba Fett figure, exclusive to PlayStation through this holiday

A standard edition bundle will also be available with the standard Playstation 4(CUH-1200 series) and Dualshock 4 with Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe Edition and the four classic Star Wars games.

2015 seems to be the year of the special edition consoles for Sony, starting with the Batman LE console in June; the Japan, Europe, and Australia exclusive Metal Gear Solid V LE console in September, a new Destiny LE console also in September, and now a Star Wars LE console in November. Perhaps another limited edition console will appear in December during the Playstation Experience.

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Konami gets to work on new Yu-Gi-Oh card game for 2015 release

Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's enjoyed a relatively successful western release on Xbox 360 and PS3.
Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s enjoyed a relatively successful western release on Xbox 360 and PS3.

In what seems to be a gaffe on the part of a German “youth protection” and game classification database, Yu-Gi-Oh: Legacy of the Duelist has been revealed with its intended release date, November 5, 2015.

The mistake was discovered by

Currently the title will be releasing on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 certainly in German markets, but there is no current way to confirm if the game will release worldwide.

Konami is still under substantial heat from the broken releationship between them and Hideo Kojima. While this release will make fans of the franchise happy, it will do little to nothing to steer them towards a more favorable public image.

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3 Games to Buy for Next Gen in 2015

Don’t know where to spend your gaming budget in 2015? We’re here to help.

After being released in 2013, Next Generation Consoles are nearing two and a half years old. With release day games like Titanfall and Killzone Shadow Fall the consoles had some very mixed reviews. The general consensus was to wait a year or more and just stick with the users old console so next gen gaming can have some time to improve and have some better titles.

Well now here we are in 2015, so how are Xbox Ones and PS4‘s doing?

So far this year we have had some mediocre games with a few highly notable ones. Titles such as Bloodborne, Mortal Combat X, and Dying Light show us the excellence, beauty, and potential next gen offers where games like The Order remind us that maybe it’s only… beauty.

There is still about 8 months left in the year and that means plenty of upcoming releases. With plenty of time but only a limited amount of spending money, Pixelpine has taken the courtesy of helping you figure out where your money should be going when buying your Xbox One or PS4 games for 2015.

Here are the 3 top options coming out on Xbox One and PS4 at some point this year:


Star Wars: Battlefront 3 – November 17, 2015

Making a surprise appearance at E3 in 2013, publisher Electronic Arts rocked the gaming world by announcing that the start of the third instalment of the Battlefront series was underway. Almost two years have passed and now the millions of fans who have waited since 2005 for another Battlefront title only have to wait until November. Whether you are one of the decade old fans or new to the series this game will be a must buy.

The unique third or first person shooter portraying a cultural classic lets you relive the old Star Wars battles from both sides of the force and gives you the option to even change the course of the galaxy.


Tom Clancy’s The Division – TBD, 2015 

It was tough putting this up as a must buy because there is such little information available about the title but what information there is gives it a very appealing edge.

Based from the story in the Tom Clancy series, The Division sets us about a month after a black friday resulted epidemic in New York City. You, the player, are a part of a last resort unit called The Division. You’re mission is to live among the people of what is left of New York and do whatever necessary to prevent the fall of society and help piece it back together.

This game is an MMO and the map is HUGE. It lengthens throughout all parts of New York City. Although very little gameplay has been revealed for the game this video will give you a good idea of what to expect when the title is released:



Batman Arkham Knight – June 23, 2015

So far the Batman series have been very successful and there are many reasons to believe that his title will be the best of the series.

The map is bigger, the weapons are better, the villains are harder, emotions are strong and the bat mobile is more badass than ever. With improved next gen graphics and fighting mechanics Batman Arkham Knight will be the most action-packed and exciting of the series.

A Game That Could Go Either Way


No Man’s Sky

As a bonus here is one game worth checking out this year:

From small studio producer and developer Hello Games, No Man’s Sky is an incredibly unique game. It is a game of exploration and the only game where the exploration is truly unique to each player. Why is this? Because each player can be exploring a part of the game no other person in the world has ever explored, literally.

Hello Games has developed an engine where the map is self creating: infinite.

The game takes place in the universe. Each player is set in a spaceship on a random planet. Players can fly and explore this planet and its vegetation but have the option to leave and fly out into the universe where thousands, millions of planets are waiting to be explored due to the self creating world. The more you play the more chance you will have to progress and increase your ships weaponry, armour, and engine.

With such a unique concept for a game and coming from a small developer No Man’s Sky is a wildcard at the moment to whether it will be the game of the decade or a game not worth buying. Your best bet will be to wait until it comes out and to watch reviews and gameplay to see if the game will suit you.


We hope that this article helps you in deciding where your gaming budget will be going for the rest of the year and stay tuned to Pixelpine for reviews for each of these titles.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided | A Look at Square Enix’s Upcoming Release

“I didn’t ask for this.” Said no one as Square Enix revealed the newest entry in the Deus Ex series — Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The CGI is looking great, Adam is gruffer than ever, and suddenly I feel the need to mate with my computer, but augmentation aside, gamers should really be looking forward to seeing the PS4’s hardware in action sooner rather than later.

Will we be purchasing the jaded, 30-something, action hero that triple-A titles have been feeding us? Or will we look past that, rather, be blinded by a torrent of explosions and gunplay that transcends cliche storytelling?

Either way, you won’t have to remind me to pick up my copy when it’s released, just promise me you’ll bring the beer if things go south.


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Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare “Supply Drops” Available April 7 on PS4

If you’ve taken the road less traveled when purchasing your next-gen console and chose to take the Xbox One route, then this shouldn’t raise any eyebrows as you’ve had this luxury for over a month now. But if you’re like me and simply enjoy a gaming console over a home-family entertainment system (someone had to say it), then let your eyebrow rise.

Starting April 7th, Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare will have purchasable supply drops available in the in-game store. Each supply drop will contain three items designed to improve your armory and give additional customization to your operator.

If you don’t like the items you receive, each individual one can be cashed in for XP. Prices will be $1.99 for a single supply drop or $5.99 for three. You can choose to buy a package of 5 for $9.99 that also includes one free additional drop or if you plan on being a big spender, there are options for you. For $19.99 you can purchase 10 drops with 3 bonus ones added (13 total) or for $39.99 you can have 20 supply drops with eight added bonus ones (28 total).


There is some controversy over having purchasable supply drops. The first being fairness. Before supply drops were purchasable there was already the argument that they create an unfair advantage for those lucky enough to receive boosted armory in them. Now that they are purchasable the idea of “Pay to Win” starts to take a stronger role.

But let’s be honest here, does Sledgehammer Games and Activision care? Probably not, I’m sure they’re fine with the money that will be flowing in from the PS4 crowd.

For more Advanced Warfare news stay tuned to

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Harmonix announces Rock Band 4 for the new-gen consoles

After gauging community interest, Harmonix Music has decided to pull the trigger on the development of a new-generation Rock Band game.

After a five-year hiatus from the core series, Rock Band 4 will again bring the classic local-multiplayer focused experience with four players each grabbing a guitar, bass, drum-set, or microphone as they embark on their own rock journey.

Rockband 4 now brings their biggest selection of songs ever with over 2000 to choose from as DLC on the Rock Band Music Store and the devs at Harmonix have stressed the fact that they’re not being forced into this endeavor of making a new game.

“We’re making a new Rock Band because we want to make a new Rock Band … Everyone in the studio has that creative recharge where we’re not responsible to anyone but ourselves.” – Aaron Trites Behind the Scenes with Harmonix

Harmonix’s excitement due to not being pressured by any outside entity is certainly well-understood. During a time where the vast majority of developers are subject to the influence of investors, publishers, or other factors Rock Band looks to stand out as the devs make the game they want to make.

Harmonix is expected to announce more details during the 2015 E3 Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center during June.

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Borderlands: The Handsome Collection announced for PS4 and Xbox One

Though the pre-sequel has already found its success on the PS4, those who haven’t picked it up yet will have some more incentives as Gearbox Software plans a March 24 (March 27 internationally) release of a Borderlands 2/Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel combination.

The Handsome Collection includes an HD iteration of Borderlands 2 on top of the Pre-Sequel, both on a single-disc (or download).

This release will be the first taste new-generation owners will get of Borderlands as the Pre-Sequel was held to just the Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, and PC when it was released October 14, 2014.

Also included in the $60 package will be all the DLC ever released for both games. That’s over 50 individual DLC add-ons.

One of the biggest additions to the entire series in general is the four-player local co-op mode that will be incorporated into The Handsome Collection.

And for those who have played the games on the old generation will also be able to keep their character progress and loot with cross-save functionality.