Archives for posts with tag: Playstation Vita


You know a game takes its scares seriously when the first thing it asks you to do is turn off all the lights and refrain from tearing your gaze from the screen. Yomawari: Midnight Shadows even implores you to promise not to break these rules. You might wish you did.

Much like last year’s Yomawari: Night Alone, Midnight Shadows begins with a little girl and her dog. While we, unfortunately, had to witness the demise of the former protagonist’s cute little pup Poro, here we’re introduced to Yui, who has headed up into the mountains near her quiet little town to bury her beloved pet. I think Nippon Ichi might have something against dogs.

If you’re new to the Yomawari games, you might find yourself somewhat mollified by the cutesy chibi character designs and beautiful hand-drawn art. Do not be fooled. This is a bleak world where bad things happen. Much like the first game, that charming art gives way to an oppressive atmosphere, exaggerated by some incredibly minimalist audio – which frequently uses nothing but natural sounds like the rush of a river or the wind through the boughs of a tree – and some severe vignetting that darkens the periphery of your vision, forcing your focus to the centre of the screen, and hiding the terrors of the night in deep shadow. This is not a relaxing game to play. Even before you’ve seen anything out of the ordinary it’s put you on edge.

Of course, you’ll discover very early on that things are not normal in this town. The opening of Yomawari: Midnight Shadows – which I don’t want to spoil – might be the bleakest thing I’ve seen in a video game, and I honestly still don’t quite know how to feel about it. Dressing this segment up as the opening tutorial amplifies its effect substantially; “Ok,” you think, “the game’s teaching me how to play. I just hold X to pick this up. I push this over there. There were go. Aaaand… Oh. Oh God.” You’re lulled into a false sense of security, because you’re just being taught the controls, right? Nothing bad can happen in a tutorial. Yet with a few simple button presses, Yomawari: Midnight Shadows makes you complicit in a genuinely shocking act. And you’re only ten minutes in.

Returning players will note many similarities beyond just a little girl and her dog. Indeed, Midnight Shadows both looks and plays almost identically to the 2015 original, and that’s not a bad thing. What we have here is kind of an isometric 2D Silent Hill, where you’re tasked to explore an apparently-normal town where things have somehow gone very wrong. After the opening segment, we’re re-introduced to Yui, who has come to the mountain overlooking town with her friend Haru to watch a fireworks display. It turns out Haru is moving away and the girls are saddened that they will soon be separated. Haru, of course, doesn’t want to leave her friend, and declares that she’s not going anywhere. She’s going to stay with Yui forever.

As darkness falls and the girls head home through the woods, they begin to hear strange noises. Eerie apparitions flitter in the corners of their vision, and finally they hear a voice. Armed with a torch, Yui volunteers to go and take a look, and instructs Haru to hide in the bushes. Heading through the woods alone, she comes across something lying in the middle of the path. Bending to pick it up, she realises it’s the red leash she had used to walk her dog. We’re instructed to jump into the inventory to view it, so we do just that, reading the little text description and OH GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!

Christ. You’re not even safe in the menus.

We cut back to Haru, who emerges from the bush to find Yui gone, her discarded torch lying on the ground nearby. She sets off through the night to find her friend.

As you make your way around town, investigating points of interest for useful clues, you’ll note the cues Yomawari: Midnight Shadows takes from the earlier Silent Hill games. The inspiration is apparent too in that bleak, oppressive atmosphere, and there’s the roaming monsters and spirits that appear to block your path and chase you down. In Yomawari however, you feel more vulnerable than in, well, the vast majority of games, to be honest. It’s not just because you’re a little kid that can’t fight back, seemingly abandoned and alone in a town with no friends, no adults, no signs of normal life. Yomawari uses the children’s innocence to underscore just how miserable all this is; there are no adults around, strange spirits are roaming the streets, and yet for all that, the town looks normal, and Haru doesn’t even question it, doesn’t wonder where her parents are. She just wants to find Yui again.

The foreboding mood is fostered by that crushing sense of creeping dread that the best of Japanese horror cinema does so well, where even mundane, every day things will set your teeth to chattering, like the rustling of litter or the buzzing of a sodium streetlight. And of course there’s the scares. The majority tend to consist of jump scares, and I’m usually pretty immune to those, but there’s something about this game, something that makes me jump out of my skin whenever some multi-limbed grinning horror bursts from a seemingly-innocent little alleyway and chases me down a dark street when all I want to do is get back to the safety of home.

Luckily, Haru can hide in some of the scenery around town. If you see a bush or an A-board, you can duck behind it to escape the night, and you’ll see your chosen hiding place illuminated in the centre of a black background, the roving terrors that are following you picked out in red as they near your hiding place. You’ll hear Haru’s heartbeat pounding in your ears as they get closer, and even though you’re sure they can’t pull you from safety, your already-frayed nerves will be at breaking point until they start to move away, and you think it might be safe to emerge and continue your journey.

When you do, you’re just back out in the night, with the monsters, the dark, and the rushing of the wind.

It’s been a while since I posted about my YouTube channel, A Game with Chums, so I thought I’d throw up a short update.

As Hallowe’en is now upon us, I’d like to point out that we’ve been playing horror games all month on the channel, and tomorrow, October 31st, our final video goes up. We’ve been continuing with our let’s play of Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn on Mondays, and then uploading a random horror game every Wednesday and Friday, until last week when we decided to go all out in the run up to the day itself, and post a new one daily. Here’s our latest one, which went up yesterday.

This was our first time playing Forbidden Siren, so we weren’t great at it. It was pretty tense though! Below you can also find the latest part of out Until Dawn let’s play. Things escalated pretty damn fast.

Here’s the list of all the games we’ve played so far for our month of horror, as well as the platforms we played them on. Why not catch up before our final video goes up tomorrow? I’ll also have a timely review for you tomorrow as well.

Project Zero || OG Xbox
The Evil Within || Xbox One
The Thing || OG Xbox
Yomawari: Night Alone || PSTV
Layers of Fear || Xbox One
The Suffering: Ties That Bind || OG Xbox
Dead Space || Xbox One
Corpse Party || PSTV
Condemned: Criminal Origins || Xbox One
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth || OG Xbox
Resident Evil Revelations 2 || Xbox One
Silent Hill 2 || OG Xbox
Forbidden Siren || PS4

If you happen to check out any of our videos, please do let me know what you think below, and come back tomorrow for that final video and spooky review.

Steins Gate

Steins;Gate, PS3, PS Vita

Originally released on Xbox 360 in Japan back in 2009, this wonderful visual novel finally made it to the UK this year on Vita and PS3. Steins;Gate stars teenage student Okabe Rintaro, the self-proclaimed insane mad scientist of Akihabara, as he sets out to create the world’s first working time machine in the summer of 2010. Of course, things don’t exactly go to plan.

Okabe is a wonderfully nutty eccentric. Going by the pseudonym Hououin Kyouma, he founds the Future Gadget Laboratory to further his mad scientist dreams of bringing chaos to the world, telling anyone who’ll listen of his apparent paranoid delusion of being chased by ‘The Organisation’. In reality, he’s got a really bad case chuunibyou. Although, you know what they say, just because you’re paranoid…

He finds himself in the midst of a conspiracy through space and time, doing all he can to fix the timeline he inadvertently messed with, and he’s joined by an equally engrossing cast of characters, including his childhood friend Mayuri Shiina, his right-hand man Itaru Hashida, and the new girl in town, aloof overachiever Kurisu Makise. Then there’s Suzuha, the mysterious ‘part-time warrior’, the cat-eared maid café waitress Faris NyanNyan, the quiet, unassuming Luka and the ‘mail demon’ Moeka Kiryu, nicknamed Shining Finger by Okabe for her prodigious emailing talent.

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On the surface, these characters might sound like archetypes, but they’re far more than that; each has their own opinions, desires and beliefs, and each of them is more important to Okabe than perhaps even he will admit. Steins;Gate is a lengthy game, with a single playthrough taking upwards of twenty hours, as well as six endings to see, so it helps that the cast are such an engaging lot. When you finally put the game down, you’ll feel like you’ve lost a group of friends.

Though it seems like pretty standard anime fare on first blush, Steins;Gate can be pretty heavy-going, both emotionally and conceptually. This is a science fiction story, and while it takes plenty of liberties, it certainly doesn’t skimp on the theoretical physics, with plenty of lengthy discussions about the theoretical possibilities of time travel, or theological ruminations on the existence of the human soul. And of course, being set in Akihabara, it has its fair share of nerd-culture callouts, even if some of them are purposely obscure or camouflaged (I’m sure everyone can figure out what ‘Gunbam’ is, however).

Steins;Gate also goes to some seriously dark places, especially in some of the endings, which can be incredibly bleak. There’s also a lengthy section about halfway through the game that almost feels designed to emotionally break the player, but the game would be weaker without such inclusions. Steins;Gate spends hours building up its characters and getting you to care for them, before savagely deconstructing them in front of your eyes, only to offer possible salvation by jumping back in time and trying again. It might be a cliché to say that the experience is an emotional rollercoaster, but you’ll certainly want to get everyone to some semblance of a happy ending.

Kurisu

Put in the time, and you will. It can be pretty hard going at times, but Steins;Gate offers a compelling story and a fantastic cast of characters, and it’ll make you laugh, cry, cringe and smile. Sometimes all at once.

xillia2bannerIt’s a good time to be a Tales of fan.

I seem to be saying that a lot recently, but this week it really is a good time to be a fan of Bandai-Namco’s long-running jRPG series. We’ve had plenty of new info on the upcoming 20th anniversary game Tales of Zestiria, finally got a release date (and a collectors edition!) for this year’s Tales of Xillia 2 and, best of all, we actually got confirmation of a Western release of Tales of Hearts R, one of two Vita titles that I honestly thought would never see the light of day outside of Japan.

It was not always thus. Releases in the series have generally been a bit spotty; 1995′s Tales of Phantasia, the first game in the series, only saw release outside of Japan in 2003, whereas 2005′s Tales of the Abyss was made available in 2006 in the US, but remained unavailable in Europe until its 3DS port hit shelves in late 2011. Meanwhile, titles that did make it to our shores, such as Tales of Symphonia (2003) and Tales of Vesperia (2009) only did so in very small quantities – quantities which quickly disappeared, meaning those games were effectively unavailable to anyone that hadn’t thought to pre-order a copy.

Happily, things have really turned around recently, with reissues for both Abyss and Vesperia suddenly popping up on store shelves just months before we got a lovely Day One edition of Tales of Graces f. More recently, fans have been able to show their support by grabbing excellent special editions for both last year’s Tales of Xillia and this year’s Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. In turn, Producer Hideo Baba showed his appreciation by spending much of last year travelling around the world, attending European and American conventions, interacting with fans and giving presentations on his team’s work.

This greater focus on a worldwide audience was brought to a head when Tales of Zestiria was announced last December, with Baba-san immediately confirming it would be released in North America and Europe shortly after its initial Japanese launch. The game is set for release in 2015, 20 years after Phantasia debuted, and details have been sneaking out here and there about the characters and world. We can expect to hear more about the game from June onwards, but for now here’s the latest trailer, which aired just a few days ago at the NicoNico SuperConference. In it, we get a glimpse at the battle system in action and another look at what appear to be rather expansive environments. Check it out below. Needless to say, I’m excited.

Also this week, we finally got a release date for Tales of Xillia 2. I had been expecting it around August going by previous releases (Graces f in August 2012, Xillia in August 2013), and August it is – the 19th in North America and the 22nd in Europe. We’ll also be seeing a ‘Ludger Kresnik Collectors Edition’ that looks very similar to that of the first game, with a figure of protagonist Ludger, a replica of Elle’s pocketwatch, an art book and some other goodies. You can see an image below, and this is certainly the edition I’ll be going for, being something of a fan of Tales of figures.

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There’ll also be a Day One edition, with steelbook case and soundtrack selection CD for those that have no interest in figurines and such, and I’m guessing this will be the same deal as the publisher’s other Day One editions, where you’ll get the extras for no additional cost so long as you pre-order or buy on day one.

I’ve heard mixed reactions to Xillia 2 from those that have played the Japanese version. Some say it’s better than the first (which I adored) while others say it’s not as good, and I’ve also seen concerns about Ludger being a silent protagonist. I’m really excited to get my hands on it though; as I said, I loved Xillia, but I did feel that Elympios wasn’t quite as fleshed out and explored as much as it could have been. The sequel seems to address that, not only letting us get more of a feel for Elympios and the people that live there, but also giving us a glimpse into the lives of the original cast while introducing new characters to get to know. I plan to play through Milla’s side of the story in Xillia before the sequel arrives, and I’m sure I’ll be more than ready to jump in come August.

Finally, the biggest piece of Tales of news of the last week is undoubtedly the announcement that Tales of Hearts R is actually coming west. I honestly never thought this would happen. I guess Sony’s Shahid Ahmad’s #JRPGVita Twitter campaign really paid off – indeed, when Hearts R was announced last week Ahmad took to Twitter to specifically call out the initiative, pointing out that Hearts R was the most-requested game in his informal poll. So just remember that the next time someone in the industry asks you what you want!

For those not in the know, Tales of Hearts R is one of two remakes of DS games for the Vita (the other being Tales of Innocence R) that were released in 2012/2013 in Japan that Bandai-Namco had been fairly adamant would not see release outside of their home territory given poor sales of Sony’s handheld. Nothing has been said about Innocence, but considering a week ago we were getting neither of them and now we can look forward to Tales of Hearts R, I’m not complaining.

The game stars Kor (called Shing in the Japanese original) who has a bit of an accident while trying to remove a curse on a mysterious young woman called Kohaku. When things go a bit wrong, Kor must set out on a journey to make things right. We don’t have a date yet for Tales of Hearts R but we can expect it in winter; that means there’s a chance that we’ll be playing Hearts R on our Vitas early next year – after all, they probably don’t want it to be in competition with the release of Tales of Xillia 2 towards the end of this year. Check out the below video to see Baba-san himself announcing the localisation, and go here to see the announcement trailer.

Again, it’s a great time to be a Tales of fan. But it’s also a great time to get into the series if you aren’t yet a fan; there are a number of strong games in the series to try out and at least a few more on the horizon. If you’ve ever had an interest in the Tales of franchise but haven’t yet jumped in, now’s the time to join us.

ffxhdban_editedIt’s been a long time coming, but we finally have confirmation on a Vita release for Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD. The game will see release day and date with the PS3 version on March 21st 2014.

The news was announced by Square-Enix community manager Lee Williams over on the PS Blog. I had begun to worry; the release date announcement only mentioned the home console version, and all the trailers we’ve had recently made no mention of the handheld. I was starting to think it had been quietly canned. Thankfully this is not the case, and unlike the Japanese release, which offers Final Fantasy X and its sequel as separate boxed purchases, the Western release will consist of a physical copy of Final Fantasy X with an included code to download X-2 from PSN at no extra charge.

I have mixed feelings about this; I’m glad to save a bit of money (especially as I have the PS3 limited edition on pre-order), but I would have liked to have separate physical boxes of each for my collection. Still, this brings the Vita release in line with the PS3 version, which contains both games on one disc.

Also of note on the Blog post was a comment by Williams in reply to a poster’s question about the recently-announced North American special edition for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Will it be coming to Europe? Unfortunately not: “And I know it’s not what you want to hear,” he said, in reply to commenter Azuardo, “but unfortunately there won’t be a Collector’s Edition for Lightning Returns: FFXIII coming to Europe either.”

That’s a shame. I have signed limited editions for both of the previous two games in the trilogy, so it would have been nice to complete the set. Still, with limited editions of both Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD and Tales of Symphonia Chronicles coming my way within weeks of one another, I’ll have enough collectible jRPG goodness to keep me busy early next year.

It’s been a long long time coming, but finally we have a European release date for the HD remaster of Final Fantasy X and its direct sequel X-2. The collection will hit store shelves on March 21st next year, a whole three months after the Japanese release.

Below you can see a massively spoilerific trailer in celebration of the announcement. These games are over a decade old now, but if you haven’t yet played them and want to go in fresh, I would strongly advise you not to watch. Or maybe mute the audio.

The trailer also takes time to point out some of the extras we’ll be getting our mitts on in this package. First up is ‘Eternal Calm’, a fifteen-minute in-engine chapter that bridges the two games, providing the impetus for Yuna’s quest in Final Fantasy X-2. We’ll also finally be able to play ‘Last Mission’, an additional, multi-level dungeon run that takes place three months after the end of the sequel.

The pair of games looks absolutely gorgeous, and watching the emotional scenes play out to a backdrop of ‘Suteki da ne’ really got the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. I can’t wait to adventure through Spira again, although it’s curious to note that the trailer makes no mention of my preferred format, the Vita.

As far as I’m aware it’s still coming (it’s confirmed for release alongside the home console version in Japan, at least), but the end of the trailer, when we first see the confirmed release date, only mentions the PS3 version. I really hope the Vita version hasn’t been canned. Releasing it on a handheld in Japan makes perfect sense given how common they are, but I wonder if Square-Enix has decided it’s not worth it outside of their home territory. I’m hoping I’m just being overly cynical and we see the game launch on Sony’s handheld alongside the PS3 version – I already have that beautiful special edition pre-ordered, so I’m hoping for cross-saves!

gravityrush2Sony have let the Kat out of the bag (sorry) and announced a sequel to my second favourite game of last year, Japan Studio’s excellent Gravity Rush. Revealed in a sizzle reel shown at Tokyo Game Show, a short trailer has since hit Youtube. It begins with a montage of beautiful concept art, before leaping straight into in-game footage showing Kat gracefully falling with style through a gorgeous cityscape. You can see the trailer below.

Also returning is Raven who, like Kat, also has gravity-defying powers and began the first game as something of an antagonist, before teaming up with our cheerful hero later in the game. There are still many mysteries surrounding the two and the world they inhabit and I can’t wait to get some answers.

This is probably the best gaming news I’ve heard all year, I loved Gravity Rush and have been hoping for a sequel ever since I hit the end credits. Until Ni No Kuni arrived, Gravity Rush was the closest thing to playing through a Ghibli film as I could have expected to find. It’s a beautifully drawn, lovingly-told journey of discovery and Kat is a fantastic protagonist; a super-powered amnesiac who, rather than being miserable about her missing memories and mysterious situation, approaches everything with an easy cheerfulness (balanced with a hint of cheekiness and the occasional bout of teenage petulance). Instead of moping, she genuinely enjoys her newfound abilities and just gets on with the business of saving the city of Hekseville.

If you haven’t yet played Gravity Rush, I urge you to do so in anticipation of the sequel. As far as I’m concerned it’s the Vita’s best game. For now, enjoy the trailer and have a listen to some of the excellent music from the first game.

newvitaSony have this morning announced a new model of their current handheld, the PlayStation Vita. At 15 percent lighter and 20 per cent thinner than the current variant it is impressively svelte, and comes in a range of colours – I must say, I quite like the bright yellow. Set for release in Japan on October 10, there is currently no word whether the new model will see release outside of that territory. You can see a teaser video for it below.

Besides the reduction in dimensions, there are other changes to the system. Perhaps most importantly, the Vita’s much-lauded OLED screen has been replaced by an LCD panel, which has led some fans to decry it as inferior. This seems a bit premature to me; OLED displays are good for deep blacks and vibrant, over-saturated colours, but a good LCD is much better at accurate colour reproduction, so it’s effectively a trade-off. If there’s one thing Sony knows, it’s display technology, so I’m sure it’ll still be a fine screen. The new model’s display will retain its 5-inch size and 960×544 resolution.

Another change is onboard storage, in that the new model actually has some. While the current Vita requires a buyer to also purchase a memory card if they intend to save their games, the new model will have 1GB built in. Ok, so it’s a pretty paltry amount, but it should do for saves. Alongside this, Sony have finally announced that a 64GB memory card is incoming (again, currently Japan-only, also set for an October 10 release), though I shudder at the thought of how much it will cost; I paid around £60 for my 32GB card (which is now nearly full). Even with the recent reduction in the price of the existing cards, I’m sure the new capacity will be very expensive.

The new console also has improved battery life, which is certainly a welcome addition. Rated at six hours gameplay time, the updated Vita should keep running for an hour longer than the current model. Other than memory card prices, battery life is my one niggle with my Vita; while battery life varies depending on what you’re doing (playing a PS1 game will give you quite a lot more play time than a visually impressive Vita title), the machine can burn through a full charge alarmingly quickly. I suppose that’s the price you pay for having games like Killzone: Mercenary on the go.

In aesthetic terms, the new console looks very similar indeed to the original model, retaining the first Vita’s “super oval” design, though the edges seem to have been smoothed off and it appears to have been built with a matte plastic this time. Also worth noting is that the screen is a separate embedded panel now (as you can see in the top image), whereas on the original the entire front of the device is a single piece. I have to say I prefer the original design as it looks a little more ‘premium’ to me, but the new model is close enough to the original that many likely wouldn’t notice the difference. Factor in the slimmer, lighter design, on-board storage and better battery life, and this machine is likely to be the definitive PlayStation Vita for many.

While this announcement came as something of a surprise (no leaks? What a world we live in!), I think most people expected Sony to iterate on the Vita at some point. Less expected is Sony’s other new piece of hardware announced today, the Vita TV. It’s basically a Vita without a screen or controls, a tiny mini-console that hooks up to your TV, pairs with a DualShock 3, and allows you to play Vita, PSP and PS1 titles (via a game card slot, download or memory card) on the big screen. It also has the ability to Remote Play PS4 games, so you could, for instance, have a PS4 hooked up to your living room TV, a Vita TV in the bedroom, and simply stream gameplay from one room to the other. It also has the expected video streaming capabilities (and I’m sure we’ll see the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm on Vita TV), making it a mini-console/set top box. Here’s a video of the diminutive machine in action.

I think this is a bit of a masterstroke for Sony. It simultaneously attacks two market segments; the Apple TV/Roku Box market with it’s streaming video capabilities (and I’m sure it’ll tie into Sony’s own set of services such as Music Unlimited), and the Android console arena championed by the likes of Ouya. Only Sony’s attempt offers a large range of games from across three well-regarded platforms, with streaming gameplay from PS4 also an option. I know which of these I’d choose as a gamer. The Vita TV could serve as both a TV box and a cheap, small console – all for 9480 yen (around £60, though there will also be a 14,994¥ bundle with a DualShock 3 and 8GB card).

Furthermore, it could also lead to additional purchases – say you buy one to stream PS4 games and TV shows and then pick up a couple of Vita games for it; perhaps you’ll be impressed enough with the quality of your Vita titles to pick up a handheld so that you can continue them on the train in the morning. Or maybe you’ll buy one to play Vita games on the TV and the thought of streaming PS4 games to another room will convince you to put down the money for Sony’s new home console. Made widely available (like the new Vita, it’s also currently slated for Japan only) and priced accordingly, Sony could easily have a hit on their hands with the Vita TV. I’m certainly interested.

As we head into the next generation of home console gaming, I have to say that Sony really seem to have an excellent ecosystem coming together. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer.

ffxhdtidusyunaAbout a month ago, it was revealed that Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD would sport a new audio drama written by Kazushige Nojima that would play over the end credits of the game. Well, we can now hear a snippet of it in the video below.

In it, we can hear that James Arnold Taylor is returning to voice Tidus (which isn’t a massive surprise, considering he returned for the Dissidia games), and we also hear another character speaking, who appears to be voiced by Laura Bailey (to my ears, anyway). I haven’t played X-2, so I don’t know if there are any mild spoilers in this piece, but there don’t appear to be. Watch at your own discretion.

Tidus mentions that it’s been two years since Spira entered the Eternal Calm (at the end of the first game), which is roughly when X-2 picks up, so I wonder if this is will serve as a linking piece between the two? If I’d played X-2 before now, perhaps I’d know!

Some have speculated that the audio drama could be a lead-in to a Final Fantasy X-3, and considering the second character seems fairly unsurprised to spot Tidus, even mentioning the crowd up ahead and the star shining in the middle of it (remember at the start of the first game Tidus was supposed to be a star blitzball player?), perhaps it could be. Of course, you could argue that the second character is speaking from the perspective of Tidus’ Zanarkand (seen at the very start of the first game), but I think the fact that she mentions a road that used to be called Mika Road rules this out: Mika was the Grand Maester of the now-disgraced Yevon religion, so it makes sense that they would rename a street named for him after its fall. For me, this suggests the second character is speaking after the Calm.

I wish I could say we won’t have to wait long to find out, but Square-Enix are still yet to announce a release date for this. The E3 trailer simply said “2013”, and we’re running out of months. Gamescom will take place this month, and Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD will be on show, so hopefully we’ll get a firm date there. Wouldn’t it be great if they just said, “it’s out next month guys! Enjoy!” A man can dream.

Over on their EU blog, Square-Enix have been sharing some new images of the game, and it’s safe to say it looks incredible. This really isn’t the usual cynical cash-grab HD upscaling that we see all to often – this game has had some work done! Noticeably, the battle UI has seen a few changes, giving it a bit more of a modern feel. Have a look:
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You can see more images over on the blog, but just have a look at this pic of Besaid! It looks glorious! ffxhdbesaid

Be sure to visit the Square-Enix blog and have a flick through all the beautiful images they’ve provided.

Square-Enix has put out a new video showcasing the differences between the original SD version of Final Fantasy X and the HD remaster that is in development for PS3/Vita. The video shows off the opening in-engine cutscene, and it’s an interesting comparison, demonstrating not only how much more detail we’re seeing in HD, but also how much more of the scene we’re seeing thanks to the widescreen presentation. It also shows off some differences in colour; the original footage has an orange-y cast to it, without which the HD version looks much more realistic.

The video also announces that we’ll be seeing a limited edition for the home console version. Packaged in an outer box, the set comes with a nice-looking hardbound art book featuring concept art taken from both Final Fantasy X and its sequel X-2 – both of which come on one disc for PS3, and as separate releases for PS Vita. The games support cross-saving, so you can journey with Tidus, Yuna and friends on the big screen at home before continuing your adventure on the morning commute.

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There’s no news of a limited edition for the Vita versions, nor do we have a release date yet, but I’ll be buying both. Because I’m a sucker. It occurs to me that when I buy both HD versions I’ll have three copies of Final Fantasy X-2, and four copies of Final Fantasy X. I think it’s fair to say I like FFX.

These HD versions should be the definitive versions of these games, with all the added International goodies, high-definition rendering and the news that this release will include a 30-minute additional ‘drama’ at the end of the credits, penned by ex-Square-Enix scenario writer Kazushige Nojima, featuring new cast and character voices. What this will entail is presently a mystery, but it’s always nice to get more stuff. I’m looking forward to replaying Final Fantasy X again, and playing its sequel for the first time. Now all we need is a release date.