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Found 24 results

  1. Square Enix announced at E3 2015 that the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII remake was finally going to become a reality over a decade after first showing footage of a remade Final Fantasy VII opening running on the PlayStation 3. Since then, more sceenshots and trailers have appeared along with details about how Square Enix would be releasing the game as an episodic series (not the way many would prefer to play FFVII, but at least the remake would finally exist). Now the director of the PlayStation 4 HD remaster of Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, has revealed that Square Enix might very well be expanding its remake efforts to another Final Fantasy title from the PlayStation One era, though that revelation comes with some predictable caveats. In an interview with The International Business Times - UK, Takashi Katano let some insider speculation slip, saying, "[Final Fantasy 12] is a PS2 title, and you look at the other titles in the series and technologically anything before the PS2 era is going to be quite difficult to do a modern remaster of to a suitable level of quality. That means [a future game] is far more likely to be a remake." That statement is hardly controversial - Square Enix has reimagined and remade the earliest Final Fantasy titles for mobile, PC, and Nintendo DS/3DS several times over the years. However, this news coming from a director of a major Square Enix project seems to imply that any upcoming remake would be a major, franchise undertaking, perhaps on par with their efforts to remake Final Fantasy VII. The question seems to be which Final Fantasy game would see such a complete overhaul? Final Fantasy V and VI, though originally released on the Super Nintendo, could be a contenders as both eventually made their way to the PlayStation and the current director of the Final Fantasy VII remake has expressed interest in remaking those two titles in particular. However, significant camps of support are present for Final Fantasy VIII and also Final Fantasy IX. Expanding on his statement, Katano explained that the process would be less about what any individuals within Square Enix would like to port and more about what their customers want, "I've personally been working at Square Enix for 20 years now and I've got a lot of memories from that time. I think the way that we look at it is not the game that [we] would like to remake it's really down to what the players, the fans, want to see. We really have to hear their voices on that, if they want to see a remake or a remaster of a certain game then that's more likely to be the one we go for." Anything beyond the Final Fantasy VII remake is likely still in only the very earliest stages of development, if at all, but it is certainly wonderful news to hear that the company is open to revisiting their classic line-up with more modern technology. View full article
  2. Square Enix announced at E3 2015 that the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII remake was finally going to become a reality over a decade after first showing footage of a remade Final Fantasy VII opening running on the PlayStation 3. Since then, more sceenshots and trailers have appeared along with details about how Square Enix would be releasing the game as an episodic series (not the way many would prefer to play FFVII, but at least the remake would finally exist). Now the director of the PlayStation 4 HD remaster of Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, has revealed that Square Enix might very well be expanding its remake efforts to another Final Fantasy title from the PlayStation One era, though that revelation comes with some predictable caveats. In an interview with The International Business Times - UK, Takashi Katano let some insider speculation slip, saying, "[Final Fantasy 12] is a PS2 title, and you look at the other titles in the series and technologically anything before the PS2 era is going to be quite difficult to do a modern remaster of to a suitable level of quality. That means [a future game] is far more likely to be a remake." That statement is hardly controversial - Square Enix has reimagined and remade the earliest Final Fantasy titles for mobile, PC, and Nintendo DS/3DS several times over the years. However, this news coming from a director of a major Square Enix project seems to imply that any upcoming remake would be a major, franchise undertaking, perhaps on par with their efforts to remake Final Fantasy VII. The question seems to be which Final Fantasy game would see such a complete overhaul? Final Fantasy V and VI, though originally released on the Super Nintendo, could be a contenders as both eventually made their way to the PlayStation and the current director of the Final Fantasy VII remake has expressed interest in remaking those two titles in particular. However, significant camps of support are present for Final Fantasy VIII and also Final Fantasy IX. Expanding on his statement, Katano explained that the process would be less about what any individuals within Square Enix would like to port and more about what their customers want, "I've personally been working at Square Enix for 20 years now and I've got a lot of memories from that time. I think the way that we look at it is not the game that [we] would like to remake it's really down to what the players, the fans, want to see. We really have to hear their voices on that, if they want to see a remake or a remaster of a certain game then that's more likely to be the one we go for." Anything beyond the Final Fantasy VII remake is likely still in only the very earliest stages of development, if at all, but it is certainly wonderful news to hear that the company is open to revisiting their classic line-up with more modern technology.
  3. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy and the founder of Mistwalker, released a trailer and several pieces of artwork via YouTube and Twitter last week of a canceled 2008 project called Cry On. The trailer shows a girl with a tiny stone creature running from an oncoming mass of darkness and red eyes. She hits a dead end and the creature transforms into a giant golem that helps her to escape before crumbling into ruin. The trailer doesn't show off any gameplay, but I certainly find the concept on display intriguing. As for the concept art, it is presumed to be for Cry On, but that has not been confirmed. Sakaguchi tweeted the images the same day the trailer was uploaded, but did not explicitly mention Cry On in the accompanying text.
  4. I have lost a lot of my enthusiasm for Final Fantasy in recent years, but then a certain trailer for Final Fantasy XV came and rekindled a spark of hope. It looks amazing. Though no release date has been officially announced for Final Fantasy XV, a demo will be packaged with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD when it releases next year. Besides awesome monster designs, gorgeous artistic design, and Final Fantasy guys with JRPG hair, what did we just see? If you look at the gameplay segments in the teaser, it looks like Final Fantasy XV might be attempting an open world action RPG. There is a segment where the camera pans around the car our presumably main characters are driving and it appears like both the camera and car might be under player control. We are shown multiple times in the teaser some sort of traversal mechanic involving a combination of sword-throwing and teleportation. We see combat that appears completely free from turn-based mechanics. Assuming that Final Fantasy XV remains a single-player experience, we also see AI that appears to react organically to various situations, like the near death of a party member or generally being useful in combat. Today is a good day to love RPGs.
  5. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, the high-definition remake of the highly acclaimed PSP exclusive original, will be making its way to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next year along with the demo for the first newly numbered Final Fantasy title in nearly four years. Currently slated for a March 17, 2015 release in North America, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD follows the adventures of a group of elite military cadets known as Class Zero as they become embroiled in a massive war. It is generally regarded as one of the best Final Fantasy titles in years, so it is great to see it being released on more platforms. However, for many Final Fantasy fans the remake of Type-0 is just an added bonus to the Final Fantasy XV demo with which it will be packaged.
  6. Jason Hayes, World of Warcraft's composer, leads a band called the Critical Hit, while the composer for the Final Fantasy series, Nobuo Uematsu, is a member of The Earthbound Papas. Both bands will be headlining the Orlando Nerd Fest 2014. The Critical Hit formed in 2013 and have been playing live shows for the past year. Today they unveiled their latest music video in which they give their own rendition of the classic Tetris theme. They also have videos showcasing their skills with the theme from Angry Birds and The Battle for New York from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Nobuo Uematsu's group, The Earthbound Papas, was formed shortly after his previous band, The Black Mages, disbanded in 2010. Their music tends to be refreshing takes on Final Fantasy soundtracks, though it was reported that The Earthbound Papas might be open to performing music from other video game series or original music. Orlando Nerd Fest will be held on August 9 in Orlando, Florida.
  7. Sometimes it can be hard for the average video game enthusiast to find interesting video game art to adorn the walls of their abode. Luckily, there are skilled artists in various corners of the internet willing to sell their work for a fair price. Etsy is one such corner. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Etsy is basically the arts and crafts hub of the internet. People make clothes, furniture, jewelry, art, etc. and put it up for sale on the site, usually at quite a reasonable price. Given the popularity of video games, it isn't at all surprising that a significant portion of the Etsy artists and craftspeople decide to put out products inspired by some of their favorite video game titles. As you scroll through these awesome artistic renderings, bear in mind that these represent a small fraction of the work available on the main site. Click on the images for a better look at the artwork, or visit the linked Etsy pages for more details. BioShock - Minimalist by CaptainsPrintShop - $20 BioShock - Watercolor by CaptainsPrintShop - $20 BioShock Infinite Poster from WestGraphics - $18 BioShock Infinite Elizabeth by WilliamHenryDesign - $20 Doom II Poster from Kitschaus - $30 Fallout - Minimalist by CaptainsPrintShop - $20 Final Fantasy Tactics Poster from Kitschaus - $30 Ico Poster from Kitschaus - $20 Journey Poster from Geeky Prints - Price ranges from $4.99 to $51.99 depending on print size Mass Effect Series by WilliamHenryDesign - $25 Mega Man Screen Printed Poster by InspirationxCreation - $19 Mega Man Buster Cannon by AndrewHeath - $10 Metal Gear Solid V - Snake by 2ToastDesign - $19.95 or $39.95 depending on size Minecraft - Life Goals by MrSuspenders - $39.95 PITFALL Atari 2600 Retro Vintage Classic by RobOsborne - $20 Pong-inspired 8-bit Poster by minimalpixels - $16.77 Portal - Hello by DirtyGreatPixelsUK - $16.77 or $33.54 depending on size Portal - The Cake Is A Lie by WestGraphics - Price ranges from $18 to $50 Secret of Mana Poster from Kitschaus - $20 Shadow of the Colossus by bigbadrobot - Price ranges from $17 to $38 depending on size Shadow of the Colossus from Kitschaus - $25 Smash Bros. Link vs. Mario by NukaColaFan - $11.99 Sonic the Hedgehog by VICTORYDELUXE - $6.99 Star Fox by NukaColaFan - $14.99 Street Fighter Character Sakura Alpha In Cubes by BITxBITxBIT - $30 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time from Kitschaus - $20 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker from Kitschaus - $35 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker by PoppyseedHeroes - Currently unavailable, but it still looks incredibly awesome! TRON poster from adamrabalais - $20 Yeah, I know this isn't a video game per say, but it's close enough in my book. XCOM Classic Ironman by MrSuspenders - $39.95 Let us know which ones were your favorites!
  8. The new Final Fantasy title, dubbed Final Fantasy Legends II, will be helmed by veteran game director Takashi Tokita. If that name rings a bell, you might recognize him for his prominent work designing and directing games like Chrono Trigger, Parasite Eve, and Final Fantasy IV. You might be scratching your head trying to remember what happened to Final Fantasy Legends I. Rightfully so, as the first game in the Legends series of Final Fantasy games underwent a name change on its Western release, as Final Fantasy games sometimes do Legends I released under the name Final Fantasy Dimensions in the US. Final Fantasy Legends II has only been announced for Japanese audiences, but the likelihood of it becoming a worldwide release, similar to Final Fantasy Dimensions seems to be rather high at this point. In a somewhat strange move for a mobile game, fans in Japan can actually pre-order Legends II on the Square Enix website. Those who pre-order get two in-game items: the Tidus Phantom Stone and the Fraternity weapon. However, at this point no release date has been given or any gameplay shown. If you happen to be traveling to Japan, you might want to wait on pre-ordering until more information on the game comes out.
  9. The new Final Fantasy title, dubbed Final Fantasy Legends II, will be helmed by veteran game director Takashi Tokita. If that name rings a bell, you might recognize him for his prominent work designing and directing games like Chrono Trigger, Parasite Eve, and Final Fantasy IV. You might be scratching your head trying to remember what happened to Final Fantasy Legends I. Rightfully so, as the first game in the Legends series of Final Fantasy games underwent a name change on its Western release, as Final Fantasy games sometimes do Legends I released under the name Final Fantasy Dimensions in the US. Final Fantasy Legends II has only been announced for Japanese audiences, but the likelihood of it becoming a worldwide release, similar to Final Fantasy Dimensions seems to be rather high at this point. In a somewhat strange move for a mobile game, fans in Japan can actually pre-order Legends II on the Square Enix website. Those who pre-order get two in-game items: the Tidus Phantom Stone and the Fraternity weapon. However, at this point no release date has been given or any gameplay shown. If you happen to be traveling to Japan, you might want to wait on pre-ordering until more information on the game comes out. View full article
  10. Sometime in the early 2000s, my mother purchased a 3D movie viewer and glasses for our TV and some 3D movies from eBay and other online retailers. Included was Elysium, a CGI film mailed without a case in a package that appeared to be addressed in Chinese. This movie, mistakenly believed to be 3D, ended up sitting in a box, unwatched until 2013. Shortly after I began critiquing odd, obscure, and adult-oriented CGI movies for fun, I happened to remember the foreign film my siblings, cousins, and I abandoned more than a decade earlier in favor of Frankenstein and Night of the Living Dead in 3D. Ever since, it has humored, shocked, and baffled me. The film shows signs of tampering with places where the audio cuts out and sloppy video editing. The English adaptation is extensively re-edited from the original film and, oddly, includes thirteen minutes of brand new footage. Redubs of the film from other countries are translations of the English script rather than the original and include a bizarre collection of special features on their DVDs. Most people would have discounted Elysium as a half-baked attempt at a giant robot anime gone terribly wrong, but instead, I set out to find how the movie came to be. While I wasn’t entirely successful, I did discover many strange things surrounding what has been referred to as the Final Fantasy of South Korea. Its proximity to the release of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) and video game-like graphics earned Elysium (2003) its comparison to Square Picture’s film, and it roughly follows the “heroes come together to save the world” storyline seen in many Final Fantasy games. Van, a bike racer and pizza delivery boy; Paul, a juvenile delinquent; Christopher, a fighter pilot; and Nyx, an alien from the planet Elysium, are chosen to pilot four giant armors and protect the Earth from evil. Together they must defeat Necros, the general of the Elysium army who started a war between the Elysium and humans to set his plans to gain power into motion. The first time I watched this film, however, its problems were more apparent than its story or its tenuous resemblance to Final Fantasy. It suffered from bad animation and special effects, poor writing, and most of all, frantic editing that made the story nearly incoherent. Robots and spaceships exploded like Death Stars. The attempts that characters made at displaying joy, horror, or terror with their plastic faces had more hilarious than successful results. The subtitling was sometimes comically bad, but even if it were flawless, the film had little room to explain itself. It was edited together so chaotically that it lost all sense of time and place. Transitions to move characters from one location to another were missing. Instead, characters traveled an impossible distance, like from a space ship to the middle of a city, in a single shot or disappeared mid-scene, making it seem like they could teleport. Some scenes, particularly battles, seemed to be composed of shots that had been placed in a random, nonsense order. The film often jumped between scenes to suggest that multiple events occurred at the same time or sequentially. Sometimes, however, the scenes placed together couldn’t reasonably happen at either of those times, and the film made no attempt to explain when they occurred or to even provide a transition between them to suggest time passing. This problem was so prevalent that anywhere from a few days to a few years could have passed in the course of the movie. Also on the DVD, I discovered, shockingly, a short “The Making Of” film. In it, the creators showed off their use of motion capture and their attention to continuity, which the film seemed to lack entirely. Someone at some point cared about and showed pride in this hacked together film. Who? What were they trying to achieve, and why did it fail so completely? I looked to the Internet for answers. Unfortunately, all that I found was a tiny Wikipedia article, an incomplete IMDB page, and a small number of reviews, half of which weren’t in English. The official website had become what appeared to be a website for a park. All that anyone seemed to know for certain was that the film was made in South Korea. Even simple plot summaries were wrong half the time. One website claimed that it was a wartime drama that took place in Budapest and was based on a true story. A reviewer claimed that Elysium (2013) was a remake of Elysium (2003), to which it bore no resemblance. Even the official IMDB page claimed that “the story is about the message, only love for humanity can save the earth.” I couldn’t see how anyone could pull that out of the series of images I watched. Even stranger, some user reviews praised Elysium for its superb animation and reasonable, well told story. Excuse me? Had we watched the same movie? As it turned out, we hadn’t. During my search, I found to my delight that the film had been redubbed in English. The only way the film could possibly be worse, and more hilarious, would be to give it a terrible English dub. Naturally, I absolutely had to have it. I bought one of the last remaining copies from the dark corners of Amazon. With actors who clearly didn’t care, obvious and badly improvised lines, and weird dialog that didn’t match the film, the redub was as amazing as expected. Crispin Freeman, a popular voice actor in English dubs of anime, who voices Kronos and Lycon in Elysium, was about the only actor who gave a consistently decent performance. Differences in the script, however, made the story more coherent. Primarily, an added narrator tied together starkly cut together scenes and provided a better sense of time passing. As I continued to watch the two dubs of the film in preparation to review Elysium though, I noticed something else. I was watching the English version of the movie when the protagonist Van made a tasteless joke about bulimia. I’d just watched the Korean version the previous day, but I couldn’t remember Van joking about bulimics in it. More than likely, he’d made a different joke, he spoke about something else, or the subtitles were indistinguishable. I wondered though, so I opened the Korean film and looked for the scene. To my surprise, the part of the scene where Van made the joke didn’t exist. Comparing the length of the two films, I realized that the English dub was thirteen minutes longer than the original film. I proceeded to go through both versions of Elysium and map out the differences between them. While they told basically the same story, they were edited together much differently. The scenes appeared in different orders, the English version had shots and entire scenes that the Korean version didn’t, and the Korean film also had shots that didn’t exist in the English film. While the English adaptation was still a mess, it was overall better paced and better put together than the Korean film. Going to my experience with English dubs of Japanese anime, I knew that sometimes adaptations were also re-edited to add or remove elements in the footage or reorder scenes and shots to tell a different story, but the English adaptation of Elysium contained seemingly brand new content that someone animated and rendered! By this point, I was seriously questioning the DVD that came without a case in that package addressed in Chinese all those years ago. I thought I had the original Korean film, but clearly, more footage existed. As I watched it again, I could see and hear where the scenes were abruptly cut off where they continued in the English version as if someone had butchered the film to make it shorter. If I didn’t have the original film, then what did I have? I again went back to my experience with Japanese anime, specifically bootlegs of anime. Perhaps I had some crazy Chinese import. These ethically questionable, if not illegal, purchases are usually cheap and have Chinese subtitles and poor English subtitles. My supposed Korean copy of Elysium fit this description. Why would bootleggers take the time to re-edit the film, and make it worse, though? They don’t even subtitle properly. I needed more copies of the movie if I wanted to answer these questions. Perhaps I had some early edit of Elysium that mistakenly released to the public, and somewhere out there the actual original Korean film, one even more complete than the English adaptation, existed… Or maybe whoever wanted to redub the movie in another language got a box of footage to edit together. The only DVD of the movie I could find that had a Korean audio option was the German DVD. It claimed to be of the same length as the English version. I also found a Polish adaptation that claimed to be of a different length than the Korean and English versions. I found a French DVD on eBay, too, but I’d already nearly emptied Amazon of its copies. I didn’t want to get too crazy with this terrible movie. The Polish DVD was perfect for any Elysium fan’s shelf and, simultaneously, the most bizarre DVD I’d ever seen. In its beautiful packaging were five Elysium trading cards, words that I never thought I would say let alone use to describe real objects. The DVD had well-designed, interesting menus and included character descriptions and the name of the armor each character pilots, information that wasn’t revealed in the movie. Contrary to its description online, it contained the English version of the film with Polish and English audio options. Things got weird starting with the Polish dub, which featured one guy repeating all the dialog in Polish over the English dub. The DVD also contained descriptions of about 186 random movies, from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer to Kill Bill, and samples of all the songs from seven CDs that had nothing to do with Elysium. Most of the music was electronica. I could dig that. Anyway, the German DVD proved to be more relevant to my search, but it left me with more questions than answers. “Is the Korean on this DVD actually Korean?” was among them. The DVD, subtitled “Koreas Antwort auf Final Fantasy,” which Google translated to “Korea’s answer to Final Fantasy,” contained the English version of the film with German, English, and Korean audio options and German subtitles. The Korean audio, however, didn’t contain a full length version of the dub on my Korean DVD as I expected. The voice actors were different, and the script was obviously translated from the English dub. Most bothersome of all, the dialog didn’t sound like Korean. I wasn’t super familiar with Korean, but I knew that something was strange. At times, it sounded similar to Spanish and other times it sounded more like Chinese. I asked the Internet, but as of this writing, I still don’t have a definitive answer to what language it is. Early opinions concur; it isn’t Korean. Unlike the twenty plus games and movies that Japan’s Final Fantasy spawned, Korea’s Final Fantasy truly is a final fantasy. Thirteen years after its release, Elysium has been nearly forgotten, leaving strange artifacts behind. Among them is the original Korean film stitched together like Frankenstein’s monster, a “The Making Of” featurette showing the care that went into creating it, thirteen minutes of previously unseen footage that appeared in the English dub without explanation, and a German DVD with a “Koreanisch” audio option that doesn’t sound Korean. Someone saw enough potential in the original film to not only redub it but also extensively re-edit it. Similarly, someone saw enough potential in the mediocre English redub to translate it into other languages and package it in nicely crafted DVDs. These adaptations, however, buried the original film and left a trail questions, “What went wrong?” being the biggest among them. While these DVDs remain enigmatic mysteries, I continue on my search for answers. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today!
  11. Sometime in the early 2000s, my mother purchased a 3D movie viewer and glasses for our TV and some 3D movies from eBay and other online retailers. Included was Elysium, a CGI film mailed without a case in a package that appeared to be addressed in Chinese. This movie, mistakenly believed to be 3D, ended up sitting in a box, unwatched until 2013. Shortly after I began critiquing odd, obscure, and adult-oriented CGI movies for fun, I happened to remember the foreign film my siblings, cousins, and I abandoned more than a decade earlier in favor of Frankenstein and Night of the Living Dead in 3D. Ever since, it has humored, shocked, and baffled me. The film shows signs of tampering with places where the audio cuts out and sloppy video editing. The English adaptation is extensively re-edited from the original film and, oddly, includes thirteen minutes of brand new footage. Redubs of the film from other countries are translations of the English script rather than the original and include a bizarre collection of special features on their DVDs. Most people would have discounted Elysium as a half-baked attempt at a giant robot anime gone terribly wrong, but instead, I set out to find how the movie came to be. While I wasn’t entirely successful, I did discover many strange things surrounding what has been referred to as the Final Fantasy of South Korea. Its proximity to the release of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) and video game-like graphics earned Elysium (2003) its comparison to Square Picture’s film, and it roughly follows the “heroes come together to save the world” storyline seen in many Final Fantasy games. Van, a bike racer and pizza delivery boy; Paul, a juvenile delinquent; Christopher, a fighter pilot; and Nyx, an alien from the planet Elysium, are chosen to pilot four giant armors and protect the Earth from evil. Together they must defeat Necros, the general of the Elysium army who started a war between the Elysium and humans to set his plans to gain power into motion. The first time I watched this film, however, its problems were more apparent than its story or its tenuous resemblance to Final Fantasy. It suffered from bad animation and special effects, poor writing, and most of all, frantic editing that made the story nearly incoherent. Robots and spaceships exploded like Death Stars. The attempts that characters made at displaying joy, horror, or terror with their plastic faces had more hilarious than successful results. The subtitling was sometimes comically bad, but even if it were flawless, the film had little room to explain itself. It was edited together so chaotically that it lost all sense of time and place. Transitions to move characters from one location to another were missing. Instead, characters traveled an impossible distance, like from a space ship to the middle of a city, in a single shot or disappeared mid-scene, making it seem like they could teleport. Some scenes, particularly battles, seemed to be composed of shots that had been placed in a random, nonsense order. The film often jumped between scenes to suggest that multiple events occurred at the same time or sequentially. Sometimes, however, the scenes placed together couldn’t reasonably happen at either of those times, and the film made no attempt to explain when they occurred or to even provide a transition between them to suggest time passing. This problem was so prevalent that anywhere from a few days to a few years could have passed in the course of the movie. Also on the DVD, I discovered, shockingly, a short “The Making Of” film. In it, the creators showed off their use of motion capture and their attention to continuity, which the film seemed to lack entirely. Someone at some point cared about and showed pride in this hacked together film. Who? What were they trying to achieve, and why did it fail so completely? I looked to the Internet for answers. Unfortunately, all that I found was a tiny Wikipedia article, an incomplete IMDB page, and a small number of reviews, half of which weren’t in English. The official website had become what appeared to be a website for a park. All that anyone seemed to know for certain was that the film was made in South Korea. Even simple plot summaries were wrong half the time. One website claimed that it was a wartime drama that took place in Budapest and was based on a true story. A reviewer claimed that Elysium (2013) was a remake of Elysium (2003), to which it bore no resemblance. Even the official IMDB page claimed that “the story is about the message, only love for humanity can save the earth.” I couldn’t see how anyone could pull that out of the series of images I watched. Even stranger, some user reviews praised Elysium for its superb animation and reasonable, well told story. Excuse me? Had we watched the same movie? As it turned out, we hadn’t. During my search, I found to my delight that the film had been redubbed in English. The only way the film could possibly be worse, and more hilarious, would be to give it a terrible English dub. Naturally, I absolutely had to have it. I bought one of the last remaining copies from the dark corners of Amazon. With actors who clearly didn’t care, obvious and badly improvised lines, and weird dialog that didn’t match the film, the redub was as amazing as expected. Crispin Freeman, a popular voice actor in English dubs of anime, who voices Kronos and Lycon in Elysium, was about the only actor who gave a consistently decent performance. Differences in the script, however, made the story more coherent. Primarily, an added narrator tied together starkly cut together scenes and provided a better sense of time passing. As I continued to watch the two dubs of the film in preparation to review Elysium though, I noticed something else. I was watching the English version of the movie when the protagonist Van made a tasteless joke about bulimia. I’d just watched the Korean version the previous day, but I couldn’t remember Van joking about bulimics in it. More than likely, he’d made a different joke, he spoke about something else, or the subtitles were indistinguishable. I wondered though, so I opened the Korean film and looked for the scene. To my surprise, the part of the scene where Van made the joke didn’t exist. Comparing the length of the two films, I realized that the English dub was thirteen minutes longer than the original film. I proceeded to go through both versions of Elysium and map out the differences between them. While they told basically the same story, they were edited together much differently. The scenes appeared in different orders, the English version had shots and entire scenes that the Korean version didn’t, and the Korean film also had shots that didn’t exist in the English film. While the English adaptation was still a mess, it was overall better paced and better put together than the Korean film. Going to my experience with English dubs of Japanese anime, I knew that sometimes adaptations were also re-edited to add or remove elements in the footage or reorder scenes and shots to tell a different story, but the English adaptation of Elysium contained seemingly brand new content that someone animated and rendered! By this point, I was seriously questioning the DVD that came without a case in that package addressed in Chinese all those years ago. I thought I had the original Korean film, but clearly, more footage existed. As I watched it again, I could see and hear where the scenes were abruptly cut off where they continued in the English version as if someone had butchered the film to make it shorter. If I didn’t have the original film, then what did I have? I again went back to my experience with Japanese anime, specifically bootlegs of anime. Perhaps I had some crazy Chinese import. These ethically questionable, if not illegal, purchases are usually cheap and have Chinese subtitles and poor English subtitles. My supposed Korean copy of Elysium fit this description. Why would bootleggers take the time to re-edit the film, and make it worse, though? They don’t even subtitle properly. I needed more copies of the movie if I wanted to answer these questions. Perhaps I had some early edit of Elysium that mistakenly released to the public, and somewhere out there the actual original Korean film, one even more complete than the English adaptation, existed… Or maybe whoever wanted to redub the movie in another language got a box of footage to edit together. The only DVD of the movie I could find that had a Korean audio option was the German DVD. It claimed to be of the same length as the English version. I also found a Polish adaptation that claimed to be of a different length than the Korean and English versions. I found a French DVD on eBay, too, but I’d already nearly emptied Amazon of its copies. I didn’t want to get too crazy with this terrible movie. The Polish DVD was perfect for any Elysium fan’s shelf and, simultaneously, the most bizarre DVD I’d ever seen. In its beautiful packaging were five Elysium trading cards, words that I never thought I would say let alone use to describe real objects. The DVD had well-designed, interesting menus and included character descriptions and the name of the armor each character pilots, information that wasn’t revealed in the movie. Contrary to its description online, it contained the English version of the film with Polish and English audio options. Things got weird starting with the Polish dub, which featured one guy repeating all the dialog in Polish over the English dub. The DVD also contained descriptions of about 186 random movies, from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer to Kill Bill, and samples of all the songs from seven CDs that had nothing to do with Elysium. Most of the music was electronica. I could dig that. Anyway, the German DVD proved to be more relevant to my search, but it left me with more questions than answers. “Is the Korean on this DVD actually Korean?” was among them. The DVD, subtitled “Koreas Antwort auf Final Fantasy,” which Google translated to “Korea’s answer to Final Fantasy,” contained the English version of the film with German, English, and Korean audio options and German subtitles. The Korean audio, however, didn’t contain a full length version of the dub on my Korean DVD as I expected. The voice actors were different, and the script was obviously translated from the English dub. Most bothersome of all, the dialog didn’t sound like Korean. I wasn’t super familiar with Korean, but I knew that something was strange. At times, it sounded similar to Spanish and other times it sounded more like Chinese. I asked the Internet, but as of this writing, I still don’t have a definitive answer to what language it is. Early opinions concur; it isn’t Korean. Unlike the twenty plus games and movies that Japan’s Final Fantasy spawned, Korea’s Final Fantasy truly is a final fantasy. Thirteen years after its release, Elysium has been nearly forgotten, leaving strange artifacts behind. Among them is the original Korean film stitched together like Frankenstein’s monster, a “The Making Of” featurette showing the care that went into creating it, thirteen minutes of previously unseen footage that appeared in the English dub without explanation, and a German DVD with a “Koreanisch” audio option that doesn’t sound Korean. Someone saw enough potential in the original film to not only redub it but also extensively re-edit it. Similarly, someone saw enough potential in the mediocre English redub to translate it into other languages and package it in nicely crafted DVDs. These adaptations, however, buried the original film and left a trail questions, “What went wrong?” being the biggest among them. While these DVDs remain enigmatic mysteries, I continue on my search for answers. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today! View full article
  12. Square Enix seems to be trying to pull off all the tie-ins it can manage with Final Fantasy XV. They prominently touted an ongoing anime mini-series composed of six episodes had a positive reception on the internet (or rather five episodes and a sixth exclusive to the Ultimate Collector's Edition of Final Fantasy XV). Apps that connect to the in-game world of XV like the mobile pinball title Justice Monsters Five are slated for release alongside the full game. Plus, we've had a number of playable demos packaged with other titles. Now the feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is on the horizon. In the announcement accompanying the release of the global story trailer, director Takeshi Nozue explains that, "Kingsglaive stands on its own and can be enjoyed without knowledge of the previous games. But if you play Final Fantasy XV there are many references in the game that you wouldn’t necessarily understand without watching the film." He goes on to explain that the themes of Kingsglaive relate to leadership and what it means to be a just king. Whereas people working on Final Fantasy XV have stated that the game examines the bond between men and brotherhood, Kingsglaive delves into the bond between father and son. The plot to Kingsglaive follows the events leading up to the events of Final Fantasy XV. Noctis' father, King Regis, and his elite guard fight against the encroaching Empire to save his kingdom and family after a peace deal goes horribly wrong. A star-studded cast has been assembled to tell the animated tale of Kingsglaive. Sean Bean plays King Regis; Lena Headey portrays princess Luna; and Aaron Paul makes sure villains are breaking bad as Nyx, a member of the titular Kingsglaive knights. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV explodes into select theaters on August 19. Those who can't manage to make it to the theater to see it can watch the film on PlayStation Video beginning on August 30. Final Fantasy XV itself releases on September 30 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
  13. Square Enix seems to be trying to pull off all the tie-ins it can manage with Final Fantasy XV. They prominently touted an ongoing anime mini-series composed of six episodes had a positive reception on the internet (or rather five episodes and a sixth exclusive to the Ultimate Collector's Edition of Final Fantasy XV). Apps that connect to the in-game world of XV like the mobile pinball title Justice Monsters Five are slated for release alongside the full game. Plus, we've had a number of playable demos packaged with other titles. Now the feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is on the horizon. In the announcement accompanying the release of the global story trailer, director Takeshi Nozue explains that, "Kingsglaive stands on its own and can be enjoyed without knowledge of the previous games. But if you play Final Fantasy XV there are many references in the game that you wouldn’t necessarily understand without watching the film." He goes on to explain that the themes of Kingsglaive relate to leadership and what it means to be a just king. Whereas people working on Final Fantasy XV have stated that the game examines the bond between men and brotherhood, Kingsglaive delves into the bond between father and son. The plot to Kingsglaive follows the events leading up to the events of Final Fantasy XV. Noctis' father, King Regis, and his elite guard fight against the encroaching Empire to save his kingdom and family after a peace deal goes horribly wrong. A star-studded cast has been assembled to tell the animated tale of Kingsglaive. Sean Bean plays King Regis; Lena Headey portrays princess Luna; and Aaron Paul makes sure villains are breaking bad as Nyx, a member of the titular Kingsglaive knights. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV explodes into select theaters on August 19. Those who can't manage to make it to the theater to see it can watch the film on PlayStation Video beginning on August 30. Final Fantasy XV itself releases on September 30 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. View full article
  14. It's true, a full HD remaster of Final Fantasy XII is on the way under the title Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. The remaster will be based on the Japanese re-release, Final Fantasy XII: International Zodiac Job System that came out in Japan a year after its original 2006 release. Players should expect Zodiac Age to contain the revamped combat from the re-release, which featured twelve different job boards for players to level their characters into, rather than the single board that was available in the original release. Perhaps even more importantly, International Zodiac Job System came with the option to double running speed and a New Game + option (as well as a New Game -, in which players gained no experience). The international version also released with over 100 trial maps on which players could hunt monsters for money and items. All of this extra goodness layered on top of what some people consider to be one of, if not THE, best Final Fantasy titles to date. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is slated for release sometime in 2017.
  15. It's true, a full HD remaster of Final Fantasy XII is on the way under the title Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. The remaster will be based on the Japanese re-release, Final Fantasy XII: International Zodiac Job System that came out in Japan a year after its original 2006 release. Players should expect Zodiac Age to contain the revamped combat from the re-release, which featured twelve different job boards for players to level their characters into, rather than the single board that was available in the original release. Perhaps even more importantly, International Zodiac Job System came with the option to double running speed and a New Game + option (as well as a New Game -, in which players gained no experience). The international version also released with over 100 trial maps on which players could hunt monsters for money and items. All of this extra goodness layered on top of what some people consider to be one of, if not THE, best Final Fantasy titles to date. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is slated for release sometime in 2017. View full article
  16. At the Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event held last night, Square Enix revealed that there would be a five episode animated miniseries to show how the friendships formed between the cast of characters depicted hanging out together in the trailers. The series, titled Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV, will release periodically from now until the launch of the game on September 30. All episodes will be free and available on the Final Fatnasy XV YouTube channel. The first episode has even been released already! Give it a watch if anime is your thing. Each episode is expected to be around 12 minutes long. Also revealed was the feature-length CG film Square Enix has dubbed Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. The story appears to set the stage for the return of protagonist Noctis to his rightful throne. While Noctis has been away, his homeland appears to have fallen into turmoil and only a select few seem capable of holding it together until the hair to the throne returns. A considerable amount of star power appears to be behind the film, too. Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings) will be playing the role of King Regis, Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) graces the CG screen as Luna, and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) assumes the part of Nyx, a member of the titular Kingsglaive, an elite group of soldiers tasked with defending the king. Square Enix has always been more miss than hit with its CG films, but perhaps Kingsglaive can change that and erase the sins of Spirits Within. Kingsglaive will not be shown in theaters, but it will be available for download and streaming at some point before the September 30 launch of Final Fantasy XV.
  17. A special promotion SE is running for the holidays. Here is a link to the original article by PC Gamer: Square Enix bundles five games in $10 Holiday Surprise Box
  18. The last video presentation dedicated solely to the latest incarnation of Super Smash Bros. will be airing next Tuesday at 2pm PT / 5pm ET. According to Nintendo, the presentation will feature series creator Masahiro Sakurai talking about the addition of Cloud Strife to the fighting game's roster among other things. That doesn't mean we will never see Super Smash Bros. mentioned again in a Nintendo Direct, but the December 15th broadcast will be the final dedicated presentation.
  19. The last video presentation dedicated solely to the latest incarnation of Super Smash Bros. will be airing next Tuesday at 2pm PT / 5pm ET. According to Nintendo, the presentation will feature series creator Masahiro Sakurai talking about the addition of Cloud Strife to the fighting game's roster among other things. That doesn't mean we will never see Super Smash Bros. mentioned again in a Nintendo Direct, but the December 15th broadcast will be the final dedicated presentation. View full article
  20. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy and the founder of Mistwalker, released a trailer and several pieces of artwork via YouTube and Twitter last week of a canceled 2008 project called Cry On. The trailer shows a girl with a tiny stone creature running from an oncoming mass of darkness and red eyes. She hits a dead end and the creature transforms into a giant golem that helps her to escape before crumbling into ruin. The trailer doesn't show off any gameplay, but I certainly find the concept on display intriguing. As for the concept art, it is presumed to be for Cry On, but that has not been confirmed. Sakaguchi tweeted the images the same day the trailer was uploaded, but did not explicitly mention Cry On in the accompanying text. View full article
  21. I have lost a lot of my enthusiasm for Final Fantasy in recent years, but then a certain trailer for Final Fantasy XV came and rekindled a spark of hope. It looks amazing. Though no release date has been officially announced for Final Fantasy XV, a demo will be packaged with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD when it releases next year. Besides awesome monster designs, gorgeous artistic design, and Final Fantasy guys with JRPG hair, what did we just see? If you look at the gameplay segments in the teaser, it looks like Final Fantasy XV might be attempting an open world action RPG. There is a segment where the camera pans around the car our presumably main characters are driving and it appears like both the camera and car might be under player control. We are shown multiple times in the teaser some sort of traversal mechanic involving a combination of sword-throwing and teleportation. We see combat that appears completely free from turn-based mechanics. Assuming that Final Fantasy XV remains a single-player experience, we also see AI that appears to react organically to various situations, like the near death of a party member or generally being useful in combat. Today is a good day to love RPGs. View full article
  22. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, the high-definition remake of the highly acclaimed PSP exclusive original, will be making its way to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next year along with the demo for the first newly numbered Final Fantasy title in nearly four years. Currently slated for a March 17, 2015 release in North America, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD follows the adventures of a group of elite military cadets known as Class Zero as they become embroiled in a massive war. It is generally regarded as one of the best Final Fantasy titles in years, so it is great to see it being released on more platforms. However, for many Final Fantasy fans the remake of Type-0 is just an added bonus to the Final Fantasy XV demo with which it will be packaged. View full article
  23. Jason Hayes, World of Warcraft's composer, leads a band called the Critical Hit, while the composer for the Final Fantasy series, Nobuo Uematsu, is a member of The Earthbound Papas. Both bands will be headlining the Orlando Nerd Fest 2014. The Critical Hit formed in 2013 and have been playing live shows for the past year. Today they unveiled their latest music video in which they give their own rendition of the classic Tetris theme. They also have videos showcasing their skills with the theme from Angry Birds and The Battle for New York from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Nobuo Uematsu's group, The Earthbound Papas, was formed shortly after his previous band, The Black Mages, disbanded in 2010. Their music tends to be refreshing takes on Final Fantasy soundtracks, though it was reported that The Earthbound Papas might be open to performing music from other video game series or original music. Orlando Nerd Fest will be held on August 9 in Orlando, Florida. View full article
  24. Sometimes it can be hard for the average video game enthusiast to find interesting video game art to adorn the walls of their abode. Luckily, there are skilled artists in various corners of the internet willing to sell their work for a fair price. Etsy is one such corner. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Etsy is basically the arts and crafts hub of the internet. People make clothes, furniture, jewelry, art, etc. and put it up for sale on the site, usually at quite a reasonable price. Given the popularity of video games, it isn't at all surprising that a significant portion of the Etsy artists and craftspeople decide to put out products inspired by some of their favorite video game titles. As you scroll through these awesome artistic renderings, bear in mind that these represent a small fraction of the work available on the main site. Click on the images for a better look at the artwork, or visit the linked Etsy pages for more details. BioShock - Minimalist by CaptainsPrintShop - $20 BioShock - Watercolor by CaptainsPrintShop - $20 BioShock Infinite Poster from WestGraphics - $18 BioShock Infinite Elizabeth by WilliamHenryDesign - $20 Doom II Poster from Kitschaus - $30 Fallout - Minimalist by CaptainsPrintShop - $20 Final Fantasy Tactics Poster from Kitschaus - $30 Ico Poster from Kitschaus - $20 Journey Poster from Geeky Prints - Price ranges from $4.99 to $51.99 depending on print size Mass Effect Series by WilliamHenryDesign - $25 Mega Man Screen Printed Poster by InspirationxCreation - $19 Mega Man Buster Cannon by AndrewHeath - $10 Metal Gear Solid V - Snake by 2ToastDesign - $19.95 or $39.95 depending on size Minecraft - Life Goals by MrSuspenders - $39.95 PITFALL Atari 2600 Retro Vintage Classic by RobOsborne - $20 Pong-inspired 8-bit Poster by minimalpixels - $16.77 Portal - Hello by DirtyGreatPixelsUK - $16.77 or $33.54 depending on size Portal - The Cake Is A Lie by WestGraphics - Price ranges from $18 to $50 Secret of Mana Poster from Kitschaus - $20 Shadow of the Colossus by bigbadrobot - Price ranges from $17 to $38 depending on size Shadow of the Colossus from Kitschaus - $25 Smash Bros. Link vs. Mario by NukaColaFan - $11.99 Sonic the Hedgehog by VICTORYDELUXE - $6.99 Star Fox by NukaColaFan - $14.99 Street Fighter Character Sakura Alpha In Cubes by BITxBITxBIT - $30 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time from Kitschaus - $20 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker from Kitschaus - $35 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker by PoppyseedHeroes - Currently unavailable, but it still looks incredibly awesome! TRON poster from adamrabalais - $20 Yeah, I know this isn't a video game per say, but it's close enough in my book. XCOM Classic Ironman by MrSuspenders - $39.95 Let us know which ones were your favorites! View full article