Updated: Mar 25
Yo Squad, FrostyPhenix here! I’ll start off this piece by saying I have been a fan of Square-Enix (formerly separate entities of “Square” and “Enix”, merging in 2003) since my first squaresoft game, Final Fantasy VII (7). Through the years they have released very well known titles in the game world including more Final Fantasy titles in the series and the Kingdom Hearts series of games. In this new age of gaming, Square Enix has met the challenge of creating games for popular gaming hardware (even let Xbox get in on the fun with Kingdom Hearts 3). They are coming with the HOT FIRE for 2021! So many games! Let’s talk about it below.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Intergrade
First up, the next expansion for the critically acclaimed and award winning Final Fantasy 7 Remake was announced officially via PRESS RELEASE and trailer shown during Sony’s “State of Play” event on February 25th of 2021. FINAL FANTASY® VII REMAKE will come to the PlayStation®5 (PS5™) console on June 10, 2021, as the enhanced and expanded FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE.
I am personally envious of those with a PS5 already (talking to a handful of my close friends right now lol). I personally didn’t see the value of getting a PS5 when my PS4 works fairly well and I’m enjoying it. The trailer they did show makes me definitely consider moving my PS5 acquisition date closer to sooner than later. According to the Release, FF7-RI will take full advantage of the latest generation hardware and includes a wealth of graphical, gameplay and system enhancements for the PS5 (more info in the press release below). In the trailer, we see the expansion includes a well known character from the original title to the Remake, the Great Ninja Yuffie. There also seems to be ANOTHER new character that accompanies Yuffie in this expansion of the story...very interesting.
Square also addresses those who already own the PS4 version of the title by saying “As a thank you to those who have purchased FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE for the PlayStation®4 console, Square Enix is providing these players a free PS5 enhancement update* that will include all next-gen visual and gameplay enhancements detailed above at no extra cost when playing on a PS5 console.” There are more PS5 consoles popping up now that the holiday season has passed.
Two New Mobile FF 7 Titles!
Well well well! Square puts its hand mobile titles yet again with these NEW MOBILE TITLES!
FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER is a battle royal action game set in Midgar before the events of FINAL FANTASY VII. As a SOLDIER candidate, the player will make full use of their magic and abilities in a battle for their survival (trailer on our Instagram). The graphics of mobile games have come a long way in this race for gaming attention.
The next is FINAL FANTASY VII EVER CRISIS, a chapter-structured single player experience which will cover the whole of the FFVII timeline, including the events of the original game along with all the FFVII compilation titles, as well as new story elements, penned by FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE story and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima, surrounding the origins of SOLDIER (trailer also on our Instagram). The environment graphics shown for this game remind me of the Kingdom Hearts Mobile Game “X Chain” but the battle graphics look like FF7 R’s graphic render as a whole. It’s a nice mix in my opinion, not to mention making “Advent Children” canon along with the rest of the series.
FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER released November 17th, 2021. FINAL FANTASY VII EVER CRISIS scheduled for a worldwide release, beginning with a closed beta in summer 2023.
Kingdom Hearts on PC
The beloved Kingdom Hearts Series comes to PC! Yes, PC Master Race, you get your hands on one of the most beloved JRPG series of all time! SQUARE ENIX®, Disney and Epic Games announced that KINGDOM HEARTS will be available on the Epic Games Store on March 30, 2021. PC players will be able to enjoy the games from the start of the journey with Kingdom Hearts 1.5 all the way to Kingdom Hearts 3 with its most recent expansion “Melody of Memory”.
BUT WAIT… THERE IS MORE! All four KINGDOM HEARTS titles (Titles being KH1.5, 2.5, 3+ ReMind and Melody of Memory) are now available in the Epic Games Store. These titles have been rated E10+ by the ESRB. Those who purchased KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind (DLC) received an exclusive Epic Games Store “Elemental Encoder” Keyblade to use in-game. Congrats PC Players! Celebrate!
Final Fantasy XIV NEW EXPANSION
The ongoing Final Fantasy MMORPG, “Final Fantasy 14 Online”, sees its newest expansion “Endwalker” released to its PC, PS4 and PS5 platforms November 23, 2021.
A note from the PRESS RELEASE “Endwalker features the climax of the Hydaelyn and Zodiark story, in which Warriors of Light will encounter an even greater calamity than ever before as they travel to the far reaches of Hydaelyn and even to the moon. In addition to bringing the long-running story arc that began with A Realm Reborn™ to its conclusion, Endwalker will mark a new beginning for the beloved MMO, setting the stage for new adventures that longtime fans and new players can enjoy together”.
I tried FF14 online for it’s free 30 day expansion on PS4. I loved the experience and I will personally say once I have the time and money to commit, I definitely plan to. I highly recommend this title for sure. With COVID keeping us indoors for the most part, now is a good time to dive in this game if you’re interested and looking for a new MMORPG.
FINAL FANTASY 16
Announced in the fall of 2020, we have more details for the new solo title coming to the final fantasy family. Information we pulled from DualShockers.com, translating Japanese Radio Show “One Morning”’s interview with Final Fantasy 16’s Producer Naoki Yoshida to English. Here is what they were able to get from the game producer regarding what kind of game the new title will be: “Hmm, we only released one trailer for now. As it shows, this time we’re focusing a lot on action. We’re making an FF game featuring a lot of action and story. ” The hosts were also able to ask him about the story, here is Yoshida’s response: “I think FF16 will be a fantasy for those who grew up with Final Fantasy, and also know the harsh reality of the world. I can’t tell you more or I’ll get yelled at, I think I already told you a lot.” Thank you DualShockers for the translation and thank you Yoshida for sharing enough as it was. My favorite final fantasy stories so far have been 7 and 10. I hope to be able to add this title to my list.
As of this article’s writing, Final Fantasy XVI scheduled to release June 22nd, 2023. While a Windows version was rumored based on the timed exclusivity, Yoshida denied knowledge of such a port. The game had digital and physical Deluxe and Collector's Editions available for sale through Square Enix's online store, featuring additional in-game items and accessories such as an art book and steelcase with unique art. The English and Japanese voice cast was announced in December 2022. (Updated information from the title's Wikipedia)
Also coming from Square Enix, we have a new challenger to the RPG Shooter World. From the press release: “OUTRIDERS™, the high-intensity RPG-Shooter from People Can Fly, the developers of Gears of War: Judgment and BULLETSTORM, and Square Enix External Studios, the minds behind JUST CAUSE® and SLEEPING DOGS®.” From the demo out now and numerous game play videos of the new 3rd Person shooter, it’s future looks promising. Tackling the team shooter realm, each player has a choice of 4 different classes for your gaming experience: Technomancer, The Pyromancer, The Trickster, and The Devastator. The game released April 1st, 2021 for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and XSX.
Bravely Default II
I will say that I have not experienced this series myself but as most square enix and other jrpg titles, Bravely Default II looks promising. Records say that this is the 3rd game of the series but will introduce new characters: Seth, Elvis, Adelle and Gloria. Released for the Nintendo Switch on February 26th, 2021.
From hands that have worked on many games including the Sonic the Hedgehog series of games, Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima have started working with Square Enix to create Balan Wonderworld. From the press release: “As players explore the fantastical land of Wonderworld, they’ll be guided by an enigmatic maestro named Balan, who will help players restore balance to the world by clearing Wonderworld of Negati, physical manifestations of worry and other negative emotions.” Quite cartoonish in nature this game looks geared towards the younger generation of square fans, but I could be wrong because there are older gamers that love this type of art style as well. With a reported 12 levels and over 80 abilities for you to play solo or co-op, the game looks like a nice change of pace addition for the casual gamer. Balan released March 26th,2012 on PS4, Ps5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch, and Steam.
NieR Replicant Ver. 1.22474487139
After the wide success of “Nier Automata”, it looks like Square is answering the fan call for “More Nier!”. Since it was an ongoing series that I personally wasn’t even aware of until Automata, I won’t speak on its successes and failures. However, Square is following up on Automata’s success...break a leg y’all. This game is an updated version of NieR Replicant, previously only released in Japan. This proclaimed “one-of-a-kind prequel” of the critically-acclaimed masterpiece NieR:Automata, comes to us with a modern upgrade, experience masterfully revived visuals, a fascinating storyline and more. From the official site, it states “The protagonist is a kind young man living in a remote village. In order to save his sister Yonah, who fell terminally ill to the Black Scrawl, he sets out with Grimoire Weiss, a strange talking tome, to search for the "Sealed verses."
The new Nier released in Japan on February 23, 2017, coming in both standard editions and a Black Box Collector's Edition. The PS4 version was released in North America on March 7th, 2021; and in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand on March 10th, 2021. It also had a limited Day One edition, and a version of the Black Box Collector's Edition. The game was notably review-bombed in April 2017 by Chinese players demanding a translation of the game to Chinese. (Updated information from the title's Wikipedia)
For the mobile title “Nier Reincarnation”, it released in Japan February 18, 2021 and worldwide July 28, 2021. The first story arc, "The Girl and the Monster", was completed during 2021 with twelve episodes. The second story arc, "The Sun and the Moon", began releasing in October 2021. The second arc is scheduled to end in January 2023 with six episodes, with planned changes to the game and story following that. Alongside the main episodes, multiple collaborations with other games were released as limited time events. The game initially launched with a collaboration with Nier: Automata. Later collaborations appeared with the Nier Replicant remaster, Drakengard 3, Final Fantasy XIV, Persona 5, and SINoALICE. (Updated information from the title's Wikipedia)
Neo: The World Ends With You
After silence on this popular title for over a decade, the stories finally continue. My friends tell me how great the previous game is, and from the art and gameplay I am inclined to believe them. Not only is there a sequel game coming but an anime adaption as well! That’s some cool stuff right there. Neo released on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on July 27th, 2021, with the Microsoft Windows version released September 28th, 2021.
Dragon Quest Tact
From the popular Enix Origin title “DragonQuest” comes a new, free mobile game coming to Android and iOS around the world. It’s already available in Japan so those fans have a head start but now the world can get into the action some time this year. This title released in Japan July 16th, 2020, and world wide, January 28th, 2021.
Just Cause Mobile
From the popular “Just Cause” series comes a free mobile edition, including “four distinct game modes”, high quality 3D graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4, responsive touch controls, unique movement system (parachute, wingsuit, grapple), voice chat and high action gameplay at your fingertips! This title's release is still TBD at the time of this article update.
SaGa Frontier: Remastered
After over two decades of existence, SaGa Frontier is receiving an improved version, enjoyable for long time fans and newcomers alike. A new protagonist, new cutscenes in the story that weren't shown before and new graphics, sounds like a fan’s dream come true. The title released on April 15th, 2021 for PS4, Switch, Steam, and mobile devices.
Overall I am excited for what Square Enix has in store for its loyal fan base. Aside from their association with the Avengers game (which can maybe turn around with some time), most of their major titles have gained loyal followings...which means loyal money. Follow me across the web @FrostyPhenix and check out our Podcast @ Phuca-Podcast on all podcast streaming platforms. Unless the next piece, peace out y’all!
Final Fantasy 7 References
Kingdom Hearts References
Final Fantasy 14 Online References
Final Fantasy 16 References
Bravely Default References
Balan Wonderland References
Nier Game References
Neo: World Ends with You References
Dragon Quest References
Just Cause References