Gaming Week In Review: Final Fantasy XV confirmed, Nintendo under fire

Final Fantasy XV’s road trip is guaranteed to feature at least 50% more dragons than your Summer trip to In-and-Out.

Final Fantasy XV is absolutely, for sure, actually coming out.

Few games have had as rocky a path as Final Fantasy XV. Originally announced in 2006 as a spin-off to Final Fantasy XIII, the game underwent multiple delays and re-structurings before re-emerging as XV in 2013. It’s only fitting that Square-Enix is aiming to make the game’s release a global event. At a Final Fantasy XV: Uncovered press conference in Los Angeles, the team announced a slew of Final Fantasy XV content hitting the airwaves before the game’s global launch on September 30th.

Fans will be able to whet their appetites immediately with the Premium Demo, available now for download on XBox ONE and Playstation 4. Unlike the previous demo, this features a new scenario with finished visuals and combat system. Players can also get a taste of XV‘s world ahead of time in two forms – an episodic prequel anime series following the lead characters, and the feature-length CG film Kingsglave: Final Fantasy XV.  Featuring the voices of Game of Thrones alums Lena Headey and Sean Bean (as well as Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul), Kingsglave will tell a parallel story to the main game. Details are scarce, but a release is guaranteed before the full game is out.

That’s not even close to everything. Uncovered also brought news that alt-rockers Florence and The Machine will cover Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” for the game’s opening track and Audi will produce an exclusive R8 modeled after the in-game “Regalia” (sans-flight power, tragically). A $230 collectors edition also sold out within minutes. Considering recent reports that Final Fantasy XV needs to sell 10 million copies to make a profit, it seems Square-Enix is leaving no option unused for marketing power.

Nintendo manages to charm and enrage the entire internet within the same 48-hour window.

The past few days have been confusing times for Nintendo fans.

Thursday brought the bad news: Nintendo Treehouse employee Allison Rapp revealed that she had been let go from the company following a months-long campaign by conservative online hate groups. After Rapp made a public enemy of the “#GamerGate” movement on Twitter (who have engaged in multiple harassment campaigns against women in the games industry), internet detectives dug up an old college thesis that Rapp had written years prior. The paper focused on different approaches to sexuality and age across cultural boundaries, but it contained lines that (when removed from context) appeared to be forgiving towards owners of child pornography. In light of the firing, multiple industry advocates have called out Nintendo for not standing up to the pressure. The company has since denied that the firing was connected to any online harassment.

This controversy was overshadowed in part by the US debut of Nintendo’s first mobile app, Miitomo. Based on the Mii avatars, the game is a simplified social network designed around sharing secrets and custom photos. The app has been downloaded over 3 million times across iPhone and Android in the first 24 hours of release and should bring the wonders of Nintendo to the mobile generation.

Follow Chris Berg on Twitter, @ChrisBerg25

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