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The 6 biggest announcements from the Square Enix E3 2019 press conference

The Final Fantasy VII remake, Final Fantasy VIII, and plenty more remasters and re-releases. Oh, and something to do with the Avengers?

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biggest announcements square enix E3 2019 press conference

The Final Fantasy VII remake, Final Fantasy VIII, and plenty more remasters and re-releases. Oh, and something to do with the Avengers?

You could argue that Square Enix’s press conference was the easiest one: Just show people the Final Fantasy VII Remake. That’s it. That’s really all they had to do.

But they doubled down on the fan service with a bunch of remakes, remasters, and re-releases across various franchises and platforms, and are making your favourite Final Fantasy soundtracks much easier to listen to.

Also, the new Avengers game has quite the cast. It’s not quite Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo, but in video game circles? It’s a similar energy and gravitas.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

In a lovely touch, the Square Enix E3 2019 press conference kicked off with Final Fantasy VII’s loading screen. You know the one, the big Buster Sword stuck in the ground, and a white-gloved hand pointing at “New Game” or “Continue”. That “ploink” noise as you flick between the options? It’s like nectar for a jaded old sort.

Then the conference started proper, with a zoomed in look at Aerith’s face, as she kneels and prays. Stars. (They’re showing us the whole thing, the entire opening mission!) A wide pan of Midgar. A tracking shot of a train, zooming in as the train approaches its destination. (Oh my god, they’re doing the whole thing!) Cloud jumps off the train like an acrobatic, show-off knobhead. (Holy crap they’re showing us the whole thing!)

Then we cut back to the theatre for a chat with Yoshinori Kitase. Which is fine, obviously, because we very much want to hear what he has to say about the game.

But then, after a five-minute chat through how the combat works, – it’s a bit like Final Fantasy XV, with real-time basic attacks and charging gauges for magic and limit breaks – we then get to see the first boss battle against the Guard Scorpion. It’s almost as though they could have done the explanation of how combat worked while… actually walking through the opening bombing raid?

No matter. It looks lovely. And there’s Tifa, at long last, and a quick look at the G-bike escape sequence. If you’re not feeling better about the Final Fantasy VII Remake after tonight’s presentation, you’re probably never going to be convinced.

One other interesting point to note: The “episodic” nature of the Final Fantasy VII Remake appears to have changed. A bit. Kitase-san told us that “the story of Midgar” has become a standalone game in its own right, and there will be enough content for two Blu-ray discs. So we’re currently assuming that’s two discs, one for each episode, with the first episode as Midgar and the second as the open world bits. We’ll ask when we meet with Square Enix this week at E3 proper.

A whole lot of remasters and re-releases

Next, and over the course of the show, came a bunch of remasters and re-releases, including… deep breath now:

  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
  • The Last Remnant
  • Romancing SaGa 3
  • Dragon Quest XI (on Nintendo Switch)
  • Octopath Traveller (on Steam)

And probably some other stuff we missed. We were quite distracted by the Final Fantasy VII stuff.

The one remaster everybody wanted

Praise be! Someone found the code for Final Fantasy VIII in a bin somewhere, or hidden under someone’s bed, or behind a filing cabinet in Square Enix’s headquarters. No matter: the good news is that Final Fantasy VIII remastered will be coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in 2019.

We don’t have much else in the way of details yet, but with any luck, the game will largely be left untouched… with the exception of the fast-forward modes found in the other remasters (to speed up some of the game’s more tedious elements, like drawing magic from enemies, or watching umpteen hours of Guardian Force summon animations.)

The Square Enix Collective

After a nice little video detailing the history of the Square Enix Collective and its games over the last five years, we got a look at the next two games on its agenda: an expansion for Battalion 1944 called Eastern Front, and an adorable, nearly-top-down racing game called Circuit Superstars.

The Batallion 1944 update is out now, while Circuit Superstars is following in 2020. The former is more maps and content for the competitive shooter, but the latter is something we can really get on board with. It’s a sort of chunky, top-down racing game in the style of Micro Machines, but with cute little representations of real classic racing cars. We’ve seen a few gifs of this one floating around before the reveal and it looks sweet.

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Square Enix Music on streaming services

In what was a charming little video presentation, a lady in a coffee shop is presented with a problem of yesteryear: Flipping through her music collection, the files on her phone, trying to decide what to listen to.

Meanwhile, in the background, an orchestra is constantly swapping instruments and sheet music trying to keep up with her swiping, pursing their lips to blow then having to change instrument just before the music kicks in.

We get two or three notes into a bit of (we think) the Final Fantasy V soundtrack, before our protagonist gets a message on her phone telling her the entire collection of Square Enix Music is now available on streaming services, including Spotify and Amazon’s equivalent service. She wants out of the shop, happy that she can listen to her favourite soundtracks more easily now.

The band, a bit dejected, are left behind. We really enjoyed this one. It took a simple, seemingly insignificant little announcement, and presented it in a lovely way. Plus, it’s about flipping time.

The Avengers Project

So, we come to the other big reveal of Square Enix’s E3 2019 presentation: The Avengers Project. We saw a short teaser for this back in 2017, then the project – helmed by Crystal Dynamics, with support from Eidos Montreal – went dark.

We saw a trailer, featuring Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and The Incredible Hulk. It mirrored some of the action from the MCU – the Avengers have a bad day at the office, a city gets a bit destroyed, then suddenly they’re persona non grata – just like in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.

We also learn that the game is now called Marvel’s Avengers. And we meet the cast:

  • Nolan North – Tony Stark/Iron Man
  • Travis Willingham – Thor
  • Jeff Schine – Steve Rodgers/Captain America
  • Laura Bailey – Natasha Romanov/Black Widow
  • Troy Baker – Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk

But we don’t see any gameplay. The on-stage presentation is at great pains to tell us that there will be no loot boxes, and that additional content and characters will be added to the game free of charge after release, but we don’t see mechanically how it works.

Then we’re told Marvel’s Avengers features 4-player co-op, will be available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia, and launches May 15, 2020. Hopefully we’ll get to see how it plays in our appointment with Square Enix this week.

Other assorted musings

  • Wow, there were a lot of remakes, remasters, and re-releases, weren’t there?
  • Also, Dragon Quest Builders 2, which features 4-player online co-op, looks rather sweet.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3 is getting some DLC called Re-Mind. It seems to centre on a coat for some reason?
  • There was a trailer for Life is Strange 2, which seemed a little redundant as we’re already three episodes in.
  • And Final Fantasy XIV – same principle.
  • The developers of Bulletstorm are making a new game called Outriders. We also think they were expecting more than three people to “whoop!” when they asked: “Who likes Bulletstorm?”
  • Dying Light 2 was also there. It’s competing with Borderlands 3 and trying to take Kingdom Hearts 3’s crown for “appearing in the most press conferences in a single E3” but without Sony here, that record’s going to stand for another year.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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Save up to 85% in the PlayStation Days of Play sale

Sony unleashes the first wave of Days of Play digital game discounts on the PlayStation Store.

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PlayStation Days of Play sale
Sony / Thumbsticks

Sony unleashes the first wave of Days of Play digital game discounts on the PlayStation Store.

Our European readers can now pick up some excellent games at low prices in the first batch of PlayStation Days of Play digital discounts. The North American sale begins later today.

Highlights include a whopping 85% off FIFA 20. That’s a great price for a game that is consistently rooted in the upper reaches of the UK chart.

It’s also a terrific sale for PS4 exclusives. Offers include 55% off Marvel’s Spider-Man, 70% off Days Gone, 25% off Persona 5 Royal, and 48% sliced from God of War.

PS VR is also well-represented with Blood & Truth, Superhot VR, and Farpoint, among the immersive experiences on offer.

Other games to catch our eye include Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 remake, which is reduced by 30%, and a massive 70% price cut for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. If you start now, you might just complete the game before the arrival of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

One-year PS Plus and PS Now subscriptions are also cut by 30% throughout the Days of Play promotion,

These deals run through to June 17. Visit the official PlayStation Store in your country for the full lineup of discounted games. Here are some more Thumbsticks picks.

PlayStation Days of Play Sale Highlights

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
  • Apex Legends – Bloodhound Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Ultimate Edition
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission
  • Battlefield V
  • Bioshock: The Collection
  • Blood & Truth
  • Borderlands 2 VR
  • Borderlands 3
  • Bravo Team
  • Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
  • Code Vein
  • Concrete Genie
  • Control Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
  • Dark Souls III
  • Days Gone
  • Death Stranding
  • Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
  • Doom Eternal Deluxe Edition
  • Dreams
  • EA Sports FIFA 20
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • Farpoint
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • God Of War Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition
  • The Last Of Us Remastered
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Game Of The Year Edition
  • Medievil
  • Metro Exodus
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Overwatch Legendary Edition
  • Persona 5 Royal
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Predator: Hunting Grounds
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Resident Evil 3
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • The Sims 4
  • Soulcalibur VI
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Street Fighter V
  • Superhot VR
  • Tropico 6
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Vampyr
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • World War Z

For more video game deals, bookmark our dedicated sales page and follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook.

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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro
Sega

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

We’ve heard all sorts of rumblings around Sega in the last week or so, including the possibility that the company was being purchased by Microsoft, and that it was about to release a brand new video game console.

It turns out that the new console story was a ‘tiny’ bit right. The Game Gear Micro has been announced for release in Japan on October 6, 2020. It’s priced at ¥4980, which – checking XE.com for rough exchange estimate – puts it at about $45 in the US and £35 in the UK.

Game Gear Micro - Four Colours

The Micro moniker is no joke, either. The console is a mere 80mm wide and has a 1.5-inch screen. It also features a mono speaker and headphone jack. Nicely, it can be powered by two AAA batteries or charged via USB.

Oddly, the handheld will be released in four ‘collectable’ variants: black, blue, yellow and red. Each one contains four games.

Sega Game Gear Micro – Black

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Out Run
  • Royal Stone
  • Puyo Puyo Tsu

Sega Game Gear Micro – Blue

  • Sonic Chaos
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Sylvan Tale
  • Baku Baku Animal

Sega Game Gear Micro – Yellow

  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining Force: Final Conflict
  • Nazo Puyo Aruru no Ru

Sega Game Gear Micro – Red

  • Revelations: The Demon Slayer
  • Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special
  • GG Shinobi
  • Columns

Fans who preorder all four colours will find their playing experience improved by a free replica of the Big Window magnifying peripheral.

At the time of writing we don’t have confirmation of a Western release, but here’s a hoping. Take a look at the console in the full reveal trailer.

Check out our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Sony does the right thing, postpones PlayStation 5 game reveal

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

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PlayStation 5 logo black
Sony

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

In a simple statement on Twitter, the official PlayStation account announced that this week’s event – scheduled for June 4 – is postponed.

“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games,” begins the statement, “we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.”

Black Lives Matter protests have been taking place across the United States after a Black Minnesota man, George Floyd, was killed by a police officer on May 25, 2020. That police officer knelt on his neck and back for almost nine minutes, while Floyd called out that he couldn’t breathe and three other officers stood and watched. The killing was filmed and widely shared, which led to protests; first in Minnesota, then nationwide.

In the days of protest since, police forces and national guard have responded with force, pelting protesters and press alike with tear gas and batons and rubber bullets.

We know you all love video games. So do we. And let’s be honest: when it all gets too much, having something to escape to, for the sake of your own mental health, is important.

But there are more important things going on than the next generation of video game console. So while there have been negative responses to Sony’s decision from the usual suspects, the positive responses have been the overwhelming majority. It’s absolutely the right thing to do.

Video games will still be here tomorrow. The PlayStation 5 and PS5 games can still be revealed when this is all over. But people are irreplaceable, and fighting for them is more important.


If you’re looking for ways to help, this Black Lives Matter Carrd site features a wealth of information on ways to help, funds you can donate to, and resources covering everything from protesting to mental health.

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Save up to 90% with this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold

Save up 90% on some Xbox One favourites with this week’s new Deals with Gold and Spotlight discounts.

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Xbox Deal with Gold
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Save up 90% on some Xbox One favourites with this week’s new Deals with Gold and Spotlight discounts.

There’s a modest selection of Xbox One titles on offer this week, but a few classics and hidden gems to catch the eye.

Among the Deals with Gold, you can find 75% discounts on Deck13’s pair of acclaimed action-RPGs, The Surge and The Surge 2. The mighty Divinity: Original Sin 2 is also reduced by 30%.

This week’s Spotlight selection is dominated by games and bundles from Ubisoft’s Far Cry and Ghost Recon franchises. Deeper cuts we recommend include Stellaris, Mugsters, and Mable & The Wood.

Both sales run through to June 8 via the Xbox Digital Games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the full lineup of discounted titles.

Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Digerati Mixer Bundle Vol.1 – 67% off
  • Disco Dodgeball – REMIX – 70% off
  • Doughlings: Invasion – 35% off
  • Gaijin Charenji 1 : Kiss or Kill – 50% off
  • Let’s Sing 2020 – 35% off
  • Let’s Sing Country – 35% off
  • Mugsters – 70% off
  • Nefarious – 75% off
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition – 30% off
  • Not A Hero: Super Snazzy Edition – 80% off
  • Shape of the World – 70% off
  • Stellaris: Console Edition – 60% off
  • Terminator: Resistance – 33% off
  • The Forbidden Arts – 50% off
  • The Journey Down Trilogy – 40% off
  • The Surge – 75% off
  • The Surge 2 – 75% off
  • Think of the Children – 85% off
  • Weakless – 50% off

Spotlight Sale Highlights

  • 99Vidas – 90% off
  • Bedlam – 50% off
  • Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers – 75% off
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition – 50% off
  • Far Cry 3 Classic Edition – 50% off
  • Far Cry 4 – 67% off
  • Far Cry 4 + Far Cry Primal Bundle – 65% off
  • Far Cry 5 – 75% off
  • Far Cry 5 + Far Cry New Dawn Deluxe Edition Bundle – 70% off
  • Far Cry Insanity Bundle – 60% off
  • Far Cry New Dawn – 60% off
  • Far Cry Primal – 67% off
  • Feudal Alloy – 80% off
  • Gnomes Garden: Lost King – 50% off
  • Hexologic – 40% off
  • It’s Quiz Time – 30% off
  • Mable & The Wood – 75% off
  • Override: Mech City Brawl – 75% off
  • Pumped BMX Pro – 70% off
  • Rapala Fishing: Pro Series – 75% off
  • Super Night Riders – 75% off
  • Tango Fiesta – 85% off
  • The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition – 80% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – 70% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Gold Edition – 65% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Troll & I – 80% off
  • VASARA Collection – 90% off

Get news on the latest video game deals via our regularly updated sales page. And check out our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK charts

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK software charts in its launch week.

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Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition UK chart
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

It’s a welcome return for Shulk and friends as Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK software charts in its launch week.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition has taken the top spot on the UK chart, some nine years after the original version debuted at No.7. According to reports, the game has sold twice as many copies in its first week as the Wii edition. As a result, Animal Crossing: New Horizons falls one place to No.2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare camps at No.3 for a second week.

Elsewhere in the Top Ten, a crop of PlayStation 4 games benefit from recent price promotions. The Last of Us Remastered re-enters the chart at No.9, and less discerning post-apocalyptic fans propel Days Gone back to No. 6. PlayStation VR Worlds also sneaks in at No.10.

Skyrim VR, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, and Everbody’s Golf VR also benefit, returning to the lower reaches of the chart.

Finally, 2K’s Nintendo Switch ports of Bioshock: The Collection and Borderlands: The Legendary Collection land at No.18 and No.22 respectively.

Here’s the full UK Top 10. Visit the Ukie website for the complete Top Forty rundwon.

UK Top Software Chart -W/E 30th May

  1. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (NE)
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. FIFA 20
  6. Days Gone
  7. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (RE)
  8. Minecraft
  9. The Last of Us: Remastered (RE)
  10. Playstation VR Worlds

Visit our new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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