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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.)

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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.

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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This week’s Nintendo Switch releases (August 10-15, 2020)

Here’s the full rundown on this week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch eshop releases.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Here’s the full rundown on this week’s crop of new Nintendo Switch eShop releases.

The Alto Collection is our pick from this week’s lineup of new Nintendo eShop games. The collection brings together two snow (and sand) boarding games – Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey – that were greeted with wide acclaim on mobile. Don’t let the smartphone roots put you off, these are magical, blissful games that shouldn’t be missed.

Faeria, the turn-based digital card game from Abrakam, also lands on Switch this week. The game has a well designed hex-based battle system, over 100 hours of single-player content, and a generous amount of co-op missions.

Other new Nintendo Switch releases include the romantic visual novel Big Dipper, top-down shooter Zero Strain, and the time-bending twin-stick shooter, The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines.

We’ll update this page with any changes throughout the week. In the meantime, here is the current lineup of new Nintendo eShop releases.

New Nintendo Switch releases: August 10-15, 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

  • Twist & Bounce

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

  • Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Infinite Combate (NA)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

  • Banner of the Maid
  • Metamorphosis
  • Volta-X
  • Escape From Tethys

Thursday, August 13, 2020

  • The Alto Collection
  • Collar X Malice -Unlimited-
  • Boomerang Fu
  • Bite The Bullet
  • Faeria
  • The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines
  • Double Kick Heroes
  • Darkestville Castle
  • Big Dipper
  • Pro Pool Gold
  • Devious Dungeon Collection
  • We Are Doomed
  • Zero Strain

Friday, August 14, 2020

  • Deliver Us The Moon
  • Shaolin vs Wutang
  • Linn: Path of Orchards
  • Prehistoric Dude

Saturday, August 15, 2020

  • Regina & Mac

You can also catch up with the week’s new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases.


More video games from Thumbsticks

Bookmark 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.

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Xbox Series X confirmed to launch this November

Xbox Series X will launch in November, Microsoft says, despite Halo Infinite delay.

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Xbox Series X release date November 2020
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Xbox Series X will launch in November, Microsoft says, despite Halo Infinite delay.

Halo Infinite is no longer coming this holiday season. But, Microsoft insists, the Xbox Series X still is.

In a post on Xbox Wire, editor-in-chief Will Tuttle announced that the console will arrive this November. That’s as specific as Microsoft has been willing to get so far (while still being pretty vague).

“We have plenty to keep you busy until Chief arrives: There will be thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November and over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles, built to take full advantage of our most powerful console, are planned for this year,” writes Tuttle.

“And with brand new console features like hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing, framerates up to 120 frames per second, faster loading times, and Quick Resume for multiple games, playing will look and feel better, no matter which games you choose to play on day one.”

During last month’s Xbox Games Showcase, each trailer ended with the promise that the game would be available on Xbox Game Pass. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that Xbox is invested in selling subscriptions to the streaming service, at least as much as the company is invested in continuing to sell consoles and its flagship games.

Now, with its biggest launch game delayed, Microsoft is relying even more on Game Pass’ impressive catalog. The Xbox Wire post emphasizes Xbox’s massive library, citing Game Pass and the wealth of Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games available through backwards compatibility.

Microsoft no longer has a system seller for this fall. We’ll see if that even matters anymore.

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Halo Infinite delayed into 2021

Halo Infinite, Microsoft’s flagship title for the launch of the Xbox Series X, has been delayed into next year.

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Halo Infinite Delayed
343 Industries

Halo Infinite, Microsoft’s flagship title for the launch of the Xbox Series X, has been delayed into next year.

Look, after the Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 delay, nothing can hurt me. But, that doesn’t mean Halo fans the world over aren’t bummed that they won’t have a new crop of Covenant to shoot their way through this holiday season.

Microsoft made the announcement on Twitter, via the official Halo account.

Halo Infinite Delayed to 2021

“We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure that the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo experience that meets our vision,” wrote 343 Industries studio head, Chris Lee.

“The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year. I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday… The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.”

343’s Halo History

Halo Infinite is the third original Halo game from 343. Halo 4 and Halo 5 disappointed many longtime series fans. As a result, there’s a lot riding on the success of Halo Infinite.

But, when Microsoft showed off extensive gameplay for the first time last month, the game’s graphics were mocked and memed on the Internet. Halo Infinite just didn’t look like what fans expected from a next-generation Halo game.

In part, that’s because Halo Infinite isn’t a next-generation Halo game. Microsoft has committed to launching first-party titles on the upcoming Series X and the aging Xbox One. Halo Infinite has the unenviable task of running on this-gen hardware while looking like a next-gen game.

Hopefully, with the extra time, 343 can deliver a game that feels like an evolutionary leap. And hopefully they can also maintain their mental and physical health in the process.

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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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Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 has been delayed

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, the long-awaited sequel to the cult RPG, has been pushed back to 2021.

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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
Hardsuit Labs

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, the long-awaited sequel to the cult RPG, has been pushed back to 2021.

There’s nothing like the original Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, even 16 years after its release. As a younger Millennial who grew up in the early ‘00s, the game hits an extremely specific nostalgia pressure point. The industrial metal. The moody Los Angeles setting. The ill-advised fashion. The game is so of its time – problematic depictions of women, people of color and mentally ill folks, unfortunately, included – that there really has never been another game with the same vibe.

So, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 has been one of my most anticipated games since it was unveiled in 2019. Unfortunately, developer Hardsuit Labs announced today that the decade-plus wait will last a little longer.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Delayed

“We are moving the launch of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 to 2021,” reads a statement on the game’s Twitter profile. “Our goal has always been to deliver the best game possible, to immerse you into a Seattle re-imagined in the World of Darkness, and deliver a worthy successor to the original Bloodlines game. Due to the quality bar and ambitions we have set for ourselves, we have made the difficult decision that we need more time. This means that our goal to release in 2020 is no longer possible. Moving launch is one of the changes we are making to ensure the best player experience possible.”

The statement is attributed to Andy Kipling, of Hardsuit Labs, and Jakob Munthe, of publisher Paradox Interactive.

If the game arrived in 2020, it would have been competing with this fall’s behemoth RPG Cyberpunk 2077. Both are the kinds of choice-based games that RPG fans will want to sink dozens of hours into, across multiple playthroughs. And, that’s not even mentioning the other massive games hitting this fall. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Halo Infinite and a new Call of Duty to name a few. So, the delay is probably a good move.

Hopefully, the game arrives early in 2021, though. I remain eager for another adventure in that iconic world. Once bitten, right?


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This week’s PlayStation 4 releases (August 10-14, 2020)

Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

Hyper Scape is this week’s big new PS4 release. Ubisoft’s free-to-play FPS battle royale is certainly ambitious, and you can expect it to be well supported by Ubisoft. Nonetheless, it has a ways to go to convince us that it will be as successful as other F2P shooters like Apex Legends or Valorant. Lovely art direction, though.

Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey made their names on mobile, but we can’t wait to play Team Alto’s dreamy snowboarding games on the big screen. Both titles come to PS4 – as well as Xbox One and Switch – in The Alto Collection on Thursday.

Other new PS4 releases that catch the eye include Zero Strain, which is a vibrant top-down shoot ’em up with MOBA elements, and Dying Light: Hellraid, a new, hellish, expansion for Techland’s Dying Light. EA Sports UFC 4 also makes an entrance on Friday.

We’ll update this page throughout the week as we get more PS4 release dates confirmed.

The Drop: New PS4 releases for August 10-14, 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

  • No releases.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

  • Brunch Club
  • Hyper Scape
  • Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Infinite Combate
  • Prehistoric Dude
  • Tyd wag vir Niemand

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

  • Banner of the Maid
  • Escape From Tethys – TBC
  • Metamorphosis
  • Zero Strain

Thursday, August 13, 2020

  • The Alto Collection
  • Bite the Bullet
  • Boomerang Fu
  • Darkestville Castle

Friday, August 14, 2020

  • Dying Light: Hellraid
  • EA Sports UFC 4

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest video games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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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