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Final Fantasy XV Feels Familiar and Foreign at Once [NYCC 2016]

by Sarah LeBoeuf October 14, 2016 @ 3:00 PM
Square Enix
Square Enix’s flagship Final Fantasy series has undergone many evolutions in the last 20 years, but there are still some hallmarks expected from a game in the core franchise. Final Fantasy XV does have some of these familiar elements: dudes with hair reaching varying degrees of spikyness; a grand, high-stakes story involving a prince undertaking an epic journey; there’s even a grumpy old man named Cid. But these familiar details are juxtaposed with some pretty big departures from the formula. That’s not necessary a bad thing, as I discovered during my hands-on session with FFXV earlier this week. If anything, the demo showed me that the long-awaited next entry in the series is a lot of fun if you’re willing to let go of nostalgia and embrace the new.

Teddy Roosevelt the Jerk and Other Civilization VI Adventures

by Sarah LeBoeuf October 14, 2016 @ 1:00 PM
Firaxis Games
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, the latest in a landmark strategy series that spans decades, is less a game of sweeping changes than it is minor tweaks—and that’s a good thing. Civ V, released a lifetime ago (in video game turns) back in 2010, was damn close to perfection and kept gamers—this one included—coming back for hundreds and hundreds of hours. Messing with that formula too much might have been a recipe for disaster. Instead, Firaxis kept what worked and enhanced everything along the way.

World of Final Fantasy’s Old-School Charm Brings Square Enix Back to Its Roots [NYCC 2016]

by Sarah LeBoeuf October 14, 2016 @ 11:00 AM
Square Enix
Turn-based battles. Straight-up dungeons. Random encounters. For decades, these were the calling cards of the Final Fantasy series, making it one of the most prolific and beloved RPG franchises of all time. In recent years, however, Square Enix has strayed from its origins, using more real-time, action-based fighting sequences set on wide-open maps. Whether or not that’s a good thing is entirely dependent on your perspective, but one thing’s for sure: there’s still plenty of room in the modern gaming world for the turn-based RPG, and World of Final Fantasy scratches that itch in the cutest possible way.

Chaos Abounds When We Go Hands-On With Dishonored 2 [NYCC 2016]

by Luke Brown October 13, 2016 @ 3:27 PM
Arkane Studios
At New York Comic Con, I got to go hands-on with Dishonored 2 for the first time since it was announced. It's interesting how easily I was able to fall back into old habits from the first game despite Dishonored 2 having a number of differences. Most notably, Emily and Corvo have powersets all their own. I stuck with Emily for the duration of my playthrough this time, mostly because I spent dozens of hours with Corvo in the past, but also to see how her abilities freshened up the experience.