Game publisher aims to improve upon OnLive’s technological missteps
Square Enix has announced Project Flare, a cloud gaming service similar to what OnLive offered back in 2010. Unlike OnLive, however, the game publisher asserts that the company’s service will offer a “technological breakthrough in cloud gaming.”
As if it needs said, this isn't your typical review.
Square Enix is planning to release a new Tomb Raider game on March 5, 2013 for the PlayStaton 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows, which will be the first in the franchise to receive an "M" (Mature) rating. In another first, the new Tomb Raider title will make use of AMD's TressFX Hair technology, resulting in the most realistic hair in a video game you've seen to date. Should you rush out and buy it? To help you make that decision (or, more accurately, to provide a few laughs), talk show host Conan O'Brien reviewed the upcoming title.
A quick consult of the Chinese calendar says that we’re knee-deep in the Year of the Rabbit, but it seems a lot more like the Year of the Hacker to us. Fortunately, most of the LulzSec and Anonymous bru-ha-ha that dominated the summer seems to have died down, but Square Enix is delivering a hacktastic lump of coal to its customers just in time for Christmas. Yesterday, the company revealed that its servers had been breached an up to 1.8 million member accounts may have been compromised.
Its many detractors think it is regressive, but Google is pretty sure of Native Client (NaCl), a technology that allows Chrome to run native compiled code across different OSes, being “the ideal way of putting rich content and game engines in the browser.” To prove its point, Google hosted a special event at its Mountain View headquarters on December 8.
When Final Fantasy XIV first launched, it was a bit of a mess. Actually, scratch that. It was a complete and utter disaster -- the kind of half-baked idea spillage so radioactively heinous that we were surprised it didn't trigger a Godzilla attack. Square Enix, however, owned up to its mistakes and gave players a fairly lengthy subscription-fee-free grace period while it hammered the game's salvaged scraps back into shape. Now, though, time's almost up. In anticipation of FFXIV 2.0, Square's bringing back fees on January 6, at a reduced base rate of $9.99 per month. Which is still sort of terrible timing, given the launch date of a certain subscription-based sci-fi to-do with giant glowsticks or some such. Regardless, you've got exactly one month to make up your mind. So, are you willing to forgive and fork over some cash, or are you packing your bags?
Deus Ex: Human Revolution gave us a game-over screen seconds after the opening credits, and we loved it. We were about to tiptoe into our first mission—deftly defusing a hostage crisis—when we encountered a trio of friendly SWAT guards. “Good guys,” said our brain. “No can hurt,” it concluded in caveman. There is, however, a certain comedic appeal in watching large objects bounce harmlessly off people’s faces, so we assisted a nearby garbage can out of earth’s pesky gravitational pull. THWACK. Immediately, the three future musketeers whipped out their firearms and turned us into cybernetically enhanced Swiss cheese. That’s when we knew: It was love at first murder.
The most sought-after gaming hardware at this year’s E3 was always expected to be of the console variety, with Nintendo set to unveil Wii’s successor and Sony scheduled to divulge more details about its next-gen handheld. While Taiwan-based Shuttle Inc. is unlikely to steal the spotlight from the soon-to-be-unveiled Wii successor or even the PlayStation Vita, as Sony’s upcoming handheld is now called, it is trying its best to make its presence felt at the Electronic Entertainment Expo with its latest gaming PCs. Details after the jump.
After years upon years of watching and waiting, it's finally time... to wait a little longer. But now, there's at least a day to mark down on your cybernetic calendar implant that also doubles as a George Foreman grill.
We consider ourselves to be fairly complex individuals driven by an unfathomably intricate system of wants and needs – including the desire to succeed, chocolate, and chocolate – but it seems Eidos Montreal's solved our psychological puzzle. Simply mash together one storied franchise, one incredibly promising trailer and one unexpected delay, and – presto! – crushing depression.
Citing “harsh market feedback” on recent titles, publisher Square Enix has decided to push Deus Ex: Human Revolution into its next fiscal year, which means the cyberpunk shooter won't hit cyber-shelves until April 2011 at the absolute earliest.
Odds are, this stems from Final Fantasy XIV's cringe-inducing bellyflop of a landing and the publisher's fear of a repeat performance. There, especially, “harsh” is an understatement, and its developers are in a state of disaster control so intense you'd think the game recently suffered a Godzilla attack (which, incidentally, would make it so much better).
So basically, we can't blame Square Enix for delaying Deus Ex. Plus, there's no such thing as too much polish. But even in the face of such evidence, we can't squelch our inner five-year-old's screams of “I want it now!”
To call Final Fantasy XIV's launch "disastrous" might be a bit of an understatement. Hell, we may have even gone with “cataclysmic” if another obscure MMO didn't already have the market cornered on that one. The bottom line? FFXIV was near-universally panned by critics and players alike, with everything from maps to tutorials to its entire questing system ranging from half-baked to a slip of paper with the words “IOU” written on it.
At the very least, however, Square Enix recognizes that its flagship MMO probably shouldn't have set sail as soon as it did, so the publisher's decided to take away its subscription fee entirely until the game's in working order.
“To realize this vision, and in doing so, provide our customers with a better game experience, we have assembled our company's top talent and resources. Taking over the role of producer and director is Naoki Yoshida, a passionate individual for whom customer satisfaction has always taken top priority. We also welcome several new leaders handpicked from other projects to work with the existing talent on Final Fantasy XIV,” reads a post on FFXIV's official site.
“We realize time is of the essence and are fully determined to provide our customers with quality service. It is because of this that we ask our customers to be patient until we are able to confidently present them with a concrete plan outlining Final Fantasy XIV's new direction. The free trial period will be extended until that time.”
Some tips to get you started, Square: keep the brief storyline cut-scenes that pop up once every ten levels or so and get rid of everything else. There, now you already have a whole 30 minutes of worthwhile content! Aren't we helpful?