Wednesday, February 1

Tag: Square Enix

Gaming

Sonic Co-Creator Yuji Naka Arrested Over Dragon Quest Game

Over the past 24 hours a number of people in Japan—including a Square Enix employee—have been arrested on insider trading charges related to a Dragon Quest game announcement. Legendary Sega designer Yuji Naka is reportedly among them.The scandal centers around a studio called Aiming, which in 2020 was announced as the developer of a new Dragon Quest game, called Tact. Last night, it was first alleged that 38-year-old Square Enix employee Taisuke Sazaki, who has worked on Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts games, knew of the deal before it was publicly announced, and along with a friend purchased a ton of shares in Aiming, hoping to profit when their share price (presumably) went up.Naka, 57, who is credited as one of the main creators of Sonic the Hedgehog and who has also worked on everythi...
Gaming

New Square Enix Farming Game Lets Players Be Gender-Neutral

Male, female, and cool hat. All the genders are accounted for. Screenshot: Square Enix / KotakuIt shouldn’t be a big ask from gamers to have more gender-inclusive pronoun options in a video game, especially in RPGs. One producer at Square Enix thinks helping gamers feel welcome by including non-binary pronouns is such a small ask that it was a no-brainer to have it be a part of his new game.The game in question is the cutesy farming simulator Harvestella, which RPG giant Square Enix just released yesterday on PC and Switch. Similar to Stardew Valley, characters in Harvestella are charged with tending to crops, befriending their neighbors, and overcoming calamity in the form of environmental disasters. Harvestella, Eurogamer pointed out today, features a character creator that offers player...
Gaming

Every U.S. PlayStation 2 Game Manual Is Now Scanned In 4K

Physical game manuals are hard to come by these days, especially as the industry begins to heavily lean into cloud streaming and digital-first infrastructures. But if you remember those good ole times when game boxes came with chunky pamphlets for you to peruse before jumping into your recent purchase, a games preservationist called Kirkland seeks to preserve that nostalgia for posterity by creating high-quality scans of the manuals of yore. In fact, he’s just finished uploading his complete set of U.S. PlayStation 2 manual scans.Launched in the U.S. in October 2000—22 years ago this Wednesday—Sony’s PlayStation 2 was one of the most popular consoles ever. With more than 4,000 games released worldwide and selling approximately 158 million units globally, just about everyone had a PS2. Game...
Gaming

Square Enix Is Drowning 2022 With RPGs, And We’re Here For It

Image: Square Enix / Kotaku2022 is a great year to be an RPG fan, particularly of Japanese games. The holiday season is usually crowded with new game releases, but this year Square Enix appears to be releasing games like it’s Christmas all year round. With so many out already, and so many more to come, are SE’s profligate ways good or bad for RPG lovers?Back in March 2022, Square Enix had a string of big releases all throughout the month: Babylon’s Fall, a live-service action game; Triangle Strategy, a strategy RPG game; Chocobo GP, a racing game spin-off of the Final Fantasy series; and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy, an action RPG game in collaboration with Koei Tecmo.Square Enix has always had a habit of releasing handfuls of games in a rush, mixing big names from reliable IPs with...
Gaming

AI Generated Art Is A Copyright, Ethical And Working Dystopia

It’s August 2022, and by now you’ve no doubt read (or more likely seen) something about AI art. Whether it’s random jokes made for Twitter or paintings that look like they were made by actual human beings, artificial intelligence’s ability to create art has exploded onto the scene over the last few months, and while this has been great news for shitposts and fans of tech, it has also raised a number of important questions and concerns. If you haven’t read or seen anything about the subject, AI art—at least as it exists in the state we know it today—is, as Ahmed Elgammal writing in American Scientist so neatly puts it, made when “artists write algorithms not to follow a set of rules, but to ‘learn’ a specific aesthetic by analyzing thousands of images. The algorithm then tries to generate n...
Gaming

Final Fantasy Take On Stardew Valley Reveals Horny Produce

Image: Square EnixHarvestella is only a few months away and Square Enix is finally starting to dish a little more on its social farming sim. While the core loop will focus as much on job-based combat and character relationships as anything else, raising fruit and vegetables will also play an important role. Thankfully, Square confirmed players will get to harvest some of the hornier produce out there.There is no shortage of normie real-world plants to incorporate into a JRPG take on Stardew Valley. Apples, oranges, and grapes immediately come to mind. Cabbage, carrots, and potatoes as well. But developer Live Wire didn’t reveal any of those in Square Enix’s latest blog post about the game. Instead, it led with peaches and cucumbers:Image: Square EnixImage: Square Enix“Spring crops include ...
Gaming

17 NSFW Anime And Manga To Check Out For The ‘Plot’

Kotaku: the okaku of culture’s guide.Image: Aniplex of America / Trigger / Sentai Filmworks / Diomedéa / Passione / KotakuAnime as a medium has the power to cross physical and cultural barriers through its transformative stories and evocative art styles. To this day, legacy anime like Astro Boy, Akira, and Dragon Ball Z’s inspire modern popular media through their iconic characters and genre-defining stories. You don’t get that kind of influence without a healthy dose of plot. I’m not talking about your parent’s idea of plot, dear reader. I’m talking about that spice melange, that watch-after-dark kinda plot.Ask an anime aficionado if they also watch those pervy shows that crop up during seasonal release line-ups and they’ll likely serve you a bold-face lie to save face. But they’ve likely...
Gaming

Former Deus Ex, Tomb Raider Boss Unloads On Square Enix Japan

Image: Deus ExBack in May, Japanese publisher Square Enix announced it was selling a number of Western studios it had owned since 2009, including Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex) and Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider). For Stephane D’Astous, who founded Eidos Montreal and left the company in 2013, the deal marks the end of a decade-long “train wreck in slow motion”.In an interview with Gamesindustry, D’Astous lets loose on his former bosses, blaming Square Enix’s management in both Japan and London for many of their Western studios’ troubles. He particularly references Square Enix’s relentless drive for astronomical sales, which became so famous among the industry (and even fans) that it became something of a running joke. In this instance, one year Japan had been expecting a $65 million profit, when ...
Gaming

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Will Be A Trilogy, Part 2 Out In 2023

Screenshot: Square Enix / KotakuToday, during Square Enix’s big Final Fantasy VII 25th Anniversary live stream, it was confirmed that its large-scale FFVII Remake project will be spread across three separate games as part of a remake trilogy. Part one, of course, is already out. That was Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is a very good game! As for the next entry in this newly confirmed trilogy will, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (which itself was just announced during the stream today) will be out next winter. That leaves a third, currently unnamed entry in the trilogy that will be released in the future. No details on this final game were revealed during the 15-minute stream today. If you missed it, here’s the full stream below via YouTube:FINAL FANTASY VII 25th Anniversary Celebration Sour...
Gaming

Kingdom Heart Cloud Versions Get ‘Busy Servers’ Warning

Once, long ago, buying and playing a video game was pretty easy. You bought the disc or cart, stuck it in the console, and hit play. Not so much anymore. Case in point: The not-so-great cloud-streaming-only versions of Kingdom Hearts released on Switch earlier this year recently got an update, and now feature a warning letting you know if it’s not a good time to play the single-player games you already bought. Welcome to the future. It sucks.Released yesterday, update 1.03 for all of the Kingdom Heart games on Switch seems to mainly add two features. In Kingdom Hearts 3, players can now choose between two performance options: “Prioritize Performance” and “Prioritize Graphics Quality.” These settings can be selected before you start playing and allow the game to either focus on a more stabl...