BitSnark

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Posts Tagged ‘RPG

Ultima Returns – EA Bioware Announce ‘Ultima Forever’ As Cross-Platform Free-To-Play Title For PC and iPad Later This Year

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My hopes aren’t terribly high for this, but any new Ultima is good Ultima… right? No? Ok then.

The original Western RPG Ultima, has returned to our screens – EA Bioware has today announced ‘Ultima Forever’ as a cross-platform, pay-to-win free-to-play title from the same label which houses their other free-to-play offerings such as Battlefield Play4Free and Need For Speed: World.

The official website for the new title can be found here where the splurge on the site triumphantly proclaims – ” The first great Western RPG has been lovingly restored in Ultima Forever,”.

Quite.

If by “lovingly restored’ they mean turned into a cartoony, micro-transaction driven heap of code – then yes, this is VERY lovingly restored.

The site itself has little information on the game, but the information it does care to impart details two classes; The Fighter (“Fighters are one-man armies, trained to engage multiple opponents with a wide variety of attacks”) and The Mage (“With a staff in hand and a spell on their lips, Mages are ready to engage in battle from afar. Use your magical know how to vanquish enemies and assist your allies.”).

Aside from that, the only other bits and pieces of note that are shown is art of the series’ infamous Gypsy character (presumably meaning that you’ll have to do the eight questions of morality shtick when you first generate your character to ascertain what a complete bastard you are) and a map of the world of Britannia which bears more than a passing resemblance to the map used in the antiquated (yet thoroughly fucking awesome when it originally launched) Ultima MMORPG, Ultima Online.

The Ultima series has long been credited as being one of the finest examples of the Western RPG.  First beginning with Ultima I, which was released on the humble Apple II home computer back in June of 1981, the series went on to span many instalments and was lauded for it’s alignment and moral systems that were introduced in later instalments such as Ultima IV and V.  The Ultima series has also served as an inspiration of sorts for a number of high-profile RPG’s and JRPG’s.  Indeed, Ultima III would inspire the developers behind premier JRPG Dragon Quest and the developer of that hugely popular franchise credit the Ultima series with opening their eyes to the creation of large, epic and open-world adventures with complex stories and interesting characters.

The brainchild of eccentric, yet brilliant software designer Richard Garriott, the Ultima IP was left with EA when he broke ties with them after the launch of Ultima Online.    Needless to say, ol’ Dicky Garriott won’t be a part of this project.   Instead, he’s stuck his nose to the grindstone at his new company named Portalarium who are in the midst of developing something very special indeed – their own spiritual successor to 1997’s Ultima Online, codenamed Ultimate RPG / New Britannia.

Portalarium also recently secured $7 million in funding for the project, which really can’t hurt their chances now can it?

The site is also taking beta-sign ups which will be validated through EA’s Origin service here.

I’m going to need a lot more info on this (especially pertaining to just how the cross-platform play side of things will function across PC and iPad) before I make a decision to embrace it cautiously or bombard it with vitriol, but on the face of it, the cartoony designs and free to play business model don’t exactly inspire confidence in me.  At this point i’m far more interest in what Portalarium come up with their ‘Ultimate RPG’ than this.

Written by bitsnark

July 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

Final Fantasy VII Re-release Confirmed For PC – Announcement Trailer That Actually Doesn’t Show Anything New Inside

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If you’ve just woken up after being in a fifteen year coma – it’s cool, you can STILL play Final Fantasy VII on your PC.

Square-Enix have announced that Final Fantasy VII will be re-released on the PC sometime this year in downloadable form; confirming the rumours that were swirling around last month, the game will come optimised for new PC hardware, boast achievements, cloud saves and other features in an attempt to make it feel all modern and stuff.

Very kindly, Square-Enix have released both the minimum specs and the announcement trailer for the game, both of which you can see below.

The trailer itself however, is just culled cut-scene footage and as a result, doesn’t exactly show us just how extensively it’s been ‘optimised’ in-game.  Ah well, never mind; it’s like last fifteen years never happened.

I suppose we should just be thankful that IT EXISTS.  The official web-site for the game can be found here, but be warned, people have been hammering the hell out of it all day since the announcement and as a result, it’s going up and down like a sodding yoyo.

Minimum specs for the re-release are:

  • Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 (32/64-bit)
  • 2GHz Processor or faster
  • 1GB RAM
  • DirectX 9-compatible graphic card

Final Fantasy VII PC will be released later this year, exclusively on the Square-Enix digital store.

Written by bitsnark

July 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Today Is A Good Day: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Limited Edition For Europe Announced By Namco Bandai

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The Studio Ghibli and Level 5 collaborative JRPG effort – Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an a unique position; it’s fully capable of giving both JRPG fans and Studio Ghibli fans raging nerdgasms when the game launches on European shores on January 25th next year, just three days later than it’s release in the US.

To further consolidate such thunderous undergarment movements comes the news from publisher Namco Bandai that a limited edition version of the game is due to arrive in European territories on the same day as the standard edition.

The Limited ‘Wizard’s Edition’ as it is known, contains the following fawn-worthy goodies:

–  A hardback of Oliver’s spellbook, The Wizard’s Companion, containing over 300 pages over luciously hand-drawn Studio Ghibli art and narrative notes.

–  A plush doll of Drippy, Oliver’s guide.

–  Exclusive “golden mite” and “golden drongo” DLC familiars.

In addition to those packed-in extras, certain participating retail outlets will also be dishing out two exclusive familiars developed especially for the western release: flutterby and griffy.

Preorders have yet to start for the title but just look at the ‘Wizard’s Edition’ in the picture.

JUST LOOK AT IT.

There can be no hope for my wallet. No hope at all.

Additionally, if you are in anyway unfamiliar with the game itself or you just want another reason to nerd-fap over it, take a look at the most recently released trailer below:

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch releases exclusively on the PS3 on January 25th, 2013 in both standard and limited edition formats.

Written by bitsnark

June 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm

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