E3 Video: Agni’s Philosophy – Final Fantasy Realtime Tech Demo

Square Enix had this to show at E3 to wow audiences with. It’s new tech, not necessarily a game, that this bit of footage shows off in realtime. In other words, none of this is pre-rendered.

Servers didn’t slave over hours to push out pixels frozen in film. Everything in this clip was happening, as the title says, in realtime until someone captured the demo to post on the ‘net. Which means that one day, possibly very soon, you might be playing a game that looks as good as this.

BF3 Beta impressions (Xbox 360)


Playing the BF3 beta was a little confusing. The game is due out in a few weeks, so putting it into beta this close to release seemed bizarre.

It covers only one multiplayer map, Metro, which takes place in a subway tunnel in France along with a little above-ground action for plenty of close quarters shooting. It’s also objective based meaning players will be switching roles between defense and offense. It also means that it’s a map with no vehicles which can be a bit disappointing to some.

Technically, beta tests are handled a few months in advance of finalizing the code for release so that if anything critical crops up, it can be fixed before hitting retail. At least that’s how it’s ideally supposed to go. Though in today’s world of “0-day” patches and broadband speeds, that probably doesn’t mean a hell of a lot.

Likely, the “beta” for BF3 was to test multiplayer stress on the network to better prepare for when it goes prime time on October 25th. On that count, it seems to be doing okay even with the occasional  128-player hack floating around in PC Land.

I also hope that some of the other issues won’t show up in the final game such as prone clipping, or falling through the map and getting stuck leaving suicide the only escape. I was killed on one map by someone trapped this way because they were able to shoot me from below the objective I was attacking.

One thing that stuck with me was how familiar it felt. Coming off of Bad Company 2, BF3’s beta felt like I was heading back for more of the same with a new set of maps. That’s not entirely a bad thing, especially if you couldn’t get enough of the game. And I’ll admit that I had some fun while shooting through Metro’s wrecked venue.

The demo also cuts loose with a large number of unlocks and, from what I could see, no level ceiling, so if anything, it’s a nice, free multiplayer shooter. Some players have also really taken to it – I’ve seen a few leveled into their twenties and thirties already though I doubt any of that will carry over into the full game.

If I weren’t a fan of the series before I doubt this would have convinced me as much as the trailers had worked so well to, but I’m sure that the full game – with actual vehicles – will be a lot more exciting when everything comes together near the end of this month.

Final Fantasy XIII Demo is Out in Japan…

…and it looks incredibly amazing. I can’t help but think, though, that before Phantasy Star decided to go the route that it did and went another way instead, the heavily industrialized and sci-fi tinted world of FFXIII might have been the result.

The demo was given out with the blu-ray release of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete in Japan on the 16th (their time) and it didn’t take long for this to hit the ‘net afterwards thanks to an enterprising fan. However, it’s not the final build of the game that we’ll be seeing, but one based off of an older version instead.

At least, that’s what Square Enix has said according to info gleaned from Final Fantasy fansite, Final Fantasy Union, who go on to basically say that the demo…as incomplete as it has been made out to be…was simply added to the blu-ray release in order to boost sales.

Still, the footage is amazing stuff for any Final Fantasy fan hungry to see anything on the game. Marketing ploy or not, one could say that it has served its purpose by getting plenty of Final Fantasy fanatics debating every detail revealed within it from the sci-fi look of the series to the already-dubbed “Chocofro” of one of the characters.

So be sure to pull up a chair and get ready for nearly fifty or so minutes of footage broken up across five videos, the first of which is below and the rest are linked after the jump. And there’s one more tantalizing piece of info: at the end, a release date of Winter 2009 is revealed, although that is likely to pertain to the Japanese PS3 release date.

It’s still good stuff but be warned: subtitles not included.

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