Author Archives: lewispackwood

About lewispackwood

The first game that Lewis ever played was "Horace Goes Skiing" on the ZX Spectrum. Yes, he's that old.

A wish list for Nintendo Switch

nintendoswitch_hardware-0-0

We’re only days away from the Nintendo Switch press conference, and I’m very excited to find out more about Nintendo’s next console. In an ideal world, these are the things I’d like to hear.

Battery life of at least 8 hours

The Nintendo 3DS was hobbled at launch by weak batteries – the most you could expect was about 4 hours of gaming, and turning on the 3D feature drained the batteries even quicker. Thankfully, later editions improved the battery life somewhat, but seeing as the Switch is much more powerful than the 3DS, my worry is that it will drain power like nobody’s business. If they can get it to run for around 8 hours off one charge, I’d be more than happy.

A new ‘proper’ Metroid game

Come on Nintendo, you know you want to. After Metroid Prime: Federation Force was released to the sound of a deflating balloon, Metroid fans like me are more determined than ever to play a new, ‘proper’ installment of the seemingly dormant main series. This could be a long shot though, as the Metroid games have never been huge sellers.

Metroid: Other M was the last entry in the main series, but that came out back in 2010.

Metroid: Other M was the last entry in the main series, but that came out back in 2010.

One terabyte of storage – minimum

The ‘deluxe’ version of the Wii U still only came with 32 GB of storage, and the basic edition had just 8 GB. Considering the size of modern games, this is a piddling amount – and if Nintendo want to encourage downloads from the eShop, they’d better up the hard drive size of the Switch considerably. One terabyte would be about right. But if they go down the route of using SD cards, I sincerely hope you don’t have to unscrew the back of the console to switch them, like you have to do with the New Nintendo 3DS.

Game saves on the cloud

The introduction of the Nintendo Account now at least unifies the 3DS and Wii U eShop experience, and Miiverse works the same on both consoles. But with the Switch I’d love to see all of my purchases and saves registered to the cloud, so I can easily switch consoles and don’t have to worry about losing games – which is exactly what happened when my 3DS was stolen. Not to mention the faff I had to go through to upgrade to a New Nintendo 3DS XL.

A subscription-based Virtual Console service

It seems pretty likely that we’ll be getting GameCube games on the Switch, which is great news – I’ve already picked out the games I’d most like to see. But I’d love to get more out of the Virtual Console. I’d love to play through all those old NES and SNES classics on my Switch, but buying them all individually is not only horrendously expensive, it’s also a waste. For every classic game I’ve bought and loved (Gargoyle’s Quest, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones), there’s another one I’ve bought and pretty much given up on straight away (Mega Man II, Kid Icarus). If Nintendo charged a subscription fee that allowed access to the entire library for a fixed amount each month, I’d be throwing my money at them – and I wouldn’t keep feeling burned by buying old games that disappoint.

More amiibo

Just more amiibo. I love the damn things, keep ’em coming. Preferably more Fire Emblem ones. Speaking of which, what’s happened to that Corrin one we were promised?

What happened to the Cloud, Corrin and Bayonetta amiibo?

What happened to the Cloud, Corrin and Bayonetta amiibo?

Some sort of crossbuy thing

I’ve bought quite a few indie games on the Wii U and 3DS – the ‘Nindie’ scene has been brilliant on both consoles. But I don’t particularly want to buy them all again for Switch. If games like Severed get rereleased, I’d like the option to download them for free without having to buy them again.

GPS-enabled games

Pokemon Go showed just how effectively GPS location can be used in games, and some patents suggest that the Switch will have in-built GPS. I’d love to see how Nintendo could use this in games like Animal Crossing and, well, Pokemon.

Improved Streetpass

I love Streetpass. It’s a great idea, and seeing a new Mii pop onto my console from the 3DS of a passer by is always a treat. But what if rather than simply say hi to other Switch users, your Mii could invite them to do battle? Perhaps you’d both have to accept within a minute for it to start, but before you know it, you’re playing against someone you’ve only just met in a bus queue. The one big failing of Pokemon Go was that it was too passive – huge crowds assembled, but they were all playing alone. An upgraded version of Streetpass with real-time challenges could make gaming more social.

StarFox 2

Come on Nintendo, we all know you finished the game. Why not go ahead and release it? I mean, it’s been more than two decades now…

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10 GameCube Games I’d Love To See On Nintendo Switch

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Eurogamer recently reported the rumour that the Nintendo Switch will have support for GameCube games on the Virtual Console. If true, this is fantastic news, as the GameCube has an enviable library of titles to draw from, many of which never reached the audience they deserved. Big hit titles like Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door are a sure bet for revival on the Switch Virtual Console, but there are loads of excellent GameCube games that are less well known or successful yet nonetheless deserve to see the light of day again. Here are the ten GameCube titles I’d love to play on the Nintendo Switch.

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

This was the first Fire Emblem game to embrace 3D and voice acting, and it was the first to feature Ike, now immortalised in Super Smash Bros. and as a rather fetching amiibo. I never got to play it at the time, so I’d really love to get my hands on this one. Seeing as previous Fire Emblem titles have already made their way to the Virtual Console, I reckon there’s a good chance we’ll see this one appear on Switch.

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Doshin The Giant

I’ve written before about how much I love this game. Doshin the Giant is a bit like a cross between From Dust and Black & White – you control a big, friendly, yellow giant called Doshin, and you gain worshippers by clearing land for them so their villages can grow bigger. And YOU grow bigger as more and more people start to love you. But at the start of the next day, you find yourself back to normal size and the process starts all over again. It’s weird, relaxing and utterly, utterly wonderful.

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Skies of Arcadia Legends

Skies of Arcadia originally came out on the Dreamcast, and it’s one of my favourite RPGs of all time. The ship battles were great, and assembling a crew from across the world of floating islands was compelling – plus those famed SEGA blue skies were very much in evidence. The GameCube version adds the ‘Legends’ subtitle, along with lots of extra discoveries and tweaks. Most notably, the only real problem with the original has been fixed: the frustratingly high encounter rate has been reduced, so you can explore in relative peace without being pounced on by enemies every five seconds.

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Lost Kingdoms II

Although it’s not particularly well known, the first Lost Kingdoms was one of the best games for the GameCube – I’ve written about what makes it so good right here. The sequel is even better, but it was released right near the end of the GameCube’s lifespan and is pretty difficult to get hold of now: it currently goes for £30-40 on eBay. Both games were developed by FromSoftware, the folks behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne, although the Lost Kingdom games are a darn sight easier than those later titles. The series’ USP is that you battle enemies using cards, which transform into allies that fight on your behalf. Almost a year later, Phantasy Star Online Episode III (also on GameCube) would go on to use a similar card battling system. Speaking of which…

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Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution

The third Phantasy Star Online game switched to a card battling system that divided fans of the series. Now, with the rise of Hearthstone and its ilk, card battling is very much de rigeur, so in many ways this game and Lost Kingdoms II were ahead of their time. In other words, now seems to be an ideal point to re-introduce them to the world. Of course, the multiplayer online element is crucial to Phantasy Star Online Episode III, so any re-release would require those servers to be dusted off and kicked into life again. The sheer expense of this might put paid to any hope of it seeing a second life on Virtual Console, but here’s hoping that SEGA and Nintendo see sense.

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Chibi-Robo!

We’ve seen a few Chibi-Robo games over the years, but generally the sequels have been disappointing and not a patch on the charming GameCube original. You play a tiny household robot tasked with cleaning up after humans, but you’re constrained by having to constantly top up your batteries by plugging into the mains. The real draw though is the domestic drama that plays out in the background as the family weathers a pending divorce. Shigeru Miyamoto had a hand in its development, so perhaps that fact alone will be enough to secure it a Switch rerelease.

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P.N.03

P.N.03 was announced as one of the ‘Capcom Five‘, a bevvy of GameCube exclusive titles that looked set to revive the fortunes of the ailing console. The other four were Killer7, Viewtiful Joe, Resident Evil 4 and Dead Phoenix: but Dead Phoenix was cancelled, and the other three quickly lost their exclusivity and were launched for rival consoles. P.N.03, on the other hand, remained exclusive to GameCube – probably because the game was somewhat of a commercial failure. Yet despite its lack of success, it’s a real cracker of a game from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, and it offers a vibrantly different take on the run and gun shooter. Lead character Vanessa Z. Schneider is balletic but, counter-intuitively, has somewhat restricted movement, leaping left and right, backwards and forwards to precisely measured distances. This movement set in turn demands precise shooting and dodging, and it remains a unique and fascinating game that sticks in the memory.

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Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest

Although this Japanese release was localized for the North American market, it never made it to Europe, so bringing Cubivore to Switch would provide the first opportunity for gamers in the UK to sample its weirdness. You play a carnivorous cube that starts off with one flappy limb, and the idea is to make your cube stronger by eating other cubes, which cause it to mutate. Different colours give different abilities, and you can mate with lady cubes to spawn a new generation with new mutations – as well as an extra limb. Limbs are important because you can only attack cubes with an up to one more limb than you have, so you need to max out your appendages to take on bigger baddies. Oh, and in a rather gruesome twist, you defeat enemies by wrenching off their limbs. How very un-Nintendo.

Battalion Wars

Battalion Wars is a spin-off of the Advance Wars series, but rather than being a turn-based strategy game, it’s a cartoony third-person shooter. However, it still retains some strategy elements, as you control a squadron of troops that you can switch between, ans each can be given specific orders, such as holding position of attacking certain targets. In essence, it’s a bit like the venerable Second World War game Hidden & Dangerous, but without the extremely slow pace, realistic setting and brutal difficulty. A sequel was released for the Wii, but the series has been dormant ever since, so it would be great to see it revived on Switch.

battalion-wars

Eternal Darkness

Despite the best efforts of director Denis Dyack, Eternal Darkness has yet to receive a sequel, which is a crying shame as it was one of the most original and creepy games of its time. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s writings, it tells the tale of attempts to revive ancient gods that are set to wipe out mankind. The game starts with Alexandra Roivas investigating the murder of her grandfather in his mansion, where she comes across the Tome of Eternal Darkness. The book details the many attempts by individuals to thwart the revival of the Ancient Ones, and as Alexandra reads each chapter, you take control of whoever wrote that particular passage. There are 12 playable characters in all, everyone from a Roman centurion to a Franciscan monk, and each chapter plays very differently according to the abilities of your character. But the game is most famous for its ‘sanity meter’ which fills up as you encounter more and more ethereal horrors. If it maxes out, weird, disorienting effects occur that often break the fourth wall – your TV might turn off, or the game will suddenly announce it’s deleting your save file. The magic system is also pretty clever, as you pick out runes to cast a spell: the more runes, the more powerful the spell, but the greater time you’re left vulnerable while casting. If we can’t have a sequel to this wonderful horror game, the least Nintendo could do is revive it on their next console. And there are hints it might be on its way.

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So that’s my wish list for GameCube games that should be revived on Switch – which ones are you looking forward to seeing?

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Lucius Merriweather’s Most Agreeable Games of 2016

As ever, my gaming time was at a premium this year, but even so I managed to plough through a fair portion of my gaming backlog, finally finding time to play games like Journey and Uncharted 2.

Despite buying a PS4 in September, I still didn’t play that many games released in 2016, yet the new games I did manage to play left a lasting impression. And there are dozens of 2016 releases that I can’t wait to play through in the coming year, among them the newly rebooted DOOM – which Sir Gaulian has been raving about in his best of list.

The Best Games of 2016 That I Actually Played

the-last-guardian-tricoThe Last Guardian

It was worth the wait. I’m currently halfway through The Last Guardian, and it has reawakened feelings I experienced when playing through the sublime ICO and Shadow of the Colossus: namely, an uncanny sense of isolation and wonder, combined with a strong emotional bond with my companion. And speaking of the companion in this game, Trico is simply amazing to behold – at times I have genuinely believed he’s a real creature that’s somehow become trapped in my PS4.

no_mans_sky_foundation_update_base_buildingNo Man’s Sky

It’s not for everyone, and Hello Games didn’t quite deliver on the rash promises they made in the lead up to No Man’s Sky‘s release, but I’ve immensely enjoying pottering around the universe they created. There’s sheer joy to be had in simply roaming the galaxy and stumbling across its many weird and wonderful creatures. And those 70s sci-fi inspired planetscapes are genuinely poster-worthy. Plus, with the latest expansion, you can now build your own space shed for intergalactic pottering.

pokemon_go_-_screenshot_of_mapPokémon Go

Despite being fairly broken at launch, Pokemon Go was phenomenally popular, and with good reason: the urge to catch ’em all in the actual real world is overwhelmingly strong. I gave up on gym battling fairly early on, but I still play the game regularly in the hope of completing my Pokedex. And thanks to frequent updates, the game is now actually stable and full of great features. Most importantly, it got me back into mobile gaming – speaking of which…

super-mario-run-toad-rallySuper Mario Run

Much has been written about the game’s divisive £8 price point – there’s a good summary here – but to me this game has been incredible value for money. Unlike the initially broken Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run has the extreme polish that you’d expect of a fully fledged Nintendo game – and Toad Rally is utterly compelling. It turns out that competing against your friends for coins and Toads is exactly the ingredient that Mario needed all along. I wrote off 2D platformers earlier this year, but Super Mario Run is the game that made me fall in love with them again.

steamworld-heistSteamWorld Heist

Technically this came out in December 2015, but I’m including it here because I didn’t play it in time for last year’s list – and because it’s bloody fantastic. The universe of SteamWorld Dig is reimagined in space as a side-on, turn-based shooter – like a 2D XCOM with steam-powered robots. The design is incredible and there’s a warm sense of humour percolating through the game – I can’t wait to see what Image & Form come out with next.

BUBBLING UNDER: Deus Ex GO, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered, Really Bad Chess.

The Best Games of 2016 That I Would Have Played If I’d Had The Time

fire-emblem-fatesFire Emblem: Fates

I’m gutted that I missed out on the lovely special edition of this game – I’ve been coveting Sir Gaulian’s copy. I adored Fire Emblem: Awakening, and I’m fresh from a playthrough of the GBA game Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, so I’m itching to throw myself into Fire Emblem: Fates. The general word seems to be that it doesn’t quite hit the highs of Awakening, but I haven’t played a bad Fire Emblem game yet.

tokyo-mirage-sessionsTokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Again, I wish I’d been quick enough to nab the special edition of this game. And rather than going down in price, the base game is now selling for more than its RRP in many places, reflecting the limited number of retail copies, no doubt. Still, I can’t wait to play through this unique crossover between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem – next year I’ll be watching online game shops like a hawk, ready to swoop in when the price is right.

ace-attorney-spirit-of-justicePhoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice

I was disappointed that Capcom didn’t bother localizing the intriguing Sherlock Holmes Ace Attorney spin-off, but at least we have this game, the sixth in the main series. The fifth was a huge return to form, and Spirit of Justice seems to have kept up the series’ standards, judging by the good reviews. I can’t wait to see what Maya has been up to all these years.

virginia-screenshotVirginia

I spent a good portion of this year playing through the wonderfully odd and obtuse Deadly Premonition, so what a coincidence it was when another game inspired by Twin Peaks was released at the same time I was exploring a different version of murder in small-town America. The idea of a story with no dialogue is hugely intriguing – and the fact that this game is only a couple of hours long means that there’s a good chance I might actually find the time to play it in 2017.

BUBBLING UNDER: Uncharted 4, INSIDE, Dishonored 2, XCOM 2, The Witness, Monster Hunter Generations, Firewatch, DOOM, Titanfall 2, That Dragon, Cancer, Hitman, Duskers.

[As written by Lucius Merriweather on the cusp of 2017.]

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Review: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

fire-emblem-sacred-stones-cover-art-gbaNintendo’s Virtual Console policy continues to frustrate me. Certain titles are exclusive to the Wii U or 3DS, which makes sense up to a certain point – Wii games wouldn’t really work on a handheld, for example. But why make Game Boy Advance games exclusive to Wii U? Surely the only reason is to drive sales of the ailing console, yet these games would be much better suited to playing on the 3DS. Why can’t GBA games be sold on both consoles? Why not have the option to buy the games once and download them on both platforms, like Sony offers with the PS3/PS4 and Playstation Vita?

What’s especially irritating is that Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones was previously made available on the 3DS as part of the 3DS Ambassadors programme for early adopters of the console. Yet five years down the line, these games have still yet to be made available to ‘regular’ punters. Come on Nintendo, open up the vaults to everyone, regardless of which console they own – there’s pure gold to be had in those game coffers.

And Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones really is pure gold. I remember at the time of its release, it was criticised as essentially being a reskin of the previous title in the series, which was simply called Fire Emblem in the west. Even though the latter was the seventh game in the turn-based strategy RPG series, it was the first to be localised for western audiences, and it was an absolute cracker. I reminisced about it for 1o1 Video Games That Made My Life Slightly Better a few years ago, particularly about its unforgiving permadeath mechanic, which ended up leaving me with the thousand-yard-stare of a war general who’s seen to much. So many purple-haired youngsters sent to their deaths…

Good old Seth, what a powerhouse that man is.

Good old Seth, what a powerhouse that man is.

Actually, I never quite managed to see that game to its end – by the later levels, I’d lost so many characters that it was becoming impossible to get through the stages with my weakened band of war heroes. Sacred Stones on Wii U, on the other hand, benefits from the ‘Restore Point’ mechanic that’s added to all Virtual Console games – which essentially lets you save at any point. I’m not ashamed to admit that I abused this mechanic to the full, so by the end I still had a full crew of warriors (until the brutal final battle, that is).

I’m still a little conflicted about this: by carefully saving regularly and replaying sections if a character died, I was able to see the inter-character relationships develop across the game. But it also felt a little like cheating, and it meant I never quite experienced the highs and lows of seeing a favourite character just about scrape through to fight another day, or see a dutifully raised knight perish suddenly thanks to a silly mistake or unexpected ambush. Still, at least I finished the damn thing.

Ah, Dozla - so playful with that axe!

Ah, Dozla – so playful with that axe!

It’s clear that Intelligent Systems realised that people love seeing characters bloom and get to know each other, hence why this mechanic is hugely beefed up in the most recent games, Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fire Emblem: Fates. They also saw the good sense to add mid-level save points.

Sacred Stones isn’t quite as good as series pinnacle Awakening, but for my money the story is much better than its prequel, Fire Emblem. The pixellated graphics also have a wonderful charm to them – in many ways I prefer them to the more beefed up graphics of later entries in the series. Having said that, they look utterly shit on the big TV screen, as pixels become the size of fists and lose all their charm – I played the game using the gamepad screen instead, on which the graphics seemed much more at home.

Finishingo Sacred Stones has left me hankering for more Fire Emblem, although thankfully I still have the DS title Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon waiting in the wings. Although again, it’s on the Wii U and not the 3DS, its natural home. Why, Nintendo, why?

Franz starts off as a bit of a weed, so it's satisfying to see him grow up into an armoured death dealer.

Franz starts off as a bit of a weed, so it’s satisfying to see him grow up into an armoured death dealer.

Hopefully all this Virtual Console nonsense will be sorted out the the Nintendo Switch, so finally we can have all of our Nintendo games in one place, as well as the option to play them at home or on the go. And while I think about it, I would love to see the big N localise the initial six games in the Fire Emblem series, which still haven’t made it to the west. Go on, Nintendo, you know you want to.

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The best free console games

The Kotaku UK ed asked me to take a look at the best free-to-play games on console, as a way f0r people to quickly expand their game libraries if they received a new games machine for Christmas. Here’s the resulting article, which came out on Boxing Day:

The Best Free Games For Your New Console

After researching what was out there, I was surprised by the breadth and depth of the free-to-play scene on consoles. It barely existed a few years ago, but now there’s a wide variety of games, many of which are extremely professional – it’s not all match-three puzzlers.

Let It Die - wonderfully bizarre. Note the cameo from 'Uncle Death'.

Let It Die – wonderfully bizarre. Note the cameo from ‘Uncle Death’.

Warframe and SMITE are excellent and gorgeous-looking multiplayer violence ’em ups, but the newly released Let It Die from Suda51 is the most blood-soaked of them all, with layers of wonderful bizarreness to top it all off – as you’d expect from the creator of Killer7 and Lollipop Chainsaw.

But perhaps the most interesting was Neverwinter, a full-on PC style Dungeons and Dragons RPG. It had tonnes of content, and it just goes to show how the gap between the PC space and the console arena is narrowing, especially as titles start to offer crossplay between the different platforms. Whatever you think about free-to-play, it’s a fascinating time to be a gamer.

Neverwinter is proper D&D on console.

Neverwinter is proper D&D on console.

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Spiffing Reads: Shadow of the Colossus and a Lament for Strategy Games

Not a huge amount has caught my Spiffing Reads eye over the past couple of weeks, hence the thin selection below. We’re well into the season of end-of-year lists, gift guides and reviews of AAA games, none of which makes for particularly thrilling reading – unless a hugely anticipated game gets a critical mauling, of course. But so far, this year’s Christmas games seem to be a pretty good crop, with the only real news being relatively poor sales of some long-awaited titles.

Anyhoo, we’ll be farting out some end-of year lists of our own in due course, but in the meantime, cast your peepers over these beauties.

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Where did all the strategy go? (Eurogamer)

I have fond memories of playing through Hidden & Dangerous on the Dreamcast, a game where every move was fraught with danger, and the tension was stretched so tight you could cut it with a blunt spoon. The one fly in its camouflage ointment was that your team mates’ AI was terrible – they couldn’t be trusted with grenades, for example, as they blew themselves up with alarming regularity. Still, I miss strategic war games like this one, especially as bombastic FPSs like Call of Duty hold little appeal now my reactions are withering with age.

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The Colossus That Casts No Shadow (Kotaku UK)

This is a superbly written article by @SamMGreer (check out her work at http://sammgreer.tumblr.com, she’s definitely one to watch). It manages to sum up everything that makes Shadow of the Colossus work so well, and laments how few games have managed – or attempted – to copy the formula. A spiffing read, indeed.


Spiffing Reads is a regular feature where we pick out the best gaming articles of the week. If you’ve read anything interesting, please let us know in the comments.

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Will Final Fantasy XV make its development costs back?

Short answer? I doubt it. Although it might just scrape through.

Kotaku has reported that Final Fantasy XV sold 670,471 copies in Japan at retail in its first week. That might sound a lot, but it’s well down on the sales figures of previous entries. Final Fantasy XIII sold 1,516,532 copies in Japan in its first week, Final Fantasy XII sold 1.8 million and Final Fantasy X sold 1.7 million. Meanwhile, the behemoths that are Final Fantasy VII and VIII sold 2.03 million and 2.5 million, respectively, in their first week on sale in Japan.

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Admittedly, the 670,471 figure doesn’t include digital sales, and Square Enix noted that the game has broken the record for first-day digital sales in Japan. But even with those included, it seems unlikely that Final Fantasy XV topped the million mark – which must be worrying for Square Enix, considering that the game cost millions to make and was in development for ten years. And then there’s the huge marketing push in recent weeks, which will no doubt have cost a pretty penny.

There are no official figures on the total cost of development and marketing for Final Fantasy XV, but at a guess it’s likely to be above $100 million. Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata revealed earlier this year that the game needs lifetime sales of 10 million copies to recoup its development costs, which, to quote this Kotaku article, is “more than any Final Fantasy game has ever sold except Final Fantasy VII, almost twice as much as The Witcher 3 has sold so far, and twice as much as Metal Gear Solid V has sold to date”.

Judging by the initial sales in Japan, it seems like it will be hard for them to get anywhere near the 10 million figure needed.

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However, it’s not all bad news. In the UK, Final Fantasy XV was the second-fastest-selling game in the Final Fantasy series to date, and worldwide, the game’s combined shipments and digital sales topped 5 million (note that’s shipments, not sales). So it seems that although the latest Final Fantasy game has seemingly underperformed in its native Japan, it has benefited from a strong following in the rest of the world.

The lower than expected Japanese sales aren’t particularly surprising. The country has seen a shift away from consoles towards mobile gaming in recent years, even though the gaming sector continues to grow in size overall. And it’s seeming increasingly unlikely that PS4 sales in Japan will eclipse Japanese sales of the PS3, even though the PS4 is selling like hotcakes everywhere else – the latest global sales figures put global PS4 sales north of 50 million.

There’s also the waning popularity of the Final Fantasy series as a whole in Japan, as shown by the gradual decline in sales figures through the years. And the switch to real-time combat in Final Fantasy XV could have put off many Japanese fans, even if it might appeal more to gamers in the west – but this is just speculation.

Whatever the reasons behind the sales figures, it will be interesting to see where Square Enix takes the series next – and I wouldn’t be surprised if the next numbered Final Fantasy entry was exclusive to mobile. Square Enix might not go the whole hog and mostly abandon console development, like Konami did, but it would make sense for them to follow the money. The majority of their revenue came from mobile last year, and with mobile development costs so much lower than console, it makes sense to invest less yet make more money.

After the years of development and spiralling costs for Final Fantasy XV, I’d be surprised if Square Enix took such a big risk again for number 16.

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