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New Releases: Week of 11/27

/ Nov 27th, 2016 No Comments

Final Fantasy XV

The time has finally come. Maybe not for everyone, but this week’s new releases contains my most anticipated game of the year. The long, arduous wait for the latest Final Fantasy has spanned decades, and positively crushed me when it was delayed. However, now the time is here. A perfect way to ride out 2016.

Besides Final Fantasy XV, this week’s new releases includes the extreme sports extravaganza Steep, and the portable Mario creator Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS.

Final Fantasy XV – PS4, Xbox One – November 29

What seemed like a simple road trip to unite Princess Noctis with his fiancée Lunafreya turned out to be anything but. Not only do Noctis and his retainers: Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto find themselves with a broken down car shortly into their journey, but they learn distressing news about back home. In their absence, the kingdom of Lucis has fallen and with its King Regis, Noctis’ father.

Final Fantasy XV Preview

Final Fantasy XV.

The journey to re-unite with Lunafreya was largely a play to form a treaty between Tenebrae and the kingdom of Lucis, but the shady dealings of the Niflheim Empire dashed that plan. Stuck out in the middle of nowhere without a homeland to return to, Noctis and his retainers are going to figure something out. Whatever they do they need to uncover the truth about what happened to Lucis and get strong enough to reclaim Noctis’ throne because defeating the Niflheim Empire won’t be easy.

Final Fantasy XV marks a huge departure for the long-running RPG series. Not only does it change the setting from a more linear affair to a sprawling open-world, but combat gets a complete overhaul. No longer are battles fought randomly or turn-based. Now players can see the enemy coming and enjoy action-RPG combat complete with multiple weapon styles and parrying. Enemy AI is also more complex with different faction of enemies able to come into conflict during battles. While the core elements of series remain, this marks a new start for the series.

Final Fantasy XV Preview

Final Fantasy XV.

While the initial delay of the game was to avoid a day one patch, there still will be one. The “Crown” update adds plenty of new features to the game like new actions inspired by the “Omen” trailer and additional actions for “Wait Mode” to improve the experience. Additionally, new field actions like the ability to listen to music when walking and a shift function outside of battle, improvements to driving the Regalia, a new gallery feature to the menu, new bug fixes, and more. To improve story clarity scenes from Kingsglaive and the Omen trailer were also added into the game and the major reason for the patch since they exceed the disc capacity.

Steep – PS4, Xbox One, PC – December 2

It’s been quite a long time since we’ve had a new extreme sports game, which is unfortunate because it is a niche that has a passionate following. Steep changes that. Fans can enjoy a number of different activities in the Alps and Alsaka with an open world to explore. Players can compete in challenges in four different activities: skiing, snowboarding, paragliding, and wingsuit flying. Each activity has its own unique style of challenges that test your skills and prove you’re the top dawg of the mountain.

Steep Preview


While the game is open world, players can switch to mountain mode to access “drop zones” that act as fast travel spots, or cut your own path by traveling around the mountainous terrain to find new challenges. Steep focuses on online gameplay with players sharing the same game world and competing in activities at the same time through seamless multiplayer. You can compete in races and challenges against other players or group up with friends to pull of wild stunts.

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS – 3DS – December 2

Super Mario Maker was a hit on the Wii U giving players the tools to create their own Mario levels. The robust level creation tools helped reinvent what it means to play a Mario level. It allowed players to create levels themed after New Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Bros., and Super Mario World. Now it is coming to the 3DS allowing players to create and play on the go.

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS.

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS won’t be the exact same as its console counterpart, though. Naturally being on the 3DS means it loses significant power. With that comes a less feature rich game because the game will be unable to share courses online, use mystery mushroom costumes (or play levels with those costumes), and slightly less powerful level creation tools.

That doesn’t means the 3DS version won’t be worth checking out, however. Players can connect online to download select courses from the Wii U version to give players access to a near-unlimited amount of courses to play. The game also includes 100 Nintendo-designed levels with new challenges to conquer. The most significant feature is the ability to collaborate via local wi-fi with other Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS owners on levels designs before completing a level.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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