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FF7 Rebirth, Dragons Dogma 2 Preview, And More Of The Week's Spiciest Takes

Image: Square Enix, Square Enix, Square Enix, Nintendo, Screenshot: Capcom, BioWare / Kotaku, Square Enix / Kotaku, Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku
Image: Square Enix, Square Enix, Square Enix, Nintendo, Screenshot: Capcom, BioWare / Kotaku, Square Enix / Kotaku, Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

It’s only been a week since launch, so you’ll have to forgive us for still being completely obsessed with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, a sprawling RPG sequel with a lovable cast that we have a whole lotta feelings about. This week also marked a couple big anniversaries for the Nintendo Switch and the concluding chapter of the Mass Effect trilogy. Grab your popcorn— these are the week’s spiciest takes.

Kotaku Readers Pick The Best Final Fantasy For Newcomers

Image: Square Enix
Image: Square Enix

With the recent release of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth once again putting the spotlight on the long-running series of RPGs, there are more newcomers to the franchise than maybe ever before. But Rebirth, being a direct continuation of 2020’s Remake and a kind of metatextual commentary on the original FF7, isn’t really a great entry point for people who have never played a Final Fantasy game. Which led us to ask you, dear readers, what you think the best Final Fantasy game for newcomers actually is. Predictably, fans of almost every single entry made the case for why even the most overlooked Final Fantasy games could make for the best introduction. However, some entries got more love than others, and a handful of clear favorites rose above the rest. - Willa Rowe Read More

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Could Be 2024's Breakout RPG

Screenshot: Capcom
Screenshot: Capcom

It’s an intriguing reintroduction to this world, and one that hooks me infinitely more than my several (failed) attempts at enjoying the first game. Launched around the end of the PS3 generation, 2012’s eyebrow-raising tale of swords and sorcery offered an unwieldy approach to the classic fantasy RPG. Yet much like the equally oddball Nier, Dragon’s Dogma slowly garnered one of those fanbases, the misty-eyed diehards who gush about it with the kind of reverence usually reserved for a Souls game. The problem was, despite repeated attempts to get down with the dragon, Capcom’s cult curio just never clicked for me. - Tom Regan Read More

12 Years Ago, Mass Effect 3’s Ending Was Ahead Of Its Time

Screenshot: BioWare / Kotaku
Screenshot: BioWare / Kotaku

I still believe to this day that the original ending was good and the one BioWare replaced it with made some important changes while also undermining the series’ best ideas. The new ending also emboldened bad actors, pushing the idea that if they’re hostile enough online to developers, they can get a game changed to their liking. It’s hard not to think about it when developers like Larian Studios make similar (albeit not as far-reaching) changes to modern games like Baldur’s Gate 3. - Kenneth Shepard Read More

Stop Telling People They Can Play Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Without Remake

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku
Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Over the weekend, an old quote from Final Fantasy VII Rebirth co-director Motomu Toriyama started recirculating on social media that, after finishing the game myself, nearly turned me into the Joker. It originated in a social media Q&A with the development team, and one question was, “Do I need to play Final Fantasy VII Remake to enjoy Final Fantasy VII Rebirth?” Toriyama’s response was definitive: “No, we have made preparations so that players who did not get a chance to play the first game can fully enjoy Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.” Well, readers, let me tell you now: that was quite an exaggeration. Rebirth is unapologetically the middle of an ongoing story, and it’s ridiculous that video game developers have to keep touting this claim that sequels are fine points to jump in, when it’s almost never true. - Kenneth Shepard Read More

Square Enix’s Horror Classic Should Be Adapted To The Silver Screen

Image: Square Enix
Image: Square Enix

On a snowy Christmas Eve, rookie cop Aya Brea attends the opera at Carnegie Hall. In the middle of the performance, while the star performs a haunting aria, the theater and people within it burst into flames. Screams and crackling wood form a symphony with the still-singing star. This is how Parasite Eve opens. It’s stunning, it’s gripping, it’s cinematic. So when Square Enix took to social media on March 5 to ask fans which one of its games should get the movie adaptation treatment I immediately jumped to the company’s 1998 horror masterpiece. It’s a perfect fit. - Willa Rowe Read More

Loveless Embodies One Of FF7 Rebirth’s Biggest Flaws

Image: Square Enix
Image: Square Enix

In extending one 40-hour RPG into three separate, equally long, titles Square Enix has found a lot of ways to build out the world of Final Fantasy VII. Rebirth, the second entry in the trilogy, takes it a step further than in its predecessor by packing the now-sprawling world full of activities. Extending the story has also allowed Square Enix to revisit and expand upon beloved characters from the larger Final Fantasy VII universe. But in its opulent reimaging of the original, Rebirth finds itself falling into one the remake trilogy’s most dangerous obsessions—becoming a nostalgia tour of what fans love, sometimes at the expense of narrative cohesion. No place is this more evident than in how Rebirth presents the interactive play Loveless. - Willa Rowe Read More

Dragon’s Dogma 2's Newest Class Is Giving Medieval Darth Maul

Gif: Capcom / Kotaku
Gif: Capcom / Kotaku

Dragon’s Dogma 2 launches on most platforms on March 22, and I checked it out at a preview event in New York City. In his 2023 hands-on preview of the high-fantasy RPG, Kotaku senior reporter Ethan Gach said that it’s “shaping up to have all the tools necessary to become the widely acclaimed hit it deserves to be”—and I totally agree! The thing that sold me on this was a new class that effectively turns your character into a medieval Force user. Move over, Darth Maul; there’s another double-bladed saber player in town. - Levi Winslow Read More

We Need To Talk About Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s Ending

Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku
Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is out now, and we here at Kotaku have been chewing on its ending for a bit. Now that folks have had time to play the game and sort out their feelings on it, we wanted to take some time to chat about the finale’s merits, issues, and how it left us feeling after spending dozens of hours with Cloud and company. Spoilers ahead! - Kenneth Shepard Read More

Who Is The Best Hang In Unicorn Overlord? A Scientific Ranking

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Vanillaware’s take on the RTS genre releases March 8 for Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation

Seven Years Ago, Nintendo’s Risky Gamble Paid Off Handsomely

Image: Nintendo
Image: Nintendo

Seven years ago, Nintendo took its biggest gamble yet and released the Nintendo Switch, a forward-thinking and bold home console that dared to be a handheld first and foremost. It’s hard to argue with the results of that bet all this time later, especially seeing as how the Switch has continued to receive hit installments in numerous flagship series and become one of the highest- selling consoles of all time, with 139 million units sold. - Moises Taveras Read More

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