A Series of Inciting Incidents Extra Life Article

Would you like to know why .hack//G.U. Trilogy infuriates me? Check out my latest Extra Life article to find out here.

For those of you who don’t know, Extra Life is like a marathon for charity, but instead of running or walking, you play video games to raise money for a children’s hospital of your choice. The official Extra Life event occurred on November 5, but you can raise money whenever you want year round. Check out the Extra Life website to learn more, donate, and sign up!


Culture Shock: FFXV the Game vs. the Movie

Noctis in the FFXV Omen short film compared to Regis in Kingsglaive.

I spent part of today trying to determine why the movie Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV looks different from the cutscenes (released thus far) in Final Fantasy XV the game. For a while, I was convinced that the art styles must be different. FFXV is more stylized and anime-influenced both in how it looks and how the characters act and move. Spiky hair and dramatic acting is in! On the other hand, Kingsglaive is as realistic as possible. Art style still might be part of it, but the main reason I think they look different blew my mind a little when I realized it.

Kingsglaive is dominated by a mostly caucasian population, which includes King Regis. The game is dominated by characters of Japanese or Asian descent, including Regis’ son Noctis. Some of the characters who appear in both have a slightly different eye shape in the game to make them appear more Asian (like the Chancellor or Regis) or different character designs between both mediums (like Luna). This is probably why Regis and Noctis could not be seen together in the movie (because who would believe they’re related?).

…Changing dominant cultures between entries in the same franchise… That’s such a weird thing to do! Why would you do that!? O.O

The Creators of FFXV’s Omen Trailer

The Final Fantasy XV Omen Trailer I discovered on Tuesday has me a bit obsessed, and I felt compelled to research who made it today. It appears that DIGIC Pictures, a Hungarian visual effects studio that specializes in video game cinematics, created it. DIGIC is also one of the studios that collaborated on Kingsglaive with their primary contribution being the first fight scene. Several outlets (such as the Final Fantasy XV YouTube channel) have been referring to this “trailer” as a “short film,” which I think fits well.

It’s difficult to say how much of this film’s concept was developed by DIGIC and how much by Square Enix. Several clues suggest that Omen is some sort of pet project that DIGIC Pictures came up with internally and got okayed to do by Square Enix (because who would say no to that?). First, according to the description of the film on DIGIC’s website, it’s a conceptual trailer created by DIGIC Pictures and “inspired by the world and story of Final Fantasy XV.” Overall, the description lovingly conveys the messages and themes portrayed in the trailer. In stark contrast, the descriptions of all of DIGIC’s other trailers and cutscenes that they’ve put together for various game studios are scant or non-existent (believe me, I checked). These games include Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted 4, Mass Effect 3, Halo 4, and Dragon Age 2, not unloved unknowns. Second, in the credits for the Omen trailer (see the end of the YouTube video above), DIGIC lists Daniel Hamvas, a Hungarian actor, translator, and screenplay writer, as a “Scriptwriter” as if the dialog and/or story in the trailer were created internally. I haven’t checked the credits on every DIGIC’s video (I’ve checked a lot O.O), but I haven’t seen someone in this role listed anywhere else.

It’s just as possible, however, that I’m over-reading this, and the concept genuinely came about through a collaboration between the studios as I assume all of DIGIC’s projects do. A lot of my argument might be based on the idea that Omen is partial or complete fanfiction allowed to exist for the sake of hyping up the game. I could be wrong though. The themes of light vs. darkness and the corrupting power of violence conveyed in Omen could very well be themes that will be explored in the game. Who knows? Perhaps killing Luna is a possible ending.

I haven’t read too much into the fan theories on what FFXV is about. Honestly, I really don’t care if Omen has nothing to do with the game and was created to GET HYPE. It’s an amazing short film. It leaves you intrigued and wanting more, but it’s a complete and delightfully complicated story told almost entirely in visuals in less than five minutes. That’s a hell of a lot more than any CGI action movie out there does in 1 1/2 to 2 hours. For me, Omen is more than a trailer. It’s a shame to discount it as only that or as only hype or as only an excuse for Noctis to rip his shirt off for fangirls. If FFXV turns out to be a giant disappointment, it would be a shame to blame this.

To everyone who made Omen, you’re awesome. You need to be told this. Omen has the greatest full-CGI, action-oriented story that I’ve seen in a long time.

How to Promote Final Fantasy XV

Anyone who says the Final Fantasy XV movie exists in part to promote the game is wrong. Wrong! WRRRROOOONG! This 4 and half minute trailer is 1000 times better for that. It’s a 1000 times better in general, 1000 times more emotionally investing, exciting, and intruging. I wish this with more details were the movie. Instead I have to watch disposable, super protagonist be unwaveringly loyal in the face of two cliche warring nations and pointless action scenes. Boring as hell. *resists using more colorful language to describe disappointment*

More of my thoughts on the topic will hopefully be coming soon via Extra Life.

Also, if this entire trailer is CGI, I’m super impressed.