Joystiq Weekly: Final Fantasy 15, The Crew review, readers' favorite PS1 games and more

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Joystiq Weekly: Final Fantasy 15, The Crew review, readers' favorite PS1 games and more
Welcome to Joystiq Weekly, a "too long; didn't read" of each week's biggest stories, reviews and original content. Each category's top story is introduced with a reactionary gif, because moving pictures aren't just for The Daily Prophet.
The Final Fantasy series has had a fun couple of weeks lately, but between the PC version of Final Fantasy 7 coming to the PS4 and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster's incoming port, most of its news is focused on the past. Leave it to the spring release of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, a take on an old PSP game, to bring things into the present – those that grab a copy from Type-0's first run will get an exclusive demo of Final Fantasy 15.

So, Final Fantasy fans: Is it going to work? Are you going for Type-0 HD solely because of the demo, or do you kind of want to play the game anyway? Don't worry if it's the former – plenty of people only bought Crackdown to get into the Halo 3 beta before even realizing developer Realtime Worlds' superhero sandbox had its own merits.

Demos and ports weren't the only thing that happened this week – The internet seemingly frustrated Tekken series producer Katsuhiro Harada enough to keep a character out of the North American release, we reviewed The Crew and Never Alone, and we highlighted our readers' favorite PS1 games. Those stories and more are all waiting for you after the break!

News
  • Sometimes complaining on social media actually changes things – for instance, the negative reception of Tekken 7's newest fighter, Chloe, prompted series producer Katsuhiro Harada to announce the catgirl's exclusivity to Europe, East Asian territories and ... none for the United States. Bye.
  • You can try out Final Fantasy 15's demo next year, so long as you pick up a standard or Collector's Edition version of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD near its March 17, 2015 release. Demo access will be granted with first-run copies of Type-0 HD as a "special gift" to fans that pick up the game early.
  • There are RPG series beyond Final Fantasy that are known for their soundtracks, and the sales figures for Theatrhyhtm Dragon Quest will likely prove that once it launches in Japan on March 26, 2015.
  • Developer CD Projekt RED is taking a little more time to tell The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's tale, resulting in a delay from February to May of next year. The studio's announcement acknowledged that Wild Hunt still has "many details that need to be corrected" in order for it to stand as the adventure CD Projekt RED wants it to be.
  • Amiibo collectors are having trouble finding a few characters featured in Nintendo's line of NFC-compatible figurines, and a vague statement from Nintendo on the matter isn't comforting concerns. Nintendo explained that certain sold-out figurines may return to stores at a later date, but offered no hints as to which amiibo may get an encore.
  • As proven by the scarcity of certain amiibo, Nintendo's line of real-world toys are doing alright at retail – the company's recent sales data placed the amiibo line of figurines as "approximately equal" to the sales of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which moved "nearly 710,000" copies last month.
  • PS4 owners can spend their spring break in Zanarkand, when Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster launches on PlayStation's latest console early next year. This double pack of remakes just reached the PS3 and Vita earlier this year, but the PS4 version is planned to have "system-exclusive features."
  • Even if you've played Doom to death over the last 21 years of the iconic first-person shooter's lifespan, you probably haven't seen any of the concept art that designer John Romero shared with the world this week.
  • It seems like it was wise for Activision to raise its full-year projections last month – according to NPD data, the publisher holds the top two best-selling games of the year, with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Destiny settling into the first and second top spots on the charts, respectively.
  • Since current-generation ports and remasters are definitely still a thing, the Australian Classification Board's rating of something called the "Borderlands Remastered Edition" isn't too surprising. Of course, the question is which games (and which portions of their DLC) will show up in the package, should 2K eventually confirm its existence.
  • As the Xbox One demonstrated this month, people like price drops and free games! Microsoft's newest hardware reigned champion in the US and UK in NPD's sales data for November, according to Xbox Marketing's Corporate Vice President, Mike Nichols. CoD: Advanced Warfare, Grand Theft Auto 5 and Super Smash Bros. also rounded out the top three spots in software sales, respectively.
Reviews
  • Contributing Editor Earnest Cavalli checked his mirrors before peeling out across The Crew's abbreviated take on the United States, finding that discovering new activities just by driving around is "one of The Crew's more entertaining aspects." Still, Earnest notes that "while it's technically competent and checks off all the necessary boxes on the 'open world game design' checklist, it lacks a cohesive identity."
  • Managing Editor Susan Arendt tried to learn to share treasure in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, gunning through puzzling, isometric levels with a few friends. Despite a great core, Susan found little fun in the post-game venture around Osiris' temple and felt the Combat Challenges were "lackluster." Despite its flaws, Susan concluded that Temple of Osiris is "immensely entertaining while it lasts, but there just isn't enough of it."
  • Senior Reporter Jess Conditt joined Nuna and her fox for a chilly trek through Never Alone, helping the duo conquer sections of platforming in their search for the source of a blizzard and the man that ransacked Nuna's village. Played cooperatively, Jess found the best of Never Alone's cooperative moments "magical," but summarized the entire experience with one word: "respect. This game is full of it. Respect for the Iñupiat, respect for nature and animals, respect for the things we can't control, and respect for those who try to change their community for the better."
Featured Content
  • When the Joystiq staff highlighted its personal victors from the original PlayStation's library, some readers were bewildered by our neglect for their most-cherished selections. Since each group's choices were so diverse, we decided to let readers have the stage to present their own top picks from the PS1's library.
  • It's tough enough surviving Alien: Isolation when you're playing as Amanda Ripley, daughter of Xenomorph deathbringer Ellen Ripley, so it isn't too surprising that guiding the cheeky C-3PO through a Xenomorph's hunting grounds doesn't go much better.
  • Managing a successful Kickstarter is getting increasingly more difficult these days, but it especially helps if you don't launch one the day after a console reveal. Stompy Bot Productions learned that lesson and others during its ongoing development of Heavy Gear Assault, and Producer Vince McMullin recently spoke with Joystiq about what the team hopes to achieve with the finished game.
  • What's that, you say? You've been waiting to win a white PS4 in a contest so you don't have to actually pay for it? Well, you've got great timing! Try your luck in Joystiq's PS4 giveaway, where you can take home a white PS4 bundled with Destiny, a copy of Destiny: Ghost Edition, or a three-pack of PS4 games. Of course, you could always win the Mystery Swag Box ...
  • This week's Super Joystiq Podcast drives that one song from The Darkness back into your skull for days, courtesy of Community Manager Anthony John Agnello. Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann, Reviews Content Director Richard Mitchell and Earnest don't perform backing vocals for Anthony, but they do discuss The Crew, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix, Destiny: The Dark Below and more.
[Image: Square Enix]
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