Gaming

7 tips when playing Final Fantasy VII Remake

Mostly surrounding combat

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You’ve preloaded, have snacks on hand, and are now ready to head to Midgar. Before you do, here are some tips that might be helpful in your Final Fantasy VII Remake (FF7R) journey.

Before we jump in, here’s a mandatory spoiler warning. While I won’t discuss anything story-specific here, some things might hint on stuff that maybe you want to find out for yourself.

Feel free to come back here in case you’re feeling a little lost in combat.

1. Mix up blocking, running, and dodging

I’ve been pretty anxious and angry lately which is why my initial approach when I started was to charge in and just unleash a flurry of melee attacks. While this works for some random encounters, you’ll find that it’s not effective at all for half the battles you’ll be in.

Some enemies will deal massive damage if you don’t guard or run and dodge. Yes, you need to run AND dodge. Dodging alone isn’t effective especially against the monster-types with field of area attacks. To minimize the scratches you take, you have to keep moving.

Blocking physical attacks at the last second also helps decrease damage. If you choose to do so, there’s a bit of side quest where the rewards build on blocking abilities. A lot of these really come in handy even during boss battles.

2. Switch characters during battle 

I had the tendency to stick with either Cloud and Tifa too much because their attacks are really fun to look at. I especially like Tifa’s speed and combos. But you’ll soon learn that switching characters is a necessary skill.

I didn’t try this as much until I was midway through the game, but I encourage you to get used to it as soon as possible. For one, whichever character you control fills-up their ATB meter faster, so switching up frequently means faster access to abilities, spells, and items.

The enemies will also frequently target whoever you’re controlling. If you’re too bullish about controlling just one character, you might end up having to use a Phoenix Down sooner than you’d hope.

3. Max as many materia as you can

I really like the materia system because it gives you flexibility on the loadouts you have no matter who you have on your party. Which is why you should level up as many of these as you can.

Levelling up a materia doesn’t involve having to use them frequently. Just make sure they are equipped with active party members.

If you want to prioritize, definitely try to max Fire, Ice, and Light materia right away. A lot of the enemies you’ll face will have one of the three as their weakness.

4. Give everyone a healing materia 

You’ll pick up at least two of these right away early on in the game. If you have Gil to spare, make sure you get at least one more.

You would want to have the Cure spell on every party member. Some bosses and mini bosses have these absurd attacks that deal heavy damage. If one of your members is low on HP, they could be taken out with one hit.

With cure equipped on every member, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by healing characters right away, especially when their health bar turns yellow.

Bonus: Aerith has a Pray ability that heals all party members. You don’t spend MP but it costs two ATB gauges. You can opt to equip her with ATB boosts materia to speed-up the ATB fill-up.

5. Don’t push the Side Missions aside 

Especially the ones that come during the first half of the game. The side missions have a bit of a story in them and fleshes out some characters more. A lot of them also teach you more about the mechanics of the game.

Other than that you’ll also encounter key missions like the one with Materia researcher and developer Chadley. He even has his own Battle Intel option in the menu screen so you can track your progress.

Each task from Chadley corresponds to the development of different materia. Some pretty useful ones are the Dodge Attack, Counter after Blocking, ATB Boosts, and many others.

Some summons are also only attainable through VR Battles via Chadley’s research.

6. Learn new abilities from weapons right away 

Every weapon for every character comes with a new ability. To be able to use them even when you switch weapons, you have to reach 100% proficiency. To get there, you have to keep using that particular ability in battle.

The fastest way to do it is by: First, assigning that character as the party leader. This way, you take control of the character as the battle starts. This means your ATB will fill-up faster the more you attack.

Second, equip the character with any ATB boost materia. Even just the first basic ATB boost will do. The faster you fill-up your ATB gauge, the more chances you’ll have to use the ability in battle. The more you use it, the faster your character will learn it and carry it over to the next weapon.

7. Time your ATB-use properly 

If you take damage while trying to perform an ability, cast a spell, or use an item, the action will be canceled out but it will still consume ATB. Which is why timing is key.

Certain abilities take time to wind-up so make sure you’re using them when an opponent is in range and is not halfway through launching an attack on you.

Same is true when casting spells and using items. When you’re trying to heal or revive a party member, be sure to create some distance between you and the enemy first so the action isn’t interrupted.

Bonus: Don’t get lost in Tifa’s eyes.

I totally failed here. 😅

There are plenty more I can share, but these are the ones that stuck out to me as I was going through the second half of the game. Most of these I wish I knew right away. Hopefully this helps you have a smoother first playthrough. Enjoy!

SEE ALSO: Final Fantasy VII Remake Review

Gaming

Call of Duty announces a new anti-cheat system, Ricochet

Will this solve all the rampant cheating in game?

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Picture this: you just finished up a good amount of work for the day and you just wanna play video games. Specifically, you boot up your PC or console and play some good ol’ fashioned Call of Duty: Warzone. All of a sudden, even playing this game isn’t enjoyable because of all the cheaters in your server. It’s not fun, but the developers of Call of Duty have a solution for that with their new anti-cheat system, Ricochet.

Basically, Ricochet will serve as the game’s way of tracking and investigating any and all kinds of cheating activity taking place on the server. Apart from this, the anti-cheat system allows for tighter account security especially when playing on your PC. With a dedicated PC kernel driver, the system will assist users in identifying cheaters and cheating software present in their systems.

In terms of rollout, Ricochet will be available on Call of Duty: Warzone later in the year. Meanwhile, the anti-cheat will make its way to Call of Duty: Vanguard at a much later date.

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Nintendo Switch OLED Unboxing and Review

Should you upgrade?

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Michael Josh might have forgotten to pre-order the newest Nintendo Switch OLED, but that doesn’t stop him from lining up to the nearest Nintendo Store in New York.

After hours of waiting and shopping spree, he finally ordered not one, but two on the line!

Other than the classic red and blue Switch, there’s also a new white version available.

But should you upgrade? Or do you just need to keep your existing Nintendo Switch for now?

Head over to our Nintendo Switch OLED Unboxing and Review now!

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Gaming

Apple reportedly working on a Nintendo Switch competitor

Only rumored at this point

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The Nintendo Switch is still the undisputed ruler of on-the-go gaming. With a dedicated TV dock, gamers can also plug in their Switches when they get home. Even amid the strong launch of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S, the Switch is still the most versatile. However, a massive surprise entrant — Apple — is reportedly making its own competitor for the Nintendo Switch.

According to a rumor from iDrop News, Apple is working on both the console and games exclusive to the potential console. Much like the Switch, the console will work in both portable and docked modes. It can also work with Apple’s virtual reality technology. The same report also includes a rumor for a future Apple TV redesign. Having a console attached to the project would make sense.

Additionally, Apple is reportedly working with game studios to develop a “Zelda-like game.” When the Switch launched, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the strongest launch titles that sustained the new console for months. A similar game might be the way to go for such a console. However, the report does not indicate who is developing the game or what it will be about.

That said, the potential console is still heavily rumored at this point. Plans for such a console might ultimately fall through. Still, it’s nice to speculate when the Switch finally gets another competitor in the hybrid console arena.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo Switch OLED: Pricing in the Philippines

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