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

Features

Nintendo and Sony are in a heated battle during lockdown

Study also reveals which consoles were the most searched as lockdowns continue in SEA

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Photos by Alvaro Reyes and Mélanie THESE on Unsplash

It’s been roughly two and a half months since Southeast Asian countries have gone on lockdown due to COVID-19. As people were kept off the streets, video game companies found a way to reach these audiences through their consoles and game libraries. We watched as people spent most of their days learning new skills, staying healthy, and playing video games.

Little did we know, video game companies maximized this opportunity to sell more consoles, as well. A study by the iPrice Group revealed interesting data about the mini-console war that’s currently happening in Southeast Asia (SEA). In most countries, the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4 are leading the charge towards greater heights.

It made perfect sense that Nintendo’s handheld console is seeing its staggering sales increase during this period. Searches on online shopping platforms related to the Nintendo Switch skyrocketed by 245% within SEA alone, thanks in part to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons back in March.

Image source: Livedoor

Apart from that, the Nintendo Switch dominates 5 out of 7 markets in SEA in terms of search volume. This, of course takes into account searches and purchases from people between mid-March to mid-April.

For most markets, the big 3 of gaming consoles (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation4, and Xbox One) dominated the charts. Apart from the Switch, the PlayStation 4 saw significant increase in interest between mid-March and mid-April by 135%.

The releases of the remastered versions of Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy VII contributed heavily to that increase. Surprisingly, in three countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines), the PlayStation 3 makes an appearances as a widely-searched console.

Looks like people really love their video games! If you want to know more about this trend, you can find the full report here.

SEE ALSO:
#PlayApartTogether: Embracing lockdowns and social distancing
Tinder users are going on Animal Crossing for their first dates
Just Dance 2020 helps with your workout-from-home

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Gaming

Razer announces inaugural SEA Invitational 2020

Brought about by esports’ successful stint in the 2019 SEA Games

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Esports is seeing a steady rise in viewership as the COVID-19 pandemic kept everyone indoors. Gaming companies started rolling out their own versions of esports tournaments open to all players, whether amateur or professional. And after its successful stint in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Razer wants to take esports to even greater heights.

As such, the company announced its inaugural Southeast Asia Invitational 2020, an esports tournament for the best of the best. The tournament organizers hope to gather the best esports athletes across Southeast Asia to prepare them for the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam. It will feature a unique tournament format, and will kick festivities off on June 22, 2020.

The invitational will feature three popular esports titles, two of which were in the 2019 SEA Games lineup. Expect intense and hotly contested action as players take the field in games like PUBG Mobile, DOTA 2, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. All of these will be available for streaming on Team Razer’s social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

This tournament is also in partnership with Tier One Entertainment, supported by esports federations across the region. Those who wish to participate in the invitational should talk to their respective federations.

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Deals

New PS4 bundles, discounts on Days of Play 2020

Promo period is from June 3 to 16

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Photo by Fabian Albert on Unsplash

Sony PlayStation’s annual promo is back! Days of Play 2020 is here and it’s one of your best chances to snag a PlayStation 4 along with some fantastic titles from recent years.

From June 3, 2020 until June 16, 2020, customers can purchase the following hardware deals from PlayStation Authorized Dealers:

 

  • PS4 Slim (Model: CUH-2218AB01, 500GB HDD), comes with NBA2K20 and Gran Turismo Sport at promotional price of PHP 14,990 — SRP: PhP 19,990

  • PS4 MEGAPACK (Model: CUH-2218BB01, 1TB HDD) at promotional price of PhP 13,990 — SRP: PhP 17,990

  • PS4 Pro God Of War™ / The Last Of Us™ Remastered (Model: CUH-7218BB01, 1TB HDD) Bundle at promotional price of PHP 18,990 — SRP: PhP 24,990

  • PS4 DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller at promotional price of PHP 1,990* — SRP: PhP 2,990)

A bunch of games are also discounted for the duration of the promo!

PS4 Software Title

Promotional Price (PhP)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,299
Death Stranding Standard Edition 2,095
Nioh 2 Standard Edition 2,095
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Standard Edition 1,955
Dreams Universe Standard Edition 1,495
Days Gone Standard Edition 1,495
God Of War™ HITS 765
The Last Of Us™ Remastered HITS 765
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™ HITS 765
Ratchet & Clank™ HITS 765

For more information visit this official Days of Play 2020 website.

SEE ALSO:
The Last of Us Part II official pricing and availability
Last of Us Part II has a Limited Edition PS4 Pro

 

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