FFVII Rebirth FFVII Rebirth


Can FFVII Rebirth be your first Final Fantasy game?

The game’s director says yes



It’s never easy to recommend which Final Fantasy game to start with to anyone interested in the franchise. Truth be told, there’s no easy answer. But Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Director Naoki Hamaguchi believes the upcoming game can be one of the top-of-mind options. 

At face value, that seems like an odd suggestion. Especially since Rebirth is a sequel to Remake. But Hamaguchi, speaking to GadgetMatch at the Thailand Game Show 2023, said that’s even the primary reason why they decided to remake Final Fantasy VII (FFVII). 

Naoki Hamaguchi | Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Hamaguchi said there’s for sure many players who have never played any Final Fantasy game before. But they might have heard the names “Cloud” and “Sephiroth” somewhere. If that piqued their interest, it wouldn’t make sense to direct them to the original game given the state of gaming today. 

It’s this general thought that led them to pursue the Final Fantasy Vii Remake Project. It’s to bring these really popular characters to a gaming experience that makes sense for today’s standards. 

“We understand that FF7 is a difficult title to get into today. But the game [FFVII Rebirth] is developed very meticulously so it won’t feel unnatural when you start playing. All the tutorials will be there,” said Hamaguchi. 

“We have created everything carefully so that even a new player can enjoy the game,” he added.

And based on the latest trailer released as of writing, there does seem to be a lot going on in this game. 

Side content and mini games 

FFVII Rebirth

One of the biggest criticisms for FFVII Remake is that the side quests felt so detached from the story as a whole. So much so that it feels like these killed the pacing of the game. 

Speaking still in relation to FFVII Rebirth’s approachability as a game, Hamaguchi said “everything has been improved.”  

Talking specifically about the side content, the game director said the side content was made to fit the larger world map they built for the game. There’s so much to explore that he says playing through everything will take over 100 hours. 

He estimates the main story will take 40 hours to complete, in case you’re curious.  

Hamaguchi was also asked about the mini games in Gold Saucer. He said every mini game from that particular location was brought from the original game to Rebirth. 

But it doesn’t end there. He said the reaction they hope to get is players enjoying not just the mini games in Gold Saucer but all of the mini games sprinkled in Rebirth.

What’s new and will there be a twist? 

Barrett and Tufie Synergy Ability

Barrett and Tufie Synergy Ability

We asked Hamaguchi which game mechanic he’s most excited for players to experience. He said it’s definitely the Synergy Abilities which is something that wasn’t present in the FFVII Remake. A version of it, however, is present in INTERGrade. 

The Synergy Ability is a team-up move of one character with another. This varies widely depending on the characters you have in your party. He noted that you have to keep using the abilities to gain even better ones. 

He said the mechanic also encourages playing with all the characters. The many combinations yield many different abilities that can help you in combat. 

We played the game briefly and got to try the Synergy Abilities. Apart from helping deal massive damage, the abilities are also a visual spectacle. 

We only had 30 minutes to play so we can’t speak on it that much. During our gameplay, it almost felt like it’s a secondary Limit Break attack that you can unleash on your opponent. 

Unlike the Limit Break though, it doesn’t recharge by simply attacking and/or taking damage. You’re required to use ATB charges to trigger the Synergy Abilities. For instance, you have to build up and spend two (2) ATB charges for both Cloud and Tifa before you can use their Synergy Ability. 

Look at it as another trump card you can use in battle. Whether that’s to give you some breathing room against an opponent that’s giving you a hard time or deal even more damage to a staggered enemy. 

Aerith’s fate?

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

It’s been previously revealed that it will cover the story that happens until Southern Captial. That means the infamous Aerith scene that scarred gamers worldwide. Asked if there will be a twist for Rebirth, Hamaguchi only said, “There will be a surprise in this version as well.”


Baldur’s Gate 3: Why you should play the 2023 Game of the Year

Now is the best time to try it out



Last night, Baldur’s Gate 3 won the coveted Game of the Year award at the annual Game Awards for 2023. Though the title rightfully got millions of players this year, getting into the 2023 Game of the Year is still a daunting challenge, especially for those who don’t have experience with the turn-based RPG genre. If you’re also scared to commit to a genre you’re not familiar with, I’m here to tell you that you still absolutely should.

Who am I?

When the year started, Baldur’s Gate 3 was not on my radar at all. In fact, I wasn’t a fan of turn-based games. My only experience with the genre was through Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. Though a turn-based game, it’s hardly similar to Baldur’s Gate 3. And at the end of the day, I’d still prefer a quicker-paced action-adventure over a turn-based slog.

I am, however, a fan of roleplaying games. There’s just something appealing about putting myself in the shoes of a game’s protagonist and taking them through their story. Now, most of the big RPGs today have turned into giant collect-a-thons. Playing through them was a chore. That, and modern games just doesn’t allow for a lot of roleplaying.

When I saw people playing Baldur’s Gate 3, I was captivated. You could play as anything you want. You could roleplay however you choose. Every decision and dice roll absolutely mattered. Even if it was still at full price, I had to get it.

Creating a character

Steam has a two-hour policy for refunds. If you’ve played a game for less than two hours, the platform will grant you a refund automatically if you ask for it, no questions asked. As the logic goes, two hours is enough for players to tell if a game is worth keeping. Two hours, however, is not enough to get to the meat of Baldur’s Gate 3. It’s just enough to dip your toes in and get a feel for the game’s mechanics.

I used to laugh at RPG players who spent hours on the character creation menu. I never fiddled around with sliders and customization options. I wanted to get into the game as soon as possible. That changed with Baldur’s Gate 3.

While the game still has a lot of options to change how your character will look (including, yes, genital size), the character creation screen focuses a lot on how you want your character to be. I spent a good chunk of time figuring out the best race and class for me. Should I be an evil monk or a goody-two-shoes bard? Oh, and do these black horns go well with how I want my tiefling’s junk to be?

The prologue

Right after creating a character, the game quickly catapults you into the fire. A mind flayer — a tentacled humanoid that looks like child of Cthulhu — abducts your character and infects you with a parasitic worm that can turn you into a mind flayer like them. Your first job is to escape the mind flayer’s spaceship.

The introductory prologue teaches players the basics of Baldur’s Gate 3 — moving, fighting, and talking. However, one of the biggest aspects of the prologue is the introduction of two vital characters you can add to your party: Shadowheart, a selfish half-elf cleric, and Lae’zel, a brash githyanki fighter. From the beginning, these two characters are at each other’s throats. Unlike a lot of games that immediately portray teams as well-oiled machines, Baldur’s Gate 3 thrives on conflict. Party members are often at odds with one another. A lot of times, you’ll find yourself playing a mediator. Sometimes, you might even do something that causes them to leave your camp for good.

The focus on character-driven actions makes it so compelling to follow everyone’s stories to their conclusion. Every player will have favorite characters and interesting ways to deal with their conflict. They’re not just warm bodies you can throw at enemies. It also helps that Baldur’s Gate 3 has the best voice action and motion capture I’ve ever seen in a game. After you play the game, every other game will pale in comparison.

The moment everything clicked

After the prologue, the game drops you into the meatiest part of the game. The first act is a vast playground. Though there are goals, players are invited to tackle the game however they want — peacefully or with a sword in hand. This is also when the most important part of the game rears its head: the dice roll.

As with the traditional Dungeons and Dragons experience, everything is determined by the roll of the dice. In battle, the swing of a sword is determined by a dice roll. Planning before engaging is important just to account for the randomness. More importantly, dialogue and actions away from battle are determined by the same dice. Want to pick that locked door? Roll for dexterity. Want to talk down a rampaging barbarian from attacking you? Roll for persuasion.

The moment this is all clicked for me was a moment shortly after the start of the first act. My party runs into a dying mind flayer. The game asks me if I want to explore the monster’s mind. Since it was dying (and I felt that I had enough intelligence), I said yes.

Cue the dice roll.

I rolled a natural 20, the best possible roll because it’s an automatic win. However, this encounter was one of the rare moments when the game asks for a second, more difficult roll right after passing the first.

Cue the next dice roll. I went for it. After all, I rolled a 20 beforehand.

I rolled a 1, the worst possible roll because it’s an automatic failure. Unbeknownst to me, this was a death-saving roll. If you pass, you live. If you fail, you die. And I failed spectacularly.

The mind flayer took control and killed me. Fade to black.

Game over.

Aghast, I could do nothing but applaud. I wasn’t even two hours into the game. Though it was a kick to the gut, I was amazed at how willing the game was to let go of your hand. This isn’t an easy traipse through a fantasy land. It’s a complicated maze that will take you through a lot of unexpected twists and turns. I knew I was in for a good time.

Randomness defines the community

It’s understandable that making randomness a feature might turn some players off. If you can’t rely on pure skill, what’s the point?

However, the concept of failure does not mean an end to the game. Yes, my particular experience ended in a game over screen. Most don’t, though. A lot of times, failing a dice roll often means the opportunity to tackle a problem in a different way. Failed to persuade an enemy to lay down their arms? Maybe you can sneak past them. Failed that? Well, time for a battle.

Baldur’s Gate 3 makes failure fun. Every playthrough is automatically unique. It also adds to the community aspect of the game.

After a lengthy session, my first instinct is to go to the game’s subreddit and read what other players did in their playthroughs. Every single time, I would find an encounter I’ve never seen before or a result I haven’t tried yet. I’d immediately want to hop back on to see if I can replicate how they did with my character.

Outside of the actual game, Baldur’s Gate 3’s biggest appeal is its community. It’s almost like sharing war stories around the campfire. Every experience is valid, no matter how good or evil a playthrough can be.

A generational game

The game’s six awards should speak for themselves. Larian Studios created a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a fresh gaming experience, near infinite replayability, unmatched acting, and a supportive community.

Even at full price, the game is worth every penny. If you haven’t tried this year’s Game of the Year yet, there are so many reasons to go for it. It’s one of the best games I’ve ever played.

SEE ALSO: The Game Awards 2023: Full list of winners

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The Game Awards 2023: Full list of winners

Game of the Year and more



Much like your favorite movies and shows, your favorite video games are also deserving of awards at the end of the year. Though a lot of organizations give out awards throughout the season, the biggest event is the annual Game Awards hosted by Geoff Keighley. If you missed the event, here’s a rundown of the winners this year.

Game of the Year

  • Alan Wake 2
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Resident Evil 4 Remake
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best Game Direction

  • Alan Wake 2
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best Narrative

  • Alan Wake 2
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
  • Final Fantasy 16
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Best Art Direction

  • Alan Wake 2
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Lies of P
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best Score and Music

  • Alan Wake 2
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Final Fantasy 16
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best Audio Design

  • Alan Wake 2
  • Dead Space Remake
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Resident Evil 4 Remake

Best Performance

  • Ben Starr, Final Fantasy XVI
  • Cameron Monaghan, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • Idris Elba, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
  • Melanie Liburd, Alan Wake 2
  • Neil Newbon, Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Yuri Lowenthal, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Innovation in Accessibility

  • Diablo IV
  • Forza Motorsport
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Mortal Kombat 1
  • Street Fighter 6

Games for Impact

  • A Space for the Unbound
  • Chants of Sennaar
  • Goodbye Volcano High
  • Tchia
  • Terra Nil
  • Venba

Best Ongoing Game

  • Apex Legends
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Final Fantasy 14
  • Fortnite
  • Genshin Impact

Best Indie Game

  • Cocoon
  • Dave the Diver
  • Dredge
  • Sea of Stars
  • Viewfinder

Best Debut Indie Game

  • Cocoon
  • Dredge
  • Pizza Tower
  • Venba
  • Viewfinder

Best Mobile Game

  • Final Fantasy 7: Ever Crisis
  • Honkai: Star Rail
  • Hello Kitty Island Adventure
  • Monster Hunter Now
  • Terra Nil

Best Community Support

  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
  • Destiny 2
  • Final Fantasy 16
  • No Man’s Sky

Best VR/AR Game

  • Gran Turismo 7
  • Humanity
  • Horizon: Call of the Mountain
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Synapse

Best Action Game

  • Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
  • Dead Island 2
  • Ghostrunner 2
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Remnant 2

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • Alan Wake 2
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best RPG

  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Final Fantasy 16
  • Lies of P
  • Sea of Stars
  • Starfield

Best Fighting Game

  • God of Rock
  • Mortal Kombat 1
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2
  • Pocket Bravery
  • Street Fighter 6

Best Family Game

  • Disney Illusion Island
  • Party Animals
  • Pikmin 4
  • Sonic Superstars
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • EA Sports FC 24
  • F1 23
  • Forza Motorsport
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged
  • The Crew Motorfest

Best Sim/Strategy Game

  • Advanced Wars 1+” Re-Boot Camp
  • Cities: Skylines 2
  • Company of Heroes 3
  • Fire Emblem Engage
  • Pikmin 4

Best Multiplayer Game

  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Diablo 4
  • Party Animals
  • Street Fighter 6
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Content Creator of the Year

  • IronMouse
  • PeopleMakeGames
  • Quackity
  • Spreen
  • SypherPK

Best Esports Athlete

  • Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok
  • Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut
  • Max “Demon1” Mazanov
  • Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez
  • Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk
  • Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen

Best Esports Coach

  • Christine “potter” Chi
  • Danny “zonic” Sorensen
  • Jordan “Gunba” Graham
  • Remy “XTQZZZ” Quoniam
  • Yoon “Homme” Sung-young

Best Esports Event

  • 2023 League of Legends World Championship
  • Blast.tv Paris Major 2023
  • EVO 2023
  • The International Dota 2 Championships 2023
  • VALORANT Champions 2023

Best Esports Game

  • Counter-Strike 2
  • Dota 2
  • Leage of Legends
  • PUBG Mobile
  • Valorant

Best Esports Team

  • Evil Geniuses
  • Fnatic
  • Gaimin Gladiators
  • JD Gaming
  • Team Vitality

Most Anticipated Game

  • Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
  • Hades 2
  • Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
  • Star Wars Outlaws
  • Tekken 8

Best Adaptation

  • Castlevania: Nocturne
  • Gran Turismo
  • The Last of Us
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie
  • Twisted Metal

Player’s Voice

  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
  • Genshin Impact
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
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The Game Awards 2023: Huge trailers you might have missed

Featuring a new Hideo Kojima title



The Game Awards is the pinnacle of gaming events these days. During the annual ceremony, the best games of the year are recognized and awarded. However, it also reveals trailers for highly anticipated titles coming within An enduring franchise for a lot of gamers,

Monster Hunter Wilds

Monster Hunter is ready to take it to the next generation. Kicking off the sixth generation, Monster Hunter Wilds takes advantage of next-gen graphics. Newer and grander monsters are coming. While there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the upcoming game, the trailer reveals a desert-themed map and flying mounts.


Once again, Hideo Kojima is the master of mystery in the gaming industry. We have no way to describe this game accurately. It’s a Kojima project for Xbox. It will also have acclaimed director Jordan Peele, Sophia Lillis, Hunter Schafer, and Udo Kier attached. That’s enough of a reason to check it out.

Marvel’s Blade

Hot off the heels of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Marvel has a new gaming project: Marvel’s Blade. However, rather than Insomniac Games, this project will be helmed by Bethesda and Arkane Lyon, the minds behind the Dishonored series and Deathloop.

God of War Ragnarok Valhalla


One of the craziest drops this Game Awards, one of last year’s best game, God of War Ragnarok, is getting a free DLC in a few days’ time. While it’s not exactly a new game, it will meld the fluid combat of the original game with the dynamic gameplay of the roguelite genre.

Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes of the Fallen and The Rising Tide

Both announced this event, Final Fantasy XVI will get a pair of DLCs. The first one, Echoes of the Fallen, is already available with new chapters. Meanwhile, The Rising Tide will come out next spring.

Zenless Zone Zero


Hoyoverse is back with its next title. Inspired by the ARPG genre, Zenless Zone Zero takes the studio’s iconic style to a new universe with all-new gameplay.

Skull and Bones

Inspired by the success of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, Skull and Bones was announced a long time ago without a release date. Now, Ubisoft has revealed when the pirate-themed RPG is coming: February 16, 2024.

World of Goo 2


World of Goo was such an indie hit back in the day that gamers are still playing the physics-based puzzler today. Now, the title is finally getting a sequel. Featuring the same mechanics as the original, World of Goo 2 will experiment with more ways to connect goo blobs. It’s coming next year.


A BUDOKAI TENKACHI game in everything but name. And Bandai Namco has confirmed as much saying this game retains the all the battle and action elements of the aforementioned game. This includes follow-up attacks and timing-based counters, while adding all-new actions. They’re calling this one the ultimate 3D Dragon Ball action battle game.

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