Yuffie Yuffie

Gaming

Final Fantasy VII Remake Yuffie Episode: Short but satisfying

Will make you want to replay FF7R again

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It’s been over a year since Final Fantasy VII Remake (FF7R) launched and just recently, a PS5 upgrade to the game — Final Fantasy VII Remake INTERGrade was made available. Along with it is the INTERMission Episode DLC featuring materia hunter Yuffie Kisaragi.

The Yuffie Episode INTERMission DLC has two chapters featuring Yuffie, a bunch of new characters that are also part of Avalanche, as well as your companion for this game — Sonon Kusakabe.

Yuffie appears in FF7R much earlier than she did in the original game. But as everyone who’s played the game has already known, this is not like your other remakes.

INTERMission DLC sees Yuffie arriving in Midgar long before she meets Cloud and the rest of the gang that blew up Mako Reactors 1 and 5. Notably from the Wutai clan, Yuffie teamed up with other members of Avalanche (Nayo best girl) to retrieve what they think is an ultimate materia that Shinra is hiding in their labs.

Nayo best girl. Can’t change my mind.

Accompanying Yuffie in this mission journey is Sonon Kusakabe — another Wutai clan member.

Same controls but unique for characters

Yuffie

If you played FF7R then you should have no problems picking up on the controls. It’s exactly the same button commands but Square Enix has once again managed to make it feel unique.

In terms of movement, the INTERMission DLC took advantage of Yuffie and Sonon’s backgrounds as actual ninjas of the FF7R world. Here, they’re able to move around the environment in a way that was not possible with Cloud, Barrett, Tifa, and Aerith.

It’s by no means a platforming challenge, but it’s both a clever and thoughtful addition that makes sense for the characters you’re playing as.

Another thing unique to Yuffie is she can throw her shuriken to Shinra boxes and objects from a distance. This makes you more aware of your surroundings and encourages you to look around if there’s something you can throw the shuriken at to gain items or move forward.

Shuriken and Ninjutsu

Yuffie

Same is true for combat. Somewhat. In the same way that it’s similar button presses but manages to feel unique depending on the character you’re using. Cloud and Tifa are close quarter combat specialists. Barrett and Aerith prioritize maintaining a distance. Meanwhile, Yuffie is somewhat a combination of both.

Yuffie can attack in a variety of ways. Pressing square lands a light attack. Pressing and holding square lands a combo of light attacks that has Yuffie creating distance from the enemy towards the end.

From a distance, Yuffie can then throw the Shuriken by pressing the triangle button. This lands a couple of hits on the enemy. You can retrieve the Shuriken by pressing triangle again.

When the Shuriken is away, you can compound the attacks by pressing square repeatedly to land ninjutsu attacks. Ninjutsu attacks can have elemental effects. Yuffie can use Fire, Ice, Thunder, and Wind ninjutsu.

Yuffie also has a pretty strong parry/block mechanic. However, you need to time it precisely just about before the enemy lands a blow to be fully effective. This writer’s timing in games (and life in general) isn’t impeccable so this wasn’t utilized in this playthrough as much.

Synergy with Sonon

Unlike in the main FF7R game, you can’t switch to Sonon. You can still issue him commands when his ATB meter fills up, but that’s about it.

To best utilize this suave ninja, you’ll want to use Synergy. You need to press L2 to activate synergy. With it, Yuffie’s attacks deal more damage as they are executed in tandem with Sonon.

The catch is that Sonon’s ATB gauge fills up much slower when in this mode even if you have ATB materia boost equipped. The game encourages you to go in and out of synergy for a dynamic combat experience.

Later on in the game, you’ll get a chance to equip a materia that lets you do a synergized attack that doesn’t cost ATB. This will prove useful in the final battle — which can be a headache compared to everything else in the game.

Nero was one tough battle

A quick but endearing adventure

Final Fantasy VII Remake INTERGrade — INTERMission Episode Yuffie tells an efficient story. It only has two chapters but it manages to endear you to both Yuffie and Sonon.

The brother-sister dynamic between the two is quite charming. Sonon’s generally more laid back personality provides a balance to Yuffie’s youthful energy.

Sonon’s reactions to Yuffie’s impulsive decisions are hilarious

The DLC feels like an anime OVA in that it doesn’t exactly affect the main story, but it’s a nice addition to the overall narrative of FF7R.

Spending time in the Sector 7 Slums with some familiar faces was also pretty fun and definitely makes you want to replay the entire game all over again.

Some familiar faces

At this point, you’ve probably already seen the spoilers, but we won’t say anything here. However, the ending — both on Yuffie’s end as well as the additional one featuring scenes with Cloud and the rest of the FF7R gang, provides plenty of things fans of the game will talk about until the sequel releases.

Fort Condor, hunting flyers, extras

There isn’t much side content to this game. The first one has you running around Sector 7 collecting flyers from a fellow Wutai native.

The other is Fort Condor which is a mini game also derived from the original Final Fantasy VII. It plays a little differently here and is one that Square Enix should probably release as a separate mobile game.

The Whack-a-box challenge is also present here which yields some cool rewards. There’s already a video on YouTube showing how you can beat this and score 50,000.

 

After your first playthrough, Weiss — a villain from the Dierge of Cerberus game — can be challenged in the battle simulator at Shinra.

Should you play FF7R INTERGrade — INTERMission Episode Yuffie? 

If you can, since it’s only available on PS5 which is still hard to get right now, you definitely should. FF7R INTERGrade — INTERMission Episode Yuffie takes you back to Midgar and introduces you to a bubbly character.

It certainly turned out to be a much more satisfying play than we earlier imagined. There’s enough new-ish things shown here to instill confidence that characters that have yet to be introduced will also be handled with a great level of care.

It’s short, satisfying, but most importantly, gets you excited for what else is to come for Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Gaming

Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard for nearly US$ 70B

Massive acquisition

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Microsoft Activision

Here’s a move no one saw coming. Microsoft has just acquired gaming company Activision Blizzard for a whopping US$ 68.7 billion in an all-cash transaction.

This means every studio and every game under Activision Blizzard now belongs to Microsoft. These include the creators of popular franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot, and more.

The acquisition will make Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

Bobby Kotick, who has been embroiled in several issues concerning company culture will remain as CEO of Activision Blizzard. Once the deal formally closes, he and his team will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.

Exclusives?

The initial statement release stated that the Microsfot will continue to be present in the platforms that Activision Blizzard has established communities in. This could have allayed fears that the acquired titles will now be exclusive to Microsoft and Xbox. However, this line is no longer present and has been replaced with statements from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Phil Spencer.

“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” said Satya Nadella.

“Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want,” said Spencer.

Game Pass

The acquisition bodes well for Microsoft’s Game Pass. It already boasts of hundreds, if not thousands of gaming titles as well as over 25 million users.

The acquisition will add some parts of  Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries. It will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry.

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Gaming

My Hero Academia is getting a battle royale game

In closed beta right now

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Image source: Gematsu

Just when you thought the battle royale craze was over, a new contender has approached. Capitalizing on one of the most popular anime series in modern history, Bandai Namco is launching a battle royale based on My Hero Academia. My Hero Academia: Ultra Rumble is currently undergoing a beta test now.

Officially teased by Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine (spotted by Gematsu), the upcoming battle royale game will come to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. Like other battle royales in the genre, the game will be free-to-play.

Image source: Gematsu

However, instead of an all-out brawl between dozens and dozens of players, the game will only feature 24 players in a single round. Though Bandai Namco has not announced a launch date for the battle royale, a closed beta announcement means things are rolling smoothly. It might not take long before an open beta and an eventual launch happens.

My Hero Academia: Ultra Rumble makes sense as a spin-off of the popular anime series. Put simply, My Hero Academia takes place in a world where superpowers are commonplace. It’s easy to see how a battle royale based on the anime can work especially with different powers acting as a way to eliminate opponents.

Curiously enough, the game is coming out in older console generations, rather than the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S.

SEE ALSO: FF7 series launches new PS5 update, mobile battle royale

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Gaming

Microsoft has stopped making all Xbox One consoles

To focus on Xbox Series X/S

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Despite the global shortage, the gaming world is steadily moving towards next generation dominance. Both Sony and Microsoft want gamers to use either the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X/S exclusively. However, the ongoing problem is preventing gamers from switching. To help with the shortages, Microsoft is discontinuing all Xbox One consoles.

This has been a slow death for the previous Xbox generation. Back in 2020, Microsoft stopped producing the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition to pave the way for the then-launching Xbox Series X/S. That was only part of the equation. Gamers could still get other variants of the Xbox One series. Of course, that ends now.

Microsoft has stopped producing new units of all Xbox One consoles. If you want to purchase an older Xbox, you’ll have to rely on existing stock.

According to a statement sent to The Verge, the company pushed through with the decision to focus its production more on the still-scant Xbox Series X/S. With enough luck, the move might help the shortage. Both the new Xbox and the PlayStation 5 still notoriously sell out seconds after new stock is announced.

Ironically, Sony is trying the opposite strategy. Because of the ongoing shortages, the PlayStation maker is instead manufacturing more PlayStation 4 units this year, ideally to fill in the lacking PlayStation 5 stock.

Which strategy will prevail? At this point, no one is. Both consoles are still missing from stores despite overwhelming demand.

SEE ALSO: Xbox creates a SpongeBob-themed Xbox Series X

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