Final Fantasy XVI release date, pre-order details

Are you excited?



Final Fantasy XVI

After a jaw-dropping trailer showcased at the Video Game Awards 2022, the official release date and pre-order details for Final Fantasy XVI (Final Fantasy 16/ FFXVI) has been revealed.

The game is launching as a PlayStation 5 console exclusive on June 22, 2023. Some reports say exclusivity will last for only six months.

FFXVI features Clive Rosfield. He is a warrior granted the title “First Shield of Rosaria” and sworn to protect his younger brother Joshua, the Dominant of the Phoenix, Eikon of Fire. The latest mainline Final Fantasy game is a dark medieval fantasy. The fate of the land is decided by deadly creatures known as Eikons and the human Dominants who can wield the powers of these mysterious beings.

Watch the trailer

Now for pre-order

Multiple editions of the game are now available for pre-order. Here’s what you’re getting:

Collector’s Edition (US$ 299/ PhP 19,990)

  • Box — A beautiful metallic-sheen box featuring impressive artwork by legendary FINAL FANTASY series illustrator, Yoshitaka Amano
  • “FINAL FANTASY XVI” Game — Base game package, including reversible cover art
  • Premium Statue – Phoenix vs Ifrit — A premium statue depicting a battle between two eikons – Phoenix and Ifrit
  • Metal Eikon Pin Collection — A premium metal pin collection featuring eight eikons
  • Special Clive Rosfield SteelBook® Case — A SteelBook case featuring artwork of Clive Rosfield, the protagonist
  • Cloth World Map of Valisthea — A cloth map of Valisthea where the story unfolds • Blood Sword (Weapon) DLC — The fabled scarlet steel of Firion, hero of Final Fantasy II.

Deluxe Edition (US$ 99/ PhP 4,990)

  • Base game package, including reversible cover art
  • Cloth World Map of Valisthea
  • Special Clive Rosfield SteelBook® Case
  • Early purchase bonus: Braveheart (Weapon) DLC and Cait Sith’s Charm (Gil Boost Accessory) DLC

Standard Editon (US$ 69.99/ PhP 3,490)


Favorite Games of 2023

It’s been a PACKED year for gaming



The Game Awards 2023 just wrapped and now it’s our turn to shine the spotlight on the games that we enjoyed this year. It has been a packed 2023 when it comes to games and there are only so many hours in a year. If your fave isn’t year, we likely just didn’t have time to play them. But for the ones we played, these are our Favorite Games of 2023.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Luigi: In a year absolutely stacked with must-play games, it’s unbelievable that there are only one or two titles that are definitely Game of the Year contenders. Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of those games. 

Even if you’re not a fan of turn-based RPGs, Baldur’s Gate 3 streamlines the D&D experience while keeping it hard to master. Plus, it has one of the most immersive stories and voice acting in a modern game. With thousands and thousands of different branches to pursue, it’s way too easy to spend hundreds of hours just exploring this immense game.

SEE ALSO: Why you should play Baldur’s Gate 3

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2

Rodneil: Insomniac Games doesn’t miss. The company behind the newest set of Spider-Man games is largely considered the MVP of the PlayStation 5 so far due to both the quality and quantity of games they’ve released since the dawn of the current generation consoles. 

Their latest outing, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, was again a huge hit. While not a perfect game (no game is), it took the lessons it learned from Spider-Man PS4 and Spider-Man: Miles Morales and made things better. It’s arguably the best story-driven action-adventure game out right now and we can’t wait to play its inevitable DLC. 

SEE ALSO: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 review

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Luigi: Mario’s Switch era is defined in three dimensions. Between Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8, the iconic franchise showed off its chops through its less conventional genres. Now, however, our favorite plumber is back to its side-scrolling roots.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a refreshing evolution of the formula. Level after level, the game comes up with so many fresh ideas. Besides just getting past levels, it’s enjoyable to see what crazy concept is lurking behind the next screen.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Luigi: While Elden Ring continues development on its first DLC, FromSoftware resurrects one of its earlier franchises through Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. While the mecha genre hasn’t been popular for a while, Armored Core VI brings its unique mix-and-match gameplay to modern systems.

Though daunting at first, it’s easy to master your mech. Experimentation is fun. Every battle feels like an epic duel. Plus, you’ve got FromSoftware’s usual show-don’t-tell storytelling. All in all, it’s a satisfying game that doesn’t overstay its welcome.

SEE ALSO: Armored  Core VI review: Tough-as-nails intro to the mecha genre

Final Fantasy XVI

Final Fantasy XVI

Rodneil: As far as Final Fantasy titles go, FFXVI is the biggest departure from what we know about the franchise. The story is darker, the RPG elements bare, and the combat going full-on action. It shines on two fronts: action combat and bombastic boss battles. 

The FFXVI boss battles are larger than life, earth-shattering, and flat-out epic. It took the Summons from the franchise and weaved them into the story in a satisfying and jaw-dropping manner. 

SEE ALSO: Final Fantasy XVI review: Reigniting the embers of a waning flame

Street Fighter 6

Outfit 3

Rodneil: Most fighting game enthusiasts had their start on Street Fighter 2. Now, the franchise is back, equipped with the lessons from its previous releases. Like a warrior coming back from defeat, Street Fighter 6 came out like a house on fire featuring improved art style, combat, and a single-player mode to keep even the fighting-game newbies engaged. 

Content continues to trickle in too. Outfit 3 was just announced and a trailer featuring its collaboration with the upcoming SpyXFamily movie set the internet buzzing. 

Hi-Fi Rush

Rodneil: Best shadow drop of 2023. Literally nobody saw it coming and that was one of the things it had going for it. Hi-Fi Rush is a rhythm, action game with the vibes of a Saturday morning cartoon. 

It’s fun with enough of a challenge and a pretty short game overall with completion pegged at just 11 hours. 

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Luigi: After the success of Breath of the Wild, it was tough to imagine where the Legend of Zelda could go next. Tears of the Kingdom blows away all expectations. While the previous game’s map is still there, the sequel ups the ante by adding floating islands and aerial navigation.

Oh, and there’s an insanely creative machine crafting system. Breath of the Wild thrived under the idea of “if you can dream it, it’s possible,” Tears of the Kingdom goes even further by adding a new system to tackle its wide, wide world.

Honkai: Star Rail

Rodneil: Genshin Impact but turn-based? That’s an oversimplification but that’s the easiest way to describe this latest hit from HoYoverse. Honkai: Star Rail features the same captivating animé art style with a plethora of characters to pull and add to your roster. 

The turn-based combat encourages beating the opponents right away and the bombastic super attacks make it very entertaining. Plus it’s now available on every platform except the Switch. 

SEE ALSO: Honkai: Star Rail: Turn-based Genshin Impact?

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Luigi: Okay, we cheated. Cyberpunk 2077 technically isn’t a game released in 2023. However, the huge 2.0 update (and the release of Phantom Liberty) released a few months ago earns the game a mention on this list. The game now is so far from its catastrophic launch back in 2020 that it might as well be an all-new release.

Coupled with its DLC, Cyberpunk 2077 is at the level that CD Projekt Red envisioned it to be. It’s an enjoyable and immersive adventure through a futuristic world. Plus, after the lackluster launch of Bethesda’s Starfield, it’s nice to have a more capable sci-fi RPG to fall back on.

Continue Reading


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

Continue Reading


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
  • 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
Continue Reading