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fifa15guide | Neymar, PSG stay perfect with Lyon defeat; Mario Balotelli fires Nice to win

PSG made it a perfect six wins in six games to start the Ligue 1 season with the help of two Lyon own goals.

Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain were rescued by two second-half own goals as they extended their 100 percent start to the season with an unconvincing 2-0 victory over Lyon.

It looked like being a frustrating night for PSG and their expensively assembled frontline of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani until Lyon defender Marcelo inadvertently turned home a cross from substitute Giovani Lo Celso 15 minutes from time.

Uruguayan striker Cavani then had a penalty saved by Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, before visiting defender Jeremy Morel put the result beyond doubt by diverting the ball into his own net in the 86th minute.

Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring the only goal in Nice’s win over Rennes.

In-form Mario Balotelli smashed home his fourth goal in three games to earn Nice a 1-0 success at Rennes.

Balotelli, who struck twice against Monaco last weekend and also scored in the midweek Europa League win at Zulte-Waregem, found the top right corner from a tight angle after racing onto Alassane Plea’s pass with 10 minutes remaining.

Metz picked up their first points of the season with a 1-0 victory which ended Angers‘ unbeaten start.

Forward Nolan Roux claimed the only goal at Stade Raymond Kopa, stooping to head Mathieu Dossevi’s cross down into the ground and into the top right corner in the 55th minute.

Clinton Njie scored both goals as Marseille got back to winning ways.

Clinton Njie scored a quick-fire double as Marseille ended their three-game winless run in Ligue 1 with a 2-0 success at Amiens.

The former Tottenham forward converted from close range following Hiroki Sakai’s right-wing centre to break the deadlock seven minutes into the second half.

Cameroon international Njie made it five goals in four league games three minutes later, collecting a neat pass from Florian Thauvin and taking the ball past Amiens goalkeeper Regis Gurtner before slotting into the bottom right corner.

fifa15guide – Jose Mourinho denies Paul Pogba has been ruled out for 12 weeks

Shaka Hislop says Jose Mourinho missed Paul Pogba’s services and the 4-0 scoreline flattered Man United against Everton.
Shaka Hislop says Jose Mourinho missed Paul Pogba’s services and the 4-0 scoreline flattered Man United against Everton.
Manchester United scored three in the final 10 minutes to batter Everton at Old Trafford.
Manchester United score three in the final ten minutes to batter Everton at Old Trafford.

MANCHESTER — Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insists he still does not know how bad Paul Pogba’s hamstring injury is.

Reports on Sunday suggested the France international could be out for 12 weeks after picking up the problem during the victory over Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Pogba missed the 4-0 win over Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday, but afterwards Mourinho insisted no one inside the club knows the full extent of the problem.

He told a news conference: “I don’t know if it is 12 weeks or 12 days. Honestly, any comment, any view, any rumour is totally wrong, because we do not know if it is 12 weeks or 12 days.

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“The player was diagnosed initially after the match because of the conditions of the muscle and bleeding, was one more week to wait and see clearly in the scans, and nobody in this club spoke about 12 days or 12 weeks.

“It’s a muscular injury in the hamstring but we have a normal procedure and wait a few more days. It’s completely nonsense information.”

Pogba is set to miss the League Cup tie against Burton Albion on Wednesday and is unlikely to be fit to face Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

United also have games against CSKA Moscow and Crystal Palace before the next international break.

Their first game back after the break is against Liverpool at Anfield in what will be United’s first test against another top-six side.

Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.

fifa15guide – Memorable moment: Riise fires Norway to glory

As the world of football counts down to the reveal of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ official emblem and slogan – in Paris on 19 September – we are counting down the 10 Most Memorable Moments in FIFA Women’s World Cup history.

The background
The Final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Sweden 1995™ was an all-European affair. After losing to USA in the Final four years earlier, Norway were anxious to scale the heights on this occasion. Facing them was an equally ambitious Germany side featuring the likes of Bettina Wiegmann, Heidi Mohr, Silvia Neid and Birgit Prinz. The Scandinavians were without their captain Heidi Store, who was suspended, though Hege Riise made them forget about that when she took possession of the ball in the middle of the German half eight minutes before the interval.

Why so special?
After nutmegging the first defender to close her down and skipping past the second, the midfielder curled a right-footed shot into the bottom corner to set the Norwegians on the way to their first and, as yet, only world title. Riise’s sublime strike also helped her secure the adidas Golden Ball, as the tournament’s most outstanding player.

What she said
“Some moments you just can’t forget and that goal in the final is one for me. But although we were so clearly on top, we always knew it was Germany, who never give up, so we didn’t relax until the final whistle. That ’95 World Cup was my best experience, and the Golden Ball is something I’m still really so proud of. I did feel like I had a fantastic tournament and I enjoyed every minute of being out there. I was in such good shape; I just felt like nothing could stop me out there.” 

Relive Riise’s goal on video, and click here for more on this historic moment

fifa15guide | Vladimir Putin: World Leader in A.I. “Will Become the Ruler of the World”


It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats

Russian president Vladimir Putin has entered the global artificial intelligence development race.

The Verge reports that Putin claims “[a]rtificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind,” but he also warns that “[i]t comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

While developments in AI will lead to growth and change in many industries – including defeating pro gamers – it is certain that the technology will also contribute to advancements in warfare. So much so that many technology leaders including Elon Musk petitioned the United Nations for new regulations on the development of AI weapons calling it the “third revolution in warfare”.

Putin is by no means oblivious to this potential and believes that the wars of the future would be fought by drones.

“When one party’s drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender,” said Putin.

The Russian president added that the intention is not to see the field completely “monopolized” by one country claiming “[i]f we become leaders in this area, we will share this know-how with entire world, the same way we share our nuclear technologies today.”

China also recently made its aspirations for becoming the world leader in AI research by 2030 known. It has a bit of a lead on Russia, with itself and the US currently leading the race.

That being said, the US could be in danger of falling behind with potential funding cuts to basic science and technology research on the horizon.

In the meantime, artificial intelligence will continue to change the way we see the world by doing all sorts of things like creating brand new languages and learning to play games like Star Craft 2.

Hope Corrigan is an Australian freelance news writer for IGN who welcomes her new overlords. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Square Enix Could Stop Final Fantasy Modding If There Are Too Many Adult Mods –


Keep it PG.

Final Fantasy XV is going to have mod support on PC, but its director is wary that mods might get too…porny.

Speaking to PC Gamer at PAX West, Hajime Tabata gave his rationale behind including mod support. “Traditionally Final Fantasy has a bit of an image that everyone has the exact same experience and shares that experience with everyone that plays the game,” Tabata said. “With Final Fantasy XV, we went in a slightly different direction. Right from the start, the way the whole game is structured and created gives each individual player their own individual and unique FF15 journey. I certainly think the modding community is going to resonate with that and the idea that you can change it any way they want is exciting.”

However, Tabata also said that while he doesn’t want to restrict modders in any way, nudity and other adult content is a concern. While the final say is in the hands of the CEO of Square Enix, Tabata said that “if things are taken a little too far,” modding might be affected or stopped entirely.  “So if there’s anything we can say, it’s try to be as controlled as possible,” he said.

Final Fantasy XV’s PC version was announced last month, and is due for an early 2018 release window. The PC version can be run in full 4K, with graphical improvements like “realistic turf, advanced hair simulation and high quality ambient occlusion”. We recently went hands on with the Final Fantasy XV pocket edition, which is such an exact remake it’s surreal. 

Lucy O’Brien is Games & Entertainment Editor at IGN’s Sydney office. Follow her on Twitter.

fifa15guide – Preacher: “On Your Knees” Review


The Saint of Killers is ready for payback.

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Last week’s Preacher was another of those apparently obligatory episodes that come along every few weeks to crush the season’s overall momentum. But if nothing else, “Backdoors” offered the promise of a an epic team-up between the two big villains of Season 2 – Herr Starr and the Saint of Killers. The latter character’s return wasn’t everything I hoped, but at least “On Your Knees” paved the way for a dramatic finale.

If nothing else, this episode was successful in highlighting the tragedy fueling the Saint. Granted, viewers were already plenty familiar with the character’s origin story, but the emphasis this season has mainly been on the Saint as an unstoppable Terminator figure. But here, there was new flashback material offering a closer look at his life in that fleeting period where he tried his best to leave killing behind and become a good, decent man. You can’t help but feel for a guy who wants only one thing from his miserable existence and knows that he’ll never, ever have it. Accordingly, there was an added touch of sadness to Graham McTavish’s performance this week. He was as terrifying as ever, sure, but that aura of tragedy was more pronounced than before.

That sense of tragedy helped offset some of the weaker elements of the Saint’s storyline this week. Early on, this episode wasted a little too much time exploring how he escaped his imprisonment in the armored car. Those scenes didn’t really tell us anything that wasn’t already made obvious in the final moments of “Backdoors.” More frustrating, though, is the abrupt way the rematch between the Saint and Jesse ended. The tension in that scene was palpable, as it really did seem as though Jesse was about to lose his scalp (which maybe wouldn’t be a bad thing, as lousy as his hairstyle is). But instead, he was saved by a major case of diabolus ex machina. I understand the thinking with that sudden plot twist. Starr’s goal in freeing the Saint was never to gain an ally or wipe Jesse Custer off the map, but merely to manipulate Jesse into viewing the Grail in a more favorable light. Regardless, this seemed a very sudden and unsatisfying resolution to a very brutal encounter.

At least the rematch itself was plenty entertaining. The writers managed to level the playing field ever so slightly, giving Jesse and friends at least the illusion of a chance against the Saint. In the process, Tulip finally conquered the PTSD she’s been battling for most of the season, resulting in some of Ruth Negga’s strongest scenes in a while. But even without his guns and blade, the Saint is an unkillable, super-strong demon, so there was an air of hopeless futility to this confrontation. As much as the abrupt resolution was frustrating, I’m not sure how many options there were that would have left Jesse alive and reasonably unharmed.

At this point, the Saint appears to be off the board for however long the writers choose. He could somehow be enlisted in Eugene and Hitler’s escape attempt, or he could be gone for a full season or more. If there aren’t immediate plans for the character, I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to simply keep him trapped in the bayou rather than dragging him back into and then out of the spotlight so quickly. But at least the Saint’s brief return fueled the threat posed by Starr and the Grail. Starr truly emerged victorious this week. He played Jesse like a harp from Hell. He managed to drive a serious wedge between Jesse and his friends, shattering the friendship that’s very much at the heart of the series. And he accomplished that second task merely by pointing out how much Jesse has been keeping from Tulip and Cassidy. Can you blame them for breaking ranks now?

Of course, it seems very unlikely that the two won’t change their minds and try to rescue Jesse in the finale. The series seems to be wrapping up its own adaptation of the “Proud Americans” storyline from the comic, where Jesse fought to rescue Cassidy from the Grail’s custody. Only here, the roles have been reversed, and Jesse is the one in need of rescuing. It’s a fun wrinkle to the source material, and one that challenges the notion of Jesse as the John Wayne figure always rescuing others.

Finally, while this was another fairly Hell-heavy episode, those scenes played better than they have in recent weeks. Mostly that’s due to the increased momentum of Eugene’s storyline. After spending the entire season languishing in Hell, he’s finally on the move again and getting closer to finally returning to the mortal world. And weirdly, this turned out to be a fairly upbeat episode for Eugene, as he was given the chance to reconcile with his father. It was certainly a nice treat seeing W. Earl Brown back on the show for a few minutes. And given what befell Annville in the Season 1 finale, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Eugene actually was speaking to his real father rather than a mere hologram.

Hopefully, we’ll see Eugene finally make his escape in the finale next week. The whole point of his exile has been to explore the changed man he becomes afterward. Drawing things out any longer would be a huge mistake. Plus, I’d love to see what this show does with the idea of Hitler roaming the Earth again (assuming he also makes it out).

The Verdict

This episode didn’t necessarily make full use of the Saint of Killers’ return. By the end, it was clear that the villain was merely a means to an end for the true antagonist in Jesse Custer’s life, Herr Starr. Still, “On Your KInees” delivered a brutal showdown while it lasted, one that resulted in some strong moments for Tulip and a more sympathetic portrayal of the Saint himself. Despite the abrupt resolution to this week’s conflict, the season seems headed for a memorable finale next week.

Taking The Throne With Final Fantasy XII –


11 years on from its original release, Square-Enix’s twelfth prodigal son has returned to finally fulfill its promise.

The art of ruling. It’s as timeless a human pursuit as any, though one that continues to go strangely, even willfully unnoticed by the majority of those who are ruled. Kings and queens have not changed. They simply update their presentation and their titles through the ages so as to appear less imperious. Crowns for lapel pins, princes for presidents. The reality is, of course, that We The People give them that power. By looking up at them, by paying attention to them. By listening, and thereby lending credence to their obvious lies, simply because they have come to lead.

“The concepts that became the core pillars of the storyline in Final Fantasy XII were: ‘What is duty?’ and ‘What is the real meaning of freedom?’” says Hiroaki Kato. He’s the project manager on Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, the heavily re-imagined 2017 re-release of the 2006 original. He was the project manager on that as well. For him, the experience has definitely been dutiful, if not exactly freeing.

“As a project manager on the original game, I remember looking over the old schedules that I had drawn up for each individual team with what they were supposed to be creating. Looking at these, it struck me again how much the teams were actually doing and it made me think, ‘Wow that was a really difficult schedule!’ There was so much that they were expected to do within the time, and I think maybe we were able to get everything done because we [were] all that much younger back then,” he laughs.

“The concepts that became the core pillars of the storyline in Final Fantasy XII were: ‘What is duty?’ and ‘What is the real meaning of freedom?’” – Hiroaki Kato.

FFXII carries its burdens just as mindfully. As the story goes on, talking to the people of Imperial-occupied Rabanastre, FFXII’s starting hub, reveals a steady shift in attitudes towards emergent villain Vayne Solidor. Arriving as the new consul to a city still hostile to Imperial rule, he sets about a familiar game of populist niceties: Mingling with the ‘smallfolk’ during his inauguration, inviting the use of his first name and not his honourific, ensuring the public know he has instructed the guards to be ‘nicer’ to them et al. There is a realisation, as Vayne’s true colours turn to deathly shades, that the nuclear power of nethicite – FFXII’s Death Star-ish superweapon – has the potential to dethrone, but will doom everyone in the process. Mutually assured destruction is no substitute for the masses coming together as one and turning their backs on royal madness. Penultimately, rulers should live and die by the sword of consensus and ultimately, a game made in 2006 has never been more relevant than in 2017.

“When you first look at it, it seems like these are really heavy themes, but they are very universal and many people think about them – regardless of their age, gender, position and upbringing,” Kato says. “We mixed these themes with the fictitious world of Ivalice and a war setting, and the story itself was woven together around the various main characters that have their own different ideologies.”

Like the political cataclysms that enliven FFXII’s storyline, its original release was fraught with bad timing. 2006’s attention was waylaid not just by the arrival of the PS3, but also the distant promise of Final Fantasy XIII. It was also the year that a slew of incredible JRPGs were released, not least of which were Level-5’s similarly-veined Rogue Galaxy and Atlus’ vaunted Persona 3.

“I personally liked both Rogue Galaxy and Persona 3 a lot. I am enjoying Persona 5 at the moment too!” Kato says. “If I think back to the time we were developing the original Final Fantasy XII, I don’t really remember us paying particular attention to the trends of the time or to other company’s games, though. This was because developing Final Fantasy XII itself was a big enough challenge on its own, in the sense that we had implemented a lot of new systems and tried a unique new visual style.”

It seems hard to imagine now, but at the time FFXII’s gameplay was a massive departure – and, if you hadn’t experienced any of Final Fantasy XI’s MMORPG leanings beforehand – unfamiliarly jarring. Many fans hadn’t, going straight from Final Fantasy X/X-2’s turn-based linearity to Ivalice’s open world and real-time ‘gambit’ system. A way to semi or even completely automate your party in combat, it was unexpectedly FFXII’s narrative that really polarised, decried as straightforward by Final Fantasy standards and even accused of derivation. Though Square-Enix have denied the influence of Star Wars, this is certainly hard to ignore: Vaan, the young man longing to leave the desert for the air. Ashe, the renegade princess on a mission to restore her republic. Balthier, the roguish mercenary who flies the unfriendly skies – in an unorthodox but effective ship, the Strahl – alongside his likeable but thoroughly alien partner-in-crime, Fran. Vayne Solidor, villainous emperor at large. His helmeted and heavy-voiced apprentice, Gabranth, a fallen angel of sorts who also has familial ties to one of our heroes. There’s even Reddas, the suspiciously charismatic leader of an independent trade hub who treats with the empire to keep it that way.

Taking The Throne With Final Fantasy XII -

Vaan and Balthier, just two members of a sprawling cast.

Itself a joint development between opposing factions within Square-Enix, anyone who’s played through Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (never mind 1998’s original mess of mistranslation) will immediately notice that team’s hand in FFXII’s medieval parlance, benighted political intrigue and stylistic obsession with astrology. It’s telling that Kato outright refuses to answer any questions about the alleged development schism between the Tactics crew and PlayOnline’s people, though this has been hinted at elsewhere – in, uh, French – by executive producer Akitoshi Kawazu. Now seemingly more than ever, Square-Enix is loathe to shoot from the hip. That is in some way understandable given the historical precariousness of the company’s bottom line, but FFXII would make for a bizarre cash-grab. That dishonour may well end up going to Final Fantasy VII’s remake, but FFXII simply does not have anything close to the nostalgic capital of said classic. To the contrary, it’s frequently derided as the herald of the direction the franchise would take from FFXIII onwards – a direction that is still wildly unpopular despite Final Fantasy XV’s relative goodness, objectively speaking. All told, it’s a strange game in Final Fantasy history and seems a stranger choice still for what is an unusually extensive remastering.

All told, it’s a strange game in Final Fantasy history and seems a stranger choice still for what is an unusually extensive remastering.

“My favourite Final Fantasy titles are Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy Tactics, because they both have job systems in them,” Kato says. “In Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, we created the Zodiac Job System, which was heavily based on these two titles. Ivalice is a world where the environment and cultures completely change depending on the location and the era, and between Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII, the nature of the world itself and the stories told have changed completely. In a way, they both have completely new and different settings. However,” he continues, “there are key concepts that are shared between the two versions of the world, so for fans that have played Final Fantasy Tactics, there’s a lot of fun to be had in solving the mysteries of the linked worlds using their intuition and imagination, and making that kind of thing possible is one aspect of why we used Ivalice. Naturally, the stories have a few thousand years of time between them, and we developed the game so the fans can really enjoy the deep world of Final Fantasy XII even if they have not played Final Fantasy Tactics.”

Taking The Throne With Final Fantasy XII -

Sweet original art for the game.

Much like the complex machinations seething under its sword ‘n sorcery, FFXII is a game that is not entirely forthcoming with you. It doesn’t tell you the boys are all more likely to combo with sword, spear and stabby little dagger. It doesn’t tell you the Bushi’s damage is also based on Magic. It doesn’t tell you the weather isn’t just for show, with storms reducing the accuracy of crossbows and bows and rain increasing the potency of Lightning damage. The infamously unknowable Zodiac Spear ‘quest’ was the lord of this misrule, the fabled weapon only obtainable if you abstained from opening a specific series of otherwise unremarkable chests – none of which are ever signposted or even hinted at by anything at all (though this has been completely reworked). These foxy  underpinnings could be incidental, but then there is the jobs system. Until now, it was present only in 2007’s revamped Final Fantasy XII International – hilariously never released outside of Japan. It changes everything.

“For Final Fantasy XII’s international version, it was decided that the director, Hiroyuki Ito, who was in charge of much of the battle design for many previous numbered Final Fantasy games and the creator of both the famous Active Time Battle and ability systems, was going to re-create the battle system himself,” Kato says. “So compared to international versions that went before, it went through a very different approach, with big changes to the core systems. The original Final Fantasy XII had one shared license board between the main party, meaning that they grew and developed together with the same board and ultimately shared the same skills and abilities. The addition of the Zodiac Job System allowed players to develop each of their characters individually and in different ways. It allows the player to choose the direction they can go in by assigning two of 12 different jobs per character. This adds a whole new layer of customisation and enjoyment for players when developing their characters, which is something some players were missing in the original game.”

Taking The Throne With Final Fantasy XII -

Basch – a natural knight?

It’s here where FFXII goes from lying by omission to pointedly dishonest. The jobs the story overtly insists on for each character are mostly the less appropriate jobs for them. Vaan and Penelo’s urchin origins suggest the swift and tricky Shikari. Balthier is frequently represented with a sly grin and a Machinist’s gun. The elfin allusions of the viera cast Fran as an Archer. Basch seems a natural Knight as does Ashe, who first appears bearing blade and buckler. FFXII’s unlikely truths run deeper still: Penelo’s magical prowess is arguably the best but her physicality is the worst, and the Machinist’s guns do set damage regardless of stats, making them perfect for her but a waste of Balthier’s high Strength and tanky HP – a tank that can take the unexpected form of the thiefly Shikari. Vaan can do almost anything, but his equal-high Strength and Magic and combo powers with katanas make him the ultimate Bushi. Fran is actually the slowest with bows, and the fastest and most likely to combo with the Monk’s poles, while the Foebreaker’s potential is based on Vitality, at which she excels the most. Basch deals obnoxious damage as an Uhlan and has an unexpected affinity for archery. Ashe’s sorcery and surprising sword-arm scream for the Red Battlemage.

“The European and American releases of Final Fantasy XII were based on the original Japanese version that came out before it, and this is one reason that the Zodiac Job System was not in them,” Kato explains. “We had discussed including a job system in the original game, but because we had already introduced a completely new battle system that differed from previous numbered, packaged Final Fantasy games, like the seamless transition into battle from exploration and the gambit system. We were worried that by introducing too many new elements it would make it much harder for players to learn the system, as they would have so much more to consider. As a result, we cut out the job system and spent the time on making the seamless transitions and the gambit system as fun and polished as we could instead. After we finished work on the EU and NA versions of Final Fantasy XII, when we came to work on Final Fantasy XII’s International Zodiac Job System, we felt that players would now have gotten used to the gambits and seamless battles by then. So in order to introduce new gameplay, we felt it was an ideal opportunity to put the Zodiac Job System in.”

Like the story, the gameplay itself metatextually declares: Things are never as they appear.

In 2007, each party member could only have one job. In 2017, they can now have two. This is well-meant, but deciding what combinations work well together and also in regards to the whole can be paralysing. Restarting at least once is a rite of FFXII passage, and then there are the espers to consider. Unlocking these summons for some jobs will open up skills that can fundamentally change how they work. When given Mateus, for example, all of a sudden the Knight becomes a potent magical healer as well. If Basch and his woeful Magic stat is your Knight, that’s a weird waste nobody saw coming. FFXII drops you into the world and come whatever may. Like the story, the gameplay itself metatextually declares: Things are never as they appear. All the forward planning you can muster will not save you from sacrifice, and then: Whose story is it, really? There is no Terra, no Cloud, no Squall, no Zidane, no Tidus, no Yuna. Like War of the Lions, FFXII is told in retrospect through the writings of a vital but otherwise infrequent presence – in this case Bhujerba’s ruler, Marquis Halim Ondore IV. We are introduced to the world as Vaan, though he quickly recedes into the background as deposed princess Ashe appears, only to be overshadowed by Balthier’s looming importance before an altogether unseen force takes center-stage and on and on goes the usurpation until the final act. It is knowingly apt.

Taking The Throne With Final Fantasy XII -

The party.

“All six of the main party members are the real main character,” Kato says. “You could say that Vaan is the most central character as how the party meets and comes together centers around him, but they all have their own burdens from their pasts tying them down, and they all ultimately manage to overcome these through encounters with different people. Thanks to the graphical and sound upgrades in the HD remaster, the quality of the emotional depictions is that much higher now, and reading the subtle performances of each character has become clearer and more defined. If you play with the understanding that all six of them are the main character, then you may well notice things that you did not pick up on in the first Final Fantasy XII. Also,” he continues, “if you play through all the sub-events and sub-quests, starting with the bounty hunts, then you get the chance to look at the lives and dramas of the population of Ivalice, meaning that in a large sense, you could very well say that everyone in Ivalice is the main character of this story.”

He’s not wrong: Final Fantasy XII’s story is everyone’s story – now more than ever. Its claim for the throne was denied in 2006 by the uncertainty of apparent certainty, a theme ironically central to its narrative, gameplay and even mechanics. In 2017, the throne now fits it like a gilded glove for, ironically once again, much the same reason.

Toby is an Australian writer and RPG tragic. Follow him on Twitter: @jane_tobes