FF7 Rebirth, Xbox Drama, And More Of This Week’s Hottest Takes

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Image: Kotaku / Xbox / Thomas Mucha / Lukasz Pawel Szczepanski (Shutterstock), Square Enix, Screenshot: Square Enix, Sega, HoYoverse, Bethesda / Kotaku, Bethesda / Kotaku, Photo: HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP (Getty Images)

Hey, remember Foamstars? The Square Enix shooter from Summer Game Fest last year that everyone joked was a Splatoon clone? Well, it’s out now, and it turns out that “Splatoon clone” may have been a smidge too optimistic. Also, Team Green is going through it as we all wait on pins and needles to find out if Phil Spencer is breaking up with us on Valentine’s Day. Anyway, here are our takes on the week’s biggest news.

An image shows a monk praying as a big Xbox logo crashes into Earth.

Image: Kotaku / Xbox / Thomas Mucha / Lukasz Pawel Szczepanski (Shutterstock)

Over the February 3 weekend, reports from different outlets and insiders claimed that a number of big, Xbox exclusives—like Starfield and Gears of Warcould possibly end up on PlayStation 5 in the near future. Once the news spread around the internet, the most Xbox-pilled users and creators began theorizing, denying, mourning, and ranting to those within their Church Of Xbox circle and beyond. Then, Xbox boss Phil Spencer posted a vague statement, seemingly confirming something was happening but the faithful would have to wait until next week to hear what. Perhaps he thought this would calm the masses. It didn’t. Instead, for some devoted Xbox fans, it was confirmation that the brand they worshiped was leaving them behind. And they aren’t taking it well (though some remain pretty chill about the prospect of Starfield coming to PS5). – Zack Zwiezen Read More

Aerith kneels in prayer within the Forgotten Capital, FF7 Rebirth

Screenshot: Square Enix

With the release of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth only weeks away, it’s becoming abundantly clear that Square Enix is playing fast and loose with the original game’s script. That was true of FF7 Remake, but the most recent State of Play, focused entirely on Rebirth, was a bounty of spoilers and scenes that suggest this game will deviate even more from the expected narrative. That’s because it’s still not entirely clear what exactly this remake trilogy is. A remake or a reimagining? It is equally both of these things and neither of these things. And thanks to one scene from the State of Play trailer, I’m also convinced that it is a sequel to the 1997 original. – Willa Rowe Read More

Protagonist using evoker and summoning persona in Persona 3 Reload

Screenshot: Sega

Persona 3 Reload is by no means a definitive remake of the 2006 original. It’s missing the Portable release’s female protagonist as well as FES’s epilogue The Answer (although maybe not for long). That said, Reload has a lot going for it. A graphical update, new social link content that fleshes out characters, and quality-of-life improvements make it a great way to experience Persona 3. One of the undeniably stunning features of Reload is its UI, or user interface, which is some of the most stylistically impressive pieces of design in any game. Though there is one minor piece of UI design from the original Persona 3 that is absent in Reload—and I can’t help but think it’s a major loss for the game. – Willa Rowe Read More

Black Swan holding up glowing tarot cards with a purple floral background, Honkai: Star Rail

Screenshot: HoYoverse

Honkai: Star Rail released its first major update this week in the form of version 2.0 It adds a cornucopia of new content for trailblazers to explore, including a continuation of the main quest, new characters, and the new Penacony area. I’ve only spent a short amount of time with version 2.0 but things are looking really good so far. And one of the less flashy features added in version 2.0, Fate’s Atlas, has completely won me over. – Willa Rowe Read More

Cloud looks horrified as flames rage.

Image: Square Enix

FF7‘s save-the-world story wasn’t revolutionary in 1997, and it certainly isn’t today. But the palpable sense that something is “off” with Cloud and his mentor-turned-nemesis Sephiroth elevates it into something far more memorable and enduring. For much of the game, the fate of the planet kinda takes a backseat to finding out what the deal is with these guys. At the same time, with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the developers at Square Enix face the daunting task of attracting newcomers to the second chapter of a trilogy, those who may primarily know Cloud and Sephiroth as cool badasses with fun hair from the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster. – Jen Glennon Read More

A Starfield NPC looks at the camera.

Screenshot: Bethesda / Kotaku

The PlayStation Access controller has a joystick on one side and a configurable array of buttons arranged in a circle.

The Playstation Access Controller is pictured at a demonstration event in London on October 5, 2023
Photo: HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP (Getty Images)

I have a strange relationship with The Last of Us Part II. During its launch in 2020, I was part of a publication dedicated exclusively to highlighting accessible innovations and disabled perspectives in the games industry. As the Mobility Editor of Can I Play That, I edited plenty of features, news posts, and reviews surrounding what was widely touted as the most accessible release of the year. But when it was finally my turn to write my review, I couldn’t. The Last of Us Part II wasn’t accessible to me, due to PlayStation’s lack of accessible hardware. – Grant Stoner Read More

An image shows a character from Foamstars shooting pink foam.

Image: Square Enix

Square Enix’s new, PlayStation-exclusive, multiplayer foam-combat game—Foamstars—is out now on PS5 and PS4. It’s free for folks who have PlayStation Plus, which means the barrier to entry is low and it’s just your time you’ll waste playing this meh shooter instead of actual money. – Zack Zwiezen Read More

Clear Your Calendar For Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

We share our impressions of the first three chapters of Square Enix’s blockbuster RPG ahead of its February 29 release

Indiana Jones raises his fist while buried in sand.

Screenshot: Bethesda / Kotaku

Recent reports suggest that Xbox Studios games like Starfield, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, and Hi-Fi Rush are coming to PlayStation 5 (and Switch, in Hi-Fi Rush’s case). Though some old quotes from Xbox’s big boss Phil Spencer made it clear this was always a possibility, the notion that Xbox’s in-house games could come to every feasible platform has caught some folks off-guard. – Kenneth Shepard Read More

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