Monthly Archives:August 2016

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: Producer Interview

22 Aug , 2016,
Crimson
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FFBE_Producers01

Fujimoto-san and Hirono-san (from left) were in the gumi Asia office Monday, and we asked them for the lowdown on what fans can expect in future updates.

You might have seen me talking about Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and posting screenies of my adventures this mobile RPG awhile ago.

It’s one of Square Enix’s more recent offerings, and rather than just a mindless grind with gacha elements, it’s got a rather compelling story in the vein of old 16-bit classics. Add to it retro sprites and a pretty killer soundtrack by video game music composer Noriyasu Agematsu and you’ve got a pretty polished app over all.

You also gotta give it to the folks at gumi Asia, who handled the monumental international rollout. The game has since hit more than 5 million downloads, bringing the total number of players for both the Global and JP versions to a whopping 12.5 million.  

When FFBE producers Kei Hirono and Hiroki Fujimoto dropped by the gumi Asia office Monday, we naturally jumped at the chance to pick their brains, and to find out what fans can expect in the months to come.

Hirono-san’s producer credits include PC-based browser game Imperial SaGa and the wildly popular live show Jitsuzai-Sei Million Arthur and is now Division Executive of Square Enix’s 8th Business Division, while Fujimoto-san has worked on numerous Square Enix titles since 1992, with multiple hits under his belt.

The interview was conducted in Japanese, with the help of our awesome columnist Haruta. Here are some highlights:

1. What can players expect in the future content updates?

Producers: Players can expect to see more of their favorite characters from Final Fantasy titles such as Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Tactics join the game. Some of these units are already available in Japan, and will eventually be included in the Global release. We have just released Kolobos, and the story of Rain, Lasswell and Fina will continue on Dirnado. We intend to have regular content updates, perhaps every month.

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The latest Visions to hit the gacha include FFIX staples and hot favorite Zidane, as well as ways to make these units more accessible to new players.

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Brace yourself. Dirnado is coming. 😀

2. Was Demons Unleashed too demanding for newer players?

Producers: Demons Unleashed was a brand new event for the Global release, and we hope to do better in future. We hope that the community will continue to give us feedback so we can improve the balance of events in future and to make the rewards worth their while.

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The latest Into the Abyss event tests your mettle in an expanded Earth Shrine, and rewards you for your efforts. You also don’t have to farm quite as many materials to craft the cool stuff.

3. New Co-Op Events?

Producers: We also hope to introduce more events to reward players. We are toying with the idea of a co-op event in the future. We want to create an event where there is a community objective, and all players will contribute to that objective. The event will also reward players with rare items and materials that will help them on their adventure. If the community is supportive of this idea, we hope that they can let us know.

4. Will we ever see Rain, Lasswell and Fina on the big screen or in animation?

Producers: That really depends on the fans. We cannot make any promises, but if community feedback is positive, then maybe. Would fans prefer a CG movie or anime? They should let us know on social media.

5. Are there plans for offline fan events in Singapore? 

Producers: Again, that depends on the fans. We’re doing an event in Japan soon, and if there’s demand for it, then maybe we will do something in Singapore too.


And there you have it. If you wish to see more improvements to the game, or perhaps an offline event at a gaming con near you, be sure to ping the official Final Fantasy Brave Exvius page on Facebook and let them know!

Wanna level in PoGo like a pro? Here’s how.

16 Aug , 2016,
Crimson
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PoGo’s been out for over a week, and it’s sure been a busy week for us at NTP. Because we want to be the very best, like no one ever was, we’ve been searching far and wide for the very best grinding spots in Singapore.

It’s been a helluva journey, and we’ve managed to break mid 20s with some clever strats and choice of locations.

The grind’s not pretty (and can get really boring), but if you’re the sort that wants to see your levels grow, here’s how:

1. Invest in Lucky Eggs

It's a great bargain!

When else can you put all your eggs in one basket? 😀

Pokemon Go is a game you can play without spending a single cent, but like many other mobile phone games, you may want to purchase quality of life improvements through the in-game store. If you have some gold to burn, be sure to spend it to upgrade the number of slots in your Bag (this is pretty important), and Lucky Eggs.

A Lucky Egg doubles the amount of XP you earn for 30 minutes, and is the foundation of grinding. A bargain bundle of 25 Lucky Eggs on the in-game store goes for 1250 coins ($15), and that ain’t half bad to say the least.

2. Hit the Intersection of Multiple Pokestops

They just keep spawning! :o

I feel like some seafood. How ’bout you? 😮

Where lures abound, those Pokemon keep spawning.

The best grinding spot is one with at least three intersecting Pokestops in close proximity to each other.

Our favorite spot has got to be VivoCity, where you’ll see Lure-induced cherry blossoms at all hours (even in the wee hours of the morning, which is kinda creepy).

Just make sure that you’re camping where you can handily swipe all nearby Pokestops, proc spawn triggers, and easily tap on all the cute Pokemon that appear on your cellphone screen.

3. Timing is Everything

You don't want to just TRY to be the very best. XD

You don’t want to just TRY to be the very best. XD

The cooldown for swiping a Pokestop is 5-minutes. That means you can’t benefit from a Pokestop till 5-minutes have passed since the last time you swiped it for loot and XP.

Be sure to time it so that you maximize your gains from the Pokestops every 5-minutes. You’ll need the extra Pokeballs since you’ll be catching Pokemon left, right and center anyway, and might actually run out.

4. Throw ’em a Curveball

Every bit of XP counts!

Every bit of XP counts!

Since we’re in it for the grind, every little bit of XP you can eke out of your catches counts.

Throwing a Curveball (tap and hold on the Pokeball, swish it around till stars appear, then release) nets you 10 XP, which is doubled to 20 XP with a Lucky Egg active.

Clearly, this Horsea doesn't want to get in the Pokeball.

Clearly, this Horsea doesn’t want to get in the Pokeball.

A Nice!, Great! or Excellent! throw yields additional XP too, so be sure to aim well, and let fly.

5. Other XP Bonuses (and the Pidgey Grind)

Make a new Pokefriend. Pick up that 500 free XP.

Make a new Pokefriend. Pick up that 500 free XP.

Adding a new Pokemon to your Pokedex gives you a bonus 500 XP (1,000 XP with Lucky Egg), and Evolving a Pokemon nets you the same.

That’s why there are stories of something called the Pidgey grind, where you evolve multiple Caterpies, Pidgeys and Weedles (they only require 12 candies each to evolve) with a Lucky Egg active to jump several levels at once.

Bear in mind though that each single instance of Pokemon evolution comes with a 30 second animation that CANNOT be canceled, which eats into your Lucky Egg duration.

6. Raw Numbers

Putting everything up there together, it’s conceivable for a starting trainer who spends a bit of money on Lucky Eggs to get from 1 to 20 in a day (and by a day we mean 12 hours of almost uninterrupted grinding).

Here’s the math:

4 Pokestops every 5 minutes – 400 XP every 5 minutes, or 4,800 XP per hour.

1 Pokemon catch with Curveball every minute – 220 XP every minute, or 13,200 XP per hour.

If we account for variance that’s anywhere from 18,000 XP to 20,000 XP per hour.

This means that if you’ve got an uninterrupted supply of Lucky Eggs, you’ll be able to hit Level 6 by the first hour, Level 9 by the second. In five hours, you MIGHT touch Level 15, and in a whopping 12 hours, Level 20, the break point where real life (and the real grind) begins.

You can hasten the process by evolving any caterpies, pidgeys and weedles you catch in batches of at least 10 (which translates to 10,000 XP with a Lucky Egg) or more. Naturally, the more batch evolutions you do, the better.

7. A Disclaimer

The math above is fairly accurate, but your mileage may vary depending on whether your Lucky Egg buff is active, how efficient your catches are, the location you camp at, and whether you get pulled away by other distractions (like rare spawns).

Most importantly, have fun playing the game, and don’t forget to join our Pokemon Go Photo Contest!