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Final Fantasy 7 Remake Anniversary Trailer

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The Final Fantasy VII Remake is just a couple of months away, but in the meantime, the game that started it all is celebrating a birthday. The original FFVII launched on the PlayStation 23 years ago, and a new trailer for the Remake pays homage with more characters and scenes we remember so fondly–along with a few surprises. We’ve noted some of the most important, silliest, and coolest takeaways about the upcoming game. So far, the game is certainly shaping up to be quite the revisit to classic adventure, taking familiar elements from the original while also not hesitating to offer some refreshing new changes. If the full game’s rendering of classic characters and moments proves as well-executed as what we’ve seen in trailers so far, then it just might be one of this year’s finest.

For more about FFVII Remake, be sure to read our feature covering everything you need to know about the game. You can also read our impressions detailing our time spent playing the game at E3 2019–one of the few moments where Square Enix offered a hands-on with the remake. If you’re keen to grab yourself a copy, you can also check out our pre-order guide. In the meantime, be sure to watch the new trailer in the player below and let us know your thoughts about how the game is shaping up so far in the comments.

Reeve Clashing With Heidegger And President Shinra

The new trailer makes a point of introducing a host of executives from the corrupt Shinra corporation, but none have the vast implications that the appearance of Midgar’s city planner, Reeve, does. The trailer shows him arguing with President Shinra and begging him to reconsider. The scene is reminiscent of one in the original game when Reeve learned of Shinra’s plan to bring down Midgar’s Sector 7 to crush a section of the slums below, complete with the militaristic Heidegger mocking his cowardice. Given what happens with Reeve’s story arc much later, this scene is laying significant groundwork. We won’t see the full payoff for Reeve until a sequel is released, which could be years away.

Fantasy 7

Palmer, Scarlet, And The Shinra LeadershipAlong with the debut of a reimagined Reeve, the new trailer also revealed scenes with Palmer and Scarlet–two other key figures on Shinra’s board of executives. In the original game, these two were the heads of Shinra’s abandoned space program and its weapons development, respectively. Though they didn’t have many scenes in the original game, the moments these two characters did have still made it clear they were among the most despicable members of the company, which made it satisfying to see them get their comeuppance. Though, anyone who’s familiar with the plot will know that a confrontation with these two will come sometime later in the game. Still, it’s interesting to see that they’ll have increased presence in the earliest parts of the main story, and perhaps that could lead to new encounters with them.

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The Honey Bee Inn and Cloud’s Makeover

Fantasy 7

Surprisingly, the new trailer offered a glimpse at one of FFVII’s most memorable portions, which remains essentially intact. When Cloud and Aerith go to rescue Tifa from the lecherous Shinra informant Don Corneo, they learn that only ladies make the cut in his brothel, the Honey Bee Inn. So Cloud takes his clean-shaven good looks and poses as a woman to gain access to Corneo’s hideout. This trailer shows Cloud’s full and fabulous makeover. In the original, some parts of Don Corneo’s vice den have a tinge of gay panic and might be tone-deaf for modern audiences. Hopefully, Square Enix understood what was unreasonable about the original scene and changed it for the better.

Motorcycle Soldier: Here Comes A New Challenger!

It appears Cloud is getting a new rival in addition to big baddie Sephiroth: this fancy-haired motorcycle-driving scoundrel overtakes Cloud, Wedge, and Biggs as they’re infiltrating what appears to be a Shinra base. Based on his attire, he’s a part of SOLDIER, and if we’re going off the color-coding seen in previous FFVII games, his blue uniform potentially indicates he’s third-class. However, the character’s outfit makes it hard to say for sure, as he seems to be wearing the SOLDIER harness over standard Shinra trooper fatigues.

This mysterious Shinra SOLDIER’s presence could introduce an interesting layer to the proceedings, as he may challenge Cloud’s understanding of his true identity. That line about having a “second dance” also seems to allude to an established relationship between the two, but given what we know about Cloud’s mysterious past, it’s possible that dynamic isn’t what it seems.

Hey Kids, It’s Red-XIII!

The cast of Final Fantasy 7 is memorable for a lot of reasons, but even in that storied company, Red-XIII stands out as one of the all-time best character designs. The Final Fantasy series had always centered on human (or at least humanoid) protagonists, but Red-XIII, a crimson hybrid of wolf, fox, lion, and shaman, was something completely different. It stood to reason that we’d see him in this first episode of the Remake, since he first appears as a specimen in Hojo’s lab in Midgar, and our first glimpse from the trailer didn’t disappoint. He looks just as intriguing as ever.

Meh, It’s Professor Hojo AKA The Worst

We finally get a glimpse at Professor Hojo, who continues to be the awful human being we know him to be. He seems to be observing Cloud via security cameras, which leads us to think he’ll likely be a more persistent threat throughout this first part of the Remake.

Jenova’s Debut And New Boss Fight (Also, Hello Sephiroth?)

The infamous Jenova appears, and as you’d expect, the sight of her instantly triggers traumatic visions of the past in Cloud. While seeing Jenova is to be expected, the most intriguing detail seen later in the trailer is the confirmation that you’ll also get to fight her. Since the first part of the FFVII Remake covers the story up until the end of Midgar, this fight comes as a shock. You don’t technically fight Jenova in the original game until you get to the ship in Costa del Sol, which is a few hours after leaving Midgar, so this encounter is totally new.

Another important detail is that it appears the party seems to actually see Sephiroth when they find the tank holding Jenova–at least, if their body language is to be believed. In the original, Sephiroth only appeared as hallucinations in Midgar and didn’t actually show up in person until that first fight with Jenova in Costa Del Sol.

Bust Through The Front Door Or Take The Stairs?

One thing all FFVII veterans will remember is the classic scene where you have to choose whether to break into Shinra HQ by sneaking in and taking the stairs or busting through the front door. Both options are equally viable and entertaining in their own right, but whether you can do both in a single playthrough still remains to be seen. But we all know taking the stairs is the best way, though. Poor Barret.

Climactic Battle Against The Heli Gunner

A little after the halfway point of the trailer, we see Cloud, Barret, and Tifa fighting the “Heli Gunner” boss. This iconic boss originally was part of the climax of the escape from the Shinra HQ as Aerith, Barret, and Red XIII took the elevator to the entrance while Cloud fought Rufus. Here, it looks as though this could be one of the final fights in the game, with the sunrise and highway in the background reminiscent of leaving Midgar in the original. Perhaps once you defeat the first phase of this fight, the Heli Gunner follows you from the Shinra Building?

It’s also worth noting that none of the weapons that Cloud, Barret, and Tifa are using during this fight were available at this point in the original game. However, it does make sense that new weapons will be available in the remake, considering the only weapon upgrades you previously could get before leaving Midgar were Barret’s Assault Gun and Cloud’s Hardedge. This first part is a full 40-hour game, after all, so they probably had to add more!

More Summon Monsters: Leviathan and Chocobo/Mog

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In previous trailers, we’ve seen some of the summon materia you can find in the first part of Final Fantasy VII: Remake. In the latest footage, it was revealed that the fan-favorite Leviathan and Chocobo summons are back in full force. What’s interesting about summon monsters in this game is that you’ll actually be getting them much sooner than in the original, which could have more to do with how the remake has a more fleshed-out Midgar arc. Like the original game, you can conjure up a massive tidal wave with Leviathan or a stampede of chocobos led by the recurring Final Fantasy character Mog. Both summons have been recreated in the Remake, and they look stunning in action. It’ll be interesting to see if there will anymore summon characters making an appearance in the first part of this reimagining of the game.

You Might Recognize Who Made That Theme Song…

If the sweet theme song playing during the first part of the trailer really got you in the mood for FFVII Remake, there’s a good reason for that. The track was written by none other than classic Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, who stopped writing music for the series after FF10. While his involvement is not a full-on return to the franchise, this contribution to the project is still a nice touch.

 

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Hilarious Video Shows Psyduck Startling A Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Player While Taking A Photograph

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One Pokemon Scarlet and Violet fan has shared a funny video that shows a Psyduck appearing out of nowhere to startle a player who was snapping a photo. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are among the best selling titles of the year, despite the mixed reviews from fans and critics globally. The gameplay and multiplayer mode of the latest Pokemon games receive praise and backlash for the myriad performance issues.


Because of these technical problems, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are getting review bombed, but some fans are embracing them. Glitches are common in the latest titles, and players have reported seeing some truly bizarre things in their playthroughs. Some gamers have seen a grotesque glitch in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, whereas a random Psyduck bug is also common. Psyduck makes the headlines again after a player spotted it in rather unusual circumstances.

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Reddit user metronn uploaded a video that shows their funny encounter with the duck Pokemon. The user intended to photograph a scenic view of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet‘s region of Paldea. Paldea is a brand-new area introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, which is based on the Iberian peninsula and has diverse geographic features like mountains, forests, and several lakes. In the video, the player attempts to take a picture of a serene place on the shoreside of a water body, with mountains in the background and water flowing peacefully.

After successfully capturing one side of the scenery, the player slowly moves the camera to show the surrounding areas and a few fish pocket monsters in the body of water. As the camera moves, something unusual is seen in the bottom right corner of the screen, which appears to be another Pokemon. This turns out to be a Psyduck, who appears out of nowhere and is standing right next to the user, who was seemingly unaware of its presence. The original poster is understandably startled by seeing the Psyduck, who apparently photobombed their efforts to take a beautiful picture in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

Since its introduction in the first generation, Psyduck has established itself as one of the most famous Pokemon of all time. It has featured in almost every Pokemon game from each generation until the current ninth-gen games, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Psyduck is not the strongest or the fastest pocket monster, but still, it has millions of fans around the world who are excited to see it in unusual circumstances.

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M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro: What’s changed?

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The new iPad Pro with M2 chip takes performance another step forward, but what all has changed from the previous-gen iPad Pro? Follow along for an in-depth look at what’s the same and what’s new when comparing the M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro to help you decide what’s the best choice.

In 2021, the 11 and 12.9″ iPad Pro arrived with the powerful M1 chip, Thunderbolt connectivity, 5G for cellular models, new camera features like Center Stage, and more.

Now the 2022 M2 iPad Pro lineup brings a number of tweaks and changes, but many of them are quite minor which could push customers toward the M1 iPad Pro or even iPad Air.

Below we’ll break down all the fine details of the M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro. We’ve also got a full comparison of the new entry-level iPad and more:

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Table of contents

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro

Performance

The main difference between the new and old iPad Pro is the upgrade from an M1 to M2 chip.

That delivers up to an 18% faster CPU, 35% faster GPU (10-core vs 8-core), and a 2x boost in memory bandwidth from 50GB/s to 100GB/s.

Note: 128, 256 and 512GB models have 8GB RAM, 1TB and 2TB models have 16GB RAM.

11″ M2 iPad Pro 11″ M1 iPad Pro 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
Chip M2 M1 M2 M1
CPU cores 8 8 8 8
GPU cores 10 8 10 8
Neural cores 16 16 16 16
Storage 128GB – 2TB 128GB – 2TB 128GB – 2TB 128GB – 2TB
RAM 8 or 16GB 8 or 16GB 8 or 16GB 8 or 16GB
Memory bandwidth 100GB/s 50GB/s 100GB/s 50GB/s
Thunderbolt/USB 4
Cellular 5G 5G 5G 5G

Outside of the slight boost in CPU and GPU performance, all the other specs like storage, RAM, Thunderbolt connectivity, and 5G remain the same between the new and old iPad Pro models.

Display

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro Display

Just like the M1 12.9″ iPad Pro, the M2 12.9″ iPad Pro is the only one that features the Liquid Retina XDR display with miniLED backlighting.

Shared display features across all pro models include up to 120Hz ProMotion, P3 wide color, full laminated displays, anti-reflective coating, and True Tone.

There appears to be just one difference between the new M2 11 and 12.9″ iPad Pro display and the M1 versions – the new Apple Pencil Hover feature.

11″ M2 iPad Pro 11″ M1 iPad Pro 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
Display 11″ 11″ 12.9″ with miniLED 12.9″ with miniLED
Resolution 2388 x 1668 2388 x 1668 2732 x 2048 2732 x 2048
PPI (pixels per inch) 264 264 264 264
Display brightness 600 nits 600 nits 600 nits SDR, up to 1600 HDR 600 nits SDR, up to 1600 HDR
True Tone
P3 wide color
ProMotion (120Hz)
Anti-reflective coating
Fully laminated display
Liquid Retina Display
Liquid Retina XDR Display
Apple Pencil Hover

Connectivity and accessories

The new iPad Pro models work with the same Apple accessories as the previous-gen iPad Pro. That includes the second-gen Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and Smart Keyboard Folio.

Some small upgrades with the M2 iPad Pro include Bluetooth 5.3 and WiFi 6E.

11 and 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 11 and 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
Apple Pencil gen 2 support
Magic Keyboard support
5G
WiFi 6
WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3 5.0
USB-C ✅ USB 4 ✅ USB 4
Thunderbolt
Face ID

Interestingly, the new iPad Pro models didn’t get a Magic Keyboard Folio as the iPad 10.

Battery life

The 2022 iPad Pro models with M2 chip feature the same battery life as their predecessors:

  • 10 hours of web or video use on WiFi
  • 9 hours of web use with cellular

Storage and price

Storage remains the same between the old and new iPad Pro models. And pricing – original MSRP pricing – is also unchanged. However, keep an eye out for M1 iPad Pro discounts with the new models now available.

11″ M2 iPad Pro 11″ M1 iPad Pro 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
128GB WiFi $799 $799 $1,099 $1,099
128GB + cell $999 $999 $1,299 $1,299
256GB WiFi $899 $899 $1,199 $1,199
256GB + cell $1,099 $1,099 $1,399 $1,399
512GB WiFi $1,099 $1,099 $1,399 $1,399
512GB + cell $1,299 $1,299 $1,599 $1,599
1TB WiFi $1,499 $1,499 $1,799 $1,799
1TB + cell $1,699 $1,699 $1,999 $1,999
2TB WiFi $1,899 $1,899 $2,199 $2,199
2TB + cell $2,099 $2,099 $2,399 $2,399

Cameras, video, and audio

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro cameras
2021 iPad Pro rear-facing cameras

With the iPad Pro rear camera system, you’ve got a 12MP wide lens, 10MP ultra wide lens, LiDAR Scanner, and the True Tone flash.

On the back, you get a 12MP ultra wide lens with Center Stage support.

The only changes between the M2 and M1 iPad Pro, for now, is Smart HDR 4 vs Smart HDR 3 photos and the ability to shoot ProRes video at up to 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps for 128GB models).

11 and 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 11 and 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
12MP wide lens
10MP ultra wide lens
LiDAR
4K video
ProRes video up to 4K 30 fps
Extended dynamic range
Slo-mo video
Rear camera flash
TrueDepth camera with Face ID
Ultra wide 12MP front camera
2x optical zoom out
Smart HDR 3 photos
Smart HDR 4 photos
Center Stage auto-tracking
4-speaker audio
Stereo recording
5 studio-quality mics

The iPad Pro front camera also features support for Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, and Animoji/Memoji.

Strangely, while the iPad 10 got a handy Landscape ultra wide front camera, the iPad Pro retains the front camera on the top (short side) bezel.

Dimensions, weight, colors

Size and weight are identical between the M2 iPad Pro and M1 iPad Pro according to Apple:

  • M2 and M1 11-inch iPad Pro: 1.03 pounds, 9.74 inches (247.6 mm) high, 7.02 inches (178.5 mm) wide, 0.23 inches (5.9 mm) thick
  • M2 and M1 12.9-inch iPad Pro: 1.5 pounds, 11.04 inches (280.6 mm) high, 8.46 inches (214.9 mm) wide, 0.25 inches (6.4 mm) thick

Color choices remain the same with silver and space gray.

Other small differences

Two more little differences you’ll see with the M2 iPad Pro:

  • Braided USB-C cable in the box instead of a plastic cable
  • “iPad Pro” wordmark on the back instead of “iPad” on previous iPad Pro models
  • M2 iPad Pro space gray may be slightly lighter than the M1 iPad Pro space gray finish with the antenna line for cellular models being more muted
Apple’s space gray finishes as shown on its website. M2 on left, M1 on right

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro conclusion

Why buy M2 iPad Pro?

When considering all the similarities between the M2 iPad Pro and M1, you’ll probably only want to pick up the new model if you’re a pro with workflows that will benefit from the M2 chip/ProRes support or you’re just okay with spending the money on the latest and greatest from Apple.

The M2 iPad Pro is available at Apple, Amazon, Best BuyBH Photo, and more with stock looking good across the board.

Why buy M1 iPad Pro?

When you can get the vast majority of the M2 iPad Pro feature set with the M1 iPad Pro and the processor difference not being an issue for most users, picking one up at a discount will probably be a popular move.

Also, don’t forget the iPad Air offers a compelling package at an even cheaper price than the last-gen iPad Pro. That is if you’re okay with the 11-inch size.

Read more 9to5Mac in-depth comparisons:

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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet breaks Nintendo record despite performance issues

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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet may have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons due to its poor performance, many bugs and poor-quality visuals, but that hasn’t stopped them from selling gangbusters.

The Nintendo Switch titles made up 96% of the top 10 physical sales in Japan for its launch week, became the biggest physical launch for any games in the UK this year and sold 10 million units (physically and digitally) in just three days.

A statement from Nintendo reads: “Nintendo announced today that global sales of the Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet games for the Nintendo Switch family of systems have surpassed 10 million combined units in the first three days since their worldwide launch on Nov, 18, 2022.

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Nintendo

“This is the highest global sales level for any software on any Nintendo platform within the first three days.”

In comparison, Pokémon Sword and Shield sold 6 million copies in their first week, and 25 million copies overall. Games like Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Platinum and Black 2 and White 2 have all sold less than 10 million copies in their lifetimes.

The latest entries in the series push the franchise forward by moving to a proper open-world map, having online co-operative features, multiple main quests that you can tackle in any order, and the ability to send your Pokémon out to fight without getting into proper battles.

pokémon scarlet and violet's hot professors

The Pokémon Company/Game Freak

However, many reviews have noted that the games suffer with an awfully low frame-rate, extreme amounts of pop-in and low quality environments, whilst fans have been documenting glitches from invisible character models, characters going giant, running twice as fast with two controllers paired to the Switch, climbing up cliffs by jumping backwards, and many more.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are out now on Nintendo Switch.

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