: Ben's Week In Review: January 25

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Ben's Week In Review: January 25

Still getting over a cold and I had to shovel twice today. Yay.

I still can't comprehend what Square Enix is trying to do with Final Fantasy XV

I don't get it. I don't understand one word that gets printed in relation to this game.

First, they tell us they're really trying to keep the game below 40 hours in length. ...what the hell? This is supposed to be a role-playing game, right? I mean, it doesn't qualify as far as I'm concerned but Square Enix will certainly bill FFXV as an RPG. That being the case, since when does any RPG developer ever say they want to keep the game short? Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? RPG players are almost exclusively hardcore gamers; as such, not one has ever asked for a shorter adventure. Not in the history of the world. Then there's this nonsense about the map being one big "connected" mass. So...like every other open-world game in existence?

And what's wrong with how we explored in Final Fantasy XII? What's the difference, besides size? There were areas connected by towns, as one would typically find when out exploring a fantasy world. So what if it's all "connected" or not? Square Enix seems to think this is a big deal and honestly, I can't see it making one whit of difference in terms of gameplay. What RPGers care about as far as gameplay is concerned is the core mechanics...and that's action with a few role-playing elements in FFXV, which they continue to make plain.

Gaming addiction is very real, and it's a very big problem in Asia

We're starting to see such tragic stories far too often. It seems like you can't go a week without hearing about another horrid incident in Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Shanghai, etc. And it all seems to revolve around truly clinical video game addiction.

The definition of an addiction is simple. You can look it up if you choose, but the basic gist is this: If something essentially controls your life and dictates your actions, that's an addiction. Someone who can't stop playing even long enough to sustain the body (food, fresh air, etc.) is an addict. Someone who spends days in a row playing is an addict. Chances are, they're depressed as well, but that's very likely a cause of the original addiction. I will absolutely guarantee that all these cases focus on multiplayer online-based games; i.e., MMOs and the like. I will bet every cent I have that none of these terrible incidents involves some dude who just couldn't stop playing the last Uncharted or God of War. MMOs are immensely addictive for a variety of reasons, as I've said often in the past.

Somebody really needs to start looking into this, especially in Asian territories where it's starting to become a spreading epidemic.

Personal gaming update

Joe Danger 2: The Movie on Vita is an unsurprisingly fun experience. I've always loved these games, anyway, and the sequel translates well to the handheld. I still don't like that this follow-up effort is just stupid frenetic and more demanding, but it's still a blast. I keep playing Super Mega Baseball and Assassin's Creed Unity but next up is Dying Light, which launches this week. Even though it's not necessarily my cup of tea, I have very high hopes for it. Techland has a potential gem up their sleeves. But I'm most intrigued by The Order: 1886, which is scheduled to land in about a month. I'm on the fence but I'm holding out hope for another first-party masterpiece.

My girlfriend is playing L.A. Noire, which is a great game. I'd forgotten how great, in fact. And it makes me want to see a follow-up to this more than anything else, even more than a new Red Dead. Too bad Team Bondi basically evaporated after L.A. Noire came out; I think we all remember that soap opera fiasco. But Take-Two still has the IP as far as I know, so...

1/24/2015 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (24 posts)


Temjin001
Saturday, January 24, 2015 @ 11:22:59 PM
Reply

I believe the one big map for FFXV says a lot about the game. When I think of like FFXII, while it was open per area, it dramatically changed locations often, anywhere from places way up high in the sky or way far down low to deserts far far away. There was this feeling that you weren't ever really grounded to one place for too long where the sky was literally the limit and locations were hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

But I can allow myself to see past that and "judge the game for what it is." The problem is, and this is new for a FF, is that so much of what I've seen looks so drab, male, and regular. Regular punk rock looking guys. Regular looking European'ish black car they ride in. It lacks that wondrous beauty that pretty much every FF has. FF's visual and audio aesthetics was something I could always feel attracted to even if the gameplay wasn't at it's best. I doubt all of it now from what I've seen. And no, dumping a big shiny crystal out in the middle of a boring looking field doesn't cut it. These open world locations simply look boring so far. That isn't the FF I want.

My prediction is that the game will be neither here nor there with the majority of critics. S-E is drawing themselves too close to Bioware, Bethesda, and the Wild Hunt guys. In gaming so much of what we recognize as great or poor is so relative to the game's that compete with each other. It's clear FFXV won't be an exquisite unique experience like Journey or something. No, it's riding precariously close to being compared to the established kings of open world action-rpgs. The comparisons are inevitable. S-E pretending to be western will fail again in their trying.



Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/24/2015 11:25:15 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 10:08:02 AM

FF Nees to be one screen for world, one screen for battle, or it isn't FF.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/25/2015 10:08:22 AM

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Beamboom
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 2:57:07 AM
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I'm surisingly finding myself real excited about Dying Light who's releasing in just a few days.

I'm not a zombie fan and have felt indifferent about this whole release until I saw the 15 first minutes on IGN yesterday.
It's crazy appealing how they've implemented the parkour element, and the game looks better than Dead Island in every possible way.
For some reason I was thinking "Assasins Creed of the zombie world" while watching those minutes.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 10:26:46 AM

I didn't like dead island one bit so that's a plus. I honestly havnt thought about getting this game for awhile. If it turns out good I just might.

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Beamboom
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 11:09:04 AM

If you didn't like anything about Dead Island one tiny bit this game might still not cut it for you. It's still zombies, and there's still plenty of weapons to take them down etc.

But this game seem to be a lot more about tactics rather than a brawler, and I got a strong feeling this one will land with a metascore in the mid 80s.

Plus, it's still 4 player coop. That's always a plus :)

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bigrailer19
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 12:17:02 PM

There wasn't much substance to keep me interested in DI. But I'm a fan of zombie games so I hold out hope for each new one that releases.

And it has co-op!

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/25/2015 12:17:31 PM

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Beamboom
Monday, January 26, 2015 @ 3:55:28 AM

Check out the IGN 15 minute playthrough and judge for yourself. Tell me this doesn't look plain awesome!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2bi2ki_dying-light-the-first-15-minutes-ign-first_videogames

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/26/2015 3:55:41 AM

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slow and smart
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 3:34:38 AM
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PGU:
i finished The Swapper ,very good puzzle game.
Now i'm playing Resident evil HD:what a great game![and finally the remake on ps].
After this comes The Order: 1886,can't wait,this game looks awesome and imo the new gen begins with this.


Last edited by slow and smart on 1/25/2015 3:34:57 AM

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Beamboom
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 5:29:24 AM

The Swapper is great! It is a bit hard at times (I'm currently stuck) but I love the artwork (hand-crafted clay objects as far as I understand) and the overall atmosphere.
Great indie release.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 10:07:16 AM

Swiper no swiping

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Dukemz_UK
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 1:14:26 PM

Oh, maaaan!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 10:04:38 AM
Reply

I think Square Enix doesn't even know what they are saying or what they should be saying or shouldn't be saying anymore. They are so assbackwards they don't even know if they are making an action game or an rpg anymore. It's like they want to make it an action game that takes 8-10 hours directly, but if you want it to be an RPG you can do fetch quests for 40 hours. The fact that it isn't anywhere near competetion is what worries me most though. My beloved, my precious what have they done to you in the land of godzilla radioactive bukkakes?

They don't deserve to use the name "Final Fantasy". Only the fans of old now deserve the right to set up shrines of rememebrance, as the Holocaust survivors have done. (Dont you dare judge me for using the term).

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/25/2015 10:06:50 AM

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xenris
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 6:19:12 PM
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If Mass Effect, Skyrim, The Witcher 2, Tales of Symphonia games etc, Star Ocean, and the New Dragon Age are considered RPGs I don't see why FF15 can't be. Those titles listed have a ton of action elements in them listed, and some of them Mass Effect and The Witcher to be exact are very much action oriented in the gameplay.

However they have all the other fixings that make a game an RPG. Random loot, side quests, interesting story, character progression even if it isn't required, unlocking of new skills etc.

I mean, Dragon Age and I am about 80 hours in, is what I would consider an action RPG, and more on the action side. You can unlock a roll, you can actively block and parry, and you can bunny hop out of the way of quite a few skills. The limitation in Dragon Age and what makes it so you can't spam as much as say Devil May Cry is the fact that you are limited by your stamina or mana depending on your class. However there are ways to make this fill up so fast that you are still basically face rolling your controller at all times.

From what I have read, FF15 uses a similar system, you can hold a button to dodge and will dodge all incoming attacks but it drains, mana, mana is used to use special attacks or team attacks, much like focus in Dragon Age.

Any way bottom line is I don't understand why this is still being called an Action game with very little emphasis on RPG elements when I can and just did list off a bunch of games that are considered RPGs but have more of an emphasis on Action as well.

Also I am fine with the game being kept under 40 hours if all of that content is meaningful and fun. I don't need useless filler and fetch quests unless it is done extremely well, and there is a pay off in terms of story or a sweet ultimate weapon.

I would take 40 hours of varied and unique gameplay with elegant gameplay progression, over Dragon Ages 80+ hours of gameplay that is mostly fetch quests and filler.

BTW I'm still enjoying Dragon Age and am playing it as I type this, but I am able to see where it went wrong.

Last edited by xenris on 1/25/2015 6:20:44 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 9:25:25 PM

"If Mass Effect, Skyrim, The Witcher 2, Tales of Symphonia games etc, Star Ocean, and the New Dragon Age are considered RPGs I don't see why FF15 can't be. Those titles listed have a ton of action elements in them listed, and some of them Mass Effect and The Witcher to be exact are very much action oriented in the gameplay."

The difference should be painfully obvious. In the games you list, role-playing elements are at the forefront. They're role-playing games first, with action elements thrown in. Final Fantasy XV is an action game first, with RPG elements thrown in. There's a huge difference.

FFXV will undoubtedly reward action and twitch-based skills; your preparedness and strategy won't matter anywhere near as much as it should, and certainly nowhere near as much as in most of those other games. I'm willing to bet summons aren't even a direct part of the gameplay. The entire gameplay mechanic seems to revolve around swordplay in one way or the other; that's not an RPG. It's an action game.

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Beamboom
Monday, January 26, 2015 @ 3:52:50 AM

I agree with Ben on this one.

Also, as I am playing the Witcher 2 these days I'd say that this game is very much on the RPG side of things, by a good margin even. Like how you prepare to battle with potion mixes (that can only be taken outside fights), the buffs and types of spells and their usage... This is far from being a regular "action rpg" in my book.
I'd say much of the same about Skyrim.

Mass Effect is the closest to the tps edge imo. One might even argue it crossed the border. I could accept those arguments, especially for the third ME.

But isn't it so that *most* action games today have rpg elements in them? Heck, even Call of Duty do. Why don't we just as well call Borderlands an action rpg? Some probably do for all I know, but to me it's clearly a shooter with light rpg elements, and I'm sure most would agree there.

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xenris
Monday, January 26, 2015 @ 11:14:28 AM

@Ben, In Mass Effect 2 and Skyrim, you don't have to level up your character at all in order to beat the game, I tested it out in ME2 myself and others have done it as well. The RPG elements in ME2 are barely there it is a TPS game first and foremost, ME3 fixed this slightly, but that game is still more a TPS game than an RPG when talking about the actual gameplay and gameplay progression.

In all the Elder Scrolls games it is actually easier to beat the games by not leveling your character up, this has been a complaint by a lot of fans some time. Enemies level up with you so if you mess up you can end up having epic battles with mud crabs in the area you started the game. AND they got rid of the under the hood dice rolls from Morrowind to Oblivion so it feels more like an action game now.

The combat in both Star Ocean 3, and Tales of symphonia is fast and twitchy. If you are playing either in a hard mode it becomes more about your twitch skills than your tactical preperation, both games I beat in the hardest modes back in the day, and both are RPGs but the combat is very twitchy.

I'm not saying you are wrong, I agree that those games I listed are RPGs but for a couple of them mostly Skyrim, MAss effect and the witcher the lines between action and RPG are definitely blurred.

Also I'm more saying we have to wait and see, I don't understand how you can be so adamant about calling it an action game with little RPG elements when you have no idea how the gameplay feels, how important character leveling and progression is, how important loot is, how spammable attacks are etc.

@Beam I have beaten the Witcher 2 twice for each story split, I'm not saying you are wrong about its RPG elements because I am not saying it isn't an RPG, I'm saying if you look at gameplay it looks like an action game, which is my whole point about Ben jumping to the conclusion that FF15 is going to play like Devil May Cry. It would be like someone saying that Mass Effect 2 or 3 is a Gears of War clone or something like that.

In the hardest mode the witcher 2 requires you to use everything you have at your disposal, alchemy is a must, BUT you can't deny that the actual gameplay is twitch based action. You have to dodge, you have to block, and aim your skills. Is it God of War? No not at all but it is still very action oriented in its gameplay regardless of the systems that supplement or amplify the combat.

Again I'm not really arguing with Ben, I'm just trying to point out that a lot of RPGs like the ones I have listed would look like Action games or shooters, and one might think that they are until they play them. Also some of them over time have become VERY diluted RPGs, and Beam I would agree with you ME2 and ME3 were shooters first RPGs second.

I'm just saying to Ben that he shouldn't jump to the conclusion before he plays it.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, January 26, 2015 @ 2:30:30 PM

xenris: Are you aware that you're talking about "if" this and "if" that? Like, if you play it on hard or if you don't opt to level up, or if you play it this way or that.

All the games you're talking about have a core basis in role-playing, even Mass Effect. You can't win tough battles in any ME game without getting previously involved in role-playing-like systems and mechanics; in other words, none of the RPGs you're talking about will FIRST reward dexterity and skill with a controller. The Witcher never does and neither does The Elder Scrolls. Sure, you have to operate in real-time but those who prepare and play the game as they should - which is an RPG - will be rewarded for doing so.

I see no evidence of any such thing in FFXV. They haven't talked about any role-playing systems at ALL in regards to the gameplay. FFs had Materia, Junction, Espers, Sphere Grid, Licenses, etc. All RPGs have some sort of base system, even if it's just a standard tree grid, like in Dragon Age. Thus far, we haven't seen anything at all like that in FF and based on the extreme watering down we've seen in the franchise, all indications are that FFXV is an ACTION game FIRST and an RPG SECOND.

That's the only point I'm trying to make here. I'd also like to remind everyone that I'm not saying FFXV can't be a good game. I'm saying it doesn't look or sound like an RPG, that's all.

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xenris
Monday, January 26, 2015 @ 11:55:22 PM

I agree with your points. But I have to agree to disagree with Mass Effect, the game on Insane difficulty is actually easier when you are level 1 than if you play the game and level up because of how enemies scale. This is where you see the RPG elements become flawed.

ME1 was an RPG first shooter second because of the under the hood dice rolling, ME2 and ME3 felt way more like shooters to me, the leveling up didn't feel meaningful to me especially in ME2 which I played through without leveling up at all :P

All your other points are valid, I guess what I'm trying to say is don't judge a book by its cover. There could be a skill tree, meaningful upgrades, meaningful armor and weapons etc.

I have faith in Nomura, and am pretty confident this game will have at least the rpg depth of say kingdom hearts.

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duomaxwell007
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 6:25:20 PM
Reply

FFXV actually looks good, as for you not liking the fact that its not turned based like the older entries, well everyone says the game needs to change and JP devs never change so this is a good thing. Besides as for is action oriented approach, all I have to say is Type 0 wasnt an old school turn based FF game and it turned out to be the best reviewed FF game to come out in a LONG time, so I have strong feelings that XV will be more like Type 0 and less than XIII in the positive reception department

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 9:26:39 PM

For about the trillionth time, I DON'T CARE IF IT'S TURN-BASED OR NOT. No new RPGs will ever be turn-based again, unless they're made for smaller platforms (i.e., iOS/Android). It's completely unrealistic to hope for and by the way, I call plenty of other games RPGs that are full-on real-time.

None of that has any bearing on whether or not it's an RPG.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/25/2015 9:27:17 PM

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duomaxwell007
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 12:00:39 AM

lets pull out parts from another article:

Sure, that sounds like an RPG, right? No? Then how about this: The basic combat will have players pressing an attack button over and over, or holding it down, so the character will execute a combo. Then there are united attacks, with party members teaming up for more devastating assaults and it sounds like it's going to be timing-oriented. Lastly, there will be parrying and counters:

"Parrying is an action where you time it to match an enemy's attack. It's an advanced technique with a risk of failure."

Grand. I didn't know Square Enix was working on the new Devil May Cry. I hope they take some cues from Ninja Theory and Capcom, although it appears as if S-E doesn't need any extra help. They've obviously got the action mold down cold...for a Final Fantasy game.

'sigh'"


Now to me all that sounds like youre saying a game that plays like an action game cant be an RPG soooo that would imply then that only turn based ones can be REAL RPGs, but considering FFXV battle wise pretty much just looks like Kingdom Hearts with much more realistic graphics then I guess KH isnt an RPG either? Also then Mass Effect SURELY isnt because all I did in that game was run, shoot and take cover, not once did I have to worry about stats, leveling up practically meant nothing. the armor I wore or didnt wear didnt make or break whether or not I could complete a mission, so lets take Mass Effect off the RPG list too?

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xenris
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 11:29:58 AM

Thats where my initial disagreement with Ben came too, it seemed he was caught up over the combat being too action based for an RPG, which in that quote about active parrying etc, you can do all that stuff in Dragon Age.

I think he has changed his stance though and doesn't think it is going to have a meaningful character progression system in place.

Which is fine if he wants to speculate but there is no evidence that it wont :)

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Big_Boss90
Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 9:27:37 PM
Reply

People just need to learn how put the remote down and take care of themselves and there family case and point!

PGU, iam playing the mgs saga again, so hyped for MGSV:PP. Peace walker being my fav. Just love that game

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 @ 6:32:28 PM
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i'm a bit on the fence about FFXV i know some friends are gunna want me to try it out but FF has never really been my thing.

as far as gaming addiction i guess i can say MMOs are really the only ones that realy have that, as i have MMO alot in my teens so i guess i know what they are talking about in know my mum and dad did get a bit concerned for a lil while that it might have been going that and that my life wasn't balanced enough out with friends and sports and getting out more and i have been doing that but i never thought i was hooked on games not like that just a hooby i enjoy alot like anime, i do movies and music and TV just not as much music probably more so than the other two but whatever

MMOs are itfor the most part and i know you can get some of it on consoles but not really

as for the personal update i finished lego marvels for vita and got about 55% and i'm onto lego movie on the vita and a then probably onto alpha sapphire

happy gaming

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