Ben's Week In Review: June 30
Well, the PS4 is almost paid off. I've got an extra controller paid off, too; next on the pre-order list, a couple games. :)
What made Square Enix change their minds?
I think too many people were missing the most interesting part of this past week's Final Fantasy XV news. Game director Tetsuya Nomura was quoted as saying that FFXV is a "Final Fantasy" first" and an action game second. Many lauded the statement, as it supposedly means the new FF installment will be a true-blue role-playing game (which almost nobody really believes). However, the most intriguing part of that interview involved the following: Originally, the developers had planned to create a full-on, all-out, straight-up action title. Not an action/RPG; an action game. Then suddenly - and Nomura didn't explain when or why this happened - they decided they didn't want to completely abandon the franchise's roots.
But why? Since when? All they've been doing for the past generation is doing precisely that; i.e., completely ignoring the roots of the series. It has become less and less of an RPG and worse, the quality has indeed declined significantly. Plus, based on the company's business practices, they're all about Western-style games. After purchasing Eidos, we get stuff like Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs from Square Enix now. So what happened to make them take a step back and say, "Hey, if we make FFXV like this, it won't really be a 'Final Fantasy'?" Isn't anyone else dying to know the answer...? Who stepped up at Square Enix?
Sorry, Patrice, you don't know what everyone wants
I don't mind noted developers speaking their minds. I don't mind hearing their opinions because after all, they're plenty qualified to offer their points of view on the gaming industry. What I don't like is when they make sweeping generalizations about a very large group and push forward with that theory, as if it's a proven fact. So, when Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Désilets said that "deep down," nobody cares about physical media, I got a little annoyed. This is precisely the attitude Microsoft clearly had when initially implementing DRM for used games and those 24-hour online check-ins. The latter reeks of that "oh, everyone is online these days" mentality that reminds me of the "oh, everyone has a smartphone" belief; both statements are dead flat wrong.
The bottom line is that when Désilets says it that way, it's not an opinion. He's just wrong. Firstly, it implies the impossible; that he knows exactly what all gamers on earth are thinking "deep down." Secondly, it implies that anyone who doesn't embrace the digital revolution is just in denial. Basically, they're clinging to the past and "deep down," they don't really want to do that. It's just ridiculous. Know what I'm thinking, "deep down," Patrice? That the entire planet hasn't turned into electronic lemmings overnight, despite popular sheep belief.
Personal gaming update
I continue to savor The Last Of Us while working in a few games for review. Unfortunately, Time and Eternity was just plain awful and it prompted me to wonder if JRPGs will disappear forever. When I say that, of course, I mean JRPGs as we know them today. Really, I don't see how such terrible games can sell, regardless of how hardcore the fans might be. And when games don't sell, well... I will also deliver a review for Deadpool at some point this week. I won't give anything away but let's just say...meh. Thankfully, nothing is really getting in the way of me loving every last minute of Naughty Dog's latest. It's just so, so good on so many levels.
When it's done, I might cave into my latest urge to play one of my three favorite games of all time (Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy Tactics, or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night). I usually have to play them at least once every other year or so. There's something very special about such games, that's all. Can't find their like anymore, either.
6/29/2013 Ben Dutka