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What Exactly Is Square-Enix Doing?

This isn't a rhetorical question. I'm not placing the question in the headline and then following it up with an article that describes the answer. I'm not criticizing Square-Enix. I really don't know what they're doing.

This isn't a knock against their games, per se; it's more a question of their intended direction, which is an absolute mystery to me. In some ways it has been a mystery since our beloved Squaresoft merged with Enix and things went awry for a while, but even then, we at least got the great Final Fantasy titles and a few other top-notch productions. Now, as they attempt to target more of the Western crowd, I can't help but ask after their ultimate goal. I know they opened up their Los Angeles studio last year but as of right now, I have no idea what their intentions might be. Let's see...there's FFXIII, which I still say is more of a nod to the twitch-gaming group that would rather push buttons and watch flashy things rather than perform actual strategy in gameplay. It's super fun and I love it, but it's certainly my least favorite FF. Then there's that ill-advised Front Mission Evolved, which takes the standard turn-based strategy formula for the series and turns it into MechWarrior.

And what's up with Nier? I understand that it's an action/RPG but has Square-Enix noticed that few have even heard of the game at this point? And what's with this very obvious - even blatant - attempt at going all "M" with the over-the-top language and bizarre characters? It almost seems as if Square-Enix is so desperate to make a game that caters to the Western audience that they really don't care about the millions of avid followers. Those followers fell in love with Squaresoft back in the PlayStation days, and even tolerated a falling-off in terms of overall quality in the PS2 generation. They're still around. I'm still one of them, too. But am I the only one who feels slighted? Am I the only one who wonders why Square-Enix is suddenly trying to transform themselves into a Western developer merely with Japanese tendencies? Here's a general rule: stick to what you're good at. If you can't do the Western thing very well, you won't actually cater to anyone.  Stop trying to get everyone; it doesn't work.

The Japanese fans and other long-time fans around the world won't understand it, and the Western gamers who really won't play anything besides shooters in the first place won't care. So what are you doing?! I really am confused. I just don't get it.  As for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, we know nothing and until I see more than pretty CGI, there's nothing that can really be said.  But I can pretty much guarantee it won't feel anything like the Squaresoft of old.

4/6/2010 9:08:26 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (149 posts)

sonic1899
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 9:32:05 PM
Reply

I know what they're doing; they're busy doing re-releases of PS1 titles because they have to put 'more effort' in current-gen games.

Last edited by sonic1899 on 4/6/2010 9:32:18 PM

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 9:38:43 AM

What PS1 remakes? If your talking about FF7, I'd like to know where that is because I will pre-order it as soon as possible, lol. I would rather get a remake of FF7,8, and 9 rather than take a chance and get something like FFXIII or another MMO again.

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Bromus398
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:07:45 AM

@DeathOfChaos

He said re-releases (PSN VII, VIII and IX which was just announced). And there are a host of re-released and/or remade on handhelds

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:42:57 PM

Death has a habit of jumping the gun in hopes of attempting to correct someone.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 9:45:27 PM
Reply

Well at least we have XIV on the horizon and it's looking pretty JRPGsh. I'm really looking forward to questing online with friends in a FF setting.

As for what SE is up to I think they've lost their identity, they certainly don't seem to understand what their fans really want this generation.

Gotta say it, Ben you're a big fan of "innovation" and I think that is plaguing us gamers when it comes to SE games since they seem far more interested in offering something new and different than catering to their fans with what has always worked.

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Zemus101
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:06:44 PM

I agree with everything you just said. I always saw Square innovate with their side titles. Chrono series, SaGa series, Mana series, Parasite Eve, Einhander, etc etc. They never strayed "too" far with the FF series and I believe they were better for it. Now they're SE and every new game that has Square-Enix on it is completely different than the last and doesn't use anything we already love or are remotely familiar with (for the most part)

Anyways ... Can't wait for FFXIV it's looking insane. Open world. Hundreds of thousands of FF fans all together. Swords and Magic. Yes please!

Last edited by Zemus101 on 4/6/2010 10:07:16 PM

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johnld
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:39:17 PM

i dont know how ffIV can be any less jrpg type but something tells me that square enix will find a way.

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Naztycuts
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:44:44 PM

Can I quest with you Limited? I dont have any ps3 friends that play rpg's and I don't want to be running about with random people who's first FF was XIII.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:08:01 PM

Of course you can, my PSN:

Limited_Vert


BTW Zemus is an RPGr so I suggest asking to add him as well.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:32:40 PM

OOH ad me too! I'll quest with you all if i end up getting it.

PSN ID: Jawknee1

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:59:56 AM

Now wait a minute...I hate seeing tried-and true mechanics disappear like everyone else. If I was all about "innovation," I wouldn't continually beg for turn-based/traditional RPG styles.

Furthermore, I DESPISE the critics who seem to ONLY score "innovation." It's like if there's nothing new in the game, it's not worthy of a really high score. I can't tell you how much I hate that. If a game does everything right, that's that. I like ambition and seeing fresh things - without this, the industry stagnates - but I'm all for sticking with things that I love.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:37:59 AM

Would you agree Ben that it currently seems that SE has put too much emphasis on being "innovative" and it's resulted in lower quality games than we're used to from them?

I didn't mean to convey that you're all for innovation regardless of quality, sorry if it came across that way.

I'm completely fine with zero innovation when it comes to genres I enjoy. I could play a thousand FF7 with simply updated graphics, new items, and new locations.

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www
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 6:01:57 AM

Hmph...and its interesting how DMC4 stuck to the tradition and ended up with mediocre scores, MGS4 was able to get away with it though.

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spiderboi
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:34:58 AM

On innovation: its good enough to have it if it was implemented with quality in mind.

And also, zero change is good so long as you know if you saturate your consumers too much then you know you have to change formula. That's why we have trilogies like GoW3, and series like MGS--these are meant not to over-saturate the gamer. We can't keep having the same formula over and over. Maybe that's why DMC4 didn't make it as big as MGS4. MGS4 introduced a smörgåsbord of innovation that stayed true to the MGS feel (ironic as that sounds) but it worked mighty well.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:20:35 AM

I think it's more about "innovation" based on what they think the Western audience wants. They're not doing anything radically new; they're just trying to adapt to a new market in their own Japanese way.

And I don't think it's working.

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Underdog15
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 10:58:47 AM

Don't forget me!

PSN: Underdog15

I'll be rocking FFXIV at release, too! I avidly played FFXI for a little over a year and a half. (Probably haven't played in 3 or 4 months now)

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Bromus398
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 9:47:50 PM
Reply

Sigh, at this point I would be all about a new Super Mario RPG as an attempt at appealing to bigger markets than what they're doing. Who knows, maybe Kingdom Hearts 3 will come out before the end of this new decade and help allay some of my fears

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 9:49:28 PM
Reply

I was prepared for the linearity in FFXIII but now I can't get it out my head.........it's just terrible........

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 9:52:10 PM

I enjoyed the way it developed the story (which I believe to be one of the best if not the best in the series) but it ruins multiple playthroughs that's for sure. FFXIII has more in common with Uncharted2 than the FF series.

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Zemus101
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:09:30 PM

I was actually telling my cousin the other day (who just picked up XIII due to my recommendation) that XIII was similar to Uncharted 2 (which he loves) in the way it looks and plays outside of battles (If I had to compare it to something) but the battles feel FF in my opinion. Just a lot faster than what we, as FF fans, are used to.

Last edited by Zemus101 on 4/6/2010 10:10:57 PM

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:10:39 PM

Same, I understand now what they meant when they said it was impotent for the story they were telling but like you said LV it does hurt the replay value. Uncharted 2 only being 10 hours is easy to play through a few times without getting bored. I can't see myself playing through FFXIII more then once or twice.

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SvenMD
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:26:19 AM

Zemus - there's one thing I gotta disagree with....the battles don't really feel like FF to me.

For the record, again, I'm loving this game and am currently hunting some marks (just took down Neochu last night for a growth egg - my party was NOT ready for that one)

But I still find myself hitting "auto-battle" 90% of the time, and haste'n my party so my ATB fills faster... the only time I manually input commands is when there is a big group of enemies and I want an AOE spell to hit everyone....and that to me just doesn't feel like FF fighting.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:07:44 PM
Reply

They certainly aren't making games the way hey used to that's for sure. I'm tempted to get Final Fantasy XIV if i can find the extra funds per month for it. I've never tired a MMO before outside of playing around with Star Craft at the PC Cafe. Wasn't my thing but FFXIV certainly looks intriguing.

My favorite Square games since they merged are:

Final Fantasy XII
Dragon Quest VIII
Final Fantasy Dissidia
Final Fantasy Crisis Core

Drige of Cerberus was ok and I'm having trouble finishing FFXIII. The combat has gotten so boring and tedious i get bored after about an hour or two. I want to get Platinum but it's going to be tough.

I certainly hope Square can find its stride again. It seems this gen the dinosaurs like Square and Capcom have lost their way for sure. Which sucks for me cause they were my two favorite developers in the PS1 and PS2 era. Sony's 1st party devs has now taken their place.


Last edited by Jawknee on 4/6/2010 10:08:56 PM

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Zemus101
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:12:37 PM

I find SE's PSP efforts are far and away better than anything else released since ...well imo, since FFXI (which I just started playing again)

FFXIVcoredotcom (am I allowed to do that?) has some really great info on FFXIV (including a kickass podcast) on all the game mechanics released so far. Lots of hd screenshots sand some videos (check the forums there too)

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:15:17 PM

Yea their PSP stuff has been great. Best graphics I've seen on a PSP besides Chains of Olympus and Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker. I'm excited for Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep.

Thanks for the info about XIV. I'll check it out right now.

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johnld
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:47:15 PM

dragon quest VIII is great. i think i got 100% in the game. i got that dragon armor thing. theres one thing i do want in every final fantasy game, they kinda trashed it after FFX. I want a theater to view all the cutscenes. like that theater in luca stadium. i dont even know why they took it out. and since i doubt i'll play ff13 again from the beginning, i'll never see them again other than internet searches. i would've thought that in a game where they highlight the graphics/cutscenes in ff13, theres no way in watching them post story. i have seen the ending more than once, but that was because i wanted the superstar trophy.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:17:41 PM

Yea Dragon Quest VIII was fantastic. Loved every minute of it. I was completely shocked when it was revealed that his little mouse in his pocket was actually his grandfather or uncle. I can't remember. Ever since Dragon Quest VIII i always hoped Square would do more on the Playstation with Akira Toriyama. A Chrono Trigger remake with a revamped Dragon Quest VIII engine for the PS3 would be excellent.

I agree, for XIII there should be a theater like in X to view all the cut scenes. Wasn't X the only Final Fantasy to feature such an option? I can't remember if XII had one.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:01:40 AM

I put 100 hours into DQVIII and never regretted a second of it.

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kraygen
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:23:34 AM

thats good to hear, I've never played it and was considering purchasing it this summer if I ran dry of ps3 games that I could afford.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:29:06 AM

kraygen buy it NOW. It's better than a majority of the games currently offered on the PS3 and certainly better than any RPG thus far.

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NeoHumpty
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 8:19:24 AM

Makes me wish I still had my ps2. Maybe it's time the 6 year old steps up to a ps2 from Gamecube. Hmmmm......

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kraygen
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:35:31 PM

well I'll be playing it on my ps3 if, well I guess, when I get it. MGS4 Ps3, thank you sony.

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zensaturn
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 3:20:56 PM

well lets face it, you can call me a fanboy if you want but things just haven't been the same without sakaguchi around. I know most people here hate xbox but lost odyssey was an awesome game with a few new elements and also that original feel which made the game the best rpg at that time for next gen consoles, i really hope he does something for the ps3 and show square how to make a proper rpg

Last edited by zensaturn on 4/8/2010 3:22:40 PM

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:27:51 PM
Reply

They're thinking too much about money...
This whole thing about catering to anyone is ridiculous

Genres are established...
rpg fans will get rpg games
racking fans will get racing games
etc.
etc.

What they need to do is stay true to the genres and make sure the quality of those games is solid.

If they actually want to experiment with new rpg genres, why not use something that's not FF?

Last Remnant? How did that go?
And Nier looks to be just another average game...
---

Cater to QUALITY

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:18:52 PM

Yes they certainly have thumbed their noses at their long time fanbase for the sake of appeasing the Xbots. Hope things change with Versus XIII.

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Alienange
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:36:05 PM
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The people behind Square Enix are stupid. There I said it. They are full of lies and stupid business practices. They've done nothing but frustrate their customers time and time again in hopes of gaining the ones that don't give a damn about them.

And the reason we don't know anything about FFVXIII is because there IS nothing. They used everything they had to release FFXIII and are just now looking at putting a game to the VXIII game.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:06:48 AM

Meh, I'm still giving them the benefit of the doubt. Knowing there is a world map and towns is a start, I don't doubt they spent a majority of their resources on getting FFXIII done and out the door. What's wrong with that?

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godsman
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:28:34 AM

Yea, I agree. It's like Square Enix are a bunch of businessmen trying to squeeze every drop of money out of a dying company. Their business strategy are played as if there's no tomorrow. They simply aren't extending the life of the franchise. They are killing it.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:01:13 AM

I will continue to give them the benefit of the doubt as well. FFXIII is indeed a great game, even if it's not what I specifically wanted.

I always hold out hope...

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www
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 6:06:43 AM

I thirdly also give them the benefit of the doubt, I still got some hope for VersusXIII.

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:16:24 AM

I should 4th that notion. They've said they have everything pretty much finished, they just need to put everything in their places and connect the dots. Which means the last things they worked on was the World Map and getting the Airships to work right. I say that because before they said everything was practically finished, they stated that they didn't like the way Noctis looked on the world map so they had to go in and fix it, and they also had said they finally got the Airships to work the way they wanted it. Things they never reported to the public about FFXIII, because they were probably too busy figuring out what to pull out, lol.

Last edited by DeathOfChaos on 4/7/2010 10:18:51 AM

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Mamills
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:40:30 PM
Reply

well written article, i agree 100%.

i used to love squaresoft, their games had brilliant stories and i totally got into them.

i loved old classics such as vagrant story, brave fencer musashi, the FF's, and dragon quest.

now what do we have? a bunch of sh** ass games like the last remnant, Infinite Undiscovery and FF13??

what happened? did they not realize that they already appealed to west with FF 6, 7, 8, 9, X and X2?

i mean FF 13 isn't totally bad, but by ff standards it sux.

the battlesystem holds yur hand and handles you as if u are an idiot. i see the potential for it to b awesome, but they need to make it leave more control and strategy up to the player.

oh SE, i dont know what to say either. lets just hope that they go back to the great things they began with in the 1st place. these new folks they are trying to attract only want to shoot things anyway

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:12:54 AM

It's kind of like FF: Mystic Quest; Square had actually called it the 'FF for Dumb Americans'. That's what FFXIII is. Ever play Mystic Quest?

Last edited by DeathOfChaos on 4/7/2010 10:13:58 AM

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Deleted User
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:48:11 PM
Reply

I hate to hope that a game does badly. but IF Nier fails, maybe they'll realize the error...or maybe not.

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Highlander
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 10:55:21 PM
Reply

I think you distilled the mood of most readers here into one article Ben, well done.

As for SE themselves? I don't think they know what to do, I think that they thought they needed to move towards the western ideal of games to succeed but instead of doing that they have distanced themselves from what made them a success without really capturing the new audience they were looking for. If anything they are alienating both the old audience and the potential new audience they are seeking. Then there is this small cadre of people somewhere in SE who at least have the common sense to re-release FFVII, FFVIII and FFIX on PSN. You'd think that they (SE) would eventually notice how successful the re-releases have been - in all their turn based glory - and do something. You'd think that, but who knows if they will.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:21:18 PM

Seriously, i wonder how many Bots who's first Final Fantasy is XIII is asking themselves why Sony people like Final Fantasy so much. It's certainly not a game i would recommend to anyone who's new to the series.

But then again, Myworstnightmar seems to like XIII enough for it being his first Final Fantasy.

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:10:39 AM

@Jawknee:
Myworstnightmar probably wouldn't like good FF titles then.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:09:33 PM

Well, he said he liked what little of VII he played before it was stolen.

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MyWorstNightmar
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 5:46:04 PM

Death, I think I would like previous FF's. I enjoy science fiction/fantasy, and I am the type that I have patience for board games, movies, reading. I would estimate that FF games are not for those with short attention spans.
I am not a huge button mashing game freak. I tend to lose when I play a Street Fighter style game with my cousin.

If anything would shy me away from a FF game, it would be time. To get the most out of those games, you have to devote a LOT of hours, and as it stands, I have to squeek in playing sessions here and there when I can. Life of a family man I guess.

FFXIII is giving me a flavor of what I have been missing all these years, and I am soaking it in. Although I am sure many of you would argue that as far as it being an RPG, it is rather flavorless. I am only 30 hours in, so I know I have a long way to go.

I have a PS1, but didn't buy any games that came out after FFVII or Metal Gear Solid, and then I never got a PS2, so there were a lot of years where my gaming habits lay dorment, with the exception of Nintendo games.

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Naztycuts
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:01:51 PM
Reply

I think we all were wondering the same during Sony's 'arrogant' ps3 launch a few years ago, with no awesome commercials, not to mention the lack of software. In retrospect it all makes sense now to anyone who cares to find the answers to these questions.

Square on the other hand isn't a console maker, their business lives and dies by the fans. The more they alienate their fanbase like this the more we suffer. We expect certain things from certain franchises, I knew FF XIII was going to be different I didn't mind the linearity because I believe it's a necessary story telling tool, but all the magic looked the same unless it was blizzaga or Firaga or one of the -aga's, the summon's seemed weaker than actual attacks, and the summon's weren't the visual spectacles of FF's past.

I'm willing to go with FF XIV but if it copies FF XIII's battle system then I will be disappointed.
Good Luck trying to figure those Japanese guys out.

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SmokeyPSD
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:01:56 PM
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I don't even wonder anymore, I've lost faith, I lost it ever since X quite honestly. I enjoyed XII and all, but they're golden period is gone, and I don't see square recovering in the slightest.

They may make a lot of money in the years to come, but it hasn't been from me in the past for quite awhile, and it won't be in the future. I don't even intend on buying XIII until it's below 50 australian dollars.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:22:51 PM

I think Square hit their Final Fantasy peak with VII to be honest. I still like VIII, IX, X and XII a lot but so far it doesn't seem like they are going to be able to do better then VII in my opinion unless they go back to 1997.

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:03:53 AM

@Jawnkie:
Yeah, best years of Square were on the PS1 and the SNES. PS2 started their downhill slide, then this gen their downhill slide is even steeper imo.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:57:32 AM

I disagree. I liked X and XII and loved Dragon Quest VIII. It's quite possibly the best JRPG I've played. This gen is where they started to kick the bucket.

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Fane1024
Friday, April 09, 2010 @ 7:06:34 PM

Personally (and I know I'll be in the minority here), I like X better than VII and XII better than X, so I'd say FF was getting better with each iteration. I'd probably like XI a lot, though I won't pay a monthly fee to play. I haven't played enough of VIII or IX (just a few hours of each) to have a valid opinion.

I believe that S-E (and many other Japanese developers) spent so many years failing to progress their gameplay, giving their fans the same basic experience over and over again, that they reached a point where they were so behind the curve that they thought they needed to make a drastic change in order to "catch up".

Unfortunately, they don't seem to understand HOW to make that change. Instead of integrating specific innovations which western games have made (as Kojima Productions did with MGS3 Subsistence and MGS4), they seem to be chasing what they THINK is the "western" appetite, namely fast-twitch, shooter-y action with muscle-bound space marines and lots of brown and grey.

Telling me the gameplay in FFXIII (or whatever) is really fast doesn't make me (or probably any other FF fan) want to buy it. I want to hear that it's really DEEP.

I want to hear that you found a way to give me the level of control over my party inherent in a turn-based game PLUS the tactical options of a Strategy RPG without the stale presentation taken from FF1.

I want to hear that the tactical options make FFTactics (much less any "numbered" FF) look like checkers.

I don't care whether it's real-time or turn-based; I like both, if they're done right. Just don't give me the worst aspects of each.

I don't want JRPGs to play like WRPGs (though I wouldn't mind it either). I want them to play like 21st-century JRPGs.

Lose the random battles, the separate battle screen, the bouncing in place, the step forward-attack-step backward actions. Keep the spiky hair, the Chocobos, the Summons, Cid.

Lose the cliches. Keep the flavor.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 4/9/2010 7:12:29 PM

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kokoro
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:26:12 PM
Reply

There's actually a quote from Final Fantasy X. Lulu says to Tidus:

"If you want everything, you'll end up with nothing".

Perhaps they should learn from the wisdom that they have given to the world.

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Highlander
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:28:14 PM

Let's print that in 72 point text and send it to Polyphony Digital as well please.

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kokoro
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:30:08 PM

Sounds like a great idea to me.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:37:44 PM

HA! Cleaver High.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:07:16 AM

Great quote Koko

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Fane1024
Friday, April 09, 2010 @ 7:14:02 PM

Why does kokoro not have like a thousand thumbs-up?

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Hezzron
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:36:32 PM
Reply

The advancement in gaming tech has left the JRPG in a state of confusion. It's almost as if they don't know how to make the transition to 3D gaming, similar to what the Sonic games have been accused of.

WRPGs have progressed, expanded and given gamers more. JRPGs have stagnated and even regressed to some point.

Outside of the famous FF's, JRPGs haven't sold that well and generally don't get good reviews this gen. SE probably realizes this and are running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to figure out what to do.

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 11:57:16 PM

They want to "innovate" for no reason

ALL they have to do to get high scores is make a J R P G

-turn based combat
-AMAZING storyline
-Great character (very important)
-original plot

If they all those right, it's a 8, 9, or 10 out of 10.

THEN, when they've got all those down. Push the quality of the game to its maximum utilizing the console's features: blu-ray, cell-processor, HD quality sound and graphics, and what the console allows you to do with the gameplay.

Something I would love to see in more jrpgs is "dynamic battles" where it's not just the same "here comes another battle with 3 rabbits." Instead, it would be great if battles had more twists to them:

-killing too many of the same enemies will lure out a dangerous foe (or those enemies will become stronger)

-Sometimes a single battle encounter will turn into a 30 minute fight where more and more enemies keep coming at you

-Or something like being able to use all your party members at the same time?

-etc.

This is the stuff Wrpgs have been able to implement (since they focus mostly on gameplay)

Just saying, if they want to "innovate" how about laying the SOLID jrpg base and then adding new things to it which the console allows to do.

PS: I love how White Knight Chronicles laid out a solid jrpg base. And how they're going to make it even better in WKC2

Last edited by Scarecrow on 4/7/2010 12:05:08 AM

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:09:46 AM

Whatever they do please don't offer conversation branches, I hate that aspect of WRPGs.

You do make some interesting ideas Scarecrow. I especially like your idea about killing the same enemy leads to a more difficult one.

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SvenMD
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:37:40 AM

Interesting points Scarecrow -

But if you have more enemies come at you during the fight then I want exp (CP, LP, whatever) for EVERY ENEMY I KILL. I hate how in FFXIII if a monster summons more enemies then I only get CP for the initial onscreen enemies.

The idea of having everyone in a party is just nuts! I would love it....esp for big boss fights when all the characters are in the cut scene and then only 3 take on the boss...WTF? what are the other guys doin' back there?? Get in the fight man! Help a brother out!

Agreed about no conversation branches too....just write a great story in the first place.

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NeoHumpty
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 9:16:02 AM

Wish I could thumb Scarecrow up twice on that one. They could have given the illusion of picking up the action by listing the stats of all the characters on the bottom of the screen with a charging gauge. Then you can switch between the players using L1 and R1 when they are charged up.

It's the one thing that I hate about XIII. If I want to spam Vanille's Death spell, I have to play as only her. In what world is that more realistic? I can't pull a teammate aside before a battle and say "Hey, you just keep casting Death, and I'll handle everything else."?

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SvenMD
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 9:53:18 AM

NeoHumpty - that's why I liked the gambit system from XII; at least then I could set up certain "Auto" abilities for my team to perform during the fight, but still not have direct control over them. I thought that really worked out well and didn't see a need to take it out....there could be the option to gambit or to let your team auto-battle for themselves.

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Banky A
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 4:05:18 AM

OMG Scarecrow that was why FFXII was so good and we loved it so much ;D
There were certain conditions to complete to lure out "Rare Game" monsters which are tougher and have special Loot. Like wiping out an area of monsters in the Parimina Rift then coming back and there would be a special 'Anchag' enemy.

*Also the Behemoth King fight (Mark, VII) - you had to kill everyone of it's 'kin' in 2 areas and he'd be pissed off enough to show himself for a big fight. That was the requirement.

;D

Every other Hunt had pretty lame/mediocre rewards but they were pretty awesomely planned out, to make you feel like you were over 9000 epic chases at once - and still had free leisure time.

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godsman
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:21:13 AM
Reply

Square ENix is gonna piss so many fans off. They try to broaden their audience and at the same time alienate their fanbase. They are trying to catch the casual audience more.

For now the sales are divided among casual and hardcore gamers. Eventually the hardcore will disappear and be left with casuals only. They might be able to manage the same sales, but these casual gamers are called casual for a reason. Once they find a more interesting game, they will leave your FF series. By then, your hardcore gamers are long gone and won't come back to the rescue.

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Mr Bitey
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:35:00 AM
Reply

I just beat XIII tonight! Fantastic game. It has its faults, but I'm very pleased with it over all.

For everyone complaining about the game being linear, I have one question: did you like X? With all of the side quests, XIII is a lot less linear overall.

And I still say that the story and character's for XIII are better than XII (not X though).

Last edited by Mr Bitey on 4/7/2010 12:38:04 AM

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SvenMD
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:50:24 AM

I agree that X is at least just as linear that XIII, and yet no one EVER complained about that....interesting eh?

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Irievibes
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 8:26:12 AM

its simple really....

we didnt wait 5 =6 years for FFX , nor did it get released in a next gen console...

sorry but anyone with a brain knows they literally cut corneres with this last FF, im sorry for the people that like it, but its shite, a big fat cgi movie with game components tacked on for good measure ...

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Bromus398
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 9:22:25 AM

yeah, actually that was why x (or x-2, but I don't even consider that one a real ff) was my least favorite ff until xiii came out. Not for production value mind you, that was fantastic in both games. At least i felt like i was immersed in x's world though. XIII, yes, there are "side quests" but once I'd mastered 2-3 roles for each character and had a couple of ultimate weapons, it was just hard to care. And I'm an FF completionist. This is literally the first time I didn't care enough to do everything in an FF game.

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SvenMD
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:04:43 AM

Irievibes - FFXIII came out 3 years and about 4 months after FFXII.....not 5-6 years.

And at the time, FFX DID come out on a next gen console...the PS2 at the time was next gen compared with FFIX on the PS1.

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Highlander
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:49:42 AM

@Irievibes

You're not Scottish are you? I mean, who else says "shite"? LOL!

I agree with you BTW, it took them 5-6 years to produce a movie and convert it into a game.

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Mr Bitey
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:44:37 AM

Irievibes,

Play the game. It's not a next gen X, I assure you.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:08:20 PM

Haha Your right, its worse!

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Irievibes
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 12:02:43 AM

u really mean "press x in between movies, its not an X"

i GET that its a great ...game....but to me there is TOO LITTLE GAME in it, sorry but thats how i feel

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Irievibes
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:16:09 AM
Reply

ill say it again...their multiplataform philosphy and "hey lets bit into that big western xbox market" is gonna end up biting them in the butt...

can anyone here that knows a bit about business really tell me that they profited from ff13?

i SEEEEERIOUSLY doubt it, the long xpensive develpment process really racked up their xpenses on it, imo they should just rehire sakaguchi and give him free reign on the next FF , i GUARANTEE we will have a FF of old on a next gen console, if there is anyone that could revive turn based rpg , its that guy imo..

squeenix is falling into the "activision/ubisoft" category for me, EA is redeeming itself on my eyes....slowly but they are at least starting to make good games again...

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Irievibes
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:23:04 AM

BTW, if by any astronomically low odd a squeenix employee is reading this...please make this get to your bosses...


RELEASE A NEW FINAL FANTASY TACTICS, WAR OF THE LIONS and you will sell millions, dont friggin change anything about it, jsut better graphics, SAME SETTING, and more job classes and such, WE DONT NEED for you to redesign WHAT WE ALREADY LIKED...seems simple doesnt it?

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:40:12 AM

FFXIII is the fastest selling game in the FF series. It turned a profit I'm sure since a lot of the costs incurred in making the game are spread out across multiple games.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:41:10 AM

You posted twice so I will too.


If they do what you suggest I assure you Ben will buy at least 2 copies.

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Irievibes
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 8:31:32 AM

yeah but after all this "westernizing and twitch gamer catering" fiasco, did they really end up profiting MORE than previous Final fantasies??

IMHO , no they didnt , so their big "westernizing" mission failed flat in its face and they lost potential future sales from the old fans that dont like the new direction..


EDIT: also, their comment on how "we didnt include towns and stuff because we had little experience and understanding of the PS3 console" .....really? *points to god of war and how it doesnt even require an install FFs" dont tell me they didnt put it due to "content and balance issues" riiiiiiiiggghhhttt..

Last edited by Irievibes on 4/7/2010 8:36:38 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:22:39 AM

The War of the Lions was a remake as is...I don't think we need a remake of a remake.

If they went and made a true sequel, which I've been praying for for like 12 years now, that's another story.

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Irievibes
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 12:04:06 AM

yeaj thats what i meant ben, sorry for my horrors in syntax jeje but yeah , id go crazy for a sequel to WotL

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Irievibes
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 9:12:35 PM

you know what i would like even more than a sequel?

a prequel , where we get the story of older ivalice , and the inital creation and battle for the zodiac stones wich in turn leads to them being lost or hidden on war of the lions, that would be awsome

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BigBoss4ever
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:58:41 AM
Reply

This is an excellent post Ben, I will give it a thousand thumbs up. This is what I have been feeling ever since the 2004 merge, ever since Sakaguchi left Squaresoft, ever since they try to westernize JRPG, ever since they decided to globalization....

I have said many many times, to fix this once and all, they need to do three things:

1. First and foremost, fire Wada immediately and stop westernizing JRPG and globalization. ( imo, there wasnt any single valuable thing came out of Wada's mouth in recent years, just as bad as that.)

2. Hire back Sakaguchi as the CEO and the main story writer and system desiner, and Nobuo the main music composer.(look at his Lost Odyssey, it says everything already about JRPG)

3. Bring back the full turn based system with large world map, towns, free exploration... the classic elements for the golden 90s and early 2000s era.

nothing more to be said.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 4/7/2010 2:03:24 AM

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 2:15:45 AM

Like i said. Go back to 1997. ;)

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FullmetalX10
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 4:26:18 AM

And let them make KHIII faster, by giving Tetsuya Nomura more resources.

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Fane1024
Friday, April 09, 2010 @ 7:23:51 PM

1997 is SO 1997. ;)

I can't agree with those of you who want regression. If you want to play FFVII, play FFVII.

However, I don't disagree with any of BigBoss's 3 points.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 4/9/2010 7:28:24 PM

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___________
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 3:37:46 AM
Reply

you just answered the question there yourself ben.
there catering more for the western crowd, there doing what every company is doing trying to increase their install base.
thats what visceral games are doing with dead space 2, there changing it from non stop horror to half horror half action to try and suck in as many people as they can.
making games is a expensive business these days, all their trying to do is maximize their sales.
if that means changing their games than so be it.

thats why they did what they did with FFXII and FFXIII, they changed the series to try and expand their consumer base and try to suck in more people.
developers dont care about betraying their fans, all they care about is bringing in the dough!

take a look at splinter cell conviction, i use to LOVE! that game because it was so hardcore.
creeping through corridors, shooting out cameras, planing when to move from cover to cover and if you got caught GAME OVER!
now its oh you got caught?
meh, just blow his blooming head off and problem solved!

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SvenMD
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:57:41 AM

Questions...

1) Have you played Dead Space 2 to know that they have sold out and made it into a 1/2 horror and 1/2 action? As I recall there were quite a bit of action in the first one.

2)As for FFXII, how did they "depart" from the series so bad for you? Besides a gambit system and having the enemies appear on-screen and possibly the license board - all of which were cool elements....what was such a "departure to cater to the western world"?

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___________
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 8:41:07 AM

have you read any interviews on dead space 2?
go read the 8 page article in the first edition of gameinformer, they mentioned that like 10 times.

as for FFXIII its the combat mainly that feels so much different, that and its so god dam linear and boring!
as every review says it takes the game 20+ hours to get started, it feels like your on a steam train or something for the first 20 hours.
its so slow paced and confined, i know they did this for the sake of the story but where does it say that the level design has to be linear to help the story?
GTAIV is a open world sandbox game, you can go where ever you want, whenever you want and its actually got quite a decent story.

but the combat is whats bugging me the most, it just does not feel like a FF game at all.

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SvenMD
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:21:17 AM

I found an 8 minute video from the developers, but no 8 page article. A link might help.

But, I didn't ask if you had read a review of Dead Space 2 - I asked if you had PLAYED it. It seems like the reviewers are just asking questions to the devs too. The one thing I can't stand is people bashing a game before they've even played. As I said, there was alot of action in DS1, so I really don't see how when they say they are going to amp up the action that you immediately think that's going to be a horrible thing. Play it and then decide.

And I really don't know why you are bringing up a sandbox GTAIV and FF in the same paragraph....because if you're saying that FF needs to be as open as GTAIV then this conversation is over.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:07:36 PM

Yea, Final Fantasy doesn't need to go Sandbox. It just needs to return to its roots.

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___________
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 7:54:37 AM

jesus christ read the article.
the developers said that dead space was non stop terrors, they said that people were complaining they never had a chance to read the diarys because they were to scared a necromorph would turn up.
and yes ive played dead space 2, even though its not going to be out till early next year ive finished it 16 times.
i dont need to play a game to know what its like, if the developer says their game is going to be more action than their previous effort than i take their word for it.

as for FFXIII where did i say it needs to go sandbox?
all i said is $E uses the excuse for the linearity for the storyline, they make it sound as if open world games cant have decent storylines.

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FullmetalX10
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 4:29:10 AM
Reply

They should just unmerge and make SquareSoft SquareSoft again, that company made my favorite games ever, Kingdom Hearts I&II FTW!!
At least give tetsuya Nomura more resources to work with, so he and his team can finish VXIII and KHIII and finally bring it to me.

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WolfCrimson
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 5:51:50 AM

Plus, the old SquareSoft logo was better than the current one.

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FullmetalX10
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:29:18 AM

It is, I just checked it.

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 9:49:23 AM

Squaresoft was better than Square-Enix in general, lol. Hell, remember back in the day of Super Mario RPG when they were just Square? lol.

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Masry_XI
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 4:37:50 AM
Reply

What is square Enix doing?

It is creating awesome games.
Just beat star ocean = Awesome.
and started Final fantasy = Awesome.

am still a couple of hours into Final fantasy and the environment is soo catchy that i dont even care it is linear. And the voice acting is soo good too , and people who think vanille is annoying , it really isnt , you want annoying look at serah in star ocean , most annoying character in the game , but also the best healer ever :)

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 9:46:25 AM

Square-Enix just help publish the Star Ocean series of games, they didn't make that game. Tri-Ace makes Star Ocean. Same people who made the awesome Resonance of Fate game. THAT game is awesome, lol. Oh, and with Serah in Star Ocean; They probably made her annoying to make you pay for having a really awesome healer, lol.

Last edited by DeathOfChaos on 4/7/2010 9:48:07 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:23:26 AM

Er...Star Ocean is far from "awesome."

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:36:30 AM

Accounting for the way Final Fantasy has been going, Star Ocean is the better game now. You have so much more you can do in The Last Hope, and the gameplay is quite fun, but there are certain thing with Star Ocean that just doesn't pull me in all that well. But in certain departments (especially in JRPG tastes), Star Ocean is better than FFXIII.

Last edited by DeathOfChaos on 4/7/2010 10:37:18 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:05:53 AM

It really isn't. In FFXIII, the story is better, the characters are better, the sound and graphics are infinitely better, and the combat is far more refined with a better character advancement system.

Yes, SO is more open right from the start but that's about it. Besides, once you get to Gran Pulse, you deal with an area that's massive and suddenly, SO has absolutely nothing over FFXIII.

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Masry_XI
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:36:18 AM

It was the first star ocean i Played , yea the graphics were kinda bad (compared to FF XIII) , somecutscenes were soo damn boring , the story is not original and really expected , but still the story was good , combat was awesome , character development and weapons were great , plus japanese voices were really cool , environment was really good too.
I dont know , it felt like a classic JRPG to me.
i spent about 60 hours in that game , and really had fun with it.
As for FF XIII am still a couple of hours into it , but as far as i can see the game is awesome and worthy of the great FF title.

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AirplanePeanuts
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:46:02 PM

Yeah I'm still cranking on the post game content in FFXIII, but as of right now I'd have to say I enjoyed SO4 a lot more than FFXIII.

(though SO4 still pales in comparison to SO2 and, of course, the best Final Fantasy games)

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Irievibes
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 12:08:56 AM

k lil offtopic here....

but has anyone played resonance of fate? how much of a jrpg is it? i like turn based, or ATB like stuff, is it good? its a pita to find here where i live and ill order it if its worth it but i just dont know how good it is, story seems weak in reviews but i only trust psxe reviews so....

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www
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 6:11:51 AM
Reply

Like Jawknee said somewhere, their trying hard to cater for the xbots who don't give 2 sh*ts about them, that's what their doing!

Its very sad cause its like trying to get a skank or a slut to love you by getting her everything she wants and still wouldn't appreciate!

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:04:25 PM

Wada loves money too much. Hes taking the company down hill.

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LightShow
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 6:48:32 AM
Reply

Enix has lost their mind. is there a change of leadership that would correlate to this change of direction?

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LittleBigMidget
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:03:10 AM
Reply

E3 2010: *Sqaure Enix executive comes out* "We're very pleased and happy to announce that Final Fantasy versus XIII will be coming to the Xbox 360." *Xbots rejoice* *PS3 owners head to Sqaure Enix HQ with Shotguns and RPG's*

Last edited by LittleBigMidget on 4/7/2010 7:03:48 AM

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 9:43:04 AM

If that happens, say goodbye to Air ships, Towns, and a fun game.If they were to put it to the 360 and kept all that hard work, then you would probably have to switch to a different disc titled 'Airship', 'Towns', or 'World Map'. Hell, two other discs; 'Battle' and 'Story'. Most confusing game in the world.

Last edited by DeathOfChaos on 4/7/2010 9:44:06 AM

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JackC8
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:26:48 AM
Reply

I think they have an extremely shallow and basically "cliched" view of Western gamers. We lack the depth to "understand" things, and we just want to play as big macho men who shoot everything all the time. Everybody knows that Americans are nothing but a bunch of cowboys. Yawn.

As far as Neir, if they're going to give us an xbox port and keep the PS3 version of the game exclusive to Japan, they can forget it.

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Highlander
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:01:34 AM

Someone please explain to me why people think that male gamers want to see big macho male characters running around in their games? After all the majority of male gamers are more interested in pretty girls than they are men with huge biceps and thighs. Well, I would at least have thought that was the case. In fact now I think of it, why are action game characters dominated by half naked guys? If I was developing an action game for a predominantly male audience, my character roster would be mostly female, just as half naked and pretty.

Oh, wait, the DOA girls have already cornered that market, except that people think anyone playing a DOA game is a perv. Odd indeed. If my son expressed more interest in playing a game with the DOA girls than in playing a game with muscle-bound heroes, I think I would congratulate him on his choice and send him on his way.

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Masry_XI
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 8:15:30 AM
Reply

i personally dont hate the Xbox , in fact as a person who loves games i wish i had one.
I dont mind any game going multiplatform , i dont own any shares at sony or microsoft.
All i need is for the net result to get and play an amazing game.
Some people even hated FF XIII before looking at it just cause it was multiplatform .
Some people dont even know what they think they just go with the flow they hear a game is bad then its just bad , they dont even try it themselves.
And just to make something Clear.
Final fantasy isnt a bad game , its amazing.
And SE hasnt fallen down , they still got it.
Atleast they didnt remove stuff from the game to release it as DLC after a month or so for 15$ like most games are doing nowadays riping us off!!

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:07:02 AM

What games remove things from games and then add it as DLC later? lol. Only game I've heard that had taken something out was God of War III, and they said they had to do that or they would have payed too much attention to that one part and would have affected the overall game, and painfully took that part out BUT plan to release it as DLC when and if they can...for free...

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Masry_XI
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:04:59 AM

MW2

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Highlander
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:09:20 AM

SE has lost it, games like the Last Remnant kinda prove that point.

The death of the traditional JRPG format (at least in SE developed games) is something that can't be underplayed. FFXIII is an oddity in that it strives to visually capture the SE JRPG style, while at the same time dispensing with virtually everything else that makes a JRPG a JRPG.

The fact that FFXIII is a multi-platform is not itself a problem, the fact that SE were misleading everyone into believing it was an exclusive and then revealed that it wasn't, that's a problem. In fact IIRC the way that was done was downright underhanded because it was being called exclusive pretty much right up to the last moment, so much so that when the multi-platform nature of the game was finally revealed it left Sony looking rather foolish.

As for FFXIII being a bad game, I don't know if I'd call it a bad game, but I do know I would call it a terrible JRPG.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:01:37 PM

@DeathofChaos,

Resident Evil 5, Lost Planet 2, Assassin's Creed 2 just to name a few.

All had content cut from what was originally intended to be released then sold back to us at a ridiculous price. Obviously Lost Planet 2 isn't out yet but Capcom already confirmed content was cut due to DVD limitations and it will indeed return as DLC.

Last edited by Jawknee on 4/7/2010 12:03:36 PM

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NeoHumpty
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 8:24:39 AM
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It was hard for me to read the whole interview with Square in this month's Game Informer. They make it sound like XIII is the new way it's gonna be, and that's that. I really want a great Dragon Warrior for the ps3, though. I don't know how the battles are set up anymore, but I'm guessing maybe Squeenix will keep it closer to it's roots than they have FF.

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Highlander
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:10:23 AM

If that's the case, then SE as a company better prepare for a slow and painful decline because they are betraying their core audience.

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Shatterday
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 8:45:23 AM
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Many valid points. It does seem pretty confusing.

Personally I think they have their formula all wrong. Think about their situation. They have millions of fans who are going to buy a game no matter what as long as it has the title "Final Fantasy". It's understandable to want to cater to a western audience for more profit, but at the same time you need to hold true to what WORKS.

They should have kept Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy and explored the western style of gaming with IPs. At the same time, the quickest way into this new style or market was to have a huuuge title that they knew everyone would buy.

Conundrum.

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Highlander
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:13:25 AM

SE is a Japanese developer/publisher, their most important market has historically been their home market, and yet they are alienating that market by striving to make their games more westernized. As much as they try though, their games are not westernized, they simply no longer have the very flare and Japanese style that brought the western RPG audience to them in the first place. It makes no sense at all.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:23:41 AM

Yup, the Japs weren't pleased at all with Final Fantasy XIII. When its release hit Japan it only held a 2.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon Japan and that was out of 800+ user reviews. Ever since then, i new this was going to be a disappointment even though i tried to convince myself it wouldn't everyday until release day in the US. Square needs to stick with what they're good at, but that may not happen.

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Highlander
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:33:49 AM

People have criticized me for my stance on FFXIII. That's fine, I'd already read many user comments of Japanese gamers (albeit translated) about the game and read the post launch reports and reviews. They were not the glowing reviews and experiences we were led to believe they would be. It was crystal clear that all was not well with regards to the game.

It's not so much that it's a bad game, it's not, it's more that it's a terrible RPG. At heart, FFXIII is an action game that's been given the FF treatment.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:58:42 AM

I'll tell you your conclusions aren't that far of base. If you haven't bought it yet, wait till its cheap or rent it.

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Fane1024
Friday, April 09, 2010 @ 7:35:39 PM

I still don't see how anyone can call FFXIII an action game if you don't control the character(s).

It seems more like an in-action game or, as I said in a previous article, an RTS with only a few units.

But I haven't played it, so I'm basing that opinion solely on what other people have said.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 4/9/2010 7:36:23 PM

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Phoelix
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:36:59 AM
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What Ben said about SE wanting to be a western developer with Japanese tendencies hits the nail square (hah) on the head. While I cannot speak for anybody in Japan, historically the country has been parroting the West's technology. This caused a _huge_ identity crisis, leading a whole lot of Japanese to try to figure out how to be "Eastern Westerners" and not just sell out completely to the technology of the West.

I guess SE doesn't quite realize that what kind of games we make isn't necessarily because of our national identity. Or whatever; regardless, I haven't quite been impressed lately.

But I can't blame them for catering to the "twitch" gamers; after all, the market has changed now. I'd say that the "old-school, better" gamers are still here, it's just that we're outnumbered. So, naturally, SE caters to the bigger group.

They really just leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.


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Highlander
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:26:20 AM

SE doesn't understand the market. As you point out the original RPG market is still there, and a newer market segment of shooter/action has grown. However SEs strategy is to dump it's RPG audience in favor of the shooter/action game crowd? That's not a sound strategy. You don't alienate your existing consumer base before you have secured another consumer base.

The two audiences are not the same, if SE wants a slice of the new shooter/action pie, then let them make a game for that group. Taking a beloved JRPG series and morphing it in the direction of shooter/action fans serves no one. The game is neither one thing nor the other.

I understand the point you're making, but SE is catering to neither group. A more sound strategy would be to make games that service the traditional JRPG market (and making better games in that market will GROW that market), and at the same time make/publish separate games that serve the shooter/action market. That grows SE into another genre instead of trying to blend two incompatible game genre into one.

Last edited by Highlander on 4/7/2010 11:29:10 AM

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Phoelix
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 3:04:57 PM

Absolutely. (you are right that the new games don't really fit into either) (and yes, they don't appear to be picking one group--just straddling the fence between the two)

You should be their new CEO.

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Edito
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 10:49:51 AM
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I loved Squaresoft and im sad till 2day cause FFX changed the way i am and now i some how hate Square Enix... they sold they soul... and they left all of us in the darkside...its sad cause they won't do anything like before...

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 11:24:49 AM

I liked X. A lot. As i did XII. Square IMO didn't start ot fall from gamers grace until this gen when they started out only release Xbox games.

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SuMtOnE
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 12:06:28 PM
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might been better if they didn't merge with ENIX

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Zorigo
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:29:28 PM
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Maybe they dont understand westerners... swearing and odd clothing... no wait, that describes Soho in london exactly...

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mbmt95
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 1:45:18 PM
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listen im a long time final fantasy fan i know that the series has changed a lot but the series has a large amount of games change isnt a bad thing people didnt like ff8 because of the changes put to its battle system and magic but they also make it unique a standout i thought ff12 was a huge mistake but ff13 assured me at least they are branching out with new ideas moving forward we all have our own opinions i think that SE with all its huge mistakes will have some good games in the future

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FlyingKickPunch
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 4:10:17 PM
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the glory says of square/squaresoft are over. it sucks, because the square logo on the cover of a game used to mean it was unequivocally awesome. nowadays, people's faith in them is wavering, and square doesn't seem to know, or care.
makes me sad, really. remember the SNES/PSone days? *sigh*

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JustForThis
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:21:30 PM
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To be honest, Ben, I think you already did answer your question, you're just trying to neglect it for some reason.

The new genre Square Enix wants to depend on is the action RPG. A lot of you are blind as to not see this. It's the reason why they have Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, to test whether a turn-based approach or an action approach to RPGs is more appealing to the West. Whilst doing so, they're also trying to keep the Japanese fans.

But you're right in a sense, Square Enix haven't decided which way they're going yet, they're testing a new path to see if they can appeal to both audiences. It is the fear from Western RPGs and FPS games like Modern Warfare 2 that have influenced them to decide to appeal to the West more than ever.

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JustForThis
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:26:27 PM
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Oh and another thing, Final Fantasy Versus XIII will be completely different to Final Fantasy XIII as it's being developed by the Kingdom Hearts team. I wouldn't expect too much traditional Final Fantasy gameplay in it.

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AirplanePeanuts
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 7:29:04 PM
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I think by the standards of most Playstation fans and RPG fans (both of which I feel I qualify as) I'm a bit of a strange duck. Seems like most people here are yearning for a return to Square's PSone days, but I wasn't a huge fan of the direction the company took starting with FFVII. I missed my old fashioned Final Fantasy, I didn't like the sci fi trappings and I really didn't like Tetsuya Nomura's character designs. I still enjoyed the games, but it wasn't really what I wanted, you know? Similar to how a lot of you feel now I guess.

Then we get to the PS2 era and we got FFX, which took the franchise's storytelling to new levels while unfortunately becoming even less like what I really wanted. Then some genius at Square got the idea to start letting Nomura design games. I know a lot of people like Kingdom Hearts, and I was pretty excited by it too being both a Disney fan and a Square fan, but in terms of game design I thought it was a disaster. And worse, to me, it further represented the creative direction Square was going -- lots of flash, lots of fancy cutscenes, and now instead of getting opera scenes in my games, I was getting infectious pop songs. It wasn't what I wanted.

There was one exception to this -- Yasumi Mitsuno, the guy behind Final Fantasy Tactics. I was a huge fan of that game and pretty much everything he touched. Then they gave him the reins to Final Fantasy XII and suddenly I thought that maybe the Square I wanted was going to be a reality after all. Then the game hit, and I did love it, but it also suffered because a focus-tested pretty boy named Vaan had been shoehorned in to make it still feel like this post-FF7 Final Fantasy that everyone apparently knew and loved. And then Matsuno left the company, and now we have a guy like Nomura designing FFXIII Versus. I can pretty much guarantee I am not going to like that game.

Enix on the other hand was doing the exact same thing they had always done. You want a franchise that doesn't mess with its formula, you play Dragon Quest. I find it odd that some people think Square would have been better off if they never merged with Enix. I'd argue that the Enix branch has just kept doing what it's always done while the Square slice has continued in the same direction it was already going in.

But that brings up another point -- and one that I think is relevant to what Ben is asking -- Square isn't just Square any more. It's also Enix. And Taito. And Eidos. For better or worse, Square "grew" and they aren't just that RPG company any more. Neir looks rather strange and I can't say I'm interested, but I'm not going to hold it against Squeenix to make games that aren't necessarily RPGs. Square is quite literally not the company they were... and I think that's most of the answer right there.

Last edited by AirplanePeanuts on 4/7/2010 7:30:54 PM

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Arvis
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 9:06:08 AM

*applauds*

-Arvis

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DemonNeno
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 @ 9:13:25 PM
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They're all smoking crack. They think us "westerners" want more "westerner" games although our "westerners" are making those games for us. I want some "asian-islanders" to give me some god DAMN turned based, open mapped, intriguing games to put my RPG desires to bed already.

Do we have to frickin' stalk them at their homes to run this idea home?! C'mon man. Give "Square" back it's "Soft". Enix needs to merge with a different frickin word. Like.. "Half". "Half-Enix" that'll be the new phrase for Half-Assed.

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Irievibes
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 12:13:35 AM

"Give "Square" back it's "Soft". Enix needs to merge with a different frickin word. Like.. "Half". "Half-Enix" that'll be the new phrase for Half-Assed."



epic man, just .....epic! lol you sir , have made my night lol

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DemonNeno
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 6:53:52 PM

Together, we will change the fate of those lousy bastards! :D

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BikerSaint
Thursday, April 08, 2010 @ 1:52:27 AM
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SE needs to check their own "lost & found", cause that's certainly where they've misplaced their now wandering soul.

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sazzrah
Friday, April 09, 2010 @ 1:33:20 AM
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They're busy trying to become the Japanese Electronic Arts.

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NetheRealm
Friday, April 09, 2010 @ 9:13:15 AM
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I wanna see a new Dragon Warrior or Dragon Quest as I guess they call it now and a new Ultima on the ps3 and I hope if the next Elder Scrolls is an mmorpg it won't have a stupid monthly fee and will be a hard M for Mature which was the main thing that made Fallout 3 so epic.

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ThEuNdYiNg1
Saturday, April 10, 2010 @ 5:45:22 PM
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SE is failing this gen so far, how could they make us wait 4YEARS for FF13 and it not being up to par with something as simple as FF1. i was expecting FF 13 to be the best game i've ever played, or at least be about the same as FF 12, all they did was downgrade the FF series,although the dragon quest series seems to be getting better. who else thinks they care more about dragon quest than FF?

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Lobosabio
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 8:40:28 AM
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Talented Developers are the true heart of software companies, and SE has lost their heart because of people like mitsuno, sakaguchi and Uematsu running away from that nonsense corporate hell.

So, if you want good FF games, they are named now MISTWALKER.

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