This is a general feeling that Iíve had with the video game industry for quite some time now, but having just played a bit of the Final Fantasy XII demo that was included with Dragon Quest VIII inspired me to finally write about it.
The point, and I donít mean to make this sounds like its big news, but how commercial and Hollywood video games have become in recent years has become really disgusting and is beginning to turn me off to this pastime that I used to enjoy so much.
When was the last time that you played a game with charm? A game that really had characters that you felt concern for? Recent years game developers have turned out an endless slew of half baked games that could have been great if only essentials such as storyline and control scheme held more importance. Some of the graphics on games out there now a days are truly impressive, but itís only become a selling point for a game. There is no artistic integrity to it.
Why did the Final Fantasy XII demo upset me so much? The game looks beautiful, Iíll admit. Hell, itís very reminiscent, visually, to the intro of Final Fantasy VI, which is of course a good thing. But the feel, the over dramaticism of events and characters that the viewer isnít even familiar with, I donít understand it. And what the hell was with that voice that did the intro? Speaking in vague language about some omnipotent struggle, the whole thing reeked of Hollywood. Did anybody think of Pablo Franciscoís stand up routine when he mocks the deep suspenseful voices that narrate movie commercials? That voice Pablo did was the narrator for the FFXII intro. Way too cinematic with no substance beneath. How disappointed I was having just beat Dragon Quest VIII, pleased with how Square Enix had made efforts to give the game a retro feel and appeal to the fan base that supports their business.
This feeling has been bothering me a lot since I played Final Fantasy X, the game felt, over polished? Iím sure many fan boys and girls will flame me for saying so, but the game seemed like a marketerís wet dream. Support? Just look at Lulu. Look at the cleavage. I mean Iím every typical male, I love cleavage, but what place does it have here? Iím so sick of seeing women in video games dressed ridiculously, like medieval armor bikinis. Enough! Iím tired of cock teases like Lulu covering box art out there. Is this one woman definitive of the entire game inside?
Consider this also, if you have beaten God Of War some of the extras unlocked describe how Kratosí design evolved during early planning of the game. Notice that in many of the character sketches Kratos doesnít have his Blades of Aries. The Blades of Aries are so essential to the gameís plot that this can only mean that production of the game began before they even had a basic outline of the plot! And I mean production, there werenít just sketches of different looks for Kratos but alternate 3D models of him. Many of these extras were also very similar to those found in the special features of DVDs. The whole thing just made me feel uneasy. God of War wasnít a bad game by any means, but shouldnít a major issue such as plot be addressed before you even begin sketching characters? Is plot an afterthought for game developers?
I think that because of this, there just havenít really been many memorable games released in a while. (Iíll admit Shadow of the Colossus is an anomaly.) Sometimes Iíll find myself buying a game just so that Iíll be able take the old PS2 for a spin, only to be disappointed. Damn you Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.
I understand that those making video games are trying to make a living and the increase in the technological power of these next generation consoles requires more hours and more man power in making games but I miss the days of the Super Nintendo. I miss when games had character.