The things I listed ~
- a story ostracized of Final Fantasy's characteristic melodrama
- dialogue choices (which, I should add, Square already used in Final Fantasy XIII-2)
- environments similar to those found in the PS1 entries (again, which you can find in XIII-2)
- character-centric side quests
By the semantic definition of "subjective", could someone theoretically debate the merits of these aspects? Sure. From a grounded and realistic standpoint, not really. Removing sappy dialogue and retroactive continuity should not have game-breaking consequences, and seeing as how Square showed some inherent potential for dialogue options and environments that weren't just corridors with XIII-2, then by my logic they're perfectly capable of reproducing those elements in their next entry to the franchise. The fact that the Walking Dead climbed its way to game of the year and Final Fantasy XIII was met mainly with disappointment should speak volumes about what the majority of players are more interested in (as in, glitch-ridden yet engaging, and not a cinematic 60-hour polished turd of a wonky science fiction soap opera).
It IS being somewhat pedantic on my part to fixate on that "not subjective" bit, but they are for the most part aspects that are absolutely about personal preference, and in certain circles (IE Japan's user base perhaps) are not flaws at all. They may not be what WE want, but that's different from being an objective failing.
For the record: melodrama within reason IS part of FF's charm, FFVI is very much a melodramatic story yet that's one of the most revered entries (although I need to replay that, as IV is also excessively melodramatic and that fell flat on its face painfully upon replaying) and if anything I'd say the bigger failure is how incoherent and inane some of the stories have become, FFXIII was pretty bad there and FFXIII-2 and seemingly Lightning Returns REALLY go off the deep end. Dialogue choices I think are likely to be superfluous in FF as XIII-2 actually did demonstrate, I don't see SE actually going with significant story branching nor do I imagine they want to even consider milder story ramifications much like Walking Dead does. And the other two points, well, those are what I meant about things I'd want to see done that the series had done in the past.
What part of "take a page" are you confused about? I'm well aware of Bioware's unseemly portrayals of females in their works.
It was partially a joke, though it did seem odd to bring up the angle of misogyny via unnecessary fan service when in their own way Bioware may've actually been worse. It seems more a problem with general game development if not the media period, and honestly is preferable to what Nintendo seems to like doing, slavishly sticking with the "save the princess" plot.
EDIT: Anyway I'm beginning to sound like a pedantic prick at this point so I'll just quit while I'm ahead. I never meant to say WRPGs were superior to JRPGs or any such nonsense, so sorry if it came across that way.
Understood, and like said honestly the subjective/objective bit set me off more. Otherwise I'd just be half agreeing with your points: there's clearly SOMETHING wrong with the way FF's been handling story and the games could stand to return to that linear-leaning middle ground rather than just being a hall from beginning to end that has a ball room close to the end. You just can't underestimate what people WANT out of these games, as arguments over what Zelda should be can readily show.