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Author Topic: debate about Square-Enix  (Read 8406 times)
blackthirteen
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« on: March 03, 2006, 07:08:31 AM »

hehe we currently have a funny debate about Square-Enix;

http://www.blossomsoft.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=1014

but I would like to have the opinion of true rpg gamers :twisted: What do you think of Square merging with Enix? Do you think the games are better quality now? What do you think of all the FF7 spine-off?
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Lilim
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2006, 09:34:10 AM »

I'm pretty sure I don't know all the in's and out's of the whole Square-Enix merger, but from my standpoint it's a good and bad thing at the same time.

The good part being that two companies known for making great RPGs can find rock-solid stability by combining their companies into one. They have the resources to make some truly awe-inspiring games, but that brings up the next point.

The bad part is that since they have merged, the quality of their games hasn't been as great as I was expecting. I've been kind of disappointed with their latest efforts (Grandia III, Samurai Legend Musashi, Radiata Stories to name a few); they weren't bad games, but these games have been underwhelming to say the least. A lot of these games seem to be missing an element that makes them good (Radiata had a lackluster ending, Grandia III needed a better story, and Samurai Legend Musashi was rather craptastic) and I've come to wait for reviews before shelling out the full price on S-E games. Most games can be hit or miss, but I don't remember a stretch of games that kept missing the mark so often between Square or Enix.

As for the FF7 spinoffs, I did enjoy Advent Children a great deal. I can't say how Before Crisis turned out or how Crisis Core will be, but Dirge of Cerberus really felt like a lackluster effort. It didn't make sense why Vincent would be all badass in the cutscenes, but during the gameplay he'd have to climb up ladders when he could jump over them and shoot much slower than the nice gunplay I just saw in the cutscene I had just exited. The FF7 additions simply add more stuff (Kadaj, Loz, Yazoo/Deep Ground Soldiers) that gets a rather flimsy to little explanation and it takes away from the time they could be spending doing stuff with the pre-existing characters that anyone who played FF7 would either see those characters more in the foreground or just leave the main story alone.
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2006, 09:44:04 AM »

Economically, the Square Enix merger was one of the best moves in the history of the Japanese game industry. It made perfect sense and following the acquisition of Taito, you now have a company that covers everything from on- and offline games over mobile content, movies, music, publishing to arcade and amusement facilities (think of all the polymorphic content stuff you can bring to all those platforms :P). They have arguably the three most successful RPG franchises in Japan with Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts, the biggest and most successful online gaming division in Japan (only rivalled by GungHo) and a catalogue of established RPG-related IPs that is quite impressive (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, SaGa, Seiken Densetsu, Front Mission, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, Final Fantasy Tactics, Ogre Battle, Chrono, Parasite Eve, Hanjuku Eiyuu, Drag-on Dragoon, Brave Fencer Musashi, Chocobo, Fushigi no Dungeon).

Personally, I think they are not developing as many great games as they did during the PlayStation years. But that impression could be a result of nostalgic feelings as well. These days they are lacking original games like Parasite Eve, Xenogears, Chrono Cross, Dew Prism or Vagrant Story. This however has little to do with the merger per se, as Square itself already moved into that direction well before the merger. After the disaster that was Final Fantasy The Movie and the resignation of two CEOs, current president Youichi Wada took over and the company became more risk-averse, to use Donald Rumsfeld's term. Arguably they had no choice but to do this in order to recover from the company's first ever two consecutive years with red numbers. Still I have been told by people who have worked for Square (Enix) for quite some time, that even within the company people (who worked on other games) started complaining about the total focus on the Final Fantasy series.

The biggest problem I have with the company is that they assigned the production team that has produced Xenogears, Chrono Cross and Dew Prism to exclusively develop MMORPGs. Arguably they had little choice, because the other three big production teams have other things to deal with (production team 1: Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, production team 2: SaGa series and Game Designers Studio games, production team 4: Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Tactics), but I still did not like the choice. To make things worse Chrono series mastermind Masato Katou left the company disgruntled after working on Final Fantasy XI. The production value of most of the games they develop (in particular the stuff that is developed in-house or by tri-Ace) is still top-notch, but it does not feel as outstanding or innovative as it did 5-10 years ago. And the stories are not as deep and interesting as they used to be.

As far as the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is concerned, again, economically it makes perfect sense and has been a great success so far. Before Crisis has become the most popular cellphone-based game in Japan, Advent Children has sold more than one million copies, Dirge of Cerberus has sold more than 500,000 copies and Crisis Core will probably become one of the best-selling games for PlayStation Portable, whenever it will be released. Personally, I don't care too much. Despite the impressive visuals, I was glad that I got Advent Children for free in Japan, because the movie did not blow me away. I have not played Dirge of Cerberus, but I'm not too fond of the entire gun-action RPG concept. Last but not least, Crisis Core will apparently re-tell the Nibelheim episode with players be able to play as Zack for the first time. While it might be interesting, I'm not the biggest fan of action RPGs and don't know, whether I want to be told that story again.
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Morridor
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2006, 10:29:20 AM »

Honestly, everyone's said it all already.  For Square Enix themselves, yeah, it was the best idea ever.  In regards to making original games, probably a bad idea.  Although, since both companies were going to go under, it's definitely a good thing they merged because otherwise, there would be a lack of RPGs today.

Danny
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2006, 10:36:13 AM »

Going under in terms of going bankrupt or what? Both companies were in a pretty good shape financially when they merged. In fact, Enix waited for Square to recover back then, since Enix founder Yasuhiro Fukushima did not want his company get caught up in Square's post-Final Fantasy The Movie crisis. However if they had not merged, they would still be around and selling RPGs, albeit facing a more difficult market situation.
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Dade
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2006, 12:22:48 PM »

Square + Enix = Good.

End of story.
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2006, 12:48:57 PM »

I don't know if it's because of the merger, or it it's just how the video game business is these days (with raised development costs etc), but lately Square-Enix seem to be much more focused on creating remakes/sequels than new IPs. If you take a look at upcoming or recently released games from SE they're all sequels, remakes or spinoff: Final Fantasy XII, Kingdom Hearts 2, Grandia 3, Drakengard 2, The Mana games and so on and so forth. The only recent "stand alone" game released by SE I can think of is Radiata Stories. And while I guess that Square and Enix both always have been very reliant on their big, successful franchises (Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest respectively), it does seem like they were more inclined to release more experimental titles back in the SNES/PSX days. Stuff like Vagrant Story, Parasite Eve and the Tobal games.

As for the "Compilation of Final Fantasy VII" stuff I don't care about it at all. From my point of view it's aimed straightly at the FF VII fanboys; the kind of people who write Cloud/Sephiroth slashfics and like Advent Children. While FF VII is a decent enough game, it's far from the best game, or even best RPG, ever. I won't be buying any of the spin-off products, and I'd frankly be much happier if Square-Enixed had used all those time and resources on a brand new game instead.
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Eusis
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2006, 05:28:57 PM »

Quote from: "Cauton"
From my point of view it's aimed straightly at the FF VII fanboys; the kind of people who write Cloud/Sephiroth slashfics and like Advent Children.

You can still like the movie without being some rapid FFVII fanboy; you just have to like shiny graphics and special effects. =P
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Sketch
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2006, 05:29:55 PM »

Yeah, they just seen to be milking FFVII for all that it's worth. Which isn't a bad strategy since the game is so damn popular. Nut personally I'd rather see completely new games as opposed to rinky dink spiff offs and movies based off something popular from way back when.
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Myau
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2006, 03:38:09 PM »

Don't really see that the meger has made too much of a difference to the way either company does their business. I would say that both of them would have continued with more and more sequels, and creating about the same amount of actual new intellectual property.

The big Japanese companies are becoming more and more conservative as it is with what projects they invest their money in, especially with most of the big RPG names having been assimulated with mergers.

Then again, I don't think Enix games such as Star Ocean Til The End of Time and Dragon Quest VIII would be Europe-bound had it not been for the merger. Despite Ubisoft publishing the formor. Those are still pretty fucking good things for a market that didn't get Star Ocean 2, none of the Dragon Quest titles, as well as a fair number of their other celebrated titles (such as Xenogears and Valkyrie Profile.)
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2006, 04:10:11 PM »

Quote
but I would like to have the opinion of true rpg gamers


Sorry man, this is rpgfan. We're rpg *fans*. rpgamer.com is what you want. Don't feel bad. I get the confused a lot.
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2006, 05:56:25 PM »

+1 on what Chris/Gast said in his first post.  From a practical business standpoint, it was an intelligent decision.  And it's not like the various Square and Enix teams are going to cross-pollinate their product.  Cloudiroth Spykesword is not going to cameo in a DQ game.  

I think the disappointment is coming because Square and Enix were the two biggest titans and people were expecting every game post-merger to be a juggernaut.    

As for all the FF7 stuff, I'll admit that Dirge of Cerberus looks pretty meh.  But I wonder, is the tale told within supposed to take place before the major events of FF7?  Or is it post-Cloud/Sephiroth storyline?  Because if it's a prequel chroncling the events of Hojo, Lucretia, and Vincent (while he was still a Turk) then of course Hojo would be alive and younger.
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2006, 07:02:57 PM »

Neal: The timeline looks as written below. While Dirge of Cerberus apparently features a lot of flashbacks and explains Lucrecia and Vicent's past in a more detailed way than Final Fantasy VII, the game actually takes place a few years after the events of Advent Children, making it the final installment (on the timeline) of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
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Dade
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2006, 07:47:29 PM »

But what about the Red XIII spinoff about the future where Midgar is a jungle?

I REALLY want that!
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2006, 12:28:38 AM »

Quote from: "Dade The Ass McLaren"
Square + Enix = Good.

End of story.


Yes.
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