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Author Topic: Worst RPGS  (Read 34138 times)
deathsaber
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« Reply #285 on: March 31, 2011, 11:19:36 AM »

FF13 biggest problem is that it became clear reading the developers comments regarding the game, that all the pressure was put on them to produce graphically the best looking RPG, which wound up being 95% of their focus. 

I remember comments from them post game release after all the complaining started where they defended themselves saying that they would have taken 10 years to make a game with world map/towns/exploration with the same graphical fidelity as FF13.  The goal was clearly to come out on top with tech heads, and to stake the claim that their CGI was the best and first to display in full 1080i uncompressed glory, moreso than to just make a good role playing game. 

Therein lies their problem - next time out they need to forget about visuals, and just give us the beset rpg they can muster.  Heck, I don't care if they reuse the SNES final fantasy game engine- how cool would be be if they made some kind of "final fantasy 15-classic" which all effort was put into the story, setting, and characters, and NOT technical aspects.  Or if they don't want to be that archaic with the visuals, at least take notes with what Mistwalker has done with their recent titles. 

I don't think it matters, what it will look like, Final Fantasy 15 will sell, but they need to really refocus on the quality of this series in areas other than graphics and CGI.

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Starmongoose
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« Reply #286 on: March 31, 2011, 11:28:44 AM »

I don't think they could go backwards now. For all the bitching some of us here gave about it being a rubbish, while stunning looking, game they would hear complaints ten fold over from idiots who who would rather see something pretty than play something good.
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Yggdrasil
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« Reply #287 on: March 31, 2011, 12:12:46 PM »

Final Fantasy XV in 8-bit?

From the same company that put the cinematic style above gameplay for RPGs?
From the same company that in fact did a long CGI movie called Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children?

I mean, is not like Square Enix cares to make a game that is fun or anything. But big part of why their games sell is because they look good... and because their fans are crazy.

With that said, I expect good things from Final Fantasy Type-0. Versus XIII? Eh, not really. But I'm still going to play it just for curiosity.
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« Reply #288 on: March 31, 2011, 12:25:05 PM »

I'm pretty sure even Squeenix acknowledges it as a failure to some extent.  It made sales, but how many people traded it after and panned it as being dogshit.

FF12 at least offered some freedom (but shitty means of traveling).  I remember hating how *everything* had to be found and built up.  This works in Sim City, but not in an RPG.  It's been said; the license grid, poor economy (just as bad in 13 actually), finding the gambit pieces to get characters to do something that should be common sense.  Then Squeenix likes to go back, waay back, and bring something more traditional (but not very modern/intuitive).  Credit to them for trying something new, it's unfortunately the thing that denies us a more classic experience, and they have trouble finding some in-between of classic gameplay with a few modern elements.

Anyways, at the very least they gotta get their shit together.  12 had it's fans, fine.  13?  14?!?!  Bleh.  Something's wrong -- games should not be continuously shitty like that.  Hell, look at Rockstar games, they embody the company name with almost every title.

I wonder if FF4 (the new PSP one) will tell them anything about what they do for here.
.... hopefully FF6 remake!! :D
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« Reply #289 on: March 31, 2011, 12:55:18 PM »

I'd honestly like there not to be a Final Fantasy for the next five years. Develop it properly and give it time to gestate. Create alphas and betas, review them with the public to some extent if you need to, and only after tweaking it all based on that feedback, release it. It's not wrong to listen to the public when building a game, but it hamstrings the process if you let the public dictate your vision at its root.
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Annubis
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« Reply #290 on: March 31, 2011, 01:07:53 PM »

We all know Final Fantasy XV will feature a "I like this" button that will directly update to your facebook and twitter the recent actions in the game you liked. Now, if you actually press the button is a whole other story.
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Lard
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« Reply #291 on: March 31, 2011, 01:29:30 PM »

FFXIII fails most of the technical test beyond its graphics and sound. If we take world-building and characterization to be our first fundamentals in determining an RPG's value, FFXII stands up pretty well by comparison. Its execution is far more complete and well delivered, even if you didn't like it.

Well we'll have to agree to disagree on that. I see what you're saying about world building, but I don't think the characterisation in FF12 holds up at all. There's better characterisation in Snow in almost any character in FF12.

I'd honestly like there not to be a Final Fantasy for the next five years. Develop it properly and give it time to gestate. Create alphas and betas, review them with the public to some extent if you need to, and only after tweaking it all based on that feedback, release it. It's not wrong to listen to the public when building a game, but it hamstrings the process if you let the public dictate your vision at its root.

I agree with this, except how long did FF13 take to make and look at the reception it got? Also, if we learned anything this week, it's keep focus groups *away* from opinions on games.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 01:32:05 PM by Lard » Logged

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MindCandy
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« Reply #292 on: March 31, 2011, 05:06:37 PM »

About those concepts...

Worldbuilding. Do you mean physical world building or conceptual? Because, while ff13 had no physical change or progression in the world in one respect, it had the second in spades. The game did gradually reveal new ideas, concepts,and stories about the world, which built your perception of it. It's true that it had no real physical exploration, but mental it did have. In that respect: can you really say it is non existant?

Truthfully I feel like that's trading away gold and getting feathers, but others could feel differently and be justified.

Gameplay.  Well, there is gameplay in setting up your deck and selecting your roles, and it's true that this is radically different from before, but really it's the same as above. Explority gameplay simply does not exist, but strategic combat gameplay does. Personally, I don't think it's enough to hang the game on, but it is there.

What I think happened was square focused on some aspects of what makes an FF title, while ignoring others. This leads to what feels like a half assed, incomplete game.  The problem is, that's a judgement we will never be able to prove. Square could argue that this was their intent and focus all along, and that this is the result of them streamlining the experience into a very direct story. If that was the gameplay they were trying to achieve.

At the end of the day though, whatever type of game they did make, I didn't enjoy it, and apparently I'm not in the minority. I do think it's unfair to say it's a tech demo or not a game. It's just not all that great of a game.

It is one hell of a light show though.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 05:39:24 PM by MindCandy » Logged

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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #293 on: March 31, 2011, 05:26:48 PM »

Gameplay has to do with how the game actually integrates narrative, characterisation, as well as regular functions that the player inputs.

Narrative that doesn't arise from gameplay is irrelevant to gameplay.
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« Reply #294 on: March 31, 2011, 06:27:17 PM »

About those concepts...

Worldbuilding. Do you mean physical world building or conceptual? Because, while ff13 had no physical change or progression in the world in one respect, it had the second in spades. The game did gradually reveal new ideas, concepts,and stories about the world, which built your perception of it. It's true that it had no real physical exploration, but mental it did have. In that respect: can you really say it is non existant?

Truthfully I feel like that's trading away gold and getting feathers, but others could feel differently and be justified.

Gameplay.  Well, there is gameplay in setting up your deck and selecting your roles, and it's true that this is radically different from before, but really it's the same as above. Explority gameplay simply does not exist, but strategic combat gameplay does. Personally, I don't think it's enough to hang the game on, but it is there.

What I think happened was square focused on some aspects of what makes an FF title, while ignoring others. This leads to what feels like a half assed, incomplete game.  The problem is, that's a judgement we will never be able to prove. Square could argue that this was their intent and focus all along, and that this is the result of them streamlining the experience into a very direct story. If that was the gameplay they were trying to achieve.

At the end of the day though, whatever type of game they did make, I didn't enjoy it, and apparently I'm not in the minority. I do think it's unfair to say it's a tech demo or not a game. It's just not all that great of a game.

It is one hell of a light show though.

The problem with conceptual world-building is that it's... well, cheap. Lots of people have all kinds of neat ideas, but getting them from paper to product? It often falls through. The fact is that the only world-building a player is going to experience is what you craft in the game. Leaving it up in the air just isn't worth anything to anyone. There are a lot of "idea" guys in the industry, but they can't just be idea guys. They need to know how to go from concept to craft, and they have to do it well.

It's the difference between Cloud in FFVII and Lightning in FFXIII. Both have the attitude, the one-liners, and the looks. But the major difference is that Cloud goes through extensive trauma and comes out a changed person. That just doesn't happen to Lightning, and while she softens as the game goes on, there's no real development. On top of that, she never really stops being the one-note "badass" girl. Cloud becomes more rounded and fleshed out. He grows.

Both are characters grown out of the same concept. The difference is that one becomes a human being as we follow his story. The other remains a caricature, shallow and empty. One exemplifies good character building, which is deeply integral to world-building. The other? Well, she's reflective of her world as well.

Concepts are cheap. Actual quality products with developed worlds and characters, worth buying, owning, and treasuring for the memories they give us? They can be priceless.

Gameplay has to do with how the game actually integrates narrative, characterisation, as well as regular functions that the player inputs.

Narrative that doesn't arise from gameplay is irrelevant to gameplay.

I think we agree on this point. It's the developer's responsibility to take narrative and work it into the gameplay. Lost Odyssey's memory sequences, for example. They're... gorgeous. The writing can really touch you, and it's a shame it isn't more prevalent throughout the game. It's a stellar example of where narrative, largely independent of gameplay, is one of the best aspects. That said, it's deeply irrelevant, because it isn't integrated with the game. The same is true of Xenogears, which has a really compelling narrative, world-building, and cast of characters. The wholesale problem is that the gameplay isn't well-integrated after the first disc.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #295 on: March 31, 2011, 06:33:55 PM »

Well...

I don't mean unintegrated story stuff is BAD, just... irrelevant to the gameplay. I have nothing against inter-level cutscenes/log files/whatever in an FPS for instance. Those are irrelevant to the gameplay itself, but it's neat having the world fleshed out.

And on the other end of the spectrum you have Boatmurdered.

Put another way, story is everything in a game -- but not the story written by the developers.
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MindCandy
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« Reply #296 on: March 31, 2011, 10:31:19 PM »

I don't think we disagree except on one point. I think ff13 was indeed a game. It wasn't broken, wasn't partially realized, and wasn't cheap. it may have been experimental, but that does not make it illigitimate. I don't think Square Enix tricked us into buying something incomplete or half assed. Previously mentioned elements asside, the game is very polished. I just think it was a game not many people were looking for.

I hate to do this, because I'm sure I'm not the first one, but look at ff2 (japan count) In my opinion that game was WAY more broken than 13. Nearly unplayable. But it layed down some concepts that were way ahead of it's time and were never fully realized untill games like (opinion again) The Elder Scrolls Morrowind damn near perfected this kind of character growth system. Now it's all over the place.

I think what we've seen here might be the start of something good. The genre is constantly evolving and changing as ideas fly around. I didn't like ff13. I also didn't like 8, or 2, but I own them and I've played them and I don't regret it. I think they all accomplish something and add something to my collection. Maybe 13's not a gem. It's far from it, but I wouldn't say there's no place for it in gaming.
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« Reply #297 on: March 31, 2011, 10:44:46 PM »

A snippet from the 18000 word review I linked earlier.

Quote
We have an idea where Final Fantasy XIII came from. It came not from videogame designers; it came from businessmen and artists. We respect the inclusion of businessmen and artists into any videogame development team — usually. The “usually” means we respect businessmen and artists if they are included not at the expense of game designers and level designers. Without art, a game isn’t a game. With great art and no game design, a game is a lifeless husk. Final Fantasy XIII is, by virtue of the hard work of many businessmen, at least the most entertaining lifeless husk of the year. It is by no means a worthwhile entertainment experience for any real human person we can imagine.

...

A producer of Final Fantasy XIII explains that there was “enough discarded content” from Final Fantasy XIII to make a whole other game. The “content” in question is mainly levels — game-play areas. That’s a real, huge red flag, right there. Seeing as the “levels” or “areas” in Final Fantasy XIII are first and foremost venues for monsters to appear, and seeing as how monsters are selected for how niftily they clash against the background graphics — seeing as how the majority of the minor in-game cut-scene dialogue consists of main characters discussing things no more detailed than “What are we going to do?” “We have to survive.” “We have to fight.” “We have to fight . . . them.” it’s quite pitifully obvious that none of the scripted dialogue or level events had anything to do with the player characters’ current location.

This is the kind of thing that we, as a marketing / PR person, always tell game companies to never, ever, ever say in interviews. Like, there’s enough levels to make another game? That means that they spent huge amounts of time making levels that they weren’t going to use. That’s because (believe us on this one) the overall arc / scope of the story wasn’t fixed early enough in the development: the areas that were eventually actualized as levels by artists (judging by our complete playthrough of the game, we’re going to say there weren’t actually any “level designers”) were originally conceived by checklists drawn up during regularly scheduled brainstorming meetings. “Fire level”, “Ice level”, et cetera.

Seeing as most of the levels in the finished game lack any kind of sense of common sense, or even one-word-summaryable background art gimmicks, we can surmise that the artists themselves were in charge of thinking of the “themes” for the backgrounds, and then actualizing them via a series of rough drafts and object asset requests.

In short: they had no idea what the game was about. Tetsuya Nomura designed characters, some other artists designed some other characters, some other artists still designed huge amounts of enemy-like robot-ish machine-things, some other artists flung together lavish architecture inspired by lifetimes of playing Final Fantasy VII and longing desperately to work on a Final Fantasy game — though, of course, if they did, they’d do something kind of different. Then someone came in and was like “btw dudes, the game is about this”. Then someone was like, “Oh, i guess we don’t need that dinosaur island part, or that part on the moon.” Owning up to “enough cut-out levels to make another game” is pretty much admitting “yeah, we lacked focus from the very start; we had close to no idea what we were doing.”

Our conclusion is that throwing artists at something doesn’t make a game. You need some actual honest-to-god directorial control. We’ve played all of this game, and then some, and we realize that it had no directorial control. The story makes no sense. The characters talk in nonsense nonsentences. They can’t speak ten words without three of them being some made up thing. You know how, when you say “Ballerina” over and over again the meaning of the word totally evaporates and you’re left giggling for a second, forgetting your age, your name, your birthday, your phone number? That’s what all of Final Fantasy XIII is like, as a narrative experience. It’s a euphoria compounded by the dread of, even for a second, having no identity.
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MindCandy
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« Reply #298 on: March 31, 2011, 11:08:38 PM »

the author is presuming quite a bit there. Just because there was left over content does not mean the had a bunch of crap, threw it against the wall and just used what stuck. Most entertainment media has quite a bit of content left on the cutting room floor. Authors and film directors do it all the time.

It's still a dumbass thing to say in public though.
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« Reply #299 on: March 31, 2011, 11:23:04 PM »

Sure, stuff gets cut in entertainment all the time in order to make a solid final product.  But when you are cutting an entire product's worth of material, your project clearly has a lack of focus, and a tremendous amount of productivity has been wasted in the process.

I mean, I can't remember the last time I fired up a Blu-Ray or DVD and had 2 hours of deleted scenes in the bonus features for a 2 hour movie.
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