First, I need to apologize if my first editorial (Squaresoft - the past,
the present & the future) offended anybody. The editorial was meant to
voice my views towards Squaresoft, it is not by all means intended to
offend any Squaresoft fans. This is my response to this editorial (The
state of Squaresoft).
Actually, I'm a japanese and I'm not really aware that Final Fantasy VII
made RPG a mainstream success in the english market. RPGs has always
been popular in Japan long before Final Fantasy first debut. Therefore I
may have offended a few people for not appreciating Squaresoft's deed to
the gaming community here. But this is just my views as a japanese gamer.
You can't deny that Squaresoft's RPGs are as popular as the RPGs
themselves. Here's the reasons why I think Squaresoft isn't what it used
to be. As I stated in my first editorial, I'm a huge Squaresoft
fan........ let me rephrase that. I am a Square RPG addict. I have
played every single Squaresoft RPG since Final Fantasy 5, I have
absolutely nothing against them.
First reason, releases. Last time, when I see a Squaresoft title in the
release schedules section (every japanese gaming magazine has one) I'll
be jumping with joy. Squaresoft releases those days were around 4 to 5
title a year comparing to today's 6 to 7 titles half a year. I think
that they are releasing as much titles as quickly as they can nowadays.
Resulting in some mediocre titles released , which is very rare in
Squaresoft's record. If Saga Frontier were to be released by the "old
Squaresoft" the final product won't be what it is now, this is what I
believe. To me, Saga Frontier is crap, this is obvious if you compare
it with any of its predecessors in the Romancing Saga series. What I meant
by "Squaresoft being a perfectionist last time", is because every time I
finished a Square game back then, I really couldn't ask for any
improvements any more. I'm serious! Back then Square made all the
possible improvements in the first release of a title. Questions: What
is needed to make Final Fantasy VI more enjoyable than it is right now?
Huh? Better graphics! That's all you can ask. The gameplay is flawless,
the music is better than any RPGs today, and the storyline is
leagues better than Final Fantasy VII (easier to comprehend I
guess.......). And all you could ask to update it with the current
graphics technology. And when it is released back then, it has the best
graphics (and the biggest size! 24 megs!!) Question again, could you
improve Shokaigi? I'll let you do that question.......
All Squaresoft past releases are testaments to my statement above. They
are all perfect for their time and even today! What I'm emphasizing here
is gameplay, not graphics.
At last, about the statement about Square being business minded. Well,
as I have stated above, they're making as much titles as soon as possible.
Why? Because they want to push profits to the limits. In Japan, the
faster a game is released, the better the profit. Why do I say this? Let
me explain. If a game were to be under development for ten months, then
a company will have to pay all the employees ten months worth of salary.
Meaning, the game's cost will be a lot more, get it? And in Japan,
Squaresoft games sell relatively well, no matter how crap they are.
Another proof is Faye Wong, from what I heard Faye Wong in Asia is like
errr........ Celine Dion or Mariah Carey in America. Meaning, Final
Fantasy VIII sales in Asia will soar!! They could have easily put any
person there to sing "Eyes On Me" and still get the sales Final Fantasy
series deserves but why Faye Wong??? Oh yeah, to take advantage on this,
all Final Fantasy VIII CDs comes with an all new territorial lock. Which
at the same time blocks access for copying the CD (aka Piracy), why no
chip in other titles? Simple! No Faye Wong. All her fans will flock to
buy the game, and without the pirated version, they'll have to buy the
original. Thus, more profit! Chaa ~ ching! Of course Final Fantasy VIII
is an EXCELLENT game, let's hope this is Squaresoft's come back!
I'm not saying that a company being business minded is a sin. I'm just
saying, well, why Squaresoft? I mean I used to think of them as a pure
game company, you know, like those who are faithful to their systems no
matter what, and those that make games just for gamers to enjoy it. I
can go forever saying Squaresoft isn't what it is used to be? But I
think I have to stop here because this editorial is already too long! I
might continue someday. Bye for now.