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The Tale of Macbeth = The Tale of Squaresoft???

For the layman out there, Macbeth was a Shakespearean play about a power hungry king who turned insane from the power that corrupted him. Many RPG connoisseurs out there like myself are wondering what happened to Squaresoft. I personally feel that the company was much better before it merged with Electronic Arts. Just look at the events that have happened ever since Final Fantasy 1 was released for the NES.

1. Final Fantasy 1 is released for the NES. It becomes the foundation for a multitude of RPG games. It doesn't have much of a plot at all, the graphics pale in comparison to today's, and the battle system is just about as generic as you can get, but what else are you going to expect from an eight bit system? This was the first video game I ever played outside of an arcade (even before classics like Mario or Dragon Warrior), and it was the reason I invested in an NES at the age of seven (the price wasn't cheap for me back then). I still find myself digging it out of my closet and playing a couple of hours every once in a while.

2. Square released it's first big title for the SNES, Final Fantasy 2 (or 4 in Japan). It was a huge game with an intriguing storyline (compared to any other RPG out at the time), and it was quite challenging. For reasons unbeknownst to me, Square discontinued making the game after I bought a SNES, so I had to pull some strings and pay $90 to get this game. I actually paid more for FF2 than I did for my SNES. Call me crazy, but I thought it was worth it.

3. Secret of Mana was released. It was my second favorite game for a long time (behind FF3) because of the fun combat. The ring-menu system was introduced (I think it should've been used more), and it was pretty much the first enjoyable Action-RPG out there. The game was by no means flawless; the translation was absolutely horrid, there wasn't much of a plot or character development, but it was a fun game to play.

4. Final Fantasy 3 (6 in Japan) was released. In my opinion, FF3 is easily the best video game ever made for any system. I could write ten pages on this game, but I can sum it up in five words. This Game is Absolutely Perfect!!!!!

5. Chrono Trigger is released. Chrono wasn't on the same caliber as FF3, but it was a game geared toward a younger audience (in a couple of ways, cheesy). The game is really fun and enjoyable, the battle engine in it is superb, and it is one of the most playable games I have ever set my hands on.

6. Sony signs a contract with Square so that Square only makes games for the Playstation.

7. Squaresoft merges with Electronic Arts to become Square EA.

----------------------------------THE DOWNFALL BEGINS!----------------------------

8. After a whole lot of anticipation and waiting, Final Fantasy VII is released. Square hurries to get it out, which I thought showed. Don't get me wrong- FF7 is my second favorite game, but I think Square should've cleaned up the translation and perfected some of the storyline points. Some people say that the graphics were wonderful, but I think that is pretty shallow. Sure, they don't hurt, but buying a game just because it looks good isn't what a TRUE RPGer would do. You have to admit that because of the greediness and haste exemplified by Square EA, the game became a flawed gem. For that reason, I feel cheated. FF7 could've been better.

9. A whole slew of Square RPG titles come out for the PSX. IMO, all of them are flawed gems (except for SaGa Frontier, which was s--- on a CD). Final Fantasy Tactics was a great game with an intriguing storyline, exceptional graphics, great music, a decent battle system (Tactics Ogre has a much better one, IMO), and features a reintroduction of the Job Class System at it's best. I went out and bought this game as soon as it hit the shelves. After playing through the game, there was one HUGE flaw that made me feel like I was being cheated again. The translation for FFT is so bad that it is almost like the translation crew at Square didn't even play through the game and fix some of the mistakes. I can excuse a weird phrase here and there off to the side, but when an event is happening and the dialogue is confusing, it makes me really pissed off. The game is riddled with spelling errors, horrible grammar, and littered with sentence fragments. I am a high school student, and I can look at any one of the "bar rumors" and find at least ten mistakes. Next came SaGa Frontier, which was arguably the worst game I have ever played. I would much rather dust off the old NES and pull out Zelda, Final Fantasy 1, or Mario 3 any day of the week. It makes my stomach crawl when I see the Romancing Saga coming to a screeching halt with this monstrosity. For shame, Squaresoft!!! Then Parasite Eve went on sale. The graphics and FMV scenes were even more outstanding than the ones for FF7, but it was really confusing and tried to explain itself too hard. I also thought it was trying to be more "real to life", but it was quite unbelievable. Sure, all the Final Fantasy games are just that: fantasies, but by throwing in New York and some real life people, I thought it would be a lot more believable than it was. Next up, Xenogears. Some people think that Xenogears really good, but I don't see what all the fuss is about. The game is too long, and the storyline gets kind of old. The battle system is wonderfully good, and the story is enjoyable for the first 30 hours. Another flawed gem that Square EA threw at a game-hungry pack of Squareheads to make even more cash. I look at Squaresoft's history throughout the last twelve years, and I am very disappointed with the way things have turned out. I don't mean to offend anyone out there, but if FFVIII isn't absolutely perfect, I am going to be really pissed off. I am at my wits end with Square EA's performance as of late. I liked it better when it was a smaller company (kind of like Working Designs; they really spend their time on games). If you argue that I am biting the hand that is feeding me, I say that it fed me for about ten years, then slapped me in the face! Square has become power and money hungry, just like Macbeth. What once was my favorite video game manufacturer, has become just another corporation like Disney.

PS: If a Square executive is reading this, please take your time with FFVIII!! As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither was Final Fantasy 3.

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