Video Games

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Brian SD, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. AR_Six

    AR_Six "Sookie!"

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    I'm probably better off beating Fallout 2 on my laptop and playing Fallout 1 for the first time.
    You've never played Fallout? Why would you play 3 before you've done that.
     


  2. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos In Time Out

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    Well Final Fantasy has switched up their gameplay since FF7...but the FF series is exhibit A of what's wrong with the game industry: all graphics, terrible story, constant sequels and spin-offs with little innovation. Square's idea of "innovation" is rotating an Excel spreadsheet from portrait to landscape, or changing the color of the cells. It's the same gameplay with a different coat of paint. FF12 was a step forward, but FF13 took that step right back.
    I respectfully disagree almost entirely. Square has consistently driven innovation in RPGs for the last 20 years, and has led the way in developing or standardizing pretty much every single feature that we now take as a sacred given in the genre. Forget the current state of the Final Fantasy series, which is definitely not my cup of tea and doesn't appear to be yours, either. Yeah, it sucks what they've done with FF. But look at pretty much everything else they're doing. Square's side projects have become more interesting than its mega-franchises. Some of the shit they're doing in mobile and even on WiiWare is quite impressive and boundary-pushing. Hell, they made a freaking RPG for the iPod before the iPhone even came out. They have always tried tons of new and interesting shit. That's been the company's competitive strategy since day one. Not all of it's gonna stick, and much of it doesn't. But Square has given us so much over the years that I'm willing to forgive them the sorry-ass, nigh-unplayable, regurgitated crapola that is the post-FF7 era of Final Fantasy. Lest we forget, this is the company that gave the RPG world active-time turn based battles, pretty much every (at one point shocking and controversial) battle interface/UI in RPGs, nonlinear progression through a linear storyline, now-classic archetype after now-classic archetype for characterization in RPGs, elevated the importance of high-quality music in the genre, fucking Chrono Trigger and Xenogears, Final Fantasy Tactics, etc., and now all of the strange and genre-bending shit they're pulling on various platforms and in pretty much every franchise but FF. I'll grant you that the Final Fantasy series has become a victim of its own success. Ever since it became a mainstream thing (circa FF7), Square's had to cater to a mainstream audience with the series. That's really tied their hands in a lot of ways, and the results are pretty annoying to folks who actually enjoy RPGs and don't want to push the occasional button while mostly just watching an animated movie starring androgynous teenagers who all look like the love children of Zac Efron and David Bowie.
     


  3. chronoaug

    chronoaug Boston Hipster (Dropkick Murphy)

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    Dragon Quest did a lot along the way for character customization twists and what not (dq4/5/6). Looking forward to 9 in 3 weeks. It's gonna be cheesy, and not gritty and real like a mass effect or fallout but they're always well done and fun games.

    Yea, didn't square have some weird cell phone final fantasy game? Wonder how square would've been received if every game had a compeltely different title. I mean, didn't hurt games like CT or the xeno games or the secret of mana/seiken densetsu series and others. Didn't need to call tactics a final fantasy game other than adding familiar enemies, spells, summons and stuff like that.


    I dunno. Hoping some more good games come out in the last 6months of 10. Haven't really looked at the release dates
     


  4. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos In Time Out

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    Didn't need to call tactics a final fantasy game other than adding familiar enemies, spells, summons and stuff like that.
    From a business perspective, it made sense. About 6 months before Tactics was released, FF7 had launched and become a major cross-demographic hit. Final Fantasy was suddenly a very hot brand in video gaming as a whole, and not just video gaming to RPG players. It would have been silly for Square not to capitalize on that hotness. Furthermore, non-FF-branded games from Square had historically experienced difficulties finding large audiences beyond the core Square-loyalist crowd (and even among that crowd, most were FF fanatics first and foremost). While it would be nice if Square were to keep experimenting with new titles and new IP beyond the Final Fantasy brand, the company knows where its bread is buttered. So long as the Final Fantasy name earns $$$ and non-FF titles are risky investments, we'll probably see a shitload more FF-branded stuff and relatively little non-FF.
     


  5. AR_Six

    AR_Six "Sookie!"

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    B, I would note that it wasn't FF7 and the sudden wider appeal of the franchise that led to its downfall. FF8 and FF9 were still very worthy follow-ups even if they each had weaknesses that didn't allow them to quite reach the same plateau. It was really the shift to a new platform that took a lot of wind out of the sails, and it seems like the momentum is completely gone now that they've made yet another shift.

    More importantly, drop some names on me, what are, for you, the best RPG franchises right now? Because imo Mass Effect is in pole position right now and it's a few worlds apart from a square-style JRPG. Interested to hear your thoughts (partly to give me something to try out when I've got a few days).
     


  6. chronoaug

    chronoaug Boston Hipster (Dropkick Murphy)

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    I mean, they're different games. It's not always as easy as adding up the sums and saying Mass Effect is leaps and bounds better than say or final fantasy 6 or chrono trigger or dragon quest 6 or something like that. Even comparing. Even comparing to modern rpgs i think games like mass effect, fall out and the other popular modern rpgs try to make different games than the final fantasy, dragon quest, etc... There is world for mass effect 2 and final fantasy 13 to be enjoyable without the other having to have some kind of problem. Been out of touch with video games because of hetic schedules so haven't gotten to finish ff13 and start me2 unfortunately [​IMG]
     


  7. Eason

    Eason Bicurious Racist

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    JRPG =/= RPG's and can't stand them for the reason that you can never control what's going on it's cutscenes after cutscene with the same fucking annoying cookie-cutter characters that Japan throat fucks the world with.
     


  8. Bhowie

    Bhowie Senior member

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    FFT gave me a bronar as a kid
     


  9. horndog

    horndog Senior member

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    Xenogears blew my mind when I was 14. That game fucking ruled, and I still get giddy when I think about how awesome its story, gameplay, and music was.
     


  10. XenoX101

    XenoX101 Senior member

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    So with all the talk of games lacking substance and what not (which I wholeheartedly agree with), what might you guys say are games that do have that are unique, innovative and overall a success (game-wise, not sale or popularity-wise)? For me I see some games that fit this description: Commandos Deus Ex Fallout Counter-Strike 1.5 Team Fortress Classic Portal Heroes of Might & Magic II Civilization II Black & White The Sims Sim City 2000 World of Goo Braid Perhaps game developers could look back at these games to see why and how they were succesful. No doubt they would do this already, but clearly as they are making the same classic mistakes of equating complexity to ingenuity (by tacking on as much crap as they can to each new game) they have not learned their lesson.
     


  11. breakz

    breakz Senior member

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    Square's side projects have become more interesting than its mega-franchises. Some of the shit they're doing in mobile and even on WiiWare is quite impressive and boundary-pushing. Hell, they made a freaking RPG for the iPod before the iPhone even came out. They have always tried tons of new and interesting shit. That's been the company's competitive strategy since day one. Not all of it's gonna stick, and much of it doesn't. But Square has given us so much over the years that I'm willing to forgive them the sorry-ass, nigh-unplayable, regurgitated crapola that is the post-FF7 era of Final Fantasy.

    Lest we forget, this is the company that gave the RPG world active-time turn based battles, pretty much every (at one point shocking and controversial) battle interface/UI in RPGs, nonlinear progression through a linear storyline, now-classic archetype after now-classic archetype for characterization in RPGs, elevated the importance of high-quality music in the genre, fucking Chrono Trigger and Xenogears, Final Fantasy Tactics, etc., and now all of the strange and genre-bending shit they're pulling on various platforms and in pretty much every franchise but FF.


    Lot of stuff to respond to, so I'll just ask two questions:

    1.) How do you define innovation? Because publishing a game on the iPod is not innovation--it's a smart business move. Especially considering Square makes money in Japan's mobile market.

    2.) Square has made tons of non-FF games that are great: Chrono Trigger, Xenogears, FFT, Valkyrie Profile, Vagrant Story, DQ series games. However, they were all released between late SNES and early PS1.

    Has Square released any innovative games (aside from FF12) since then? Say, over the last 7-8 years? I identify two that MIGHT be innovative: Drakengard and FF: Crystal Chronicles.

    My point is, Square isn't one of the "good developers" I'm talking about--they haven't tried anything new or interesting in years. And these guys have lots of money--they're in great position to try new things! EA has Mirror's Edge, Ubisoft has Assassin's Creed, Bungie has Halo 3: ODST.
     


  12. breakz

    breakz Senior member

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    Xenox, some games to add to that list: System Shock 2 Morrowind Half-Life 2 Shadow of the Colossus Jason Rohrer's collection of games (Google him) thatgamecompany's PSN games (Flow, Flower) Some of the best games use an interactive narrative possible only in a video game. Examples: >>In System Shock 2's desolate environment, audio logs are your only companion. You learn about the log's authors as you continue exploring, and they tell a fragmented story about what happened on the Von Braun. You've probably played System Shock 2's "sequel:" Bioshock. >>Shadow of the Colossus is a buddy movie without a single line of understandable dialogue. Play to see what I mean. >>Half-Life 2 engages the player with the gravity gun. Solving physics puzzles and shooting objects at zombies gives the player a strong presence in the game's world. The in-game cutscenes tell the story without removing that presence. Best use of narrative in gaming, in my opinion. And so on. The best story-driven games use interactivity to engage the player. The worst story-driven games have lots of cutscenes: MGS4 and FF10/FF13 are wonderfully bad examples.
     


  13. chronoaug

    chronoaug Boston Hipster (Dropkick Murphy)

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    You guys are all wrong. We need halo 5 and call of duty 8, ldo
     


  14. breakz

    breakz Senior member

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    You guys are all wrong. We need halo 5 and call of duty 8, ldo

    I'm excited as hell for Halo: Reach (0). Those guys know how to do online multiplayer.
     


  15. bdeuce22

    bdeuce22 Senior member

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    the multiplayer looks epic. i already took a vacation day when the game launches.
     


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