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Thread: The Future of Final Fantasy - Editorial

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    The Future of Final Fantasy - Editorial

    Final Fantasy always sparks debate, as the series is either "dying" or "the greatest thing ever." Lay your thoughts on past games aside as we look toward the future of the series.

    Editorial
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    Member Jitawa's Avatar
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    Great editorial. It distills a lot of what I (and probably many old Square fans I'd imagine) feel with respect to the franchise of our youth. It's awkward in some ways. Sometimes a developer can seriously let you down (Dragon Age 2, etc.) and it can turn you off to their work.

    In Square's case, it's more like they've lacked output in general this entire console generation. That's true of seeing material from pretty much all of their franchises, but Final Fantasy in particular has been... yeah. NES - FF1, 2, 3. SNES - FF4, 5, 6, PS1 = FF7, 8, 9, PS2 - FFX, XI(sorta), XII (debatably X-2), and... now.. XIII and XIII-2.

    I'm not upset at Square exactly. They're more like a friend that doesn't visit so much anymore.

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    From my point of view that Square's past strengths are its future weaknesses. It poured everything in graphics and it paid off in the past but now its adding years on development time for little gain (When you are on a desert island, if someone gave you one apple the benefit is great but if you had 50 apple, adding only one extra does not give that much benefit) and what Square needs to focus on style similar to the re-releases of FF1-3 with more simplified art that still looks graphically appeasing but should not take long to create.

    Square also needs to focus on the story, they are not as bad as other developers but what I find that really kills square is the -END- of the story, they often trail off.

    In my opinion the future of Final Fantasy should be...
    1. Big console release: This has a lot of focus and can take years to produce like normal FF games
    2. Reduced graphics released: This is similar to the remake of FF3 but with new story and possibly have new battle systems and still looks pretty good, should take less time to produce that previous titles
    3. Re-releases / Episodic games: These are cash grabs that can be done by third party studios that can take previous battle systems and remake older games.

    I would love to see a few more retro 16-bit FF games.
    Last edited by Mur; 11-19-2012 at 11:18 AM.

  4. #4
    I'd still like to see a game where the FF summons are the characters and not just summons or NPCs. Who would they summon? Their ancestors, I guess.

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    Where's the Casino??? Nevega's Avatar
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    I think the FF series could completely revive the JRPG genre with the right game. But the catch is that it must be related to FFVII much more so than a mere spin-off.
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    Tactic's Ogre I choose u! scorpio_7's Avatar
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    Great editorial that sums up a lot of my thoughts about square. I ultimately feel like the company has "lost its way"... and needs to find a way back to things that have worked well in their games, and been popular with the fans.

    In the case of FF I feel like "innovation" has been more destructive to the franchise than positive. I understand that with each new title they want to do something unique... but when your attempts at being unique falls flat or met with great resistance... it's time to go back a revive or re-invent gameplay/battle systems that worked well.

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    Member retrodragon's Avatar
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    I would say that I feel Square Enix has always done a better job of innovative battle systems, interesting worlds, and exciting stories than any other rpg franchise. And while they development cycle has become too long for sure, I would much rather see new titles come out, and less spin offs, even on the retro end of things. At this point is there even any old school FF's that havn't seen a fresh port of some kind?

    I have my favorites and my least favorites just like everyone else. But one thing I think we all agree on is that when the first trailer for the next console FF comes out its all were going to talk about
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    I mostly agree with the editorial, that FF doesn't need to return to its "glory days." I hope they can get over the development hell of their major titles, and while delayed releases can eventually be good, bad games are bad forever.

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    This is probably just my opinion alone, but quite a bit of the blame for Square's lack of success comes from its design. And who's been the one in charge during the times when things have not been good? Tetsuya Nomura and his belt fetish. Seriously, the guy needs to in a place where his influence does not touch the visual design.

    Because the problem, the way I see it, lies with the fact that they need to expand their usual target audience from the one that they've been working with for the longest time: Japanese Teenage Boys. I mean, what I wouldn't give to have an experienced protagonist that's in their 30s instead of some sullen, sulky teenager/early 20-something.

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    Member SiliconNooB's Avatar
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    Macstorm, you keep misspelling 'Tabata' as 'Habata'.
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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiliconNooB View Post
    Macstorm, you keep misspelling 'Tabata' as 'Habata'.
    Thanks for catching that. I'd blame my mild dyslexia, but I think I was just trying to give him a nickname.
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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iliya Moroumetz View Post
    This is probably just my opinion alone, but quite a bit of the blame for Square's lack of success comes from its design. And who's been the one in charge during the times when things have not been good? Tetsuya Nomura and his belt fetish. Seriously, the guy needs to in a place where his influence does not touch the visual design.

    Because the problem, the way I see it, lies with the fact that they need to expand their usual target audience from the one that they've been working with for the longest time: Japanese Teenage Boys. I mean, what I wouldn't give to have an experienced protagonist that's in their 30s instead of some sullen, sulky teenager/early 20-something.
    So you're blaming the lack of success on the artist's design, and not the director or the storywriters? There's so much wrong there that I'll just chalk it up to you having a weird opinion.
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  13. #13
    He does touch on a valid concern. A lot of people got into FF during the FF7-9 years primarily on the strength of the cool CG's, so don't be surprised when a lot of those graphics lovers lose interest simply because the characters don't look cool anymore. Heck, check enough Western-themed forums and you start to think that's the PRIMARY reason western gamers don't like JRPG's (that and the whiny protaganist thing). Mass appeal through art design is a very real and practical concept.

    Of course, I also agree the fault lies in Square directing, but that's because of their target audience. The thing is I don't think most people realize they're not just targeting Japanese teenage boys, but Japanese in general (at least my sister is very adamant of the general eccentricity of Japanese culture, not just the young boys). That's just what you're gonna get when it comes to Japanese games (and that's tame in comparison to some of the hardcore local stuff). Yeah, it's strange, but they think we're strange.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 11-20-2012 at 09:17 AM.

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    Member OrsonFury's Avatar
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    I've been following this debate about Square for over a year or so... I thought I'd finally weigh in my opinion. First off, kudos to the OP - interesting opinion read on the state of the Final Fantasy series. Through all the decades the series has seen quite a bit of innovation from number release to the next successor. I agree mostly with the sentiments that the innovation has stalled with the hyper-focus on graphics and the cost it takes to develop the next gen game. I agree outsourcing the expensive work would help, but only if the story is polished first.

    I would like to see the creators start with a clean white board (if you will) with fresh talent with fresh ideas on where they could take the story, gameplay, graphics in a new direction. Someone needs to come into the company that understands gamer culture, trends with a macro picture outlook and shake up the company structure. Think Steve Jobs when he returned to Apple to jumpstart their culture and products.

    Some critical questions to their developers and creative writers: How will the Final Fantasy series stay relevant in a new generation environment? What's their target age audience now? How does it lure successful western gamers that are mainstreamed here (i.e. Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, GTA, Call of Duty)? How does it lure casual gamers in addition to their core legacy rpgamers? It would also help them to understand their world is a gaming environment and not just Japanese culture like a post above mentioned? Learning from their mistakes in recent years would help too. Don't announce too many titles or over commit to too many projects if you can't financially commit the time and production costs into the product. Consider scaling back projects to make a well polished game instead of cheap turn over profits like web or mobile based games, ports, re-releases to make an unique console gaming experience.

    Finally, consider making demos or working alpha/beta versions of games that aren't announced to focus groups to play. Make notes of comments, frustrations, compliments and work those ideas back into the product. Then when their satisfied with the results from the testing group, then announce that a title is in the works. That will help the major time drain in waiting for the product to be localized internationally. Quality over quantity. I do have to compliment them on FFXIV "realm reborn" and FFXIII-2,3 adjustments in recent years. You can tell their listening to gamers finally and adding the feedback into improving their products after backlash from FFXIII.

    Square Enix had a Final Fantasy formula that worked well for them for decades, but now it needs to think out of the box. Kind of like how Disney movies were stagnating until Pixar came around and started to make hit after hit after Toy Story. Pixar revitalized Disney. Someone and/or company needs to revitalize Square.

    I've been a fan of squaresoft since their early days when I first played Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana. I'll stay a fan, but with a watchful eye.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jitawa View Post
    I'm not upset at Square exactly. They're more like a friend that doesn't visit so much anymore.
    Or like growing apart from someone you care about.

    I’m not sure what defines a FF game anymore, but I’d rather SE retire the title and just develop “new” RPG (which is what they are doing anyway, just slapping a FF name on it). Then we could close the book on a storied franchise without diluting it anymore (i.e., I’d rather not see FFXIX-III).

    I’m confident SE can still make great RPG, but at some point, sad as it may be for us who grew up with them, FF needs to live up to its name.

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    Member SiliconNooB's Avatar
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    IMO, Square needs to hire back all the great game designers that they've lost, and then bury Toriyama and Kawuzu in land-fill and pour cement in on top of them...

    Yeah, the old Squaresoft isn't coming back. Ever.
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    I think they should make traditional FF games in a manner similar to DQ games.
    DQ hasn't changed much in many years (except X) and I want the same from FF.
    If you want to try new things like 13, 13-2, then call it something else.
    I liked 13, but not 13-2.
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    Last edited by Slayer; 11-21-2012 at 10:01 AM. Reason: loco

  18. #18
    I think they should make traditional FF games in a manner similar to DQ games. DQ hasn't changed much in many years (except X) and I want the same from FF.

    DQ needs to get the save points out of the churches and use shiny orbs like every other RPG on the planet.
    Well now, there's your problem. XD

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    New Member New Registered User Wonderjosh's Avatar
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    I've always enjoyed the assigned "jobs" of VI and IX. Something about it, to me, lends more depth to the characters as the classes are unique to their characters and a lot of time affects they way they interact with each other or NPC's or what have you. I mean seriously, a young womanizing machinist king of a desert-burrowing castle who specializes in crazy bad-*** power tools, or a rusty washed-up knight with a hardy loyalty but annoying over-attachment issues are a couple of character types that give more to the story. Of course if the characters are developed well enough themselves, I guess their jobs shouldn't have to necessarily play into it so much, but it does seem to add a touch more depth or added flair when they are.

    The ability to let all characters eventually learn every skill special fighter attacks to black magic, I find, ruins the unique identifications of the characters that I come to get to know so well (as long as the writers do their job well enough). And really the unique class assignment is only one of the things that I'd personally love to see return.

    I'd also love a main antagonist that I can feel a seething righteous anger toward! I've felt Squaresoft/Square-Enix has dropped the ball in that regard since VI, but that's simply because I'm biased in favor of VI, haha. Kefka was a crazy, hateful homicidal maniac nut job that actually *SPOILER! FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T PLAYED IT, DON'T READ FURTHER*destroys the world AND attains godhood halfway through the game *END OF SPOILER* and will forever be my favorite archenemy because of it.

    Anyway, those are two of my cents!

    EDIT: Thanks for the spoiler tags Haha
    Last edited by Wonderjosh; 11-22-2012 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Added spoiler tags for ya

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    Just my two cents here. But what i really want from FF is more well, fantasy and less scifi lol. Thats a minor issue though.

    I also would prefer to have more JRPG oriented combat as opposed to the more action rpg'esque stuff they keep throwing at us. I look at turn based or ATB combat as a good solid game of chess. Planning three or four moves ahead while also reacting to whats happening right now.

    And whats up with this thing of not having control of all party members. Rpgamers are on the smarter end of the gamer scale. We can think quite a bit more then then a derpy bro-gamer. Four and five player parties were great!

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