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Thread: Final Fantasy X and Unnecessary Sequels - Editorial

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy X and Unnecessary Sequels - Editorial

    Final Fantasy direct sequels are tough enough to manage, as we've seen with X-2 and XIII-2. Now we're getting sequels of sequels, and that's not a good thing.

    Editorial
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    Member goateguy's Avatar
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    I agree that it is extremely tough to make sequels to games that never were meant to be sequels. I am of the 2% of rpg fans that came to FFX-2 first before coming to FFX, so the cardboard akward nature of the characters in the game and the direction of the narrative didn't really bother me all that much. As i have gone back and played FFX over the years I do see what the giant gripe about the game is though, and i see your point that getting more sequels to these is most likely not the best thing for the video game series.

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    New Member Member KingHades's Avatar
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    Preach on, InstaTrent. I have always disliked the idea of Final Fantasy games having direct sequels. Having said that, I would be willing to give them a chance if they didn't all succumb to the very pitfalls that you describe story-wise. I keep seeing information about the various cities on the world of Pulse in Final Fantasy XIII-3. I keep asking myself, "Where did they come from? When I visited Pulse, it was devoid of human life and the cities were awash in crystal shards from failed, shattered l'Cie."

  4. #4
    Atleast with FFXV it seems they already plan to have a sequel or two beforehand so hopefully it is better planned out. X-3 is definitely not needed. A prequel would be better but that's not necessary either, just leave it alone. If SE wants to revisit something, another Ivalice game would be much better.

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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingHades View Post
    Preach on, InstaTrent. I have always disliked the idea of Final Fantasy games having direct sequels. Having said that, I would be willing to give them a chance if they didn't all succumb to the very pitfalls that you describe story-wise. I keep seeing information about the various cities on the world of Pulse in Final Fantasy XIII-3. I keep asking myself, "Where did they come from? When I visited Pulse, it was devoid of human life and the cities were awash in crystal shards from failed, shattered l'Cie."
    Well it's said that the world Lightning Returns takes place in is after time/space has basically compressed, where people who are supposed to be dead are alive. Meaning those cities once existed at some point in the entire timeline.
    Last edited by DarkRPGMaster; 01-07-2014 at 10:38 AM.
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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    In a perfect world, we would have received a prequel about Braska's pilgrimage instead of X-2. In a perfect world...
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    That Guy You Hate RPGamer Staff omegabyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InstaTrent View Post
    In a perfect world, we would have received a prequel about Braska's pilgrimage instead of X-2. In a perfect world...
    I agree with that. I've wanted that game since FFX came out, but no luck. There's so much potential story there, it's a damn shame it hasn't happened. Whole thing could end with Auron's failed battle against Yunalesca.

    There have been a few JRPGs I've played that have backstories that would make for perfect prequels, but no such luck. Tales of Symphonia is another one that comes to mind - I'd love to see Mithos's story told in a prequel game, but instead we got Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Which wasn't a terrible game, but it wasn't nearly as good as the original. (FFX-2 and FFXIII-2 weren't terrible either, but both were still a far cry from their original counterparts)

    The only RPG I can think of that actually DID get the prequel it deserved was Final Fantasy 7, in the form of Crisis Core.

    Also, in FFX-2's defense, the basic premise of the game - namely, Yuna's difficulty in accepting Tidus's death - is actually a really good core concept that's supported extremely well throughout the majority of the game. And if you don't get the perfect ending, which is the only ending in which Tidus is revived, it really works as a story of catharsis for a girl in mourning. It's the shoe-horned perfect ending that's the problem, not the premise the game is built on. And have you ever actually tried to get a perfect ending in FFX-2? God damn is it a pain in the ***.
    Last edited by omegabyte; 01-07-2014 at 11:40 AM.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by omegabyte View Post
    And have you ever actually tried to get a perfect ending in FFX-2? God damn is it a pain in the ***.
    If that's the case, can one make the argument that it is not in fact the 'true' ending, but a fan service ending, as a normal play-through would not result in it?

    I don't mind sequels as long as they are quality games or don't come at the expense of better games.
    I feel as though the aforementioned j-pop feel was a poor decision on the part of X-2 as opposed to treating it with the same seriousness of a core entry.

    In regards to FFXIII, the Nova project was originally a series including several different story ideas.
    ...the core game, Type-0, and what is now FFXV.
    At some point in the foundation stages of planning, these three independent stories were on the table,
    Why did they chose to prioritize the Lightning story over the other two?
    Even if FFXV was originally decided upon and back-benched due to production issues, why pick Lightning over Type-0?
    Was the Lightning game far along into development before the Type-0 story was even drawn up to exist?

    The reason why i feel story is most important is because it drives the entire world design.
    It drives where the player goes next, the artistic design choices of that place, the mood of the setting, and thus the music, and of course the why.
    In fact, it even impacts the gameplay because that story structure leads to creative interest like the snowboarding mini-game/gold saucer in Final Fantasy VII.

    This is why i point to Mistwalker and Monolith soft. Square made a decision some years ago to tell these people, that the more mature story of Xenogears etc was not a direction the company wanted to pursue, electing instead to pursue well, frankly, Kingdom Hearts. The G audience. It is seen especially well in X-2, as that game was released not long after the mass exodus of Squares best talent had begun. That choice continues to plague the company, and always will.

    On a slightly off topic footnote, Tetsuya Takahashi has said that their upcoming title 'X' is the first time he feels he has ever completed a game to satisfaction on every level. To fully COMPLETE it. He refers to Xenoblade as a test run to get their feet wet. If that's not worth being excited about in the RPG world, i don't know what is.
    Last edited by NefarioCall; 01-07-2014 at 01:36 PM.

  9. #9
    In a perfect world, we would have received a prequel about Braska's pilgrimage instead of X-2. In a perfect world...
    Now, you see, that's all right. It's one thing to address stories or bits of history that may help shed some light on the current story (I always wanted to see FF6's War of the Magi), but it's another thing to untie the neatly tied loose-ends that were already addressed. If the story demands a sequel, then it should get a sequel. If it doesn't really need one, then why bother?

    Alas, there is another problem: games DESIGNED to get sequels. Either not properly written to receive sequels or just one game stretched way too thin.

    It seems like we can't win here. If we get sequels to games that don't need them, you risk opening up a can of worms. If we get a game designed to receive sequels, it somehow turns into a single game chopped into pieces and resold as separate titles.

    I don't mind sequels. It's just that it seems like publishers have forgotten the difference between "sequel" and "cheap cash-in on unused DLC content/cutting the ending and selling it back to us". There is more to resolving loose-ends than one significant story element surrounded by a crap-ton of filler.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 01-07-2014 at 02:24 PM.

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pimpalicious View Post
    Atleast with FFXV it seems they already plan to have a sequel or two beforehand so hopefully it is better planned out. X-3 is definitely not needed. A prequel would be better but that's not necessary either, just leave it alone. If SE wants to revisit something, another Ivalice game would be much better.
    I really don't like this, because it seems like they are just saying that can't make the FFXV they really want to make and are having to split it up. Sure we got better sequels, but we should be getting the complete version to start with.
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    chaotic neutral observer ironmage's Avatar
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    I think the probability of FFX-3 being made is very high. It appears to me that someone in the S/E management hierarchy (Toriyama?) is deciding to produce games, not based on artistic or long-term business concerns, but based on short-term profit, and possibly even personal ego. FF13 was an okay game, but it didn't need a sequel, let alone two. Instead of following the FF tradition of starting fresh with each installment, someone has decided that they want to leave their personal mark on the series. Stopping the series in its tracks--by making sequels--is one way of doing that.

    Porting FFX/X-2 to the PS3 is a natural first step to producing FFX-3. You get the Spira artwork updated and ported to a newer platform, and the sales numbers help you gauge the potential success of X-3. Why, it would practically be a waste not to produce FFX-3, after doing all that.

    Although I would like to play the updated version of FFX, I currently have no intention of buying it. Even if it is statistically insignificant, I'm voting (with my wallet) against the production of FFX-3.
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    In a perfect world we would have a direct sequel to Chrono Trigger (which had it came out in 2013 would have been called something something: Final Fantasy XIII.)
    Last edited by ascii256; 01-07-2014 at 04:55 PM.

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    Member Jormungand's Avatar
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    X-3 would be a terrible thing... then again, there's the possibility we'd get another Hamauzu/Nakano soundtrack. For all the horror that was the Lightning saga, it spawned 3 of the best game soundtracks ever. Same with X and whatever it turns into.

    (Can you tell I'm trying to look at the bright side in the face of the inevitable X-3?)

  14. #14
    Nice piece. I'm not sure if the ending of FFX was the key to being sequeled to death by Squenix, but it certainly provided a jumping off point. Surely FFVII's ending would have served the purpose just as well if Square had realized the secret formula to profits a bit earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by TG Barighm View Post
    It seems like we can't win here. If we get sequels to games that don't need them, you risk opening up a can of worms. If we get a game designed to receive sequels, it somehow turns into a single game chopped into pieces and resold as separate titles.
    I agree with many comments, but I relate best to this one. I would elaborate further to say the games that are chopped up or intentionally left open-ended sometimes either don't get sequels or they are delayed for long periods...both are frustrating.

    I have nothing in principle against sequels, they are just very hard to pull off. Which is why, despite moments of weakness, I keep reminding myself 'a chrono sequel is a bad idea, a chrono sequel is a bad idea, a chrono sequel is a bad idea'.

  15. #15
    I don't have a problem with any sequel, as long as it is done well.

    The problem is Square died after FFX...

    They no longer have any talent left. The only reason they still have such good sales, is the same reason Apple still does - they still have so many fanboys left, and we still keep buying their crap hoping it will finally be an improvement. I have pretty much zero faith in Square anymore, but even I'm still a sucker who will buy their games...

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    That Guy You Hate RPGamer Staff omegabyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MobiusZero View Post
    I don't have a problem with any sequel, as long as it is done well.

    The problem is Square died after FFX...

    They no longer have any talent left. The only reason they still have such good sales, is the same reason Apple still does - they still have so many fanboys left, and we still keep buying their crap hoping it will finally be an improvement. I have pretty much zero faith in Square anymore, but even I'm still a sucker who will buy their games...
    Square Enix has been transitioning more into a publisher role than a developer of the past few years. While their bread and butter may have gotten a bit stale, their newly formed western branches have been flourishing, particularly Eidos. They also handle publishing of certain Atlus games in non-American territories (they publish the Persona series in Europe, for example), and fund the occasional oddball title from companies like Cavia - Nier, and the upcoming Drakengard 3. Still, they've managed to produce a number of gems in the past decade that people seem to forget about. The Dragon Quest franchise is still going strong (true, that was original Enix, but they're one and the same now). Every now and then they release an unexpected gem like The Worlds Ends With You or the upcoming Bravely Default. And sequels and spin-offs not withstanding, the core Final Fantasy games still manage to impress. Even FFXIV, which had an abysmal start, turned into something that's become critically acclaimed. Certain members of RPGamer staff even hold it up as a possible GOTY contender.

    So yea, I'd hardly call them dead. They're just a lot bigger now. You have to filter the crap, but they're still making/publishing good games.
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    Quote Originally Posted by omegabyte View Post
    Square Enix has been transitioning more into a publisher role than a developer of the past few years. ... You have to filter the crap, but they're still making/publishing good games.
    I agree, generally. I think it's a good thing for them to pursue that.
    And of course, there's always the issue of 'to what standard are you holding their titles'?
    SquareEnix often enough puts out titles that are as good as offerings from other companies in the genre.
    ... they just don't dominate like they used to where your best RPGs of the last few years list is all Square.

    I don't think the genre needs Square to be its old dominant self, but it would be good if there was a company that could be a genre leader like Square used to be.

    Also, i can't shake that feeling that FFXV will be the next FFVII.
    This is not to comment on whether the game meets everyone's personal tastes so much as...
    from what we do know of it, barring disaster, it bleeds that multi-platinum formula.
    Strong narrative lead by a cast of Clouds and Sephiroths (which frankly has been missing in recent years), with all the big budget graphics and an action based battle system so it's not just appealing to the turn based peoples, and probably that big symphonic soundtrack and plenty of action etc etc etc... it's just like.. well, a whole new cast of Clouds and Sephiroths... XD I'll take it, personally.

  18. #18
    That Guy You Hate RPGamer Staff omegabyte's Avatar
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    I don't think the genre needs Square to be its old dominant self, but it would be good if there was a company that could be a genre leader like Square used to be.
    The last few years, Atlus has seemed primed to take that spot. The popularity of the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei brands coupled with the rising popularity of Etrian Odyssey is giving them a really strong stable of franchises and spin-off franchises. Couple that with their regular acquisition and localization of unique and weird games like Dragon's Crown, Code of Princess, or the upcoming Conception II, and they've easily become the biggest name in JRPGs right now.
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    Member Cidolfas's Avatar
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    Heh, my first experience with an Atlus game (Persona 3) scared me off the company. I may be stuck in the PS1/PS2 era of straight JRPG's but I'm not a fan of monster collecting or alchemy brewing or store managing or whatever.

    I like how the article doesn't like FFX-2's "athletic" choices. 8p

    I have to say I didn't mind FFX-2 near as much as I disliked FF13-2. It had a very strong gameplay system, and while the story was very much meh, I still managed to replay it once or twice and had fun. 13-2 was entirely pointless, as far as I'm concerned, with some of the weakest characters ever conceived and a total failure to capitalize on the one or two good ideas that went into it.

    I'm not going to discount any X-3 in advance, but I'd be quite skeptical they'd be able to do anything really good with the FFX characters. The problem with sequels is not their existence, but their reliance on existing characters. If the characters are strong, deep, have good rapport and are fun to watch, it could definitely work. Unfortunately, Square's history there is hit and miss. I'd have to say FF6, 7 and 9 are the only mainstream FF games that had at least a subset of characters that worked well as a group.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by omegabyte View Post
    So yea, I'd hardly call them dead. They're just a lot bigger now. You have to filter the crap, but they're still making/publishing good games.
    Nier was ok, but nothing to phone home about, in my opinion. Dragon Quest VIII was good, but that was Enix, and was the last good game I've played with the SquareEnix logo on it.

    They're so terrible (and stupid), they won't even remake FFVII or Xenogears, which would be easy money for them. I realize most of the teams for these games are gone, but we're talking remakes here, not a bunch of new content (Plus the story for the unfinished Xenogears disk is already written.).

    Granted, part of me worries that if they did remake them, they'd pull a George Lucas on us, and rape my childhood!

    Atlas is decent at times, but my problem with them is they release any crap they can get their hands on. They load a bunch of titles into a shotgun, let it fire, and hope that at least something hits! So, it makes sense that some of those will occasionally be decent. Granted, I'm in the same boat as Cidolfas - I'm not a fan of adult pokemon, and never understood the raving reviews of games like Shin Megami Tensei (Just played IV and got quite bored of it. I also don't understand why its story got such good reviews, because it was ZzzZZzzZz.).

    My best hope lies in Monolith Soft and Mystwalker (the shadows of the old Square.). Last Story was epic, and hopefully they make more like it!

    Oh, and I'd take a single Sega RPG over 1000 Atlas mass produced drivel titles! Though, I will admit Atlas is getting better, and I am glad they are around. I just don't look to them to fill my need for epicly good RPG's.

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