The Downfall of Final Fantasy.

mikey_boson

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I think all that FF has become now is a cash cow. The brand had built itself up to such a strong point that just the name 'Final Fantasy' or 'SquareSoft' made you think of quality. Now though, the very poor excuses for Final Fantasy's are slowly dragging the brand through the mud.

It's very much like the David Beckham syndrome. While playing football he made quite a bit of money but as his career nears it's natural end and his footballing ability rapidly drops off, he's making more money than ever! He built up his brand name and became so marketable that even in his twilight years (and even though he's rubbish at football), he can still rake in loads of money from sponsorships and memorabilia sales.

I feel that this is what FF has now become. X-2 was a bit cheesy and girly but i didn't dislike it as much as other people have said. However, you could feel the problems beginning to creep even in at this stage. I don't do online gaming like WoW so I was dissappointed that XI was in the MMORPG format and I never bought this game. My dislike to FFXII knows no bounds and I won't go into why I hate it so much. Then from reports I read and watching my brother on XIII and getting his opinion on it, this game looks pretty dire too.

I know we all want an epic FF like the ones on the PS1 but now that SquareEnix produce the games, this will never ever happen. However, the positive I see with this is that instead of wasting time playing the new games which will be ****, I can go back and play on the older games again. I've only played through VIII and X once so I have 2 virtually new games I can't remember much about to play on again.
 

chrono trigger

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i agree with you about final fantasy becoming a cash cow and it's really sad when you think how great the games used to be under squaresoft but ever since they joined with enix the series has been dieing a very slow death. however im still hoping for final fantasy to make a comeback in terms of quality.
 

Subtle-sounds

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my personal mini reviews on the way!!!

FF1= its an enjoyable game but has almost no storyline aside from "heres the bad guy, kill him save the world" id score it 6/10

FF2= not as enjoyable as the 1st but still a game to be reckoned with. a story is appearing here but its not enough to pull it up my score board... 7/10

FF7= the greatest game in the ff series by a long shot, complicated storyline, loveable characters... its no wonder it has so many spin-offs. 9/10

FF8= the graphics and story were amazing however the enemies were uninventive beside their graphic overhaul. 6/10

FFX= the first game in the series where you can see ther name starting to degrade. the story was unoriginal and the graphics looked like a slightly better version of ff8 but not too good really. 5/10

FF13= terrible game, terrible storyline, a clear "give us your money"... wait hold on im lying. a good game all in all as long as you dont pay attention to the name of it. as long as you dont realise its supposed to be an ff game its good but the fact its ff makes it rubbish unfortunately 3/10


ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH A PINCH OF SALT AND... IF LEGAL A SHOT OF TEQUILA
 

The Illusive Man

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Imho Square-Enix has clearly jumped on the bandwagon of "simplify to cater to mass market". This isn't a new thing, it certainly isn't something many of us older gamers are going to like, but money talks and companies will always do what there shareholders want.

The problem with catering to mass market, they stand to lose the loyal fanbase if they change the product too much and in the long run, I feel these companies are going to have a really loud wake up call, because mass market trends constantly alter as do the people that follow them. What might be the "in" thing now, won't be in the "in" thing in a few years and they will find themselves running at a loss.
 

mikey_boson

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In all honestly, and looking at things from a business point of view, almost all businesses are out to make as much money as possible. If a company can cater to the mass market, it's certainly is going to try. Unfortunately, the mass market will accept any old rubbish these days (Call of Duty 2, BOps, FIFA yearly updates etc.)

If SquareEnix are making money than that's all really the shareholders and stakeholders are bothered about. Obviously churning out rubbish will be detrimental in the long run and it will catch up with SE sooner rather than later. At the moment they are still surviving on the strong brand name built up during the 80's and 90's but it won't be long, in my opinion, before this bubble will burst and the mass market will stop buying FF. I regret buying 12 and certainly won't be buying anymore.

I hate to see the brand nose diving but as I mentioned before, I'll just go back and play on the games i've only played through the once. SquareEnix should have done the decent thing I put time and effort into making a DECENT MMORPG game, not like XI or XIV and then put the series to bed. They should turn their attention to something new as they have shown they can't produce quality RPG games.
 

Guernsey

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I know that there are more RPGs than Final Fantasy but final Fantasy is one of those games that has a place in players hearts. FFXIII was a little overdramatic but it did bring a unique experience nonetheless and we have a Final Fantasy game for the PS3 at least. This westernization thing is not really working for the series, Final Fantasy much like its rival Dragon Quest are JRPGs first and foremost. That is not to say that cannot can usew ideas or techniques from western developers but they also need to be more efficient. Inasmuch as I enjoy the ideas of the recent titles, I really wish that would focus on creating as story and create immersive worlds. The series has always been about trying new things while keeping what worked and removing what didn't. It just feels though that something was lost in the new games and cannot quite figure out what it is but somethign was lost.
 

L

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Imho Square-Enix has clearly jumped on the bandwagon of "simplify to cater to mass market". This isn't a new thing, it certainly isn't something many of us older gamers are going to like, but money talks and companies will always do what there shareholders want.

I do not think that the games have become more simple, but have infact, become meaninglessly complicated or extremely redundant.

Every time I play FFXIII or FFXIII-2, it's like "hey im the exact same game as ff7 or ff8, but without limit breaks and other cool stuff and battles take 5 times as long". :gonk:

It's like the games are trying to move closer and closer to being an MMO or something. :ffs:
 

The Illusive Man

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I do not think that the games have become more simple, but have infact, become meaninglessly complicated or extremely redundant.

Every time I play FFXIII or FFXIII-2, it's like "hey im the exact same game as ff7 or ff8, but without limit breaks and other cool stuff and battles take 5 times as long". :gonk:
It's like the games are trying to move closer and closer to being an MMO or something. :ffs:

By simplify I don't neccessarly just mean making the control interface easier, but more moving the game franchise in a direction of linearity, personally I played about 6 hours of FFXIII and turned it off.

I don't like feeling like being stuck in a tunnel with only one direction to go, I highly enjoy open ended play and being able to choose the path I travel even if the final destination is the same, this is something SE and many other games companies have removed or toned down to a point of simplification of being "Start at point A, walk down a long series of corridors and Finish at point B"

That isn't an "Epic" game to me, it's an interactive story, a throw back to the days of Dragon's Lair on the Sinclair Spectrum.

The difference was, Dragon's Lair had an excuse (massive hardware and software restrictions) and even then there was far more choice than some games of today present us.

Oh and I do agree that they are far too often trying to incorporate the MMO hamster wheel model into single player RPG's.
 

Discla1m3r

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Final Fantasy going downhill?..

I had to push and force myself to finish 12. As it goes for 13, Half way through the 2nd disc I gave up!( guys also let me know if you think I've made a big mistake)

First of all FF12:
Had that battle system that allowed the characters to play by themselves whilst you sit and watch them level up(as some say mmo style). Some of the characters were badly designed and implemented(lack of development)...as they weren't really all that important and memorable, which leads on to another point of which they story was boring and uninteresting either due to the characters being dull or as more people found it being too heavy with its political nature?!

Then we have FF13:
After playing this I actually gave FF12 a break!..I'l start with the worst offender which is how linear the game is!! I don't even get a chance to go off on a nice side quest which I've always loved about previous ff games, I like to take my time with a game. With ff13 I feel like I'm being pushed along and rushed through the game which is extremely disappointing! Next would be interaction. Where has the interaction between npc's and the characters gone? I can no longer go and buy potion, let alone a nice sword or gun from a shop! Where are the beautiful towns and cities in which I can interact with??

Obviously this is only my opinion! :D

I could add more points to each of the games above.
:elmo:
 
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SimplySabra

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I completely agree! I actually sent Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of Final Fantasy, who disbanded from Square shortly after the Squaresoft and Enix merger, this letter. I sent it not even 3 weeks ago, very recently in fact.


Dear Hironobu Sakaguchi,

I must admit that you made my childhood absolutely and extraordinarily amazing. Every Final Fantasy that you seemed to touch had magic in it. They had a sense about them not common in games of the present, they were not created for the players in mind such as the new Skyrim game where our imaginations can only take us so far, but rather as an artwork that we the players felt honored to be able to play and witness. It took us well above our own imaginations and it was such an honor to see, to feel, to laugh and or sob with our characters. It was structured in such a way we could sympathize with each fun character with how deeply complex some of them seemed to be. Each game told an amazing story which was felt more deeply than any book, comic, or movie could comprehend because we could feel the characters struggles with each boss as we played it out ourselves.

My first Final Fantasy and most beloved, I honestly believe everyone's favorite Final Fantasy is the one they first played, is Final Fantasy VII. I liked it for both the story and game play combined the best. I loved how it was explained that Cloud was psychologically disturbed. He had his mind shattered and still found time to scramble it all back together to stop Sephiroth. The thing that I loved most was how you incorporated Aeris as a character. She was not disproportionate as most females in games and she acted realistically as anyone who was thrust in a game might be like. I loved the fact that she didn't necessarily know how to physically fight like every character seems to, yet she could still find her usefulness. She was very easy to relate to because face it, a girl can't normally try to relate to most video game girls who can go around beating people up and winning most the time and look extraordinarily fantastic every second of the day. Tifa was a great character however, I just thought that she did not have that same spark about her that made her so much different than any other near perfect video game girls.

However, though I loved VII, I felt that VI had the best villain. I loved how crazy Kefka had been portrayed. The Batman's Joker has NOTHING on Kefka! I loved how much devastation he caused. As a villain he was much successful. In VIII, I loved Squall the best as a main character. I liked how he his attitude differed from much the other main characters. His sarcastic nature made me laugh every now and then. X brought Final Fantasy in such an amazing era, or should have. It was the first time you guys had amazing graphics in which we could read the characters emotions lit upon their faces. Final Fantasy X in that very way had the best romance. IX was great in it's own way. I liked the entire world it was portrayed in. X-2, though X had been a great stand alone, had an awesome battle system. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within I thought was a great story and I was happy to see that it was possible to make a Final Fantasy in a futuristic setting rather than a steampunk, medieval, or completely alien setting. It was rather compelling to say the least.

After Final Fantasy X, I was not quite a fan of Final Fantasy anymore. I mourned the coming of FFXI. As a World of Warcraft player, XI did not do the series any justice. FFXII's battle system was a joke. I had often admired the complex yet simplistic turn based systems of the past games and XII did not deliver. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children came out. Most people liked it, however I thought it was only a cinematic action flick with only one idea in mind to have a Cloud and Sephiroth battle. The story seemed rather rushed and the characters looked different than what I had imagined them. I was not impressed with how they portrayed Cloud's feelings over Aeris, in the game itself he was over her death within an hour of gameplay. Final Fantasy XIII took out a lot of subtle similarities that almost every Final Fantasy previous to it had. The battle system was not that great, but far better than that of XII. I did not like the fact that you could not over level yourself during most aspects of the game and the fact that it seemed very linear. Also, though I love Tetsuya, I liked Nobuo Uematsu's arrangements best. I had wished Nobuo had done the music to XIII. For all these reasons, I feel that you had influenced Final Fantasy for so long, and once you were gone, the magic itself seemed to evaporate from the series.

One game I have played since then is Lost Odyssey, or what I like to call "the Lost Final Fantasy". :) I absolutely love the dream sequences and the characters themselves are all entertaining in their own rights. Jansen is by far my favorite character, he cracks me up! The dream sequences themselves were very heart felt and each told a simple life lesson. I thought them very beautiful.

I just want to thank you for all that you do. Sometime if The Last Story ever makes it to the United States, I will be honored to play it. You made my childhood what is was. As a kid, I often moved every two years. The only constant in my life that I ever kept were my video games which I treasured so deeply. All I can do now is throw on a few cosplays and relive it all at local cons or occasionally pop one of the old disks in and start playing. I hope that one day I may meet you in person at some crazy video game convention and thank you myself while dressed in costume. One day, I will have a costume of a female from EVERY Final Fantasy. Currently I have only an Aeris cosplay because she is my favorite. I am working on a Beatrix one now from Final Fantasy IX. Anyways, I cannot thank you enough! I am sure you get a million thank you letters every day like this so I will cut it short right now!

Sincerely from one of your loyal fans,

Sabra Danielle Hopper
 

Discla1m3r

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I completely agree! I actually sent Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of Final Fantasy, who disbanded from Square shortly after the Squaresoft and Enix merger, this letter. I sent it not even 3 weeks ago, very recently in fact.



Such a great letter! I feel you have mentioned everything that I would have liked to say to him about the FF series! So through your letter I feel I have :) Thanks!!
:)
 

.Mosh

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Such a great letter! I feel you have mentioned everything that I would have liked to say to him about the FF series! So through your letter I feel I have :) Thanks!!
:)

I have to completely agree with what was said here.
@Sabra

This letter is very well thought out and spoken with you heart and soul as your influence towards this particular subject. I hope this gets read or even replied to for that matter.
 

SimplySabra

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It did get replied to the very next 2 days. Though I do hope it was read by Sakaguchi himself. I only received this small reply back. I understand he is a very busy man. Either way I am happy. At least I can say that I did try and thank him. Part of the reason I want to meet him some day is so that I can make sure he himself hears it personally. That and no letter can properly convey the way that I love Final Fantasy.

Thank you for your support

H. Sakaguchi
 

Starships

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It's sorta sad that it was so short. But then again yeah maybe he's busy. :hmmm:

Hopefully he's working on a another awesome JRPG game.
:yay:

Though something inside tells me that he didn't read it. It just seems so odd of a reply.
 

Morrigan

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I don't understand the hate FF12 gets...It was different than the rest of FFs,much different.Even though I have yet to complete it(cause I'm stuck and I don't want to start over again) I find it an enjoyable game.Sure,it was a bummer that the characters didn't have their own unique fighting style and weapons but I liked the way you explored the stages.It was a pretty vast world.
As for FF13,which I have yet to finish as well...I found it difficult to relate and feel for the characters,at least for as long as I had played it.It was also difficult for me to get into the story,but I'll have formed a better opinion once I've completed it.The graphics nontheless were amazing.

Perhaps FF is not at its best era.I too feel frustrated with it,kind of.Mostly with SE,since I feel that because it has no competitor it is more money-focused than game-focused.Perhaps if there was another JRPG developer that could rival SE(but that's quite difficult...),then perhaps SE would have no other choice than to really struggle to come up with something as big as the past FF games.
Of course,they are also trying new things too,which I don't think should be frowned upon.Some novelty is always nice we can't keep playing the same things with the same battle system over and over again.But in a time that graphics kind of define a game it is only natural that it puts most of its effort on that department,don't deny it.Few people would consider to try a game that didn't look beautiful.
On the other hand we cannot tell what will follow.Perhaps there will come another Golden Age for FF.If you think about it,fans of the first FF games in the series weren't that fond of the games such as FFVII or FFVIII,and maybe for us too it will be difficult to accept a new era of FF games.I'm talking about the case that SE puts effort into giving us both a satisfying plot with interesting characters and a good gameplay,but it ends up producing something very different from what we were used to all this time.
 

SimplySabra

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It's sorta sad that it was so short. But then again yeah maybe he's busy. :hmmm:

Hopefully he's working on a another awesome JRPG game.
:yay:

Though something inside tells me that he didn't read it. It just seems so odd of a reply.

I felt the same as well. At first I just stared at it. I even waited a few more days just to see if I might get a longer reply. However, I am content. I sent the letter as a thanks to him. He can choose to read it or not at his own will. I am sure he gets much fan mail and it's hard to go through it all. I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed. Most times when I send stuff to gaming companies, I get LONG replies back. I have only sent 5 letters to 5 people though, and out of all of those, Sakaguchi's was the most important to me.
 

kratoscar2008

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I don't understand the hate FF12 gets...It was different than the rest of FFs,much different.Even though I have yet to complete it(cause I'm stuck and I don't want to start over again) I find it an enjoyable game.Sure,it was a bummer that the characters didn't have their own unique fighting style and weapons but I liked the way you explored the stages.It was a pretty vast world.
As for FF13,which I have yet to finish as well...I found it difficult to relate and feel for the characters,at least for as long as I had played it.It was also difficult for me to get into the story,but I'll have formed a better opinion once I've completed it.The graphics nontheless were amazing.

Perhaps FF is not at its best era.I too feel frustrated with it,kind of.Mostly with SE,since I feel that because it has no competitor it is more money-focused than game-focused.Perhaps if there was another JRPG developer that could rival SE(but that's quite difficult...),then perhaps SE would have no other choice than to really struggle to come up with something as big as the past FF games.
Of course,they are also trying new things too,which I don't think should be frowned upon.Some novelty is always nice we can't keep playing the same things with the same battle system over and over again.But in a time that graphics kind of define a game it is only natural that it puts most of its effort on that department,don't deny it.Few people would consider to try a game that didn't look beautiful.
On the other hand we cannot tell what will follow.Perhaps there will come another Golden Age for FF.If you think about it,fans of the first FF games in the series weren't that fond of the games such as FFVII or FFVIII,and maybe for us too it will be difficult to accept a new era of FF games.I'm talking about the case that SE puts effort into giving us both a satisfying plot with interesting characters and a good gameplay,but it ends up producing something very different from what we were used to all this time.

As long as Wada is the head and Toriyama director of the series FF will never recover its former glory.
 

Razberry Knight

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Personally i dont see a downfall in SE in general...the biggest mistake was making a series of ff13 before ff13 released. They also made it obscure. Following a certain mythology but each game being a different interpretation. Ff14 thought how lacking ff13 had they thought "hey ours is good enough".

so ff13 needed more time. Matomu toriyama is also the biggest issue....too focused on a certain style of storytelling. But were lacking a lot.


If SE focuses on something other than 13 and other projects such as versus, type 0 localization and new projects. Then yes, things would be going a lot better for SE.
 

Starships

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But in a time that graphics kind of define a game it is only natural that it puts most of its effort on that department,don't deny it.Few people would consider to try a game that didn't look beautiful.

I disagree with this. I disagree with this alot. I think that whether a game looks dated or has flashy HD graphics isn't really important. A few people might throw a fuss if it doesn't have flashy graphics but they're just extremely shallow when it comes to gaming and are not really true gamers.

Alot of older games despite being well old are quite brilliant. The older Sonic the Hedgehog games come to mind. The older Final Fantasy games come to mind. I think that there is gamers out there that feel that it's the story, characters and sound that is more important that how realistic or 'beautiful' it looks. Otherwise we wouldn't be still playing retro games and SquareEnix wouldn't bother trying to release FF1 & FF2 every five or so years. Because why bother ? The characters look too chibi so it wouldn't sell.

In sort. Graphics don't matter when it comes to video gaming and if you put down a game because it's old or doesn't look too flashy compared to other today's games then I'm sorry but you're shallow when it comes to games and you're missing out on some great games and great older ones.


 
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