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Discussion Point: the transition from Final Fantasy XII to XIII

  1. Final Fantasy XIII, whenever it finally launches, will take us right back to the zippers-and-hairspray aesthetic of the Nomura/Kitase/Nojima alliance that rules the series (and indeed, nearly everything to come from the Square half of Square Enix) these days. No doubt XIII will feature very impressive visuals and some clever combat rules and impressive character-twinking possibilities and an inventive new take on the concept of amnesiac heroes who have to save the the world from a beautiful, porcelain-skinned megalomaniac that wants to become a new god. But it likely won't be a brilliant, innovative fusion of numerous disparate styles, a synthesis of western and eastern RPG tradition, a collaboration of single- and multi-player RPG concepts. It won't be Final Fantasy XII, in other words.
    - Jeremy Parish, Final Fantasy XII review

    Are you looking forward to the transition back to a traditional Final Fantasy XIII, or are you loathing it?

    I'm going to go with loathing it.

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  2. Don't forget to throw in several whirlwind adolescent love interests that bog down the storyline and distract from the action. I'm looking at you FFVIII, FFIX, FFX.

    Seriously, when I heard one of the summons was a motorcycle I wrote this one off. Maybe they'll make up for it somehow...

    cough vagrant story sequel cough

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  3. Wait, what? Motorcycle summon? Haven't heard of this before, but it doesn't sound good. Not terribly disturbed though, since I too am not expecting much from FFXIII.

    Hamauzu might come up with some excellent music, though. I'd be a little more confident in this department if his Dirge of Cerberus score wasn't such a snorefest.

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  4. Dean said:
    cough vagrant story sequel cough

    Don't hold your breath! Yasumi Matsuno has reportedly left Square Enix and is rumored to be working for Nintendo EAD. A Vagrant Story sequel without him would be a grotesque abomination.

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  5. Well I'm sure Nintendo will put Matsuno to good use. I can't wait for whatever Shakespearian epic unfolds in the next "Kirby" game.

    Maybe Square will hand the Vagrant Story reins to Tetsuya Nomura's crew so another franchise can be poisoned with androgyny. And maybe then we can finally have more weather inspired names for characters! So long Ashley Riot, hello Tornado Riot! thumbs up

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  6. Haha most excellent.

    Matsuno at Nintendo is the most exciting prospect I can imagine. If it's not true I'll be wallowing in melancholy forevermore.

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  7. I heard he's working on the new "Cooking Mama" title. It's called "Cooking Mama: The Muffin Wars Unfold." It's rated "T" because half of the cooking mamas die in a gory, egg whisk fight. It's intense!

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  8. MmMMMmmm... well, Im looking forward to XIII for all its worth. Parish is seriously jumping to conclusions and its not like Vaan or Vayne were missing out on the hairgel or porcelain skin.

    Plus, all the zipper and belt buckles criticism is retarded.

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  9. your retarded

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  10. Must be because I have clothes with zippers and need the use of belts

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  11. Yeah, but those belt buckles aren't around your neck and arms and legs and across your chest.

    Look at your thigh for a minute... does it have three belt buckles going around it, holding nothing? Congratulations, you are not a Nomura character design.

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  12. I will play the game and enjoy it, no matter what they do with it.

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  13. Even if they make it suck?

    Come on now, blind devotion is for the religious.

    Permit an unbiased assessment for your gaming, at least.

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  14. I'm not going to bother. I didn't even bother with XII (yet). I will however, have to play any new Kingdom Hearts game that Nomura rolls off the assembly line.

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  15. What???? Final Fantasy XII is the savior of man, the key to our goddamn salvation.

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  16. I did say yet. I've been busy. Mondo Medicals is the true savior of mankind. Well, at least, the savior of our collective sanity.

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  17. I heard Motomu proclaiming that there is no main character but a line of protagonists the player will take the role of (FFVI style I guess). That's actually pretty sweet for a Final Fantasy game, despite the Nomura catwalk-zip-shit-fest.

    ...and dammit Domino I want to play the Mondo series but I got a Mac : (

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  18. As long as there's no "useless blond 17 year old with too much enthusiasm for getting involved in a bunch of life-threatening crap who was not part of the original intended story line but only inserted for spurious marketing/focus group reasons and therefore has no relation to the core plot and can only really be described as someone who has no measurable personality and is only along for the ride", then I'm good.

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  19. Squarez, I have two pieces of advice for you: 1) Find a friend with Windows. Failing that, follow the link and watch the series of five walkthrough videos (two for Medicals, and three for Agency) by madamluna, because you get to see the entire game(s) and you get to hear her deliciously hysterical commentary.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYwZO7rxQeI
    edit: link fix

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  20. I can't enjoy whatever the outcome of FF without a good reason but Domino can enjoy whatever the outcome of KH?

    Unbiased indeed.

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  21. BUT!

    I want to play and beat every FF. Good or bad, and if another new one came out then I would have to play and beat it. I have about 99% done atm.

    Damn you 8.

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  22. I doubt that. It depends what all you count. If you count everything that is Final Fantasy, then you have to include Final Fantasy Adventure (actually Seiken), Final Fantasy Legend I-III (actually part of the SaGa series), Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (both), all the compilation games, and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. And then what about Ergheiz, Chocobo Racing, Chocobo's Dungeon, and even Dynami-Tracer? Even if you restrict it to just the 'core' games, what about all the various remakes and redos? There's enough different for most people to call them different games (some more than others). Final Fantasy III on NES and Final Fantasy III on DS are VERY different games trust me. And for that matter FFI on NES versus any other version except the Wonderswan Color version feels like a totally different game.

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  23. That's why being a purist sucks, I say.

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  24. I just play what I want and fuck the rest personally.

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  25. I'm testing this thing at work to show off how awesome we are

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  26. ...Lest we forget that with each new Final Fantasy comes this exact thing--an impassable round of debate and insult that only stops once the game is actually released.

    Are Nomura's games or aesthetic really that appalling? His style could use an update. When I first saw screens for The World Ends With You I was under the impression it was some sort of KH spin-off. Sigma Harmonics has an interesting style the hearkens back somewhat to FFVIII which showed a more reserved (yes, reserved) and tasteful style than the previous game or that was later used in Kingdom Hearts and the various FFVII compilation items. So far, XIII appears to follow this sense rather than taking one idea to all of its possible extremes.

    Square still has the budget and talent that allows them to put on one hell of a show whether or not it's really playable. Advent Children was visually spectacular. Even some of Square's more lackluster titles (Samurai Legend Musashi, Unlimited SaGa) all show great use of Square's resources. Obviously they're going to throw everything they have into another Final Fantasy title. Could everyone's distaste for the series be because we've grown up? Are the games maturing any? I'm convinced FFXII's quality in comparison was a fluke.

    I'm not excited for XIII but I have no doubt it will be a good game at the very least and at most the first RPG of this generation to set any sort of standard. Fable II, Eternal Sonata, and Tales of Whateveria be damned.

    Also sup, first post~

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  27. Hito said:
    Could everyone's distaste for the series be because we've grown up? Are the games maturing any? I'm convinced FFXII's quality in comparison was a fluke.

    I think you're on to something. now that we've grown up, we're less tolerant of the sophomoric themes and trite discourse that exude from Nomura's games.

    As for FFXII, if by fluke you mean a departure from the normal direction the series has taken, a departure envisioned by a different development group and led by Yasumi Matsuno, I'm totally down with you there. If you compare the FFXII staff to other games, you would see that it has much less in common with FFVIII, X, X-2, Kingdom Hearts, and the like, than those Nomura-inspired games have with each other.

    And welcome!!!!!!!!!

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  28. Call me a heretic; I'm a fan of VIII, ultra-angsty Squall, laughably retarded combat system and all. I think that the game's geography was inspired, and that the romance, while arguably simplistic, wasn't just shoved in on a side note, it was genuinely developed throughout the course of the narrative and played a very important role in the story.

    X had a great narrative structure. The pilgrimage was a wonderful device, and Sin was a very cool idea. At first, at least, it was the only massive, alien, elemental archvillain, sort of the Lovecraft tradition of monster, in a Square game since Chrono Trigger's Lavos. Sure Tidus was a whining little shit, but the game still had some interesting things going for it. Never played X-2; the Brittany Spears-esque concert screenshots that I saw were enough to bewilder me away from it.

    XIII will probably, in my mind, follow in that tradition of interesting ideas grappling with retardation.

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  29. I think the transition will be a smooth one depending on how much crystal meth it takes for you to accept that Shiva turns into a motorcycle.

    For me, it's going to be a lot... possibly all.

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  30. I was turned off by the motorcycle thing at first too. But then I realized that Shiva turning into a motorcycle is so absurd that if they pull it off properly it would become awesomely absurd. And we all know, awesomely absurd is still awesome.

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  31. If anybody can pull off something that fucking retarded, it's Square Enix.

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  32. What about the toy dog dressed as a clown?? I'm sorry, I didn't know SE was going to play to the Paris Hilton crowd! GAAAGH!!

    Do you get a purse to carry it around in?!?

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  33. New (though still a lot of recycled material) videos available with a little commentary.

    http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3171826

    I think the whole thing looks (and sounds, given the preview video) even more like Star Wars than 12 did. I don't see this as a bad thing, since 12 definitely felt like its own entity in the end. It would be nice to see a good gameplay demo sometime soon. But given the impression that the battle system will be more similar to 12 than other FF's, this has to be a plus.

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  34. Yeah, I'm baffled by the lack of gameplay this close to it's release for both it and versus. At least screenshots or something. I think FF13 is going to be pretty standard fair. I pretty sure I read somewhere that it was going to be turn based but not have random encounters, so I'm expecting a Chrono Trigger-ish system. With the staff from Kingdom Hearts doing all of the planning on Versus the system is probably going to resemble it or that FFVII PSP game.

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  35. Theyre both about a year from release, they have plenty of time for marketing to show gameplay. And please, just because **you **dont have screenshots doesnt mean they dont have the game done to a point, marketing and development are usually never on the same page.

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  36. I guess I'm comparing the release of material for this game to FF12. Where we had screenshots a year in advance of the game and details on almost every aspect of the game before we even had a release date... but then again it was released a year (at least) after it was suppose to be. Still, they should be doing a better job of informing the people interested about the game. I've seen interviews with most of the development staff and they've really only generalized what the game is about and the gameplay. It's a little like they're saying "It's Final Fantasy. It's going to be awesome. That's all you need to know. Now watch some more of the same cutscenes that you saw two years ago."

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  37. A lot of developers are cutting down on previews for many reasons (affects budget, production, time better spent on making the game), I know this because I see it at work. Dealing with previews takes serious time away from actually working on the game .. hell I can even give you an example of how this week has turned useless to me since I have to make marketing posters to be placed around EA (waste of time)

    Marketing will really ramp up about 6 months before release, that's when it makes the most sense. since the game will be pretty much done by then, on a project that lasts several years its important to spend the very last one really focused in the game itself. Square just giving little bits and pieces every now and then works the best since they give you little bites and people can just be left with their own theories of what the game can become.

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  38. Man, it sure is nice to have somebody actually qualified to say something useful about this kind of stuff instead of some internet bozo (me) speculating from his/her zero experience with the matter.

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  39. That or common sense. A lot of stuff people say about the games industry just makes no fucking sense whichever way you look at it. Some people seem to think the "industry" is some giant machine with preplanned marketing campaigns and perfect execution. Too bad that's not how things work in reality. And the games industry is in the same reality as ours.

    One thing I think they learned from FFXII was that they gave away far too much too early on before really having nailed down a date. And that's what you're seeing now: before they know exactly what's happening and when, they're not going to ramp up any formidable marketing. Because what if they have another Matsuno escapade and the game is delayed by 2 years?

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  40. Sure, all I'm saying is the stuff I see happening around me is all. E3 was dropped for a reason not dissimilar to what I'm talking about, and I sure as hell enjoy not having to crunch in order to get E3 demos out the door, for instance ;)

    You ever moving to the US?

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  41. Wow, just... wow. Nomura, you have reached a new low.

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  42. It's like the dandy version of Shaft.

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  43. Today is April 1, right? ...Right?

    Dean said:
    It's like the dandy version of Shaft.

    haha good one.

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  44. Besides his silly grin and the infant poultry in his hands, I am not sure what's wrong with it...

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  45. until you discover that he keeps the chocobo chick in his fro...

    Yes, i'm absolutely serious, that's where he keeps it.

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  46. He looks like an extra from Pirates of the Caribbean whose outfit was color coordinated by an HGTV interior designer.

    And his afro makes him look like a mushroom.

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  47. I REALLY hope he's not a main/playable character.

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  48. Well, like all FF since Nomura took the reins you probably won't learn anything about him other than his name, what country he's from, and some trivial info. I think that's a severe problem in the FF series as of late: Companion characters that don't develop and aren't explored through the narrative of the story.

    I'm looking at you Wakka... you useless bastard.

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  50. I watched it about an hour or so ago and I have to say, BO-RING. I think I'm done with this series (well I kinda was when I finished X), I was interested in the battle system (mainly because Toshiro Tsuchida is battle director) and somewhat interested in the plot, but now that I've seen a snippet of the goods, I'm over it. I think the whole Star Wars theme here is more prevalent than ever and I just can't get into this magic-technology fusion fetish. I know this has a lot to do with Japanese culture (just look at their anime) but I just can't hang. Honestly though, the worst offender of all for me with this game and MOST FF games is the fact that there is little to no humility involved, like I'm suppose to just accept that these beasts/monsters are technological mythical creatures fused with magic and are of the norm. I know it's fantasy and I know it's supposed to be surreal, but this game is just too retarded for my liking.

    Plus the character designs. I just can't dig half of the designs and when the shits hitting the fan, they're all still looking good, clothes are nicely ironed and their hair do's are still neatly groomed. They should have some new spells called "glam stroke" and "shave slam" or even "cosmetica". No humility makes this kind of stuff more embarrassing than enjoyable or entertaining.

    I'm out.

    [Edit: link to people & games for autotags and easy access for readers -Matt]

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