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Posted by Rawson

@Lautaro said:

@Godzilla_Sushi said:

This may sound harsh, but hearing those guys say "Skyrim makes me wonder how I would do that game" is them pondering how they could set a video game back 15 years. Needs more inappropriate creepy sex. Less choice. Some random battles. And can we just get rid of the open world please? All dungeons.

They haven't focus tested a game for feedback prior to release before now.....well that explains everything.

What inappropriate creepy sex are you referring to? Have you played a Final Fantasy game before?

I think he may be referring to the relationship Snow had with Lightning's sister in FF13. I know I found the idea of what appeared to be a 20-something linebacker going out with a waif 12-year-old pretty creepy.

Posted by dropabombonit

Good interview, will give this a chance but got 20 hours into FF13 and got bored of it

Posted by MindOST

Final Fantasy 13 is the new Halo.

Even if you've never played it, it's important to loudly exclaim at any possible juncture how terrible it was in every way.

Posted by JimmyPancakes

What a great interview! I'm very excited for a game that lets everyone experience the awesome parts of XIII more easily. I would have been a bit starstruck.

Posted by JackG100

Well, no wonder it will be hard for the game to feel new and exciting since the first one failed to establish any of those emotions as well.

Posted by fodigga

Really excited for this game. I enjoyed FF13 quite a bit.

Great article Klepek.

Posted by buckybit
  • the fact, that they visited the GB offices
  • the fact, that they seek feedback BEFORE they finish the game
  • the interaction with fans
  • ... and open admiration for Western RPGs

... I am amazed.

Patrick, you could have written 3x the amount, ppl would love to read the meetup in more detail. Right, guys?

Posted by wukong

Slow news day is slow.

Edited by Veektarius

@Humanity: If you ask me, the problem with sellability of JRPG's isn't the mechanics, it's the first impression. If trailers have soapy melodrama and/or extremely anime-inspired designs, you've already reduced yourself to a niche audience in the West before people even care to hear how your game plays. Final Fantasy has managed to stay slightly ahead of the curve on character design, and it has the highest name recognition, so it's been losing ground slower than the rest. Resonance of Fate had very anime designs and trailers with very melodramatic scenes - maybe that's what the Japanese audience wants, but without name recognition, people aren't going to see that and say "Well, I didn't like that trailer, but I will give this game the benefit of the doubt despite the poor advertising". (edited for incomprehensibility)

Edited by Chop

Thirteen wasn't a game I enjoyed in any capacity, so I'll be skipping this for sure. However, it's nice to see them come out of their offices and try to learn something from other people for once. 

Online
Edited by Cornman89

It's great they're addressing complaints about the first game. I couldn't be less interested in that world after FFXIII, but at least it'll play better for those who're still on board.

Posted by RetroVirus

I'd like to see Final Fantasy become a more relevant franchise. I think this active evolution of the team's design philosophy is a good step, instead of fixing everything in the next game. The greatest games more often than not have rigorous playtesting and QA, so it's good to hear they are trying to expand and grow the franchise in new ways.

Posted by Cybexx

Its good that they are seeking outside feedback both within other teams in the company and the focus testing. From experience I can say that it can be really hard to judge your own work beyond if something is buggy or not. You don't want the focus testing to rule your development since it can result in watered down projects if overused but it can defiantly reveal flaws in your assumptions.

Posted by Brodehouse

Japan just sounds like the old man in the office whose production plateaued ten years ago, confused at why the young guys are doing better.

Japan is Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glenross.

Posted by hungrynun

Get some proofreaders, dog!

Engrossing and informative read as always Pat!

Posted by Neferon

Always cool to see Japanese developers' perspectives.

Edited by Scodiac

That was an enjoyable read.

Hate to be a stickler but I just wanted to point out a few typos. “The difficult in this is that because it’s a direct sequel..." I think it's suppose to be "difficulty" but maybe he just actually said the wrong word. Also, "Maybe he'll have a chance with the Final Fantasy game, which is most likely already well into development." I think, you wanted to say "Maybe he'll have a chance with the next Final Fantasy game".

Posted by GenghisJohn

Guys check out my FF13 Strategy Guide:

1. Walk forward.

2. Fight

3. Cutscene.

Fal Cie? L'Cie? No idea what was going on in that game, put in about 10 hours and then sold it.

Posted by Nottle

This looks kind of cool. Never played XIII. Couldn't they just make a 3rd Chrono Trigger game?

Posted by Vortextk

I like XIII for what it is. I hope to like xiii-2, and while I think listening to the complaints is a valid launch point, I hope they don't just pander to them. I think a good developer can listen to the needs of their fans and try their best to put out a good [next] game with what people want. A great developer puts out what people want instinctively, as that is how they make their games.

Posted by AwesomeAquaman

I hate FFXIII.

Edited by Dan_CiTi

It would be wild to see high-end Japanese developers take on a game style like Skyrim and be successful. The closest we have is Dark Souls, which while very different from Skyrim, is very successful in my opinion.

Posted by katsu044

As a advent JRPG player i was one of the *Few* or *Many* that enjoyed FFXIII besides the linear part but after reading this i can see that there is Hope and i'm Looking forward to sequel,but i'm gonna go out and say it if the final Fantasy series looked at how the Tales games did it they could easily redeem themselves hopefully anyone that has played a tales game would at least agree a bit with me if the two had a baby it would make a pretty Badass JRPG.

Posted by MentalDisruption

Still waiting on Vs XIII :|

Posted by Whizbang

Final Fantasy needs to die.

Posted by KidInsomnia

Finally went back to FF XIII, just in time to get hyped for this.

Posted by Astrophyle

I'm really looking forward to this game. FFXIII had a really fun battle system and it's still one of the most beautifully artistic games available, both in visual and audio senses. It was my favorite RPG from last year. Square-Enix has so much talent on that team, and I think they just need to design a game, FF or otherwise, that appeals to a wider western audience. It looks like they are starting to take those necessary steps.

Posted by Dixavd

If Japanese developers do start the western idea of feedback throughout they could make some of the greatest games in gaming. However their inexperience in this area could lead to some very disjointed games as well as lead to the very bland and repetitive western area creating the same games over and over again. However I hope they do not lose their aim to focus test within the company making games that require no patches and work fine when they are released. I am sick of games coming out that are not complete and require months to fix (or never get fixed), and the only region not doing this is from Japan. I would rather wait longer for a great game that works than for a half-finished one which only looks good compared to all the other half-finished games released that year.

Posted by BUCK3TM4N

iv lost my love for Japanese RPGs for some reason i cant get into them like i could during the ps2 era

Posted by Crunchman

Will the Xbox 360 version not suck? The 360 version of FFXIII was pretty bad, have they worked things out?

Posted by paskaroni

I haven't sunk my teeth into a JPRG since FFVII. What have I missed?

Posted by NMC2008

I loved FFXIII, loved it so much I 1000/1000'd it, then bought it on PS3 and plan on platinuming it before this comes out.

Posted by Poki3

Nope Square. Too late.

X-2 told me you have no idea how to make a non-linear game. I highly doubt this will change anything at all.

Posted by xyzygy

So damn excited for this game.

Edited by Kosayn

The Chrono Trigger enduro run by itself got me thinking about what was different when Square was on top, making the strongest RPGs around.

The difference is that they used to be pushing boundaries with their writing. Time Travel, causality, and paradoxes in an SNES game. Fast forward to PSX and we're into central character death, delusional self-serving memories, swearing, I could Oxford comma for days about the freshness of Final Fantasy 7. A proper Near-Future setting with only minimal advancements in technology, who was doing that or has done it since, other than Kojima? Everything else seems to just translate that setting into Steampunk. I even remember Cloud busting out something like a cell phone at Wutai in mid-chase. Compare Wild ARMs or Beyond the Beyond to get some idea just how much they were innovating.

A lot of people don't respect Square as an innovator - the rush to emulate them during the PS2 era has obscured their legacy. I think they're still masterful on the graphics and engine end. But back then, they were pushing poetic and literary (and anime) goals into the gaming world, while nearly everyone else was focused on getting games closer to hollywood cinema.

Square would do well to look less at Skyrim's graphics, and more at its genius handling of the grey area storyline between Stormcloaks and Imperials. At the way some of its quests have NO way at all to tell if you believed the right person, other than thinking it over yourself. At the fact you might come to regret your choices, but still be invested in them. At its rich history told not from a menu subscreen, but from books written by characters in the world who do have cultural biases. At the fun of an overheard conversation or the tales of your last dragon kill spreading around. At the random encounters on the road where over time you might by yourself choose to jump into a fight based on how the factions have appealed to you. I think they still imagined a very rich world for FF13 - for a time I was captivated - but show, don't tell. Leave it entirely to my imagination, and I'll prefer to just turn off the game and be happy with my own version of Cocoon.

If they chill out a little on the technical difficulty of making a AAA HD JRPG, they'll realize that that particular goal still hasn't been realized by anyone. They can pretty much do whatever and it will still be more AAA and modern than say, Lost Odyssey was. But will it be as moving? What they need to do is focus on ground breaking story again, because there are other companies schooling them on that, East and West. Is it a lot of work? Hire more dudes then. A continent in a box is possible.

Posted by wapostyle

I'll have to try to finish FF13 at some point soon I guess.

Posted by MEATBALL

A nice little bit of insight. I think Final Fantasy XIII-2 looks somewhat promising, though I have little faith in Square these days.

Posted by tayls

I'm still a little skeptical, but I'm interested to see how this turns out.

Posted by MormonWarrior

@paskaroni said:

I haven't sunk my teeth into a JPRG since FFVII. What have I missed?

Final Fantasy VIII, IX and X were all vastly better than VII. Not so sure about XII because it didn't even feel like Final Fantasy, and the MMO was dumb. I haven't even wanted to try XIII. Dragon Quest VIII was good, and Persona 3 and 4 are cool. It's a genre that's been really floundering for years though. I know that's what's up and not that my tastes have totally changed because I picked up Chrono Trigger a couple years ago with no 16-bit RPG nostalgia tied to it in any way and it's easily one of the best games I've ever played, so...yeah, JRPGs just kinda suck now.

Edited by WatanabeKazuma

I'm not going to lie, I really enjoyed XIII and I'm looking forward to this too.

@Dan_CiTi: Dark Souls more than holds its own with Skyrim, no need to hide the fact. I can easily see it topping many a GOTY list, its certainly pushing for it on mine

@paskaroni: Kingdom Hearts ruined everything. EVERYTHING!

Posted by benspyda

Was very disappointed by XIII. But it was mainly based on story and characters rather than gameplay (those asshole kids and then there was Snow!). The combat was alright, it was no FFX, but it was cool to watch play out. But the characters were so annoying and the story was dreadful fluff. Lightning was alright though whom I'm glad to see is the focus this time round.

We'll see how this turns out I guess.

Edited by spiceninja

Final Fantasy XIII is kind of a shitty game. Stupidly linear, boring story that goes nowhere for at least 15 hours, and the locations are not that great to look at. That being said I really loved the battle system and characters and if they can fix the complaints I have I'll give XIII-2 a shot.

Posted by Humanity

@Veektarius: Thats very true and the outer appearance of JRPGs does seem discouraging. When I look at FFXIII, which I haven't played, and see the trailers with these melodramatic moments that fail to grab my attention in any way I instantly pass.

At the same time if they showed a really great combat system that offered a high level of interactivity as well as customization I could probably jump on board. Never will replace an engaging story - but it can sure soften the blow.

Posted by McGhee

I'm going to try my damnedest, for the third time to finish 13. There was a lot I liked about that game, but so much of it felt like a slog. I'm interested to see how the sequel turns out so when I finish all the new games I'm playing I'm going in and finishing that bitch.

Posted by TheSouthernDandy

I know it's becoming a little more common but it still weirds me out when Japanese developers talk about taking cues from Western development. It's good though, I'm not nearly as big a FF fan as I used to be but at some point I wanna try XIII and I hope the sequel turns out great. I'm always pulling for those games even if I don't end up playing them.

Posted by SatelliteOfLove
@TheSouthernDandy said:
I know it's becoming a little more common but it still weirds me out when Japanese developers talk about taking cues from Western development. It's good though, I'm not nearly as big a FF fan as I used to be but at some point I wanna try XIII and I hope the sequel turns out great. I'm always pulling for those games even if I don't end up playing them.
It's always the good with the bad in these situations. 
 
@Dixavd said:

If Japanese developers do start the western idea of feedback throughout they could make some of the greatest games in gaming. However their inexperience in this area could lead to some very disjointed games as well as lead to the very bland and repetitive western area creating the same games over and over again. However I hope they do not lose their aim to focus test within the company making games that require no patches and work fine when they are released. I am sick of games coming out that are not complete and require months to fix (or never get fixed), and the only region not doing this is from Japan. I would rather wait longer for a great game that works than for a half-finished one which only looks good compared to all the other half-finished games released that year.

Those that do that naturally already have. Repeatedly.
 
http://www.giantbomb.com/vagrant-story/61-10896/
 
http://www.giantbomb.com/shin-megami-tensei-nocturne/61-16836/
 
http://www.giantbomb.com/xenoblade-chronicles/61-26920/
Posted by Soulblitz

New combat stuff is interesting, particularly because I only really played the original game for the combat. As far as XIII goes, the setting had potential, but giving all the characters equal air-time made me not care about any one of them. There's no main character in FFXIII, despite the game trying to tell you it's Lightning when it isn't. The worst thing though was the story. It was poorly told, and not enough effort went into laying down what was actually happening and making it easy to understand. Not sure what's going on? Go into the menu and try to read through the clusterfuck of text and ridiculous words that don't make any coherent sense.

Still, if anyone wants to explain what the hell actually happened in that game (I finished it and I have no idea), feel free to enlighten me, because it might make me more interested in FFXIII-2.

Posted by Scoozi

I really enjoyed what they did back with X-2 when they made that one as a follow up to X, so looking forward to playing this one too after also really enjoying XIII.

Posted by GaspoweR

@SatelliteOfLove said:

@TheSouthernDandy said:
I know it's becoming a little more common but it still weirds me out when Japanese developers talk about taking cues from Western development. It's good though, I'm not nearly as big a FF fan as I used to be but at some point I wanna try XIII and I hope the sequel turns out great. I'm always pulling for those games even if I don't end up playing them.
It's always the good with the bad in these situations.

@Dixavd said:

If Japanese developers do start the western idea of feedback throughout they could make some of the greatest games in gaming. However their inexperience in this area could lead to some very disjointed games as well as lead to the very bland and repetitive western area creating the same games over and over again. However I hope they do not lose their aim to focus test within the company making games that require no patches and work fine when they are released. I am sick of games coming out that are not complete and require months to fix (or never get fixed), and the only region not doing this is from Japan. I would rather wait longer for a great game that works than for a half-finished one which only looks good compared to all the other half-finished games released that year.

Those that do that naturally already have. Repeatedly.

http://www.giantbomb.com/vagrant-story/61-10896/

http://www.giantbomb.com/shin-megami-tensei-nocturne/61-16836/

http://www.giantbomb.com/xenoblade-chronicles/61-26920/

Vagrant Story is my favorite Squaresoft RPG. Great story matched with an unusual but rewarding combat system wherein it uses a Risk meter. Oh yeah the art style was also amazing. Man, I wish they would put a version for the X360 so I can play this game again...Dammit, if they would only announce a sequel. Sure FF XII was technically set in the same world but its not Vagrant Story...

Posted by dragonzord

@MormonWarrior said:

@paskaroni said:

I haven't sunk my teeth into a JPRG since FFVII. What have I missed?

Final Fantasy VIII, IX and X were all vastly better than VII. Not so sure about XII because it didn't even feel like Final Fantasy, and the MMO was dumb. I haven't even wanted to try XIII. Dragon Quest VIII was good, and Persona 3 and 4 are cool. It's a genre that's been really floundering for years though. I know that's what's up and not that my tastes have totally changed because I picked up Chrono Trigger a couple years ago with no 16-bit RPG nostalgia tied to it in any way and it's easily one of the best games I've ever played, so...yeah, JRPGs just kinda suck now.

I'm sorry, but I'll give you 9 and 10. But 8 might be one of the dumbest Final Fantasy games to ever exist with one of the must unlikable protags ever created in video games. Don't even get me started on the draw system.

Xenoblade is the best JRPG on consoles in years though. So, of course, we're not getting it. Handhelds have tons of great JRPGs. Solatorobo, Trails in the Sky, Ys, Devil Survivor, Strange Journey, the Four Warriors of Light, etc

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