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Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

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Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by RYCloud92 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:48 am

Before I start I want to mention this isn't me being a VII fanboy. I was on ign and came across a article where they reviewed one of the Square Enix CEO's on a VII remake. The CEO stated that they wouldn't consider a HD remake untill they could make a Final Fantasy that could surpase the "quality" of VII.

Copy of the article

"Square Enix has revealed why they are yet to remake Final Fantasy VII despite the rabid desire of many fans.

According to Andrisang, CEO Yoichi Wada explained during the company's annual shareholder meeting that it would not remake the legendary RPG until it makes a brand new Final Fantasy game that "exceeds the quality" of Final Fantasy VII.

“Square Enix has revealed why they are yet to remake Final Fantasy VII despite the rabid desire of many fans.

In a candid statement, Wada clarified that he feels the current slew of titles in the franchise have not surpassed their popular predecessor in terms of quality. He stressed that while they hopefully would manage this in future, if the team were to remake Final Fantasy VII before this was achieved, then the Final Fantasy franchise "would be done with".

This revelation comes hot on the heels of statements by Tetsuya Nomura, who recently admitted that a remake wasn't a priority. He also suggested that the current batch of titles would need to be improved before the company cast its gaze backwards, saying "The new Final Fantasy must overcome the Final Fantasy of the past.”

So I'm just wondering does anyone here think it can be done (make a game to beat VII not a remake). And if they do how could they go about doing it.


Part of me can't really see it happen as XIII was missing what really hooked me with VII and that was exploration of the world around you. With XIII it was all missions and no side-quests, everything was given to you if you fought for it and thanks to it's leveling system that most of the time meant grinding a lot.

In another reflection that meant barely any real character development. At the beginning it started a bit slowly, you learn that Lightning is a hardened soldier and Sazh just seems to be a black guy dragged along for the ride, when Vanille turns up you can tell she is hiding something and blah blah. But by 1/4 way through the game you find out everything you could ever care to know about all the main characters, there weren't any parts of the game that where dedicated to a characters background, barely any exposition about why they act as they do (besides Vanille, Lighting and Fang (Sazh gets a little bit about his Son and that moment when he considers killing Vanille had me interested but it ended quickly. Hope had a small moment with his Dad but it wasn't memorable to me) and even then it's really short and you forget it as soon as it happens). Could just me though.

Although moving away from the latest and going back a bit a would say that if they made the next FF similar in concept to Final Fantasy X I could see them doing well. I mean I will say that I don't think the levelling system was entirely perfect but besides that the world felt big and amazing, the characters all had time given to them throughout the game and information about those characters was interlaced well with the story. Once you had the airship you could continue straight with the story or decide to hunt down every dark aeon, ultimate weapon and other aeon's for Yuna. It wasn't necessary for plot or shoved in your face via little floating mission stones. Also I would argue in defence of XIII that the entire world is against you and that's why you cant interact with any small/side characters but after you rescue you Yuna that's the same situation for your band of heroes and that doesn't stop them. Sure in XIII you get stranded on gran pulse but even before that couldn't they have worked through some town areas. That sacrifice meant we didn't get any characters like Maechan or Belgemine side characters with their own backgrounds, not entirely important to the plot but still put in anyway.

Finally the last game tried that action style way of combat, and although it was refreshing new take I personally never thought it gave enough to think and plan what you where doing and because you only controlled one character you had to hope the other characters would do what you wanted from them.

So my point being is that they would have to give us a big world/world map to explore, focus sections/side parts of the games to a personal character based story, return towns (I've heard they did it a bit in XIII.2 but I've barely touched it) and maybe return the combat back to true form or just make it so you can control all the members of your party again.


Well thats my random rambling finished, anyone else have any views.

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Archangel on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:34 am

I won't say it can't be done, but it will be hard pressed. Not only because of the storytelling/ and characters in FF7, but some of the things that ppl may overlook. The innovations at the time FF7 came out. It was the first "3D" final fantasy, it had cutscenes, it was the launch title for the playstation. All huge factors for it's success.

In order for another ff title to compare to FF7 success, it needs these similar elements. It needs to have something ground breaking, and it wouldn't hurt for it to be launched on a next-gen console so we could fully appreciate it. Besides that, it would need obvious upgrades in the story department.

The closest thing to FF7 imo is FF9, and had FF9 taken FF7's place as the game that launched the playstation, their roles in history may be reversed. Unfortunately, FF9 was at the end of the PS1's cycle.

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Claire on Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:53 pm

I honestly don't know if Square could pull it off anytime soon, since making the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is digging a bigger hole for them. FFVII carries a lot of weight for the series being the fan favorite, and that alone would make it difficult for Square to make something that could surpass it. Making the Compilation is only improving the quality and range of the story, so they aren't helping their case by continuing to make them. Rather pessimistic of Nomura to say that it would kill the series, although he may just have a point since fans haven't overall responded well the the series since IX, and all of their spinoffs are getting just as much hate.

Square will have to make one hell of a comeback if they want to get out of the hole they're in. They were once a leading company in game design, and now since fans are wanting more, while they're staying as true as they can to the original concept, and it's driving them further and further into the ground. So if they could possibly make something that could surpass VII, then it wouldn't feel like Final Fantasy anymore, it would have to be something that the public of today will appreciate and older fans will have to suck it up.

I honestly don't see them winning back their glory, seeing how only die hard fans are purchasing their games anymore.

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Zane the pure on Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:25 pm

The problem being that the base is sooooo divided now, that releasing something that would be kosher with both ends is a fleeting dream. They could go further on the action scene and miss the point of strategy, they could step back with it, and miss the point of the intensity. I think the best way for FF to make a remarkable comeback is to have THE plot of the century. In past generations the stories were deep, well rounded, and enigmatic (like 7)
but it's become a mess of "over-writing" to where the plot makes people sigh exasperatedly.

I say, clean up the writing with a good strong plot that isn't toooooo complex, and is still deep enough without being tied down by the inner workings of the world, for example: l'cie, cie'th, fal'cie, and other such phlebotinum. And work out a battle system that will allow you to control every little detail, and have it build the player's skill at the same rate of the character's growth.

I say, simple yet deep plot, a well oiled battle system that requires you to think ahead as well as react quickly and think crtically, and enough content (side characters, side-activities and background plot) to give it serious lasting appeal.

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by RYCloud92 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:07 am

Out of curiosity did anything significant happen after the development of X (like a script writer for square leave or something) because I felt that X had enough twists and uniqueness to it to keep interest but never used the X Uni-babble to an extreme (Yu Yevon, religion. Aeon = Summon. Machina = Machine etc)

Certainly agree with the whole action Vs strategy, really and truly I would personally prefer it if they kept it to the original turn based mode, because as a kid I still found it intense (in fact even now when I play them back I still find certain bosses give me a rush when it comes to trying to beat them).

Really and truly for the action side of things they could always continue the Dissidia line, or perhaps make the game play of Dissidia into it's own spin of series (Final Fantasy: Pugna (or something better). As I still find it extremely enjoyable to go back and either have random CPU/online fights (would defiantly hit a multiplayer/online appeal), search the world map for more items or collecting items to get better equipment. (bit off topic but it could at the very least I feel solve the divided fan base/let square have their cakes and eat them too)

Speaking of world maps that was certainly a heart of the games for me, sure it would look a bit silly by today's standards to have a character model moving towards towns that, by view, appear smaller then they are. Especially when you can take the XIII route and actually display a massive world to walk across but I much prefered the old world maps. Not only because it offered a lot more towns and locations instead of a big expanse of land with random fights but also because it made the world feel bigger and grander to me. Even when playing X I find Spira less expansive then the map of VII, VIII or IX, because the world map made it seem like there was more to do and more to explore, when I was kid I was mystified as to what the area above Cosmo canyon contained or when I came across (what to me) the unreachable rounds table island containing the best summon materia. It gave you a sense of progress, as you started sometimes from the arse end of nowhere and tried to get your characters to some unreachable tower or be forced to go through a treacherous cave. I know it's only something small but if Square are going to attempt anything as good as VII then I feel they would certainly have to bring this feature back. (and in fact with DLC and stuff they could have certain islands you can't reach without a boat (which would come in the pack (not something I would prefer but if they feel the need for the DLC gimmick then it's there))


Last edited by RYCloud92 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:53 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Archangel on Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:53 am

@RY, I agree with you on the world maps. I loved the old style maps of 7 and 9, I wish they would go back to this. Lost Odyssey kind of had this feel. Not completely, but it is the closest modern JRPG that I can think of to match some of these qualities.

To Square: just make the goddamn FF7 remake!! Give us what we want and make some money you assholes!

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Claire on Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:10 pm

Personally, I hated the world map function, cause they would never give clear instructions as to what the fuck you're supposed to be doing next, and you stumble from town to town doing all sorts of shit just trying to progress the story. But then again, it makes for longer time log, therefore more money well spent. Besides, Castlevania does this shit with the Metroid style map setup and it's quite easy to get lost unless you're already played through. I still never quite came to ever like the world map, and I remember thinking "Oh FUCK!" when Duodecim was announced to have a world map, although that one is pretty linear as far as conveyance. However, thinking back to FFI, I remember constantly hitting up Zane's number asking where the hell to go next, who I'm supposed to kill and then it was back to the awesomeness.

To be honest, I could go the rest of my life without ever seeing another world map, because nonlinear games tend to piss me off cause I waste time looking for stuff when I could be fighting a boss that's exciting and interesting, or other things instead of unintentionally grinding.

What I look forward to is something akin to Devil May Cry, Castlevania and Kingdom Hearts mixed together. A real time RPG always manages to put a smile on my face, when I'm just hacking away at monsters and it gives me the ability to fight a boss and leave me to my own skills to dodge attacks and land hits. The cool thing about this setup, is challenge runs are virtually limitless. No Armor runs, No Damage runs, No Item runs, and the thought of that excites me, cause that's where I get my thrill from games nowadays. I think FF could make that work, even if it isn't tradition.

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Erel on Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:31 pm

Fact of the matter is in regards to this subject, Square can't make a game just for their hardcores anymore. The general public is who they have to please now; the majority. And what does the great number want? Well it's almost a given fact that it's not turn based anymore. That is an archaic system that only a few of us enjoy (contrary to my previous rants, I do still play this style; Record of Agarest war is my current indulging in this said genre) and if they adhere to that, well they aren't going to make very much money and therefore they will not surpass what they did with FFVII. These days it's all about the fast paced, reaction required, and much more breath taking gameplay is the demand. Let's face it guys, turn based isn't breath taking. Yeah, the summons look great in their dashing new graphics or technique, but that gets pretty redundant after the tenth time summoning him/her/it.

As for story, I'll touch on what Zane had mentioned in regards to a plot that is simple but still thought provoking and something that makes sense. That is where FFXIII and FFXIII-2 fell apart. While the gameplay is leaning more on the quick time side but still keeping some of its 'old skin' of turn based, and while the graphics are indeed beautiful, the plot itself wasn't able to stand up to everything else that made the game note worthy. And again, to echo the opinion about made up vocabularies, I don't need to fucking hear l'cie or Fal'cie five hundred times (kind of like I don't need to hear about that time distortion shit in FFXIII-2) and even after hearing it that many times it still fails to really explain what the fuck it really is without me having to really think TOO hard. And I'm a critical thinking on my best days, but come on... that's too godamn much (sarcasm and not in regards to FFXIII's 'thought provoking' vocabs). Let's dig into a good example that Square needs to take notes from, The Mass Effect series. THe story on its own front cover may be insipid, inside of it is a very intense and tantalizing plot between civilizations, the battle between good and evil, and of course the rapport of the main character with the rest of the world, NPC or what not. RPG fans from both the west and the east can concur that Bioware made up a formula for a really good road of success and we rode that ship from the Sol system and back because it is breath taking at every turn.

World Maps? It's classic. While I am not against radical change, I am still attached to a certain few assets that the old FF's used to have; world map is one of them. That nostalgic feeling of running around can't ever be replaced... that is what separates RPGs from your norm 3rd person, arcade, combat game is the fact that is non linear. You have many different forks in the road to take before delving into the main path.

Say what you want but I think FFXIII Versus may hit a few notes in regards to becoming the 'next big thing'. The gameplay seems to be a bit more into the fast paced genre while seemingly still keeping some of the RPG elements (going off the trailer of the gameplay), the world on its own looks a bit more grounded to realism while keeping the fantasy, the graphics look freaking great (as always), but the one thing that puts disdain in my train of thought is I am afraid for the story. I will not try to lie that my perception on JRPG's story had become rather less than impressive for the last few years so giving that said notion, I don't think I can be optimistic about Versus story... but again, that is a rather premature point of view since I have yet to play the damn thing.

On a closing note, whatever Square is attempting to conjure up to stand up or reciprocate the reception that FFVII made, it won't be infallible. It will have such a huge critique since fans have been waiting for something like Sephiroth's long sword and Tifa's tits for some time now... do I personally think it can be done? On a personal level, I think FFX was a much better Final Fantasy than FFVII, but as far as the general opinion? I honestly think it can be done. They just need to lean on humility and borrow some ideas from successful games these days and avert their ways from trying so hard to come up with an original plot.

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Zane the pure on Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:09 pm

Ooh, I hadn't even thought about world maps... I love 'em and I can look for a FAQ if I can't continue the game on my own, but I enjoy being able to take my swell time messing about with stuff. Besides, I kinda get this rush of exploration from looking around the corner and finding what I needed/where to go, and games that are "TOO" linear detract from my sense of wanderlust.
But I want the plot to be overarching enough to where the side quests aren't "the whole frickin' game". And I know FF is capable of making a captivating story and strong characters to go with it, I just need them to prove me right and not be sorta pretentious about things.

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Archangel on Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:28 pm

Some of my fondest memories come from the world map. Just in FF7 you have running into Ruby weapon and him becoming huge. Running away from Emerald when you are underwater, and searching for that sunken plane. Or chasing Ultima Weapon around in your airship. Running from the Midgar Zolom. Just a few examples from FF7. I loved it. You don't get that same experience I feel like in today's maps.

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Claire on Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:23 pm

I see everyone loving the world map idea, and I think I know why it's never been a great idea to me. The fact that I didn't play very much of a game that had a world map means it has no nostalgic feel to me. All I remember from world maps is a sense of confusion and only really found a use for it when I was grinding outside a town. Otherwise, I really just hated getting constantly lost and gaming over when I would be too far away from a town, out of items and MP and still having no clue where I'm supposed to be.

I still can't say that I think exploring a world map felt it made the game more expansive since the first FF I'd ever beaten was X and the only world map function it had was click and point and there was no confusion whatsoever. IV had the world map and I still hated it when I first played it at 10 years old. But everyone else seems to like it so I won't waste my breath saying why I hate it. I do think that a world map is easier to explore with a reference of some sort, that way I'd have less of a chance of getting my ass kicked by wondering into a high level area.

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Re: Surpassing FF7, can it be done?

Post by Erel on Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:40 pm

'Running from Midgar Zolom'. Now that is a feeling of nostalgia if I can say so myself. Yeah, maps is an ordinance in Final Fantasy that should not have been stripped away. That is the one thing that makes FFX less of a FF to me in retrospect when I compare it to popular games like FFVII. But I'm having this odd feeling that Square may have seen the bad play of their hand when completely taking this away. Hopefully they stay true to their announcements in regards to world maps being back into FFXIII versus and future FFs (if the franchise survives after the re-release of FFXIV lol).

But yeah, I can agree that the side quests shouldn't be everything. FF had always been good in the past to make the main quests still be the more remarkable part of the game and the side stuff are just that, side stuff; important to possibly make the game easier in the final levels, but still just an option. Games like Skyrim, Fallout, Oblivion, Fable, so forth are great games, but sometimes I feel like their main canon always falls into the side quests' entertainment and not the main quest.

As for plot, Yeah, we all know that Square is more than capable of good story lines and stuff, however they have failed miserably lately. That is their one failing department as of late and the last FF to really captivate in regards to story is FFX. The story revolves around the characters are their own endeavors, while all in the same while their struggles inextricably comes back to the major problem of the world.

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